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...
  • 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

Newest HP 14" HD Business and Student Laptop, AMD Dual-Core Athlon...
  • 【AMD Dual Core Athlon Silver 3050U up to 3.2 GHz】Integrated with Radeon Graphics, AMD Athlon Silver 3050U runs from 2.3 GHz, up to 3.2 GHz max boost clock, 1 MB L2 cache, 2 cores. Get more done faster on a reliable laptop that can keep up with your everyday tasks.
  • 【14" HD Micro-edge Display】14-inch diagonal HD, SVA, anti-glare, micro-edge, WLED-backlit, (1366 x 768) Display. Give you the space and clarity you need to get your work done. See more, do more from anywhere with a less than 7 mm micro-edge bezel display.
  • 【128GB SSD】SSD makes all the difference in day-to-day tasks from booting up to uploading and downloading files which perform substantially faster with an SSD than it would with your standard HDD.
  • 【Upgraded to 8GB DDR4 SDRAM】Reams of high-bandwidth DDR4 RAM to smoothly run your graphics-heavy PC games and video-editing applications, as well as numerous programs and browser tabs all at once. Adequate high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs at the same time.
  • 【Multiple Ports and Accessories】1 USB 3.1 (Type-C) Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps), 2 USB SuperSpeed Type-A, 1 HDMI, 1 multi-format SD media card reader, 1 Headphone/microphone comb. Windows 10 in S mode and switch out to Windows 10 Home for free. Come with GalliumPi MousePad.
Lenovo IdeaPad 1 14 14.0" Laptop, 14.0" HD (1366 x 768) Display, Intel...
  • This everyday laptop is powered by an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB DDR4 RAM, and 64 GB M.2 PCIe SSD storage
  • Enjoy videos or browse online on a 14" HD display panel, framed by narrow bezels
  • Dolby Audio delivers crystal-clear sound through the built-in dual stereo speakers
  • Light and slim, this Windows 10 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
Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Business and Student Laptop (2021 Latest Model),...
  • 【Storage & RAM】Enjoy up to 15x faster performance than a traditional hard drive with 256 GB SSD storage and experience improved multitasking with higher bandwidth thanks to 16 GB of RAM
  • 【Processor】Intel Celeron N4020 1.1GHz Dual-Core Processor (4MB Cache, Up to 2.8GHz)
  • 【Display】15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) Anti-glare LED-Backlit Non-touch Narrow Border Display
  • 【Operating System】Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, English
2021 Newest HP 14" HD Laptop Light-Weight, AMD 3020e(Up to 2.6GHz),...
  • ✔【14" HD Display】14" HD(1366 x 768) Display with micro-edge bezel design, WLED-backlit, BrightView, Enjoy your entertainment with the great quality and high-definition detail of 1 million pixels
  • ✔【AMD 3000 Series Mobile Processors】AMD 3020e, 2 Cores & 4 Thrades, 1.2GHz Base Clock, 2.6GHz Max Boost Clock, 4MB L3 Cache, 6W TDP, Built in 3 Cores Radeon Graphics, Exprience high performance for all your entertainment
  • ✔【Upgrade to 16GB RAM】Substantial high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run your games and photo- and video-editing applications, as well as multiple programs and browser tabs all at once
  • 【Upgrade to 64GB emmc + 512GB SSD】Speedy solid-state drive for seanless performance and reliable multitasking, allows you to store a large number of files, improving the reading speed of large files, ensuring daily use and the speed of opening large files, reduce the time of application and file loading
  • ✔【Activate 1 Year MS office 365 & Win10 in S mode】(About switch to regular Win10, see the detail in Product description) Activate pre-installed Office: 1.Launch any Office app > 2.Start your activation by signing in with your Microsoft account(Create a account if you don't have one yet) > 3.Click "Activate Office" > 4.Sign in your account and follow the next prompts. > 5.Complete Step 1,2 and 3 > 6.Click on Refresh once Office is ready > 7.Open a document and accept the license agreement.
HP 15.6" FHD Laptop for Business & Student, AMD Athlon Silver 3050U...
