10 Best Laptops for College Students 2020
Perfect For Every Major and Courses
In this comprehensive article, we have consolidated the very best laptops for college students 2020 that have it in them to serve your academic pursuits without breaking into a sweat.
College students are among the most ardent users of laptops, for they need their laptops for everything, right from taking notes in the classroom to working on assignments and projects, from watching movies with friends to creating path-breaking multimedia content.
But this audience does not only demand a laptop that caters to these requirements; the need of the hour is for a laptop that does it all in style.
When you’re out hunting for a laptop for college, you need to consider the overall package. So, while the specifications and the features offered will be important, so will the build and design.
Typically, you need a laptop you can lug around with you comfortably, without feeling burdened; it also needs to be resilient enough to sustain shocks and frantic use (read public transport and last-minute submissions).
These laptops are also versatile enough to suit a variety of majors and courses, but we have made your job easier by identifying their core purpose. So, let us get started with finding you the perfect college buddy, shall we?
- How to Choose the Best Laptop for College
- Our Picks: 10 Best Laptops for College Students
- 1. Acer Swift 3 SF314-42 14-Inch
- 2. HP 15-dy1036nr 15-Inch Laptop
- 3. Dell XPS 13 9300 Ultrabook 13-Inch
- 4. Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch
- 5. Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-43-R19L
- 6. ASUS VivoBook 15 F512JA-AS34
- 7. Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch
- 8. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
- 9. LG Gram 14Z90N (2020)
- 10. Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-5428
- Bonus: Lenovo Flex 5 2-in-1 Laptop
- Best Chromebooks for College Students
- Laptop or Tablet for College: What to Choose?
- Best Laptop Screen Size for College Students
- Quick Checklist for the Ideal College Laptop
- Major-Wise Laptop Selection Guide
- Time to Head to College
How to Choose the Best Laptop for College
We recommend a straightforward action plan for this potentially life-altering decision—it has only four question-oriented steps.
- Step 1: How will you use your laptop in college?
If you need to use CPU-intensive applications like Adobe Premiere Pro, run complicated programming interfaces or play video games, get a laptop with a top-of-the-line CPU, i.e., Intel Core i5 or above. You’ll also require 8–16GB RAM and high-speed SSD memory (128GB and above).
Else, you can get by with a cheaper CPU with a lower RAM and memory provision.
- Step 2: How important is portability to you?
If your college days are sure to involve considerable travel, get a laptop that:
- Is lightweight with a reliable build: Look for a 2-in-1. You can get a convertible that adapts to various modes like tablet and tent or a detachable with an un-pluggable keyboard.
- Has a long battery life: Scout for ultra-portable laptops that offer 10+ unplugged hours.
- Has adequate connectivity: Hunt for laptops with USB Type-C ports, HDMI, SD card readers, webcams, and Ethernet ports.
However, if you foresee college life to be stationary, you can choose the standard clamshell design (laptops with open-and-close lids). Many conventional, mid-sized laptops offer between 4–6 hours of battery backup.
- Step 3: What kind of a keyboard and touchpad will you need?
Is your college major related to creative writing, graphic design or computer programming? Choose a machine that has an ergonomic, precise, and backlit keyboard. The touchpad should be large, comfortable and support multi-touch gestures.
- Step 4: Do you need your laptop to deliver stutter-free graphics in absolute detail?
This will be crucial if your major involves multimedia content production, engineering, graphic design, architecture, or computer programming. While you can get a laptop with integrated graphics, opt for one that has a dedicated graphics processor (GPU) if your budget allows it.
