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The 10 Best Laptops for College Students 2021

Best Laptops for College Students
Written by Sonia Naz

Are you looking for an overview of the best laptops for college students in 2021available in the market? Don’t search any longer, because you’ve found a handy overview here. After the disaster year 2020, expectations for 2021 are high, so why not start this new year with a new laptop. I have tested and compared different brands and models for you and based on our findings have made an overview of the best laptops in terms of price and quality. I’ve also included the best budget laptops available online.

In addition to quality, which we consider to be one of the most important criteria, we have tried to keep a broad view and compare a wide range of laptops.

After all, not everyone needs the same type of laptop. While our personal favorite is the Apple MacBook Air, this is not the case for everyone. Everyone has a different budget and different preferences, budgets, etc.

In terms of a gaming laptop, the best models can be found at Dell and HP and here too we have compared an extensive range of models. (Check out the 10 Best Laptops For Nursing Students 2021 on your other page for faster-loading computers.)

You may read the following review article:

8 Best Chromebooks for Students 2021 According to Experts

The 10 Best Laptops Reviewed for 2021

1. Apple MacBook Air (13-inch)

  • Display – 13.3 ”2560 x 1600 LED backlight with IPS technology
  • Processor – 10th generation Intel Core i5 – i7
  • Memory – 8GB – 16GB
  • Battery – 12 hours run time
  • Storage – 256GB SSD – 2TB

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The new Apple MacBook Air has more than 11,000 5-star reviews for a reason. Apple has thought through the design of this new version well, making it an ultra-thin and lightweight masterpiece. This model was released just before the release of the Apply M1 CPU, but this does not alter the fact that this is an excellent laptop.

His 10 e -generation Core i5 processor is a lot quieter and faster (twice as fast to be exact), and it can be configured to Core i7. The Retina display is simply fantastic thanks to the True Tone technology. You perceive 48% more colors and the graphics card works 80% faster to let you enjoy an even more realistic experience.

The keys on the keyboard are no less than 20% larger, making it easier to work. We are a big fan of the Touch ID because it is also much faster than the old iPhone Touch ID.

With these features, this laptop is not only an excellent option for school and the office. It is also ideal for watching movies or Netflix, for gaming and so much more. With a price tag of around $ 1250 and the performance and battery life it delivers, it competes with some of the models from HP, Dell and LG that we have included in our list.

Most important features:

  • Glossy Retina high-resolution display with 48% more colors
  • Touch ID, Modernized Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera & 25% More Volume
  • 80% faster graphics card with a CPU performance that is twice as fast

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2. Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Laptop

  • Display – 13.4 ”1920 x 1200 WLED touch display
  • Processor – 11th generatie Intel Core i7
  • Memory – 8GB – 32GB
  • Battery –14 hours of run time
  • Storage – 256GB SSD – 1TB

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The first thing that strikes you about the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is its functional touch screen that reminds you of a tablet. But there is a lot more that makes this laptop stand out. Its small design of 13.4 ”, the fact that you can convert this laptop into a tablet and the excellent battery life make this a top model within the 2-in-1 models that are currently available.

The touch screen responds very quickly and thanks to the high resolution of 1920 x 1200 you are guaranteed to enjoy bright colors and a sharp display, even in bright light. This laptop may not be a hit for gamers, but the graphics card is more than capable of running games.

The 2-in-1 design in no way interferes with its other features as a lightweight laptop. This laptop that weighs less than 2 kg and has a 16:10 ratio display really rises above it on our list. And although you won’t notice it at first glance, this XPS 2-in-1 has a million extra pixels.

The webcam built into this laptop is the same as the XPS 13 and guarantees flawless facial recognition for faster and easier login. In terms of sound, this laptop also scores very high and this applies even more when you use it in tablet mode. In just 60 minutes you can charge the battery up to 90% and when fully charged the battery lasts for almost 14 hours, a lot longer than other laptops that we have tested.

Most important features:

  • 360 ° rotatable screen – 2-in-1 design
  • Lightweight 1.32kg laptop with easy-to-use touch screen
  • Face recognition and fingerprint reader for faster login

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3. HP Spectre x360 Laptop

  • Display – 13.3 ”1920 x 1080 WLED backlight
  • Processor – 11generatie Intel Core i5 – i7
  • Memory – 8GB – 16GB
  • Battery – 22 hours of use
  • Storage  – 256GB SSD – 2TB

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The slogan for this HP Laptop actually sums it up very well: “Our best and smartest laptop is now even smaller”. Officially the slimmest convertible laptop available today, this HP Specter x360 is the perfect laptop for those who love speed and durability thanks to its compact design and excellent performance. He only has to let one device – the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 – go first, which is not surprising when you consider how much is in this small device.

