Best Laptops for College Students in 2023 [Updated]

We believe that every college student needs a great laptop, but it is hard to decide which one will fit their needs. There are so many different features with a wide range of pricing that it can be homework in itself. Our team has provided you with a list of the best laptops for college students through 2023.

Whether you’re in the market for an upgraded laptop for taking notes or gossiping with some friends, or you’ve never had one in your life, you’ll want to make sure that you find that’ll fit your college needs. Our list is comprehensive where you’ll be able to find great entry-level laptop deals to something more advanced for the hardcore developers.

Best rated laptops for college in 2023

I can’t say that we’re going to provide the best of the best from the top of the list to the bottom of the list, well because, each laptop is different and has different usage for students.

An example would be, a student who is a film major would require a laptop with more memory, more space, and powerful graphics, while a computer science major student in college will need a laptop that will require Linux operations.

ASUS ZenBook 13

asus zenbook laptop for college students

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When it comes to a good laptop for any college student, the ASUS ZenBook would be our favorite pick. The ZenBook has a wide-view 13.3″ full HD NanoEdge bezel display that is great for not only watching movies in the dorm room but also watching recorded lectures.

In college, having a good processor with lots of hard drive storage such as the ZenBook is a must, with an Intel Core i7-8565u Quad-Core Processor, up to 4.6 GHz) to keep the video streaming without you worrying about it constantly buffering. It also has HDMI ports where you’ll be able to connect to your gaming monitors and not worry about lag. Not to mention, this is would be a great gaming laptop as well.

What’s worse is when you’re in a flow state of mind in studying, but the recorded videos keep buffering.

On top of it all is that this laptop weighs only 2.6 lbs, light enough to be carried around on campus. I remember carrying an old school bulky Dell Inspire or Dell XPS laptop around campus, sweating into class.

The ASUS also has an innovative number pad where you can quickly perform data entry or calculations, and in touchpad mode, the glass covering provides super-smooth and precise fingertip control with multitouch gesture support.

Do you like gaming? If so, consider some of these laptop gaming accessories that will go well with this.

Weight 2.6 lbs
Max resolution 1920 x 1080
Processor 4.2 GHz
Memory (RAM) 16 GB
Battery life 14 hours
Screen size 13.3″
Storage 512 GB
Operating System Windows Pro
CPU Core i7-8565u Quad Core Processor

Apple MacBook Air

apple air for college students

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Of course, we would add the Apple brand to our list, especially since we’re considering this one of the best MacBook laptops out there. There’s a good reason for it too. From our research and testing, the Air is a great laptop for any college student that love the Apple brand, but don’t need anything too work-intensive.

Let me explain what we mean:

If you love Apple and want to stay within their ecosystem, then there are two options, the MacBook Pro or the Air. The MacBook Pro has a lot more processing power for those who are doing more video editing and image processing. We can go way more in-depth into the difference between these two, but we’ll leave it for another review.

But the reason why we’re choosing the MacBook Air over the MacBook Pro is because of its lightweight capabilities and longer battery life, and if you’re only using a laptop for basic needs, the Air is a better choice.

Similar to the ASUS ZenBook, the MacBook Air’s retina display is 13.3″ but with a 2560 x 1600 pixel, retina display, giving college students higher resolutions for a clearer picture.

If you’re considering this laptop, consider looking into a different mouse for the Apple laptop, as it may provide better wrist ergonomics and features.

Weight 2.75 lbs
Max resolution 2560 x 1600
Processor 1.6 GHz
Memory (RAM) 8 GB
Battery life 12 hours
Screen size 13.3″
Storage 128 GB SSD
Operating System Mac
CPU Dual-core 8th-Generation Intel Core i5 Processor

Microsoft Surface Laptop Book 2

top rated laptop college microsoft surface tablet

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This 2-in-1 Microsoft surface laptop is a perfect match for any college student that’s an art major or wants to be creative. It is powerful enough to edit photos and videos, but flexible enough to turn into a tablet to start drawing with its easy to use touch screen monitor.

This is also perfect for those who want to switch between taking notes on their laptop using a pen because oftentimes we like the feeling of actually writing down something, or if the professor talks too fast, that we’re unable to type to keep up.

