Best college laptops in 2020: Best laptops for students

If you are a pupil, you need one of many best college laptops. But with so many selections at so many alternative costs, it may be homework in itself to search out out the very best laptops. 

There are loads of upcoming laptops that would quickly discover their method onto this record. Those embody the upcoming Dell XPS 13 (2020) and the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, each of which have been unveiled at CES 2020.

When you are shopping for a laptop for college, be certain it has positive it has long battery life and fast CPU performance. And for those who choose to take notes by hand, purchase one of many best 2-in-1 laptops

Whichever laptop you get, you will additionally need to choose up a couple of extras, equivalent to a comfortable mouse, a well-appointed backpack and maybe a stable all-in-one printer

Here are the best college laptops for each kind of pupil.

The best college laptops students you can buy today

1. HP Envy 13 (2019)
2. HP Spectre x360 (Late 2019)
3. Lenovo Yoga C940
4. Asus ZenBook UX333FA
5. Dell XPS 13 (2020)
6. MacBook Air (2020)
7. Acer Aspire 5
8. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (seventh Gen)
9. Asus Chromebook Flip C434
10. Lenovo Legion Y7000
11. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (4th Gen)
12. Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
13. Dell XPS 15 (2019) 

best college laptops: HP Envy 13 (2019)
A premium package deal at a surprisingly reasonably priced worth, the HP Envy 13 is the best college laptop. 

1. HP Envy 13 (2019)

CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620/Nvidia GeForce MX250 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.1 x 8.Three x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds

  • + Attractive, moveable chassis
  • + Fast efficiency
  • + Bright show
  • + 11+ hours of battery life (FHD mannequin)
  • – No Thunderbolt 3

The best laptop for college kids is now higher than ever. Refreshed with a brand new design, highly effective audio system and helpful safety features,

the brand new HP Envy 13 is the best sub-$1,000 laptop for college kids or anybody who wants a conveyable machine with a great deal of energy and lengthy battery life (11+ hours on the FHD mannequin). 

New to the 2020 model is a fingerprint sensor and a webcam kill change that shuts energy to the digicam so you do not have to fret about folks snooping on you.

Combine these options with a modern chassis, shiny 4K or 1080p show and loads of efficiency from eighth Gen Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs, and it is easy to see why the Envy 13 is the best college laptop for college kids.

See our full HP Envy 13 review

Beautiful, powerful and flexible, the HP Spectre x360 is the best 2-in-1 college laptop for students. 
Beautiful, highly effective and versatile, the HP Spectre x360 is the best 2-in-1 college laptop for students.  (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

2. HP Spectre x360 (Late 2019)

CPU: Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 2.7 kilos

  • + Stunning, ultraportable design
  • + Epic battery life
  • + Bright, vivid show with thinner bezels
  • + Fast general efficiency
  • – Lots of bloatware
  • – Shrill audio system at max quantity

The Spectre x360 13 is the best 2-in-1 laptop ever and one of many best college laptops for college kids with about $1,000 to spare.

Updated with a 10th Gen CPU and a extra trendy design, the Spectre x360 13 is improved in virtually each method over its wonderful predecessor. 

Highlights of this laptop embody its gorgeous design, a shiny 1080p show, epic 13+ hour battery life and quick general efficiency.

 You additionally get a webcam kill change for shutting out snooping creeps, and an excellent comfy keyboard. 

See our HP Spectre x360 13 (Late 2019) review

Lenovo's Yoga C940 (14-inch) refines a proven formula, making it one of the best laptops for college students.
Lenovo’s Yoga C940 (14-inch) refines a confirmed components, making it one of many best laptops for college students. (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

3. Lenovo Yoga C940

Another wonderful 2-in-1 shopper laptop

CPU: Up to Intel Core i7-1065G7 | GPU: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: Up to 16GB | Storage: Up to 2TB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.6 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.1 kilos

  • + Slim, premium design
  • + Beautiful 4K display
  • + Fast performance
  • + Crisp, dynamic audio system
  • – Below-average battery life (on 4K mannequin)

With the Yoga C940, Lenovo took a confirmed components and refined it. Subtle design enhancements, longer battery life (as much as 11:46) and refreshed 10th Gen Intel processors make the Yoga C940 a worthy successor to final 12 months’s wonderful Yoga C930. 

