Best Small Laptop For College
- Comfortable keyboard and touch pad
- Multiple color options
- Attractive styling and excellent build quality
- USB Type-A port
- No face recognition camera or keyboard backlighting
- Internal storage tops out at 256GB
- Middling audio quality
For students, a laptop is as essential as textbooks and a school IDand not just for taking notes and doing homework. It should also be able to handle your big extracurricular activities: keeping up with your social networks, streaming movies, listening to music, posting photos, gaming, video chatting with the ‘rents back home.
Laptops are more essential now than ever, as many colleges and universities implement a mix of in-person and remote learning to as part of their responses to the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re learning from home a few days a week and heading to campus the rest of the time, a laptop you can use wherever you are is essential.
A laptop for college students also needs to respect your budget while lasting for the long haul, preferably through four years of undergrad and maybe a year of grad work. Lucky for you, we have a bunch of recommended models that fit that description perfectlyand since most of them are below $1,000, they won’t drain your savings account in a big way .
Here are the basics you should keep in mind while looking for a laptop for college.
How To Choose A Laptop For Learning
High performance is usually not required for this purpose, but you need a compact and lightweight laptop that will not cause discomfort during wear.
The priorities for selection are:
- light weight
- a capacious accumulator that it was not necessary to stand constantly at the socket
- Convenient touchpad that easily replaces the mouse
- quiet cooling system so as not to disturb anyone at lectures
- a good display that does not provoke eye fatigue.
Regarding the technical characteristics, the following is recommended:
- 8 or 16 GB of RAM
- processor with four or six cores
- SSD on 256-512 GB for storage of educational materials and multimedia files
- IPS display with Full HD resolution or higher
- battery with a capacity of more than 40 W * h integrated into the processor graphics core.
The last point is relevant for those students who do not plan to use a laptop for games. Integrated graphics are enough for standard tasks such as watching movies and TV series, but modern video games with high FPS do not play.
The Best Budget Laptops For 2022
These low-cost Windows laptops and Chromebooks can handle everyday computing with aplomb, and many ring up under $500.
- Pleasing light design, with aluminum construction
- Backlit keyboard
- Solid port and slot selection, including USB Type-C and microSD
- Eight-hour battery life
- Handy tablet gestures and Android phone integration
- Only one USB port and no headphone jack
- Cramped keyboard
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Best Budget Windows Laptop
Budget Windows laptops don’t get quite as cheap as their Chromebook counterparts, but they do offer improved performance and the full Windows experience, which means access to all of the important software you’ll find on bigger laptops and desktop PCs. This can be especially important considering the last year and the drive towards ecosystems like Microsoft’s Teams for managing schedules and video calling with friends, tutors and families at a distance.
The Lenovo Flex 5 14 is a great example of a capable budget laptop, incorporating just about everything you could ask from a contemporary machine. It’s powered by a supremely capable six-core AMD Ryzen 4500U processor, with onboard Vega graphics added into the mix for a little entry-level gaming power. The 1080p screen isn’t too bright, but its 1080p resolution is crisp and clear, and contrast is good enough for most tasks.
With 16GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, it feels nippy and responsive in everyday use, and has plenty of space to store all sorts of projects and even the odd movie or 10. This is a 2-in-1, too, so if you ever want to do some drawing, take handwritten notes or control apps best suited to a touchscreen, you can flip the Flex 5’s screen over and turn it into a tablet.
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All of these CPUs also host the silicon that runs the laptop’s graphics. The newest integrated graphics solutions can hold their own in browser-based games and even some online games like World of Warcraft. The higher demands of AAA titles, though, still require a discrete GPU, which you won’t find in this price range.
In years past, many of the barest-budget Windows laptops would come with just 2GB or 4GB of main system memory, but nowadays, at least in the Windows sphere, most come with 8GB. In terms of batteries, an ideal budget laptop has one with six cells or more. The battery life for a cheap laptop should come in at a minimum of seven or eight hours, and these days, many will last quite a bit longer.
When it comes to storage, some inexpensive systems still use spinning hard drives, with capacities often at 500GB, but increasingly, inexpensive Windows machines opt for small-capacity solid-state drives of 128GB or 256GB capacity. If you can get by with the capacity of a small SSD, we strongly favor opting for one, even over a roomier platter-based hard drive, for their durability.
In terms of features, budget laptops will come with at least one USB 3.0 port, and possibly a USB 2.0 port or two. You also may get an SD card slot. A Wi-Fi radio that uses the speedy 802.11ac protocol is also the norm now.
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Which Features Do You Really Need
Its common to think you just have to spend your money on the latest, most expensive model and youll be set. But thats not necessary and it may not even be the most beneficial option.The benefit of matching your laptops features with your needs is that youll only pay for what youll really use. Have you thought about these aspects?
Top Essay And Research Laptops
If youre looking for a device that can cover the duties of both a standard laptop and a tablet, then this powerful, portable laptop is one to consider.
