If you’re a student, the best college laptops can help you ace your exams while also allowing you to relax by streaming TV or playing games. With so many options at such a wide range of prices, finding the best laptops for students can feel like extra work. When purchasing a laptop for school, make sure it has a long battery life and a fast CPU. You can also find many of these units on our main best laptops page, which has a large selection of the best notebooks to choose from. If you prefer to take notes by hand, invest in one of the best 2-in-1 laptops for a hybrid laptop/tablet experience. We’ve also compiled a list of the best gaming laptops. Whatever laptop you choose, you’ll want to add a few accessories, such as a comfortable mouse, a well-equipped backpack, and possibly a printer. If you want to save money on your college laptop or any of those extras, make sure to check out the Amazon Prime Day deals available this week, as we expect savings on a wide range of back-to-school items. Without further ado, here are the best college laptops, including some budget picks for those who are worried about tuition.
We consider the HP Envy 13 and MacBook Air (M1, 2020) to be the best laptops for college students. Not everyone is on a budget, but most people want to save as much money as they can to pay off their student loans. If you’re looking for the best laptop deals, the Envy 13 and MacBook Air strike an excellent balance of premium specs and features at a reasonable, sub-$1,000 price. If you’re in the market for a new laptop, check out the best Prime Day laptop deals, as there will almost certainly be huge savings on some of our favorite college laptops.
The Envy 13 is a mid-range notebook, but it looks and feels more expensive. The Envy also has fast performance from 11th Generation Intel CPUs, a great screen, and is small enough to carry around campus. The MacBook Air, powered by Apple’s M1 processor for solid performance and otherworldly battery life, is the most affordable MacBook, but it’s easily one of the best Apple laptops.
The new MacBook Air 2022, with an updated design, MagSafe charging, an improved webcam, and, of course, the more powerful M2 processor, may soon join this list. It’s only marginally more expensive at $1,199 ($1,099 for students), and if it holds up well in our review, it should be an easy recommendation here.
If you’re on a tight budget, look into the Microsoft Surface Pro Studio, Dell XPS 15, or 14-inch MacBook Pro.
At a Glance:
The Best Laptop for College That You Can Buy Today
HP Envy 13 (2021)
Best HP Laptop Intel Core i5
CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7 | GPU: Irix Xe (or GeForce MX350) | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p (touch) | Size: 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 2.9 pounds |
✓Powerful performance and graphics
✓Relatively bright and colorful display
✓Decent battery life
✗Speakers could be more well-rounded
The greatest laptop for students is now better than ever with a new design and a Thunderbolt 4 connector, the new HP Envy 13 is the finest laptop for students or anybody who requires a portable computer with a lot of power and extended battery life, and it costs less than $1,000. (11 hours and 15 minutes on the FHD model).
The 2021 model demonstrated that it is competitive with flagship devices that cost far more money by having even thinner bezels and quicker performance. It is simple to understand why the Envy 13 is the best laptop for college students since it combines these features with a stylish body, a bright and beautiful 1080p display, and plenty of horsepower with an 11th Gen Core i5 CPU. And to tell you the truth, the Envy 13 is an excellent option despite the fact that it is a more affordable laptop than many of the other options on our list.
Many individuals find that the HP Envy 14 (2021) is the most suitable laptop for their needs. A powerful Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q GPU are both housed inside a sleek aluminum chassis in this device. Not to mention the crisp and clear 14-inch display with 1080p 16:10 resolution and a battery life of more than 9 hours.
However, $1,249 is rather expensive, particularly considering that all you are receiving is a Core i5 processor and a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD). The solid-state drive (SSD) is also a little bit sluggish, and the speakers may be rather grating at times. To add salt to the wound, the benefits that I outlined previously aren’t completely without flaws either. As the panel color and brightness numbers, in addition to the battery life, are somewhat below average, it is clear that there is potential for development in each of these areas.
Despite this, the HP Envy 14 is one of the finest laptops that you can get if you are looking for a durable 14-inch laptop, and it is without a doubt within the range of the best laptops for video editing. The premium and business laptops offered by HP have a straightforward appearance, however, the HP Envy 14 has an elegant appearance owing to its silver aluminium chassis. On the other hand, HP could do a better job of stylizing its Envy’s in the same way that it does with the Spectre range. The hood is quite unremarkable, with the exception of the sandblasted metal and the shiny HP logo.
