If you are looking for a laptop for your college, with so many options in the market, you might feel confused. To select the best laptop you need to go for the one with good features that cater for your needs and is within your budget. Here are the best laptops for students under budget.
What you will see?
- MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
- Google Pixelbook Go
- HP Chromebook 14
- Microsoft Surface Go 2
- Acer Chromebook Spin 311
- Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook
- Acer Swift 3 (2020, AMD Ryzen)
- Acer Chromebook Spin 713
- Asus E410
- Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- Features for selecting the best laptop
- Read More!
MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
- CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU
- Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core GPU
- RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory
- Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina display
- Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
- macOS Big Sur is fast and responsive
- Battery life is great
- Silent in use
- Fanless design could impact performance
Apple released the much-anticipated M1 silicon processor in 2020, which has proven to be a game-changer. It is the thinnest and lightest laptop with a new CPU, boasting superb performance alongside brilliant battery life. Although the price is somewhat low, it might be costly for many. So if you are not that tight on budget you can definitely go for MacBook Air.
Google Pixelbook Go
- CPU: Intel Core m3 – i7
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 (300MHz)
- RAM: 8GB – 16GB
- Screen: Full HD Display – 4K Ultra HD Molecular Display
- Storage: 64GB – 256GB
- Incredible battery life
- Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard
- No biometric login
The Google Pixelbook has always been an expensive laptop. But now you can finally get your Pixelbook, thanks to Google’s Pixelbook Go. Although, it is not as high end as the Pixelbook. It has an amazing battery life and an even better keyboard. Moreover, you get a 1080p webcam, which you don’t see very often in more budget-friendly laptops. It has a simple, lightweight operating system based on Google’s Chrome browser. This laptop is made more comfortable and silent by a backlit keyboard and Hush Keys. The touchpad is large and precise, so you only need to utilise a light touch. Also, this is a great option because it’s robust and powerful enough to last several years. So if you get it in your freshman year, it will last throughout your college.
HP Chromebook 14
- CPU: AMD A4 to A6, Intel Celeron N3350 or N3450
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 500, AMD Radeon R4 or R5
- RAM: 4GB – 8GB
- Screen: 14-inch diagonal HD (1366×768 pixel) SVA anti-glare – FHD (1920×1080 pixel) IPS BrightView
- Storage: 16GB – 64GB eMMC
- Excellent keyboard and trackpad
- Chrome OS is responsive
- Crisp, vivid screen
- Average battery life
The HP Chromebook 14 may not be as robust as other Chromebooks, but it has features that make it one of the best laptops for students. The laptop has a solid mix between screen size and mobility. Moreover, you get an excellent keyboard and a competent touchpad. Not only this, the bright display and inexpensive price make it a good choice. You can complete any project or binge-watch your favourite tv shows with this laptop’s Intel processor, 14-inch display and stereo speakers tuned by B&O audio experts.
Microsoft Surface Go 2
- CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core m3 – Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615
- RAM: 4GB – 8GB
- Screen: 10.5” 1920 x 1280 pixel (220 PPI) Pixel Sense Display
- Storage: 64GB eMMC – 128GB SSD
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE Modem
- Premium design
- Can run full Windows 10
- No Touch Cover or stylus included
- Specs are weak
Microsoft’s gadgets are known for their expensive prices. But the Surface Go range is a good option for people on a tighter budget. It runs the complete Windows 10 operating system, making it much more capable than other tablets. Although, it lacks battery life just like the base model. However, it provides a modest performance boost over its predecessor. This laptop is a strong candidate if you’re seeking the finest student laptops.
Acer Chromebook Spin 311
- CPU: Intel Celeron N4000
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
- RAM: 4GB
- Screen: 11.6″ HD (1366 x 768 pixels) 16:9 IPS touchscreen
- Storage: 64GB Flash Memory
- Great design and build
- Lovely size
- Excellent touch screen and flip mechanism
- Dim screen
- Huge bezels substantially reduce the size of the actual screen
If you are looking for adaptability in a laptop, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is for you. It features everything a student laptop should have, from long battery life to a quality build and usability. Moreover, it goes beyond due to its exceptional levels of versatility. This is because of the multitude of connectors, 2-in-1 design, small size, and brilliant touchscreen display. It also has a keyboard and a touchpad that are both reliable and enjoyable to use. Also, the associated stylus pen has 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and a pencil-like hand feel when writing.
Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700C – AMD Athlon Gold 3150C
- Graphics: Integrated AMD Radeon
- RAM: 4GB – 8GB
- Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS LED
- Storage: 32GB eMMC – 256GB SSD
- Powerful AMD processor
- Outstanding security features
- Less than 10-hour battery
This is one of the most powerful Chromebooks money can buy in 2022. Usually, laptops with this type of power and some of the best features come at a bigger price range. It’ll be well worth it if you’re looking for a Chromebook that will last you for years. Moreover, it has the flexibility of a 2-in-1 device that many other Chromebooks lack, and the screen is amazing. The new AMD 3000C-series CPUs are included, starting with an Athlon 3150C and scaling up to a Ryzen 7 3700C. So you will get more processing power out of this Chromebook than many of its competitors.