  • 【15.6" FHD Display】15.6-inch diagonal FHD SVA BrightView micro-edge WLED. With virtually no bezel encircling the display, an ultra-wide viewing experience provides for seamless multi-monitor set-ups.
  • 【AMD Athlonn N3050】2.3 GHz base clock, up to 3.2 GHz max boost clock, 4 MB L3 cache, 2 cores, 2 threads. Uplift your performance and multitask seamlessly with accelerated power and efficiency, while enjoying stunning HD visuals.AMD Radeon Graphics
  • 【Win 10 S mode】You may switch win 10 S mode to the regular win 10: Update Microsoft App Store to the latest version. Press "Start button" bottom left of the screen; Select "Settings" icon above "power" icon; Select Update & Security and Activation, then Go to Store; Select "Get" option under "Switch out of S mode"; Hit Install.    
  • 【Upgraded to 16GB system memory for full-power multitasking】 Plenty of high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run your games and photo- and video-editing applications, as well as multiple programs and browser tabs all at once.
  • 【Upgraded storage to 512GB SSD】Provides massive storage space for huge files, so that you can store important digital data and work your way through it with ease. It gives you enormous space to save all of your files.
Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-35SE, 15.6" Full HD Display, 10th Gen Intel Core...
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i3-1005G1 Processor (Up to 3.4GHz) | 4GB DDR4 On-Board Memory | 128GB NVMe SSD
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED backlit IPS Display | Intel UHD Graphics
  • Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201 802.11ax | Backlit Keyboard | Fingerprint Reader | Up to 8 Hours Battery Life
  • 1 - USB 3.1 (Type-C) Gen 1 port (up to 5 Gbps), 2 - USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port (one with Power-off Charging), 1 - USB 2.0 Port & 1 - HDMI Port with HDCP Support
  • With Windows 10 Home (S mode), you’ll experience fast start-ups, a familiar yet expanded start menu, and great new ways to get stuff done.
Newest HP Pavilion 15 inch FHD Touchscreen Laptop for Business or...
  • 【Upgraded】RAM is upgraded to 16GB high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs all at once; Hard Drive is upgraded to 512GB PCIe Solid State Drive to allow faster bootup and data transfer. Original Seal is opened for upgrade ONLY. If the computer has modifications (listed above), then the manufacturer box is opened for it to be tested and inspected and to install the upgrades to achieve the specifications as advertised.
  • 【Processor】Intel Core i5-1035G1 (1.0 GHz base frequency, up to 3.6 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology, 6 MB cache, 4 cores)
  • 【Display】15.6" diagonal FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit touch screen, 250 nits, 45% NTSC
  • 【Operating System】Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, English
Lenovo IdeaPad 1 Laptop, 14.0" HD (1366 x 768) Display, Intel Celeron...
  • This everyday laptop is powered by an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB DDR4 RAM, and 64 GB M.2 PCIe SSD storage
  • Enjoy videos or browse online on a large 14" HD display panel, framed by narrow bezels
  • 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
HP Pavilion x360 14” Touchscreen Laptop, 11th Gen Intel Core...
  • FREE UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 11 (13) (when available, see below)
  • VIBRANT DISPLAY - Your creations are brought to life with the 14-inch diagonal Full HD (1920 x 1080) multitouch enabled, edge-to-edge glass display. Video Playback Battery life-Up to 10 hours and 45 minutes
  • STELLAR PERFORMANCE - The 11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 (1) processor lets you get work done more efficiently
  • EYE-CATCHING GRAPHICS - Marvel at crystal-clear imagery thanks to Intel Iris Xe Graphics (2)
  • MEMORY & STORAGE - HP Envy brings you even more bandwidth with 8 GB of RAM and increased hard drive space with 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage (3)
  • LONG-LASTING STREAMING POWER - Your laptop has up to 8 hours and 15 minutes of wireless streaming capabilities (4). Plus, HP Fast Charge takes your laptop from 0-50% charge in approximately 45 minutes (5)
2021 ASUS 14" Thin Light Business Student Laptop Computer, Intel...
  • 【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 10 Home | 12Hrs+ Battery Life
  • 【Included in the package】Bundled with Microfiber Cloth