Today, it has become necessary for students to use laptops in their schools and colleges.
Laptops for students have become the order of the day with almost every student having one in his or her possession.
Purchasing the best laptop for a student can be a challenging job for the parents. Students would love to have as high a configuration as possible. However, such laptops can be out of your budget.
This laptop buying guide will help parents purchase the ideal laptops for students. We shall also review some of the best laptops for students of this generation.
Table of Contents
- Buying Guide for laptops for students
- Best Laptops for students
- Final words
Buying Guide for laptops for students
What should students look for in a laptop? This thumb rule should help you make a quick choice. We shall go into the details subsequently.
Shall we now go into the details and see which laptops suit your kids? We shall begin with the operating systems.
Usually, laptops come with any one of the above three OS listed above. The Apple laptops come with Mac OS.
The most common OS available in laptops is Windows 10. Other than Chrome books and MacBook, all laptops come with Windows OS.
The latest version of MS Windows is Windows 10. It is an improvement over the earlier versions such as Windows 7 and 8. The significant advantage of Windows 10 is that it comes with a switchable option between a laptop and tablet mode.
Windows 10 features a revamped Start menu with live tiles. The Cortana digital assistant is a welcome addition to Windows 10.
Chrome OS belongs to Google and is the least expensive of the three OS under discussion. The user interface is similar to the Windows application menu, but you use a Chrome browser.
Chrome books are highly portable and offer excellent battery life as compared to Windows and Mac OS. Chrome OS is ideal for school kids, as they provide greater flexibility than tablets.
If you plan to use Android apps on Chrome OS, it is advisable to go for a 2-in-1. The typical specification for a Chrome OS should be 4GB of RAM and 16GB storage.
All Apple MacBook laptops come with Apple’s desktop OS, Mac OS Mojave. This OS is similar to Windows 10 but comes with a unique user interface.
This OS has the start menu and taskbar at the bottom. Mac OS users can avail the services of Siri instead of Cortana. Apple Pay is also available on Mac Os, whereby users can take calls or texts from their iPhones.
It is also possible to unlock the laptop with an Apple Watch. Mac OS does not come with a touchscreen menu.
A 2-in-1 laptop or a traditional one
Today, most of the laptops available in the market are 2-in-1 laptops. These laptops can switch between the tablet mode and the clamshell mode.
The 2-in-1 laptops are also available as a detachable variant where you can detach the screen and use it as a tablet.
The other category of a 2-in-1 laptop is the one that can bend 360 degrees and change modes. These laptops are expensive as compared to the traditional clamshell models.
Screen Size matters a lot
Keyboard and Touchpad specifications
Specifications are the key
The specifications of the laptop are the most crucial factors to consider. The language used in describing the specifications can confuse computers specialists as well. We shall make it simple for you to understand the terms.
CPU – Central Processing Unit
The Central Processing Unit is the brain of the laptop. The processor determines the working of your laptop. Here are some of the terms you usually encounter when discussing processors.
We shall now come to the memory specifications. As you all know, there are two kinds of memory in a laptop, the RAM and ROM. The memory specifications for a student laptop should be as follows.
RAM – Budget laptops that come with 2GB or 4GB RAM should suffice for light users, especially for using MS Office, web surfing, and other light activities.
Students need laptops with a higher RAM. The ideal RAM for a student laptop is 8GB. If your budget allows you, a 16GB RAM should be excellent, especially for engineering students and gaming enthusiasts.
Storage Drives – The capacity of your storage drive has a direct bearing on the performance of your laptop.
Hard drives should be excellent for a PC, but you should prefer to have SSDs for laptops. It increases the speed of the laptop, thereby allowing you to play fast and action-packed games.
One of the best SSDs available today is the PCIe X4. Some budget laptops come with eMMC drives.
Display and Graphics
Screen Resolution – It is common knowledge that the higher the numbers of pixels, the sharper are the images on the screen.
