Best student laptops 2021: the very best laptops for students


The best student laptops hero image showing students sat on the floor using HP laptops

(Image credit: HP)

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Yasmine Crossland

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Studying today, whether in school, college, or university, is very different than it was a few years ago, with a new emphasis on online remote learning. There’s a lot less face-to-face time, a lot more virtual seminars and lessons, and a lot more resources that are only available online.

All of this means that owning one of the best student laptops of 2021 is more important than ever.

The top 10 student laptops at a glance

The best student laptops you can buy today

If you want to get the most bang for your buck during your student years, the HP Pavilion 14 is a great option.

The best student laptop for most people

Specifications
CPU:
8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U
Graphics:
Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM:
8GB
Screen:
14-inch (1,920 x 1,080)
Storage:
256GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Strong all-round specs


+Solid build quality that will last


+Big internal storage space

Reasons to avoid

Not great for heavy Photoshop work

We believe that the best student laptop available today is the for the vast majority of students. HP Pavilion 14With an 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, as well as a simple yet stylish design and crisp screen, you can’t do much better for the money running Windows 10. ..

The machines come pre-installed with a fresh copy of Windows 10 Home and have a battery life of up to 11 hours. The system’s build quality is excellent, and it includes dedicated HDMI, USB Type-C, and networking ports, making it simple to connect the machine in the dorm or in class.

There are cheaper and more expensive student laptops on this list, as well as Apple models that run macOS, but the HP Pavilion 14 is an affordable sweet spot.

Check out our comparison chart to see how this laptop compares to a model on the higher end of the spectrum. HP Pavilion 14 vs Dell XPS 13 (2020) comparison feature.

A PC that combines style and portability at a reasonable price.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

The best lightweight student laptop

Specifications

CPU:
11th Generation Intel Core processors
Graphics:
Intel Iris Xe
RAM:
8GB / 16GB
Screen:
13.3inch QHD (2560 x 1600)
Storage:
256GB / 512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+13.3inch QHD screen 


+Facial recognition


+Decent performance

Reasons to avoid

Average battery life


No fingerprint sensor 

If you need a laptop that you can easily slip into your bag and carry between your home and your classes, the is a great option. Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon

It’s the size of a notepad and weighs less than a kilogram, making it extremely portable. Even the charger will be convenient to carry around; it resembles a smartphone charger rather than a laptop charger.

Its strong performance is complemented by a clear, detailed screen, a sleek, stylish design, and a typing experience that is both satisfying and reliable. The 11th Gen Intel Core processors make it a great choice for getting things done, but I wouldn’t use it for a lot of photo and video editing.

The one major drawback is the short battery life; you’ll almost certainly need to charge it at some point during the day. Fortunately, recharging takes only a few minutes.

The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon, unlike some of the other laptops on this list, does not have a large display or premium features like a touchscreen or fingerprint sensor, but it is ideal for anyone looking for style and portability without spending a lot of money.

The Dell XPS 13 is the best premium student laptop available today.

(Image credit: Dell)

The best premium student laptop

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core i7-1185G7
Graphics:
Intel Iris Xe
RAM:
Up to 16GB
Screen:
Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) 13.4-inch LCD
Storage:
512GB
OS:
Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Dimensions:
Dimensions: 198.70 x 295.70 x 14.80 mm
Weight:
1.2 kg

Reasons to buy

+Powerhouse performance


+Sleek design and great screen


+Will last way beyond university

Reasons to avoid

Average audio


Limited ports

The Dell XPS 13 The series has consistently wowed us here at T3, and the latest version of the laptop continues that trend – it’s powerful, supremely well built, and compact, which is pretty much everything you could want in your search for the best student laptop around during back-to-school season.

This portable computer is equipped with the latest 11th-generation Intel processors and up to 16GB of RAM, making it capable of handling anything you throw at it. The Dell XPS 13 for 2021 is a capable and competent laptop for late-night Netflix to early-morning essay writing.

The Dell’s 13.4-inch display has extremely thin bezels and can be upgraded to 4K resolution if desired, though we believe that for most people Full HD will suffice. In any case, the color reproduction and detailing are excellent.

Check out our comparison of this premium student laptop to a more budget-friendly model. Dell XPS 13 (2020) vs Acer Chromebook 315 comparison feature.

