Best Laptop for College Student


You only have one opportunity to give the perfect graduation gift. So why not give them the only present they need? A highly capable laptop. College can be an amazing time, but if they don’t have to tools to succeed, campus life can be challenging. A computer is a perfect gift for a new college student, especially in 2021, because hybrid learning is here to stay. Every student needs a functional computer that can also serve as a source of entertainment when they need to unwind.

Don’t be the relative that gives pointless novelty dorm room accessories; the basketball hoop laundry bag is funny but isn’t going to help them navigate their in-person/remote school and future work environment. Instead, award your hard-working student with possibly the only school supply they will need this semester.

We’ve reviewed the top-selling laptops of 2021, considering all the factors a college student needs to go back to school this fall. Whether your loved one needs a highly functioning laptop for design software or they spend the majority of their live online gaming, we’ve compiled our list to fit the needs of any future college student.

What a College Student Wants Out of a Laptop

Choosing the perfect laptop isn’t easy, especially if you aren’t computer savvy. In considering only four machines to make the list, we’ve used vital parameters to judge each laptop. No matter your knowledge level, we’ve broken down the aspects of each computer in an easy-to-digest manner that will help you make a perfect choice.

Capabilities

RAM and hard drive and the two most important aspects that determine the capabilities and price. The RAM is used to store programs and keep the computer performing and processing vital information. A computer’s hard drive is the amount of space to store data locally, such as a word document saved to their specific laptop. Both are important to keep the machine running smoothly. The computer programs your student determine what size RAM and hard drive will be necessary.

Web Cam

Even before the pandemic, the webcam was a vital component in laptops. Today it is absolutely essential to do online classes and chat with their favorite relative. Something to pay attention to is the quality of the webcam. The larger HD cameras are better for all-around use, but they come at a larger price.

Weight and Size

College students tend to spend hours carrying their laptop back and forth across campus or even to another city when they study abroad. A strong machine with high durability is essential to prevent damage when traveling; look for a sturdy model with a metal case.

Price

Of course, the price is an important factor when considering buying a laptop for college students. In general, it’s better to buy something that offers more than necessary than compromising on what they need because of lack of funds. If you can afford to stretch your budget by $50 or $100, it will accommodate them for their entire college career.

To make your search easier and help you save money, we’ve reviewed the four best laptops on the market. This list is perfect for those with limited knowledge about computers but can also be used as a reference by someone who already has experience and knows what they want.

Screen Resolution

Screen technology has advanced in recent years, allowing high-definition displays in modestly priced devices. Some of our choices are touch screen; people either love or hate the feature, so be mindful of their preference before making a purchase. An important thing to consider is the size of the screen. The larger, the better if they don’t mind carrying around a heavier laptop.

Battery Life

What’s the point of a laptop that can’t retain power when it isn’t plugged in? We’ve made sure only to include options that will have enough juice to get through the day without having to run a power cord across the classroom (no one wants to be that kid). One thing to consider is how long the battery will last before completely draining.

Portability

Since a college student will most likely be moving their laptop from one place to another, it’s important for them to take into consideration how much it weighs and the size of the screen. Smaller computers are less expensive but offer fewer features and less power. On the other hand, larger laptops can be a bit pricier but offer a variety of features and amazing screen resolution.

Apple MacBook Air

Apple products are usually a safe bet, especially if your future student is already plugged into the Apple ecosystem. Messages, calls, and photo storage is seamlessly integrated from their phone to their laptop.

The new Apple MacBook Air features the M1 chip, a move that Apple fanatics are very excited about, to say the least. Apple’s new chip allows for plenty of computing power, and the 512GB hard drive is very reasonably priced compared to other premium options.

MacBooks are design marvels from their appearance to the operating system and the capabilities. If your kid is majoring in a hands-on, artistic field like graphic design, Apple products will complement their desire to create.

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

Not looking to spend 1K on a gift? Don’t worry. There are plenty of options that have everything the average college student needs to succeed. The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 offers all the features of the more expensive options without the power or trendy design.

