10 Best Laptops for College Students 2023

Written By Ryan Sanchez
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best laptops for collegeIn this comprehensive article, we have consolidated the very best laptops for college students 2023 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?

Our Picks: Best Laptops for College 2023

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 2023.

College Laptops Recommended Specs

Processor Intel Core i7 / AMD Ryzen 7
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics / NVIDIA GTX
Memory 16GB DDR4 RAM
Storage 512GB NVMe SSD
Display 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Weight Under 4 lbs.
Battery Up to 15 Hours
Keyboard Backlit Keyboard
OS Windows 11 Home

1. HP Spectre x360 13.5 2-in-1 Laptop for College

HP Spectre x360 13-inch 2022 With a tagline of “stunning design meets powerful performance”, the Spectre x360 is hands down one of the best convertible laptops for students. Featuring a flexible 360-degree hinge with a redefined design and dynamic camera design, this powerful device is built on the Intel Evo platform.

Check on HP Official

Powered with up to Intel core i7-1255U processor with up to 4.7GHz Turbo Boost technology, the device performs efficiently and without any glitches. It comes with the integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics. This portable device is perfect for content creation and tackling all the assignments without any delay.

Available in three color variants, the 13.5” model comes with a backlit keyboard with a responsive HP imagepad with multi-touch gesture support. Users can also amplify their performance with up to 2TB SSD storage and 32GB RAM for the ultimate multitasking experience.

The 13.5” WUXGA+ diagonal multi-touch enabled display works like a charm with 400 nits brightness and 1280p screen resolution. It comes with an optional OLED display configuration as well. Also, the 66Wh li-ion polymer battery for prolonged usage and productivity. The device runs on the Windows 11 OS.

Reasons to buy

  • Latest Intel processor
  • Touchscreen display
  • Optimal storage and RAM configuration

Reasons to avoid

  • Touchpad responsiveness is average
  • Fans get noisy with extensive performance

2. Dell XPS 13 9315 Laptop for College Under $1000

Dell XPS 13 9315

The XPS 13 9315 is probably the brand’s thinnest and lightest 13” XPS model, which is ideally designed for the college students on the go. Offering comfort and portability, the device also comes with long battery life of up to 12 hours, making it a worthy option students and creators alike.

Check on Dell Official

With a price point just under $1000, this is a laptop that’s powered by the latest 12th Gen. Intel Core i5 processor for 1.5x improved performance with a customized user experience. What stands out in the model is the availability of four different modes to choose from – Quiet, Ultra-Performance, Cool or Optimized.

As for the build, the XPS 13 is constructed with CNC aluminum and is available in two stunning color options – Sky and Umber. Besides the optimal port selection, Dell has outdone with their 13.4” FHD InfinityEdge non-touch display with 500 nits brightness and 1200p screen resolution for the ultimate visual experience.

Furthermore, the combination of 512GB SSD storage with 8GB RAM supports the raging productivity that a college student is continually on the lookout for. It runs on the Windows 11 OS.

Reasons to buy

  • Latest responsive processors
  • Faster PCIe 4.0 SSD storage
  • Optimal port selection

Reasons to avoid

  • Lacks an OLED display option
  • Lacks 3.5 mm port

3. HP Pavilion Aero Budget Laptop for College

hp pavilion aero 13 2022

Its no doubt that students are on a budget and the last thing they want to do is purchase an item beyond their limited budget. The HP Pavilion Aero is a mid-range, high performing laptop that’s perfect for students and business professionals.

Check on HP Official

Powered by the latest AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors and Radeon graphics, the model offers a refreshed performance that streamlines your workflow and enables users to live through every move and change. Dell has also prioritized sustainability with this model since its built with ocean-bound plastic.

When it comes to the visuals, the Pavilion Aero is equipped with a compact 13.3” WUXGA IPS display panel with 1200p screen resolution and 400 nits brightness for the ultimate visuals. It is integrated with 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM that makes multitasking a walk in the park.

Another standout feature is the fast-charging support wherein the laptop charged up to 50% within 30 minutes. Users can protect their privacy with the fingerprint reader as well. Lastly, it is pre-integrated with Windows 11 OS.