(Image credit: Asus)

4. Asus Vivobook Pro 14X OLED

The best student laptop for content creators

Specifications
CPU:
Ryzen 9 5900HX / 5800H / 5600H
Graphics:
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050
RAM:
8GB / 16GB / 32GB
Screen:
14inch 2880 x 1800 or 3840 x 2400
Storage:
256GB / 512GB / 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Beautiful screen


+Lightweight


+Special functionality for creative software

Reasons to avoid

Not the most powerful CPU

When you swipe the icon on the touchpad, a virtual dial appears, allowing you to make fine control edits to your work. This mid-priced laptop is aimed squarely at you if you’re a creative student or content creator just starting out. It has some unique functionality to help you use software like Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere Pro. It was designed with creatives in mind.

This budget laptop also comes with a stunning 14-inch OLED display with Pantone-certified colors and a high resolution of either 2880 x 1800 or 3840 x 2400, depending on the model.

In the meantime, performance, connectivity, and battery life are adequate but not exceptional, and keep in mind that there is no touchscreen or pen input. Given the laptop’s mid-range price, however, these are compromises that most creative students will be happy to accept.

(Image credit: MSI)

5. MSI Katana GF66

The best student laptop for affordable gaming

Specifications
CPU:
11th-gen Intel Core i7-11800H
Graphics:
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
RAM:
8GB
Screen:
144Hz, 15.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Storage:
512GB SSD
Connectivity:
802.11ax Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2
Weight:
2.25 kg
Dimensions:
Dimensions: 359 mm x 259 mm x 24.9 mm

Reasons to buy

+Gaming on a budget


+DLSS and ray tracing


+Powerful Intel CPU

Reasons to avoid

Uninspired design

While the MSI Katana GF66It won’t get you the best frame rates, but it will run all of the best games right now without a hitch – and it’ll set you back a lot less than a lot of the mid-range and top-tier gaming laptops on the market right now. You’ll be able to play anything you want at a decent level of quality thanks to the capable Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, and the laptop will also stay relatively cool and quiet.

The powerful 11th-gen Intel Core i7-11800H CPU inside makes this a great student laptop as well as a gaming laptop. It will speed through non-gaming tasks as well. The 15.6-inch display is easy to use, and the integrated webcam comes in handy for video calls.

If you’re looking for a powerful all-around laptop that can handle the latest games while staying within your budget, the MSI Katana GF66 is a model to consider. Although the laptop’s design isn’t particularly inspiring, it does mean that you can use it in lectures without drawing too much attention to yourself.

A lightweight laptop that fits easily into your bag at a reasonable price.

(Image credit: Acer)

6. Acer Swift 1

The best budget Chromebook for students

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Pentium Silver N6000
Graphics:
Intel UHD Graphics 615
RAM:
4GB / 8GB
Screen:
14-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Storage:
64GB / 128GB / 256GB
Connectivity:
Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Camera:
720p
Weight:
1.3kg
Dimensions:
15 x 323 x 212 mm

Reasons to buy

+Sturdy, attractive design


+Fantastic battery life


+Fingerprint sensor for extra security

Reasons to avoid

Screen isn’t particularly bright


Disappointing performance

If you’re looking for a low-cost laptop, the Acer Swift 1 With a backlit keyboard and slim bezels around the 14-inch display, it’s not only small and light enough to carry around, but it also looks quite sleek in comparison to other laptops at this price. is something to think about.

It’s not all about looks, though: this laptop has a good screen, a fingerprint sensor for added security, and a long battery life. You get a lot of bang for your buck here.

While this is a great basic laptop, performance is sacrificed. So look elsewhere if you need it for anything creative like graphic design or photo editing. However, for those who only need a laptop to type essays and watch Netflix shows, this is a good option.

If you don’t mind Chrome OS, the Acer Chromebook 15 is a great, low-cost student laptop option.

(Image credit: Acer)

7. Acer Chromebook 315

The best budget Chromebook for students

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Celeron 3205U 1.5GHz (dual-core)
Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics
RAM:
4GB
Screen:
1,920 x 1,080 pixels on a 15.6-inch display
Storage:
32GB SSD
Connectivity:
802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Camera:
720p
Weight:
4.85 pounds
Dimensions:
Dimensions: 15.08 x 9.65 x 0.95 inches

Reasons to buy

+Quality screen


+Long-lasting battery


+Very attractive price point

Reasons to avoid

Basic keyboard and audio

The Chromebook 315 is an incredibly affordable student laptop that is also extremely capable. The hardware matches the price, with lower specs all around – but since the laptop runs Chrome OS, it doesn’t matter too much, as the laptop still provides a fast and responsive user experience.