Our Picks: 10 Best Laptops for College Students
Are you gearing up to start college this year? Or looking to gift a cool, hyper-functional laptop to someone who is? In either case, you need a device that has its finger on the pulse of the contemporary college crowd. Check it out the 10 best laptops for college 2020.
|Recommended Specs for
|CPU||Intel Core i7 - up to 3.9 GHz|
|GPU||Intel Iris Plus Graphics|
|RAM||8GB/16GB 3733MHz LPDDR4x|
|Storage||512GB NVMe Solid State Drive|
|Display||13-inch FHD+ (1920x1200)|
|Weight||Under 4 lbs|
|Battery Life||Up to 11 hours|
1. Acer Swift 3 SF314-42 14-Inch
The Acer Swift 3 is one of the best available laptops in the market, especially because of the kind of features they pack in and the budget friendly price they come for.
It is quite thin and lightweight as well, which makes it easier for you to carry it around the college.
It is equipped with a 14” FHD widescreen IPS LED-backlit display with a screen resolution of 1080p. Coming round to the processors, it is powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U octa-core mobile processor with Radeon graphics for smoother user experience.
It also comes equipped with all the connectivity options, which further ensure better performance as well.
For a device that is 0.63” thin and weighs 2.65lbs, this is likely one of the best available options, if not the best. It is also equipped with 512GB SSD along with 8GB RAM for smoother functions and operations without any hassle.
The device also supports around 11-12 hours of battery life, depending on your usage, which is pretty cool as well.
2. HP 15-dy1036nr 15-Inch Laptop
The HP 15-dy1036nr is a 15-inch FHD display laptop that has been tailored for the users who rely on their device to get by.
It is also equipped with the anti-glare widescreen LED-backlit display which further ensures smoother user experience beyond your expectations. It also packs in a 82% screen to body ratio as well.
The device is powered by the 10th Generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor with the Intel Turbo Boost Technology for smoother user experience beyond your expectations.
The fast boot up with the 256GB SSD ensures faster file transfers without waiting for hours on end. It also supports 8GB RAM that further ensures smoother user experience.
The device also comes with a longer battery life that lets you stay connected without any hassle at all. If you want a device with style and optimal performance, this is hands down the one. The device is not the cheapest but it is hands down one of the worthiest investments that you would likely make for yourself.
3. Dell XPS 13 9300 Ultrabook 13-Inch
The XPS 13 9300 laptop is worth your consideration if you need an all-rounder with decent processing power (up to 10th gen Intel Core i7-1065G7, 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD), a pleasant display (InfinityEdge, screen-to-body ratio of 91.5%), and good battery backup (up to 21 hours!).
Interestingly, Dell has infused this laptop with some stand-out features that the college-going audience should find useful. For instance, the HD webcam located at the top of the display has a 4-element lens and temporal noise reduction for a crystal-clear video-calling experience.
You can also benefit from Dell Cinema and cherish the studio-grade picture and sound for both working in the classroom and entertainment after a long day.
The new Dell XPS is also one of the most mobile laptops on this list with a weight of only 2.64lbs, a thickness of 0.3–0.46”, and Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection. Suffice it to say you can comfortably carry it with you and tune in wherever you fancy.
4. Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch
It has the performance for daily tasks and more, from taking down notes to streaming multimedia, thanks to the Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD (up to 2TB).
Display-wise, the Retina screen is set to wow users with its True Tone technology and Razor-sharp text clarity. Not only do you see more colors, but reading and enjoying multimedia content are also more satisfying.
Quite a portable device, this 2.8lbs laptop offers a backlit keyboard with a Touch ID for enhanced security and comfort. The stereo speakers are built to offer wider sound, thereby ensuring that you make no compromises on the auditory front.
Ensuring adequate connectivity are two Thunderbolt 3 ports (USB-C) that support rapid data transfer. Plus, since this computer can last unplugged for up to 11 hours, you can easily work on the move.
5. Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-43-R19L
It has basic specs—an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U CPU, 4GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD—that are nonetheless adequate for everyday computing pursuits and quite a good deal for the under-$500 price.
Since the operating system is Windows 10 in S mode, you can avail of apps to up your productivity and experience immense responsiveness.
This laptop also offers up to 7.5 hours of battery life, which makes it a great traveler. The use of Acer Color Intelligence and a blue light shield keep the display engaging and strain-free.
