Dell XPS 13
Apple MacBook Air
HP ZBook Studio x360
If you’re a student, and you are going to take college seriously, then you need a good laptop to handle all of your assignments and homework. That’s why, we tested more than 36 different laptops and came up with the 5 best laptops for students that you can buy right now. I tried to include options for gaming, studying, reading & doing heavy graphical work (for architecture or design students). Let’s not waste any more time and get right into it.
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Which Is The Best Laptop For Students?
5. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
When choosing a laptop when you are a student it is important to choose a laptop that will get you through countless hours of abuse and studies, and occasional entertainment of course. The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 delivers amazing performance, great display, lengthy battery life, great keyboard, and fantastic design. It is one of the lightest and most attractive laptops in the market, and combined with its price this is a must buy, for the student emphasizes style without losing function.
All the laptops in this list are lookers, however, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is really cut from a different cloth, very beautiful and attractive, but still clean and refined. The surfaces are really smooth and clean, it is a really satisfying minimalistic design, it comes available in multiple colors consisting of Cobalt, Burgundy, Black, and my personal favorite Platinum. The laptop is very thin measuring just 15mm in total and it weighs a measly 1.25kg, really incredible, you won’t feel it in your backpack, this is mostly due to the aluminum body. On the other hand, on the deck, you will find Alcantara, a suede-like microfibre cloth that is mesmerizing to touch, and it is very comfortable to rest your hands on. You get the standard array of ports, however, it doesn’t have a USB type C port.
I was really impressed with Microsoft Surface Laptop 2’s 13.5-inch LCD touchscreen, it uses the PixelSense technology that is present in all the Surface range and provides 2256×1504 resolution in 3:2 aspect ratio. It can achieve good brightness, decent black levels and the colors were very natural, a bit warm but still pretty good.
Performance-wise the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is available in multiple specs, however, I would opt with the 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-8250U, with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD, to get the best balance between perfromance and price. But if you wish and require more power you can opt for the Intel Core i7 model with bigger RAM and SSD.
Combined with the excellent and spacious keyboard and trackpad, this laptop provides a beautiful package that will satisfy every student.
4. Huawei MateBook X Pro
I have always been a fan of Huawei’s MateBook series since it has always delivered high-performance at relatively affordable prices to provide value. The Huawei MateBook X Pro features a smooth and streamlined design, Nvidia graphics, a gorgeous screen and mighty power in an affordable package that will be perfect for a student, the X Pro is definitely a safe choice.
The design and build of this laptop have a high-quality sensation to it, with a smooth matte aluminum body on top that has chrome-cut edges and a screen-to-body ratio of 91 percent, the X Pro looks perfect. I found it to be extremely durable and solid, as I experienced no flexing throughout the body. The MateBook X Pro is a little thicker and heavier than its predecessor, not by much though. In total it weighs 2.9-pounds and 0.575-inches thick at its thickest point, not the tiniest of laptops, still pretty portable enough for most.
The main selling point of this laptop is its beautiful 13.9-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 3:2. It can achieve an average brightness of 450 nits at max and a contrast ratio of 1500:1, meaning that you can even use it under direct sun. The screen projected sharp and colorful images while still staying precise and accurate, I enjoyed watching movies on this screen, absolutely amazing. The touchscreen worked excellently and was very expensive, pretty close to a smartphone quality, and it was spacy enough to scroll.
On the performance division, the Huawei MateBook X Pro is equipped with an Intel Core i5-8250U processor with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB of SSD, to make it a performer. There were some overheating issues in its predecessors, but here there are none, not even excessive throttling. In the synthetic benchmark tests the MateBook X Pro performed multiple times faster in all the categories, compared to the legacy X Pro. The battery life is also improved to withstand about 10-hours of continuous browsing.
As far as laptops go, the MateBook X Pro will leave a mark, and I think at that price it is really a bargain and you shouldn’t miss it. Definitely one of the best laptops for students.
3. HP ZBook Studio x360
Best For Heavy Workload
Next up we have an absolute workhorse, the HP ZBook Studio x360. This laptop is the first of its kind as it has combined workstation performance in a 2-in-1 body. Well, the Studio X360 is really a workstation laptop with a powerful processor and graphics unit, amazing display, great keyboard, durable build, and lengthy battery life.
Workstations are known to look a little hideous and large, but not in this instance, the HP ZBook Studio x360 looks excellent with its smooth gray coating on top of its aluminum body that gives its solidness. The bottom corner of the laptop is cut diagonally to give it some modern style and I can comfortably say that they have done it excellently. The back is solid and it contains just the HP logo and I think that it is more than enough, just perfect. The deck also has the same paint job, the keyboard is a tad darker, the touchpad looks like a glass plate, and the display has thin bezels on the side and thicker ones at the top and bottom.