Providing that you have an internet connection, which anyone This Chromebook unlocks the powerful and comprehensive G-Suite of applications, which includes Google Docs, GMAIL, Drive, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, Hangouts, and more, just like a smartphone does (hello portable hotspot) – simply put, it delivers everything a student needs in class or when working on coursework and revising.

Its speakers are poor once again, with flat treble and weak bass – but at this price, you can get an iPhone or iPod as well. One of the best student laptops available in 2021 for those on a budget who don’t require a slew of extra features. By the way, that 15.6-inch screen is a dream come true.

Do you want to see how this system compares to our top-rated student laptop? Then take a look at our website. HP Pavilion 14 vs Acer Chromebook 315 comparison feature.

(Image credit: Google)

8. Google Pixelbook Go

Another great student laptop with Chrome OS

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core m3-i7
Graphics:
Intel UHD Graphics 615 (300MHz)
RAM:
8GB – 16GB
Screen:
Full HD Display – 4K Ultra HD Molecular Display
Storage:
64-256GB

Reasons to buy

+Amazing battery life


+Fantastic “hush” keyboard


+Premium looks, not a premium price

The Pixelbook Go is more expensive than other Chromebooks, but thanks to widespread discounts, you can get premium looks and build quality for a fraction of the price of a comparable PC or Mac. The touchscreen is excellent, the webcam is excellent, and the battery life is excellent, with 8 to 10 hours of mixed use and support for fast charging; we described it in our review as “the best Chromebook ever… it’s simply outstanding.”

Although the processor is relatively low-powered compared to, say, Apple’s M1, Chrome OS has been designed to be as lightweight as possible and doesn’t require the same amount of horsepower as rival operating systems. If you’ve previously looked at Chromebooks but thought they weren’t powerful enough, we think the Pixelbook Go will change your mind: although the processor is relatively low-powered compared to, say, Apple’s M1, Chrome OS has been designed to be as lightweight as possible and doesn’t require the same amount of Chrome is a mature and capable operating system these days.

(Image credit: Apple)

9. Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

The best student laptop for most Mac users

Specifications
CPU:
Apple M1
Graphics:
Apple M1
RAM:
8GB/16GB Unified Memory
Screen:
2,560 x 1,600 pixels on a 13.3-inch display
Storage:
Up to 2TB

Reasons to buy

+Thin and light


+Clean, crisp display


+Spectacularly fast

Reasons to avoid

More ports would be nice


Webcam still not great

It’s the Apple-powered M1 MacBook Air this year. This isn’t just the best Apple laptop for students; it’s also the best Apple laptop for professionals. It may appear to be identical to its predecessor on the outside, but it is vastly different on the inside. Almost everyone will find it to be the best Apple laptop. Last year, we recommended the Intel-powered MacBook Air as the best Apple laptop for students.

The processor in this MacBook is now an Apple one, which sets it apart. It’s from the same family as the iPhone and iPad processors, and it’s incredibly fast and energy efficient.

The processor, graphics processor, and memory in Apple’s M1 are all combined to work incredibly efficiently, resulting in a MacBook Air that delivers truly exceptional performance and all-day battery life, as well as the pick-up-and-go portability that has long been a trademark of the MacBook Air. In tests, the new Air outperformed a number of laptops that cost significantly more.

It’s a fantastic all-arounder. For a variety of reasons, we chose the MacBook Air over the MacBook Pro. It’s less expensive without being less powerful, it’s completely silent, and it has the same number of expansion ports as its more expensive sibling.

Check out T3’s review to see how this system stacks up against our top student laptop pick. Apple Macbook Air (M1, 2020) vs. HP Pavilion 14 comparison feature.

(Image credit: Samsung)

10. Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360

The best high-end student laptop with a large display.

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core i7-1165G7
Graphics:
Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM:
16GB
Screen :
15.6-inch
Storage:
512GB
OS:
Windows 10

Reasons to buy

+S Pen included in the box


+Incredibly slim and lightweight


+Works seamlessly with other Galaxy devices

Reasons to avoid

16:9 aspect ratio won’t suit everyone


No facial recognition

If you need a laptop that can be used to get work done during the day and then stream TV and movies in the evenings, the HP Pavilion x360 is the laptop for you. Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 will be a great premium option. 

