It’s back to school and college time, which means that many of us are probably looking for the best laptops for students. Our guide has been compiled to help take the stress and excitement out of getting a great system – this is a list of the best student laptops, covering just about every need and budget imaginable. Online sellers are eager to move laptops to students, especially during the back to school season. Usually, they offer a variety of tempting deals and discounts to get you to share in your money.
These deals to tempt students, so keep your eyes open for the best student discount on laptops while you store. You may end up paying less than you thought you should. So whether you’re going to college, picking up your studies at home, or something in between, use our guide to the generally best student laptop to find a device that’s perfect for you – one that has all the features you need at a price that suits you. When you go back to school (or university), you want to make sure you’re well-equipped.
Best Laptops for Students
When you buy a laptop for students, make sure it has a long battery life and fast overall performance. And if you prefer to write notes by hand, buy one of the best 2-in-1 laptops.
HP Envy 13
The best overall laptop for students
HP has a long tradition of developing laptops you can rely on, and the Envy 13 is no different – it’s one of the best choices you’re going to find in the mid-market laptop market. We include it here because of its excellent balance between price and performance. This is a laptop that will last you a long time. The 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 (1080p) resolution display is at the forefront here – bright and sharp and great for streaming video, surfing the web, and working on documents.
While creatives may want a little more in screen real estate, the smaller display size makes this a portable laptop, and thanks to its solid build quality, it doesn’t feel like you have to be extra careful with it. With a choice of Intel’s Core processors inside and some compelling combinations of RAM and internal storage also available, this is a laptop ready to handle all but the most demanding tasks (don’t try to gamble on it). A special mention for the audio developed in collaboration with Bang and Olufsen, which sounds great.
MacBook Air 2020
Cheapest MacBook for Apple fans
It’s incredible what a difference the right keyboard makes. Since 1999 the MacBook Air 2020 has the improved Magic Keyboard, which replaces the butterfly switch with a scissor mechanism that allows you to type much more comfortably. Apple has also upgraded the Air to the 10th generation Intel Core processors (from 8th generation). It’s a Y-Series chip (which is not as powerful as the U-Series CPUs), but it turned out to be enough for everyday use and basic multitasking.
Apple not only lowered the price by $100, but it also doubled the standard MacBook Air storage, from a 128GB SSD to a 256GB drive, which still offers lightning-fast read speeds. The MacBook Air also has great endurance, with a battery that lasts all day. It took 9 hours and 31 minutes (almost 50 minutes longer than the regular system) for our web surfing test to charge the MacBook Air fully. Add to that Apple’s relatively bright and colorful Retina display and surprisingly powerful speakers, and you have one of the best laptops for students.
Dell XPS 13 2020
The best laptop in the World
It’s hard to improve near perfection, but the XPS 13 2020 manages to make the best laptop even better – and it’s so good that the Dell XPS 13 won our title for the best laptop. Dell’s latest flagship PC features Intel’s latest 10th generation processors, which make multitasking between apps and even doing some light gaming a breeze. The laptop’s Infinity Edge screen now has a screen ratio of 91.5% without getting in the way of your favorite movies and TV shows.
Some smaller improvements make the XPS 13 2020 better than its predecessors. The laptop’s comfortable keyboard is now edge-to-edge, and the touchpad is 17% larger, making it much easier to work with documents for long periods without getting cramped. With a few minor material changes, the beautiful aluminum design is even more attractive to use and hold, and the Dell XPS 13 2020 quickly catches the eye at the top of its class.
Acer Spin 5
A budget 2-in-1 laptop
A great feature set certainly adds a lot of value, and if you’re looking for the best 2-in-1 laptops for students, that’s one thing to keep an eye on. It’s that, combined with the affordability, that makes the Acer Spin 5 (2020) a great candidate. This 2-in-1 laptop is not only versatile because of its form factors and excellent battery life. It also comes with a 3:2 display and feature-rich stylus that together give it that added benefit for students and professionals alike over its rivals: an easy and seamless note-taking experience. If you’re one of those people who disdain typing notes in class, this old-fashioned approach might seal the deal.
HP Spectre x360
The best 2-in-1 laptop right now
The HP Spectre x360 13 is the best 2-in-1 laptop ever. Updated with a 10th generation CPU and a more modern design, the Spectre x360 13 has improved in almost every way over its excellent predecessor. Highlights of this laptop include a beautiful design that flaunts faceted edges and beveled corners. Those precision-cut details make the Spectre look more like a piece of jewelry than a gadget.