As you’d count on from a Yoga-series laptop, the C940 has a premium, ultra-portable chassis and a novel hinge that doubles as a soundbar speaker. As a 2-in-1, that hinge can rotate 360-degrees to transform the Yoga C940 into a correct pill.

When it involves viewing content material, the Yoga C940’s 1080p and 4K shows are crisp, vibrant and shiny — simply beware, the UHD show drains the battery. 

For all of the fundamentals it will get proper, my favourite issues in regards to the Yoga C940 are its additional options. Those embody a webcam cowl (no extra want to purchase tape), a slot for the included stylus and a fingerprint sensor. 

See our Lenovo Yoga C940 (14-inch) review.

Best college laptops for under $1,000: Asus ZenBook UX333FA
For simply over $800, the ZenBook UX333FA will get you a modern chassis and quick efficiency, making it the best college laptop for below $1,000. 

4. Asus ZenBook UX333FA

The best laptop below $1,000

CPU: Intel Core i5 | GPU: Intel UHD 620/GeForce MX150 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p | Size: 11.9 x 7.Four x 0.7 inches | Weight: 2.7 kilos

  • + Excellent battery life
  • + Sleek aluminum design
  • + Fast performance
  • – Dim display
  • – Cramped keyboard

The Asus ZenBook UX333FA is a beautiful, premium laptop that provides quick efficiency at an inexpensive worth. For simply $849, you get an Intel Core i5-8265U CPU, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and built-in UHD 620 graphics — solely the Envy 13 can compete with this worth. 

But maybe the best purpose to purchase the ZenBook UX333FA is for its excellent 11+ hours of battery life. Combine that distinctive endurance with a modern aluminum chassis and it is easy to see why the ZenBook is among the best college laptops for college kids. 

See our full Asus ZenBook UX333FA review

best college laptops in 2020: best laptop for science students: Dell XPS 13 (Late 2019)
The best general laptop, the Dell XPS 13 is the best college laptop for science students.  (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

5. Dell XPS 13 (Late 2019)

The best for science college students

CPU: Intel Core i3/Core i5/Core i7 (10th Gen) | GPU: Intel UHD | RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 11.9 x 7.Eight x 0.5 inches | Weight: 2.7 kilos

  • + Outstanding efficiency
  • + Slim, light-weight design
  • + Stunning 4K show
  • + Improved webcam
  • – Battery life could possibly be higher (on 4K mannequin)

The best moveable laptop general, the Late 2019 XPS 13 is equivalent to the earlier mannequin however now packs 10th Gen processors.

Those chips, particularly the six-core Core i7 CPU, affords a major enhance in efficiency over eighth Gen processors.

 There are so many the reason why the XPS 13 is a good laptop for college college students, however worth could possibly be an issue for some. 

If you possibly can spend on one, the 4K mannequin we examined has a beautiful 13.3-inch InfinityEdge show — with virtually no bezels — and now the ‘nosecam’ webcam is now not, as Dell’s engineers managed to suit it in the pocket book’s high bezel, which remains to be super-thin.

 If you need lengthy battery life, go for the 1080p mannequin because the 4K model lasted slightly below Eight hours on a cost, a good if below-average outcome. 

See our full Dell XPS 13 (Late 2019) Review

Best Apple Laptops for college: MacBook Air (2019)
If you prefer macOS over Windows, the MacBook Air is the best college laptop from Apple. 

6. MacBook Air (2019)

CPU: Intel Core i5 (Y-series) | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 617 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel | Size: 12 x 8.Four x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.Eight kilos

  • + Crisp Retina show
  • + Elegant gold chassis
  • + Thin and light-weight chassis
  • – Underwhelming efficiency
  • – Only affords USB-C ports

The newest MacBook Air is simply a minor replace over its refreshed predecessor nevertheless it’s nonetheless the best Apple laptop for college college students.