The 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) screen is ideal for streaming video, and it can be rotated 360 degrees to become a tablet. However, the 16:9 aspect ratio is not for everyone. That makes it suitable for a wide range of tasks, including writing essays and sketching quickly.

It’s only 1.39 kilograms! One issue with large-screen portable computers is that they are typically bulky, making them difficult to transport to class or the library. That isn’t an issue here, though, because this laptop is extremely thin and light.

Do you want a 2-in-1 laptop for your student? The Microsoft Surface Go 2 provides all of this at a reasonable price.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

11. Microsoft Surface Go 2

The best 2-in-1 laptop for students on a budget

Specifications
CPU:
8th-gen Intel Core m3
Graphics:
Intel UHD Graphics 615
RAM:
4GB / 8GB
Screen:
1920 x 1280 pixels (220 ppi) 10.5-inch display
Storage:
64GB / 128GB

Reasons to buy

+Attractive low price


+Good hardware package


+Compact and lightweight

Reasons to avoid

Not the most powerful laptop

Microsoft has you covered if you want to get in on this without paying a lot of money – students, in other words. Microsoft’s forays into the 2-in-1 market have been hugely successful, reviving the company’s image as a serious hardware manufacturer just when it needed it. Microsoft Surface Go 2.

It improves on what made the original Surface Go great, with a more premium-feeling design and a minor performance boost to ensure you can complete all of your computing tasks. It also crams a larger screen into a form factor that’s the same size as the original Surface Go while reducing bezels.

With the Surface Go, you can get around five hours of use between charges, and its size and power make it ideal for hopping between the library and the lecture hall. Make sure to factor in the extra cost of the Type Cover keyboard when deciding whether or not to buy this. You’ll need it to use it as a laptop as well as a tablet.

Check out our in-depth review of this budget 2-in-1 student laptop. Should I Purchase the Microsoft Surface Go 2 User’s Guide?Check out our to see how it stacks up against other top budget laptops. Asus Vivobook 15 vs Microsoft Surface Go 2 comparison feature.

(Image credit: Apple)

12. MacBook Pro 13-inch

The best student laptop for Apple fans looking for a high-end product.

Specifications
CPU:
8th-generation Intel Core i5 to 10th-generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processors
Graphics:
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 vs. Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 vs. Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 vs. Intel I
RAM:
8GB to 32GB
Screen:
Display: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 pixels
Storage:
256GB to 4TB

Reasons to buy

+Impressively thin design


+Incredible performance


+Gorgeous Retina display

Reasons to avoid

Pricey

Consider the 13-inch MacBook Pro from Apple (and yes, the keyboard has finally been fixed) if you need sleekness and power and are willing to pay for it (but still want something that isn’t too difficult to carry around or stuff into a backpack).

There are a variety of configurations to suit your needs and budget, but if you’re planning on doing any serious image or video editing, you can get this laptop very well specced out. Don’t overlook what you get with macOS, either, as Apple’s apps are constantly improving.

Prior to the switch to Apple Silicon, the 10th-generation Intel chips are included. If your budget is tight, Macs aren’t the best option, but if you can afford the 13-inch MacBook Pro, you won’t be disappointed – it’ll last you well through your college years and likely beyond.

What is the best gaming laptop for students? The Acer Nitro 5 is the device in question.

(Image credit: Acer)

13. Acer Nitro 5

The best student laptop for gamers

Specifications
Weight:
6.61 pounds (3kg)
Dimensions:
15.8 x 11.02 x 1.05 inches (40.3 x 28 x 2.69cm) W x D x H
CPU:
2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H (hexa-core)
Graphics:
Intel UHD Graphics 630; Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB GDDR6 VRAM);
RAM:
8GB
Screen:
17.3-inch Full HD (1,920×1,080) IPS (144Hz refresh rate with Nvidia G-Sync) IPS (Pantone Validated)
Storage:
256GB NVMe SSD
Camera:
0.9MP (1280×720)
Ports:
2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-C) port, 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 HDMI port, and a headset jack

Reasons to buy

+GeForce RTX graphics card


+Affordable price point


+Solid all-round laptop

Reasons to avoid

Plastic case is a bit flexible


Not the most contrasty screen


Not the most powerful gaming laptop

It’s an excellent choice because it offers serious gaming prowess at a reasonable price. The Acer Nitro 5 is also a great choice if you’re a gamer who wants to play the latest AAA PC games in between study sessions. It’s not all work and no play when you’re a student.

