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The Best Laptops for College Students

Updated Dec 10, 2022
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College is expensive—including tuition, housing, and textbooks, not to mention food and other miscellaneous costs—so students need a reliable laptop that’ll last for years of taking notes, writing papers at 3 in the morning, and editing slides for a group project. But choosing the right laptop can be more challenging than writing a thousand words on Proust.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED, an excellent laptop for the price

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED

An excellent laptop for the price
The Zenbook 14 is the best laptop you can get for the price. It’s fast enough for most coursework today, but it won’t perform as well in a few years as more expensive laptops, and it cannot be upgraded.
We recommend
HP Spectre x360 13.5″, the best ultrabook

HP Spectre x360 13.5″

The best ultrabook
The Spectre x360 offers exceptional battery life, a tall touchscreen, and a reliable keyboard and trackpad, and our pick is thin and light enough to slip in a bag and take anywhere.
A better upgrade
Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020), a well-balanced macbook

Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

A well-balanced MacBook
The MacBook Air has a comfortable keyboard, good performance, and a reasonable amount of storage—things that haven’t always been true of previous MacBook Airs.
We recommend
Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook (13″), the best chromebook

Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook (13″)

The best Chromebook
With excellent performance for its low price, a great keyboard and trackpad, and a compact, light body, the Lenovo Flex 5i is the Chromebook to buy.
We recommend
Acer Aspire 5 (A514-54), the best windows laptop under $500

Acer Aspire 5 (A514-54)

The best Windows laptop under $500
Unlike most cheap Windows laptops, the Aspire 5 (A514-54) is fast, compact, and light, and it has a decent 1080p display and good battery life.
Another good choice
Apple iPad (9th generation), the best tablet for almost anyone

Apple iPad (9th generation)

The best tablet for almost anyone
With a large screen, a fast-enough processor, and Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support, the 9th-gen iPad offers the features most tablet users need.
We recommend

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