This mid-range laptop delivers fast performance in a very compact and lightweight shell. That should make it ideal for anyone who needs a laptop for taking out and about.
This laptop comes in at well under £500 but has some really useful features not often found on laptops this cheap. It includes a fingerprint reader, a Full HD screen and a half decent processor, along with excellent battery life.
This laptop is a highly portable device that manages to offer a lot of versatility for your money. It’s well worth a look.
As with most budget laptops there are compromises aplenty, including cheap build quality and a dim screen. It’s also only fast enough for basic tasks, but if you’re on a budget and that’s all you need, it’s a fine choice.
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Can I Find A Good Display On A Budget Laptop
Definitely, but as with battery life or specific ports, youll need to pick and choose the right laptop. A good display will need to be a key component of the laptop, as color accuracy and contrast can be some areas where savings can be made on certain systems.
The best-looking screen of our budget recommendations comes with the HP Envy x360 13, which is yet another reason why its our pick for the best video editing laptop.
Best Laptops For College Students In 2021
MacBook Air M1
ThinkPad X1 Nano
The best laptops for college students are powerful enough to let you tackle all your school projects, with enough portability and power capacity to get you through a full day of classes. Whether you’re going back to school in person or attending classes remotely, having the right laptop is key.
Our best college laptop picks all share a few common traits. They have excellent battery life, which is crucial when running between classes on campus all day. These laptops are also affordable, with many models under $1000 though we’ve also listed some higher-priced laptops that are great investments.
- The best laptops you can buy now
- Don’t miss our guide to the
If you’re worried about spending over $1,000, know that our picks are made with your future in mind. The MacBook Pro isn’t cheap, for example, but mine has lasted for 8 years, which is enough time for undergrad and graduate school .
Read on for our picks of the best college laptops you can buy now.
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But Are Cheap Laptops Worth It
You know the old saying: You get what you pay for. But thanks to the technology boom of the last few decades, a cheap laptop can actually take you pretty far and won’t break down immediately. It’s all about knowing which one to select.
Rather than just making a few purchase suggestions and sending you on your way, we’re going to equip you with some knowledge that’ll help you be a more informed laptop shopper. You know all that computer jargon of processor-this and gigahertz-that we’ll explain it all in terms that anyone can understand.
Are Budget Laptops Any Good
Absolutely! Depending on what you need your laptop to do, budget options can be just as good as their high-end counterparts. If you only need a laptop for watching Netflix and answering emails, a budget Chromebook can save you hundreds of dollars and perform no worse than something that costs $2,000 or more.
That said, you do need to be careful about which system you pick. Budget laptops tend to make some sacrifices where the expensive options dont, so be sure to make sure that the system youre interested in can do what you need it to before buying.
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Hp Spectre X360 13 Battery Life
HP’s Spectre laptops consistently nail our Laptop Mag Battery Test and this 2021 model is no different, lasting 12 hours and 32 minutes while browsing the web with the screen set to 150 nits.
That outstanding result tops both the XPS 13 , the Spectre x360 14 and the category average , falling victim to only the MacBook Air .
More Flexible Than A Clamshell
The Flex 5’s 360-degree hinge makes it more flexible than a conventional clamshell laptop. By folding the hinge past 180 degrees, you can prop the notebook up like a tent, rest it on the keyboard portion like an easel, or even fold it completely flat and use it as a tablet.
This flexibility isnt unique to the Flex 5. Lenovo pioneered the 2-in-1 convertible laptop concept, and it offers a handful of such laptop models at all price ranges. Because a 360-degree hinge needs to be sturdy, it often results in a bulkier chassis, which is generally true of the less expensive convertibles that Lenovo and many other laptop makers sell. The Flex 5 measures 0.82 by 12.7 by 8.6 inches and weighs 3.3 pounds, which just barely qualifies it as an ultraportable.
Some flagship 2-in-1 designs are noticeably smaller and lighter, including the 13.3-inch HP Elite Dragonfly and the 13.4-inch Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 . But these also cost much more than the Flex 5often around $1,500 for a decently powerful configuration. And that’s what makes the Flex 5 so appealing to people who want a workhorse laptop. By going up a few tenths of an inch in thickness and a few ounces in weight, youre saving a ton of money and still getting serious computing power to get your work done.
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Asus X543ua Intel Core I3 7020u 156 4gb Hd 1tb Windows 10
We reached the last suggestion on the list bringing a laptop focused on modernity, which will certainly serve students interested in taking the device everywhere. This is the Asus X543UA, which has a modern design, with numeric keypads and a screen with HD resolution.
Its design appeals to people of virtually any age group, who can use it both during class, for taking notes, research and editing work, as well as for lighter, more basic professional tasks.
In terms of configurations, this laptop from Asus is simple, with an Intel Core i3 processor and 4 GB of RAM, but it can perform any everyday task without crashing and restarting all the time.
