Best college laptops in 2021


 HP Envy 13 (2021) is the best college laptop for students

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

If you’re a student, you’ll want one of the best college laptops so you can study for your exams and then relax by watching TV or playing games. However, with so many options at such a wide range of prices, finding the best laptops for students can be a full-time job in and of itself.

Many of these units can be found on our main page. When purchasing a laptop for school, look for one with a long battery life and a fast CPU.

best laptops Buy one of the notebooks if you prefer to take notes by hand. page, which provides you with a comprehensive list of the best notebooks to choose from. best 2-in-1 laptops. We’ve also ranked the best gaming laptopsfor those who enjoy unwinding after completing their coursework We’re still reviewing some laptops that could end up on this list, so come back often for the most up-to-date information on the best laptops for students.

Whatever laptop you choose, you’ll also need a few accessories, such as a comfortable chair. mouse, a well-appointed backpack, and perhaps a printerHere are the best college laptops, including some budget picks for those dreading tuition payments, without further ado. ..

What is the best college laptop?

If you fall into this category, the Envy 13 and Envy x360 13 offer premium specs and features at a price that’s under $1,000. Although not everyone is on a budget, most people will want to save as much money as they can to pay off their student loans. The Envy 13 and Envy x360 13 are the best laptops for college students in our opinion.

Then there’s the Envy 13 x360, which combines all of those features in a convertible chassis with AMD’s new Ryzen 4000 processors. The HP Envy 14 is, as the name implies, a 14-inch version of the HP Envy 13. Although the Envy 13 is a mid-range notebook, it has the appearance and feel of a higher-end machine. The Envy also has fast performance thanks to Intel’s 11th Generation CPUs, a great screen, and is small enough to carry around campus. Do you require a larger display?

If you’re on a tight budget, the 16-inch MacBook Pro (which lacks Apple’s custom chips) or the Dell XPS 15 are viable options. If you prefer macOS, the new MacBook Air or MacBook Pro are the best options. You could also go for the Dell XPS 17, which is the best 17-inch laptop on the market. For those on a budget, the fanless MacBook Air with M1 is a good option, but the 13-inch MacBook Pro offers better battery life and performance.

At CES 2021, dozens of new models were announced, many of which will be available in the coming weeks and months. Laptops with Intel 11th Gen CPUs, AMD 5000-series chips, and Nvidia 30-series GPUs are among them. If you don’t require a new laptop right away, consider waiting for the next batch to arrive on the market.

The HP Envy 13 is the best college laptop because it offers a premium package at a surprisingly low price.
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

1. HP Envy 13 (2021)

The best overall laptop

Specifications

CPU:

Intel Core i5-1135G7
GPU:
Irix Xe (or GeForce MX350)
RAM:
16GB
Storage:
256GB
Display:
13.3-inch, 1080p (touch)
Size:
The dimensions are 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches.
Weight:
2.9 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Bright, vivid display


+Attractive design and clicky keyboard


+Core i5 CPU is speedy


+11+ hours of battery life

Reasons to avoid

Plastic touchpad


No IR camera option

The new model has a new design and a Thunderbolt 4 port. The best laptop for students is now more powerful than it has ever been. HP Envy 13 is the best sub-$1,000 laptop for students or anyone who needs a powerful portable machine with a long battery life (11:15 on the FHD model).

When you add in a sleek chassis, a bright and vivid 1080p display, and plenty of performance from an 11th Generation Core i5 CPU, it’s clear why the Envy 13 is the best college laptop for students. And, given its low price compared to many of the other laptops on this list, the Envy 13 is an excellent choice. The 2021 model, with even slimmer bezels and faster performance, demonstrates that it can compete with much more expensive flagship models. If you require a larger display, please visit our HP Envy 14 review

See our full

HP Envy 13 (2021) review

Apple’s new MacBook Air with M1 outperforms its predecessor in terms of performance and battery life.
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

2. MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020)

The best Mac for students

Specifications
CPU:
M1
GPU:
M1 (integrated)
RAM:
8GB/16GB
Storage:
256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
Display:
13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel
Size:
The dimensions are 11.9 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches.
Weight:
2.8 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Breathtaking performance


+Outstanding battery life


+Slim unibody aluminum chassis


+iPhone and iPad app support


+Great speakers and Magic Keyboard

Reasons to avoid

Few ports

If you prefer macOS to Windows 10, the Apple MacBook Air is the way to go. The new M1 chip, which delivers outstanding performance and excellent battery life, is the most significant upgrade to this year’s model, making the new MacBook Air the fastest ultrathin laptop ever.