Ten years ago, buying a sub $500 laptop was going to get you a brick that would stop running in a couple of years. That’s not the case today. There are many budget options available such as The Lenovo ChromeBook with a lightweight body (2.97 pounds), full HD touch screen, built-in wi-fi, 10 hours of battery life, and two USB-C ports.

Our favorite feature of the Chromebook Flex 5 is that it doubles as a tablet. The 2-1 device operates like a laptop with a traditional keyboard, can be folded up into a tablet or forward-facing screen using the keyboard as a stand.

2021 HP Touchscreen Laptop

HP’s 2021 laptop is an impressive workhorse of a machine that is reasonably priced. The HP Touchscreen is equipped with a 14-inch, high-definition touch screen display, plenty of RAM and storage (Intel i3), and every port they could ever need.

Our favorite part about HP computers is the keyboards. If your new student will be writing often, maybe they are an English or science major, they will love their new HP laptop. The HP keyboard consistently beats the MacBook in head-to-head comparisons.

Compatibility is another factor where HP gets the edge over the competition. The ability to plug an HDMI cord directly from your computer to the TV is a dorm room game-changer. If you don’t know the significance, it’s ok, just imagine having a computer with all your favorite streaming services, but you limited to the 14-inch display. Having an HDMI port allows the computer to be hooked up to the TV to enjoy their favorite TV shows and movies with their new roomies.

Alienware m15 Gaming Laptop

Is your new student a gamer? Do you want to be their favorite relative of all time?

Our luxury option is the Alienware m15 Gaming Laptop. This thing is basically a supercomputer that can be folded up and stuffed into a backpack. It is more than capable of handling any homework assignment a college freshman and doubles as one of the most impressive online gaming devices ever built.

While many people use Alienware computers to game, they are also incredibly capable machines for building their own creations. The gaming laptops from Alienware are equipped with incredible computing power making them an excellent option for running complex software. If your student is getting into architecture, computer science, or any field requiring a powerful CPU, the m15 is a highly suitable option.

Our Favorite Option for College Students

All these machines are incredibly capable and functional, but if we have to pick one, we are going with the MacBook. The Apple ecosystem is tough to beat, especially if you are looking to keep in close contact with your loved one who is out of the house for the first time. Skype, Zoom, FB Messenger are all great video apps, but they don’t have the convenience of Facetime.

2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Space...
  • Apple-designed M1 chip for a giant leap in CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance
  • Get more done with up to 20 hours of battery life, the longest ever in a Mac
  • 8-core CPU delivers up to 2.8x faster performance to fly through workflows quicker than ever
  • 8-core GPU with up to 5x faster graphics for graphics-intensive apps and games
  • 16-core Neural Engine for advanced machine learning
  • 8GB of unified memory so everything you do is fast and fluid

No matter which option you choose, just know a laptop is the best gift any college student can get. Using library computers is a nightmare. Any student will deeply appreciate a reliable computer to complete their schoolwork and keep them connected to family.

