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Best Laptops For College And School to Help With Coursework

Back in the days, college students used to carry heaps of books to the lecture rooms, and they had to write all notes for every lesson they attended. It used to work, but this was tiring and consumed lots of time that could have been used for other kinds of studies. Now, fast forward! College students cannot survive without a laptop. They have to keep up with emails from their lecturers, conduct in-depth research overnight, share some memes over the internet, and of course, take a break in between with a nice Netflix movie.

The point is, academic (and social) reliance on computers is growing for college life. We are not talking about any computer here; we are talking about a fast machine that can handle pretty much everything without any problems. It’s not a luxury for students; it’ a necessity!

A good laptop for school comes with enough data storage capacity to allow you to store all your notes, coursework, and videos. It needs to have the best security features to protect your coursework as well as your personal information. And if you love surfing the web, streaming movies, and gaming, it should be able to handle all that as well. To help you get the best laptop for college and school, we have invested time and resources to conduct in-depth research, coming up with ten cool options that will take you through college. From fully-loaded machines to lightweight notebooks, there’s an option for everyone!

Top 10 Laptops For College And School of 2019 Reviewed

1. Apple MacBook Pro 15-Inch

Best Apple MacBook for College

Machines designed for use by graphic design or video production students are strong, versatile, and high-capacity. The Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch comes ready for use when doing these tasks and more. Even though produced in 2018, it has all the best features that define a modern machine. For instance, it features the 8th generation Intel Core i7, Intel Core i8, and Intel Core i9 processors. Thus, it has the ability to accommodate any program that you may choose to use.

Additionally, it has a powerful graphics card in the form of the AMD Radeon Pro 555X GPU. This is powerful enough to display any graphics that you may have. For example, it will help you to come up with the best projects in your graphic design assignments. The video memory is up to 4GB, which enables you to unwind with your favorite games after class.

The storage comes in the form of an ultrafast 2TB SSD, which enables you to operate your programs and open files in a flash. The improved keyboard produces extremely quiet keystrokes. If you carry the laptop to the library, you won’t be kicked out for making noise. If you are a student in school or college, this is the laptop for you.

Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, Previous Model, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage)

Pros:

  • Features some of the most powerful processors
  • Has powerful AMD graphics
  • Storage using an ultrafast SSD disk

Cons:

  • Costlier than most other laptops
  • Reports of the keyboard being noisy
  • Doesn’t come with HDMI and USB-A ports

2. Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch Retina Display

Best Lightweight MacBook for College

The 2019 version of the Apple MacBook Air has been revamped, especially when it comes to the display. The 13-inch screen now boasts of the latest Retinal Display. What you get from this laptop are the best graphics for your projects as well as unwinding while playing your favorite games. To open this laptop, you will mainly rely on the secure Touch ID. That means more security for your machine as well as information.

One of the best features of this laptop is the quiet proprietary keyboard, which makes it easier for you to use in a library. It also has a highly-responsive force touch trackpad. In short, this laptop is easy to operate, even for the uninitiated.

This laptop boasts of the Intel Core i5, 8th-generation processor, which supports programs of all sizes. It also has an Intel UHD Graphics 616 card, which provides high-resolution pictures and videos. Other specs include 128GD SSD storage, which opens files faster and effortlessly. With an 8GB memory, videos and games load onto this device like a breeze. If you like using your laptop off-grid, you will be happy to know that battery life is up to 12 hours.

Apple MacBook Air (13-inch Retina display, 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 128GB)

Pros:

  • The design is lovely
  • Has a great screen display
  • The battery life is almost unmatched

Cons:

  • The webcam doesn’t perform as expected
  • Lacks most ports other than the USB-C ports
  • Reports of speakers that crackle and produce a static sound

3. Lenovo IdeaPad L340 Gaming Laptop, 15.6-Inch FHD (1920×1080) IPS Display

Best Gaming Laptop for College

Don’t be deceived. Being a student is not all work. You need some time to play so as to unwind and prepare yourself for the next set of classwork. So it is not enough to have a laptop that makes it easy for you to do your assignments. Ideally, it should also be able to deliver great gaming power. And that’s where the Lenovo IdeaPad L340 comes in. It gives you all the features of a good gaming laptop at a very affordable price.

