Best cheap student laptop deals for October 2021

Whether or not this is a good thing is debatable, but one thing that all students can agree on is the importance of having a good laptop for doing schoolwork and unwinding after class with some streaming or gaming. The new academic year has started. Computers aren’t cheap, and we understand how tight money can be when you’re in school, but if you need a new machine for work or play, you’ve come to the right place — we’ve rounded up a half-dozen of the best cheap student laptop deals of the month below.

These picks range from low-cost Windows PCs (including a gaming machine) to an Apple-only MacBook, but if you want to see what else is available, check out our complete roundups of computers.

Chromebook deals

, gaming laptop deals, MacBook deals, and Windows laptop deals as well.

Best student laptop deals

  • Gateway Ultra Slim 11-Inch Notebook$149 + 1 Year of Microsoft 365 Personal, was $199
  • Gateway Ultra Slim Laptop$319
  • Asus VivoBook Flip 14 2-in-1 Laptop$529, was $599
  • Evoo GTX 1650 Gaming Laptop$549, was $799
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop Go$600, was $700
  • Apple MacBook Air (2020, M1 CPU)$850 at checkout, was $1,000

Gateway Ultra Slim 11-Inch Notebook — $149 + 1 year of Microsoft 365 Personal, which was previously $199.

The Gateway Ultra Slim Notebook is one of the most cost-effective laptops available. Unlike larger laptops that can be a pain to carry around all day, this one has a compact 11.6-inch HD display, so you won’t have to worry about it weighing you down. On a shoestring budget but in desperate need of a new laptop? It has an Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM, so you can write documents or perform other basic tasks like photo editing with it.

It’s ideal for the average student who just needs a work tool rather than something more specialized because it’s light and unassuming. Its 64GB of flash storage is large enough to store your work files when you aren’t near Wi-Fi and can’t access your cloud storage, and it runs Windows 10 S Mode, so you won’t be unable to use your Windows software like you would on a Chromebook.

Gateway Ultra Slim Laptop — $319

A 256GB SSD provides plenty of high-speed storage for your documents, projects, and work programs, while an AMD Ryzen 5 3450U processor (a nice CPU to see at this price point) and full 8GB RAM provide enough power for juggling more than a few tabs and windows. The Gateway Ultra Slim series is an excellent choice for a budget-friendly student laptop if you need the extra screen space of a traditional 15-inch display. It has a 15.6-inch Full HD screen, which allows you to work with a little more space while studying. Despite this, it has a battery life of up to 10 hours, which is ideal for long days spent in the library or classroom.

Do you need to upgrade your memory? It’s also relatively light, weighing only four pounds and measuring less than an inch thick, making it easy to transport despite being a full-size laptop.

The 16GB RAM model is also on sale for just $30 more at the moment.

Asus VivoBook Flip 14 2-in-1 Laptop — $529, was $599

It’s great for work and should last a long time. The Asus VivoBook Flip 14 is a great workhorse laptop with a great combination of modern hardware and 2-in-1 touchscreen versatility. It has a 14-inch 1080p touch display that folds flat, a fast Ryzen 5 processor, 8GB RAM, and a fast 256GB SSD for responsive file storage and app loading.

When it comes to sturdiness and reliability, Asus laptops are excellent, so you won’t have to worry about it taking the occasional bump or knock while carrying it from class to class. The AMD Ryzen 5 5500U CPU is fast enough to open apps and run software quickly, and while it’s not as sleek and stylish as a MacBook (for that, see our final pick), it’s a lot less expensive.

Evoo GTX 1650 Gaming Laptop — $549, was $799

This 15-inch Evoo PC has all of the best features of a modern gaming laptop, including a 15.6-inch 1080p display, a reasonable weight that makes it easy to transport around campus, and a discrete GeForce GTX 1650 GPU for when it’s time to play after class. Students, let’s face it, love to game after class, and just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a good gaming laptop. With a 256GB SSD, you’ll have plenty of room for productivity software, assignments, music, and, of course, your game library.