Usually, the budget laptops come with a screen resolution of 1366 X 768p.
However, the ideal display configuration for a student laptop should be 1920 X 1080p, also known as Full HD or 1080p. Laptops with better configuration are available, but they can drain the battery as well as your budget.
Graphics Cards – An integrated graphics ship should be enough for light users, but you cannot classify students as light users anymore.
A discrete graphics processor like AMD or NVidia is essential for students.
Depending on the requirements, you can opt for low-end chips like NVidia GTX 1050, mid-range graphics cards like GTX 1050 Ti or GTX 1060, or the high-end graphics chips like RTX 2070 or 2080.
Connectivity ports are not a great deal, as all laptops come with the essential ports such as USB 3.0 and HDMI output for video.
The latest models come with advanced ports like USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3. A Type-C port is a better choice as it can connect to universal chargers and docks.
The brand of the laptop matters a lot because you get after-sales support and service from the reputed brands. Brands like Lenovo, Apple, Acer, Dell, and HP are some of the favourites among students.
We shall now proceed with reviewing some of the best laptops for students. This simple buying guide should help us to understand the reviews better.
Best Laptops for students
1. Apple MacBook Air
This all-purpose notebook comes with excellent features that guarantee top-notch performance. Apart from becoming thinner and lighter than the earlier versions, Apple MacBook Air features a brilliant Retina display. The recycled aluminium body makes it one of the lightest devices in town.
The Retina display is the highlighting feature of the Apple MacBook Air. With four times as many pixels when compared to an HD display, you get incredibly detailed images with sharp textures and features.
This 13.3-inch display can accommodate more than four million colours to ensure excellent performance.
The Apple MacBook Air comes with fantastic security features like Touch ID unlocking function. Use your fingerprint to unlock the laptop and access documents and other files.
The T2 security chip ensures that your data stored on the SSD is encrypted.
The Apple Butterfly mechanism provides a high degree of stability to your keyboard. The LED backlit keys help you locate the right keys in low lighting conditions.
The Force Touch trackpad allows for precise control and delivers a uniform response. It comes with features like pinch and zoom.
This notebook comes equipped with an 8th generation 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5 processor featuring 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD. The integrated graphics chip Intel HD Graphics 6000 enables an excellent gaming performance.
The powerful Mac OS is the ideal one for students because of its user-friendly features.
2. Lenovo IdeaPad 330
Lenovo IdeaPad is an ideal student laptop because of its incredible features. The 8th generation Intel Core i5 8300H processor has a base speed of 2.3 GHz and a maximum clock speed of 4 GHz. It has four cores and an 8 Mb smart cache to make it one of the fastest processors in this price band.
Windows 10 OS makes this laptop easy to use. This laptop comes with preloaded software and carries a lifetime warranty. The display consists of a 15.6-inch FHD display with anti-glare technology.
The 8GB RAM and 1TB HDD should be enough to provide excellent performance. The Lenovo IdeaPad features a 4GB NVidia GTX 1050 graphics card to the joy of avid gamers.
Adequate connectivity ports are available for students to connect with printers, other display devices, and smartphones. Lenovo IdeaPad offers five and a half hours of battery time. However, this laptop is a bit heavy at 2.2 kg.
3. HP – 15-BS179TX 2018
HP laptops are durable appliances that come with advanced features. This HP appliance comes with a 15.6-inch Bright View FHD screen that enables you to watch high definition movies and videos. The HP True Vision HD Webcam allows you to connect with your loved ones over Skype and other social media. This webcam works beautifully under low light conditions as well.
This laptop is a beautifully crafted device with chrome finished hinges, new metallic HP logo and an excellent visual strata pattern.
HP laptops boast of a powerful battery that can last all day, thereby allowing you to surf, stream, and stay in touch with people. The revolutionary HP fast charge battery charges on the go, whereby you can charge the battery up to 90% in 90 minutes.