The storage space is not lacking, with 1 TB youll be able to store photos, files, videos, games and light programs.
Laptop Or Tablet For College: What To Choose
Life on campus can be demanding, involving late nights working on assignments and long lectures filled with note-taking. Picking a dependable computing companion is a must for a smooth college life as well as for improving your overall productivity. So, should you choose a laptop or a tablet?
Well, a tablet can be a smart choice for contemporary students who need to frequently use the browser, access apps on Google Play Store, read e-books, and engage in abundant wireless streaming. Tablets tend to hyper-mobile and lightweight, making them easy to carry around from class to class without fear of damage.
However, getting a laptop also comes with some intrinsic advantages. It is the closest to getting a full-purpose desktop, which means you will need it to run demanding applications or work on multiple browser tabs at the same time.
No matter how performance-oriented a tablet is, it can rarely match a laptop when it comes to activities like multimedia editing, building spreadsheets or gaming .
Additionally, if you can see yourself needing to print out a lot of stuff or hop on to a LAN network, a laptop will serve you infinitely better than a tablet.
Here are some more considerations that will help you make this crucial decision:
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Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 4 Laptop
Samsung is a brand name that does not require any introduction and is known for creating durable & reliable products.
The Galaxy Chromebook 4 is one of the students favorite laptops to study and work on. It comes with an 11.6-inch display thats enough for taking online classes or continuing your business work.
More than 12.5 hours of battery life with a single charge thats the thing youll love in this laptop. Charge it once and carry on with your work all day long.
With USB-C type charging, the laptop charges in really less time.
With built-in virus protection enabled, the laptop is secured inside-out, keeping your sensitive data safe.
Gigabit Wi-Fi connection enables ultrafast connectivity for streaming and downloading files. Its compact, lightweight, and small-size specially designed to take it anywhere.
Features at a Glance
Keeping It Light: Why Weight Matters
Not every student will agree, but depending on how far you’ll haul it every day, a big-screen notebook may not be such a good idea.
It’s nice to have a mini home theater in your dorm room or play the latest games in big-screen 1080p glory, but a 5-pound-plus laptop with a 15-inch or 17-inch screen will be a chore to haul across campus while you’re running from class to class. You’re better off with something that’s light: If screen size matters less to you than convenience, a super-thin ultraportable might be the way to go.
For most people, a maximum 13- or 14-inch widescreen panel is ideal, as it will make room for other items in your backpack and minimize the weight burden. Depending on your tolerance level, a smaller display works as long as you understand that full web pages and productivity applications will involve more scrolling, and fonts will appear smaller than they do on larger screens, assuming the same resolution and zoom level.
Essays, research papers, and chatting online with your classmates will take up most of your computing time, so a full-size keyboard and a comfortable touchpad are crucial. Also know: When you venture smaller than a 13-inch-class laptop, you run the risk of not getting the same typing experience. The easiest way to ensure that you have the best keyboard is to stop by a brick-and-mortar store and spend some time typing on prospective choices of different size classes.
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Best Laptops For College Students Under $300
Acer Chromebook 512 Laptop: available at Acer
For those college students on a very tight budget, this Chromebook is among the least expensive on the market. It offers a 12-inch screen in a tiny laptop body, so its easy to carry anywhere. However, its display is less than full HD resolution.
Lenovo Chromebook S330 Laptop: available at Lenovo
This Chromebook has one of the largest screens that youll find for a laptop in this price range. It includes 4 GB of RAM and a 64 GB SSD, which are good features for a cheap laptop. However, its screen is below full HD resolution.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 2-in-1: available at
With its fast start-up time, this Chromebook is the ideal selection for the college student who hates to wait for technology. It includes a touchscreen for simple operation, but it only have a 10.1-inch display screen.
How Can I Get A Free Laptop For Low Income Families
Adaptive.org. Adaptive.org is an organization that works to get computers and laptops specifically into low-income households where kids need them. The program does designate the computer is intended for use by children. Children age 5 up to college age can qualify for either a free PC or laptop.
What is the cheapest laptop I can buy?
Cheapest Windows 10 Laptops 2019 #1. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM FHD Notebook #2. ASUS 14 L402WA-EH21 #3. HP-15 Series 15 Laptop T8TJG #4. Lenovo Ideapad 17.3 A12-Laptop #5. ASUS VivoBook 11.6 E203NA-YS03
Where to buy cheap laptop?
Where to Buy a Laptop for Cheap: Pawn Shops. If you want to know where to buy a laptop for cheap, heres your answer: pawn shops. Pawn shops are stores located in the majority of decently-populated towns across the United States .
What is the best cheap computer?
At just $9, Chip is the cheapest computer to be a reality soon. Raspberry Pi, a credit card-sized computer carrying a dirt cheap price tag has become insanely popular in the last couple of years.
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