Reasons to buy

  • Responsive processors
  • Fast charging support
  • Sustainably designed

Reasons to avoid

  • Lacks Thunderbolt port
  • Speakers aren’t that great

4. Apple MacBook Air M2 Laptop for College Students

The latest released MacBook Air with the M2 chip is already a fan favorite among multiple users. However, is it a necessity for college students? It is a very subjective choice but with the blazing new features and fast performance, this laptop works like a dream.

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Available in four different colors, the MacBook Air M2 is powered by Apple’s exclusively made M2 chip with the 8-core CPU and GPU configuration for the ultimate performance. The compact design of the model is further facilitated with the 13.6” Liquid Retina display with IPS technology, 1664p screen resolution and 500 nits brightness.

Students can further amplify their productivity with up to 18 hours of battery life and the combination of up to 2TB SSD and up to 24GB RAM configuration. The backlit Magic keyboard further adds to the credibility of the design. Paired with a 1080p Facetime camera for seamless video conferencing experience too.

Reasons to buy

  • Smaller and compact design
  • Performance boost with M2 chip
  • Responsive 1080p webcam

Reasons to avoid

  • Quite pricey
  • Compatible with a single external monitor

5. Dell XPS 15 9520 High Performance Laptop for College

dell xps 15 9520 laptop

College students studying in specific degrees need a high-performance laptop that can support their data processing, intensive applications and the hefty assignments. The Dell XPS 15 9520 lives up to those expectations.

Check on Dell Official

Powered by the 12th Generation Intel Core i7-12700H CPU with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, performance will never be a roadblock with this model. It is a lot faster compared to most of its competitors in the similar price range.

What stands out in this model is the 15.6” FHD display panel with 1200p screen resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. No longer will you have to compromise with the rough and glitching display in the future. Also, the 512GB SSD storage supports faster boot-up of the applications so there are no interruptions at all.

The laptop is build with the CNC machined aluminum with carbon fiber that contributes to the durability of the model. Lastly, the 86Wh battery integrated into the model is perfect for college students who are on the go.

Reasons to buy

  • Modern and sleek design
  • Superior and responsive display
  • Long-lasting battery

Reasons to avoid

  • A little overpriced
  • GPU configuration isn’t that great

6. Lenovo Flex 5 Cheap Laptop for College Students

lenovo flex 5 ryzen 5 5500u

When talking about cheaper laptops for college students, the Lenovo Flex 5 is a perfect fit, especially with its less than $600 price range. The performance of this laptop is streamlined with the latest AMD Ryzen 5 5500U mobile processor and Radeon graphics for the ultimate responsiveness like no other.

Check Price on Amazon

What makes the laptop so unique despite its affordable price point is the 360-degree flexible hinge that allows you to keep your ideas going. It can be interchanged into four different modes as per the user’s requirements.

Coming to the display, the Flex 5 is equipped with a compact 14” FHD display with four-sided narrow bezels and 1080p screen resolution. Lenovo has also integrated the model with a physical webcam shutter to further support the privacy of the users.

It does come with a combination of 256GB SSD storage and 16GB RAM that offers streamlined performance and multitasking without any interruptions. The port selection in the model is quite decent too but misses out on a few important ones.

Reasons to buy

  • Affordable price
  • Unique design and build
  • Responsive performance

Reasons to avoid

  • Lacks Thunderbolt port
  • Storage configuration could be better

7. ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 (2022) Gaming Laptop for College

asus rog strix scar 15 (2022)

Keeping aside the price point of this laptop, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 (2022) is a multipurpose and versatile laptop. From the assignments to an intensive gameplay, the laptop supports it all. But, what stands out in this model is the latest processors for the ultimate productivity.

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The Strix Scar 15 is powered by the latest 12th Gen. Intel Core i9 processor with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU that supports a variety of multitasking performance without any delays and lags in the process. Programmed with the MUX switch, the feature builds direct communication between the GPU and display for effortless performance and reduced latency.

ASUS hasn’t compromised on the display as well. The model is equipped with a 15.6” FHD display panel with 1440p screen resolution and 300Hz refresh rate for butter-smooth visuals. The ROG Intelligent Cooling prevents overheating with the liquid metal flow and arc metal fans.

