Best laptop for college 2021

A laptop is a key financial 

as well as an educational tool for students The best laptop for college is one that lasts for the duration of a student’s college career and includes all of the software required to complete work efficiently and on time, with no hardware issues.

With the current economic situation, For $300, you can get an entry-level laptop computer that will do the job, but for a few hundred dollars more, you can get a college laptop with a longer battery life, a faster solid-state drive, and overall better performance.

Fortunately, laptops and computers are still available. , you might believe that finding a good budget-friendly laptop for school is difficult.

with Intel and AMD’s most recent processors The only PCs you’ll have to wait for are those with Intel’s new 11th-generation Core processors, which promise to boost performance.

increase performance
 in laptops for gamersThere are a few models with those processors on this list, but more are expected to be available soon. ..

The majority of our best laptops for college picks are priced between $500 and $1,000. If you’re looking for a less expensive laptop — or if you’re willing to try something different —Microsoft Windows and Apple’s MacOS — we recommend checking out the best Chromebooks for studentsOn the other hand, if you’re looking for a more powerful laptop for college or a more powerful laptop for work, .. gaming laptop that doubles as a college laptop, we have some suggestionsKeep reading for our list of the best laptops for college if you’re ready to upgrade your tech. for those as well.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

The new Apple MacBook Air with 8 GB RAM, which is fanless, hits all the right notes for an Apple laptop (or any laptop computer, for that matter). This powerful laptop is back to its old $999 starting price, and if you’re a teacher or student, you can save an extra $100 thanks to the Teacher or Student Discount. Apple’s educational discount. Or, Best Buy has a free student deals account that you can sign up for.Apple’s M1 processor has an eight-core CPU, a seven-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine in the base model. to reduce the price to $800 Upgrading from the base MacBook model will get you an eight-core GPU and double the storage capacity with a 512GB SSD, but it will cost you $250 more.

If you’re a college student, the new MacBook Air is hard to beat. The M1 Air has Apple’s Magic Keyboard, Touch ID, a Force Touch trackpad, and a 13.3-inch Retina display, just like previous Mac laptop models.

Read our MacBook Air M1 review.


Sarah Tew/CNET

This is a more affordable option than the Lenovo IdeaPad or Lenovo ThinkPad. To boot, it has a long battery life. It doesn’t have as many extra features as its premium linemate, the Yoga 9i, but it does have one of Lenovo’s sliding webcam shutters for privacy when you need it and a fingerprint reader for quick sign-ins. This lightweight three-pound two-in-one with Intel Core is a good choice for students who need a college laptop for schoolwork. At this price, the 14-inch display provides more workspace than competing 13-inch models. It has a premium look and feel thanks to its all-metal chassis, as well as a comfortable keyboard and a responsive, smooth precision touchpad. It can be used as a laptop or a tablet, and it supports pen input via Lenovo’s optional Active Pen.

Josh Goldman/CNET

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 has a 13.5-inch 2,256×1,504-pixel touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio, which is one of Acer’s bright VertiView displays. This Chrome OS laptop gives you more vertical workspace than a typical 13.3-inch laptop with a 16:9 ratio, but it still has the width of a typical 13.3-inch laptop. Are you fed up with trying to work on documents or spreadsheets on a small widescreen monitor? It’s a great laptop for getting more work done in a day, and it’s still thin and light enough for everyday carry, thanks to its battery life, which lasted nearly 13 hours in our tests.

The most recent version of this Chromebook is the first to receive Intel’s Evo certification, ensuring that you get the best mobile experience possible. It’s also the first to support Thunderbolt 4, which allows you to connect to multiple external displays while also providing fast data and networking speeds.Read our Acer Chromebook Spin 713 review.

Read our Lenovo Yoga C740 (14-inch) review.


Josh Goldman/CNET

In the 1990s, Gateway was known for its low-cost desktops and laptops. The previous year, For a new line of laptops and tablets sold exclusively through Walmart, the brand was resurrected.Both of these models were recently updated with Intel 11th-generation processors, and we put them to the test. .. 15.6-The latter receives our vote as a cost-effective way to complete schoolwork while remaining light enough to carry around campus for the day. Still, it has plenty of ports, so connecting a mouse or an external display isn’t a problem, and the full-HD display is adequate. In addition, the fingerprint reader is hit-or-miss. The keyboard is comfortable, but it isn’t backlit, and the touchpad isn’t the best. The Intel Core i5 processor stands out as the standout performer, even when paired with less expensive components. 14.1-inch models are also available. In addition, the battery lasted just over 10 hours in our streaming video test.

Josh Goldman/CNET

This low-cost laptop also includes a backlit keyboard, fingerprint reader, and USB Type-C port. Thanks to the new AMD Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 processors, this is a fantastic college laptop deal for simple tasks like email, word processing, and more. The Acer Swift 3 is also a very light laptop, weighing less than 3 pounds for a machine that costs less than $700.

We also like the Acer Aspire 5, which has a larger 15.6-inch display, in addition to this Acer Swift. The Acer Aspire 5 comes in a variety of configurations, starting with a basic model. as low as $405 However, if you want, you can go up to $711Basic gaming and content creation with discrete graphics..

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Surface Pro 7, which is powered by a 10th generation Intel Core processor, is the industry standard for Windows devices that can be used as both a Surface laptop and a touch screen tablet, though this convertible laptop is better as a tablet than as a laptop. Despite the fact that this company still sells the Surface laptop Pro without the Type Cover keyboard and Surface Pen, it can often be found for a low laptop price — sometimes with one or both of these accessories. (In fact, Lenovo’s two-in-one Yoga devices are better laptops than tablets if you’re looking for the polar opposite in a student laptop.) In addition to the usual excellent performance and battery life, the seventh-generation Surface Pro now has a USB-C port. Because of its ultra-portability, the Surface laptop is ideal for high school and college students who may be carrying a lot of gear.

Read our Surface Pro 7 review.


Lori Grunin/CNET

Dell’s G-series gaming laptops have been streamlined from three models to just one, and it’s all for the better. They’re essentially a less expensive version of Dell’s Alienware gaming laptops, but they’re still capable of playing the latest AAA games. There’s only one chassis with a variety of configurations starting at $833, so you don’t have to decode the various feature and quality differences between them. All of the processors support up to a 6GB Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics card, 8GB or 16GB of memory, and 1TB of storage.


If you only subscribe to one CNET newsletter, make it this one. Get our editors’ picks for the most interesting reviews, news stories, and videos of the day.

More computer buying guides