20 Best Laptops For College Students – 2019

BEST UNDER $300
HP Stream 14in Laptop, Intel Celeron N3060, 4GB RAM, 32GB Solid State Drive with Windows 10 (14-ax010ca) - Aqua Blue (Renewed)
BEST UNDER $600
Samsung Chromebook 3, 11.6", 4GB RAM, 16GB eMMC, Chromebook (XE500C13)
BEST UNDER $1000
New Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB Storage) - Silver
BEST UNDER $1500
Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5" (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512 GB)
BLW's Score
91
89
88
86
MSRP
$165.00
$113.27
$1,689.41
$2,000.00
Processor
Intel Celeron N3060 1.6 GHz
Intel Core i5-6200U 2.5 GHz
Intel Core i5
Intel Core i7
RAM
4GB DDR3L
6GB DDR3L
8GB
16GB DDR
Hard Disk
32GB eMMC
1TB HDD
256GB SSD
512GB SSD
Display
14" HD (1366x768)
15.6” HD (1366x768)
13.3" Retina (2560x1600)
13.5" PixelSense (3000 x 2000)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 400
Intel HD Graphics 520
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
OS
Windows 10
Windows 10
OS X
Windows 10
Weight
3.2 pounds
2.54 pounds
3.02 pounds
3.34 pounds
BEST UNDER $300
HP Stream 14in Laptop, Intel Celeron N3060, 4GB RAM, 32GB Solid State Drive with Windows 10 (14-ax010ca) - Aqua Blue (Renewed)
BLW's Score
91
MSRP
$165.00
More Information
Processor
Intel Celeron N3060 1.6 GHz
RAM
4GB DDR3L
Hard Disk
32GB eMMC
Display
14" HD (1366x768)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 400
OS
Windows 10
Weight
3.2 pounds
BEST UNDER $600
Samsung Chromebook 3, 11.6", 4GB RAM, 16GB eMMC, Chromebook (XE500C13)
BLW's Score
89
MSRP
$113.27
More Information
Processor
Intel Core i5-6200U 2.5 GHz
RAM
6GB DDR3L
Hard Disk
1TB HDD
Display
15.6” HD (1366x768)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 520
OS
Windows 10
Weight
2.54 pounds
BEST UNDER $1000
New Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB Storage) - Silver
BLW's Score
88
MSRP
$1,689.41
More Information
Processor
Intel Core i5
RAM
8GB
Hard Disk
256GB SSD
Display
13.3" Retina (2560x1600)
Graphics
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
OS
OS X
Weight
3.02 pounds
BEST UNDER $1500
Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5" (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512 GB)
BLW's Score
86
MSRP
$2,000.00
More Information
Processor
Intel Core i7
RAM
16GB DDR
Hard Disk
512GB SSD
Display
13.5" PixelSense (3000 x 2000)
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
OS
Windows 10
Weight
3.34 pounds

Note: Our comparison table only shows our top 5 picks. You can find the other recommendations within this article.

Colleges are about to start and every college student will need a compatible laptop for their studies and other fun activities. These days a laptop is as important as books and it's impossible for a student to survive college years without a reliable PC.

Here in this guide you will find the most reliable and best laptops for college students. Comparing and buying a new laptop is a piece of cake in this era as everything is at your fingertips. In our guide, you will find laptops according to your budget, usage and portability.

In case you will be playing games in your dorm then you should consider a high-end laptop that's able to run both, study programs as well as games. Anyways, it doesn't matter what your budget is, you'll find a suitable college laptop here.

Using Laptops In Class

Are you looking for a powerful yet durable laptop for your college years? If yes, then you're at the right place and here we will help you with choosing the most suitable college laptop. In this article, we have categorized laptops under $300, $500, $1000 and $1500.

Brands like Apple, Dell, HP, Samsung, Lenovo, Acer and ASUS have countless laptops including 2-in-1 hybrids that can be utilized very well in colleges. These devices can also be used for things like video editing, graphic designing, music production, writing and gaming.

Usually college students intend to do a lot more than studies in their free time and we have made sure that these laptops will not disappoint you.

Note: In this list, we haven’t ranked laptops according to what we think is best since we have categorized them under different budgets and usage. Also remember, not the same laptop is best for everyone as if something suits you best might not be good at all for someone else.

Best Cheap Laptops for College Students

These are our picks for the under $300 category. These cheap laptops for students may be very affordable, but they are only cheap in price, not in quality.

1. HP Stream 14-Inch Laptop

HP Stream 13 13.3 inch Laptop

Specs:

  • Intel Celeron N3060 Processor
  • 32GB eMMC
  • 4GB DDR3L RAM

The HP Stream 14 features a robust design and comfortable keyboard that's loved by most of the college students. It has decent battery life and it's powered by Windows 10.

It comes in four extremely attractive colors like Cobalt Blue, Orchid Magenta, Horizon Blue and Violet Purple. The 14-inch laptop is capable of running most the programs that are used in college, and it often comes with a free full year Office 365.

