Best Laptops for College Students

Last Updated: January 9, 2017 by

best laptops for college students
Welcome to our current buying guide to the best laptops for college students based on design, performance, functionality, customer feedback and critic reviews. Are you sending your son or daughter off to school for the first time? When you send your child off to college, you want to make sure that they have the tools they need to be successful. Sure, your sons and daughters are going to party and have a lot of fun, but they are going to get a great quality education while they are there as well. A laptop is simply an essential part of every college students’ supply list today. Of course, you need to make sure you send them with the right laptop. What type of laptop they need will depend a great deal on how they use it and even what field they are going into. Mac, PC, hybrid, there are many choices. Below you will find our picks of the very best laptops that are perfect for any student heading off into the world to get their degree of higher learning.

Top Picks >> High-end >> Under $750 >> Gaming >> Chromebooks >> 2-in-1 >> Budget >>

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Best College Laptops – Top Picks

Dell-Inspiron-i5559-4415SLV-15.6-inchDell Inspiron i5559-4415SLV 15.6-inch

It can be tough finding solid specs in budget lines the Dell Inspiron i5559-4415SLV delivers. Featuring a sixth generation Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, you will have more than enough power for all your daily computing tasks. In includes a 1TB hard drive giving you more than enough room to store your applications and a wide range of files. The display is clear and bright and features a touchscreen interface to make navigation easier than ever. The machine includes Intel HD graphics 520 which aren’t the greatest in the world but more than enough for some light gaming and perfect for apps that require at least a little bit of video power such as Photoshop. The Dell Inspiron i5559-4415SLV is the perfect machine for anyone shopping on a budget but still wants a device with decent hardware and design that will hold up as you carry it with you to your class.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 5.4 lbs

Pros

  • Decent performance
  • Touchscreen
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Premium design

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Slower 5400rpm hard drive

Summary

For a mid-range PC, the Dell Inspiron i5559-4415SLV gives a professional user excellent performance in a well-designed desktop replacement unit, allowing for a day to day smooth and efficient Windows 10 experience at a very fair price.

Dell Inspiron i5559-4415SLV 15.6-inch
from $679.99 $450.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:38 UTC) Details

Dell-Inspiron-i7559-763BLK-15.6-InchDell Inspiron i7559-763BLK 15.6-Inch

Some students need more than a basic computer for both school and play. The Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK may have a lot going for it when it comes to gaming, but it is also a true powerhouse of a machine, making it perfect for any college student that needs a little extra power out of their machines for tasks such as video and graphic editing. Powered by a 6th generation Skylake Quad Core Intel i5-6300HQ running at 2.3 GHz along with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M with 4 GB of RAM, this laptop packs in plenty of punch great for the heaviest of apps and games as well. It only comes with a 256GB SSD, however, meaning you will need to find other ways to store your files. Overall, the Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK is a great machine for any student that loves to play games or just needs a laptop with a little extra power for their school applications. [

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 5.67 lbs

Pros

  • High end specs
  • SSD Storage
  • Extremely competitive pricing

Cons

  • Plastic design
  • Minor screen bleed

Summary

The Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK packs higher end specs and an SSD at a very reasonable price offering one of the best gaming laptop deals in recent memory.

Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK 15.6-Inch
from $739.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:30 UTC) Details

Microsoft Surface Book SX3-00001 13.5-inchMicrosoft Surface Book SX3-00001 13.5-inch

If there is one thing that every student needs today, it is a machine that is easy to carry with them to class and well, wherever they go. However, regular tablets don’t often cut it. The Microsoft Surface Book is the first machine to really bring the two worlds together in a form that is actually highly usable in both laptop and tablet format. It features a modern design that is just plain gorgeous and it packs enough power into its small frame to be useful for almost any task you throw at it. Microsoft has successfully combined the power of today’s laptops into a true hybrid that is a real pleasure to use, and quite handy for any college student looking for a device they can slip into their bags and take with them to class.

Specs

  • Windows 10 Pro
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 3.34 lbs

Pros

  • Exceptional battery life
  • Powerful hardware
  • Thin and light
  • Pin point accurate touchscreen
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • NVIDIA graphics

Cons

  • No Ethernet
  • No USB Type-C
  • 3:2 aspect ratio
  • No HDMI
  • Price

Summary

The Surface Book SX3-00001 is a purpose built business laptop that offers great performance, an NVIDIA GPU and excellent battery life that will get you through the day.

Microsoft Surface Book SX3-00001 13.5-inch
from $1,662.33 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:43 UTC) Details

ASUS VivoBook E403SA-US21 14-inchASUS VivoBook E403SA-US21 14-inch

While quite a few budget laptops offer average battery life, the Asus VivoBook E403SA-US21 is an exception to the rule. To ensure that your laptop can withstand a full day of classes, the Asus VivoBook E403SA-US21 offers an excellent 10 hours off of a single charge. The sleek design features a brushed aluminum lid and an imitation metal keyboard deck which gives the ASUS VivoBook E403SA-US21 a high-end look and feel. The Intel Quad-Core Pentium N3700 processor and 4GB of RAM will not win any awards, but it will easily cope with day-to-day college tasks such as research and essay writing. If you require specialized design software, then you will have to look at a more powerful laptop as the Asus VivoBook E403SA-US21 is slightly underpowered for more hardware intensive apps. While the eMMC solid state drive offers fast Windows boot and app loading times, the 128GB of storage space is limited and users who want to store media will have to look at external and cloud storage options. But it will be sufficient for storing all of your college work. The Intel HD Graphics are sufficient for running apps such as Netflix and VLC, but it is by no means a gaming chip and will only be able to process older and classic gaming titles. The Full-HD display offers a maximum resolution of 1920×1080, but the maximum brightness level is lower than many of its competitors and its coverage of the sRGB spectrum is lower than many other Full-HD displays. Overall if you are after an affordable laptop that offers excellent battery life, then we recommend that you look at the Asus VivoBook E403SA-US21.

Specs

  • 14 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 9 hours battery life
  • 3.3 lbs

Pros

  • Thin and light
  • Full-HD display
  • SSD
  • Battery life
  • USB Type-C

Cons

  • Heat under load
  • Low brightness levels
  • Average sound

Summary

Overall the ASUS VivoBook E403SA-US21 is a great performing budget laptop that offers a sleek design, a solid state drive and a Full-HD display.

ASUS VivoBook E403SA-US21 14-inch
from $399.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:40 UTC) Details

Apple-MacBook-Pro-MF841LL-A-13.3-InchApple MacBook Pro MF841LL/A 13.3-Inch

There is no denying Apple’s hold on the education market today. It isn’t hard to find Macs all over college campuses today used by both students and faculty alike. If you want your college student moving around campus with a machine that just works and is compatible with almost everything you will find at the school, then the Apple MacBook Pro MF841LL/A should be on the top of your list. This model features the latest technology from Intel as well as a 512GB SSD to give you plenty of room for all your apps and files. It includes the same stylish aluminum unibody design that Apple has become known for with a display that is second to none. With the included 8 GB of RAM, you will have more than enough space to open multiple applications and use them with ease and it is thin and light enough to go with you from class to class as you go about your day.

