Top 7 Best Budget Laptops For Students _BEST_
There are a few other boxes that the best student laptops should check besides being able to handle the demands of your coursework. One of the biggest considerations you should have when choosing a student laptop is battery life - you need something that will last all day during your classes and still have juice leftover for late nights studying at the library.
Top 7 Best Budget Laptops for Students
This is a slightly loaded question, because ultimately the best operating system for students (whether that's Windows 10 or 11, macOS, or ChromeOS) will always come down to which OS the student in question prefers to use. Some of us are married to the effective functionality of Windows; others might prefer the aesthetically pleasing UI of Apple devices, or the Android-esque, streamlined user experience Chromebook provide.
The best student laptop should give you excellent value for money. Many students are operating on a tighter budget, with a new laptop usually being the single most expensive purchase made by college students when they begin a course. However, that doesn't mean you should simply pick the cheapest laptop you can find.
When it comes to choosing the ideal laptop for students, you'll need to make sure you get the best bang for your buck, lest be saddled with a clunker of a laptop. Ultimately, the best laptop will be different for each individual user. If you're a filmmaking or animation major, you'll likely need a laptop with powerful components and a dedicated GPU for running intensive software like video-editing and rendering programs. The same goes for STEM students.
With so many available options on the market, we understand that it can get a little tough to decide what to go for. Don't panic, though: we've thoroughly tested an absolute boatload of laptops, and compiled our top picks for students below.
We recognize that not everyone has the same needs. As such, our recommendations include laptops catering to all kinds of needs and budgets. The best gaming laptops, for instance, are going to be a lot more expensive than the best student Chromebooks. However, the processing power of the former is also going to be much more powerful than that of any of the best Chromebooks.
Although we do recommend one 17-incher in our guide for those that need that screen space, it's fairly light and svelte for its size. But we'd generally recommend a 13 or 14in widescreen laptop as the best option for students. This will fit easily into a backpack or satchel and in most cases will be reasonably light.
Student laptops should be thin and light enough to be easily carried around, and they should also be built to withstand an entire school day in a backpack. Long battery lives are also essential, so that students don't have to worry about having to plug them in half way through a lesson.
Good brands for reliability are Dell, HP, Acer, Asus and Microsoft for Windows laptops, and then, of course, Apple. For creatives, Asus has its fantastic VivoBook range which offers good prices on devices built with creative professionals and students in mind, so check out those if you're starting a course for video editing or digital illustration.
Yes, they do. Not every student will need massive specs. We've included a Chomebook at number 3 in our guide to the best student laptops because for many students giving up a big storage capacity for super speed makes very good sense. The apps that Chromebooks run take up very little space, and with built-in support for Google Drive, it means your documents are all saved in the cloud as well.
Choosing one of the best student laptops isn't confined to the start of a school year. There are a host of reasons why you might need a new machine, and since every course needs something different, we've put together a list of the best laptops for studying, from the best university laptop to those for younger students.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 offers a budget-friendly middle ground between Microsoft's premium tablets and larger laptops, with an affordable compact notebook design. From the color options and aluminum lid to the 11th Generation Intel Core i5 processor inside, the Surface Laptop Go 2 delivers a near-premium experience despite its low price.
The hardware inside delivers performance that's more than capable, and pairs it with an updated webcam, a taller 3:2 aspect ratio display, and even some room to grow with SSDs that can be replaced or upgraded. With more style and a better build quality than most affordable laptops, it's a budget laptop win.
This laptop is ideal for anyone looking for a powerful gaming laptop that won't break the bank. It's the best choice for gamers who want to play the latest games at high settings without sacrificing performance or visual quality. Despite its lack of biometrics, this laptop is also suitable for anyone who needs to balance both gaming and productivity, making it a versatile choice for students and professionals alike.
Ready to dive into the details around budget laptops? Today's good news is that you'll have to accept fewer compromises with budget laptops than you did in the past. Intel's Celeron and Pentium processors (which power most of the under-$400 laptop set) have evolved to the point that they can support most of your web browsing and basic productivity needs without feeling sluggish. (That's especially true with Chromebooks; more on them later.) That said, the $400-to-$700 Windows laptop market is mostly populated by systems based on the much peppier Intel Core i3 and Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 families of processors. Opt for these CPU lines if you need more than just the basics. (See more about how to choose a laptop CPU.)
In years past, many of the barest-budget Windows laptops would come with just 2GB or 4GB of main system memory, but nowadays, at least in the Windows sphere, most come with 8GB. (A 4GB RAM count remains more common in Chromebooks and under-$300 Windows laptops.) In terms of batteries, an ideal budget laptop has one with six cells or more. The battery life for a cheap laptop should come in at a minimum of seven or eight hours, and these days, many will last quite a bit longer. (A lower-resolution screen, which is a feature of some of these machines, can consume less power, all else being equal, and end up being a benefit of sorts.)
Other budget systems, particularly Chromebooks and some under-$400 Windows laptops, will have only a small allotment (32GB or 64GB) of local storage, but compensate for it with generous offers of additional free cloud storage. Of course, as with anything cloud-based, you'll need to be online to access it. Also, know that budget machines with this little local storage, among them many Chromebooks, are using what is called "eMMC memory" as their main storage. This is not the same as the flash memory used in a true solid-state drive (SSD), and it will feel a tad sluggish if you're used to an SSD.
An HDMI output and a USB-C port are definite pluses, and you can find these on even some of the very cheapest models. You shouldn't always expect a touch-screen display, however. (See our picks for the best touch-screen laptops.) Any 2-in-1 convertible machine, though, will by definition have a touch screen, as having one is necessary for using the machine as a tablet or in other orientations where the keyboard is covered up.
See our guide to the best 2-in-1 convertible and hybrid laptops for more information about this popular segment of the market. In part because of their added complexity compared with traditional clamshell designs, you won't find quite as many affordable ones, but there are a few Windows and ChromeOS-based models that cost $500 or below. They come in both permanently attached (generally 360-degree-rotating-hinge) designs, and in detachable-keyboard designs.
The best inexpensive laptops tend to go in and out of stock frequently. We've broken out the specs of our favorites here, and while we update this guide constantly, there's a good chance that at least one of our picks is back-ordered at any given time. But if you're on a strict budget, don't lose heart. You can definitely find PCs that will offer you enough performance to tackle your day-to-day tasks without a hitch. 041b061a72