The new 13.3-inch system is $100 cheaper than final 12 months’s mannequin and the show now options Apple’s True Tone know-how. 

Along with its sharp, 2560 x 1600-pixel show, the MacBook Air has highly effective audio system and a skinny, gentle and utterly recycled aluminum chassis.

best college laptops

See our full MacBook Air review

Best college laptops under $400: Acer Aspire 5
You need not lay our a fortune on a laptop on high of your college tuition. Acer’s Aspire 5 is the best college laptop for below $400. 

7. Acer Aspire 5

The best laptop below $500

CPU: Intel Core i3-8145U | GPU: Intel HD 620 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p | Size: 14.Three x 9.9 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 3.Eight kilos

  • + Strong efficiency
  • + Long battery life
  • + Bright 1080p show
  • – Middling graphics
  • – Questionable construct high quality

Acer’s Aspire 5 is the last word funds laptop. For below $400 you get a modern design, a shiny 1080p show and quick efficiency. Best of all, the Aspire 5 lasts Eight hours and 51 minutes on a cost, which implies you should not have issues bringing it to class or work with no charger. 

The specs you get for the worth are actually second-to-none, from the big 15.6-inch show to 128GB of speedy SSD storage. And with an aluminum design that weighs 3.Eight kilos, the Aspire 5 is each premium and comparatively moveable.

See our full Acer Aspire 5 review

best college laptop for business students: ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Thin, light-weight and sturdy, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (seventh Gen) is the best college laptop for enterprise students.  (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

8. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th Gen)

Best laptop for enterprise college students

CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p or 2560 x 1440-pixel or 4K | Size: 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.5 kilos

  • + Attractive, light-weight design
  • + Best-in-class keyboard
  • + Bright, vivid show choices
  • + Improved audio system
  • – No microSD card slot

Whether you are an entrepreneur or aspiring CEO of a Fortune 500 firm, the X1 Carbon will allow you to stay in luxurious. The 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon is prepared for the boardroom with a vibrant 1080p or 2K show (with an optionally available HDR possibility), an extremely slim physique and one of many best keyboards you will get on any laptop. The eighth Gen Intel Core CPU is highly effective and it lasts over 11 hours on a cost.

See our full Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th Gen) review

best college laptops in 2020: Best college Chromebook: Asus Chromebook Flip C434
Asus’ Chromebook Flip C434 is the best college Chromebook laptop. 

9. Asus Chromebook Flip C434

CPU: Intel Core m3-8100Y | GPU: Intel HD 615 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p | Size: 12.6 x Eight x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.1 kilos

  • + Sleek design
  • + Thin show bezels
  • + Vivid 14-inch contact display
  • – Finicky touchpad
  • – Expensive

Asus returns to the highest of our Best Chromebooks web page with the $569Chromebook Flip C434, a 14-inch convertible that will make for a superb college laptop due to its slim profile and comparatively reasonably priced worth.

The very first thing you will discover about this laptop is the razor-thin bezels, which draw your eyes towards a vivid 1080p show whereas preserving the chassis compact. 

At simply 0.6 inches thick, you will not have any issues shifting the Flip C434 round campus from one class to the subsequent. You also can save area in your backpack by leaving the charger in your dorm as a result of the Flip C434 can final a full class schedule on a cost.

best college laptops

See our full Asus Chromebook Flip C434 review

best college laptops in 2020: best gaming laptop for college: Lenovo Legion Y7000
For college students who need to play again on the dorm, the Lenovo Legion Y7000 is the best college gaming laptop. 

10. Lenovo Legion Y7000

The best laptop for informal players

CPU: Intel Core i7 | GPU: GeForce GTX 1060 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB | Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p | Size: 14.2 x 10.5 x 1.1 inches | Weight: 5.Three kilos

  • + Sleek design
  • + Vibrant show
  • + Comfortable keyboard
  • + Strong efficiency
  • – Poor audio

Need to blow off some steam after an impossibly tough examination? Go to your dorm room and crank on the Lenovo Legion Y7000.