This is a combination that only the best Windows 10 laptops can offer, and even they can’t compete in a head-to-head comparison. The MacBook Air, best of all, is still only $999, and it offers unrivaled performance as well as 14 hours and 41 minutes of battery life.

Of course, Apple’s cheapest 13.3-inch model is also the most portable, measuring only 0.6 inches thick and weighing 2.8 pounds. So, why should you buy a MacBook Air instead of a MacBook Pro? While the MacBook Pro has better sustained performance, the MacBook Air is less expensive and is completely silent due to its lack of a fan.

It has the same speed and battery life as the MacBook Air, as well as the same 720p webcam, a comfortable Magic keyboard, and two USB-C ports. In addition, the M1 model’s 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel Retina display was enhanced with P3 color coverage, making it more vibrant than the previous panel. However, the MacBook Air is now taking longer than ever to catch up to the MacBook Pro.

See our full

Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review

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The Dell XPS 13 is the best college laptop for science students because it is the best overall laptop.
(Image credit: Future)

3. Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)

The best premium Windows 10 laptop

Specifications
CPU:
11th Generation Intel Core i3/Core i5/Core i7 processors
GPU:
Intel Iris Xe
RAM:
8GB/16GB
Storage:
256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
Display:
13.4-inch, 1920 x 1200 or 4K
Size:
The dimensions are 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches.
Weight:
2.8 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Attractive, premium chassis


+Powerful performance


+No bezels whatsoever


+Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

Lacks legacy ports

With a battery life of more than 11 hours, you’ll have plenty of time for both. The laptop consistently outperformed or was on par with comparable systems. The Dell XPS 13 is a powerful workhorse that is also the best premium laptop for college students. The notebook is ready for work or play, thanks to an Intel Core i7 processor with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics.

The company has succeeded in producing a laptop that is both smaller and lighter than previous models. But don’t worry: the XPS 13 is as attractive as it is powerful. Despite its diminutive size, Dell has made significant changes, such as a larger trackpad and keyboard. You also get a 13.4-inch near-bezelless display on all sides – the first of its kind in the world.

The Dell XPS 13 is the laptop for you if you’re looking for everything. It’s a test of patience, as it improves the notebook in a number of small ways that add up to a significant improvement for the system.

See our full

Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020) review

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Check out the rest of our site. Do you require a larger screen for video or photo editing?

XPS 13 4K review

and

XPS 13 OLED review

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The HP Envy x360 13 is the best laptop under $1,000, with similar features to the Spectre but at a lower cost.
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

4. HP Envy x360 13 (2020)

The best 2-in-1 laptop

Specifications
CPU:
AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
GPU:
AMD Radeon Graphics
RAM:
8GB
Storage:
256GB
Display:
13.3-inch, 1080p
Size:
The dimensions are 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches.
Weight:
2.9 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Outstanding performance


+1080p display is bright and vivid


+Stylish and compact aluminum design


+Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

No IR camera

The HP Envy x360 13 is one of the best Ultrabooks on the market and one of the best laptops under $1,000. The Envy is a 2-in-1 that can be used as a tent or tablet. It doesn’t come with a stylus, but neither does the Surface Pro. The all-aluminum design and Herculian AMD Ryzen processors are what make this such a great deal.

This particular Envy costs only $800 and can outperform laptops costing well over $1,000, including the obscenely expensive MacBook Pro. We discovered that an Envy x360 13 with a Ryzen 5 4500U CPU outperforms laptops with 10th Gen Intel processors in our tests. The Envy x360 13 also has a comfortable keyboard and a bright, vivid 13.3-inch display.