But what features are we talking about? For once, it has a GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card which helps run your games without letting up. The laptop provides video RAM of up to 4GB. Essentially, your videos and load faster. Also, you can play virtually any game with this laptop.

This laptop has a large screen which provides the perfect display when working as well as during leisure time. Apart from playing games, you can use this laptop to stream videos as well as TV programs. The good thing is that this laptop is built to be sturdy, strong, and durable enough to last you through four years of your studies. How else would you want your laptop to look like?

Lenovo IdeaPad L340 Gaming Laptop

Pros:

  • A gaming laptop for relaxation after studies
  • Comes with strong graphics capabilities
  • Has a large screen

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a very good battery life
  • 256 GB SSD not big enough
  • A limited number of ports

4. Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature Edition Thin & Light Laptop

Best Thin and Light Laptop for College

For students who are just starting out on their education journey, having a powerful, long-lasting laptop is a must. The Huawei MateBook X Pro is a powerful machine that will take you through at least four years of your life in school without signs of breaking down. It is compact, light, and perfect for backpacking to and from class. Compared to laptops with similar abilities, this particular device is very affordable.

It has a sleek, attractive chassis that measures only 0.57 inches in thickness. The laptop weighs a paltry 2.93 pounds and comes with a 13.9-inch touchscreen with a 3K display. That is 3,000 by 2,000 screen resolution. With a 260 PPI and 1500 to 1 contrast ratio, you will be able to see your videos and games in vivid detail. That makes it the perfect laptop for graphic design or video editing students.

As for the operating system, this laptop features Windows 10 Home Signature Edition. After switching on the laptop, the system enables you to authenticate your identity using the Windows Hello feature. Compared to its predecessor, this laptop has a Core i5 8250U 8th-generation processor which makes its performance better by more than 40 percent. You will get the best possible audio, thanks to the second-generation Dolby ATMOS capabilities.

Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature Edition Thin & Light Laptop

Pros:

  • An affordable school/college laptop
  • More powerful performance than the predecessor
  • High-resolution display

Cons:

  • The battery life isn’t very impressive
  • The touchscreen is prone to breaking
  • Has a cheap-looking trackpad

5. 2018 Flagship Dell Inspiron 11.6-Inch HD Chromebook

Best HD Chromebook For College

As a student, you may not have all the money you need to pay for a top-range laptop. Yet, you cannot afford to put your schoolwork on hold until you get your dream laptop. The 2018 Flagship Dell Inspiron if an entry-level laptop, which promises modest performance for a lower price. For a very low price, you get a machine with a 16GB SSD drive and 4GB memory. That makes it a good laptop for typing academic papers.

It comes with an 11.6-inch display, which incidentally is energy-efficient. The decent graphics are all thanks to the integrated Intel HD Graphics 400 card. Since it isn’t a gaming laptop, you will not have to worry so much about the performance of the display.

To compensate for the less than average storage capacity, this laptop comes with dedicated USB ports and a media card reader. Thus, you can easily attach an external HDD whenever you want to store larger files or watch videos. The processor is an Intel Dual-Core Celeron with a capacity of 2MB and 2.48GHz. It works on a Chrome OS, so you do not have to install Windows.

2018 Flagship Dell Inspiron 11.6 HD Chromebook, Intel Dual-Core Celeron N3060 up to 2.48GHz

Pros:

  • An affordable laptop for students
  • Access to Google products
  • Has most of the standard ports

Cons:

  • A low-capacity storage capacity
  • Reports of the laptop crashing during the set-up process
  • Some users found the laptop to be refurbished

6. HP 2-In-1 12.3-Inch Touchscreen Chromebook

Best Touchscreen Laptop for College

If you are looking for a laptop that’s small and compact enough to carry with you to and from class, this HP 2-in-1 Chromebook is all you need. Its energy-saving screen measures only 12 inches. That’s big enough to display your assignments while you work on them. The 4GB LPDDR3 SD RAM is large enough to enable you to carry out all the necessary research over the internet.

