You don’t need to spend hours or days looking through online forums to find the right laptop to take with you to college. Use this round-up of the best college laptops to get the right Windows PC to aid you in your academic success.
Choosing the right college laptop is a daunting task. There’s so much to pay attention to and making the wrong decision has a big impact on your routine. College laptops with mediocre battery life will force you to find a place to charge between classes. Buy a poorly made laptop and you can count on replacing it halfway through your studies. That’s not ideal, especially when you have other things that you could spend your money on. These are just the practical things that you need to worry about.
You also need to consider the future when buying a laptop for college. The best college laptops let you adjust how you work and study to your learning style. If typed notes aren’t helping you remember what you’ve learned, try writing them down with the HP Envy x360 or Lenovo Yoga 920 (14”). These laptops support digital pens. Every note you take is searchable with Microsoft’s OneNote app for Windows 10. You don’t need to go flipping through all your notes to look up something that definitely will be on your final.
Great college laptops aren’t just about classes though. You will thank yourself for buying a laptop that has a great entertainment experience too. Don’t expect to fit external speakers in your college dorm. That’s why you need a laptop with great speakers. You also want a laptop that has an amazing display. That way, you can binge on television shows as you do your laundry and still see every detail.
What To Look For in a College Laptop
Here are some things to keep in mind as you are shopping for the best college laptops.
Think about the things you regularly do on your PC or tablet. These activities should influence which laptop you buy. If you like gaming, you need a college laptop that has a graphics card or allows you to add one. Spend a lot of time reading? Maybe you should buy a college laptop that transforms into a tablet, like the 2017 Surface Pro. That way, you only need to keep one device with you.
Second, keep the realities of college in mind. This laptop must hold all your files, survive for years and last hours away from a charger. Look for as much storage as you can afford and search for the best battery life possible. Anything with a battery estimate of less than 8 hours isn’t worth your time. Finally, you want something that’s durable and can handle a few accidents. Look for a PC that’s made of aluminum.
Here are the best college laptops with Windows you can buy in 2018.
Best College Laptops with Windows in 2018
- Surface Laptop
- New Dell XPS 13
- HP Envy x360
- 2017 Surface Pro
- Lenovo Yoga 920 (14″)
- Razer Blade Stealth (13”)
If you’re into aesthetics and need a solid laptop, you want the Microsoft Surface Laptop. It has the Surface Pro’s good looks but abandons its kickstand for a traditional design that isn't awkward to use in your lap.
The Surface Laptop’s body is aluminum. So, it can handle collisions with things in your bag. Opening the laptop’s lid reveals a 2256 x 1504 13.5-inch display that supports touch. The backlit keyboard has a fabric palm rest. You can write on its display with the Surface Pen but Microsoft doesn’t include one. A web camera above the display lets you sign into Windows 10 without a password.
The Surface Laptop comes in a lot of configurations. For $799, you get a model with 128GB of storage and Intel Core m3 processor. Skip that model for one with an Intel Core i5 processor for $899. More expensive models offer more processing power and storage. Different configurations have different color options. There are silver, cobalt, burgundy and gold options on Microsoft’s website.
Every Surface Laptop has a headphone jack, mini DisplayPort and a USB 3.0 port, which really is the minimum amount of ports for a decent PC.
Expect to make it through an entire day with this PC. The Surface Laptop lasts for 14.5 hours of videos, according to Microsoft. Expect less battery life if you switch its operating system to Windows 10 Pro from Windows 10 S. Windows 10 S only allows you to install apps from the Microsoft Store.