Macbook For College Students
In todays colleges, it is absolutely imperative for students to have a working laptop. While there are many manufacturers on the market, many students choose Apples MacBook line because of their tried-and-true products and seamless multi-device ecosystem. However, the hefty price tag can make MacBooks intimidating.
While all Apple laptops are high quality, the hardware, computer size and performance ability vary from model to model. Apples interface is similar throughout the entire line, making it easy for you to compare features and decide what works best for you.
Lenovo Chromebook C330 2
With an average rating of 4.4 stars out of more than 7,600 reviews, Amazon shoppers call this convertible Lenovo Chromebook the “best for the price” and praise its bounty of features, innovative design, and compact size. “I can’t say enough about this tablet,” writes one shopper. “For the money, I’d buy another without thinking about it.”;
What Is A Good Laptop For College
The average student spends close to 75% of their time engaging with technology, so it’s important that you feel comfortable while working on your laptop. All students should consider the following eight factors before choosing a laptop for college.
College students typically prioritize laptop portability. Whether opting for smaller or larger devices, consider the tradeoff in size, power, and performance. Light, small, and simple laptops should work fine if you only plan to perform basic tasks like word processing, but some students may prioritize screen size and faster processing power.
Unless you work in a computer science field or require a large screen and high performance for detailed tasks like design work, an 11-to-13-inch laptop under 5 pounds should suffice.
All students should consider battery life when choosing a laptop for college. Most batteries last 10-14 hours. Whereas smaller computers tend to offer longer battery lives and work more efficiently, higher-performing laptops use more power and may therefore perform less efficiently while offering shorter battery lives.
Laptops usually have a battery life of 8-10 hours on the low end and 12-17 hours on the high end.
Consider whether you’ll want a large display for your college experience. Students who mostly use their computers for web browsing and word processing probably don’t need a large display.
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A Generously Sized Touchpad
The power button/fingerprint reader combo is nestled into the top row of the keyboard on the $699 model . The keyboard itself offers the comfortable typing experience that Ive come to expect from Surface devices, though unfortunately it lacks key backlighting. Below the keyboard, theres a generously sized touchpad with accurate tracking and a sturdy, refined clicking mechanism.
The Surface Laptop Gos chassis is completely sealed except for a recessed grille next to the display hinge, which spreads across most of the width of the laptop. This grille handles air intake and outflow to cool the internal components, and I did occasionally hear the fan spool up to clearly audible levels when running demanding performance benchmarks. With no other openings, the grille also serves the laptops speakers, which unfortunately produce loudspeaker-like audio quality that is almost completely devoid of bass. Youll likely want to connect headphones if you plan to watch movies on your Surface Laptop Go.
Microsoft includes a one-year limited hardware warranty with the Surface Laptop Go.
Best Bang For Your Buck Macbook For College Students
Apple 2020 MacBook Air with M1 Chip and 256 GB SSD: available at .;
Our take: This lightweight laptop is comfortable to carry around in a backpack or case, and it has up to 18 hours of battery life.
What we like: The 256 GB has enough storage for most college students at an affordable price. The 8-core CPU processes quickly and doesn’t drain the battery. There is no fan, so the machine is quiet and does not overheat
What we dislike: This model only has USB-C ports.
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Should I Get A Longer Laptop Warranty
Most laptop makers offer one-year warranties on parts and labor. These standard plans are limited, so they won’t cover accidents that stem from spilling a drink on the keyboard or dropping the system on the sidewalk. Fortunately, your credit-card issuer likely covers such mishaps for a short period of time after you buy a new product, and it also may extend the manufacturer’s warranty. Check your account benefits guide for details.
If your credit-card issuer doesnt cover you, some laptop makers will happily sell you extended warranties. Apple, Dell, HP, and Lenovo all offer wide ranges of extended warranties and coverage for accidental damage. Expect to spend $100 to $300 for these options. Our rule of thumb is that if a warranty costs more than 15 percent of the laptop’s purchase price, you’re better off spending the money on backup drives or services that minimize downtime.
Of course, you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind. There are instances when the logic board or the displaythe most expensive parts of a laptopfail, and while rare, such a catastrophe can cost you half of what the laptop is worth in repair costs.
Honorable Mention Macbook For College Students
Apple 2020 MacBook Pro with M1 Chip and 256 GB SSD: available at .
Our take: Though it has a smaller memory, the storage space and fast processing time make;this a quality device at an affordable price.
What we like: The M1 processing chip is fast and processes complex projects, and it is compatible with fast graphics. The battery lasts up to 20 hours. It is available in silver or space grey.
