Best College Laptops 2018

All college students need a laptop, but with so many options at different prices, it can be a task in itself to figure out which one to get. Start by reviewing our recommendations for the best laptop for your college specialization, and then check with your specific school to make sure your configuration meets the minimum requirements. Of course, we love all our selections, so if you see one outside your specialty, it's still a great machine.

If you are not decided in your specialty or if your school does not have particular recommended specifications, consider a laptop that is easy to carry in a backpack, lasts 8 hours or more with a load and has a high resolution screen (1080p or higher) for easy multitasking. We also have a detailed list of tips for buying laptops for students.

  Best overall: HP Envy 13t

Whether writing a 100 page thesis or just taking notes in class, having a comfortable and responsive keyboard allows you to do more work more Quick . Starting at less than $ 900 ($ 1049 based on testing), HP Envy 13t has one of the best keyboards in the industry, along with a lightweight aluminum chassis and nearly 10 hours of battery life. The 13.3-inch laptop is powered by a fast 8th Gen Core i5 or Core i7 CPU and a PCIe SSD, giving it a really powerful performance.

Pros: The best keyboard of its kind; Powerful performance; Extended battery life
Cons: Slim audio: accurate, but tasteless colors

Key specifications: Up to Intel Core i7-8550U CPU; Touch screen up to 4K (standard 1080p); Up to 1TB SSD; 2.93 pounds

HP Envy 13t Review »

Starting at $ 799.00

  Best Price: Asus ZenBook UX330UA

The Asuga 2.7-lb ZenBook UX330UA is light enough to take to class, powerful enough to do almost any task you can imagine and affordable enough to make the bank jump. For less than $ 750, you get a clear 1080p display, a generous 256 GB SSD and a fast eighth generation Intel Core i5 CPU. Best of all, the UX330UA lasts 9 hours with a charge so you can leave your power pack in the bedroom. There is also a $ 699 version that uses the older 7th Gen Core i5 CPU and has more than 10 hours of battery life.

Pros: Durable, affordable for students, large screen
Cons: Too bloatware; Rigid touch panel

Key specifications: CPU Core i5-8250U, 13-inch screen, 1080p, 256 GB SSD; 2.7 lbs

Review of Asus ZenBook UX330UA »

Starting at $ 749.00
Amazon

  For science students: Dell XPS 13

Regardless of whether you are engaged in organic chemistry, anthropology or atmospheric science, you need a solid machine like the Dell XPS 13. This system includes a powerful quad-core processor of eighth generation with 16 GB of RAM and a SSD of 256 GB. And you have to love the new redesign, which is thinner and comes in white. The 13-inch screen, virtually without borders, with Full HD resolution will ensure that your notes and graphics appear, giving the illusion of a much larger screen. Most people will love the USB Type C version, but last year's update that lasted 16 crazy hours in our battery test is still available.

Pros: Extended battery life; Fast performance; Light and attractive design;
Cons: Badly placed webcam that looks towards the nose;

Key specifications: CPU Core i7 up to 8 generations, up to 16 GB of RAM, up to 3200 x 1800, 13-inch screen inchtouch;

  For campus players: PowerSpec 1510

If you want a laptop that is portable enough to carry the class or library but enough Powerful enough to play your favorite games, PowerSpec 1510 is right for you. For only $ 1,300, you get an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU, a 1080p G-Sync screen and a ton of ports. Your Core i7 CPU will be ideal for multiple tasks while doing homework, for when the class takes priority over your Steam account.

Pros: Excellent price for a laptop with a GTX 1070 GPU; Vibrant G-Sync screen; A large number of ports;
Cons: Silent audio; No games utility software;

Key specifications: CPU Core i7; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU; 15.6 inch screen;

Review of PowerSpec 1510 »

Starting at $ 1399.99

  For art and design students: 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro

The latest 13-inch MacBook Pro has been upgraded to a Core i5 CPU seventh generation for even greater performance than ever. You will get all your classes with 8 hours of battery life, and with only 3 pounds it is easy to pack them in a bag. Between its Core i5 CPU, Intel Iris graphics and its fast PCIe SSD, it will handle anything thrown at it. Do you want more battery life? Try a model without the touch bar.

Pros: Impressive screen; Strong speakers for dance parties in the bedroom; Fast transfer speeds;
Cons: Expensive; Without USB Type-A ports;

Key specifications: Up CPU Core i7; Up to 1TB of storage; Thunderbolt 3 ports; 13-inch screen

13-inch review (touch bar) for MacBook Pro »

Starting at $ 1649.00

  For business students: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Whether you are an entrepreneur or an aspiring CEO of a Fortune 500 company, the X1 Carbon will allow you to live in the luxury. The 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon is ready for the boardroom with a vibrant 1080p or 2K display (with an optional HDR option), an incredibly thin body and one of the best keyboards you can get on any laptop. The 8th generation Intel Core CPU is powerful and lasts more than 11 hours with a charge,

Pros: Long-life battery; Light enough for a backpack; Vivid screen with optional HDR;
Cons: Expensive in a student budget; Tinny Audio;

Key specifications: CPU Core i5 or i7; 14-inch 1080p or 2K screen; Up to 1TB SSD;

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review »

Starting at $ 1519.00
Lenovo

  For computer students: Lenovo ThinkPad T480

Night coding sessions require incredible battery life, and the ThinkPad T480 with its battery extended, it works for more than 17 hours with a charge. An Intel Core 8th Gen CPU and 8 GB of RAM provide great performance, and the laptop has the latest Thunderbolt 3 ports to quickly load and transfer data. The 1080p screen, however, is on the boring side, and is a bit heavier in a backpack than its competitors.