Acer Swift 3 (2020, AMD Ryzen)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4700U
- Graphics: AMD Radeon Graphics
- RAM: 8GB
- Storage: 512GB
- Display: 14-inch, 1080p
- Herculean performance
- A beastly multitasker
- Clicky keyboard
- Fingerprint scanner
- Dim display
This laptop is capable of outperforming the other top models available in the market. This is because of the Ryzen 7 4700U CPU on the inside, which outperforms its Intel counterparts in terms of sheer performance. You will also enjoy typing on the Swift 3’s clicky keyboard, as it provides a springy response and is comfortable to use. A fingerprint scanner is also included on the deck for speedy login. Moreover, the chassis is composed of metal and magnesium rather than plastic. The major flaw is its dim and drab display. If that isn’t an issue for you, then the Swift 3 is a fantastic choice.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713
- CPU: Intel Core i5-10210U
- Graphics: Intel UHD
- RAM: 8GB
- Storage: 128GB
- Display: 13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504
- Bright, colourful touch screen
- Exceptional battery life
- Speedy performance
- Versatile form factor
- Shallow keyboard
If you want a Chromebook that is more versatile than the Google Pixelbook Go, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a great option. The Intel Core i5-10210U CPU in this fantastic 2-in-1 laptop has a stunning 13.5-inch display and rapid performance. Long-lasting battery life of nearly 12 hours will help you to get through a whole school day. Because of its versatile design, you can use it to draw, take handwritten notes, or rapidly share a project by folding back the display. The rapid performance, beautiful display, and long battery life make it a great choice.
- CPU: Intel Celeron N4020 Dual-Core Processor 1.1GHz (Up to Turbo Boost 2.8GHz)
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 600
- RAM: 4GB LPDDR4 SDRAM
- Storage: 128GB
- Display: 14-Inch Full HD Anti-Glare LED Display (1920 x 1080 pixel)
- Great battery life
- Lightweight and portable
- Fast and responsive
- Cheap build
- Dim display
- Annoying NumPad
If you want a low-cost laptop with a good performance, the Asus E410 is a wonderful choice. The Intel Celeron N4020 gives a solid all-around performance that can handle the essentials. The battery life is likewise outstanding that lasts for up to 12 hours according to Asus. It’s also very portable with a decent 14-inch Full HD+ display, though it isn’t very bright. The built-in Numpad is more bothersome than useful, and the unique back design isn’t to everyone’s taste. Even so, considering the low price, these concessions are more than bearable for a student laptop.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core Processor
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615
- RAM: 8 GB DDR2
- Storage: 128GB
- Display: 12.3 Inches (2736 x 1824)
- Solid performance
- Versatile design
- Premium build
- Tired design
- Dated internals
The Surface Pro 7 is nearly two years old, yet it is still a fantastic 2-in-1. The adaptable design and 10th-generation Intel processors give a good performance. Thus, making it a fantastic gadget for students. Moreover, it also has a high-resolution 12.3-inch touchscreen display and outstanding acoustics. Although the battery life isn’t terrific, and you won’t get the latest sleek design, the Pro 7 right now is available at a lower price.
Features for selecting the best laptop
Students taking classes that need advanced software, such as animation or video editing, will require a laptop with high-end technology. When you have a deadline, you don’t want to be waiting long for things to render with a slow processor. But if you don’t need advanced software, you can save a lot of money and still get an excellent laptop. Here is what you need to check before selecting a laptop for yourself:
Most laptops are 13 inches, which is mostly favored by students because of portability. However, depending on your needs, you can choose smaller or larger displays. Remember that lower-cost laptops will have a lower-quality display that is likely to be dark and lack crisp image quality. So, if you want to do things like photo editing, spending a little extra money is definitely worth it.
A more powerful processor (likely an Intel Core i7 or Ryzen 7), more RAM, and lots of SSD storage come at a higher price range. It could even have its own graphics card. If you’re working on a more complicated task, all of this will come in helpful. A lower-powered Intel Pentium CPU may be found in less expensive variants. They’ll also have far less RAM and possibly no SSD, so make sure to look up processors that suit your work.
Keyboard and trackpad
Not all trackpads and keyboards are created equal. Better quality trackpads come at a price, and the style of keyboard you want is a very personal choice. For the keyboard, understand if you want your keys to having more distance between them, or do you want them to be flatter and slimmer. Moreover, the bigger question is if you want a full-size keyboard with a number pad. By sacrificing that, you’ll be able to get a more compact design that’ll be easier to carry around campus.
Everyone wants a laptop with long battery life. After all, no gadget is particularly useful if it dies in the middle of a day of lectures. Because more costly laptops may spend the power upon fancy components, there is no pattern to which laptops have the best battery life. In the meantime, a budget laptop may reduce the battery size to save money.
Ports and drives
Before choosing a laptop, consider what ports you will require. Many new laptops have few ports, and most of them are USB-C. If you wish to use an old USB flash drive, HDMI cable, or dongle, you’ll need an adapter. Cheaper laptops are bulkier, they usually have more room for full-size ports, which can be a major benefit. Also, keep in mind that laptops no longer come with a CD/DVD drive, so an external drive is required if you require one.
The majority of Windows 10 devices are eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 11. When setting up a Windows 10 device, you’ll be offered to install Windows 11, or you can download it from the Microsoft website. However, if you already possess Apple gadgets, you might prefer macOS. If you’re not sure which will work best for you, check to see if the programme you require is compatible with the OS. Other possibilities include ChromeOS, which is incredibly user-friendly but requires an internet connection to work fully.
As a student when you buy a laptop, you want it to at least last up until your course is finished. For that, you need to consider many factors, like the kind of software you need for your classes and if it would work on the kind of processor the laptop of your choice has. Another major factor is the kind of budget you have for your laptop. If you are not tight on budget, you can definitely go for MacBook Air. It has an M1 chip with an 8‑core CPU and integrated 7-core – 8-core GPU which will be helpful for all your school-related tasks. However, if you are on a budget and don’t want a macOS system, you can go for Acer Chromebook Spin 311. The versatile system will last years and it features everything a student laptop should have.
Which laptop are you planning to buy? Tell us in the comments section below.