The Chromebook has a storage capacity of 32GB eMMC. This is big enough for storing all types of documents. It can even accommodate some of your photos which the 5MP front camera and 13MP rear camera will ably snap. If you need more storage capacity, then you can easily attach an external HDD to the machine via any of the two USB Type-C ports.

It comes with the Chrome Operating System (OS), which gives you access to other apps from the Google Store. Here, you can download a word processor, spreadsheet programs, and so on. Basically, this is the perfect laptop for students working on a tight budget but who still want something to use for their assignments. If you can afford something more expensive, then look elsewhere.

HP 2-in-1 12.3 Touch-Screen Chromebook Intel Core M - 4GB Memory - 32GB eMMC Flash Memory (X2 12-F014D)

Pros:

  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled
  • Comes with a front and back camera
  • Memory expandable via USB

Cons:

  • The display comes with an irritating bright spot
  • Slow performance
  • The internal storage is limited to 32GB

7. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB

Best Stylish Laptop for College

Students like laptops they can use on the go. The kind they can easily fold, through into a backpack, and get going. The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is lightweight. With a weight of only 2.76 pounds, this laptop is highly portable. When you carry it with you to a class, you won’t need to charge the battery until you return to the hostel. The battery has a capacity of providing up to 14.5 hours when playing video. So, if you were performing a less-demanding task such as typing, the battery should last for a long time.

With this particular laptop, you get to choose the color you want. So, you can pick anything ranging from cobalt blue, burgundy, and platinum. The laptop comes with Windows 10 Home edition, but that doesn’t mean it is limited when it comes to enabling you to do your college work.

The Pixel Sense Display measures 13.5 inches. To add to that, it is a touchscreen so you won’t have to rely only on the touchpad. Compared to the previous version, this particular laptop features the latest 8th-generation Intel Core processor. Thus, its speed is improved to a great extent.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB)

Pros:

  • A lightweight laptop great for use on-the-go
  • The battery lasts for 14.5 or more
  • Has a touchscreen

Cons:

  • Reports that the machine never powered on
  • Complaints about the Windows 10 Home edition
  • No Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C ports

8. Dell XPS 15 9570 15.6-Inch Laptop

Best Large-Display Laptop for College

This is the bigger version of the Dell XPS 13. However, the two machines have almost similar features beginning with the InfinityEdge display, which comes without a bezel. The only differentiator is the screen size. As such, the Dell XPS 15 has a bigger screen which is great for people who need to work for long hours. In fact, the screen is a 15-inch 4K affair but because of being bezel-less, it looks more like a 14-inch laptop. The good thing is that the laptop comes with a touchscreen.

This laptop is highly-portable given that you can easily put it into your bag and carry it with you. It comes with an Nvidia GTX 960M mobile graphics card which can handle just about any game at 1080P. This also comes in handy when you have to stream videos from sites such as YouTube.

The 8th-generation Intel Core i5 8300H processor gives this laptop a top-of-the-range speed. It comes with an 8GB memory and runs at a maximum speed of 4GHz. definitely, this laptop is good enough for students taking graphics-related courses as well as those in the general fields. At the end of the day, one can relax by playing a favorite game.

Dell XPS 15 9570 15.6 Laptop

Pros:

  • Comes with a good webcam
  • A powerful, great-performing machine
  • Has a bezel-less screen

Cons:

  • The battery doesn’t last very long
  • Costlier than other laptops
  • The weight is a little on the higher side

9. Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6-Inch Full HD

Best Full HD Laptop for College

As a student, you are not going to be storing only the low-capacity files on your laptop. You may want to save videos, games, and music files. That calls for high-capacity storage that can hold most of the files you have. The Acer Aspire E 15 laptop has a 1TB HDD, which makes it one of the highest among the machines featured in this review. With such a high-capacity HDD, you can store all the files you want and still get space for more.

It comes with an Intel Core-i3 8130U processor, which provides between 2.2GHz and 3.2GHz speed. That makes it easy for you to load your programs, videos, and games. The laptop comes with Windows Home and Microsoft 365 Home preinstalled. That means that you can start doing your assignments as soon as you receive the laptop. There is basically no need to upgrade anything.