It is the ultimate money-saving laptop if you can get past the lack of a Thunderbolt 3 port and an IR camera. There isn’t much about the Envy x360 that we don’t like. If you prefer a larger display, see our HP Envy x360 15 review

See our

HP Envy x360 13 (2020) review

(Image credit: Future)

5. Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020)

Best business laptop for macOS power users

Specifications
CPU:
M1
GPU:
M1 (integrated)
RAM:
8GB/16GB
Storage:
256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Display:
13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600
Size:
12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
Weight:
3.1 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Stellar overall and gaming performance


+Excellent battery life


+Lightning-fast SSD


+Great webcam

Reasons to avoid

Not enough ports

It’s all thanks to Apple’s new M1 chip, which is the company’s first custom SoC for laptops. This is the huge step forward we’ve been looking forward to. The M1 takes the MacBook Pro’s performance and battery life to the next level with the best power-per-watt performance of any processor.

The MacBook Pro, in particular, outperforms nearly every PC on the market, including some workstations. Despite packing so much power into such a small and sleek chassis, the Pro lasted an impressive 16 hours and 32 minutes in our battery test, which mimics real-world usage.

The webcam (sadly, still 720p) has an image processing unit, and because it runs on Apple’s ARM-based architecture, iPad and iPhone apps are now available on Mac. Yes, you can now use your laptop to run all of your favorite iOS games and apps.

Big Sur is the most significant update to OS X since its launch a decade ago, and it’s a stunning redesign of the desktop OS. Big Sur, the latest version of macOS, completes the list of improvements found in the new MacBook Pro.

See our

MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020) review

The HP Spectre x360 14 is the best 2-in-1 laptop, regardless of budget, because it combines beauty and power.
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

6. HP Spectre x360 14

The best 2-in-1 laptop

Specifications
CPU:
11th Gen Intel Core i5/Core i7
GPU:
Intel Iris Xe
RAM:
8GB/16GB
Storage:
256GB/512GB/1TB
Display:
13.5-inch IPS or 3K2K OLED display with 1920 x 1280 pixels
Size:
The dimensions are 11.8 x 8.7 x 0.7 inches.
Weight:
3 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Striking, luxurious design


+Gorgeous OLED and FHD display options


+Long battery life


+Comfortable keyboard

Reasons to avoid

Pricey


Unwieldy as a tablet

The 13.5-inch model, which was just released for 2021, builds on its predecessors while also adding useful new features like a 3:2 aspect ratio display and 11th Gen Intel CPUs with Iris Xe graphics. A stunning design, bright and vivid 1920 x 1280-pixel IPS and 3K2K OLED display options, epic 12+ hour battery life, and fast overall performance are all features of this laptop. The Spectre x360 14 is the best 2-in-1 laptop that has ever been made.

With a large, silky touchpad, a comfortable (albeit shallow) keyboard, excellent security options (fingerprint sensor and facial recognition), and a good selection of ports, it’s easy to see why we like this laptop so much.

In fact, if you’re looking for a convertible notebook, the Spectre x360 14 is the best option. Sure, it has flaws, but once you hold it in your hands, you’ll quickly forget about them. If you have the money, we recommend the Spectre x360 14 over the Envy 13, especially if you need the flexible design.

See our

HP Spectre x360 14 review

Consider the excellent if you want to save money.

HP Spectre x360 13

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On top of your college tuition, you don’t need to spend a fortune on a laptop. The Aspire 5 from Acer is the best college laptop under $400.
(Image credit: Future)

7. Acer Swift 3 (2020, AMD Ryzen)

Best laptop for the price

Specifications
CPU:
AMD Ryzen 7 4700U
GPU:
AMD Radeon Graphics
RAM:
8GB
Storage:
512GB
Display Size:
14-inch, 1080p
Size:
The dimensions are 12.7 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches.
Weight:
2.7 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Herculean performance


+A beastly multitasker


+Clicky keyboard


+Fingerprint scanner

Reasons to avoid

Dim display

This $649 laptop is capable of outperforming the Dell XPS 13 and even the MacBook Pro. It’s all about the Ryzen 7 4700U CPU on the inside, which outperforms its Intel counterparts in terms of raw performance. Look no further than the Acer Swift 3 with AMD Ryzen CPUs if you want blistering performance on a budget.

The Swift 3’s biggest flaw is its dim and drab display. If that isn’t a concern for you, the Swift 3 is a great option at a good price. We also enjoyed typing on the Swift 3’s clicky keyboard, which provided springy feedback and was comfortable to use. A fingerprint reader is also included on the deck for quick login, and the chassis is made of aluminum and magnesium rather than plastic.