Thanks to the upgrade of 11 e -generation Intel Core i5 to an Intel Core i7 processor is in performance there is a remarkable improvement. In addition, you cannot ignore the beautiful design of this laptop. Not only does it have a beautiful design, but it is also sturdy, durable and ergonomic. The aluminum frame ensures that the mechanism does not feel fragile.

To maximize the screen size, the space for the built-in camera has been kept as small as possible. The space provided for this is only 2 mm so that you have optimal use of your screen. An extra asset is a sliding mechanism that you can bring in front of the camera and with which you can switch off the camera in one movement. The laptop has various ports including a micro SD card reader, USB type C, USB 3.1 type a and an adapter port.

HP associates this laptop with the title of “the world’s longest battery life for a 13-inch 2-in1 laptop”, which comes as no surprise with an astonishing 22 hours of battery life. The OLED screen delivers good quality in terms of depth and realistic color reproduction. The screen is also anti-reflective so that you can also use this laptop in bright light.

Most important features:

  • 2-in-1 laptop with anti-reflective display
  • High quality Bang & Olufsen speakers
  • USB Type-C, USB 3.1 Type-A, Micro SD Reader & Combo Audio toegangen

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4. Dell XPS 13 9380 Laptop

  • Display – 13 ”1920 x 1200 InfinityEdge touch display
  • Processor – 8th generatie Intel Core i7
  • Memory – 16GB
  • Battery  – 12 hours of use
  • Storage – 512GB M.2 – 2TB

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Thanks to its thin 11.6 mm design and light weight of 1.23 kg, this Dell laptop is an absolute price beast. The necessary updates were made on the previous model, making this laptop a must have. For example, the webcam got a better positioning and the 13 ”screen is of 4K Ultra HD quality.

The webcam alone is worth going further on. Dell has succeeded in limiting this to 2.25 mm without sacrificing image quality. They call it their “Next-Gen Dell Cinema” meaning this laptop offers an abundance of color, sound and resolution.

The keyboard, which feels soft and comfortable to the touch, is also worth mentioning, as is the touchpad that responds quickly and works conveniently.

Finally, this laptop is provided with an abundance of ports: a micro SD port, 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, one USB 3.1 type C port, audio input and two battery ports (one traditional and one type USB. the laptop you can read the battery life in the blink of an eye, thanks to the built-in LED lighting.

Most important features:

  • Lightweight 1.23kg laptop with Ultra-Slim 11.6mm design form factor
  • 25mm HD Webcam in a 13 ” laptop
  • Made from 90% recycled materials

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5. LG Gram 17 Laptop

  • Display – 17 ”2560 x 1600 WQXGA IPS display
  • Processor – 10th generatie Intel Core i7
  • Memory – 16GB
  • Battery – 17 hours of use
  • Storage – 1TB M.2

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When you think about buying a 17-inch laptop, the first disadvantage that comes to mind is the limited mobility. A 17-inch laptop is a lot bigger and heavier than other smaller laptops and are actually more suitable for use in a fixed place instead of lugging around everywhere. The LG Gram 17 is large, but in addition to this feature, it has a number of features that make it an interesting choice.

At 1.35 kg, for example, it weighs just a little bit more than the Dell XPS 13 and although it is extremely light for its size, it does not lose any of its sturdiness. If its light weight can’t convince you, then its display probably can. When you work on this laptop you almost have the feeling of working on a desktop.

Its 16:10 ratio and 2,560 x 1,600 resolution screen guarantee intense colors, sharp contrasts and fine details. This laptop is less suitable for gaming, but watching television and movies are an absolute pleasure thanks to the high resolution and large screen. The sound quality with 3D sound is also a great asset.

With regard to its housing, LG has improved a lot compared to its previous designs. Admittedly, this laptop doesn’t look like a MacBook or Specter at all, but it does look a lot more elegant than before. We notice another important improvement on the keyboard. This is now backlit and some key keys such as the enter, backspace and shift keys are slightly wider for easier typing.

