The best student laptops don’t always have to be the cheapest on the market. While budget laptops tend to be great candidates for students who are trying to be economical, paying a few extra bucks for a couple of extra useful features could be more advantageous. Similarly, while students generally don’t need high-powered laptops, you can never go wrong with having a big more power.
That said, the best laptops for college students do need to fit a few criteria. They, of course, have to be affordable, even though they don’t necessarily have to be cheap. They also need to deliver performance-wise, so they can handle a student’s particular workload as well as streaming and perhaps light gaming post-course work. And, finally, they must have a great battery life, hopefully enough to last a whole school day on a single charge.
HP Chromebook 14
Don’t have a lot of cash to buy the most expensive laptop around? You might not need anything super powerful – you’ll mostly be accessing the web, creating work documents from home, and watching some YouTube and Netflix. If that’s you, the HP Chromebook 14-db0003na should serve you well.
This HP Chromebook 14 starts inexpensively for an AMD A4-9120 CPU, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of eMMC storage, and an HD (1,366 X 768) resolution 14-inch display. Yes, that’s right. This is the second Chromebook powered by AMD that we’re reviewing.
Not only is it a very inexpensive home-office laptop, but it’s also quite unique. And that gives it enough of an advantage to be worth investing your very limited budget.
Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1
Dell’s Inspiron line of laptops may not be its most premium family, but that hasn’t kept some of the best features and performance hardware from showing up here.
The Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 Black Edition (or Dell Inspiron 7390) is a testament to that, with exclusively high-end internals, a premium design, a 4K display, and a clever stylus slot that makes us wonder whether they actually beat Microsoft to the idea.
The Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 serves as a launching point for Dell’s latest Inspiron 13 7000-series laptops. That’s because Dell was quick to move on from this model. It was effectively the ultimate version of the Inspiron 13 7000-series just before Dell took the leap into 10th-Gen Intel Core processors.
MacBook Air 2020
The MacBook Air 2020 feels like a much bigger step up from the MacBook Air 2019 without a doubt. Apple has given it new components, giving it a decent uptick in performance, and upped its minimum storage capacity so that instead of starting with a paltry 128GB, you’re getting double the storage.
That’s not all. Our biggest issue with previous models was how under-powered they felt, especially compared to many Windows-based laptops around the same price tag. There were far too many compromises, especially when it came to processing power and storage space, and each yearly update felt like a small step up, rather than a revolutionary jump.
Thankfully, the MacBook Air 2020 has made up for that. For the first time, it also now has configurations with quad-core processors and up to 16GB of RAM on hand, making this year’s models more powerful than their predecessors. And, it does all of this without costing more and neglecting that all-important thin and light design which the MacBook Air is famous for.
In a pleasant surprise, the MacBook Air (2020) has launched at a new lower price for its entry-level model.
Buy it if…
You want an affordable MacBook
The MacBook Air (2020) finally delivers on the promise of an affordable MacBook that doesn’t feel like there have been too many compromises.
Don’t buy it if…
You want the most powerful laptop
While Apple has updated the specs of the MacBook Air, and finally added quad-core CPU options, this is still not a laptop designed for seriously heavy workloads.