This GPU is powered by a 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H hexa-core CPU that has more than enough horsepower to handle any typical laptop task as well as more creative tasks like photo and video editing. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card is at the heart of that experience, capable of running games like Cyberpunk 2077 with real-time ray tracing enabled.

The Acer Nitro 5 also has a large 17.3-inch screen, which makes watching movies and TV shows more immersive, and connecting peripherals and other tech is a breeze thanks to a variety of connection ports.

A built-in webcam and microphone are also included, allowing for remote learning and video chats with friends, family, and other gamers. The laptop comes in a variety of configurations as well.

Overall, the Acer Nitro 5 is a capable all-around laptop, but it’s not for everyone. also It comes with dedicated gaming silicon built in, making it a no-brainer for students looking for a new gaming laptop.

Check out T3’s review to see how this laptop stacks up against two other popular gaming systems. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 vs Acer Nitro 5 and Acer Nitro 5 vs. Asus Zephyrus ROG S GX701 comparison features.

In 2021, the Huawei Matebook X Pro is one of the most expensive student laptops on the market.

14. Huawei Matebook X Pro

For students with serious studying (and entertainment) needs, mobile computing has gone to the next level.

Specifications
CPU:
8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics:
Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM:
8GB – 16GB
Screen:
3K (13.9-inch, 3,000 x 2,080 pixels)
Storage:
512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Clean and vibrant display


+Impeccable battery performance


+Very strong hardware suite

Reasons to avoid

On the expensive side


Strange webcam placement


No 4K display resolution

Why not invest in a student laptop that is not only built to last, but also one of the most powerful laptops you can buy in 2021 if you’re going to kickstart your education, regardless of the subject or level? That’s what Huawei’s powerful MateBook X Pro has to offer, and it’ll keep you covered no matter what you’re working on.

It has a lovely 13.9-inch 3K display, a beefy Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 GPU, and a battery that will last you through even the longest of all-nighters, all housed in an attractive and sleek chassis.

With all of these features and more, the Huawei MateBook X Pro has established itself as the new gold standard and one of the best student laptops for 2021.

Without a doubt, the Dell Insprion 3000 is one of the best student laptops for those on a budget.

(Image credit: Dell)

15. Dell Insprion 14 3000

A brilliant budget buy for students

Specifications
Processor:
Celeron® Processor 4205U (2MB Cache, 1.8 GHz) Intel® Celeron® Processor 4205U (2MB Cache, 1.8 GHz) Intel® Celeron® Processor 4
Graphics:
Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM:
4GB
Storage:
128GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
Display:
14-inch LCD 1366 x 768 resolution
OS:
Windows 10 Home 64bit
Weight:
1.66 kg (3.68 lbs)

Reasons to buy

+Incredibly cheap


+Solid internal hardware


+Full fat Windows 10 experience

Reasons to avoid

Screen isn’t super bright


Basic keyboard

There’s just so much Its rock-solid internal hardware allows it to handle light computing tasks with ease, and its stylish lightweight design makes it extremely portable. There’s a lot to like about the Dell Inspiron 14 3000, and its ridiculously low price is just the beginning.

If you value browsing the internet, writing reports and essays, and storing your most important media and work, the Insprion 14 3000 is an excellent companion. Its 14-inch LCD anti-glare screen is also sharp, and it comes pre-installed with a full fat version of Windows 10 Home 64bit, so it offers a true Windows 10 experience right out of the box.

The laptop also has a webcam, making it easy to join seminars and remote meetings, and its SD card reader and numerous ports make it simple to connect it to storage as well as larger screens and peripherals.

Overall, a fantastic low-cost Windows 10 laptop that will be ideal for returning to school.

The HP Envy x360 2-in-1 student laptop is a powerful and versatile 2-in-1 laptop.

(Image credit: HP)

16. HP Envy x360

A classy 2-in-1 student laptop

Specifications
CPU:
2-3.6GHz AMD Ryzen 5 2500U quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 2500U quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 2500U quad-core
Graphics:
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
RAM:
8GB DDR4
Screen:
13.3-inch FHD IPS LCD
Storage:
128GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Very versatile form factor


+Stylish design


+Competitive price

Reasons to avoid

No stylus in box


Average audio

It manages to combine some respectable specs with some very respectable looks for a price that isn’t quite as astronomical as it appears. The HP Envy x360 is a good option if you like the HP brand but don’t want to spend as much as the Pavillion (see above).