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 2560 x 1600 pixels (IPS)
  • Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 3.48 lbs

Pros

  • Stylish aluminum body
  • Super high resolution retina display
  • Fast performance
  • Spacious Solid-State Drive
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Thunderbolt 2

Cons

  • Glossy screen may cause glare under certain conditions

Summary

Apple is at the forefront of laptop design and the Macbook Pro 13-Inch MF841LL/A is no exception. High end video or photo editing is a breeze and even light gaming is no problem but all of this power and style comes with a relatively high price tag.

Apple MacBook Pro MF841LL/A 13.3-Inch
from $1,649.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 13-11-2016 05:29 UTC) Details

Toshiba-CB35-B3340-Chromebook-2-425x2521Toshiba CB35-B3340 13.3-Inch Chromebook 2

Perfect for any student looking for a basic laptop for their college education, the Toshiba Chromebook 2 is a much more affordable way to get it. The Chromebook 2 from Toshiba features a very thin and light design making it perfect to carry with you wherever you go. This machine runs Chrome OS, based on Google’s renowned Chrome web browser. As such, for access to its best features you will need Internet access, but that isn’t usually much of a problem on today’s modern college campuses. Powered by an Intel Celeron N2830 processor backed by 4GB of RAM, you will have more than enough power to handle all the essentials, from document creation and editing to research and more. It doesn’t have the power of some machines, however, so if you need a true powerhouse you need to look elsewhere. You do get everything you will need, however, including a high quality IPS display running a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a wide range of ports to connect many different devices. Overall, if your college student just needs a basic laptop to work on while they are in school and won’t need to install any special applications for their classes, the Chromebook 2 from Toshiba is an attractive and affordable option.

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 9 hours battery life
  • 2.95 lbs

Pros

  • Great display
  • Clear HD Audio
  • Low price
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • No touchscreen
  • Sharp corners

Summary

An affordable and responsive Chromebook, unfortunately lacking a touchscreen and the sharp corners could be uncomfortable for some.

Toshiba CB35-B3340 Chromebook 2 13.3-Inch
from $225.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:22 UTC) Details


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The Best College Budget Laptops

Toshiba-Satellite-C55-C5241-15.6 InchToshiba Satellite C55-C5241 15.6-inch

The Toshiba Satellite C55-C5241 features some powerful hardware and Windows 10 making it unique in its price range. Under the hood, it sports a fifth generation Intel Core i5-5200u processor and 8GB of RAM, making it the perfect machine to easily handle all sorts of daily computing tasks. It includes a standard 15.6-inch screen with a modest resolution of 1366 x 768. While this is lower than many Full-HD panels, it will give you more than enough room to work. The included 1TB hard drive is slower than some, but gives you plenty of storage for all your files. This isn’t a gaming rig, however, but you have more than enough power for higher end applications, assuming you aren’t trying to drive high end video and graphics. If your college student needs a decent all around laptop and you are shopping on a budget, this should make it to the top of your list of possibilities.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 4.8 lbs

Pros

  • Thin and lightweight
  • Good performance
  • Long lasting battery
  • Lots of storage space

Cons

  • Sub-par display
  • Build quality feels cheap

Summary

A well performing laptop with a long battery life and lots of storage space. Windows 10 is preinstalled which is great. The chassis feels fragile and the display could have been sharper but still a great deal at this price.

Toshiba Satellite C55-C5241 15.6 Inch
from $699.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 11-01-2017 12:26 UTC) Details

Toshiba-Satellite-Radius-E45W-C4200-14-inchToshiba Satellite Radius E45W-C4200X 14-inch

If you are looking for a budget device that is a little more portable while still providing decent power, the Toshiba Satellite Radius 14 E45W-C4200X is a worthy contender. While its Intel i3 processor isn’t the fastest out there, it is more than enough to get the job done and the included 6GB of RAM will give you enough memory for multitasking. It is only 0.8 inches thick and weighs only 4.5 pounds, meaning that when combined with its 14-inch screen, it is very portable. Its screen will fold a full 360 degrees making this a hybrid of sorts, although it never fully detaches like others in this list. If you are shopping for a device that gives you full laptop capabilities with some hybrid features, this is worth a look, even if the specs are a little lower compared to other budget devices.

Specs

  • 14 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (IPS)
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 4.5 lbs

Pros

  • 360 degrees folding design
  • Light and portable
  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Great battery life
  • Exellent sound quality

Cons

  • Loud at hight CPU loads
  • LED screen has narrow viewing angles

Summary

With its clever 360 folding design this versatile device is great for work, home or multimedia. Critical points are the loud fan when the machine is under hight load and the relatively narrow viewing angle of the LED screen.

Toshiba Satellite Radius E45W-C4200X 14-inch
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from BestBuy.com
(as of 06-11-2016 08:23 UTC) Details

ASUS-F555LA-AB31-15.6-inchASUS F555LA-AB31 15.6-inch

If the display is important to you above all else, the ASUS F555LA-AB31 could be the machine for you. It includes a 15.6-inch matte screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, a rarity at its price point. An Intel Core i3 is at the heart of this little gem and although the included 4GB of RAM is a little low making multitasking a little more difficult in some instances. One nice feature is that this model comes with Windows 10 pre-installed, so you don’t have to spend time upgrading it after you unbox it. While gaming can be done on some older games, the Intel HD 5500 graphics perform pretty well, although don’t expect it to power modern games at the highest frame rates. It is perfect, however, for higher end apps that need a little extra in the video department. While this won’t win any races, it gives you plenty of power for your money and will make a great addition for any college student in need of a machine to assist them with their learning.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 4.6 lbs

Pros

  • Full-HD Screen
  • Great price
  • Good sound

Cons

  • Slight screen bleed
  • Hard drive not easy to replace
  • Dim display

Summary

At this price you are getting a great performing Windows 10 laptop with a FHD screen and fast wireless connectivity. Only slight screen bleed at the bottom and basic users will struggle to upgrade the hard drive.

ASUS F555LA-AB31 15.6-inch
from $339.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-10-2016 16:59 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron 11 3000Dell Inspiron 11 3000 11.6 Inch

If there is one thing that every college student needs out of laptop, it is portability. However, you don’t want to sacrifice too much power to get it. The Inspiron 11 3000 is Dell’s answer to that problem. It features a well designed case with a long lasting battery along with decent specs to get the job done. It includes a Pentium process and 4GB of RAM, meaning it isn’t the fastest out there, but it will get the job done, assuming you are looking to use high end applications and multitask like crazy. Its 500GB hard drive gives you plenty or room to store files and the audio quality is top notch for a laptop of this size. Targeted at students and professionals, the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 is small and lightweight with enough power for daily tasks. It is the perfect travel companion for any student looking to bring their devices with them to their classrooms.

Specs

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 4.5 lbs

Pros

  • Over 8 hours of battery life
  • Full size HDMI port
  • 2-in-1 design
  • Light and portable
  • Great display

Cons

  • Touchpad can be unresponsive at times
  • Device can get quite hot after long use
  • Awkward mode switching
  • Aggressive screen dimming

Summary

While super light and portable this 2-in-1 device tends to heat up after long use. The battery lasts a good 8 hours and the screen is clear and bright.