The 15.6-inch display is full-HD, which gives you crystal-clear videos. Good enough, it is widescreen and will definitely make your work easier. The battery can last for up to 13.5 hours, which is remarkable, to say the least. What more could you want in a laptop for students?

Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6 Full HD

Pros:

  • Full HD display
  • Huge storage space
  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • Can be a bit bulky
  • Might become slow with updates
  • Touchpad isn’t very responsive

10. ASUS ZenBook UX333FA-DH51 Laptop

Best Affordable Laptop for College

If you are looking for a laptop that is small enough to carry while providing the power you need to carry out your video editing or graphics design assignments, look no further than this. The ASUS is a compact laptop that packs a lot of power. It features an Intel Core-i5 8265U 8th-generation processor which is powerful enough to load all your programs, games, and videos. This makes this laptop a must-have for graphic design and video editing students.

The 13.3-inch full-HD display provides crystal clear videos and games. With this laptop, you will see the images in great detail to the extent of thinking they are real. The laptop comes with an on-board 8GB LPDDR3 memory.

To make it easier for you to load your programs and open your files, the laptop has a 256GB SSD storage. Compared to other laptops with SSD storage, this is definitely a high-capacity machine. It also comes with an assortment of USB as well as HDMI ports. In the USB ports, you can connect external hard disks, flash disks, and so on. The HDMI port, on the other hand, allows you to display the contents of the laptop on a bigger screen or through a projector.

ASUS ZenBook UX333FA-DH51 Laptop

Pros:

  • Comes with a long-lasting battery
  • Has several USB and HDMI ports
  • An affordable laptop

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have an optical drive
  • Lacks a micro-SD adapter
  • Reports about issues with the trackpad

How to Choose The Best Laptop For College And School – The Ultimate Buying Guide

A laptop is an indespensable tool for college students. You need one to research, link with teachers, write papers, and create presentations. The best time to buy a laptop is usually at the beginning of the school year. But how do you know the right laptop model to pick? It can be challenging for you to know what you need as a student. That’s because the budget is an issue. If anything, you are going to pay for the laptop using your parent’s money or your student loan.

Here, we provide a comprehensive buying guide to enable you to pick the right type of laptop. In it, we discuss the factors that will concern the most as a student. Let’s get going.

What Type Of Curriculum Do You Have?

The computing needs of students differ on the basis of the kind, of course, they are taking. So, the type of degree program a student is taking is one of the biggest considerations when it comes to the laptop to buy. As such, there are students who want nothing more than a machine that can enable them to send an email, browse the web, and process documents with MS-Word. In that case, a simple Chromebook will do. You will pay $200 or less and enjoy a lot of benefits.

However, if your course has to do with video editing, CAD drawings, and 3D modeling, you will require a laptop with a high-capacity processor. It should ideally be Core-i7. If lower than that, then it should be at least 8th-generation. Also, the RAM should be at least 8GB. As for the hard disk, it should be SSD, which is fast.

The graphics card should also be up to the task. Only that you should be prepared to pay $800 or more. But that’s for Windows laptops. If you want a MacBook, then you should be prepared to pay more than $1,000.

Is The Screen Size Big Enough?

The screen size may affect the ease with which you work using the laptop. It also has an effect on the overall weight of the machine. If you want a laptop that easily fits into a bag, then you should buy one with a 15.6-inch screen or less.

You can easily throw this into a backpack and get going. Still, there are laptops with slightly smaller screen sizes at 13.3 inches. Others are even smaller. However, a laptop that’s smaller than 13.3 inches might be too uncomfortable for you to use. So, put all of that into consideration as you choose the screen size for your laptop. Only ensure that the weight doesn’t go above 4.5 pounds.

Would You Prefer A Two-In-One Laptop?

Sometimes, you do not need a laptop in the strict sense of the word. In that case, a simple two-in-one machine will do. There are several models on the market for which the keyboard is detachable. When you remove the keyboard, it becomes a tablet. When you attach it back, you will have a laptop. But it comes with several disadvantages.