The HP laptop works on a 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5-8250U 8th gen processor. The 8GB RAM and 1TB Serial ATA hard drive complement the performance of this laptop. It does not come with an OS. It works on the DOS operating system.
You have to purchase an OS separately. The AMD Radeon 520 2GB graphics card is a decent one.
4. HP 15q-ds0009TU
The HP 15q-ds0009TU is an excellent laptop for students, as it features a powerful processor and a high-quality FHD display.
The Intel Core i5-8250U 8th gen processor has a base clock speed of 1.6 GHz and a maximum of 3.4 GHz. It may not be the fastest processor in this segment, but it is a good one nevertheless.
This laptop comes with 8GB RAM expandable to 16GB, and the storage capacity is good with a 1TB HDD in place. This device does not come with an OS. It comes with a disk operating system, whereby you have to purchase the Windows 10 software separately.
As far as graphics are concerned, it comes with Intel UHD Graphics 620 processor.
HP laptops have a reputation for having excellent display features. This device comes with a 15.6-inch FHD SVA Bright View micro-edge WLED display with a screen resolution of 1920 X 1080p and brightness equal to 220 nits.
The battery is the strength of this laptop. The average life of the battery is around seven hours. It also features a fast recharging facility where you can charge the battery from 0 to 50% within 45 minutes.
It comes with adequate connectivity ports to enable students to connect to external devices like printers, TV monitors, smartphones, and other devices.
5. Lenovo IdeaPad 330 – 81DE008PIN
The Lenovo IdeaPad comes with a similar processor to the HP laptop discussed above. However, it has specific additional features that distinguish its performance from the others. It features ample connectivity ports for students to connect to future-ready devices.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 comes equipped with an 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor with a base speed of 1.6 GHz and a maximum speed of 3.4 GHz. Similar to the HP model, it features four cores and a 6 MB Smart Cache.
The difference between the two laptop models is that the Lenovo IdeaPad comes with preloaded Windows 10 software. On the memory front, the 8GB RAM and 1TB HDD should be adequate for a student laptop.
Integrated graphics ensure good videos and pictures, but it is not the ideal laptop for playing fast games.
The FHD screen with 1920 X 1080p screen resolution and anti-glare display features is a highlight of the Lenovo IdeaPad.
This Laptop has a decent battery that allows the laptop to function smoothly for about five and a half hours.
6. HP Pavilion x360 – 14-dh0107TU
This touchscreen convertible laptop is one of the best ones from HP. HP Pavilion x360 is a good laptop for students, as it comes with student-specific features.
One of the most significant benefits of HP Pavilion x360 is that it is a touchscreen convertible laptop. You can use the x360 model as a tablet and use your fingers and the stylus to operate it.
The highlight of this HP Pavilion x360 is its display and picture quality. The micro-edge display covers 80.9% of the display area to deliver an immersive viewing experience.
Another advantage of HP Pavilion is that it comes in four modes. The laptop mode is the obvious one to use in the classrooms.
The tent mode gives you a fantastic viewing experience where you can place the laptop on your bed and relax while using it. The tablet mode is a convenient one, as it allows easy accessibility.
The Reverse mode will enable you to experiment and enjoy the unique features of this laptop.
HP Pavilion x360 features an 8th generation Intel Core i3-8145U processor with a 2.1 GHz base speed. This processor works on two cores and a 4MB cache.
It comes with 4GB RAM and integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics along with a 256GB SSD to take care of the storage factor.
HP Pavilion comes with preloaded Windows 10 OS and a lifetime warranty. The 14-inch screen comes with 1366 X 768p resolution and WLED display. The 3-cell battery can provide adequate power for around 10 hours and comes with a fast charging facility as well. It is a light appliance weighing 1.59 kg.
7. ASUS TUF FX504
ASUS specialises in manufacturing gaming laptops. The ASUS TUF FX504 is an excellent model suitable for university students, especially from the engineering field. It is also one of the perfect notebooks for gaming.