Acer has bestowed this product with enviable connectivity options. It comes fitted with a full array of connections: a USB 3.1 Type C port, a USB 2.0 port, an HDMI and a backlit keyboard. The support for Intel Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) allows you to access speedy, consistent connectivity on the move.
6. ASUS VivoBook 15 F512JA-AS34
The ASUS VivoBook 15 F512JA is perfect for those who want some of the latest innovations but under $400.
Not only does this device look stunning with its 15.6” FHD 4-way nanoedge bezel display, it also has an 88% screen to body ratio for better viewing pleasure and side angle views.
Even for the price point, it comes with an ergonomically designed keyboard with the fingerprint sensor that ensures better security. The device is powered by the 10th Gen. Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor which is one of the latest in the market.
In case you want good performance without any glitches, this is a good option to go for. The storage is not the best in this device and supports 128GB SSD but it is enough for any beginning level college student.
As for the memory options, it supports 8GB RAM, which is quite a bargain, especially for the price point it comes with.
7. Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch
In case you have been struggling to find a good one, the Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch is likely one of the best MacBook for college, if not the best.
It is compact, portable and sleek, making it easier for you to carry around without any hassle. The price point is not the least but take it as an investment as it does make your overall college life a lot easier.
It comes with two finishes of silver and space gray. The 13.3” LED backlit display comes with the IPS technology for smoother visuals that don’t put strain on your eyes. It is also equipped with the True Tone technology.
It is also powered by 2.0GHz quad‑core 10th‑generation Intel Core i5 processor which is further configurable up to 10th‑generation Intel Core i7 processor in case you want the latest options. As for the storage, it supports up to 1TB SSD along with up to 16GB RAM for smoother user experience.
8. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
Fueled by an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD, this laptop is adept at daily computing pursuits like taking notes, checking e-mail, and streaming multimedia content.
The quick-charging battery powers up to 80% in one hour, upping the portability quotient of this 3.4lbs laptop.
The elegant look and feel is a particularly appealing triumph for this computer, due in part to the premium Alcantara material. A host of color options—sandstone, matte-black, cobalt-blue, platinum—add further customization to the mix.
9. LG Gram 14Z90N (2020)
On a single charge, it can easily last for 18.5 hours—a phenomenal metric for present-day computers for college students.
You can travel with this laptop comfortably, working on the go as required, and needn’t worry about your proximity to a charging station.
Driving this powerhouse is an Intel Core i5-1035G7 CPU, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD. This configuration proves to be adept at regular pursuits on campus, such as making presentations, sharing content with peers, and browsing the internet. The LCD screen supports IPS to grant you viewing comfort across different positions.
LG has built this laptop with mobility in mind. It weighs just 2.2lbs and has a profile measuring 0.7”. This is compact enough for backpacks and light enough to be lugged around without developing a backache.
Plus, the Thunderbolt 3 connection enables you to plug into peripherals as required and enjoy quick data transfer.
10. Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-5428
Priced under $1000, the 14″ Acer Swift 5 is a sensible option for college students who seek mobility, long battery life and an immersive display.
This laptop comes with a narrow-bezel FHD monitor that is equipped with an IPS panel and offers a terrific screen-to-body ratio of 86.4%.
You get a color gamut of 72% NTSC along with a brightness of 300 nits to ensure that your imagery renders well.
The processing chamber consists of an Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD. On a single charge, this device can run up to 11 hours, which is great for contemporary campus lifestyles. Build-wise too, you have a compact and sleek chassis that weighs only 4.48lbs.
A particularly useful feature of this laptop is its support for Wake On Voice (WoV). You can use Windows 10 speech recognition to interact with your computer and get your queries resolved in a blink. Add to that a fingerprint reader and a backlit keyboard, and you have a device that is both secure and travel-friendly.
Bonus: Lenovo Flex 5 2-in-1 Laptop
It is an AMD Ryzen laptop, equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U CPU, 16GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD.