Dell Inspiron i3147-10000sLV 11.6 Inch
from $429.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:30 UTC) Details

Lenovo-G50-80L000ALUSLenovo G50-80L000ALUS 15.6-inch

The Lenovo G50-80L000ALUS delivers surprisingly good performance for a budget laptop. It is made from all black plastic that looks very basic, but still feels very solid thanks to Lenovo’s commitment to solid and sturdy builds. Its 15.6-inch screen supports a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768 making it more than sufficient for daily computing and watching movies, reading and writing and browsing the web. Its core hardware components include Intel Core i3-4030U processor, 4GB of RAM and a large 1TB HDD, giving it a little more power compared to others in this category. The Intel HD 4400 Graphics, while becoming somewhat dated, will even allow you to enjoy some games assuming they aren’t too graphically demanding. Its battery life stands at 5 hours, which is lower than some, but quite respectable considering its components and larger screen. Extremely budget friendly, this machine is great for students purchasing their laptops or parents trying to shave off a little expense from those college debts.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 3 hours battery life
  • 4.63 lbs

Pros

  • Plenty of storage space
  • Great Value

Cons

  • Lots of bloatware
  • Cheap plastic finish
  • Windows 8.1

Summary

The Lenovo G50-80L000ALUS provides great value for money with 1TB of storage. Unfortunately, with the low price comes a cheap finish and lots of Lenono bloatware.

Lenovo G50 80L000ALUS 15.6-inch
from $389.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:38 UTC) Details

Lenovo IdeaPad 100s 80R2001FUS 11.6-inchLenovo IdeaPad 100s 80R2001FUS 11.6-inch


The Lenovo IdeaPad 100S is another inexpensive product that pushes the limit of how much laptop you can get these days for under $200. Of course compromises have been made, especially regarding performance and general build quality, but those who can live with the shortcomings get very good value for the money. To start with, Lenovo’s low-cost laptop has a perfectly polished casing with a classy matte finish that makes it look anything but cheap. With a weight of just 2.2 pounds, and thinning at an amazing 0.69 inches, the IdeaPad 100S feels incredibly light and portable, both in the hand and bag. We shouldn’t expect the 11.6-inch 1366 x 768-pixel resolution display to be as colorful or sharp as those in higher-end laptops, but it does provide surprisingly good picture quality and mostly accurate colors. Viewing angles are also not bad, and maximum brightness level seems to compete well with others in this class. Audio output from the bottom-facing speakers is average and there is significant distortion in high volumes, so you’re better off using external sound systems or bluetooth speakers for conferencing. Again as expected, the IdeaPad 100S’ keyboard feels cramped, with almost no space at all between keys. What breaks expectations however, is the number of ports the small laptop offers onto its frame, which include a full-sized HDMI port, an audio jack and a microSD card slot on the left and 2 USB 2.0 ports on the right. Performance-wise, this budget Windows 10 machine is equipped with a low-cost 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3735F CPU and 2GB of RAM, a combo that is good enough for web-browsing, document processing, watching movies, basic multitasking and a generally smooth everyday windows experience. Moreover, thanks to this energy-efficient internal hardware, the battery will comfortably last you a good 10 hours before asking for a recharge, which is not bad at all.

Specs

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 9 hours battery life
  • 2.2 lbs

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Large keys
  • Good viewing angles

Cons

  • Keyboard flexes
  • Touchpad doesn't support gestures
  • No USB 3.0

Summary

The Ideapad 100s features good hardware that offers users a solid performing laptop for web browsing and word processing.

Lenovo IdeaPad 100s 80R2001FUS 11.6-inch
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:40 UTC) Details

HP Stream 14-ax010nr 14-inchHP Stream 14-ax010nr 14-inch


Chromebooks such as the HP Stream 14 have become hugely popular, and make great college laptops due to their compact designs. The device is made from both metal and plastic, reaching a nice compromise between strength and portability. However, the case gives in to pressure around the keyboard and touchpad. This is especially evident while typing on the chiclet keyboard, which has shallow travel. The touchpad, on the other hand, is large and sensitive making it easy to use multi-touch gestures. The 14-inch display is pretty basic, with a 1366 x 768p resolution. It is also a TN panel, meaning that brightness and viewing angles are not its strongest suits. Most Chromebooks are designed with office use in mind. As such the Stream 14’s modest specs are ideal for the classroom environment. There is no hint of lag during web browsing, video playback, or when running office applications. However, the 32GB flash memory will leave you starved for storage space, and you might want to invest in additional storage. With meager power requirements, the low power parts allow the Chromebook to squeeze out over 6 hours of continuous use from its small battery. This adds its appeal as a carry-around laptop and combined with the budget price, makes the HP Stream 14 an excellent on-campus device

Specs

  • 14 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 3.17 lbs

Pros

  • Thin and light
  • 1TB of OneDrive storage
  • Two USB 3.1 Type-A ports
  • Good battery life
  • Price

Cons

  • Limited offline storage space
  • Underpowered for power users
  • No optical drive

Summary

The HP Stream 14-ax010nr is a portable budget friendly laptop that performs great when it comes to basic tasks, but it is not recommended for power users.

HP Stream 14-ax010nr 14-inch
from $219.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:46 UTC) Details

HP Stream 13 13.3-Inch

This unassuming machine features specs that many HP Stream 13-c110nr 13.3-Inchwould call “low end,” but HP has managed to optimize and balance this device into one that should be reckoned with. It features only 2GB of DDR3L SDRAM and a 1.6 GHz Celeron N3050 processor under the hood, but still manages to run well, although it definitely won’t hold up if you throw heavy apps and games at it. It includes only 32GB of memory, meaning you will need additional storage either by an external hard drive or USB thumb drives. One of the nicest features of this device is the 8 hours of battery life that will last you all day as you attend classes. The screen, while clear and bright, does suffer from narrow viewing angles. Overall, the HP Stream 13 provides a great user experience that is very portable and perfect for students or professionals on the go, while still ensuring that it is very budget friendly as well.

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 7.75 hours battery life
  • 3.4 lbs

Pros

  • Smooth performance
  • Stylish colour and design
  • Great speakers
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Dim screen
  • Less than advertised battery life

Summary

The HP Stream 13-c110nr is an ultra-affordable lightweight PC with smooth performance, a well finished design and a generous 13-inch screen to boot.

HP Stream 13 13.3-Inch
from $167.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:30 UTC) Details


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The Best College 2-in-1 Laptops

ASUS Transformer-Book-Chi-10.1-InchASUS Transformer Book Chi 10.1-Inch

The Transformer Book Chi features an all metal design not usually found in machines in this price range, but you do give up some screen real estate in the process. A true hybrid machine, the Book Chi is essentially a tablet with a keyboard dock transforming it into a laptop. It’s lightweight and easy to carry with you wherever you go and provides enough battery life to last you even if you have a full class schedule. The T100 Chi comes with a sharp 1,920 x 1,200 pixel-resolution touch display with excellent viewing angles. Powered by a 1.44 GHz Quad-Core Intel Atom x5-Z8500 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of flash storage, this machine is geared more towards basic use and not high end applications, but it is perfect for anyone who needs all the essentials wrapped into one easy to transport package.

Specs

  • 11.6 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.4 lbs

Pros

  • Good build quality
  • Stylish convertible design
  • Long battery life
  • Fantastic keyboard and touchpad
  • Good display

Cons

  • Attracts fingerprints
  • Only 2 USB ports
  • Sub-par performance

Summary

A well built convertible device with a sharp screen, fantastic keyboard and long lasting battery. The metal does tend to pick up finger prints easily and the performance is a bit lacking.