The Asus TUF comes with a powerful 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5-8300H processor with a maximum clock speed of 3.9 GHz. It comes with 8GB DDR4 RAM and double storage comprising of 1TB Hybrid HDD with PCIe NVME 128GB M.2 SSD.
The highlight of the Asus TUF is that it features a high-strength GPU in the form of NVidia GTX 1050 GDDR5 4GB graphics card. Asus TUF comes equipped with a preloaded Windows 10 OS.
This laptop has highlighted WASD keys to enable gamers to have a great time. The illuminated keyboard is also an excellent feature that allows you to use the laptop at night without any issues.
The lifespan of the keys is 20 million key presses with each press travelling 1.8mm.
Other exciting features include Hypercool technology, anti-dust cooling, robust dual fan architecture, fan overboost technology, patented thermal-friendly chassis and intelligent keyboard cooling.
Asus TUF comes with one of the best sound systems among all laptops. It has a variety of connectivity ports such as HDMI, USB 3, USB 2, RJ45, and combo audio jack.
8. Acer Swift SF314-52
Compared to the other laptops discussed above, the Acer Swift is a simple budget-friendly laptop that is ideal for school students. It is not the ideal laptop to play games. This laptop comes with a 7th generation Intel Core i3-7100U processor. It is a fast processor in its range.
The Acer Swift features 4GB RAM with an internal memory of 256GB HDD. It comes with integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 graphics and a 14-inch screen to display quality images.
The Linux OS is not as user-friendly as the Windows 10 OS, but is an effective operating system, especially for students.
Linux is advantageous over the Windows OS because it is secure and open-source software. Students, especially computer programmers, would love to operate using Linux.
Customisation is also an advantageous feature of this OS. Linux is a free OS having access to better community support.
9. Dell Vostro 3478
Dell Vostro is another budget-friendly laptop that is ideal for students. It may not be the ideal one for gaming but has excellent student-specific features.
It features an 8th Intel Core i3-8130U processor with a decent clock speed of 2.20 GHz. The 4GB DDR4RAM with Intel HD Graphics is sufficient for students to use the laptop for educational purposes.
There are options to expand the RAM up to 16GB, but it will be an additional expense. It comes with a 1TB HDD to enable sufficient internal storage.
Dell Vostro offers reliable security in the form of optional hardware TPM 2.0.
This laptop features a 14-inch HD screen with the anti-glare facility. A built-in DVD drive enables you to read, write and load. Thus, installing software solutions becomes easy.
Other essential features include sufficient connectivity ports like HDMI, VGA, USB 3.0 and SD media card reader slots.
10. Lenovo IdeaPad 330s – 81F400GLIN
The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 is also a student-friendly laptop with excellent features specific to the student community. This laptop has an excellent design and weighs 1.69 kg. Hence, it is a great laptop to carry with you anywhere you want.
This IdeaPad 330s comes with an 8th generation Intel Core i3-8130U processor with a base speed of 2.2 GHz and a turbo speed of 3.4 GHz. The 4GB RAM and 1TB HDD should be ideal for students.
This laptop features integrated graphics and is not the best one for gaming.
All Lenovo IdeaPad laptops come with preloaded Windows 10 Home OS and a lifetime warranty for the software. Another advantage of this laptop is its cooling performance.
IdeaPad has a decent battery that is capable of functioning for 5.5 hours at a stretch. This laptop has sufficient connectivity ports for students to connect to different devices.
The FHD IPS anti-glare resolution on the 14-inch screen ensures an excellent viewing experience.
Student laptops are different from laptops for business or commercial use because of student-specific features. This buying guide and the ten reviews should now make it easy for you to understand the specification and choose the ideal laptop for your kids.
Shiva Kumar is a 25-year-old Blogger from India. He is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert. Constantly funny – Randomly Serious!