TOP 7 LAPTOPS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS BY CONSUMER REPORTS

College is an exciting time for any student. In order to get the best experience possible, you need to get a good laptop. There are a few conditions your laptop needs to meet in order to be suitable for college life. Listed below are some fantastic laptops that meet this criterion.

Top 7 Laptops for College Students

Apple 15.4″ MacBook Pro Laptop

Mid 2015 Apple MacBook Pro with 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-4870HQ (15 inches, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) Silver (Renewed)
  • Apple MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.5GHz Retina
  • 16GB of Onboard 1600 MHz DDR3L RAM | 512GB PCIe-Based Flash Storage
  • AMD Radeon R9 M370X Graphics (2GB GDDR5)
  • 15.4" LED-Backlit IPS Retina Display | 2880 x 1800 Native Resolution

Features

  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • 15-inch retina display
  • 2.6 GHz 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor

Apple is a trusted brand, so you can be sure that this laptop will be high quality and perfect for daily use. The screen is phenomenal, with each detail popping out perfectly. You will definitely enjoy watching movies on this laptop, and the design is the pinnacle of how beautiful a laptop can look. Along with all of this you can have half a terabyte of storage space, enough to store pretty much all of your important files.

These benefits are dampened by the fact that this laptop is so ridiculously expensive, though. College students generally don’t have that much money to spend, so the fact that this laptop costs thousands of dollars is definitely a downside. Also, you are stuck with Mac OS, which, although a decent operating system overall, will leave a lot of programs incompatible with your laptop.

Pros

  • High definition screen
  • Ample storage space
  • Sleek, attractive design
  • Clear audio from speakers

Cons

  • Extremely expensive
  • Many programs not compatible with Mac OS
  • Only USB-C ports limit the functionality

NEW Microsoft Surface Go

Microsoft Surface Go 8GB 128GB SSD 10-inch Touchscreen Windows Home 10 S (Renewed)
  • Intel Pentium 4415Y Processor 1. 60 GHz/ 8GB Memory/ 128GB Solid-state drive (SSD)
  • 10 inch PixelSense Touchscreen Display 1800 x 1200 resolution/ Intel HD Graphics 615
  • 802. 11ac Wireless and Bluetooth 4. 1/ 5. 0MP 1080p front-facing camera/ headphone jack (3. 5 mm)
  • 1 Surface Connect port/ Micro SDXC Card Reader/ Surface Pen NOT Included/ 1 USB-C
  • Silver Finish/ Windows 10 Home in S mode/ Certified Refurbished with 90-day Manufacturer's

Features

  • 10″ display
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB SSD
  • Intel Pentium Gold processor

This laptop provides very fast charging thanks to the Surface Connect technology that has been used. This is important because college student is still getting the hang of adult life, which means that they are going to need fast charging so that they can get to their lectures on time. This is also a very lightweight product. It’s also a perfect fit for architects, and we have recommended it in our laptop guide for architects. The 10-inch screen makes this product nice and compact, perfect for people looking for something that they can carry around on campus.

The touch interface is a real blessing because it will make it much easier for you to do your assignments. That being said, the lightweight design leaves this product a little fragile. You will have to be careful while using it because one drop could mean that the laptop stops working. You also don’t get very good battery life with this product, so you will have to use the fast charging feature quite frequently.

Pros

  • Surface Connect enables rapid charging
  • Touch interface useful for assignments
  • Lightweight and portable
  • It can be used as a tablet

Cons

  • Fragile; needs to be handled with
  • Battery life is lower than similarly priced products

Acer Aspire E 15

Sale
Acer Aspire 5 A515-45-R74Z Slim Laptop | 15.6" Full HD IPS | AMD Ryzen 5 5500U Hexa-Core Mobile Processor | AMD Radeon Graphics | 8GB DDR4 | 256GB NVMe SSD | WiFi 6 | Backlit KB | Windows 11 Home
  • AMD Ryzen 5 5500U Hexa-Core Mobile Processor with AMD Radeon Graphics.Maximum Power Supply Wattage 45 W
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display
  • 8GB DDR4 Onboard Memory and 256GB NVMe SSD
  • 1 - USB 3.2 (Type-C) Gen 1 port (up to 5 Gbps) | 2 - USB 3.2 Gen 1 Ports (one with Power-off Charging) | 1 - USB 2.0 Port | 1 - HDMI 2.0 Port with HDCP support
  • Wi-Fi 6 | Backlit Keyboard | Up to 11 Hours Battery Life | Comes with Windows 11 Home

Features

  • 8th generation Intel Core i3 processor
  • 6GB dual channel RAM
  • 1TB HDD
  • 15.6” screen

This laptop finds itself ranking higher than the Macbook and Surface Go because of its powerful processor. It comes with the latest generation Intel Core i3 processor, which allows you to work on multiple projects at the same time. This is also a very affordable laptop, costing only a small percentage of what the Macbook does. This is perfect for college students that are struggling to get buy.