It's also available in 11-inch for those looking for a mini laptop and portability. Its 32 GB SSD might be a little small for some students, but there are options like an external hard drive and cloud storage.

It's a good option for browsing and playing videos as it loads pages very quickly. Overall, it's among the best budget college laptops under $200.

2. Samsung Chromebook 2

Samsung Chromebook 2

Specs:

  • Intel Celeron N3060 Processor
  • 32GB SSD 
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM

Just like HP Stream 13, the Samsung Chromebook 2 is also available in 2 sizes without any price difference and one can choose what suits them best. While buying you're also given the option of buying it with wireless mouse from Amazon and you get that for almost pennies.

Unlike earlier versions of the Samsung ChromeBooks that used Samsung processors, this one sports an Intel dual-core Celeron processor. This provides reasonable performance and increased compatibility.

It's undoubtedly stronger than its previous version and is one of the best ChromeBooks of 2019. Overall, it's something that only Samsung could make and with only few minor issues, it's still better than any other option on the market.

3. Acer Aspire E 15

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM

Specs:

  • Intel Core i3-8130U Processor
  • 256GB SSD
  • 6GB DDR4 RAM

This gem from Acer Aspire series might cost you a little bit over $300, but it can be compared with laptops that cost over $500. The Color Blast technology by Acer is very much appreciated by users, and it makes the display more comfortable than ever.

Its specifications are out of the box, and it features top-notch 8th generation processor. It's ideal for using in classrooms even without the charging plug as it packs the battery that can last up to 13 hours.

People who often travel also prefer this budget laptop as it packs all the power as well as great battery life. Its memory can be expanded quickly, and one of my readers just maxed it out to 32 GB RAM.

According to him, this combination has made the laptop faster than his Lenovo G500s. Anyways, we highly recommend this budget laptop to every college student, and in case they need more speed, they can upgrade it effortlessly without spending a lot of time at the same time.

Best College Laptops under $500

These picks are our picks for affordable student laptops in the low to mid price range.

1. Dell Inspiron i5559-4415SLV

Dell Inspiron i5559-4415SLV

Specs:

  • Intel Core i5-6200u  Processor
  • 1TB HDD
  • 8GB DDR3L RAM

The Dell Inspiron i5559-4415SLV is surely among the best laptops for college students, and we have listed it in our article of best laptops under $600 in 2019. 

It features extra-ordinary specifications that not only stand out but are powerful enough to handle games like COD and GTA 5. For college students with budget of $500, it can't get any better than this gem from Dell.

I just wish it would come in SSD variant as that would made it faster than ever. However, one can additionally buy it and replace if it fits in their budget. Its display is available in 4 variant like Non-touch, Regular Touchscreen, Touch with RealSense and Full HD display.

I suggest that you go with RealSense as it's the latest technology developed by Dell and it feels very responsive and realistic. Personally I would never depend on Dell's Customer care for setting it up and neither should you.

2. Lenovo G50

Lenovo G50 80E30181US

Specs:

  • AMD Quad-Core A8-6410 Processor
  • 500GB HDD
  • 6GB DDR3L RAM

The Lenovo G50 might be a little old for 2019 but it's still as effective as it was when first launched. It's powered by Windows 8.1 and comes with a non-touch display. It packs the specifications that will exceed your expectations and it's a reliable laptop for college students.

Other than students, businessmen can also make a good use of it and it performs better than most of the best i3 laptops on the market. When we talk about portability, it's little bit heavy like classic Lenovo notebooks but it's a solid performer.

I recently compared it with G500s before adding it to our list of cheap gaming laptops under $500 and the only reason we chose G500s over this was its price.

Nonetheless, it's a fantastic laptop that comes with single button restore by Lenovo and one can easily create backups and reinstate them. Overall, its touchpad interferes a little bit while typing and other than that, there's nothing to worry about.

3. HP Notebook premium

Toshiba Satellite L55

Specs:

  • Intel Core i3-7100U Processor
  • 1TB HDD
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM

The HP Notebook Premium is one of the best-selling laptops under $500 for a college students. It's specially designed for students as well as light gaming. Other than playing games and studying, it can be used for documenting, browsing, watching movies, etc. It's a little bit heavy, and we can't add it in the portable category, but it gets your tasks done.

It isn't one of those laptops that shine and attract, but it performs where the power is needed. HP hasn't focused on design as far as I am concerned, and they usually focus on delivering powerful laptops for a lower price.

Its Intel HD Graphics 620 graphics make sure that your applications and games run reasonably smoothly and Windows 10 runs well. Overall, it's one of the best laptops for a college student that is very reliable as well as durable.