With AMD powering the CPU and GPU, this is a laptop that can handle most tasks you throw at it, aside from intensive gaming and video editing – it’s ideal for writing essays, doing some web research, or creating a budget spreadsheet to figure out where all your money goes.

Definitely one to add to your list of the best student laptops. And, because this is a 2-in-1, you can fold the HP Envy x360 into a tent mode and watch Netflix or YouTube on the bright, crisp 13.3-inch screen when the workday is done.

The Dell XPS 15 is currently the best student laptop for tech enthusiasts running Windows 10.

17. Dell XPS 15

A portable student laptop powerhouse

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core i7 6700HQ (quad-core, 6MB cache, Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz) 2.6GHz
Graphics:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M (with 2GB GDDR5)
RAM:
Dual Channel DDR4 (2,133MHz; 8GB x 2) Memory: 16GB
Screen:
InfinityEdge touch 15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) display
Storage:
512GB PCIe SSD

Reasons to buy

+Dazzling 4K display


+Impeccable build quality


+Premium-grade hardware

Reasons to avoid

Expensive


Would you be better with the XPS 13?

It has the advantage of being able to bring whatever you’re doing on its beautiful 15-inch 4K screen to life while also having the dimensions of a 14-inch laptop. Dell’s XPS 15 has an almost bezel-less InfinityEdge display, just like its smaller sibling, the awesome XPS 13, but it’s better for long hours of work because of the larger screen.

It’s also bag-friendly and comes with a spec sheet that includes an Nvidia GTX 960M mobile graphics card that’s capable of handling just about any game as long as you stick to 1080p.

Despite this, it remains one of the best student laptops on the market. The XPS 15’s main flaw is its battery life, so don’t expect it to last more than a few hours without a booster pack.

On a student budget, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i delivers solid gaming performance.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

18. Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i

One of the most capable gaming laptops for students.

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core i5-10300H
Graphics:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB
RAM:
8GB DDR4
Screen:
15.6-inch, IPS, 1920 х 1080p
Storage:
128GB

Reasons to buy

+Stylish design


+120Hz screen


+Affordable price point

Reasons to avoid

Not the most powerful specs


Battery life isn’t great

Gaming laptops are typically more expensive than non-gaming laptops, which is why Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3iIt stands out a little. It makes a strong case for any student who wants to be able to play games in their spare time, thanks to its low price, stylish design, and dedicated GPU.

There’s a lot to like about this student laptop, including the 120Hz IPS Full HD display. The screen is also 15.6 inches in size, giving you plenty of room for at least two windows and full-screen Netflix streaming. This improves the experience of playing fast-paced games.

As you might expect, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i’s graphics card isn’t the fastest, but the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB has enough power to run most AAA games at medium settings, which is aided by its powerful Intel Core i5 CPU.

Overall, this is a good all-around student laptop that also has some decent gaming performance and comes at a reasonable price.

The Acer Swift 3 is a great student laptop because it’s small and stylish.

(Image credit: Acer)

19. Acer Swift 3

A great all-round and compact student laptop

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core i7-1065G7 quad-core processor (up to 10th generation)
:
Graphics:
Up to Nvidia GeForce MX350
RAM:
Up to 16GB
Screen:
Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 pixels on a 14-inch display
Storage:
Up to 512GB

Reasons to buy

+Power through work


+Sharp, bright screen


+Lightweight and compact

Reasons to avoid

Limited integrated graphics


Ordinary battery life


A little on the expensive side

The Acer Swift series has always been a favorite of ours, and the Swift 3’s latest iteration hasn’t changed our minds. For staring at those essays and video streaming services, you get a 14-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 screen, while everything is powered by Intel Core i5 or i7 chips under the hood.

If you think you’ll need it, you can even install an Nvidia GeForce MX350 graphics card at the top of the configuration options. The Acer Swift 3 gets better as you look closer; it supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 standards, for example, and has a good selection of ports (2 USB-A, 1 USB-C, and 1 HDMI).

When looking for the best student laptop for returning to school, you want something that’s dependable, compact, portable, and attractive – and the Acer Swift 3 checks all of those boxes. If you prefer Windows, this is one to add to your shortlist.