Most important features:

  • Ultra-light housing (1.35 kg) with large 17 inch screen
  • True-to-life resolution with 16:10 high-resolution display
  • HDMI, 3 USB 3.1 Type-A, USB 3.1 Type-C, audio ingang en micro SD ingang

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6. Acer Swift 3 Laptop

  • Display – 14 ”1920 x 1080 IPS widescreen LED display with backlight
  • Processor – Intel Core i5
  • Memory – 8GB
  • Battery – 17 hours of use
  • Storage – 1TB

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Those looking for a bargain may have found an interesting device with the Acer Swift, not only in terms of price but also in terms of performance, ease of use and display. It is our favorite in the cheaper range of laptops and is ideal for students as it is very compact and light, making it easy to transport. And despite its size, it doesn’t compromise on performance.

Let’s start with the design of the laptop: it is very light and elegant, making it ideal for students who are on the road all the time. With a weight of 1.19 kg and a thickness of 15.95 mm, it fits almost anywhere.

Thanks to the Acer Color Intelligence and ExaColor in the FHD IPS display, you can enjoy high-quality reproduction and sharp colors. Compared to other laptops within the same price range, the display’s resolution may be slightly lower, but it is certainly more than enough for working on and watching movies.

Another important point to mention is its battery life of 17 hours thanks to the 56 Wh battery. The fast charging option is a nice plus if you know that after only 30 minutes of charging, you can use the laptop for 4 hours wirelessly. Logging into your laptop is lightning fast with the built-in fingerprint reader at the bottom right under the keyboard.

Most important features:

  • High Resolution Full HD IPS Display
  • Lightweight (1.19kg) and ultra thin (15.95mm) for easy transport
  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 poort, HDMI, USB Type-C, USB 2.0 poort, audio ingang

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7. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Laptop

  • Display – 14 ”1920 x 1080 full HD IPS panel
  • Processor – 8th generation Intel Core i7
  • Memory – 16GB – 32GB
  • Battery – 4 hours of use
  • Storage – 512GB SSD

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The Asus ROG Zephyrus falls short of the type of laptop it is built in, but fortunately scores well with all its other features. This laptop is also the most expensive on our list, but you do get a fantastic battery for it. The frame of the laptop is sturdy and elegant and it is only 17.78mm thick. At 2.22 kg, it is also one of the lightest gaming laptops currently available. It is not a device that is on everyone’s wish list given its size, but it is a good device.

Its light weight did not compromise on performance. The 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor responds in less than 3 seconds. NVIDIA GeForce 1,080 graphics resolution and a Max-Q design provide the resolution of the display. With these features, you can be sure that you can play unlimited games, with 360 ° view and without any form of blurring.

The device also sucks in enough oxygen so that everything inside continues to work properly without affecting performance. This is due to the Aerodynamic System (AAS) that is built-in and provides 20% better ventilation.

Despite its thin design, there is still enough space for numerous ports: an HDMI 2.0 port, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 and two Gen 1 ports, a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port and a 3.5mm audio input.

Most important features:

  • 3ms response speed
  • VR-Ready with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1,080 graphics card
  • Excellent audio
  • Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) for good ventilation inside

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8. Asus TUF Gaming A15 Laptop

 

  • Display – 15.6 ”1920 x 1080 full HD IPS panel
  • Processor – 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  • Memory – 16GB
  • Battery – 12.3 hours run time
  • Storage – 512GB SSD

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In short, the Asus TUF506 is the cheaper version of the ROG Zephyrus, but with a larger display (15.6 ”) and longer battery life (12.3 hours). At 2.3 kg, it is also slightly heavier than the ROG Zephyrus, but it is an absolute winner in the gaming laptop category.

Equipped with an AMD Ryzen 4800 series processor and an NVIDIA GeForce graphics card, it is made to perform. This high performance is accompanied by improved speakers that play almost twice as loud and play 2.7 times more bass than previous generation laptops. Another nice asset in the field of audio is the DTS: X Ultra technology that provides an improved effect when playing audio in a headset.

As with the ROG Zephyrus, keeping the laptop cool on the inside has been thought of as it is built to perform tough. It is therefore equipped with an Anti-Dust Cooling system to clean itself from the inside and to prevent overheating. Tests have shown that this laptop can withstand days of extreme temperatures from -32 ° C to 49 ° C.