Along with that, stunning design is a clear 1080p display, epic 13+ hours of battery life, and fast overall performance. There’s almost nothing the Spectre x360 13 doesn’t do well, although the speakers could use some tuning. We set the Spectre x360 13 up against some of our other favorite 2-in-1 laptops, including the XPS 13 2-in-1 and Yoga C940, but none of these great competitors could dethrone the HP. Overall, this is one of the best laptops for students.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713
The best Chromebook for students
If you don’t have the best impression from the Acer laptops, let the Chromebook Spin 713 change that for you. This Chromebook Spin 713 has almost everything you could ask for in a budget laptop. You get a bright and colorful 13.5-inch touch-display, exceptional battery life of nearly 12 hours, and fast performance thanks to the Core i5 processor. Plus, the design is made of aluminum and is 2-in-1, so you can flip the screen and turn it into a tablet.
With a thickness of 0.7 inches and a weight of 3 pounds, Spin 713 can easily be carried in a backpack on the way to class or work. Yes, the keyboard is a little shallow, and the speaker may be better; however, if you want a convertible Chromebook at a low price, you won’t do better than the Acer Chromebook Spin 713. Overall, this is one of the best laptops for students that you can buy right now.
Acer Aspire 5
The best budget laptop for students
The Acer Aspire 5 proves that you don’t have to spend a lot to get a great laptop. This notebook has a full HD screen that is pretty bright, so it’s great for surfing the web, doing quick photo editing, and watching videos on Netflix, YouTube, or Disney Plus. And it has all the power you want for everyday tasks and multitasking, thanks to a 10th generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD. It’s all packed in a pretty lightweight 3.8-pound package.
The most pleasant surprise with the Aspire 5 is battery life. This laptop lasted almost 9 hours on our web surf battery test, which is very good for a 15-inch system. There are a few things we don’t like about this budget laptop; while the lid is a premium aluminum, the rest of the machine is made of plastic. You shouldn’t expect to play the latest games either. But overall, the Aspire 5 is one of the best laptops for students that you can buy right now.
Asus ZenBook 14
Good specs and tasteful design make this robust all-round laptop
A simply gorgeous laptop from Asus that we like to have in our best laptops list; if you want the perfect combination of power and style, this might be the case, and as a bonus, you get a trackpad that can also be used as a handy secondary display. If you look at the specs, you’ll see that this is a laptop that more than lends itself to any task you want to perform, even some low-resolution video editing and gaming (note the Nvidia GeForce option).
Despite all this raw power, the price is not too high. And then there’s the design: this is one of the best looking laptops we’ve seen, and even the display hinge is a work of art. It will rotate everything you need with aplomb, and it will look the part as you do it – what more do you need?
MacBook Pro 13-inch
A powerful MacBook for students
The MacBook Pro 13-inch 2020 solves the biggest problem with Apple’s other outstanding 13-inch laptop: the keyboard. By dropping the shallow keys of the older Butterfly keyboard in favor of the fabulous Magic Keyboard, the latest MacBook Pro 13-inch delivers the comfortable and responsive typing experience we’ve longed for on Apple’s flagship laptop. However, a great new keyboard isn’t all the new MacBook 2020 has.
The new 13-inch model gets a nice power boost with a 10th generation Core i7 processor, which, combined with its available 3733MHz RAM, blazing-fast SSD, and Intel Iris Plus graphics, gives reliable performance for multitasking and photo and video editing. The 2560 x 1600 on the MacBook Pro is still as beautiful as ever, and the laptop lasts almost 11 hours. Apple has doubled the price for RAM on the entry-level model, and you pay for the 10th generation power, but overall the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro is an outstanding laptop.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
The best detachable 2-in-1 laptop
Surface Pro 7 makes an excellent laptop in last year’s Surface Pro 6 and gives it a power boost. While the battery life is a hit, the new 10th generation CPU delivers outstanding performance. The design hasn’t changed at all, but the Surface Pro 7 now has a USB-C port for charging and connecting peripherals. Microsoft still sells the comfortable Alcantara Type Cover and super-responsive Surface Pen, making it easy to draw or take notes on the tablet’s vibrant and bright 12.3-inch display. Overall, this is one of the best laptops for students right now.