ASUS Transformer Book Chi T100CHI-C1-BK 10.1-inch
from $229.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:26 UTC) Details

Toshiba-10.1-Satellite-Click10-LX0W-C64Toshiba Satellite Click10 LX0W-C64 10.1-inch

If you are looking for a hybrid running Windows 10 out of the box, the Toshiba 10.1 Satellite Click 10 could be just right for you. It features an attractive design but measures 0.4 inches thick and weighs in at 1.3 pounds. This makes it a little heavier than other tablets but still small enough to go with you anywhere. It includes an Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor, 2GB of RAM and 64GB flash storage, meaning that it is perfect for everyday tasks, but it will struggle with high end applications and too much multitasking. On its own, the tablet portion will last 8 hours on a charge but the keyboard dock will extend it to 15 hours giving you more than enough time between charges. The keyboard, although small in form factor features full sized keys making it easy to type while you are sitting in the classroom. A great alternative to the more expensive Surface Book, the Toshiba Satellite Click 10 is perfect to drag with you from class to class.

Specs

  • 10.1 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 2.4 lbs

Pros

  • High resolution display
  • Long Battery life
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • Poor graphical performance
  • Low amount of RAM
  • No USB3.0 ports

Summary

A good looking machine with a great display. A RAM upgrade is recommended for best performance and the lack of USB 3.0 is disappointing.

Toshiba Satellite Click10 LX0W-C64 10.1-inch
from $369.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:43 UTC) Details

Dell-Inspiron-i3158-3275SLV-11.6Dell-Inspiron-i3158-3275SLV-11.6


The recent crop of ultrabooks and 2-in-1’s are proof that you do not have to pay kidney-money for a good college laptop. The Inspiron i315-3275SLV is one of these affordable devices, and it effectively combines competent performance with a premium hybrid design, to result in a very desirable product. At first sight, the Inspiron looks far from cheap. Dell has carefully blended silver with polycarbonate, to give it a generally attractive look and feel. It is also remarkably sturdy, able to withstand a good deal of pressure and those short accidental drops. While the screen can not detach from the keyboard, the hinges support 360-degrees rotations to enable various modes; including tent, presentation and tablet. Speaking of the screen, you get an 11.6-inch panel with a rather average resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. While Dell should have done better to equip the Inspiron with at least a Full-HD display, picture quality is still decent and colors are surprisingly accurate. Even more surprising is the audio output from the two stereo speakers, which is loud and clear and even affords a hint of bass. Under the hood is a 6th generation 2.3GHz Intel Core i3-6100 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD; a very familiar hardware arrangement in this price range that should be enough for any average user. Gaming and heavy productivity software will likely make the Inspiron break into sweat, but you do get an inspiring 11-hour battery life to comfortably get you through even the longest school day.

Specs

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 3.1 lbs

Pros

  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Sturdy build
  • Long battery life
  • Good performance

Cons

  • Touchpad is sometimes unresponsive
  • Small SSD storage

Summary

A mid-range laptop featuring an ultraportable convertible design, a bright display and an excellent battery life for a decent price.

Dell Inspiron i3158-3275SLV 11.6-inch
from $595.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:36 UTC) Details

Acer-Aspire-Switch-11-SW5-171-39LB-11.6-InchAcer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-39LB 11.6-Inch

The Acer Aspire Switch 11 gives you yet another choice in the seamless hybrid department. Featuring an attractive, yet plain design, the Switch 11 gives you a modern look. At 1.9 pounds, it is a little on the heavy side for a hybrid such as this, but it is still a good weight to fit down into your bag while you attend classes. Powered by an Intel Core i3-4012Y and 4GB of RAM, it gives you a little more power compared to other hybrids, but not quite enough to rate it as a true powerhouse. You will have more than enough to run basic everyday tasks with ease so you can get your work done, just don’t expect to do any high end gaming or run some of the most powerful applications on the market. It features a 1920 x 1080 IPS panel with great viewing angles so you can easily write papers, take notes and even watch videos and amazing resolutions. While there are more powerful options out there, the Acer Aspire Switch 11 is the perfect mid-range hybrid and great for any student wanting to take their machine with them to take notes in class.

Specs

  • , 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 6.5 hours battery life
  • 1.87 lbs

Pros

  • Full HD screen
  • Stylish design
  • Great performance

Cons

  • Poor sound quality
  • Below average battery life

Summary

Tablet or PC mode this device is portable, versatile with great specs and a stylish form factor. The battery life could have been longer though.

Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-39LB 11.6-Inch
from $589.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 04-06-2016 05:25 UTC) Details


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The Best College Chromebooks

Acer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM 14-inchAcer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM 14-inch


The Acer Chromebook 14’s all-aluminum chassis make it look and feel like it costs much more than its modest price tag. This makes it stand out amongst competitors, and despite the metal design, it remains light enough to carry around easily. Sporting a 1920 x 1080p resolution, its display is sharp and reproduces colors accurately. However, it is not bright enough for comfortable outdoor use, and its color palette is middling at best, but understandable at this price point. Moving on to input devices, the keyboard offers nice feedback and is well spaced out, but we would have liked deeper travel. It is by no means bad, but it tires you out faster than other keyboards. The touchpad, however, is smooth, accurate, and correctly registers multi-touch gestures. Acer fit an Intel Celeron N3160 processor and backed it up with 4GB of low power RAM. Office apps run like a breeze, and there is no visible lag during multitasking. Intel Celeron processors are also designed to be as efficient as possible, and this allows the Chromebook a long 10-hour battery life that will last any school day. Unfortunately, the integrated graphics will not tolerate anything except light gaming. This might actually be a good thing, seeing as how you should be studying rather than playing computer games.

Specs

  • 14 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 3.42 lbs

Pros

  • Premium metal design
  • Sturdy build
  • Full-HD screen
  • Long battery life
  • Great speakers
  • Solid performance

Cons

  • Shallow keyboard
  • Dim light
  • Underpowered processor
  • No SD card slot

Summary

The Acer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM offers much more than its modest price tag suggests, and with its long battery life and compact design, it makes for a great carry-on device.

Acer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM 14-inch
from $299.99 $285.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:40 UTC) Details

Samsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K02US 11.6-inchSamsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K02US 11.6-inch

Although the Samsung Chromebook 3 is a little pricier than other options out there, with it you get a premium designed Chromebook along with specs that many would consider a little more “higher end” than what you normally find on Chromebooks. It features a stylish lightweight design and a 1366 x 768 resolution Anti-Glare display of modest picture quality. With the 11 hour battery life, you can expect the device to last all day between charges even if you use it during class. If you are looking for the stability and ease of use in Chrome OS, but with a few features that are a little more premium than others, the Samsung Chromebook 3 is definitely worth a second look.

Specs

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 11 hours battery life
  • 2.54 lbs

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • 4GB of RAM
  • Anti-Glare display
  • Good performance

Cons

  • Less competitive price
  • No Full-HD display
  • 16GB of Storage

Summary

Following the success of the Chrome book 2, the Chromebook 3 offers better performance and almost 30% better battery life for Chrome OS users on the go.

Samsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K02US 11.6-inch
from $229.99 $199.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 19-07-2016 16:06 UTC) Details

ASUS C201PA-DS02 Chromebook 11.6-InchLenovo 100s 80QN0009US 11.6-Inch Chromebook


Even in the Chromebook class, the Lenovo 100S stands out by offering a lot of computing capability at a cheap price. As expected, Lenovo has cut a few corners to get there, one of which is with the design. The Chromebook’s outer casing is entirely made of black plastic with a mild textured pattern that gives it a somewhat rugged and durable look, and a metallic frame that adds a subtle touch of class. The Lenovo 100S measures 0.78-inches in depth and weighs a mere 2.5 pounds, meaning you can take it with you to just about anywhere in almost any bag. Of course the ASUS C201 is both thinner and lighter, but this one is not far off. On par with most Chromebooks in this class is the 100S’ 11.6-inch display, which has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. You will miss the color accuracy and sharpness that is native to higher-resolution panels, but the laptop is definitely usable for everyday tasks. The two small speakers on the bottom of the laptop are even more disappointing, producing hollow sound output, which gets distorted with increasing volume levels. Once you learn to live with the 100S’ multimedia shortcomings, the Chrome OS offers a very desirable user experience, especially with web browsing and document processing. It is also very easy to navigate and anyone new to it will have no trouble getting acclimated. Thanks to the fairly potent 2.16GHz Intel Celeron N2840 processor and an acceptable 2GB of RAM, everything runs smoothly and issues are only experienced with demanding tasks which a Chromebook has no business dealing with anyway. 16GB SSD storage is in no way sufficient, but you do get 100GB of free cloud storage. Even more impressive is the 12-hour battery life with continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi, so you can take it out in the power-deficient wild with no worries.

Specs

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Chrome OS
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 2.6 lbs

Pros

  • Battery life
  • Small and light
  • Price

Cons

  • Display quality
  • Poor sound quality
  • Stiff trackpad

Summary

The Lenovo 100s Chromebook 80QN0009US is a great budget Chromebook for users with basic needs. The attractive price, long battery life and lightweight design make it a winner in the sub $200 category.

Lenovo 100s Chromebook 80QN0009US 11.6-Inch
from $179.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 20-10-2016 16:09 UTC) Details

ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS01 11.6-inchASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS01 11.6-inch

Designed for the classroom, the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS01 is small, light and has a battery life that will last an entire day of classes. The plastic shells of the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS01 have been designed to withstand being dropped and have been wrapped with rubber in order to make it easier to grip. The battery life is also exceptional on the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS01, it will easily last an entire day of lectures and assignments. Hardware wise the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS01 won’t win any awards, but it is what we expect from a Chromebook at its price point. However the Intel Celeron N3050 and 2GB of RAM will easily cope with basic college tasks and there is almost no lag while using word processing apps or browsing the web. Being a Chromebook, it comes with the usual 16GB of eMMC flash memory, which offers lightning fast boot times, but is not enough for large collections of multimedia files. However, the storage space is enough for saving all of your research papers and PDF’s. Luckily it comes with 100GB of Google Drive cloud based storage for free for 2 years. Sadly the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS01 does not come with a microSD card slot that can be used as a permanent storage solution. The full size SD card slot leaves the SD card protruding out of the Chromebook and you will have to remove it to prevent damage to the laptop and to the SD card. While there are quite a few apps to choose from, Chrome OS offers far less apps than Windows 10 and users will have to look for alternatives to their favorite Windows apps.

Specs

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Chrome OS
  • 2.2 lbs

Pros

  • Compact design
  • 100GB Google Drive for 2 years
  • life Price
  • Spill proof keyboard
  • Battery

Cons

  • Underpowered for intense apps
  • Limited Chrome OS apps
  • Average audio
  • No microSD slot
  • 16GB of storage

Summary

The ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS01 is a classroom friendly Chromebook that is ready for students to use out of the box. The long battery life will mean that it can last an entire school day.

ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS01 11.6-inch
from $209.30 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:43 UTC) Details

ASUS C201PA-DS02 Chromebook 11.6-InchASUS C201PA-DS02 Chromebook 11.6-Inch


The ASUS C201, like all Chromebooks in the market was released with one target to reach; the affordable end of the laptop market. Therefore, like all Chromebooks, it is not the flashy type.In fact, it features an unassuming, plasticy design, which apart from the Chrome and Asus brading doesn’t feature any notable design features. That said, the C201 gets portability right. Measuring just 0.7 inches thick and weighing a little over 2 pounds, you can carry it around all day without straining your back. The screen is always one of the first areas to be sacrificed when it comes to designing an affordable device, and it is no surprise that the C201’s 11.6-inch panel has a modest 1366 x 768-pixel resolution. That said, text and icons are legible and colors are fairly saturated, which means it is generally usable for everyday tasks. Brightness and viewing angles are both not great, but to be fair, the display is on par with most laptops in this price range. Powered by a Quad-Core Rockchip 1.8GHz CPU and 4GB of RAM, the C201 is relatively powerful by Chromebook standards. It handles web browsing, document processing and casual multimedia use very well when both online and offline. Chrome OS being a cloud based operating system means the C201 depends a lot on the cloud for both performance and secondary storage, and as such, Internet connectivity is a necessity for virtually all operations. A good thing to note however is that while there were countless issues with Chrome in its early days, Google has done some stellar work dealing with them, resulting in a much more respectable ecosystem. Even more respectable is the C201’s 2-cell battery, which serves up a good 13 hours of normal use on a single charge.

Specs

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Chrome OS
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 2 lbs

Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • Price
  • Decent performance
  • Thin and light

Cons

  • Average display
  • Limited storage space
  • No USB 3.0
  • No full size HDMI port

Summary

The ASUS C201PA-DS02 Chromebook offers a sleek and compact design, but the the tiny SSD will mean purchasing a microSD card to extent its storage space.

ASUS C201PA-DS02 Chromebook 11.6-Inch
from $198.67 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:40 UTC) Details

Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0 11.6-inch

If you spend most of your daily time working online and wouldn’t mind a browser based OS on your laptop, then the Acer CB5-311-T9B0 Chromebook is another top choice. The excellent battery life will mean that you will be able to sit in lectures the entire day and not have to worry about your laptop dying on you. Powered by an NVIDIA Tegra K1 Quad Core processor and 2GB of RAM, this Chromebook will cope with most basic college tasks with ease. But more intensive apps will struggle a bit with only 2GB of memory installed. But the biggest limiting factor of most Chromebooks are the small physical storage space that they offer. With only 16GB of storage space, users will have to look at an external storage drive for their larger college assignments and for their multimedia files. Google does offer 200GB of Cloud based storage for 2 years, but this will require a connection to the internet at all times. While there are a host of Windows 10 apps on the market, Chrome OS is a lot more limited with app offerings. But for basic college tasks, there are more than enough apps to choose from. But if this does not bother you that much then the Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0 is a great choice for its excellent battery life and its portable size.

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Chrome OS
  • 11 hours battery life
  • 3.31 lbs

Pros

  • Tegra K1 processor
  • Full HD screen
  • Long battery life
  • Large comfy keyboard

Cons

  • Poor audio

Summary

With a price tag as attractive as this it's very easy to overlook the poor sound quality on this stylish, fast and portable Chromebook.

Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0 11.6-inch
from $299.99 $259.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 17-07-2016 08:48 UTC) Details

Asus C300MA-BBCLN12 13.3-inch ChromebookASUS C300MA-BBCLN12 13.3-inch

For those of you that prefer Chrome OS but want something with a slightly larger screen that won’t break the bank, the ASUS C300MA-BBCLN12 is the perfect choice. Featuring an Intel Celeron N230 with 2GB of RAM, this ASUS won’t win any races, but provides more than enough power for day-to-day tasks. It features a wide range of ports including an HDMI port, a SD card reader, a USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 port to give you plenty of room for expansion. The ASUS also looks rock solid even if it doesn’t feature many of the premium design features you can find on other, more expensive options. A great option for college students on a budget, the ASUS C300MA-BBCLN12 will give you enough power to get your work done, although not much else.

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Chrome OS
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.87 lbs

Pros

  • Light weight
  • Great trackpad
  • Excellent battery life
  • Fast booting speeds
  • Price

Cons

  • None upgradable
  • Slightly underpowered CPU
  • Limited storage space
  • Power button right above backspace

Summary

The Asus C300MA-BBCLN12 Chromebook offers decent hardware for the low-cost pricing, but the limited storage space will mean maintaining connection to the Cloud storage.

Asus C300MA-BBCLN12 Chromebook 13.3-inch
from $204.90 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-07-2016 05:08 UTC) Details


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The Best College Gaming Laptops

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG 15.6-inchAcer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG 15.6-inch

Being a student does not mean that you have slave away writing essays and working on assignments all day long. As a student you can still squeeze in a few good gaming sessions a week and if you are in the market for a good budget gaming machine then the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG might just be for you. The 6th generation Intel Core i5-6200U processor and 8GB of RAM will cope with day-to-day tasks with relative ease. While many similarly priced laptops offer the NVIDIA GeForce 940M processor, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG is equipped with the GeForce 940MX graphics card. The 940MX offers 20% better performance and will allow for casual gaming and will run most modern games on low to medium settings while still offering good frame rates. While the solid state drive offers lightning fast Windows 10 boot and game loading speeds, the 256GB of storage space is quite small for modern gaming titles. Students will also have to look at purchasing a good and reliable external storage drive for their college assignments. While many laptops under $600 are still being offered with maximum resolutions of 1366 x 786, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG has a Full-HD display. The display offers good viewing angles, vivid colors and a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080. A big draw card for the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG is its amazing battery life, users can expect up to 12 hours off of a single charge, making it perfect for long days spent in lecture halls. But expect the battery life to be severely reduced while you game.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 5.27 lbs

Pros

  • SSD
  • NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU
  • Excellent battery life
  • Price
  • USB Type-C

Cons

  • Limited storage space
  • Plain design

Summary

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG is a budget friendly gaming laptop that offers powerful hardware at an extremely attractive price. The storage space is limited to just 256GB and we recommend upgrading to a bigger drive.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG 15.6-inch
from $549.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:43 UTC) Details

Acer-Aspire-E-15-E5-574G-52QUAcer Aspire E 15 E5-574G-52QU 15.6-inch

College is said to be the best years of your life, and while many students spend hours working on assignments, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun too. For millions of students across the globe, gaming has become a part of their lives. The Acer Aspire E5-574G-52QU is a budget friendly 15.6-inch gaming laptop that will handle the workload of college assignments and still run modern gaming titles for that much needed break between assignments. The 6th generation Intel Core i5-6200U processor and 8GB of RAM will cope with hardware intensive apps such as the Adobe suite, Maya and Solidworks. The NVIDIA GeForce 940M will run most modern gaming titles on medium settings while still offering good frame rates. The 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample space for all your college assignments, games and multimedia. But it is a bit slow and we do recommend upgrading to a solid state drive or at least to a 7200rpm drive. Who said college had to be all work and no play?

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 5.3 lbs

Pros

  • Full-HD Screen
  • Powerful processor and graphics
  • Value for money
  • Windows 10 preinstalled

Cons

  • No optical drive
  • Battery not removable
  • White shell is prone to dirt

Summary

The Acer E 15 E5-574G-52QU 15.6-Inch packs a powerful Nvidia 940M graphics card, solid build quality and a Full-HD screen with Windows 10 at one of the lowest prices we've ever seen for a dedicated mobile Nvidia GPU.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574G-52QU 15.6-inch
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:35 UTC) Details

ASUS G751JY-VS71(WX) 17.3-InchASUS ROG G751JY-VS71(WX) 17.3-inch

Another perfect machine for the student that loves to game, the ASUS ROG G751JY-VS71(WX) has been designed just for gaming, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work perfectly for many other purposes. With its high quality IPS display and fast boot and load times, it is the perfect machine for any student that needs to run high end video editing, audio, or graphics applications as well as playing games. With the included 1TB hard drive, there will be more than enough room to store many large files, but like so many laptops in this range the battery life won’t last as long as other machines. The design is sleek and stylish and made to resemble the F22 Raptor fighter jet, so any gamer will love to have this sitting on their desk in their dorm room. A great machine for high end and gaming applications, the ASUS ROG G751JY-VS71(WX) will definitely impress, but it won’t be great for dragging to the classroom.

Specs

  • 17.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 2.5 hours battery life
  • 8.4 lbs

Pros

  • Powerful processor
  • Great backlit keyboard
  • Runs cool and quiet
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
  • High quality IPS display
  • Price

Cons

  • No SSD
  • Bulky and heavy
  • Below average battery life
  • ASUS bloatware

Summary

The ASUS ROG G751JY-VS71(WX) is a powerful gaming laptop that offers a rich gaming experience at a decent price point. While ASUS has omitted the SSD, it still manages to perform well with modern gaming titles.

ASUS ROG G751JY-VS71(WX) 17.3-inch
from $1,498.60 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:43 UTC) Details


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The Best College Laptops Under $750

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 CR5-00001 12.3-inchMicrosoft Surface Pro 4 CR5-00001 12.3-inch


The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is not only the best laptop from Microsoft so far, but it is also one of the best hybrids in the market. Even at first glance, the giant manufacturer’s prowess is evidenced by its looks. From a distance, it is almost identical to its predecessor, the Surface Pro 3, with the same grey magnesium finish and the same adjustable kickstand. However, a closer look will reveal the subtle but impressive touches, which include a slightly larger screen, a slimmer profile, reduced weight and a better docking mechanism for the Surface Pen. Powered up, the 12.3-inch 2736 x 1824-pixel resolution display is as sharp as they come. Out of the box, Windows 10 comes bundled with the device, and it looks great on the WQHD PixelSense panel, which ticks all the boxes when it comes to color accuracy, contrast, brightness and viewing angles. The stereo speakers also output great sound, with sufficient loudness and commendable bass, making the Surface Pro 4 an all-around stellar multimedia device. Ports are few but useful and despite being thinner, the Surface Pro 4 still manages a USB 3.0, a Mini-DisplayPort and a Micro-SD card reader. Microsoft has generously flooded the market with an array of internal hardware configurations, but we bet a 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6300U, 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD is just enough power to please the average student while maintaining a reasonable price. Everyday web-browsing, document editing, HD movie watching and light to moderate gaming will all be handled with ease, with issues and lags only being experienced with demanding tasks like heavy video processing and intensive gaming. Even more pleasing is the battery, with can comfortably endure a good 11 hours of normal continuous usage.