The first one is that you will need to charge the keyboard separately. Some manufacturers even charge extra for the detachable keyboard. Also, the screen for a two-in-one machine will be smaller than that of a standard laptop. Some screens can be as small as 9.7 inches. When you try to put it onto your laps, you will only begin to feel overly uncomfortable, given the rear-hinge design.

Does The Storage Capacity Really Matter?

When buying laptops and computers of any kind, people have always gone for machines with the highest storage capacity. That’s why it is easy to pick a laptop with a 1TB hard drive. But that isn’t important anymore. As a student, you are better off with a laptop with a low-capacity solid-state drive (SSD). Regardless of how small it is, an SSD drive makes a machine of any kind run at a faster speed. It also boosts your battery life, given that SSD drives do not have moving parts and, therefore, consume less power.

If you opt for an SSD machine, you may get one with as little as 32GB storage. That will be a very affordable Chromebook. Since you have the option of storing your stuff on the cloud, the sacrifice you make in terms of storage capacity is still worth it. Instead of storing movies and music videos on your machine, you can stream it live from sites such as You-Tube and Netflix. You can store the rest of your documents on Office Online or Google Drive, free of charge.

Do You Need To Buy Microsoft Office?

As a student, you don’t need a machine with complicated tools. As long as you have a word processor, presentation builder, and spreadsheet manager, you are good to go. With that, you can prepare your assignments and make presentations. In fact, you can take advantage of Microsoft Office 365 for Education, which is available to students and teachers free of charge. Simply sign-up using a valid school email address and you will get the basic programs free of charge.

Alternatively, you can use the free versions of M-Word, MS-Excel, and MS-PowerPoint. They are available for all iOS and Android devices. With this, you can write your term papers easily. You could also opt for Google Docs, which is available free of charge. Other options include WPS Office and LibreOffice. In short, you do not have to invest in a fully-fledged Microsoft Office Suite.

What Additional Features Do You Need To Consider?

When buying a laptop for college or school, there are additional features you need to consider. They include the following:

  • Processor: Regardless of how you intend to use your laptop, the processor speed is a key consideration. However, it is more important if you intend to use the laptop for graphic design and video editing assignments. As such, a speed of 3.5 to 4 GHz will do just fine.
  • RAM. For a college or school laptop, you need just about 4GB RAM. However, there are machines that deliver either 8GB or 16GB RAM. Depending on what you will do with the machine you will choose what you want.
  • Webcam: It is rare to find a laptop that doesn’t have a built-in webcam. Only that you will have to pay attention to the quality. If the webcam isn’t good enough, you will have to buy an external one with better quality.
  • Connectivity: What kind of connectivity options does the laptop have? For instance, it may have wireless connectivity but lack an Ethernet port. Other important ports to look for include HDMI and USB. These allow you to connect to various display options as well as storage devices.
  • Battery Life: If you intend to use your laptop for long periods of time, you should ensure that it has a high-capacity battery. While some laptops have batteries that last for 13 hours or more, others may only last for a few hours. Take that into consideration before buying a laptop.
  • Carrier Bag: Does the laptop comes with its own carrier bag or will you need to buy one separately? This is an important consideration, especially if you need a laptop to use on the go.

How Much Is The Laptop?

The cost of a laptop will vary depending on the model, technical specifications, and so on. The cheapest laptops cost at least $140. The most expensive can go up to $2,000. Basically, the choice you make will depend on your budget and the machine’s technical specifications. If it has the technical specifications you are looking for and is affordable, why shouldn’t you buy it? As a student, you may also want to look for laptop sales, where the machines are cheaper.

Conclusion

If you are a college student, then you need to get a good laptop to help you with your coursework. These machines allow you to take notes more efficiently, giving you more options to write and edit. They also facilitate group work by allowing you to organize meetings regardless of any location you are in. When you feel exhausted, you can also take a break and play a game or watch your favorite movies and TV shows right from the laptop. With the machines we have reviewed, you are sure to get quality, speed, and performance! Get yourself one and make your shool work (and time) easy!

Adrian Dimakis

Written by Adrian Dimakis

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