Windows 10, the operating system, also contributes toward creating a secure, productive user experience. The privacy shutter for the webcam deserves accolades for bringing reassuring privacy amid chaotic campus life.
The FHD display is touch-enabled, and the included active pen makes it simple to take notes, make diagrams, etc.
Also, since this computer is highly portable at only 3.84lbs and 0.82”, you can use it on the go. The battery can last for up to 10 hours, also powering up to 80% in only one hour, further upping your flexibility of use.
- 10 Best Windows Laptops 2020
- Best MacBooks 2020
- Top 10 Best Laptops for Video Editing 2020
- Top 10 Best AMD Ryzen Laptops 2020
- 10 Best Laptops Under $500
Best Chromebooks for College Students
Lenovo Chromebook C330
This is a 2-in-1 convertible laptop that can be used in multiple modes, such as tent, tablet, laptop and stand.
The configuration is simple: a MediaTek MT8173C processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB of storage.
The HD screen includes an IPS panel and offers a screen resolution of 1366 x 768. While rather basic, these specifications should be ample for online students whose primary usage centers on taking notes, perusing documents and submitting assignments.
The Chrome OS, with its anti-virus protection and quick response, is also helpful in this regard. You can get up to 10 hours of battery life with this 2.64lbs Chromebook—a huge facilitator of studying wherever you want.
Asus Chromebook Flip C436
A lightweight, good-looking, all-rounder laptop, the 14” Asus Chromebook Flip C436 suits the lifestyle of the contemporary campus-goer to a T.
It is powered by an Intel Core i5-10210U CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB of storage, and 10 hours of battery backup.
The narrow-bezel touch display is so compact that it fits into the footprint of a 13” laptop. The 100% sRGB screen also has a smart 360-degree hinge that elevates the keyboard, makes typing easier, and delivers better audio. Further, it permits the user to mould the laptop into a tablet, tent or stand—talk about flexibility!
Portability-wise, this Chromebook packs a punch. It weighs only 2.58lbs and is 0.54” thick—perfect for backpacks. The backlit keyboard allows you to work from anywhere, lighting no bar. You can also avail of USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports for quick charging and data transfer.
Acer Chromebook 714
Fueled by an Intel Core i3-8130U CPU, 8GB RAM and 64GB of storage, the 14” Acer Chromebook 714 is an efficient laptop adequate for everyday tasks like taking down notes, keeping up with e-mail and wireless streaming.
An additional 100GB of space on Google Drive caters to your storage needs for assignments, multimedia files, etc.
This computer features an FHD touch display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. Since it employs a narrow-bezel design (0.24″), external interference is minimal.
The 100% aluminum body adheres to military-standard construction, thereby bringing you peace of mind during travel. It helps that this Chromebook weighs only 3.31 lbs—light and easy to lug along without hurting your back.
This device maintains the reputation of an average Chromebook in the battery department too—up to 12 hours. A full array of ports, including USB Type-C ones, as well as compatibility with 802.11ac Wi-Fi (with 2×2 MIMO), keeps you plugged in.
Laptop or Tablet for College: What to Choose?
Life on campus can be demanding, involving late nights working on assignments and long lectures filled with note-taking. Picking a dependable computing companion is a must for a smooth college life as well as for improving your overall productivity. So, should you choose a laptop or a tablet?
Well, a tablet can be a smart choice for contemporary students who need to frequently use the browser, access apps on Google Play Store, read e-books, and engage in abundant wireless streaming. Tablets tend to hyper-mobile and lightweight, making them easy to carry around from class to class without fear of damage.
However, getting a laptop also comes with some intrinsic advantages. It is the closest to getting a full-purpose desktop, which means you will need it to run demanding applications or work on multiple browser tabs at the same time.
No matter how performance-oriented a tablet is, it can rarely match a laptop when it comes to activities like multimedia editing, building spreadsheets or gaming (yes, gaming is certainly a key college activity!).
Additionally, if you can see yourself needing to print out a lot of stuff or hop on to a LAN network, a laptop will serve you infinitely better than a tablet.