What we dislike: Users can’t add storage or memory to this model later.
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Hp Spectre X360 13 Performance
Equipped with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 and 16GB of RAM, the Spectre x360 13 has enough muscle to run demanding workloads including my usual gauntlet consisting of 30 Microsoft Edge tabs, many running processes in the background. I fired up four 1080p videos, played Dayglow’s album on YouTube Music, and streamed First Take on ESPN, without any problems. The Spectre was even up to the task of editing photos for this review in Affinity Photo.
The Spectre x360 13 scored a 4,749 on the Geekbench 5.3 overall performance test, which is a good result, but short of the Spectre x360 14 , XPS 13 and far behind the MacBook Air . I consider the Spectre’s a “good” score because it bests the premium laptop average .;
Our video test proved to be tricky for the Spectre, which needed 18 minutes and 39 seconds to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution. That is twice as long as the MacBook Air and slightly slower than the XPS 13 , Spectre x360 14 and the category average .
The 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD in our review unit took 59 seconds to duplicate a 25GB multimedia file equating to a transfer rate of 452.6 megabytes per second. It gets nowhere near as fast as the storage drives in the Spectre x360 14 , XPS 13 or the category average .;
Samsung Chromebook 3 $280
Best for Google-loving students
It may not be a powerhouse, but the Samsung Chromebook is an excellent companion for lectures, thanks to a near instant startup time and the full range of Google apps.
It runs the Google Chrome operating system all notes and essays are automatically saved to the cloud, so there’s no panic about lost files if the laptop gets left on the school bus.
Chromebooks like this one can open and edit Microsoft Word or Excel documents, though they use Google’s suite of web apps to do so. They’re virtually indistinguishable in practice, and the Google tools have better options for sharing and collaborating on work.
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Are Gaming Laptops Good For College
There was once a time when our answer would be a strong no, primarily because gaming laptops were once usually much larger, thicker, and heavier than non-gaming machines. Thats the last thing you want to carry around from class to class. Thats no longer true today, when many gaming laptops are thinner and lighter than ever. In addition to our Dell G3 Gaming pick above, the Razer Blade;is perhaps the classic example of a laptop thats made for gamers, with fast CPU and GPU options, but isnt much thicker or heavier than other laptops.
At the same time, gaming laptops tend to;focus more on performance than battery life, and youll pay a premium to carry around those gaming components in a thin and light chassis. The great thing is that many laptops today have Thunderbolt 3 ports that can connect to external GPU enclosures for some extra gaming oomph. If you choose a laptop with at least a quad-core 8th-gen Intel CPU and at least 8GB of RAM, then you can attach it to an external GPU and get performance thats pretty;darn close to a dedicated gaming laptop. And your choice of a laptop will be much wider, including choosing among the horde of excellent 2-in-1s that have hit the market over the last several years.
Check That Keyboard And Touchpad
The most impressive specs in the world don’t mean diddly if the laptop you’re shopping for doesn’t have good ergonomics. If you plan to do a lot of work on your computer, make sure the keyboard offers solid tactile feedback, plenty of key travel and enough space between the keys. If you’re buying a Windows laptop, be sure it has Precision touchpad drivers.;
Look for an accurate touchpad that doesn’t give you a jumpy cursor and responds consistently to multitouch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom. If you’re buying a business laptop, consider getting one with a pointing stick between the G and H keys so you can navigate around the desktop without lifting your fingers off the keyboard’s home row.
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The Bottom Line The Right Kind Of Laptop Dependson You
We wish we could give an easy, definitive answer on a case-by-case basis to every shopper, but more than anything else, whether you should buy a Chromebook or a Windows laptop really does come down to your particular workload or playtime needs. Everyone’s different.
The above guidelines should help you see which category you fall into, though, and those who need specific programs only available on Windows or macOS likely know who they are. If you can get through your work almost entirely in a web browser, or youre buying for a student, a Chromebook can be a good money-saving choice. For everyone else, look through our best budget laptops or best laptops overall to find one thats best for you.
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Best Overall: Dell Xps 13
The Dell XPS is a great all-around solid laptop for college students and anyone. It comes with 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB of SSD space, a touchscreen, backlit keyboard, a full HD display, bluetooth and an Intel Core i7 processor, giving it enough power for everyday use with plenty to spare for streaming, gaming or other activities when youre not studying. This laptop will lets you do everything.
The flicker-free, anti-glare screen will help reduce eye strain during those marathon cramming sessions. It weighs less than three pounds, so you can haul it around between classes without straining your back. And it will fit on those tiny flip-up desks in college classrooms. With a 14-hour battery life, you wont have to constantly search for an outlet. Its got a headphone jack, two Thunderbolt ports and a microSD card reader built into it, plus it comes with a USB-A adapter.