What’s important to consider with student laptops

Students’ laptops are no longer just for writing essays, but also for participating in those crucial online sessions, so you’ll need one that can handle both video calls and documents. Students are spending more time on their laptops than ever before, thanks to online classes, video meetings, and virtual collaborations, and you don’t want to scrimp on an underpowered model to work optimally.

We’re now in the summer months leading up to the start of the new academic year, which is great news for student laptop shoppers because many retailers are currently offering discounts on some great systems that are ideal for school and college.

If you’re wondering what distinguishes the best college laptops from the rest, look no further. best laptops overall or specialist systems like gaming laptops and 2-in-1 laptopsThat means they can’t cut any corners, but they must be competitively priced. , it’s that they must meet two distinct criteria: they must be excellent all-rounders and they must also be excellent value.

The arrival of the best Chromebookshas given the stock market a good jolt. Google’s mobile-focused laptops, as well as Apple’s iPads, have prompted PC manufacturers to step up their game – and we think you should check out T3’s. best tabletsBecause many of today’s tablets are also capable laptops, we’ve included a guide as well. All you need is a keyboard to get started. If you prefer Dells to Apples and laptops to tablets, however, see our guide to the best Dell laptops. best Dell laptops.

Also, if you’re looking for external storage, especially for Apple laptops, take a look at our selection. best external hard drives for Mac guide as well as this one.

Of course, price is important, but it shouldn’t be your only consideration. That’s why our guide covers so many different options, manufacturers, and operating systems: each student is unique, and their needs will vary. So, how do you pick the best laptop for a student?

We don’t know what this academic year holds – we’ve given up trying to predict the future after the last 24 months – but we do know that whether your learning is entirely online, partially online, or a combination of the two, these laptops will be the ideal companions for studying, staying in touch with friends and family, and even for creativity.

Laptops are also great for serious processing and rendering these days, so if you’re a budding engineer in need of some advice, T3’s list is a good place to start. best laptops for engineering studentsa guide This guide is chock-full of systems that won’t let you down when you’re working with resource-intensive software like AutoCAD, MATLAB, or Solid Works.

Finally, if you’re looking to improve your home or dormitory office for studying, we recommend that you take a look at our website. best office chairs Furthermore, our guide, as it will allow you to work comfortably for long periods of time. best webcams If you want to look good in video meetings, this guide is worth considering.

How do you pick the best laptop for a student?

We hope that our student laptop buying guide proves useful to anyone looking for a system that is capable, affordable, and productive. We’re constantly updating this list with newer models and updated information, so check back often. We’ve also included some helpful buying advice to help you choose the best learning tool for going back to school.

Computers today must be capable of far more than the primitive number crunchers of the past. Given that several courses have special requirements, as well as the standard office packages, they must support a wide range of software.

When it comes to software, students can take advantage of Microsoft’s Office 365 suite for free, as well as Google’s Chromebooks and Google Docs suite, which are both free to use.

Given the rising cost of education around the world, these machines must also be affordable. Of course, these laptops must be capable of playing HD video lectures without juddering, and a good set of speakers is always useful after a long day at university.

For web lectures and broadcast media-related courses, integrated webcams are also important, but they are now included as standard on every laptop. It’d be difficult to find a model who didn’t have one.

How we test student laptops

As a result, we approach student laptop testing with this in mind, narrowing down the process to what a buyer would consider in a store. Laptops are extremely versatile and powerful tools, so there is a lot to think about when purchasing one.

First, we assess the system’s build quality and design. We’re looking for signs of toughness and quality, as well as overall fit and finish, in this section. We also evaluate the student laptop’s screen at this point, judging its color balance, fidelity, and features such as anti-glare coatings and small bezels.

So we examine its core specifications, such as the processor, RAM, storage capacity, and graphics chip, before using a set of benchmarking tools to test the overall package. Next, we assess the student laptop solely on the basis of its hardware, both on paper and in practice.

We then move on to the more hands-on part of the review, which includes how the laptop’s operating system and software work, as well as how it performs in the real world – for example, how easy is it to carry around a student laptop, or how well does it perform in a coffee shop.

Finally, we examine any notable features of the system, including RGB lighting systems, mechanical keyboards, built-in webcams, touchscreens, rotating screens, stylus support, biometric sign-in options, and more. At this point, we also provide a rough estimate of the system’s battery life.

If the student laptop receives a high score, it will be considered for T3’s best student laptop buying guide, which showcases the best systems available. We only score the student laptop after these stages are completed, using a 5-star system (1 being the worst and 5 being the best).