Most important features:

  • Resistant to extreme heat and cold
  • Keeps itself clean inside and protects itself from overheating
  • NVIDIA GeForce graphics card for better performance

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9. HP Elite Dragonfly Notebook PC

  • Beeldscherm – 13.3” 1200 x 800 Full HD Touch Display
  • Processor – 8e generatie Intel Core i7
  • Memory – 16GB
  • Battery – 12 hours of use
  • Storage – 256GB SSD – 2TB

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The HP Elite Dragonfly is another 2-in-1 convertible laptop for those who don’t want just any laptop. In a few movements, you can transform it into a tablet, but also into a “tent” shape to watch a movie or present things more easily. Given its very light weight, it is an absolute favorite for us in the category of business laptops or laptops for students who travel a lot and have to carry a lot of weight.

In addition to its light weight, it has many other interesting features such as the HP Sure Click that protects the laptop and the user against malware and a self-healing BIOS system.

Of all the laptops we have mentioned in our overview, this HP Elite Dragonfly has the best keyboard for us. It types quietly and has backlighting so that you can work smoothly in a dark environment. It simply fits very ergonomically in the hand, making it pleasant to work all day long.

Another key feature that speaks in favor of this HP Elite Dragonfly is its LTE compatibility, allowing you to stay online anywhere with gigabit-class 4G LTE and gigabit-speed Wi-Fi 6 without sacrificing the laptop’s battery life. will eat.

Most important features:

  • Ultra-light Business Laptop (less than 1kg) and therefore ideal for on the go
  • Self-healing BIOS system and malware protection
  • LTE compatibility and convertible design

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10. HP Envy x360 Laptop

  • Display – 15.6 ”1920 x 1080 WLED multi-touch display with backlight
  • Processor – AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
  • Memory – 8GB – 32GB RAM
  • Battery  – 14 hours of use
  • Storage – 256GB – 1TB SSD

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Since the other 2-in-1 laptop models that we have included in our overview are on the slightly more expensive side, we have chosen to include a slightly cheaper 2-in-1 model in our list: the HP Envy x360. It is a nice laptop in a slightly cheaper jacket, which does not mean that it is not an interesting buy. In fact, in our opinion, this HP Envy x360 is an interesting purchase for the average user.

With the edge-to-edge WLED touchscreen and high resolution AMD Radeon graphics, this 2-in-1 laptop is not surprisingly a dream device for graphic designers or artists. The 14 hours of battery life, 1 TB storage capacity and UHD OLED display make this a total package for this user group. After all, you never have to worry whether you will have enough storage space for your work when you are in the middle of creation and the colors are also displayed razor-sharp and vivid on the screen.

With a weight of 2 kg, it may not be the lightest laptop you can get in this category and for this price on the market, but it is easy to carry so you can carry it everywhere. Like the other laptops in our overview, it has numerous ports that in our opinion more than meet the needs of the average user: an SD card reader, USB Type-A port and adapter input on the left and an audio on the right. access, HDMI 2.0 port, USB Type-C, and one more USB Type-A port.

Most important features:

  • Vivid color reproduction on a UHD OLED screen
  • Fingerprint reader and 6 ports for endless connection
  • Bang & Olufsen 3 speakers

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The 5 most important factors to consider before purchasing a laptop

Buying a new laptop is an important investment that it is best not to make too quickly. There are a few things to consider when looking for the perfect laptop for you. With the tips below, you make the right choice, not only in terms of budget but also based on your needs.

Display

Dimension

  • Do you really need a large screen? 13 inch screens are generally the most convenient to work with and are therefore the most common. They give you more visibility than an 11 inch screen and are a lot easier to move than a 15 inch or larger screen.
  • The size of your screen also has an impact on the weight of your laptop. With a 13-inch laptop, you have a weight of less than 1 kg to a maximum of 2 kg.

Resolution

  • There are four levels of display resolution: from small to large: HD, Full HD, 3: 2, and 4K Ultra HD.
  • Whatever your budget, Full HD is the most common resolution and cheaper models often have this resolution. Anything below Full HD usually results in an incorrect display of colors or a dull display.

Software

The most important thing to consider when buying a laptop is the software you want on it: Windows, MacOS or ChromeOS. We explain the differences below so that you can make decisions more easily.