Here are some more considerations that will help you make this crucial decision:
- Battery life: Get a tablet if battery backup is paramount to you. These nifty little devices really have the knack of combining ultra-light build with massive unplugged usage. However, some computer manufacturers like Razer and HP have now launched laptops that can give many tablets a run for their money when it comes to battery backup. For example, the HP Spectre x360 can last on one charge for about 22 hours. The LG Gram laptop can run unplugged for almost 18 hours.
- Touch display: If you need a touchscreen, the scales automatically veer towards tablets. These come with responsive pens and support doodling, handwriting, etc. However, if you are going to be doing a massive amount of typing, a laptop will be a better choice. It can be painful to fiddle about with touchscreens after a point!
- Screen size: For students who wish to have a wide viewing experience, laptops offer much better real estate. This makes them good fits for those pursuing creative majors and anyone who anticipates gaming and movie-marathons as crucial components of their days.
- Resale: From a resale-value perspective, laptops offer a profitable deal. Since technology is getting more advanced even as you read this, it can be tempting or even necessary to invest in a new computing device in a year or so. The returns you can expect from a laptop are significantly higher than those from a tablet, making it a smarter choice from a financial standpoint.
- Connectivity: Get a laptop if you need to connect to multiple USB ports, HDMI, display ports, etc., to plug into external devices and peripherals like keyboards and mice.
Best Laptop Screen Size for College Students
In the present laptop marketplace, you will find several form factors, starting at 11 inches and going up to 17. Which screen size would be ideally suited to college life? To answer this question, you need to ask yourself another: how do you imagine you will use your laptop? What computing requirements will your major and course have?
- 11-inch model: This is THE best option if portability is your top priority. Most 11-inch laptops are super light, mobile, and inexpensive. You can use them from most outdoor settings and pick them up with zero effort. Remember: these laptops are suitable mainly for standard requirements like working on documents and browsing the internet.
- 13-inch model: These are super-light too and incredibly portable. But they offer a little more real estate than their 11-inch counterparts.
- 14-inch model: You will be hard-pressed to find too many 14-inch laptops in the market. They offer an in-between package, the best offering of which is a large screen and long battery life. But they can be expensive–even more so than 15” laptops—and have not yet become incredibly popular.
- 15-inch model: This is a balanced choice that offers high performance as well as portability. Many 15” devices weigh in the range of 4–5lbs and are equipped with useful features for students, such as numerous USB drives, consistent internet connectivity, and decent battery life.
- 17-inch model: If your college major needs you to work extensively on multimedia content, heavy-duty programming, or 3D modeling, you should get a 17-inch laptop. It might be heavy, but it packs the performance and screen size you will require for majors such as architecture, graphic design or art. These laptops make ideal desktop replacements.
Quick Checklist for the Ideal College Laptop
Well, so you have now established the various parameters to consider while selecting a laptop for your college major and course. However, when you go out to pick your dream-machine, be prepared to be overwhelmed by a market that is bursting at the seams. Choices abound aplenty, with every brand vying with the other for market-share.
Keep this checklist with you to zero down on the perfect match and stop this important purchase decision from becoming as arduous as the final exam.
|Criteria||What to Look For|
|Screen Size||11- or 13-inch for ultra portability but regular performance
15-inch for balance between high performance and portability
17-inch for desktop-replacement laptop with excellent performance but low portability
|Processor||Intel Core i5 or above for CPU-intensive majors (multimedia, graphic design, programming, etc.)