This workstation is built and designed to survive endurance tests, such as drops, vibrations, freezing, high altitudes, high temperatures, dust, sand, shock, humidity and much more. It is one of the most durable laptops on the market, so you get tons of value from this machine.
The Studio X360 is equipped with a 15.6-inch glossy touchscreen with 4K resolution, and even without looking at the spec sheet you can immediately notice that this display is fabulous. It is perfect for designers, as it manages to reproduce 135 percent of the sRGB color gamut, a brightness of 378 nits and amazing contrast.
Performance-wise the HP ZBook Studio x360 is armed with an 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H processor 2.2 GHz, and up to 4.1 GHz with Turbo Boost with 32GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD and Nvidia Quadro P1000 GPU with 4GB of VRAM, with this spec sheet this laptop is ready to plow through anything that you will put in front of it.
Combined with the 9-hour battery life with continuous web surfing and the aforementioned features and performances, if you can afford it this HP ZBook will prove its worth.
2. Apple MacBook Air
Best For Designers
Since its introduction, the MacBook Air has been one of the most iconic laptops in the market, and it has inspired dozens of light and ultraportable laptops that perform well. The latest iteration of the MacBook Air delivers the long-awaited upgrades such as the Retina display, Touch ID, and new butterfly keyboard, combined with its trademark lightness, performance, portability, and price, the Air provides excellent value for an ultraportable that will last for a long time.
The new MacBook Air is slightly more refined and streamlined form its predecessor, but it still rocks the iconic Air wedge design. This helps this laptop stand out and from other similar ultraportables. This laptop is built from recycled aluminum, but it looks and feels excellent, I am really a big fan of Apple’s designs, to be honest. The Air weighs just 2.7-pounds and measures just 0.6-inches at its thickest point, and it is available in 3 different paint jobs, the traditional silver, gold, and the attractive Space Gray. Connectivity-wise the Apple MacBook Air rocks two Thunderbolt ports and a 3.5mm audio jack, which is a little lacking in my opinion.
You will locate a Touch ID fingerprint reader on the top right corner of the keyboard that was pretty speedy and worked pretty consistently, as good as on my iPhone 8 Plus. In addition to this for security, Apple has implemented the T2 security chip that stores fingerprints and is capable of encrypting data on the fly, for privacy and security.
The Retina display with 2560×1600 resolution is the biggest selling point of the Apple MacBook Air, as it offers a sharp and colorful image with plenty of detail that is lively and natural.
While it is not the flagship MacBook product, the Air is capable of everything, with its latest generation Intel Core i5 CPU with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD, you will not notice any hiccups during daily use, top-notch.
It is worth mentioning the new butterfly keyboard keys that are springy and tactile, and the 12-hour battery life. Can’t get any better than this, one of the safest choices on the market.
1. Dell XPS 13
Best Lightweight Option
Coming at number one in our best laptops for students list is the Dell XPS 13, an amazing laptop that is really a refined and upgraded version of the last year’s iteration, which was also an excellent laptop in its own right, but this year’s model takes the cake. Lightweight and portable, attractive and quality build, Dell has put a lot of thought, into this one, you will swing from class to class in no time.
In the design department, there are not really a lot of changes between this year’s and last year’s model. It has the same weight of just 1230 grams and measurement of just 11.6mm at its thickest point, with its excellent lid that comes in the anodized aluminum finish that gives it a pearlescent-like look. The laptop is available in three paint jobs consisting of Rose Gold, Frost Silver, and my personal favorite the Arctic White, each more attractive than the other.
The 13.3-inch InfinityEdge design screen is marvelous with its slim bezels and is available in both 4K and Full HD with touchscreen capabilities. Both look excellent but the 4K version manages to reproduce 100% of the sRGB color gamut and amazing brightness on top of that. Furthermore, the XPS series has a feature that tweaks the settings of your display depending on what is on your screen, it is very accurate and just boosts the whole experience.
Performance-wise the Dell XPS 13 is equipped with Intel’s latest Whiskey Lake chip, the Core i7-8565U CPU with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of PCIe SSD for storage, this will prove to be worthy enough to wreck through everything you can throw at it, and as I tested in the synthetic benchmark tests it achieved marvelous numbers.
Battery life was not an issue for this laptop as it averaged about 8 hours of battery life throughout the testing, this means that it will last you through the workday with ease.
Truly an amazing laptop, fully deserving of the number one spot for the best laptop for students as it provides everything that a student can ask.