This summer, you will need to find a laptop for college! But because there are a ton of different products out there, it can be challenging to read through the technical descriptions and figure out what kind of device is right for you. To make your life a little easier, we have selected the best laptops for college for Back to School.
Even though it costs less than the “basic” MacBook Air, the Lenovo IdeaPad is known as a “Small Business” computer. This means that it’s functions are above the student sphere and that it can perform actions and run software that most college laptops cannot. It is more of a “real world” device. If you’re going to be constantly working on your laptop, downloading new advanced software and relying on it for not only academics but also gaming, entertainment and post-graduation life, this is the computer for you.
HP Laptop – 15t
This HP laptop will be wonderful for any incoming college student! With 8GB of memory and a 128 GB SSD, you know that this computer will be fast and have everything you need to succeed! It also includes an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and a 15.5-inch display, so you can expect to have a beautiful picture quality you won’t be able to get enough of! And for $479, it’s totally worth the price!
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Also, what’s a good laptop without having the Microsoft Office Suit on it? Any student who wants to ace a paper or powerpoint presentation needs the basic assets of Microsoft Word or Powerpoint! That being said, you’ll definitely want to buy Microsoft Office 365 Home!
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This is the perfect laptop for college students for so many reasons! It may look like an ordinary laptop at first glance, but it actually rotates a full 360°. You can use it as a laptop or turn it into a tablet. It comes with a keyboard but can also be used in touchscreen mode or with the compatible touchscreen pen (pen sold separately).
*If you’re a student: don’t forget to take advantage of the Samsung student discount program: Sign up for a Studentrate account with a valid .edu email address from your current school. You will get access to Samsung exclusive student discount program with up to an additional 20% off regular pricing
The Samsung Chromebook 3 is perfect for students on a super tight budget. It packs a ton of value for a small price tag. It is very light which makes it very easy to carry to class. You can use as a traditional notebook or recline 180° to share your view. This laptop gets up to 11 hours on a single charge which is perfect for long days of classes.
The Surface 3 tablet from Microsoft is a great alternative to the traditional laptop option. It costs almost half the price of a laptop but can perform virtually any tasks that a basic laptop can do. With 14.5 hours of battery life, it competes with most computers but is easier to transport. However, the main advantage of the Surface Laptop and other tablets is the touch screen. If you’re going to be taking any sort of art or graphic design classes, the screen and specific apps will come in handy.
Apple’s laptops are great in the sense that they are user-friendly and perfect for anything app-related. The only issue with their devices is the steep price. This MacBook Air is perfect for you if you want a real laptop but nothing too technologically advanced or fancy. It’s light, has a 12-hour battery life and appropriate if you’ll be using it to surf on the internet, video-chat with your family and write papers. Just be aware that you’ll be paying extra for the Apple brand, although MacBooks are good and trendy computers all-around.
The HP Envy has a unique and original design that sets it apart from other laptops. With four different modes (stand, tent, notebook and tablet), you are bound to have fun exploring options and figuring out what you enjoy the most. Nevertheless, the Envy’s insides were not overlooked. It holds all the ports you might need and has better and louder speakers than most laptops do.
Toshiba Satellite Radius 12
The Toshiba Satellite is powered by Microsoft, so you’re assured to have a solid computer. Although it doesn’t have a long battery life, it makes up for it through great features like the touchscreen, the resolution and the price! This is a good deal for an all-around good laptop that will last you through college.
What will you use your computer for?
Before you choose your laptop for college, make sure you figure out your priorities and what you are going to use your computer for:
– The CPU or “Processor”: it will impact the speed of the laptop. If you are going to use it primarily to do homework and watch Netflix, you don’t need a very powerful processor. However, you might consider a more powerful processor if you play video games online.
– Size and weight: This is probably the most important aspect when choosing your laptop. Keep in mind that you will be carrying your computer everywhere on campus, sometimes walking uphill and many flights of stairs depending on your campus layout.
– Hard Drive: Considering that you can store a lot of your files online (Cloud storage, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc…), a hard drive with 250GB of storage should be enough.
– RAM or “Memory”: If you are going to use it primarily to do homework, you should be good with 2GB of RAM. However, consider getting a laptop with 4-8GB of RAM if you play games online or need to work with large files.
– Other features: Does the laptop have a webcam? How long will the battery last? Does it have an HDMI output? Does it have an SD card slot?
Even though most colleges offer renting options for laptops or tablets, having your own will make your social life and academics much simpler. Such devices are a long-term investment if treated well and you can use them after you graduate or even sell them to another student. Make sure to look for student discounts before purchasing a laptop, most major brands offer deals around the Back To School time every year.
Have you gotten your laptop for college? Let us know down below which one you got!
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David is a senior studying Political Science and American Studies at Brandeis University. On campus, he's involved in Greek Life and works as a movie translator. During his free time, he enjoys playing basketball or catching up on his favorite TV shows.