For college, your textbooks, school ID and (now) laptop are the essentials you need. And it isn’t only needed for school work alone, you need it for extracurricular activities, such as watching movies, gaming, surfing the Web, editing/sending photos, video chatting with those back home, and so on.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are here, and for college students, it’s the best time to take advantage of the holiday shopping discounts to get yourself an ideal laptop for college, alongside other gadgets.
When you’re a college student, prices can start to pile, especially when you have a lot that need to be had in readiness for the new semester. Fortunately, our top list of college laptops is here to save you some bucks. In our list, we have compiled budget-minded machines with superb styles and respectable performance, but they do all that while saving money – so even the most modest pockets can get in on the action.
One thing we know, saving up for a college laptop can be daunting, so in our top list for college students, the included laptops don’t need to have the best processor and graphics – they’ll mainly feature to get the job done.
They are not limited to Windows 10 only, we have Chromebooks that are the best laptops for college students, on the premise that they’ll let you get all your work done while savings you a ton of money. And, we also have the pricier ultrabooks, and even gaming laptops that cost slightly more but allow you the flexibility of snappy CPUs and dedicated graphics cards.
At the start of the year, we already did a back to school tech guide, but now we’re going to dive further and take a last-minute look at the laptop you need to go back to school, hoping that you have already captured the other gadgets.
Of course, we do love all our picks for college students, so if you happen to see one outside your college major, rest assured it’s still a great machine.
Our Top Picks for College Students in 2018
1. Huawei MateBook X Pro (Mach-W19B)
Ultrabook luxury in learning
CPU: Latest 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.9-inch 3K (3,000 x 2,000), Widescreen IPS | Storage: 256GB SSD
Starting configuration: $1,234.65 at Amazon
With the MateBook X Pro, Huawei has managed to deliver a sleek ultraportable laptop that mimics the Apple MacBook Pro (2018) on everything –from color to keyboard switches. But in surprising twist, Huawei’s replica of the MacBook Pro is luxurious, performant and long-lasting, with subtle improvements upon both Apple’s design and the Dell XPS 13’s performance.
Read full review: Huawei MateBook X Pro
2. Microsoft Surface Pro
Need a Tablet? A Laptop… Or both?
CPU: 7th generation Intel Core i5| Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 – Iris Plus Graphics 640 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display | Storage: 256GB SSD
Starting configuration: $856.97 at Amazon
The Microsoft Surface Pro is a shoo-in for anyone looking for a 2-in-1 detachable hybrid tablet PC, thanks to new seventh-generation processors and longer battery life. It is the system to watch for the remainder of the year as we expect competition to intensify, but with a processor bump and longer battery life.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro
3. Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-576-392H)
Incredibly Affordable, Good Value
CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i3-8130U Processor | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 6GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 | Storage: 1000GB (5400RPM) HDD
Starting configuration: $379.99 at Amazon
The Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-576-392H) is the true definition of a top-value system that offers the best features and components at a low price. It is around the same price as the Acer Aspire E15 from last year, but performs better, has more memory.
Read the full review: Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-576-392H)
4. MacBook Pro 15-inch (2018)
Timeless design, powerful enough into the future
CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 555X – 560X, Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.4-inch, 2,880 x 1,800 Retina display | Storage: 512GB – 4TB SSD
Starting configuration: $2,599.99 at Amazon
The newest Apple MacBook Pro is so far, the laptop of choice for anyone looking for a blend of power and function, making it an aesthetic masterpiece. It does get a few upgrades here-and-there, especially on performance and has the best battery life.
5. Dell Inspiron 13 5000 Series
A powerful, yet affordable, 2-in-1 hybrid laptop
CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) True-life IPS | Storage: 1TB (5400rpm) HDD
Starting configuration: $669.00 at Amazon
The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (i5379-5043GRY-PUS) offers good value in both design, feature set and performance than you’d find in the 2-in-1 convertible category, for much less. However, it makes a few tradeoffs in the choice of storage option, but it does make up for the same with the latest 8th-gen., processor and pocket-friendly pricing.
Read the full review: Dell Inspiron 13 5000 Series
6. ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02
Thin, Rugged, Lightweight, Affordable
CPU: Intel Quad-Core N3060 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 11.6 HD (1366×768 ) IPS | Storage: 16GB eMMC
Starting configuration: $218.99 at Amazon
The ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 blends some amazing features ever-seen in a Chrome OS-based laptop including a great design, impressive performance and excellent battery life into a single package.
Read the full review: ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02
7.ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH51
MacBook Pro aesthetics and experience for half the price
CPU: Latest 8th Gen Intel i5-8250U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6 Inch Anti-glare FHD 1920 x 1080 Display | Storage: 1 TB HDD
Starting configuration: $509.99 at Amazon
The ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH51 sports a stylish look, a super svelte build, a gorgeous display and the latest eighth generation ‘Kaby Lake-R’ processor. In a crowded field of ultraportables, it stands out for solid performance and good pricing.
Read the full review: ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH51
8. MSI GV62 8RD-200
For campus gamers
CPU: Intel 8th Gen Core i5-8300H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050Ti | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6-inches FHD (1920×1080) IPS | Storage: 16GB Optane + 1TB HDD
The MSI GV62 8RD-200 affirms the new concept, among others, that you don’t have to stick with bulky black boxes with insane accents that would be absurd if you bring them into a professional setting, in order to enjoy your games. On the other hand, while the design looks future-driven, this system will mostly appeal to folks who want a laptop that can’t be mistaken for anything than gaming.
Read the full review: MSI GV62 8RD-200
9. Dell XPS 15
More of what we love
CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare | Storage: 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Starting configuration: $1,538.89 at Amazon
The Dell XPS9570-7996SLV-PUS is a sleek desktop replacement laptop designed for professional creatives, packing a beefy hexa-core CPU, a bright display and an ambitious price. It is a top pick for everything from video editing to 1080p gaming.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 15
10. ASUS ZenBook Flip 14
A design with students in mind, from the OS up
CPU: 8th Gen. Intel Core i5-8250U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch,FHD (1920*1080) Touch Screen, with Stylus pen| Storage: 256GB SSD
Starting configuration: $819.99 at Amazon
The ASUS ZenBook Flip 14 UX461UA-DS51T is a 14-inch convertible 2-in-1 that boasts a premium design, peppy performance and incredible battery life than most peers out there. It is a worth buy for travel, office work and entertainment.
Read the full review: ASUS ZenBook Flip 14
Whatever laptop you get, this might be the right time to pick up a few extras, such as a comfortable mouse, a luxe backpack and perhaps an affordable all-in-one printer. And, don’t forget to preload your system with some antivirus before heading back to campus. If you will be using a multi-monitor system, you can try a good docking station, or a portable monitor that you can use over USB or Thunderbolt 3.
- Now, check out our list of student/college laptops