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How To Choose The Best Laptop Bag For You
There are so many types of laptop backpacks out there, so to make your shopping a little it easier, it’s a good idea to narrow down your options to backpacks that fit your needs. There are several super-important aspects of a laptop backpack you must take into consideration before buying, including size, compartments and innovative designs somehow manage to maximize space while maintaining TSA-friendly dimensions.
Size:;;If you’re going to purchase a laptop backpack, you’re going to have to make sure that your laptop can fit into your chosen backpack of course. ;You should measure your laptop’s width and depth . When sifting through the internet for a laptop backpack, you’ll have to make sure that the backpack is at least an inch longer than your laptop’s width, since laptops tend to sit vertically in laptop backpacks. You should also make sure the backpack is wide enough to fit your laptop’s depth.
You should also double check to see if the backpack complies with TSA guidelines if you plan on travelling.
Compartments:;Compartments are were laptop backpack makers get creative and design bags that fit certain consumers. If you tend to have a lot of small knickknacks ;when commuting and travelling, then it’s best that you opt for a laptop backpack with a lot of fun hidden pockets and pouches.
If you’re an on-the-go business man or woman, you’ll want to keep an eye out for a backpack that has a compartment that can keep your files and folders safely tucked away.
Do You Want To Go With A 2
The best laptop for college can actually function as both a laptop and a tablet. The display portion of a hybrid 2-in-1 can snap apart from the keyboard to be used as a tablet, while a convertible 2-in-1 has a hinge design that allows the screen to rotate on the keyboard or flip back 360 degrees into tablet mode. The obvious benefits are the money you save by buying one device instead of two , and the space you save in your backpack. You also have access to all your desktop apps and your tablet apps in basically one place.
On the downside, if you go for a cheaper model, you might not get an abundance of processing power or battery life, and as much hard drive space as with a traditional laptop. If you are worried about subjecting an uncovered detached screen to the same abuse that slippery traditional tablets often have to endure, you might prefer to go with a convertible model, which offers a level of protection from wear and tear by making the device easier to safely grip by the keyboard side when in tablet mode.
The screen is backlit, which makes it easier to work in low-light situations, and the power button has a fingerprint reader to make signing on speedier. Turning it on is faster, too: Just flip up the lid, and a sensor automatically boots it up.
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Best Laptops For College Students Under $500
This post contains affiliate links. As an amazon associate, I earn affiliate commission, from qualifying purchases.
Laptops are an essential product for many people, and this is especially true among school or college students. So you definitely need to get your hands on the best laptop for college students.;
These days it seems like everyone is looking for the latest and greatest gadgets that will make their life easier. However, when it comes to finding the best laptop for college students under $500, people often forget about all of the amazing options available in this price range. And with so many great deals out there these daysyou can easily find something that suits your needs without breaking the bank. So if youre wondering what sort of laptop might be right for you we have you covered!
Thats why weve compiled a list of the Best Laptops For College Students Under $500 to help save you time when shopping around!
What To Choose For College
If you are a student, you should not buy an iPad. MacBook is a good solution for study. Apparently, its much more convenient to read from it than from any laptop or computer. But through it all, MacBook has more advantages than the iPad. The first one is that the MacBook has a physical keyboard with backlit.
It comes in handy when you have to write college essays or add your feedback to expert writing reviews section on the writing service website.
Of course, you can connect the keyboard to your iPad via Bluetooth, but that way you can use up the battery faster, and theres always the risk that the connection will fail. The second advantage is that work programs are more convenient.
As you know, a tablet is not the best device for office software packages. The touch-sensitive keyboard on the screen reduces a view, and its inconvenient to scroll. MacBook works excellently with programs for documents.
Besides, it has an open-source system and the ability to run programs not only from the AppStore, which often doesnt have everything you need. Whats more, MacBook allows you to work with several programs at the same time.
If your tablet PC needs to wind down one program and connect another, using MacBook, you dont need to do it. Making a couple of clicks and you manage to work with another program.
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Dell Xps 12 Ultrabook Touch
- Price: $900 and up
Tablets and laptops both have their uses in a college environment, and this slick model from Dell gives you the best of both worlds. This is a 12.5-inch laptop, but it benefits from a novel flip-hinge that quickly transforms the device into a touchscreen tablet. With 4GB of RAM, a 128GB solid state drive, a 1080p display, a lightweight body, and over eight hours of battery life, this ultrabook gives college students exactly what they need to get work done while remaining flexible enough to use anywhere.