The interior is composed of two distinct halves. The top half has the keyboard and a heating vent that is sandwiched in between it and the palm rest and touchpad that are located on the bottom half. The bottom part is somewhat elevated. There is a webcam kill switch located between the power button and the HP Command Centre key, and there is also a fingerprint reader located between the alt key and the arrow keys. On the other hand, the display has very thin bezels on both sides, and a camera is located on the very top. When the kill switch is pressed, a mechanism that covers the camera is activated and blocked from view.
The HP Envy 13 is a great laptop for college students. It has a 14-inch screen, Intel Core i5 processor, and 8 GB of RAM. It has all the necessary ports and features that a college student needs. It’s small enough to fit into a backpack and has a high-resolution screen that is perfect for watching videos on YouTube or playing games. In the coming year, students will be getting more and more laptops to use in college. The best laptop for college students is the HP Envy 13 (2021).
MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020)
Best MacBook For PUBG
CPU: M1 | GPU: M1 (integrated) | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel | Size: 11.9 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds |
✓Outstanding battery life
✓Slim unibody aluminum chassis
✓iPhone and iPad app support
✓Great speakers and Magic Keyboard
If you feel more comfortable using macOS than Windows 11, then you should get an Apple MacBook Air. Although it is now possible to place an order for the MacBook Air M2, many people will continue to be perfectly content with the MacBook Air M1, which has a price tag of less than $1,000 and is regularly available for $899 or less. If you are currently in the market, you should look into the greatest Amazon Prime Day Apple offers since there is a good chance that they will feature savings on this blazing-fast and ridiculously thin laptop. College students who are wanting to obtain the most value for their money will find it difficult to find a product that can compete with this one given its combination of reasonable price, exceptional performance, and a battery life that lasts for 14 hours, 41 minutes.
Why should one purchase the MacBook Air rather than the Pro? In spite of the Pro’s superior sustained performance, the MacBook Air is not only more affordable but also completely quiet due to the absence of a fan in the device. And of course, Apple’s model with a 13.3-inch display that is the least costly is also the most portable since it is just 0.6 inches thick and weighs 2.8 pounds.
When taking into consideration all of the aspects that are important in a college laptop, the MacBook Air is going to be the superior option for the vast majority of macOS users who are looking for their ideal college laptop. You can find more information about the MacBook Pro further down on this page. What a new heart can do for a laptop is incredible. With its custom-made M1 processor, the newest MacBook Air ushers in a new era for Apple. Yes, Apple’s long-awaited shift away from Intel and toward ARM-based proprietary silicon has come, and the new processor is spectacular.
To begin, the new MacBook Air is an upgrade over the previous model in every manner, with significant speed and battery life improvements. Apple’s audacious boasts regarding the M1? They weren’t overstatements. This MacBook Air outperforms every laptop in its class while lasting a whole day on a single battery. And it accomplishes it with a finless design, which means the Air is completely quiet.
Along with record-setting speed, Apple Silicon introduces iOS and pads applications to the Mac App Store. You also receive improved camera quality, and macOS Big Sur is a stunning overhaul of Apple’s desktop operating system. The new MacBook Air has flaws, but it’s the closest Apple has come to creating the ultimate notebook.
The best Mac for students is the MacBook Air. It is a thin and light laptop that has a powerful CPU and enough RAM to run software well. It has long battery life. In the future, it may be possible to have a Mac that is powerful enough to run the latest software and applications. Even more importantly, it will be able to run a whole lot of tasks you need for your daily work.
Dell XPS 13 (2021)
Best Dell Laptop For Business
CPU: Intel Core i3/Core i5/Core i7 (11th Gen) | GPU: Intel Iris Xe | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 13.4-inch, 1920 x 1200 or 4K | Size: 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds |
✓Elegant, lightweight design
✓Bright, vibrant 4K display
✗No legacy ports
✗Below-average battery life
The Dell XPS 13 is a powerhouse of a laptop and the finest premium laptop for college students. The laptop is equipped for work or play, thanks to an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics. And with a battery life of more than 11 hours, you’ll have plenty of time for both. The laptop routinely outperform or was on par with competitive devices. But don’t worry, the XPS 13 is as attractive as it is powerful. The business created a laptop that is both smaller and lighter than earlier generations. Despite the lower size, Dell made significant modifications, such as a bigger touchpad and keyboard. In addition, you get a 13.4-inch near-bezel-less display on all sides, the first in the world.
It’s an exercise in patience, enhancing the notebook in a variety of modest ways that build up to a significant improvement for the system. If you want the whole deal, the Dell XPS 13 is the laptop for you.