The overall performance is further streamlined with the 1TB SSD storage and 16GB DDR5 RAM configuration that renders multitasking as a piece of cake.

Reasons to buy

  • Bold and stunning design
  • Smoother visual experience
  • Responsive thermal solutions

Reasons to avoid

  • Lacks webcam
  • Battery life is average

8. Acer Swift 3 Intel Evo Thin & Light Laptop

acer swift 3 SF314-512 College students are consistently on the lookout for lightweight and high-performance laptops that are easy to travel with. The Acer Swift 3 ticks all the boxes and renders the best performance without any delays or downsides.

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Built on the Intel Evo platform, the model is equipped with a compact 14” QHD display panel with 100% sRGB support. As far as performance goes, the Swift 3 is powered by the Intel Core i7-1260P with Intel Iris Xe graphics for the ultimate productivity with maximized multitasking potential.

Since its targeted towards students and professionals, the model is equipped with a combination of 1TB SSD for storage and 16GB RAM for superior and faster data processing speed. No longer will you have to compromise on the responsiveness of the model.

Acer has outdone with the wireless connectivity with the latest Killer Wi-Fi 6E AX1675 as well. The device runs on the Windows 11 OS.

Reasons to buy

  • Sleek and portable design
  • Superior and unparalleled performance
  • Battery life is impressive

Reasons to avoid

  • Display is average
  • Lacks a few important ports

9. ASUS ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED 4K Laptop for College

ASUS ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED 2022

Ideally designed for creative professionals, content creators and artists, the ASUS ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED 4K is a dream to work with. The model is a little on the expensive end but the individual features and unparalleled performance justifies what you pay.

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Powered by the latest Intel core i7-12700H processor and NVIDIA Geforce RTX 3060 with 6GB VRAM configuration for seamless rendering of all the creative workflow without any compromise. The model is RTX Studio ready and comes with 3-months of Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for free.

As for the display, the StudioBook 16 is equipped with a 16” OLED 4K display panel with 16:10 aspect ratio and 400 nits brightness to keep the users on-board with their creativity. It is a Pantone validated display, so the color reproduction is quite impressive too.

The model features fast storage and memory configuration with 1TB SSD storage and 32GB RAM that streamlines multitasking experience of the users. It is integrated with Windows 11 OS and is designed as per the US MIL-STD 810H military-grade standard for optimal durability.

Reasons to buy

  • Gorgeous OLED display
  • Optimal durability
  • Comes with faster storage and memory configuration

Reasons to avoid

  • Keyboard efficiency is average
  • Battery life is little disappointing

10. Surface Laptop 4 Premium Build

surface laptop 4 13-inch version With customized features like long battery backup (19 hours) and multiple connectivity options, the 15” Surface Laptop 4 is a great pick for college students.

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Fueled by an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB 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 2.76lbs 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, ice-blue, platinum—add further customization to the mix.

Related Posts:

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  2. The 10 Best Laptops Under $300 for 2023
  3. Top 10 Best Laptops Under $500

Laptop or Tablet for College: What to Choose?

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.

CriteriaWhat to Look For
Screen Size11- 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
ProcessorIntel Core i5 or above for CPU-intensive majors (multimedia, graphic design, programming, etc.)

Intel Core i3 for laptops that will perform routine tasks
RAM8GB and above
Memory Space128GB and above SSD memory for CPU-intensive majors

1TB HDD (hard disk drive) for laptops intended to perform routine tasks
GPUIntegrated graphics for regular-use laptops

Dedicated GPU (e.g., NVIDIA GTX) for college majors involving intensive multimedia needs
Battery Life8–10 hours for ultra-portable laptops

4–6 hours for standard, mid-sized laptops
ConnectivityUSB 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

Wi-Fi compatibility

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 TouchpadErgonomic, tactile and backlit keyboard

Large and precise touchpad, preferably with gesture support

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.

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.

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Ryan Sanchez

Ryan as a senior writer and editor in chief of laptoproot, spends most of his time searching for new and best laptops. His passion for learning laptops help people find the best laptops.

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