Categories Best Laptop Reviews

The 15 Best College Laptops

Our best college laptop selections all share a few similar features. They have exceptional battery life, which is essential while rushing around campus between courses all day. These laptops are also reasonably priced, with many models coming in at around $1,000; but, we've also highlighted several more expensive models that are excellent investments.

If you're concerned about spending more than $1,000, be assured that we chose our selections with your future in mind. For instance, the MacBook Pro is not inexpensive, but mine has lasted for 8 years, which is plenty for undergraduate and graduate studies. Discover our selections for the best laptops for college in the following paragraphs.

Best College Laptops

Our Top Picks

The top choices for each were selected after extensive market analysis and product testing, and they are each mentioned below:

Detail Reviews Of Top 4 Best College Laptops

1. Acer Swift 3 (AMD)

(Best college laptop overall)

Product’s Specifications

  • Display: 14 inches; 1920×1080

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5700U

  • GPU: AMD Radeon graphics

  • RAM: 8GB

  • Storage: 512GB SSD

  • Weight: 2.7 pounds

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Reasons to buy

  • Exceptional battery life.

  • Impressive performance.

  • Affordable.

Reasons to avoid

  • The speakers are not very good.

Product Summary

The Acer Swift 3 provides a lesson for college students who are trying to stretch their money. That lesson? Excellent performance doesn't require a higher price. Its AMD Ryzen 7 5700U CPU is quick, and the lightweight design houses all of this along with excellent battery life (11:09). Additionally, you can do more with it and any adapters or dongles thanks to its USB Type-C, HDMI, and USB-A connections.

Its keyboard is also excellent for composing term papers because it has quiet, clicky keys that won't annoy your roommate. But don't expect it to take the place of your Bluetooth speaker—its audio could need a little more punch. Although its somewhat dark display isn't ideal for Netflix, you'll be able to overlook that tiny issue because of how well it balances performance and cost.

2. Asus Zenbook 13 OLED

(Best cheap college laptop with OLED)

Product’s Specifications

  • Display: 13.3-inch 1080p OLED

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5700U

  • GPU: Integrated Radeon graphics

  • RAM: 8GB

  • Storage: 512GB

  • Weight: 2.5 pounds

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Reasons to buy

  • Outstanding battery life.

  • Stunning 1080p OLED display.

  • Superb performance.

Reasons to avoid

  • No headphone jack.

Product Summary

The AMD-equipped Asus Zenbook 13 OLED is a fantastic deal if you're seeking to spend between $500 and $1,000. It offers a stunning 1080p OLED display and amazing battery life in a thin, lightweight design for less than $1,000.

There are some drawbacks, such as average speakers, a subpar camera, and no headphone connector (though an adaptor is included), but you can get past these issues. You can't do better than the OLED-equipped Asus Zenbook 13 if you need a quick, little ultraportable with a fantastic screen that will take you through a full day of classes and then some.

3. Microsoft Surface Laptop 5

(Best value laptop for students)

Product’s Specifications

  • Display: 15-inch touchscreen, 2496 x 1664 (201 PPI)

  • CPU: 12th gen Intel Core i7

  • GPU: Integrated Intel Iris Xe

  • RAM: 8GB – 32GB

  • Storage: 256GB to 1TB SSD

  • Weight: 3.4 pounds

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Reasons to buy

  • Large, ergonomic keyboard.

  • Excellent speakers.

  • Excellent for productivity is a 3:2 display.

  • Thunderbolt 4 support is now available.

Reasons to avoid

  • Outdated design.

Product Summary

The Surface Laptop 5 is a respectable laptop. The Surface Laptop 5 is more useful outside than its predecessor thanks to Microsoft improving the brightness this time around, and the roomy keyboard and big screen are perfect for getting work done. Additionally, the switch to a 12th Gen Intel CPU results in noticeable increases in performance scores, especially if you often utilize external monitors.

But they are the only appreciable improvements Microsoft seems to have made over the model from the previous year, and they are insufficient to keep the Surface Laptop 5 on par with some other laptops on the market. Competitors like the Dell XPS 15 OLED and Acer Swift 5 typically provide higher performance and more useful features for the same price.

The Surface Notebook 5 is a letdown for Microsoft even though it's still a pretty serviceable laptop. It would be fantastic to see the firm that created Windows take the lead in creating the ultimate Windows 11 laptop. It might have been a better laptop for productivity, but it's still adequate.

4. Microsoft Surface Go 2

(Best 2-in-1 laptop for college students)

Product’s Specifications

  • CPU: Pentium Gold, 8th Gen Intel Core m3

  • Camera Resolution: 8MP (rear), 5MP (front)

  • Display: 10.5 inches, 1920 x 1280 pixels

  • Storage: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB

  • Memory: 4GB, 8GB

  • Ports: headphone jack, USB-C, microSD, Surface Connect port, Surface Type Cover Port

  • Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.9 x 0.3 inches

  • Weight: 1.22 pounds (1.75 pounds with type cover)

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Reasons to buy

  • Long battery life.

  • Vibrant, bright screen.

  • Excellent webcam.

Reasons to avoid

  • Mediocre performance.

Product Summary

The Surface Go 2 is a portable 2-in-1 that is recommended for college students searching for a long-lasting device. Yes, the first Surface Go was not a success, but this model almost eliminated all of its flaws. Your tasks will have more screen area because of its reduced bezels (and a more modern looking tablet). The Surface Go 2 would have been placed a little higher, but some college students could find its 10.5-inch screen and keyboard to be too small.

And perhaps more crucially, its battery life is excellent: in our battery test, it lasted 11 hours and 39 minutes, which is more than 5 hours more than the original Surface Go lasted. College students will like the Zoom-ready webcam on the Surface Go 2, a 5-megapixel 1080p front camera that is ideal for today's online classroom environment. Additionally, you can unlock the Surface Go 2 using Windows Hello biometric login when you sit down to use it, and if you get the 8th Gen Intel Core i3 model, you'll have the modest multitasking power you need to catch up on your coursework (while you stream Spotify).

FAQs

What should I look for in a college laptop?

Key factors to consider include portability, battery life, performance, durability, and affordability.

Is a MacBook good for college?

Yes, MacBooks are often favored by college students for their sleek design, good performance, and user-friendly software.

What is the best laptop for engineering students?

Engineering students typically require high performance, so laptops with powerful processors and graphics cards, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 or the Dell Precision 5530, are recommended.

What is the best laptop for engineering students?

What is the best laptop for business students?

Business students may require laptops with long battery life, lightweight design, and strong performance, so the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon or Dell Latitude 7400 are good options.

How much should I spend on a college laptop?

It depends on your budget and requirements, but most college students can find a suitable laptop for around $500-$1000.

Should I get a Windows or Mac laptop for college?

This is a personal preference and depends on the specific needs and preferred software of the individual. Both platforms have their advantages and disadvantages.

Final Thought

These are the laptops that we believe are currently the best college laptops right now. We take into account the cost (a less expensive laptop wins over a more expensive one if the price difference isn't significant), comments from visitors, and availability.

Check out the list of all of our laptop reviews, arranged by price from low to high if you would rather make your own choice. The list only shows the results of the model we tested; for details on other variations, it is best to read the entire review. Keep in mind that the majority of laptops come in a variety of configurations.

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