It can be used up to 17 hours of video playback, uses Intel Quad Core processor, and has 256gb SSD storage with 16 GB of RAM. If the 256 GB solid-state drive is not enough for your intense drawing or notes taking (that’ll be a lot of notes), then you’ll also have the option to increase the storage to 512GB or 1TB.

Keep in mind, this is not the Microsoft Surface Pro. there are slight differences between this surface book 2 and the surface pro 6. However, as a college student, we feel that the surface book 2 is enough for your needs.

Weight 3.62 lbs
Max resolution 3000 x 2000
Processor 4.2 GHz
Memory (RAM) 8 GB
Battery life 17 hours
Screen size 13.5″
Storage 256gb SSD storage
Operating System Windows 10 Pro
CPU 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7300U

Star LabTop

linux laptop for college computer science major students
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This laptop would only be ideal for college students that are hardcore computer science majors. If you are not, then you can probably skip this section, but you can still continue if you’re interested in learning more.

Even as a developer, Apple computers have some missing components that you’ll need for your courses. Which is why we’re introducing the Star LabTop. A great laptop for any college students in computer science.

This is a brand you might not have heard of, Star Lab Systems, but they create laptops especially for Linux. If you don’t want to go against the gain and want to stand out out of the bunch, then this might be a perfect option.

This laptop has Ubuntu pre-installed.

Weight 2.87
Max resolution 1080p
Processor 4 GHz
Memory (RAM) 8 GB
Battery life 17 hours
Screen size 13.3″
Storage 480 GB
Operating System Linux
CPU Intel Core i7-8550u

Best Budget-Friendly College Laptops

I know that we’ve gone through some of the top-of-the-line laptops for any college majors in 2022, but what about pricing? We understand that this is a big factor for a lot of students, since books, tuition, and rent (if applicable), in itself is so expensive.

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop 15.6″

acer slim laptop for college students

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Best budget college laptop for basic computing needs. When we mean basic, we mean that the specs, 4GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD of hard drive storage is bare minimum for today’s needs. However, if you just need a laptop to get by, then this is one of the better-selling laptops for that’s on the market for students in college.

As an affordable laptop, this is still powerful enough to deliver on every aspect of everyday computing. It houses the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U mobile processor while displaying sharp and crisp visuals on the 15.6″ full HD IPS screen with very minimal bezel.

Weight 3.97 lbs
Max resolution 1920 x 1080
Processor 3.5 GHz
Memory (RAM) 4 GB
Battery life 7.5 hours
Screen size 15.6″
Storage 128 GB
Operating System Windows 10
CPU AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor


Asus C302CA Chromebook Flip 12.5″

budget friendly asus chromebook flip 2 in 1 laptop for college

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Another awesome, powerful, yet affordable laptop for college students that don’t want to spend too much money, but also want to double as a tablet. We like the ASUS Chromebook flip because it runs on Google’s Chrome Operating System, which is very easy to learn and can handle programs for students who are still undecided, or even for art major students.

The C302CA has a flexible 360-degree hinge with a 12.5″ full HD touchscreen. At only 2.65 lbs, you’ll be able to keep this in your backpack without even noticing being there.

Weight 2.65 lbs
Max resolution 1920 x 1080
Processor 2.2 GHz
Memory (RAM) 4 GB
Battery life 10 hours
Screen size 12.5″
Storage 64 GB
Operating System Chrome OS
CPU Intel Core M3


Lenovo 11.6″

lenovo college laptop 2 and 1 tablet
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Another great option is the Lenovo 11.6″ 2 in 1 laptop. This flipbook is very affordable using IPS technology that can last up to 10 hours of battery life. It’s light and has enough speed to run basic tasks.

This laptop wouldn’t be good for any intensive work. You may be able to play some light gaming, note-taking, and on occasion watch some Netflix.

We wouldn’t recommend using this for computer science majors as they require more processing power.

However, there are some great features for having a 2-in-1 laptop. If you’re ever crammed in a tight desk (such as lecture halls), it would be nice to flip the laptop over for space. Also, if you’re ever in a math class, having the ability to use your fingers to quickly calculate would be a breeze.