Intel Core i3 for laptops that will perform routine tasks
|RAM||8GB and above|
|Memory Space||128GB and above SSD memory for CPU-intensive majors
1TB HDD (hard disk drive) for laptops intended to perform routine tasks
|GPU||Integrated graphics for regular-use laptops
Dedicated GPU (e.g., NVIDIA GTX) for college majors involving intensive multimedia needs
|Battery Life||8–10 hours for ultra-portable laptops
4–6 hours for standard, mid-sized laptops
|Connectivity||USB ports (Type-C included) to connect to devices and peripherals like mice and USB-drives
HDMI port (and other display ports like VGA and DVI) to connect to external displays – This will be important for most college majors as students frequently need to showcase presentations
SD card reader – You will need this to transfer photos and other files, irrespective of your college course
Ethernet port – Don’t assess this as a dispensable criterion if your laptop has Wi-Fi. You will need it to get onto the internet at a campus spot without Wi-Fi
|Keyboard and Touchpad||Ergonomic, tactile and backlit keyboard
Large and precise touchpad, preferably with gesture support
Major-Wise Laptop Selection Guide
Engineering can be a particularly draining major—for your laptop too! You need a CPU that can handle complicated software, a display and graphics package that renders detail well, and the sustainability to deal with long hours at work.
We recommend the latest Acer Predator Helios 300 with its super-powerful processor and graphics card, refresh rate of 144Hz, and a fantastic display that does justice to your engineering drawings and simulations. Psst, it also serves well as a gaming laptop for those after-school hours when all you want is to escape into a virtual world.
High School Students
If you are in high school, your standard day will involve quite a bit of multitasking: browsing the internet, watching A/V content, taking notes. However, you are unlikely to need a heavy-duty machine that drills a hole in the pocket.
Check out the Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L laptop that is amazingly pocket-friendly yet perfectly capable of managing day-to-day operations without breaking into a sweat. It is an AMD Ryzen laptop with a decent display, good connectivity options to keep you attuned with your peers, and long battery life.
It even has a backlit keyboard because hey, who said this must be restricted to a premium purchase? You can also look for Acer Swift 5 – an under $1000 Core-i7 machine or Lenovo Chromebook C330, if you are looking for a Chrome OS laptop.
In a nursing major, you will want to learn to be constantly available and tuned in. Nursing can be extremely demanding. Even as a student, your course will take you through long (and odd hours), sharing important information with peers, and multitasking on assignments.
Consider buying the Acer Swift 5 and Dell XPS 13. Both of these are immensely portable yet pack in all the vitals for your typical day, including adequate specs and good battery backup.
The best part? They are both budget-friendly options that leave you with extra cash for other college essentials.
Business majors typically get you prepared for the grind early: frequent travel for assignments, working out of strange locations, becoming an expert at multitasking. The ideal laptop for business students should understand these needs and combine portability with functionality.
You could pick up the Acer Swift 5 for its “Power Bridge” technology and lightweight build that make it extremely easy to carry around. The responsive Windows 10 OS also proves handy when you are in a rush and need swift answers during meetings.
Or, if you have a bigger budget, why not invest in the Surface Laptop 3 or Apple MacBook Air? MacBook Air is also high on mobility, as the name suggests, but packs in incredible power alongside so you can be in business mode in a blink.
Pursuing specialized studies in your field of choice? As a graduate student, your choice of laptop will be most aligned to the demands of your course. A multimedia specialist for graphic designing and film-making, an ultra-portable traveler for business studies, you get the gist.
The Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch, for instance, is an excellent choice for most creative courses. It has specialized features such as a Retina display and an efficient Intel i9 processor that graduate students will find very helpful as they go along.
Other great picks are ASUS ZenBook 13 UX334FLC and Lenovo Chromebook C330, particularly if you are pursuing your studies online. It neatly combines functionality with the flexibility to adapt to variable schedules and requirements.
Computer Science Students
Hello there, lines of code, uncanny bugs that keep people up at night, and inventive ideas that can make brilliant things happen! Computer science students are well-advised to invest in a powerful laptop with a speedy CPU and ample memory to run the applications that the course demands.
Good battery life is a bonus, since many of these applications can be severely CPU-draining. Acer has a head start on laptops for this audience.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL, for example, offers a mighty processing unit, an efficient heat dissipation system, and a user-friendly keyboard to support your pursuits.