Windows

  • Most people are familiar with Windows and feel the best about it. And why change when something is going well, right? A lot of users face a lot of difficulties and hurdles when switching to a different kind of software – for example, from Windows to MacOS, but whether or not you make the switch remains a personal choice.
  • Most models use Windows, which also means that you have a great choice here.

MacOS

  • MacBooks are known for their consistently good repairs and Apple simply has very good customer service.
  • If you already use other Apple products and you are open to discovering a different form of software on your laptop, MacOS may not be a problem.
  • MacBooks are known for their higher price, but if you’re not on a budget, a MacOS is always a good investment.

ChromeOS

  • Great less expensive option
  • If you like simplicity then a ChromeOS is an ideal software. No complicated software, easy to navigate and no unnecessary fuss.
  • ChromeOS is an online operating system that means that less software has to be downloaded and that you are also better protected against attacks.

Bulletin

The most important question to ask yourself when thinking about storage capacity is: What will I mainly use the laptop for? If you want to store tons of music, photos, documents, etc. then you obviously need sufficient capacity.

The storage capacity depends on the size of the hard disk, which is expressed in either GB or TB (gigabytes or terabytes).

A solid state drive (SSD) is one of the most common storage options as it is fast, quiet and won’t slow down your laptop. The disadvantage of the SDD is that these are quite expensive and cheaper alternatives are available. For example, the Google Pixelbook Go uses the Multi-Media Controller (eMMC).

Processors

How powerful your laptop depends on the processor (also called CPU) that is built-in. The processor is the heart of the laptop and it ensures that everything works properly. The type of processor you need depends on your use. If you have to run many and heavy programs at the same time, you may need a heavier processor.

Clock speed & cores

Clock speed (better known as GHz and cores are two important factors when comparing and evaluating CPUs. Clock speed is measured based on the number of pulses per second the processor outputs and the higher this number, the more powerful the processor is. The number of cores determines how many processes can be executed simultaneously, so simply put you can say that the more cores there are, the more processes can be executed simultaneously and the faster the laptop is.

RAM

RAM stands for Random Access Memory and is basically your laptop’s memory. The more RAM your laptop has, the more information it can process simultaneously. That is also the reason why your laptop responds more slowly when several things are open: it has to remember more. As soon as you close a few things, your laptop will respond faster.

In our opinion, less than 4GB RAM is not justifiable and 8GB RAM is the average memory for laptops that are not used too intensively.

price

In terms of price category you can make three subdivisions:

  • Under $ 450 – In this price category, you can expect a laptop with a storage capacity of 2GB to 4GB. The closer you are to the price of € 450, the greater the chance that your laptop is equipped with an Intel Celeron processor. For a lower price you have to take into account an Intel Celeron processor or Atom CPUs. The laptops in this price category are generally not that fast and are more suitable for light use.

Best Laptops Under $500

  • Between $ 600 and $ 1000 – Laptops in this price range are equipped with an Intel Pentium, Core i3, i5 and i7, AMD Ryzen 3, 5 7 processor and 8GB storage capacity. They are therefore extremely suitable for internet use, Photoshop, video editing and other heavier actions. They have Full HD image quality and use SSD storage. The closer you get to the price of € 1100, the better the battery life and the better the design becomes.

Best Laptops Under $1000

  • Above $ 1000 – These laptops have beautiful housing and the best screens. In addition, they also offer excellent sound quality and are equipped with the best speakers. These laptops are therefore the best laptops for video editing and gaming.

Best Laptops Above $1000

How much you spend on a laptop is ultimately a personal choice and depends on your financial capabilities.

Conclusion on the best laptops

After a thorough study and many tests, we are satisfied with the overview of laptops available on the Dutch market today and that we have been able to present in this overview. From Apple to Dell, we’ve included different brands within different price ranges to make our overview as comprehensive as possible. The cheaper Acer Swift has also conquered its place in this list and is our absolute favorite among the budget laptops.

Before making a final decision about purchasing a new laptop, consider all the specifications and features you need. If you are an avid gamer, you should of course buy a more powerful gaming laptop and not a basic model. However, if you need a laptop for school work or simple home use, the graphic properties may be less important.

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About the author

Sonia Naz

I'm a Review Content Writer since 2013. I provide research driven and unbiased buying guides to help you make smart decisions. I give authentic, trusted and unbiased reviews to help people for making better decisions.

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