Weight 2.76 lbs
Max resolution 1366 x 768
Processor 2.6 GHz
Memory (RAM) 4 GB
Battery life 10 hours
Screen size 11.6″
Storage 64 GB
Operating System Chrome OS
CPU MediaTek MT8173C Quad-Core


Laptop considerations for college students

We get it, students have debt and college nowadays are becoming more and more expensive. So we want to present you, whether you’re buying it for yourself or your kid, great laptops that’ll last for years of taking notes in class, editing photos, creating a video, writing paper or coding at 3 in the morning while eating pizza and getting oil all over the keyboard.

We believe that the most important features to college student (was once myself) are the long lasting battery life, performance, storage, screen, keyboard and trackpad, size and weight, and the value.

We mentioned earlier, that not all college students require the same laptop. Different students have different preferences, some things that you might need to think about.

So, with that in mind, the college students’ priorities may vary depending on the work that needs to be done:

  • Battery life: When you’ve got class all day, having a long-lasting battery laptop is important. Especially since lectures can last between one hour to two hours, and even more. And if you’re in a lecture hall, chances of finding a plug is slim.
  • Performance: Whether you’re an art or science major, performance is very important for college students. When you’re taking notes, you may have multiple programs running, and sometimes if you have a laptop with bad performance stats, the computer can crash and you’ll be frustrated if all your notes were wiped out because you forgot to save them.
  • Storage: This is another big part of having a good laptop for college. Whether you’re writing notes, drawing on photoshop or illustrator, or putting together projects, you’ll need to make sure that your laptop can handle all the projects you’ll be doing in college.
  • Screen: Be wary of the screen size you want because not everyone needs a bigger screen. There are some students that want to play video games on their laptops so larger screen would be more accommodating, while others would just use their laptops for note-taking, which can get by with just smaller size.
  • Keyboard and trackpad: You might not realize this, but having a comfortable keyboard and the trackpad placement is key to good ergonomics. You’ll want to feel comfortable if most of the time you’re taking notes and the table is really small.
  • Size and weight: While you’re walking around campus all day, size and weight are going to be a factor for you. You’re likely going to have the laptop in your backpack, so while you’re carrying that (and books), the load on your back will add up. You don’t want anything that’s too heavy on your back. At the same time, the desks in the classrooms or your study desk in your dorm room are small, so you’ll also need to consider the size of the laptop.
  • Price and value: Laptops can be very expensive, especially for college students. We’ve all been there, racking up debt like there’s no tomorrow. So we can understand that the price is very important, and the value of the laptop. If some of the top rated college laptops might be too expensive, then consider looking into Chromebooks or Acer and ASUS brands. These are typically more affordable and budget-friendly. We’ve handpicked some of our favorites earlier in this article. Keep in mind, mentioned earlier, is that the smaller the laptop, the more affordable it will be.

choosing the perfect laptop for college

Why trust us?

We can understand that we’re not well known yet, but we’re getting there. We’re not CNET, TechCrunch, wirecutter, or the likes, but we assure you that these best college laptops were picked by our staff and have researched what other people have been saying as well. We’ve all been through college and know what to expect.

Our suggestions for the finding you a good laptop for college will help you get through schooling.

Reasons why you need a laptop for college

Most or if not, all syllabus’ are provided online. Your courses are registered online, too. Sure, you might be able to “get by” college without a laptop, by using the school’s library computer or even renting one. But it’s going to more of a headache for you to get to a computer than if you just spend a few bucks on a budget-friendly laptop.

We encourage anyone who’s on the fence about getting a laptop for your school, to really consider one. If you’re the type of person thinking that you need one, where none of your course work will require being online (which is hard to believe nowadays), then look into the most basic model where all you need is to gain access to the internet.


Whether you’re into gaming, developing apps, or editing film, we got you covered. We’ve gone through great lengths in reviewing, researching and testing to report back in finding the best college laptop options for students that are going into any major. So hopefully this list has helped you narrow down your choices because we know that finding the perfect laptop can be a choir.

On top of it all, you’ll be sticking with this for four years. You’ll want something like the ASUS Zenbook 13 that’ll give you enough power for anything that your professors will give you, or if you want something like a 2-in-1, the Microsoft Surface is another great option.

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Desk Advisor

Desk Advisor

Our team covers many categories to help you hustle better, from ergonomics to productivity, and technology. We are willing to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards the healthy workspace. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture but also how we deliver information to our readers. Ergonomic and productivity research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you work better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better hustle.

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