Pros: Extended battery life; Thunderbolt 3; Stron gperformance
Cons: Screen off; Heavier than the competition;

Key specifications: Up to 1080p. 14-inch screen; Up to the Core i7 CPU; Up to 512 GB of SSD

Review of Lenovo ThinkPad T480 »

Starting at $ 1049.00
Lenovo

  For film and animation students: 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro

Leverage your creative energy with the MacBook Pro update 15 inches. Apple has upped the ante with a faster sixth-generation Intel CPU, AMD Radeon Pro 455 graphics and its new touch bar. Video editors and animators will adore the touch bar, which replaces the function keys with a custom tool set that may be different in Photoshop than in Final Cut. Four Thunderbolt 3 ports make it easy to connect to multiple 4K screens or transfer uncompressed multimedia files to external backup drives with ease.

Pros: Magnificent screen; Long battery life; Fast performance
Cons: Without USB type A ports; It runs hot

Key specifications: Up CPU Core i7, up to GPU Radeon Pro 560; Up to 1TB SSD. 15 inch screen

MacBook Pro with touch bar (15 inches) Review »

Starting at $ 2199.00
Amazon

  For medical students: Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15 inches)

A removable 2-in-1 with a screen that it becomes an independent tablet is an idea to take notes while doing the rounds of your hospital or you work standing in a laboratory. The Surface Book offers an excellent whiteboard experience, with a magnificent 15-inch screen and a pencil that looks a lot like a real pen. When combined with its comfortable keyboard, the Microsoft laptop lasts more than 12 hours with a charge and, unlike most removable ones, it swings easily in your lap. In your free time, the GTX 1060 GPU is ideal for games, video editing or any hobby you need to vent.

Pros: Impressive display: long battery life; Fast performance;
Cons: Difficult to open; Expensive;

Key specifications: Up CPU Core i7, optional Nvidia GPU; 13.5 inch screen, 3000 x 2000

Review of Microsoft Surface Book 2 »

From $ 2499.00
Bestbuy

  For Engineering and Architecture Students: Dell Precision 5520 Workstation

Whether you are working in CAD or modeling in 3D, you need a high-end mobile work station. However, the Dell Precision 5520 shows that you do not need to settle for an ugly, bulky laptop for superior processing power. This 4.4-pound system is only 0.44 inches thick and has a gorgeous edge-to-edge display, along with an Intel 7th Generation Xeon processor and Nvidia Quadro graphics. Best of all, the Precision 5520 lasts 11 full hours and 57 minutes with a charge.

Pros: Durable; Lifetime of the long-lasting battery; Strong performance;
Cons: Wecbam looks for his nose;

Key Specifications: Up CPU Core i7, Nvidia Quadro GPU, 15-inch display, 1080p

Dell Precision 5520 Review »

Starting at $ 1399.00
Dell

  For law students: Microsoft Surface Pro

Microsoft's Surface Pro is a great choice for students who need such a good system in the classroom. court like in the classroom. Its foldable support base and bright 12.3-inch screen make the Surface Pro a great presentation device, while its best folding keyboard guarantees a complete laptop experience when it comes to writing something.

I'll have to pay extra for the Surface Pen and Type Cover keyboard, but having both accessories makes it easy to take notes or write legal notes whether you're sitting or queuing to enter the conference room. The front and back cameras take excellent photographs so you can easily capture the chalkboard at the front of your class or the pages of a book in the law library.

Pros: Great performance; Bright Screen
Cons: The type cover and the Surface Pen are sold separately; Poor battery life

Key specifications: Up to Core i7 CPU, up to 16 GB of RAM, up to 1TB SSD

Microsoft Surface Pro Review »

Starting at $ 799.00
Amazon

  For students with a budget: Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-575-33BM)

Si & # 39; With a small budget and only need office and web applications for your specialization, the Acer Aspire E15 will do the job. It has a vivid 1080p screen, Core i3 CPU, 4 GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. It has all the ports you will need, including the USB Type-C. It will also survive a day of classes with more than 8 hours of battery life. If you have a little more to spend, you can get a Core i5 CPU, 256 GB SSD, 1080p screen and 8 GB of RAM with the configuration ($ 580) E5-575G-57D4.

Pros: Affordable; FHD screen; Many ports;
Cons: The screen has a narrow viewing angle; Lousy webcam;

Key specifications: Core i5 CPU; 256 GB SSD; 1080p screen;

Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-575-33BM) Review »

Starting at $ 349.99
Amazon

Whatever laptop you get, you'll also want to buy some extras, such as a convenient mouse, a well-equipped backpack and perhaps a solid all-in-one printer. And do not forget to load some antivirus software before heading to campus. If you are going to use a multi-monitor configuration in your bedroom, try a good docking station, either by USB or Thunderbolt 3.

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Author's biography
  Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman,
Andrew joined Laptopmag.com in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He has an M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. Lover of everything related to games and technology, his previous work has appeared in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter @FreedmanAE.
Andrew E. Freedman,
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