A laptop that’s college worthy should be lightweight, portable. And have the hardware you need to handle the type of work. We’ll break down the top five laptops for college on the market this year based on price versus performance and situations they’ll be used in. So whether you’re looking for the best two-in-one laptop for college or the best laptop money can buy.
Acer swift 3 our pick for
Best laptop for college students for the money
The acer swift 3 is an excellent ultrabook laptop for college students in mid 2022. Made better by its accessible price, its portable design, and pretty decent battery life. Acer sticks to a clean minimalist design with the swift 3.
The 14-inch 1080p display provides decent performance. But may struggle when in brightly lit areas. The color accuracy also isn’t the highest. But is definitely in line with the standards of a modern 1080p display flipping. Open the lid reveals the island style keyboard that features responsive chiclet keys that are well spaced for a laptop of its size. And the black keys are backlit with soft white leds for better visibility. The swift 3 is powered by an amd ryzen 7 processor and a radeon graphics coprocessor 8 gigabytes of ram. And a 512 gigabyte ssd for file storage.
When it comes to productivity apps like word and excel as well as web browsing and other everyday tasks the swift 3 performs without a hitch. You can even take a break and play some casual games without a problem. The frame rate will remain stable as long as the on-screen action isn’t too demanding for a system. With just 8 gigabytes of ram the swift 3 can handle some multimedia content creation pretty well. Using photoshop to do some basic photo editing with several open files is a smooth experience without any real hang ups.
For ports the swift 3 gives you a usb 2.0, a usb 3.0, and a usbc thunderbolt 3 port along with an hdmi port and headphone mic jack. There’s no sd card reader or optical drive. But that’s pretty typical of an ultrabook these days. If you’re looking for a laptop for college that will give you the most for your money the acer swift 3 is a solid choice. You’ll get a highly portable laptop that will deliver the power you need for productivity writing papers. And even some casual gaming during your downtime
Microsoft surface pro 8
Best two in one laptop for college students in mid 2022. Constantly moving between classrooms and lecture halls to the café and ultimately your dorm room you need a device that not only is powerful but is also fairly portable. And this is where the surface pro 8 shines combining the versatility of a desktop laptop and tablet. All in one the chassis has been refined with rounded edges that make the surface pro 8 more comfortable to hold for long periods of time.
Over flat sides with sharper corners the 13 inch 2880 x 1920 touchscreen has good brightness. It offers solid visibility in all types of lighting conditions. And when you’re using the surface pro 8 in tablet mode the surface slim pen 2 sold separately is perfect for taking notes, marking up documents, and improving your general productivity. The detachable type cover which is also selling separately converts this two in one to a conventional laptop.
Key travel is sufficiently deep for how thin the keyboard is. And the wide key spacing maintains good comfort while you type. For computing power the surface pro 8 is equipped with an intel i7 evo processor with intel iris xe integrated graphics 16 gigabytes of ram and a 256 gigabyte ssd. While not the best component set for the price this hardware is more than adequate for productivity. And daily tasks like email and web browsing and streaming video. And it’s 103 coverage of the srgb color gamut makes it particularly useful for any creative work that might be involved in your courses.
Connectivity options include two thunderbolt 4 ports and a 3.5mm jack for listening with headphones. Battery life will get you through about 8 hours and 15 minutes of usage on a full charge. If you’re looking for a 2-1 for college the microsoft surface pro 8 is one of the best out there. And would be a great choice. The reason it’s not an excellent choice is because Microsoft doesn’t include either the type cover the stylus or both as part of the package
Dell xps 13
Best windows laptop for college students in mid 2022
The dell xps 13 is a windows based laptop with all-day battery life and solid performance. That’s ready to take on almost anything. Not only is this laptop extremely lightweight at 2.8 pounds it’s super thin too measuring in at just 0.58 inches at its thickest point. This makes the xps 13 an incredibly easy laptop to haul around campus. The 13.3 inch 1080p display is colorful and bright with 97 coverage of the srgb color gamut. This makes it a good choice for students involved in visual arts multimedia photography or anything else that requires good color accuracy.