This is a great student laptop because it also has excellent battery life. Lasting well over twelve hours, this laptop’s battery is enough to help you finish all of your assignments on time, and its durable nature means you can carry it around without worrying about it breaking. The rugged design also means that the laptop isn’t very light, however, so carrying it around might tire you out. Also, the screen isn’t high quality enough to give you a perfect entertainment experience.

Pros

  • Powerful processor
  • Affordable option; perfect for college students on a budget
  • Above-average battery life allows long usage hours
  • The rugged design meant for durability

Cons

  • Slightly bulky and heavy; lacks portability
  • Screen not high quality enough

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

Sale
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13.5” Touchscreen Laptop, AMD 6-Core Ryzen 5 4680U, AMD Radeon Vega 9, 2256 x 1504 Pixels, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Backlit, with MTC Stylus Pen
  • 【13.5” PixelSense Display】 Thin, light, elegant design in 13.5” (2256 x 1504), that’s perfect for split-screen multitasking. Touchscreen, Surface Pen enabled.
  • 【AMD Ryzen 5 4680U Processor】AMD Ryzen 5 4680U Mobile Processor with Radeon Graphics Microsoft Surface Edition, 6-core, Power to do what you want with up to 70% more speed and multitasking power than before and exclusive AMD Ryzen Microsoft Surface Edition processor.
  • 【Memory & Storage】8GB DDR4 Memory, 128GB Solid-state drive (SSD), 720p HD f2.0 camera (front-facing), Windows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing) for Home, Student, Professionals, Small Business, School Education, and Commercial Enterprise, Online Class, Google Classroom, Remote Learning, Zoom Ready.
  • 【Designed to keep up with you】Show your best side on video calls with sharp video and image quality, even in low light, thanks to a front-facing 720p HD camera. Enjoy theater-like sound for movies and shows with Omnisonic Speakers backed by immersive Dolby Atmos6
  • 【Windows 11 Home included】Windows 11 Home, Battery life up to 19 hrs,802.11ax, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, 1 x USB – C, 1 x USB - A, 1 x Surface Connect port, 3.5mm headphone jack, 12.1” x 8.8” x 0.57” in, 2.79 lbs, Platinum.

Features

  • 8th Gen Intel Core i5 Processor
  • SSD 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
  • 13.5-inch screen
  • 8GB or 16GB RAM

A more advanced version of the Surface Go, this laptop weighs a measly 2.6 pounds which is very light indeed. Unlike Surface Go, this product has excellent battery life. Over 14 hours is more than enough time to get all of your work done without having to worry about charging your laptop repeatedly. This laptop’s display is superior to the Acer Aspire E 15, with the colors showing a lot of vibrancy and depth.

This laptop also has a beautiful design, equal to that of the Macbook, even though it costs less. Still, it is quite expensive when you consider the average college student’s budget. Also, for a laptop that costs so much, it sure is fragile. College students live a fast life, and a fragile product can be a nuisance in such situations.

Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • Beautiful design
  • Vibrant and colorful display
  • Very lightweight; perfect for students on the go

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
  • Rather fragile design; gets easily damaged

ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02

ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6in Ruggedized and Water Resistant Design with 180 Degree (Intel Celeron 4 GB, 16GB eMMC, Dark Blue, Silver) (Renewed)
  • Ready for drops and spills with rugged construction with reinforced rubber guards, easy grip handles, and a spill resistant keyboard
  • Lightweight 2.65 pound body and rugged construction that can be dropped from 3.9 feet* so you can take it anywhere without disruption
  • 11.6 inches HD 1366x768 Anti-Glare Display, with 180 degree hinge for easy viewing
  • Powered by the Intel Celeron N3060 Processor (2M Cache, up to 2.48 GHz) for fast and snappy performance
  • Chromebook runs on Chrome OS - an operating system by Google that is built for the way we live today. It comes with built-in virus protection, updates automatically*, boots up in seconds and continues to stay fast over time

Features

  • 4GB RAM
  • 16GB EMCC hard drive
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron N3060 Processor
  • 11.6-inch screen

One of the biggest advantages of this laptop is the spill-resistant keyboard. College students often find themselves drinking coffee or red bull to get the energy to finish assignments on time, and in such situations, spillage is quite common. This is also a highly portable 2-in-1 laptop since it is so compact, and the anti-glare screen is perfect for long hours because it protects your eyes from harm.

To top it all off, this product is one of the most affordable laptops out there, especially since it is so durable and long-lasting. That being said, a lot of you might not like the OS. It isn’t quite as good as Windows or Linux-based operating systems since it is so limited. It is also a rather basic laptop; you won’t be able to play any hardcore games on it, which is a problem for a lot of college students. Overall, though, this is a great budget laptop that will improve your college experience.