For medical students, becoming night owls is almost second nature. You can look forward to reading lengthy documents and e-books, doodling diagrams alongside notes to get an in-depth understanding, and scanning case studies for symptomatic analysis.
Simply put, you need a machine that lets you do your reading on the go, has sufficient battery life, and boasts of an ergonomic construction.
A laptop that does a mean job of combining these requirements is the Acer Swift 5 and Dell XPS 13 with its hinge-based design, lightweight build, and compelling screen-to-body ratio to keep your eye on what matters most.
If you are studying to become an architect, it is likely that you have a flair for visualization, spatial patterns, and modeling. Architecture is a highly visual course with overlapping subject areas from majors such as engineering and art.
Pick up a laptop that is capable of running elaborate simulation software and has the display configuration to match your original thought. The Surface Laptop 3 with its wide color gamut and high-end processing is a smart choice.
You can also consider the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch. Besides being adept at all things creative, it comes with extensive storage space to host your projects.
Graphic Design Students
A popular choice of major with many students, graphics design is a course that mandates a pro-multimedia laptop. Your choice of computer should be able to process graphics efficiently without loss of detail, deliver good turnaround times, and boast of a display that renders your work well.
Most graphic design courses require students to work on heavy software and applications. This means you also need a reliable heat dissipation mechanism for sustainability.
Our top pick is the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL laptop for its neat blend of form and function, great audio-video experience, and user-friendly features such as a specially designed backlit keyboard.
Other fantastic picks? The Apple MacBook Pro and Surface Laptop 3, if you are willing to go the extra mile.
As more classrooms get virtual, the need to stay connected and quickly learn the ropes of the digital world intensifies. Elementary school students can benefit from a laptop that supports them for everyday tasks such as conducting secondary research for assignments, checking e-mail for homework, and video-calling with friends.
However, there is little need to splurge here as brands like Acer and ASUS offer plenty of budget-friendly options befitting elementary school.
You can choose the Acer Aspire 5 A515-54G-53H6 for its high portability, long battery life, and excellent display for the price.
Online College Students
The number of students pursuing their major online is perpetually on the upswing, thanks to the wide gamut of courses available on the internet and the flexibility they offer. The perfect laptop for you should combine processing power with a good display (your eyes will need it!). It should also supply unplugged usage and the mobility to work undisturbed from anywhere.
A smart pick for you would be the Lenovo Chromebook C330. It is a functional blend of processing finesse, high-quality display and sustainability, utilizing an Intel processor, a IPS display, and a battery that lasts unplugged for more than 10 hours.
Time to embrace all things aesthetic! Yes, many modern-day laptops are built with a keen sense of all things creative, and these can become ideal partners for students of arts courses.
The Apple MacBook Pro, for example, offers a gorgeous Retina display with a brilliantly wide color gamut that goes in tandem with your creativity. When purchasing a laptop, also ensure it has up-to-date specs that can smoothly run any software you might need.
A key tenet of an MBA major is always being up and about—for projects, research, meetings and field studies. The perfect laptop for this course must be not only super responsive but also resilient and long-lasting. It needs to understand, shall we say, the grind of the business world.
The Dell XPS 13 laptop with its incredibly long battery life and high portability can be a useful companion for MBA students. It is even equipped with a specially designed webcam with superior sound and picture quality. All those calls with peers and business-clients-to-be just got so much easier!
Information Technology Students
Pursuing information technology as a major? You will need to get used to major multitasking, working odd and super-long hours, running heavy-duty programs and mystifying that gnawing fault in the systems until the wee hours of the morning.
An ideal computing companion must, of course, have the processing wherewithal to withstand this. But it must also offer features like an anti-glare screen and an ergonomic keyboard to keep you going day after day.
A worthy choice is the Predator Helios 300 that comes with high-end specs to fuel your IT endeavors (and can also double up as your gaming mate by night).
Pursuing an animation major requires a great eye for detail, a distinct creative streak, and a laptop that helps further both of these. Your ideal digital buddy should have a stellar display, terrific processing power for all that intensive software, and the ability to render multimedia content meticulously.