The keyboard has bigger more responsive keys with good travel to promote better typing speed and accuracy. The touchpad may not be comparable to something like the apple macbook air. For the most part tracking is smooth and the buttons feel pretty solid. You can configure the xps 13 with an intel i5 or i7 processor. And graphics is handling by integrated intel iris xe graphics.
For internal memory you can add up to 16 gigabytes of ram and for file storage. You could choose an ssd with a capacity of up to one terabyte. There’s a good selection of ports including two thunderbolt 4 ports, a usb 3.2 type c port, and a 3.5mm headphone mic jack. A micro sd card slot is also in place for battery power. You can expect up to 12 hours on a full charge. So you’ll easily be able to get through a day of classes.
If you’re a student looking for a laptop that’s incredibly portable. And capable of handling almost anything you can throw at it, the dell xps 13 is a very good choice. You’ll also get great color accuracy a hardware spec that you could tailor to suit your needs and enough battery life to get you through a full day of studies.
Apple macbook air
For best overall laptop for college
The extremely portable apple macbook air is the best overall laptop for college students in mid 2022. Available with its m1 chip it delivers all the power. You’ll need to face almost any academic challenge you’ll encounter and its quiet magic keyboard is ideal for in-class use. The macbook air has a 13.3 inch retina display with a wide p3 color gamut. It displays 25 percent more color than srgb. And its high level of brightness delivers vivid imagery and excellent detail in any lighting condition.
The magic keyboard is backlit and feels great to type on. It also offers pre-programmed shortcuts that makes frequently used features more accessible. Below the keyboard is a glass trackpad that responds to pressure and motion. And like the windows based dell xps 13, the macbook air supports the p3 wide color gamut which only used to be available with the more expensive macbook pro with it.
You’ll get more accurate true to life images. So it’s well suited for any coursework that requires accurate color like video or photo editing. And more on the outside the macbook air looks identical to the three previous models. But the most exciting changes are on the inside apple replaced intel-based processors for their own m1 chip that’s incredibly fast. And is specifically optimized for apple hardware and software.
Along with the chip is an apple 8 core gpu 8 gigabytes of ram and a 256 gigabyte ssd. Improvements continue on the software side with apps like safari final cut the photos app messages. And most of the apps you would use as a college student optimized for the m1chip. So load times are faster and you get better overall performance.
The improvements the m1 chip bring to the table even extend to the battery giving it a healthy boost in efficiency. With up to 15 hours of use on a full charge. If you’re a student that’s looking for the best of the best the apple macbook air is an excellent choice. This laptop is exuding the highest quality and is equally matching in its performance.
Lenovo ideapad flex 5
Best budget laptop for college students in mid 2022
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The convertible form factor of the lenovo flex 5 lets you quickly switch from a conventional laptop to a streamlined tablet. For taking notes in class along with good overall performance and battery life the design gives the flex 5 a premium feel and features. A soft touch finish a 360 degree hinge lets you easily take the flex 5 from standard laptop mode to tablet mode. Like the acer swift 3 the 13.3 inch 1080p ips touchscreen is a bit underpowered when it comes to brightness.
So if you’re in a very brightly lit room or outdoors on a sunny day you may find yourself struggling to read the screen. A digital pen is available separately and will let you take notes in class. Just like you’re using pen and paper giving you a more natural feeling. Way to interact the keyboard offers enough travel to make typing up essays or any other long document.
A comfortable experience and the backlighting comes in handy when you’re working in low light there is also a touchpad that operates smoothly and accurately. And is responsive to windows 10 gestures. For computing power the flex 5 uses an intel i3 processor with intel integrated graphics 4 gigabytes of ram 64 gigabytes of flash storage. And it all runs on google chrome OS to connect external devices. The flex 5 offers one usb type a port, an audio jack, and two usb 3.1 type c ports that let you enjoy fast data transfer, multimedia streaming, and battery charging on a single port. On a full charge the battery will give you up to eight hours so you’ll easily be able to get through a day of classes.
If you’re a student on a budget and need a portable two in one laptop with pretty good performance. The lenovo ideapad flex 5 is a great choice. While the screen brightness isn’t the best the budget price point makes it hard to complain about.
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