4. Acer Chromebook 15 CB5-571-58HF

Acer Chromebook 15 CB5-571-58HF

Specs:

  • Intel Core i5-5200U Processor
  • 32GB SSD
  • 4GB DDR3L RAM

Chromebooks are usually added in ultra-budget category but lately there are 15-inch chromebooks that not only pack more power but are also a lot better in design and reliability. It's certainly the largest chromebook that's available and for just around $500.

It offers an experience of premium laptop and not at all like an ordinary chromebook and it's very easy to setup and start using it. It can be a great laptop for college students who want to focus on their studies and prevent them from playing games.

As you must already know, Chrome OS is not able to run any high-end games or applications. Also it's the easiest OS to learn and one can learn it all on their in just one day. It has plenty of useful Google apps pre-installed and users don't have to worry about being left out.

In this device, your storage is usually saved on Cloud storage and you will not lose any of your data even if your drive crashes.

Overall, if you really want to avoid all Windows issues and something that'll let you focus on what matters to you then we highly recommend the Acer Chromebook 15 to you. It doesn't matter if you're a college student or not, it has been helping people who need to be creative.

5. HP Pavilion 15

HP Notebook 15-ay011nr

Specs:

  • Intel Core i5-8250U processor
  • 1TB HDD
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM

The HP Pavilion 15 Touchscreen is yet another one of the best budget laptops for college student and it features a full HD display and hardware that's perfect for everyone including gamers.

It can be used for playing mid-level games and while playing games you might face some minor heating issues. After reading plenty of reviews, I can say that its touchpad might not be as great as it's in other notebooks but everything else works fine.

With a four-core i5-8250U, it can be used for multi-tasking. Although the memory and storage will be sufficient for most people, you can upgrade the RAM and the storage drive. You could also replace the hard drive with an SSD.

It's a good option for tech savvy that are looking to buy a budget laptop for college. Overall, we believe this laptop is incredible value for the money. Not only is it great for college students but it's also would work very well as an inexpensive business laptop.

6. ASUS F556UA-AS54

ASUS F556UA-AB54

Specs:

  • Intel i5-6200U Processor
  • 256GB SSD
  • 8GB DDR3L RAM

The latest model of ASUS F556UA-AS54 comes with pre-installed Windows 10 and full HD display. It's available in two different variants and colors where users can choose between Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and Dark Blue or Icicle Gold.​

It's primarily designed for college students and businessmen that need their work done before time. Thanks to its SSD and best-in-class specifications, it's 2 times faster than laptops of similar budget.

It comes with an internal battery and we really wish it had a backlit keyboard. It's a decent mid-range laptop that will fit in most of student's budget and I honestly don't see any need for upgrading. Overall, it's a very lightweight, portable and powerful laptop for students and after reading hundreds of reviews; they all seem to be very satisfied.

High-End Laptops for College Students under $1000

1. Apple MacBook Pro 13

Specs:

  • Intel Core i5 Processor
  • 256GB SSD
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM

Here comes the dream laptop of almost every college student, the MacBook Pro is one of the most premium laptops ever made and is capable of handling massive programs with ease.

Almost everyone gets confused between MacBook Air or Pro and it's totally up to the user and what exactly they want, power or portability. Unlike MacBook Air, the Pro isn't all light and thin but is powerful enough to handle high-end applications. In the end, the weight difference is only about 0.25 pounds.

The MacBook Pro's Retina display is simply a treat for eyes. We recommend the Pro to every college student as it's ideal for multimedia purposes.

Lately people don't prefer Windows as there are countless issues with it and many are turning towards Mac OS. Overall, it's one of the most expensive and modern laptops of all time with more than 90% of positive reviews. Whether you love to show off or need a solid performer, you can't go wrong with the Apple MacBook Pro. Note that the price may be a bit over $1000 depending on the options you choose.

2. ASUS VivoBook S15

Specs:

  • Intel Core i7-8250U Processor
  • 256GB SSD
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM

The ASUS VivoBook S15 is known for being one of the best everyday computing laptops of 2019 and it outclasses other similar notebooks under $1000.

It's powered by 8th generation i7 processor and uses Intel Integrated Graphics. The NanoEdge display provides lots of display space while keeping the laptop physically small. 

Compared to other notebook, it's very light and portable and that's one of the reasons it among the best laptops for college students.

It has a bold grey chassis with red highlights that will impress other students in college. Its battery life is great and lasts over 7 hours easily.

Its DDR4 8 GB RAM comes in a single chip and one can easily upgrade it without wasting anything. Overall, it's a great option for college students as well as video editors and gamers that need powerful device.

3. Dell G3 Gaming Laptop

Dell Inspiron G3

Specs:

  • Intel i7-8750H Processor
  • 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM

These days most of the college students have gaming listed in their hobbies, and nothing can beat a college laptop with NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti GPU. The Dell G3 is a high-end gaming laptop that's mostly preferred by people who're looking for a gaming laptop under $1000.

One thing I am sure about this device is that you'll be very pleased with it and it's a good value for money. Its boot time is less than 15 seconds, and I just wish it cam