See our full

Acer Swift 3 (2020, AMD) review

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Because of its sleek design and quick performance, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon is once again the best business laptop.
(Image credit: Phillip Tracy/Laptop Mag)

8. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 9)

Best overall business laptop

Specifications
CPU:
11th Gen Intel Core i5/Core i7
GPU:
Iris Xe
RAM:
8GB/16GB/32GB
Storage:
256GB/512GB/1TB SSD
Display:
14-inch, 1920 x 1200-pixel 16:10
Size:
The dimensions are 12.4 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches.
Weight:
2.5 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Slim, lightweight design


+Good 14-inch, 16:10 FHD+ display


+Class-leading keyboard


+Great quad speakers


+Epic battery life

Reasons to avoid

Poor 720p webcam


No card slot

You get longer battery life (15 hours! ), powerful quad speakers, a new 14-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, and plenty of ports, all in an impossibly lightweight chassis (2.5 pounds). The 9th Gen edition of Lenovo’s flagship business laptop has a number of welcome changes.

But it’s the classic ThinkPad features that elevate the X1 Carbon to greatness: a rugged design (MIL-STD-810G strength), best-in-class keyboard, and stealthy black/red aesthetics.

Furthermore, top configurations can be quite costly; however, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better business laptop for college students. Yes, we wish the ThinkPad X1 Carbon had a better webcam and hadn’t dropped the SD card reader. Consider the if you want a 2-in-1 laptop with business features. ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6).

See our full

Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 (Gen 9) review

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Google Pixelbook Go
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

9. Google Pixelbook Go

The best Chromebook

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core i5-8200Y
GPU:
Intel UHD 615
RAM:
8GB
Storage:
128GB
Display:
13.3-inch, 1080p
Size:
The dimensions are 12.2 x 8.1 x 0.5 inches.
Weight:
2.3 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Superslim design


+Bright, colorful display


+Great battery life


+Solid performance

Reasons to avoid

Lackluster speakers

The Pixelbook Go is one of the most affordable laptops on this list, with a lightweight chassis, fast performance, and long battery life. The Google Pixelbook Go is an excellent laptop for students because it offers the same sleek elegance as the Pixelbook at a significantly lower price.

The Pixelbook Go is a great option because it’s durable and powerful enough to last several years, so buy it for your freshman child and it should last him through high school and into college. Because more classrooms are switching to Chromebooks, students should be familiar with the Pixelbook Go. It’s a simple, lightweight operating system based on Google’s Chrome browser.

See our full

Google Pixelbook Go review

The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is our top cheap gaming laptop thanks to its understated good looks, surprising powerful gaming and overall performance, and comfortable keyboard.
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

10. Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

The best cheap gaming laptop for students

Specifications
CPU:
Ryzen 7 5800H CPU
GPU:
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070of VRAM
RAM:
16GB
Storage:
512GB
Display:
16-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel
Size:
14 x 10.4 x 1.1 inches
Weight:
5.4 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Bright 16-inch, QHD 165Hz display


+Fantastic keyboard with numpad


+Excellent productivity and gaming performance


+Solid battery life

Reasons to avoid

Bland and heavy chassis


Only four-zone RGB

Lenovo’s Legion 5 Pro demonstrates what can be accomplished when two opposing forces join forces for the greater good. AMD and Nvidia are the opposing forces, and the gaming community is the greater good. The Legion 5 Pro is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800 processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card, giving gamers the power they need to play the latest AAA games at Ultra graphics settings.

It makes up for its lack of flashy aesthetics with a stunning 16-inch QHD display, an excellent keyboard and touchpad, plenty of ports, and outstanding performance from an AMD CPU and Nvidia GPU. Despite its high power consumption, the Legion 5 Pro has a respectable battery life.