This 15.6-inch laptop packs sufficient GPU efficiency to play most trendy video games at medium settings, and it does so in a comparatively small chassis. 

The Legion Y7000 even affords stable battery life to associate with a cushty keyboard. Just be certain to purchase headphones so you do not have to take heed to its poor audio system.

See our full Lenovo Legion Y7000 review

best college laptops in 2020; Business students who want a convertible laptop should get the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, the best business 2-in-1 laptop for college students. 
Business college students who need a convertible laptop should get the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, the best enterprise 2-in-1 laptop for college students.  (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

11. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (4th Gen)

CPU: Intel Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p | Size: 12 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: Three kilos

  • + Bright, vivid 1080p show
  • + Slim, sturdy aluminum chassis
  • + Best-in-class keyboard
  • + Long battery life
  • – Not out there in carbon fiber

Lenovo took an opportunity with the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, the primary steel ThinkPad, and it paid off. While we nonetheless love the signature matte-black carbon-fiber discovered on most ThinkPads, the aluminum and magnesium ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a beautiful change of tempo. 

Not solely does it have a slim design, however this convertible 2-in-1 flaunts a shiny show and affords a best-in-class keyboard and lengthy battery life. You additionally get a great deal of additional goodies, like a built-in stylus slot and webcam cowl. 

See our full Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (4th Gen, 2019) review.

best college laptops in 2020: Apple macbook pro 16-inch 2019
Students who need an Apple laptop with a great deal of energy ought to splurge on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, the best college laptop for movie and animation students.  (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

12. Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

Best laptop for movie and animation college students

CPU: Intel Core i7/Core i9 | GPU: Radeon Pro 5300M/5500M | RAM: 16GB/32GB/64GB | Storage: 512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB/8TB | Display: 16-inch, 2072 x 1920 | Size: 14.1 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 4.Three kilos

  • + Radically improved Magic Keyboard
  • + Immersive 16-inch show with slimmer bezels
  • + Powerful 6-speaker audio
  • – No full-size USB port or SD card slot
  • – Pricey

 The 16-inch MacBook Pro is simply your kind for those who’ve been ready for Apple to make a greater keyboard. The Magic Keyboard on this premium laptop ditches the Butterfly mechanism in favor of a scissor change, and the result’s a way more comfy typing expertise.

You additionally get a shiny and sharp 16-inch show with slimmer bezels, highly effective efficiency from an out there Core i9 CPU and sturdy AMD Radeon 5300M or 5500M graphics. 

You additionally stand up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of storage for those who actually need to splurge. The 11 hours of battery life is one other plus on this laptop, dwarfing the runtimes of its rivals.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is costly, and Apple nonetheless doesn’t embody full-size USB ports, however general it is a very formidable workstation for inventive professionals. 

See our full Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) review.

best college laptops in 2020
A extra highly effective model of the XPS 13, the Dell XPS 15 is the best college laptop for medical students. 

13. Dell XPS 15 (2019)

Best laptop for medical college students

CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7/Core i9 | GPU: Intel UHD 630/Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 14.1 x 9.Three x 0.7 inches | Weight: 4.5 kilos

  • + Striking 4K OLED show
  • + Strong CPU and GPU efficiency
  • + Improved webcam
  • + Slim design
  • – Subpar battery life

The ideal laptop for a medical student is one with a large, sharp display and a powerful processor for taking notes and running complex programs in the lab. More importantly, it should have long battery life, so the laptop doesn’t power down while med students are doing their rounds. With 9th Gen Core CPUs and GeForce GTX 1650 graphics, the new 2019 XPS 15 affords a superb mixture of efficiency and endurance.