Dell has the premium ultraportable thing down to a science at this point. The Dell XPS 13 has been updated with a slimmer chassis, narrower bezels all around, and a larger keyboard and touchpad. Combine it with one of Intel’s newest 11th Generation CPUs and new integrated GPUs, and you have a laptop that looks attractive and performs well. You also get a wonderful extremely high-resolution screen to marvel at.
While it’s difficult to identify flaws with the XPS 13, there are a couple: poor battery life and a lack of connectors. Despite this, the Dell XPS 13 maintains its position on our best laptops and best 13-inch laptops sites and is an excellent choice for anybody seeking a premium ultraportable. It also made our list of the best 4K laptops.
It’s still as lovely as a painting. While I love the Frost White finish on the XPS 13, I’ll never get rid of the old-school platinum silver and black color combination. The silver lid has a slight putrescence that draws and holds your attention, and it complements the glossy Dell logo stamped in the center of the lid nicely. Because of the beveled edges, the sides of the laptops are also shiny. When you open the lid, you’re greeted with the typical yet beautiful black carbon fiber keyboard deck. The palm rest takes up the bulk of the deck, while the remainder of the deck holds the full-sized keyboard. The power button in the upper right corner also serves as a fingerprint reader.
Dell XPS 13 (2021) will be the best premium Windows 11 laptop. It has a new design and features, including a 21-inch display, up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics. The Dell XPS 13 (2021) is designed to deliver the best performance for work and play. The laptop is preloaded with Windows 10 Home operating system, which offers a smooth experience for everyday tasks like browsing the web or playing games on your tablet or smartphone.
Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, M2, 2022)
Best Apple MacBook For Gaming
CPU: M2 | GPU: M2 (integrated) | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600 | Size: 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.1 pounds |
✓Stellar overall and gaming performance
✓Excellent battery life
✗Not enough ports
While the look remains the same, the M2 within the MacBook Pro 2022 adds to Apple’s already exceptional laptop performance and battery life. The MacBook Pro outperforms almost every PC on the market, even some workstations. Moreover, despite packing so much power into such a tiny and elegant chassis, the Pro lasted a whopping 18 hours and 20 minutes on our battery test, which replicates real-world use. The camera (unfortunately, still 720p) is superior to its 720p competitor’s thanks to the image processing unit, and since it runs on Apple’s ARM-based architecture, iPad and iPhone applications are accessible on Mac.
While the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models may entice certain people with high-end requirements, the MBP 13-inch with M2 remains a good alternative at a significantly more moderate price range for those who want a little more energy than the MacBook Air.
With the new MacBook Pro 13 ($1,899 tested, $1,299 beginning), Apple has a difficult act to follow. Its predecessor, the show-stopping M1, caught the world by storm in 2020. And the ascent seems to be considerably steeper this time. There’s no slick design refresh or new ports to get excited about. That means everything is riding on the new M2 SOC, and Apple, as usual, rises to the occasion. The next chapter in Apple computing continues, and the company’s bet on custom silicon is paying off. With an 8-core CPU, M2 is 18% more powerful than its predecessor. M2 also has a new 10-core GPU that is 35% quicker than the prior model. And, sure, M2 will continue to support Windows PC. If that isn’t enough to get you thrilled, Apple has improved the laptop’s power efficiency, offering nearly 18 hours of battery life. Continue reading to find out more about Apple’s newest home run.
The design of the MacBook Pro remains iconic, if not a touch stale. The whole chassis, like prior MacBook versions, is built of aluminum. My review device was Space Gray; however, it is also available in Silver. Except for the world-famous shiny Apple logo, the lid is empty. The palm rest and keyboard deck are made of even more Space Gray metal. A large touchpad takes up the bulk of the palm rest. The keyboard is housed in a somewhat recessed deck that is flanked by two typical speaker grilles.
Apple doesn’t miss. The newly released MacBook 13 lives up to every expectation the firm had for it. The new M2 processor is undeniably more powerful than not just its predecessor but also the other chips found in Windows PCs that are now available. Who could possibly have a problem with a battery that lasts for more than 18 hours? Nobody is the answer, that’s who. Despite all of this great capability, it would have been good to see a fresh design, a new display, or even just a new color at the very least. I still want bezels that are thinner and for additional ports. Consider going with the $999 Asus Zen Book UX325EA instead of the $1,099 model if you want to save some money while still getting the performance that is about equivalent to that of the more expensive model. You have nonetheless arrived at the perfect location if you are seeking a premium laptop that is both the quickest and most powerful available anywhere in the world.