See our full

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review

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(Image credit: Phillip Tracy/Laptop Mag)

11. Dell XPS 15

The best 15-inch for college

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core i7-11800H
GPU:
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
RAM:
16GB
Storage:
512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
Display:
15.6-inch OLED display with a resolution of 3456 x 2160 (3.5K).
Size:
The dimensions are 13.6 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches.
Weight:
4.3 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Breathtaking 3.5K OLED display


+Supercharged performance


+Slim, premium chassis


+Massive touchpad and spacious keyboard

Reasons to avoid

Below-average battery life


Heavier than some competitors

The XPS 15 has a slim, attractive design that’s packed with power. While this may seem insignificant, the four-border InfinityEdge bezel has allowed for one of the highest resolution displays on the market, and it now includes beautiful OLED technology for those who don’t require the longest battery life. The Dell XPS 15 is capable of a wide range of tasks, including productivity, multimedia, and even a little gaming.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s also an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 Comet Lake H-Series processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti under the hood. That means you can get a good gaming session going even if you’re in a hurry. All of our benchmark tests, including our graphics test, were won by the laptop. It’s a multi-talented system that excels at almost everything.

Consider the XPS 15 if you like the XPS 15 but need a larger display.

Dell XPS 17

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See our

Dell XPS 15 OLED (2021) review.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro, the best college laptop for film and animation students, is recommended for students who want a powerful Apple laptop.
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

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

Best laptop for film and animation students

Specifications
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:
The dimensions are 14.1 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches.
Weight:
4.3 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Radically improved Magic Keyboard


+Immersive 16-inch display with slimmer bezels


+Powerful 6-speaker audio

Reasons to avoid

There isn’t a full-size USB port or an SD card slot.


Pricey

 The 16-inch MacBook ProA bright, sharp 16-inch display with slimmer bezels, powerful performance from an available Core i9 CPU, and powerful AMD Radeon 5300M or 5500M graphics are also included. If you’ve been waiting for Apple to release a better keyboard, this is the one for you. This premium laptop’s Magic Keyboard replaces the Butterfly mechanism with a scissor switch, resulting in a much more comfortable typing experience.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is expensive, and Apple still doesn’t include full-size USB ports, but it’s a powerful workstation for creative professionals. If you really want to go all out, you can get up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of storage. Another advantage of this laptop is its 11-hour battery life, which far exceeds that of its competitors.

See our full

Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) review

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Acer Swift 5 (Intel 11th Gen, 2020)
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

13. Acer Swift 5

A great ultraportable for college students

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core i7-1165G7
GPU:
Intel Iris Xe
RAM:
16GB
Storage:
1TB SSD
Display:
14-inch, 1080p touchscreen
Size:
The dimensions are 12.6 x 8.2 x 0.6 inches.
Weight:
2.3 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Unbelievably lightweight


+Excellent performance


+Stellar battery life


+Gorgeous design

Reasons to avoid

Irritating keyboard layout

The Acer Swift 5 is a small-but-mighty laptop that showcases Intel’s new Evo Platform, which combines an Intel 11th Gen Core i7 processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics. While it won’t be able to replace a dedicated gaming laptop, it is far more powerful than anything else in its weight class.

The 14-inch 1080p touchscreen has slim bezels and is bright enough to use in most situations. The Swift feels preternaturally light in your hands at 2.3 pounds, but it still manages to provide over 13 and a half hours of battery life on a charge, so it should be ideal for frequent travelers.

The Acer Swift 5 is an excellent choice if you want a fantastically portable laptop without sacrificing too much performance. Despite its limited key travel, the keyboard is comfortable to type on, and the touchpad is large and responsive to Windows 10 gestures.

See our full


Acer Swift 5 (Intel 11th Gen, 2020) review


 

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Flex 15
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

14. Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Best Chromebook for most college kids

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core i5-10210U
GPU:
Intel UHD
RAM:
8GB
Storage:
128GB
Display:
13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504
Size:
The dimensions are 11.8 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches.
Weight:
3.0 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Bright, colorful touch screen


+Exceptional battery life


+Speedy performance


+Versatile form factor

Reasons to avoid

Shallow keyboard

The Intel Core i5-10210U CPU in this excellent 2-in-1 laptop costs only $629, but it provides a stunning 13.5-inch display and fast performance. If you’re a Chrome OS user who wants more flexibility than the Google Pixelbook Go, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a great option.

Better yet, with a battery life of nearly 12 hours, the Chromebook Spin 713 will keep you going from class to class for an entire school day. Because of the laptop’s flexible design, you can draw on it, take handwritten notes on it, or quickly share a project with a classmate by folding the display back.

The Chromebook Spin 713 is a top laptop for all students from K-12 to college, thanks to its flexible design, fast performance, beautiful display, and long battery life.