Consider opting for the Apple Macbook Pro as your college companion. It has a fantastic screen-to-body ratio for maximum real estate and AMD graphics. The latter lets you experience real-time ray tracing and images enhanced by artificial intelligence; both serve you splendidly while working on animation projects.
A substantial chunk of a biology major involves diagrammatic representation, heavy documents to peruse for your chosen area of specialization, and tons of reading material. It makes sense to opt for a laptop that offers textual and image clarity to make pursuing these tasks easier.
The marketplace now has several options like the Acer Aspire 5 A515-54G-53H6 that offers a decent display and adequate specs at pocket-friendly prices. The former utilizes the Acer Color Intelligence technology to render colors accurately on screen.
This is a nifty feature for when you are studying minute anatomical parts with variable color gradation. Alternatively, you can go with Dell XPS 13 if you have higher budget.
This is one major that needs an especially sturdy and resilient laptop. As a geology student, your studies will take you to varied natural surroundings and places with limited charging stations.
Also, you will need a device with a pretty good display so that you can view captured footage, photographs, etc., in their true form.
Consider picking up an Acer Swift 5—it is high on portability but also packs in good graphics.
The Apple MacBook Air is a splendid option too if you want to go the extra mile; the gloriousness doesn’t come at the cost of portability in this light machine.
Data Science Students
Guess what some must-haves for students of data science are? An ability to perform number crunching at breakneck speeds, the kind of endurance that can withstand long-drawn hours of analysis, and the knowledge that the devil lies in the details.
Along the same lines, the best laptop for this major must also be contemporary and powerful, with an efficient cooling mechanism that lends it the durability for several hours of operation.
The processing specs, too, must be on the higher end of the spectrum as this course requires intensive software and mathematical computation.
Our pick for this major is the Acer Predator Helios which satisfactorily meets all the required criteria (besides offering the bonus of being a game-friendly device!).
Psychology is a particularly riveting major for the fascinating manner in which it combines behavioral studies with science, anthropology and even mathematics. If you are pursuing psychology as your major, you need a laptop that balances form and function. The processing chamber must pull its weight, so that you can research-related software, statistical analyses, etc.
One sensible option is the ASUS Zenbook 13 UX334FLC laptop with its integrated fingerprint reader and powerful configuration. The high portability quotient of this computer proves useful when you need to venture out for on-ground group discussions or focus groups.
STEM (or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is an interdisciplinary major that now finds favor with many students. Since this course involves several functional areas, the ideal laptop that supports it should also be an all-rounder.
Think a fast processor, good display specs, plentiful connectivity options, and a portable build that can withstand travel.
The Dell XPS 13 laptop combines all these criteria and also throws in exceptionally long battery life and good-quality sound. (Plus, the addition of Dell Cinema ensures you have a reliable fall-back entertainment option for after-school hours.)
Time to Head to College
At the risk of echoing a cliché, we will say this: your college days are going to be life-changing.
To accompany you on this momentous journey, you need a computer that can fit into several shoes: understand the requirements of your major and course, follow you around as you trudge along the day, and become your friend and accomplice for allied as well as unrelated campus pursuits.
It can be daunting to acquire a laptop that has to meet such a tall order, but the options on this list are good places to start.
While laptop-shopping for college, keep in mind the considerations for your major first, ensuring that the gadget can run any applications, programs and software you may need.
Also, double-check that the battery life, screen size, processing configuration, storage space, and graphics offered are in tandem with your requirements.
Once you have zeroed down on laptops that are attuned to your college course, you can employ lookouts like aesthetics, budget and brand to seal the deal.
One final rule of thumb: seek to purchase a college laptop that employs future-compatible, advanced technology in both design and functionality. You are going to be in college for a while, and the tech world changes gears sooner than you can say Jack Robinson.
You would want a machine that can adapt to the changes and serve you well throughout your time on campus.