Best Selling Laptops for Students

2022 ASUS 14" Thin Light Business Student Laptop Computer, Intel Celeron N4020 Processor,...
  • 【Processor】Dual Core Intel Celeron N4020 , 2.80GHz Brust Frequency, 6W TDP, 4MB Cache, Featuring true machine intelligence and a newly designed efficient architecture, the groundbreaking processor learns and adapts to your needs so you can achieve more
  • 【Display】14" HD (1366 x 768) Display with NanoEdge and up to 178 degree viewing angles, narrow bezel design, enables you to focus more on your work and studies
  • 【Memory & Storage】4GB High-Bandwidth DDR4 Memory, 64GB Storage, Smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs at the same time, ensure the smoothness of daily use and improve your work efficiency
  • 【Operating System】 Windows 11 Home | 12Hrs+ Battery Life
  • 【Included in the package】Bundled with Microfiber Cloth
Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-32DK Slim Laptop - 15.6" Full HD IPS Display - 11th Gen Intel...
  • Powerful Productivity: 11th Generation Intel Core i3-1115G4 Dual Core processor delivers unmatched speed and intelligence, enabling impressive creating, productivity, and gaming experiences. With Turbo Boost Technology, get up to 4.1GHz for your high-demand applications.Connectivity Technology: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI
  • Visibly Stunning: Experience sharp details and crisp colors on the 15.6" Full HD IPS display with 82.58% screen-to-body, 16:9 aspect ratio and narrow bezels
  • Ergonomic Typing: Ergonomically-designed hinge lifts the keyboard for comfortable typing, improved cooling, and a better sound experience
  • Internal Specifications: 4GB DDR4 on-board memory (1 slot available); 128GB NVMe solid-state drive storage (1 hard drive bay available) to store your files and media
  • Acer's Purified.Voice technology, features enhanced digital signal processing to cancel out background noise, improve speech accuracy and far-field pickup, which not only makes calls clearer, but makes talking to Alexa easier than before.
  • Using Alexa on your PC is as easy as asking a question. Just ask and Alexa can check your calendar, create lists, play music, answer questions, read the news and more.
Lenovo IdeaPad 1 Laptop, 14.0" HD Display, Intel Celeron N4020, 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage,...
  • Aspect Ratio:16:9
  • This everyday laptop is powered by an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB DDR4 RAM, and 164 GB M.2 PCIe SSD storage
  • Microsoft 365 is included (1 year subscription); includes free 3-month trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate - Play over 100 high-quality PC games on Windows PC; includes iconic Bethesda games, new day one titles, and the EA Play on PC catalog
  • Enjoy videos or browse online on a large 14" HD display panel, framed by narrow bezels, while Dolby Audio delivers crystal-clear sound through the built-in dual stereo speakers
  • Light and slim, this Windows 11 laptop computer (S mode) weighs just over 3 lbs and is less than 1 inch thick
  • WiFi 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity; ports include 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 12 (Type-A), microSD Card Reader; HDMI; Microphone / Earphone Combo
2021 HP Stream 14" HD SVA Laptop Computer, Intel Celeron N4000 Processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB...
  • Intel Celeron N4000 Processor, Ultra-low-voltage platform. Dual-core, two-way processing provides maximum high-efficiency power to go.
  • 14" diagonal HD SVA BrightView Display, 1366 x 768 resolution boasts impressive color and clarity, Anti-glare Energy-efficient WLED screen.
  • 4GB DDR4 RAM, Plenty of high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run your games as well as multiple programs. 64GB eMMC flash memory, This ultracompact memory system is ideal for mobile devices and applications, providing enhanced storage capabilities, streamlined data management, quick boot-up times and support for high-definition video playback.
  • Windows 10 Home in S mode included. Battery life Up to 11 hours (video playback), 13.27" x 8.9" x 0.7", 3.17 lbs. 3x USB Type-A Ports, 1x HDMI, 1x Media Card Reader, 1x Headphone Jack. Wireless-AC + Bluetooth 4.2, Rose Pink, Bonus 32GB SnowBell USB Card.
  • Standard Keyboard, Allows you to enjoy comfortable and accurate typing. Intel UHD Graphics 600 with shared video memory provide solid image quality for Internet use, movies, basic photo editing and casual gaming. Stereo speakers & HP Webcam with integrated digital microphone.
2022 ASUS 14" Thin Light Business Student Laptop Computer, Intel Celeron N4020 Processor,...