Specs

  • 12.3 inch, 2736 x 1824 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • 9 hours battery life
  • 1.73 lbs

Pros

  • Intel Skylake processor
  • Good battery life
  • Crisp and responsive touchscreen
  • Windows 10 Pro

Cons

  • Only 4GB of RAM
  • No physical keyboard included
  • Only one USB 3.0 port
  • Underpowered for designers

Summary

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 CR5-00001 offers a great performance for its compact size, but you will have to purchase the keyboard separately and the 4GB of RAM hurt its overall performance with heavy multitasking.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 CR5-00001 12.3-inch
from $759.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:45 UTC) Details

ASUS ZenBook UX305UA AS-51 13.3-InchASUS ZenBook UX305UA AS-51 13.3-Inch


In the recent past, Asus’ ZenBook series has been on a roll. The ZenBook UX305CA raced to the top of the mid-range ultrabooks’ list earlier this year, and while our small complaint with it was its modest performance, the new ZenBook UX305UA addresses our concerns full-on, with a more powerful 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6200U processor. Yet despite having near-similar names, the UX305UA’s faster CPU is not the only difference between the two. At first glance, it is designed more simply and less flashy, with a conservative blend of metal and plastic that gives it a solid, but old-school look. The ZenBook UX305UA has also grown in both thickness and weight, but this means you get a larger battery and a more effective cooling system to offset CPU throttling on heavy usage. Being a 1080p IPS Full-HD panel, the display is a beauty to look at. Colors are vivid and picture quality is very good for both photo and video viewing. The ZenBook UX305UA also gets sufficiently bright in the outdoors, and thanks to the non-glossy screen, reflections are not really a problem. Hidden underneath the laptop is a pair of speakers, which are easily muffled by the surface it’s placed on, but when unobstructed produce strong sound and decent bass. As mentioned, this new ZenBook comes with an Intel Core i5-6200U CPU, and coupled with a generous 8GB of RAM, the device performs very well in everyday tasks. Even light to moderate gaming is allowed, and a snappy 256GB SSD plays an important part in the laptop’s fast and reliable performance. Even more reliable is the battery, which on normal use labors for a good 10 hours before drying out.

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.86 lbs

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Thin and light SSD
  • Intel Skylake processor
  • Full-HD matte display

Cons

  • RAM cannot be upgraded
  • No full size HDMI port
  • No backlit keyboard

Summary

The ASUS ZenBook UX305UA AS51 offers users a thin and light laptop that can easily be carried on a daily basis. But the RAM cannot be upgraded and you will have to settle for the installed 8GB of memory.

ASUS ZenBook UX305UA AS51 13.3-Inch
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:46 UTC) Details

Lenovo ThinkPad T460 20FN002VUSLenovo ThinkPad T460 20FN002VUS


The Lenovo ThinkPad T460 might not be the lightest or most compact laptop ever, but it makes up for it with increased functionality and epic endurance. The ThinkPad line has been known for its stellar keyboards, and the T460 is no exception. In addition, the large touchpad is smooth and responsive, and the TrackPoint makes an appearance for those who prefer to control the cursor this way. The 14-inch, Full-HD display is not very colorful, but it is sharp and provides ample multitasking estate. At its core, an Intel Skylake i7 6600 is backed by 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. What this means is that whatever your major is, the T460 is more than capable of handling any tasks you throw at it. All of these parts are low power as well and are partly responsible for the ThinkPad’s outstanding 13-hour battery life. This makes the T460 ideal for long school days where you may not have the opportunity to plug in. Also, the device is well manufactured with a high build quality; it will easily survive harsh school environments.

Specs

  • 14 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • 18 hours battery life
  • 3.79 lbs

Pros

  • Windows Professional
  • Skylake processor
  • SSD
  • Thin and light

Cons

  • New Docking Connector
  • No optical drive
  • No VGA
  • No USB 3.1 Type-C

Summary

The Lenovo ThinkPad T460 20FN002VUS offers great reliability and performance for users who are constantly on the go.

Lenovo ThinkPad T460 20FN002VUS 14-inch
from $929.00 $821.91 Read Reviews Order Now
from NewEgg.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:43 UTC) Details

Lenovo Thinkpad 13 13.3-inch laptopLenovo Thinkpad 13 13.3-inch laptop

The Lenovo ThinkPad 13 has features that make it one of the best college laptops around. It is extremely light and compact making it easy to carry around in between those across-campus classes. Its slim nature does not detract from its sturdiness; it feels very solid and can take a hit or two. Measuring in at 13.3 inches, the Full-HD display is the perfect compromise between size and estate. It is sharp, bright, and has high color accuracy. However, its color gamut is limited and hence it may not be suitable for professional use. The Lenovo ThinkPad line has been known for its great keyboards, and with strong feedback and deep travel, you will be typing away those notes for hours on end. It is also spill-resistant, and a TrackPoint is included to supplement the touchpad. Performance-wise, the ThinkPad is pretty solid; most tasks run smooth on the Intel Core M processor, the 128GB SSD has fast load times, and the 4GB RAM provides modest multitasking headroom. However, don’t expect heated Battlefield 4 online sessions on the integrated graphics. A major consideration on all college laptops is battery life; the ThinkPad 13 has enough stamina to last the whole school day and still have some juice left. Also, the ThinkPad 13’s modest price means most college students will be able to afford one.

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • 11 hours battery life
  • 3.2 lbs

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • M.2 SSD
  • TrackPoint pointing stick
  • Battery life
  • USB 3.1 Type-C

Cons

  • No Ethernet port
  • No optical drive
  • 4GB of RAM
  • Low brightness levels

Summary

The Thinkpad 13 is a rugged and light business laptop from Lenovo, but the base model is not too impressive for its price and users should look at customizing their order to improve the Thinkpads features.

Lenovo Thinkpad 13 13.3-inch
from $710.10 Read Reviews Order Now
from Lenovo.com
(as of 04-09-2016 11:02 UTC) Details

ASUS Q504UA-BBI5T12 15.6-inchASUS Q504UA-BBI5T12 15.6-inch

While the ASUS Q504UA-BBI5T12 is slightly more expensive than some of the other 2-in-1 laptops in our college guide, it does offer a whole lot more for its price. The sleek and light aluminum design is not just stylish and beautiful it also houses some powerful hardware. Powered by a 6th generation Intel i5-6200U processor and 12GB of RAM, the ASUS Q504UA-BBI5T12 will cope with basic college tasks with ease. The hardware is even powerful enough to comfortably run apps such as Photoshop and Illustrator for those design students. The 5400rpm mechanical drive offers 1TB of storage space, which is ample space for college assignments and multimedia files. For users who are after better performance, we recommend upgrading to a solid state drive to speed up those boot and app loading times. The brilliant Full-HD touchscreen display is very responsive and can easily be folded 180 degrees so that the ASUS Q504UA-BBI5T12 can be used as a tablet. The main chassis can also be used as a kickstand so that you can comfortably watch your favorite YouTube clips and Netflix series. If you enjoy a bit of casual gaming between assignments, then the Intel HD Graphics 520 will offer decent frame rates for games such as Counter Strike Go and Diablo III. The backlit keyboard allows students to comfortable work into the late hours of the evening or in dimly lit areas without missing a key.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 5.07 lbs

Pros

  • Backlit keyboard
  • USB Type-C
  • 12GB of RAM
  • 3x USB 3.0 ports

Cons

  • No Ethernet
  • No optical drive
  • Weird power and volume button placement

Summary

The Asus Q504UA-BBI5T12’s sleek design, powerful hardware and good battery life make it a great choice for college students who want that little bit extra.

