Best Laptops for college

Buying a laptop for a student is more than just finding a device that is highly portable and offers good performance; it is also about affordability and durability. Among the many options available on the market today, these are the best laptops for students.

Asus ZenBook 13

You won’t find many laptops that offer a better combination of low price, excellent performance and lightweight design. Aimed at college students who don’t have much of a budget, but still require a good laptop.

An affordable, well-built, feature-packed machine; the latest Asus ZenBook 13 does it all. We gave a previous version of this laptop a 9 rating in our review precisely because of how well it performs essential tasks: this updated version comes with a tenth-generation Intel Core i7-10510U processor, a GeForce MX250 GPU, and an interesting customizable touchscreen/trackpad that can switch between different formats for different shortcuts, depending on what you’re doing.

One of the ZenBook’s best attributes is that it looks and feels premium, as it’s made with the same type of aluminum chassis as the more expensive machines. It also features Asus’ iconic “concentric metal circle” finish for added eye appeal.

To top it off, it’s a thin and light laptop, with an innovative ErgoLift hinge that raises the keyboard to a comfortable angle. You won’t feel like you’re carrying a cheap machine.

Other important specs include a USB-C port (plus HDMI), Wi-Fi 6 support, and 512GB PCIe NVMe solid-state drive storage and 16GB of RAM. The Asus ZenBook UX333 is a solid, reliable option that proves you don’t need to spend an excessive amount of money to get an excellent college laptop.

MacBook Air M1

Any college student who loves Macs, but doesn’t have the budget for a MacBook Pro cn go for a MacBook Air M1 instead.

For years, the MacBook Air has been a thin and light alternative to the MacBook Pro, but one that doesn’t perform any better. This is no longer the case, as Apple’s upgraded M1 chip delivers excellent performance and the MacBook Air demonstrates this to perfection. In our comparison, we found the MacBook Air to be the better overall choice. It’s also cheaper.

The base model starts at $999 and has an eight-core CPU, seven-core GPU, 256GB SSD storage, and 8GB of unified memory. No matter which configuration you choose, you get Apple’s beautiful Retina display and the Magic Keyboard, which is much better than previous MacBook keyboards.

The downsides aren’t many. The MacBook Air M1 has all the power you need in a thin and light laptop, and still has one of the best displays and keyboards on the market. The only problem you’ll have is the port selection. The MacBook Air M1 only has two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports (one that you’ll use when charging) and the headphone jack.

Microsoft Surface Go 2

The first Surface Go was designed to be an ultraportable computer that could fit anywhere. The second generation is a bit heavier (0.05 pounds heavier), but it also has a larger HD display (10.5 inches) and the performance options feature a new Intel Core m3-8100Y processor. At a low price, it’s clearly competition for Apple’s iPads and a solid choice if you like the iPad, but need a Windows-oriented device for your classes.

It also has support for use of the company’s Surface Pen stylus, which provides the lowest latency on a Windows 10 tablet, 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, and tilt support. This means it is capable of taking handwritten notes and making quick drawings, something that may be useful for college students. However, Windows S Mode can be frustrating to use at times, so we suggest disabling it if you’re using the Surface Go 2 for more complex tasks. If you want something with a little more power, check out the Surface Pro 7.

Also view our latest article about Best laptops for business and Best laptops for working from home

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