The largest enchancment to the 2019 mannequin is the brand new webcam location, which can make it in order that med college students can video name sufferers with out utilizing an exterior digicam. Med college students may even respect the XPS 15’s slim and comparatively light-weight design after they’re hauling a bag round from lessons to clinics.

See our full Dell XPS 15 review

best college laptops in 2020

14. Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 15

Best laptop for binging Netflix (and getting work done)

CPU: Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce MX250 | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 512GB | Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p (QLED) | Size: 14 x 9 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.5 pounds

+ Built-in S pen

+ Super-bright screen

+ QLED display

+ Epic battery life

Quiet speakers

Samsung doesn’t have the simplest diary within the laptop industry. At least, it’s nothing just like the acclaim the corporate has garnered within the smartphone space with its Galaxy phones. But that would change with the Galaxy Book Flex 15.

ok to wear the interstellar nametag, the Galaxy Book Flex 15 is an impressive 2-in-1 laptop with a stunning QLED display, a useful S Pen and epic battery life.

The highlight of the laptop, besides its gorgeous blue paint, is the 15.6-inch, 1080p QLED display. It’s crisp, vivid and incredible bright, making it one among the simplest non-OLED laptop displays ever.

Incredibly, that panel didn’t take a utter of the battery life, which landed at a fantastic 15 hours and 44 minutes. Add a sleek design, fast performance and a built-in stylus, and therefore the Galaxy Book Flex 15 is one hell of a 2-in-1 for school students.

See our full Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 15 review.

How to choose the simplest college laptop for you

There are variety of things students should consider before buying a laptop for school .

The first is portability, which matches hand-in-hand with screen size. 13-inch laptops are popular among college students because they provide an honest balance between screen land and portability.

The Dell XPS 13 may be a great example. It weighs around 2 pounds and is simply 0.5 inches thick, yet you get a 13.3-inch edge-to-edge display. We’re also seeing more and more 14-inch laptops, just like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which is remarkably portable for the screen size.

Battery life is another key component of any good college laptop. If you propose to require the notebook to class or the library,

don’t calculate there being an outlet! Consider a laptop that gets a minimum of 9 hours of battery life, which should be enough to urge you thru a few of classes with enough juice for studies.

When it involves specs, we recommend buying a laptop with an Intel U-series or H-series Core i5 CPU, a minimum of 8GB of RAM (16GB is great) and a minimum of 256GB of storage.

AMD is coming in hot with its 4000-series chips, so keep an eye fixed out for those. you would possibly notice that the new MacBook Air 2020 doesn’t fit those requirements (it features a low-power Y-series CPU) but it’s still an honest option if you favor macOS and do not want to spend a fortune.

Speaking of which, Chromebooks just like the Pixelbook Go offer excellent value for school students.

Other things which will assist you punch up a successful report or research complex topics include a snug keyboard and sensitive touchpad. And when it is time to relax, make certain to urge a laptop with a vivid and bright display (like any of these listed here).

How we test laptops

We put each laptop through extensive benchmark testing — both synthetic and real-world — before they find yourself within the hands of our reviewers. We evaluate each aspect of the laptop, including its performance, battery life, display, speakers and warmth management.

In our benchmark testing, we use a Klein K10 colorimeter to detect the brightness and sRGB color gamut of the laptop’s display. For performance testing, we run the laptop through a gauntlet of benchmarks, including Geekbench 4.3 and 5.0 and 3DMark professional graphics tests.

To determine real-world performance, we task the laptop to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution and to duplicate a 4.97GB multimedia file. Our real-world graphics test is that the Dirt 3 benchmark with medium settings at 1080p resolution.

We also run heat tests by playing a 15-minute full-screen video and measuring temperatures in several areas of the laptop. Last but not least, our battery test consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness.

For MacBooks and premium Windows 10 laptops, a runtime of over 9 hours is taken into account an honest result whereas gaming laptops and workstations which will stay powered for extended than 5 hours deserve praise.

These tests are complemented with extensive hands-on testing from our reviewers who critique everything from the laptop’s materials to the texture of its touchpad.

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