ASUS Q504UA-BBI5T12 15.6-inch
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:45 UTC) Details

Toshiba-Satellite-C55-C5241-15.6 InchToshiba Satellite C55-C5241 15.6-inch

The Toshiba Satellite C55-C5241 features some powerful hardware and Windows 10 making it unique in its price range. Under the hood, it sports a fifth generation Intel Core i5-5200u processor and 8GB of RAM, making it the perfect machine to easily handle all sorts of daily computing tasks. It includes a standard 15.6-inch screen with a modest resolution of 1366 x 768. While this is lower than many Full-HD panels, it will give you more than enough room to work. The included 1TB hard drive is slower than some, but gives you plenty of storage for all your files. This isn’t a gaming rig, however, but you have more than enough power for higher end applications, assuming you aren’t trying to drive high end video and graphics. If your college student needs a decent all around laptop and you are shopping on a budget, this should make it to the top of your list of possibilities.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 4.8 lbs

Pros

  • Thin and lightweight
  • Good performance
  • Long lasting battery
  • Lots of storage space

Cons

  • Sub-par display
  • Build quality feels cheap

Summary

A well performing laptop with a long battery life and lots of storage space. Windows 10 is preinstalled which is great. The chassis feels fragile and the display could have been sharper but still a great deal at this price.

Toshiba Satellite C55-C5241 15.6 Inch
from $699.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 11-01-2017 12:26 UTC) Details


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The Best College High-end Laptops

Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV 13.3-inchDell XPS 9350-1340SLV 13.3-inch


The Dell XPS 13’s extreme portability and great touchpad make it a great college laptop, add the fact that it looks like a museum-worthy piece of art, and we have clearly got a winner here. Its aluminum body looks stylish, and the laptop itself is well built. However, the most striking feature of the XPS 13 is its “infinityEdge display”; it has almost no bezels which allowed Dell to cram the 13.3-inch display into an extremely compact frame. The screen itself, a Full-HD marvel which is sharp, colorful, and accurate. You need good inputs if you are going to be typing around all day and probably night, and while the XPS’ keyboard is impressive, the touchpad is a major highlight. It is expansive and highly responsive; probably only second to the great Macbook touchpad. With its Intel Skylake processor, the XPS 13 runs rings around normal day tasks, and the 8GB RAM will not starve your programs when running many apps at the same time. However, it will struggle running intensive games on the integrated graphics. Finally, with its large 56 watt-hour battery the XPS 13 has enough juice to run a full day and then some; truly epic endurance.

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 2.8 lbs

Pros

  • Skylake processor and GPU
  • Battery life
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • Thin and light

Cons

  • Slight fan noise under load
  • No HDMI port
  • Hard to upgrade
  • Limited storage space

Summary

The Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV offers great performance in a light and compact design.

Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV 13.3-inch
from $897.69 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:40 UTC) Details

Apple MacBook Air MMG2LL/A 13.3-inchApple-MacBook-Air-MJVG2LL-A-13.3-Inch

Apple’s MacBook Air line of products has long been known for its sleek, light and razor-thin devices and their newest release, The Apple MacBook Air MMG2LL/A upholds this tradition well. The chassis is made of polished aluminum enhancing the premium feel, maximizing durability and at the same time reducing weight to a minimum. The result is a stunningly beautiful ultraportable device. At a rather average 1440 x 900 resolution, the display is nothing special. Nonetheless, picture quality is good, and colors are fairly accurate. Perhaps one the MacBook’s stronger traits is the backlit keyboard, which offers comfortable typing experience even in dimly lit spaces. The Dual 1.5W stereo speakers do better than expected to produce great quality well-balanced sound. For connectivity, the MacBook only offers 2 USB 3.0 ports, which albeit fast are rather few. Under the hood, we have a 1.6GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 (2.7GHz with Turbo Boost) which is coupled with an 8GB RAM module to provide solid performance and seamless everyday multitasking. However, the GPU being only the integrated Intel HD Graphics 6000 means modern demanding 3D gaming is a no-no with this laptop. The 256GB SSD present will not offer enough long-term storage, but should be sufficient for your documents and applications. On moderate usage, the Apple MacBook Air MMG2LL/A will give you up to 12 hours of battery life, enough to get you through an entire day at school.

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1440 x 900 pixels (TN)
  • Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 3 lbs

Pros

  • Excellent design
  • Good keyboard
  • 8GB RAM
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Average screen resolution
  • Limited ports

Summary

The Apple Macbook Air MMG2LL/A is a beautifully engineered product that offers good performance and excellent battery life, making it a wonderful college companion.

Apple MacBook Air MMGG2LL/A 13.3-inch
from $1,199.00 $1,149.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 13-06-2016 23:34 UTC) Details

ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW 15.6-inchASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW 15.6-inch

If you are looking at enrolling into a creative degree that will require a beefier laptop, then the ASUS Zenbook Pro UX501VW is worth considering. Its sturdy metal unibody chassis is not just elegant, but strong enough to withstand the day-to-day punishments of a college student. ASUS have also improved the battery life and you can expect to get about 8 hours, which is double that of its predecessor. Its crisp 4K display is great for graphic design and photography students and offers great viewing angles thanks to its In-plane switching technology. You also get 111 percent sRGB color gamut, which beats the MacBook Pro by 25 percent. Meaning you will be able to complete your design or photo editing assignments with full knowledge that the colors will look true to life. The 15.6-inch touchscreen display is on par with the Surface range from Microsoft when it comes to overall responsiveness, which makes navigating around Windows a breeze. The display supports a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 for better 4K video editing, but it is slightly shinier than some of its competitors displays. When it comes to raw hardware performance, the 6th generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor and 16GB of DDR4 RAM will have no issue handling more intensive apps such as Photoshop, Lightroom or Solidworks. When you want to take a break from working on those college assignments, you can use the ASUS Zenbook Pro UX501VW to play some of your favorite games thanks to its dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M with 2GB of video memory. The GTX 960M will also allow you to process and render your assignments a lot faster than those laptops that only feature integrated graphics. Sadly it does not have a Kensington laptop lock, meaning that you will have to watch over your ASUS Zenbook Pro UX501VW like a hawk.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 3840 x 2160 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 5 lbs

Pros

  • Metal chassis
  • UHD touch screen
  • Fast Quad-Core processor
  • Dedicated graphics
  • Fast USB-C connection

Cons

  • Heavier than some competitors
  • Glossy screen

Summary

The UX501VW’s glossy display and extra heft are minor shortcomings considering you are getting a UHD display, all-day battery life and an all metal unibody design for a lot less than the “pro” laptops from other manufacturers.

ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW 15.6-inch
from $1,499.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:36 UTC) Details

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Conclusion

That rounds out our list of laptops perfect for college students. We are confident that you will find the best laptop for the student in your life right here. Of course, if you would prefer to do more research, you could also visit our other guides such as The Best Laptops Under $500 and The Best Cheap Laptops Under $400. Also, if you prefer something a little more high end, I would take a look at The Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000 and The Best High End Laptops.