See our full

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 review

The best detachable laptop for students is the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable.
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

15. Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable

The best Surface Pro alternative

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core i5-1130G7
GPU:
Intel Iris Xe
RAM:
16GB
Storage:
512GB
Display:
12.3-inch, 1920 x 1280-pixel
Size:
11.2 x 8 x 0.3 inches
Weight:
1.7 pounds (2.4 pounds with keyboard)

Reasons to buy

+Long battery life


+Good 12.3-inch display


+Excellent keyboard


+Accessories come bundled

Reasons to avoid

Terrible speakers


No USB Type-A

It has the same detachable design and a kickstand that can rotate to a similar 160-degree angle. Its rigid chassis even provides military-grade durability. In a nutshell, the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable is an improved Surface Pro 7. The 12.3-inch display is nearly identical to the Surface’s, and the detachable keyboard, like the Pro 7, is fantastic.

Because the ThinkPad X12 Detachable has a longer battery life, lasting more than 11 hours on a single charge, and weighs slightly less than its magnesium alloy competitor. What makes it superior to the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro 7+? Even better, the X12 Detachable comes with a keyboard and pen, though you’ll have to pay a premium for this business-oriented detachable.

If you can wait a few weeks, Microsoft will unveil a new product. The Surface Pro 7 is a good choice if you need good speakers or a USB Type-A port, but we prefer the X12 Detachable. Surface Pro 8 at its September 22 event. 

See our

Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable review

How do you pick the best laptop for college?

Before purchasing a laptop for college, students should consider a number of factors.

The first is portability, which is linked to the size of the screen. A good example is the Dell XPS 13. There are also more 14-inch laptops on the market, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which is surprisingly portable for its screen size. Even though it is only 0.5 inches thick and weighs around 2 pounds, it has a 13.3-inch edge-to-edge display. College students prefer 13-inch laptops because they provide a good balance of screen real estate and portability.

Consider a laptop with a battery life of at least 9 hours, which should be enough to get you through a couple of classes while still allowing you to study. Another important feature of any good college laptop is its battery life. If you’re going to class or the library with the notebook, don’t expect to find an outlet!

We recommend a laptop with an Intel U-series or H-series Core i5 processor, at least 8GB of RAM (16GB is ideal), and a minimum of 256GB of storage. Chromebooks, such as the Pixelbook Go, are an excellent value for college students. AMD’s 4000-series chips are hot on their heels, so keep an eye out for them. Although the new MacBook Air 2020 doesn’t meet those requirements (it uses a low-power Y-series processor), it’s still a good option if you prefer macOS and don’t want to spend a lot of money.

When it’s time to unwind, invest in a laptop with a vibrant and bright display (such as any of the options listed here). A comfortable keyboard and sensitive touchpad are also helpful for punching up a successful report or researching complex topics.

How we test laptops

Before our reviewers get their hands on a laptop, we put it through extensive benchmark testing, both synthetic and real-world. We look at the laptop’s performance, battery life, display, speakers, and heat management, among other things.

We put the laptop through a slew of benchmarks, including Geekbench 4.3 and 5.0 and 3DMark professional graphics tests, to see how well it performs. We use a Klein K10 colorimeter to determine the brightness and sRGB color gamut of the laptop’s display during our benchmarking.

The Dirt 3 benchmark with medium settings at 1080p resolution is our real-world graphics test. We put the laptop through its paces by converting a 4K video to 1080p resolution and duplicating a 4.97GB multimedia file.

Finally, our battery test entails continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. We also perform heat tests on the laptop by playing a 15-minute full-screen video and measuring temperatures in various areas. A runtime of over 9 hours is considered a good result for MacBooks and premium Windows 10 laptops, whereas gaming laptops and workstations that can stay powered for longer than 5 hours deserve praise.

Our reviewers also put the laptop through extensive hands-on testing, critiquing everything from the materials to the feel of the touchpad.

Prior to that, he covered 5G and IoT for RCR Wireless News. He covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity while there, writing reviews for a variety of gadgets. Phillip can be found playing video games, reading, traveling, or watching soccer when he’s not tinkering with gadgets. Phillip joined the Daily Dot as a tech reporter after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a journalism degree. Phillip Tracy works as an assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag, where he reviews laptops, phones, and other gadgets as well as reporting on industry news.