  • 【Processor】Dual Core Intel Celeron N4020 , 2.80GHz Brust Frequency, 6W TDP, 4MB Cache, Featuring true machine intelligence and a newly designed efficient architecture, the groundbreaking processor learns and adapts to your needs so you can achieve more
  • 【Display】14" HD (1366 x 768) Display with NanoEdge and up to 178 degree viewing angles, narrow bezel design, enables you to focus more on your work and studies
  • 【Memory & Storage】4GB High-Bandwidth DDR4 Memory, 320GB Storage, Smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs at the same time, ensure the smoothness of daily use and improve your work efficiency
  • 【Operating System】 Windows 11 Home | 12Hrs+ Battery Life
  • 【Included in the package】Bundled with Microfiber Cloth
ASUS Student Laptop, 12 inch IPS Anti-Glare Eye-Care HD Display, Intel Celeron N4500,...
  • 【Storage & RAM】Enjoy up to 15x faster performance than a traditional hard drive with 128 GB storage and experience improved multitasking with higher bandwidth thanks to 4 GB of RAM
  • 【Built for Students】Designed for K-12 students, the BR1100 is the perfect learning companion with its durable qualities like the scratch-resistant cover and all-rounded rubber bumper .The tamper-resistant keyboard ensures that it will stay in one piece for next lesson. With the increased need to work on devices, having a low emission blue light screen helps students stay focused without eye-strain.
  • 【US Military-grade Standard】Build to withstand everyday knowks, bumps, drops and spills without damage. So, whether it's dropped from a classroom desk or the dining table, it's build to keep on going.
  • 【Child Centered Design】Its child centered design features webcam privacy shield, germproof keyboard and TÜV certified display to protect eyes.
  • 【Operating System】Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
ASUS Laptop L210 11.6” ultra thin, Intel Celeron N4020 Processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC...
  • Aspect Ratio:16:9
  • Efficient Intel Celeron N4020 Processor (4M Cache, up to 2.8 GHz)
  • 11.6” HD (1366 x 768) Slim Display
  • 64GB eMMC Flash Storage and 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • Windows 10 in S Mode with One Year of Microsoft 365 Personal
  • Slim and Portable: 0.7” thin and weighs only 2.2 lbs (battery included)
2022 Newest ASUS Military-Grade Student Laptop, 11.6" HD Certified Eye-Care Display, Intel...
  • 【Designed for K-12 Students】The BR1100 is the perfect learning companion with its durable qualities like the scratch-resistant cover and all-rounded rubber bumper .The tamper-resistant keyboard ensures that it will stay in one piece for next lesson. With the increased need to work on devices, having a low emission blue light screen helps students stay focused without eye-strain.
  • 【Military-grade】Passed demanding military-grade MIL-STD-810G to ensure they survive from bumps, knocks or whatever happens
  • 【Eye-care Display】TÜV certified eye-care display with low emission blue light screen helps students stay focused without eye-strain
  • 【Modernized Keyboard】The idea of child centered design features the spill-resistant, germproof keyboard and enlarged touchpad
  • 【Liberating Battery Life】Take on the day with up to 10 hours of battery life; if the battery charge drops 20% or the notebook loses connectivity, the LED indicator lights up alerting teachers that students need help
ASUS Laptop L410 Ultra Thin Laptop, 14 FHD Display, Intel Celeron N4020 Processor, 4GB...
  • Efficient Intel Celeron N4020 Processor (4M Cache, up to 2.8 GHz)
  • 14” Full HD (1920x1080) Display
  • 64GB eMMC Flash Storage and 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • Windows 10 in S mode with One Year Microsoft 365 Personal included
  • Slim and Portable: 0.72” thin and weighs only 2.87 lbs (battery included)
Lenovo - 300W Gen 3 - 2-in-1 Educational Computer - Laptop for Students - AMD 3015e...
  • Built with education in mind, the 300W Gen 3 laptop computer includes a 360-degree Sync hinge
  • This student laptop boosts power and productivity, with an AMD dual-core processor and 11.7 hours* of battery life to keep up with a full day of learning
  • Perfect for everyday productivity tasks including cloud-based productivity software like Microsoft Office 365
  • This compact convertible laptop computer is agile, rugged, reliable, and exceptionally lightweight; the drop-resistant design has a reinforced hinge and water-resistant keyboard
  • Wi-Fi provides the connection speed needed for streaming and fast downloads, while USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, and an audio jack keep you connected