If you’re a student, your laptop is your toolbox, your textbook, your everything — and you need a solid machine that’s going to last you from orientation to graduation. It’s an essential tool, and you need one that you can rely on: No one has the extra cash to be replacing a subpar laptop halfway through school, and you don’t want to be dealing with unexpected repairs when you have papers to write and parties to attend.
Memory and processors are important when you’re looking for a laptop, especially for classwork: You’ll want something that can handle a ton of tabs and simultaneous programs, as well as enough storage to save downloaded lectures, textbooks, films, the dreaded term project, and other study materials. Here are a few other factors to consider: Read more…
Apple MacBook Pro
A classic from Apple with the highest specs of any MacBook ever built and ideal for photo and video editing.
Storage: 256GB SSD
Battery life: Up to 20 hours
Features: Apple-designed M1 chip, 8-core CPU, 2560 x 1600 HD Retina display, 2 Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, headphone jack, Touch ID
THE BUDGET 2-IN-1
Asus Chromebook Flip
A well-reviewed and sturdy 2-in-1 for under $500 with specs that blow others in this price range out of the water.
Battery life: Up to 10 hours
Features: 1920 x 1080 FHD display, Intel Core m3-8100Y Processor, two USB-C ports, micro SD slot, USB-A port
BEST FOR NOTE TAKING AND DRAWING
Samsung Notebook Pro 9
A 2-in-1 showoff with an included stylus for drawing and note taking, but also ideal for movie-watching and traveling.
Storage: 512GB SSD
RAM: 8 GB
Battery life: Up to 14 hours
Features: Full HD 1920 x 1080 touchscreen display, Intel Core i7-8565U up to 4.6 GHz, 1 USB-C and two Thunderbolt 3 ports, media card reader, Intel UHD Graphics 620
BEST FOR GAMING AND MULTITASKING
Acer Aspire 5
This is a powerful machine with a fast processor — and it won't break the bank.
Storage: 128GB SSD
Battery life: Up to six hours
Features: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor, up to 3.5 GHz, bonus HDD storage, 2 USB 3.1 ports, 1 USB 2.0 port, HDMI port
BEST COMPACT LAPTOP
Dell Inspiron 11 3195 2-in-1
At 11 inches, this 2-in-1 laptop is super compact and portable — but you’ll have to sacrifice some power.
Storage: 128 GB
Battery life: Up to five hours
Features: 1366 x 768 resolution, AMD A9-9420e Processor (Dual Core, 2.6Ghz, 1MB Cache, 15W) and Radeon R5 graphics, 2 USB 2.0 ports, USB 3.1 port, HDMI port, microSD reader
MOST STYLISH OPTION
A portable, stylish laptop that doesn’t skimp on components or features.
Storage: 512GB SSD
RAM: 8GB RAM
Features: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U 4 Quad-Core Processor (2.1 GHz base frequency up to 3.7 GHz, 4 Cores, 6MB L3 Cache), Radeon RX Vega 8 Graphics, USB 3.1 Type A, USB 3.1 Type C, two USB 2.0, HDMI, 1920 x 1080 FHD display
BEST MACBOOK PRO ALTERNATIVE
Huawei MateBook X Pro
If you can ignore the webcam placement, this laptop's 3K touchscreen and stellar speakers make it a powerhouse for studying (and playing).
Storage: 512 GB SSD
RAM: 16 GB
Battery life: 15 hours
Features: USB-C ports, 3K touchscreen, second-generation Dolby Atmos speakers, Intel i7-8550U processor, one-touch power button with identity authentication, NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card, no SD card slot
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