Soon, students of all ages will go back to school, which, for many, means that it’s time to look for a new laptop. Naturally, the question that so many students and parents ask themselves around this time of year is which laptops are great for students.
Best Budget Laptops For Students
|Apple||Apple MacBook Air 13.3-Inch Laptop||873.83|
|Dell||Dell Inspiron 15 7000||619.99|
|Acer||Acer Aspire E 15||579.99|
|Acer||Acer Swift 3||499.99|
|Asus||ASUS C302 Touchscreen Chromebook Flip||469.99|
The answer to that question depends on several things. First and foremost, it’s important to decide how much processing power will be necessary to complete assignments and homework. The requirements of an engineering student will be vastly different than the requirements of English majors or high school students, who can, at least for the most part, get by with a web browser and a word processor.
Secondly, the distance from the school and the length of the student’s daily commute should be taken into consideration. Hauling a bulky, heavy laptop gets old quickly, especially when the student in question isn’t a 250-pound quarterback but a slender girl.
Finally, not all laptops are equally versatile. A convertible laptop can replace a tablet, and a laptop with a dock connector can be easily transformed into a full-fledged desktop computer. The good news is that there’s really something for everyone out there, and our selection of top 5 best budget laptops for students should be more than enough to help you find the ideal laptop.
The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 isn’t, despite its name, the most inspired laptop on the market, but it’s an inexpensive, reliable performer that you can depend on. A laptop like this is great for a student who wants a versatile machine that can handle all regular computing tasks and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
This 15.6-incher sports a 360-degree flip hinge that makes it possible to turn the average-sized laptop into a huge tablet. As ridiculous as the idea of a 15.6-inch tablet sounds, watching movies and TV shows on the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 in the tablet mode is actually pretty comfy. The 1920 x 1080 touch display is sharp, color-accurate, and very responsive, registering all touch inputs without delay.
The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is available with the Intel Core i5-7200U processor, the Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated graphics card, 8 GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD. These exact specifications are our favorite mid-range laptop configuration for 2017 because they provide a perfect balance of price and power.
High-quality speakers with support for Dell’s suite of advanced audio enhancement tools, MaxxAudio Pro, deliver an enjoyable listening experience, a 720p webcam with two microphone works great for connecting with friends and family, and the 3-cell lithium-ion battery should last around 6 hours.
Laptops with Google’s Chrome OS, such as the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA, have a lot to offer to students of all ages. No, most Chromebooks, as laptops with Chrome OS are called, don’t impress with their performance, but that rarely affects their users. Chromebooks are aimed at people who live in the web browser and spend most of their time on a computer using various web services, such as Google Docs, Gmail, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch, just to name a few.
The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA doesn’t come with a whole lot of storage space (64 GB, to be exact) because users are expected to store data in the cloud, preferably using Google Drive. The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA is also surprisingly breezy, despite only having 4 GB of memory and a weaker processor from Intel, because what Chrome OS lacks in terms of features it compensates with its excellent optimization and efficiency.
The entire philosophy behind Chrome OS really comes in together when the operating system is installed on such a versatile, compact, and lightweight laptop as the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA. Being able to just flip out the display and continue where you left off without worrying about malware, data loss, or even battery life is how things should be with every laptop.
Acer never fails to impress with their ability to deliver fantastic value at an affordable price, and the Acer Aspire E 15 is a perfect demonstration of this. While most other laptops in this price range come with an integrated graphics card that doesn’t have enough processing power for anything besides casual browser-based gaming, the Acer Aspire E 15 features the Nvidia GeForce 940MX with 2 GB of dedicated video memory.
In games like Team Fortress 2, Rocket League, Dirt 4, Resident Evil 7, Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, FIFA 17, Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, Star Wars Battlefront, Dota 2, or GTA V, the GeForce 940MX can comfortably produce more than 60 frames per second on the HD resolution and mid to low settings. Even newer and more hardware-demanding titles are playable with the card if you can live with 30 frames per second.
Apart from the graphics card, the Acer Aspire E 15 delivers fantastic wireless speeds thanks to the MU-MIMO technology, a marathon battery life, accurate sound reproduction with Acer TrueHarmony speakers, a vivid display with the Acer ColorBlast technology, and USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 Type-C ports.
Despite its age and bloated price, the 2015 model Apple MacBook Air is genuinely a great laptop for students, at least for a certain type of students. What the Apple MacBook Air can offer to students is reliability, style, and macOS. The last point is the most important because there are many excellent, professional applications available only on macOS and not on other operating systems, like Windows or Chrome OS.
This is especially true in the realm of creative thinkers, such as writers, designers, and photographers. macOS applications put usability and design front and center, which translates into applications that are fun to use and easy to learn. What’s more, the risk of malware infection is much lower with macOS than Windows, and iPhone owners will surely appreciate how seamlessly the iPhone integrates with the system.
Regarding hardware specifications, the 2015 model Apple MacBook Air is starting to show its age, but, paradoxically, the same can be said about the 2017 model. Why? Because both the 2015 and the 2017 model come with the same 13.3-inch screen with 1440 x 900 pixels. Don’t expect anything near the crispness of a 5-inch smartphone or a 15.6-inch laptop with the Full HD resolution. If you can live if MacBook Air’s display, then you’ll be happy with the rest of the laptop as well.
The design and construction of the Acer Swift 3 clearly show that Acer would like to sway as many people who drool over MacBooks their way, and Acer certainly gives many compelling reasons why choose the Acer Swift 3 over the MacBook Air.
For starters, the laptop costs half the price of the MacBook Air. What’s the catch? There’s none. The Acer Swift 3 is actually better in many ways; it has a Full HD 14-inch IPS ComfyView LED-backlit display, comes with a decently powerful Intel Core i3-6100U processor, and offers up to 10 hours of battery life. Its all-metal chassis is durable, and Acer even found space for all the ports that you might ever need, including USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and HDMI.
You also get many nice bonuses, such as an embedded fingerprint reader, a high-definition webcam, Acer TrueHarmony speakers, the latest 2×2 802.11ac MU-MIMO Wi-Fi, and a display hinge with a wide range of adjustment.