It will be capable of everything from photo and video editing to word processing, thanks to an Intel Core i5-10300H processor and 8GB of RAM. For those late-night study and gaming sessions, a nice (but not garish) backlit keyboard is also useful. This laptop has just about everything you need for study and play while keeping costs low.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go — $600, was $700

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go combines sleek design with no-nonsense workhorse hardware, clearly inspired by the understated simplicity of MacBooks and iPads. It also has a beautiful 12.4-inch PixelSense display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, which makes it practical. You’ll never want to look at a 16:9 laptop again thanks to the increased vertical screen real estate.

It’s thin and light, measuring only 0.62 inches thick, so it’ll be easy to transport between classes. The Surface Laptop Go is comfortable enough to work on for hours, but it’s also incredibly portable thanks to its small size and streamlined modern design (which, thanks to its 3:2 screen, doesn’t feel cramped). You won’t be left without enough juice for work or everyday use, thanks to a 10th generation Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, a 128GB SSD, and a long battery life.

Apple MacBook Air (2020, M1 CPU) — $850 at checkout, was $1,000

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

If you’re set on MacOS, the late 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro is the way to go.

Apple MacBook Air

It was recently updated to include Apple’s incredible new features. is the laptop for you if you’re a student. It has a beautiful design and all of the benefits that come with a MacOS-based system.

M1 processor

It comes with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD drive, so it’s fast enough for work and multitasking. You’ll have no trouble loading files quickly and smoothly running your favorite programs. It’s not designed for gaming or anything like that, but as a productivity tool, it’s fine.

There’s also the 12-hour battery life, which means you won’t have to charge it as frequently as you would with most other laptops. Touch ID support is also available on the laptop, which is a useful and convenient security feature.

How to choose a student laptop

You need to know what you’re looking for in a student laptop before you go out and buy one. Everyone wants the best and the quickest, but if your budget is limited, it’s a good idea to keep your expectations in check to avoid disappointment. The most important thing to know is your financial situation.

Most of the time, you’ll be uploading files to the cloud for your teachers to review anyway, so you won’t need a large hard drive to store everything, though it can be useful for added flexibility. Instead, you want a system that runs quickly, has a dependable processor, and enough storage space for the operating system. Because laptops aren’t particularly good for gaming, most student laptops don’t include a dedicated graphics card.

When you’re back in class and need to transport your laptop around campus, a smaller screen means less to carry around. A 13-inch screen may appear small at first, but you’ll get used to it quickly, and most laptops have a port for connecting to a separate monitor if you decide you need one later. Less is usually more, which saves you money and sometimes results in better screen quality. Don’t be concerned about the screen size.

The majority of people are familiar with Windows, but that doesn’t mean it’s the fastest or best. However, if you don’t want to relearn anything, it’s still the most appealing option. You can now choose between Windows, MacOS, and ChromeOS. Consider what operating system you want when choosing a laptop for productivity.

Macs, on the other hand, are significantly more expensive than Windows or ChromeOS-based laptops, though they do last longer. They’re great for showing off as a stylish system, but few students can afford the high asking price. They aren’t great in terms of value for money. MacOS, on the other hand, is a very efficient operating system because it is tailored to the hardware it runs on.

You won’t be able to play games on them, but they’re cheap and simple to use as a solely work device. You also won’t have to worry if you need to switch to a different system because your files will always be accessible through your account details. Most students will be fine with a Chromebook for a great student laptop deal. You can easily save files to the cloud by logging into your Google account. Most Chromebooks will also provide longer battery life than a Windows-based system. You’ll probably be writing documents in Google Docs most of the time, and Chromebooks are ideal for this. You won’t have to sacrifice style either, as the devices are frequently stylish and light.

We aim to assist our readers in finding the best deals on high-quality goods and services, and we select what we cover with care and independence. Digital Trends may receive a commission for products purchased through our links, which helps us continue to provide quality content to our readers. Prices, details, and availability of the products and deals mentioned in this post are all subject to change without notice. Before making a purchase, double-check that they are still valid.

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