Pros

  • Google Drive storage space
  • Compact and highly portable
  • Extremely affordable; great value for money
  • Resistant to all kinds of damage
  • Anti-glare display reduces strain on eyes

Cons

  • Limited OS; inferior to Windows or Linux
  • Not powerful enough for games

Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible

Acer Spin 311-2H 11.6" 2-in-1 Touchscreen Chromebook (Intel 4-Core Celeron N4000, 64GB eMMC, 4GB RAM, Stylus, Webcam, IPS) Flip Convertible Home & Education Laptop, IST Computers Pen, Chrome OS
  • ▌The video is for reference only. Accurate product details included in description ▌Spin 311 2H, designed to keep your ideas flowing, anywhere, anytime with the ability to multi-mode, this Chrome OS laptop has a 360 hinge so you can use it in laptop mode for everyday computing, tent mode for sharing, stand mode for binge-watching your favorite streaming shows, or tablet mode for easy interaction. Stylus pen is included, which brings more productive.
  • 11.6" HD (1366x768) 16:9 IPS Touchscreen LED-backlit Display, ARM Mali-G72 MP3 Graphics; The attached capacitive stylus pen works on most capacitive touchscreens. The capacitive stylus slim aluminum design is durable and portable
  • Intel 4-Core Celeron N4000 Processor 2.0GHz, 4GB LPDDR4X Onboard RAM, 64GB eMMC Storage, 2x2 802.11ac WiFi 5 + Bluetooth 4.2
  • 1 x USB Type-C ports USB 3.1 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps) DisplayPort over USB Type-C & USB Charging, 1 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x 3.5mm combo jack (headphone/speaker), 1 x Kensington Lock Slot
  • Chrome OS, chromebook is a computer for the way the modern world works, with thousands of apps, built-in cloud backups. It is secure, fast, up-to-date, versatile and simple. Idea for online course, online school, students, zoom meeting, or video streaming.

Features

  • 4GB RAM
  • 1.6GHz Intel Celeron Processor
  • 32GB SSD
  • 11.6 inch HD touch display

The high-definition touch display is a big reason why this product is ranked so highly on this list. This screen is enough to let you enjoy the movies you watch, and the quick boot times can help you save a lot of time in class. You also get access to the Google PlayStore, which means you can download a variety of useful and entertaining apps. This is also a very virus-resistant product which is an important aspect that you will appreciate.

This laptop also comes with a tablet mode that is useful for on-the-go working, and for such a compact machine, it is surprisingly solid. It’s a shame that this laptop doesn’t work without an active internet connection and that the battery life isn’t as long as some other products on the market. These reasons bump this laptop down to second place instead of first.

Pros

  • Boots up very quickly
  • Access to tons of apps and programs
  • Tablet mode is very useful for portable use
  • Built-in virus protection keeps your files safe
  • Surprisingly durable for a lightweight machine

Cons

  • Doesn’t work without an internet connection
  • Below-average battery life

ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH5Q

ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED Ultra-Slim Laptop, 13.3” OLED FHD NanoEdge Bezel Display, AMD Ryzen 7 5700U, 8GB LPDDR4X RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD, NumberPad, Wi-Fi 5, Windows 10 Home, Pine Grey, UM325UA-DS71
  • Aspect Ratio:16:9
  • 13.3 inch OLED 400nits Full HD (1920 x 1080) Wide View 4-way NanoEdge bezel display
  • AMD Ryzen 7 5700U Processor (Up to 4.3GHz, 8 cores, 8M Cache) with AMD Radeon Graphics
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Fast storage and memory featuring 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD with 8GB LPDDR4X RAM

Features

  • Comes with a 13.3-inch screen
  • 2.5GHz 7th Gen Intel i5 processor
  • 256GB SSD
  • 8GB RAM

We finally have a laptop that is affordable yet has a solid-sized screen. Though not huge, the screen is big enough to help you look at the final details of your work. You also get a powerful i5 processor, which is far better than anything else you can get on this budget. The portable design is relatively solid and able to withstand a lot of rough use. You also get the fingerprint scanner which can help you keep your precious files safe.

This laptop also has a much better battery life than the Acer Chromebook at number 2, which is what helped it clinch the top spot. The processor may not be strong enough for heavy games, but college students need something more practical. This laptop will give you everything you need to make the best of your college experience.

Pros

  • Superior security thanks to the fingerprint scanner
  • Powerful processors can run multiple programs at once
  • High definition screen
  • Portable yet durable
  • Solid battery life of 12 hours
  • Attractive, sleek design

Cons

  • Can’t handle games or heavy-duty programs

Consumer Reports for ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH5Q:

Cristine G. Hogan: This is a nice, light laptop. I use it to watch movies and finish assignments and it works like a charm.

Charles E. Jackson: This laptop is so affordable price, I can’t believe how good it is, all things considered! It’s made my life so much easier.

Hattie J. Grimes: I am always confused about how to buy the right laptop, but luckily I made the best decision when I bought this one. What luck!

Betty K. Davis: Everything worked perfectly right out of the box. No muss, no fuss; a brilliant buy overall, and one I’m glad I made!

Deborah E. Whitehurst: My friend recommended this laptop, and I was unsure at first. But as soon as I used it for a while, I knew I had bought something worthwhile.

The MacBook is an okay option but is mostly a waste of money. Going for the ASUS Zenbook is a much smarter decision because of the difference in price as well as the amazing features you get. College life is all about spending money smartly, and choosing to save money and get the better product here is a great way to start.

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