Laptops and college students. What’s the connection? Why do we need to talk about the best laptops for college students in 2021? Well, if you are a student and currently reading this page, you know it already. Let’s clear it out for your parents and others, shall we?

Ok, so we are discussing here the five best laptops for college students in 2021. That much we know, the question is why. Now, when we talk about students, the most important thing that comes to mind is textbooks. Then comes the right reference books, library, good institution, teachers, and then just small tools like a perfect pencil for practical drawing, or mapping, perfect geometric tools and others, extracurricular activities, excursion, etc., etc., etc. Now, add everything together into one, and you end up with a laptop. Yes, those important laptops are for college students, especially in a pandemic situation, when remote classes are sometimes the only solution. 

However, the situation is improving, and you are heading to the institute for a limited period of a week. But, the requirement for a good laptop is always there, isn’t it? Especially for college students, because you must select your favorite institution first. Right? For that, you have to discuss it with friends and teachers. So, some video conferencing will be there, the best way to get everyone at a time. Then comes selecting subjects, books, and libraries. And the digital knowledge world is again bigger than your physical reach. After that, I don’t need to go on anymore. Sending emails, filling up the forms, taking notes, studying various topics, creating a project using special software, online library subscription, the list is always on. 

And how could we forget about the entertainment and activities? They are as essential as your studies to shape your dreams into a reality. Yes, you need the best laptops for college students to create or listen to music, videos, graphics designing, or other creative content, and then storing them into one place, watching movies, group studying late at night, everything. 

Now, parents, you got that? If you want your champ to succeed joyfully, you must permit the best weapons for them to carry, the best laptops for college students. Yes, that matters a lot, even more than a good smartphone or so.

Now, let’s sort out what traits we need to check in the best laptops for college students.

  • Long battery life for at least 11-12 hours.
  • Ultra Portability for carrying it around everywhere.
  • The strong build quality to sustain the challenges of regular usage.
  • Powerful CPU and GPU performances for coding and graphics designing works.
  • Reasonable budget to fit with a student’s savings.
  • Sufficient storage for collecting all the essential files into one device.
  • Temperature sustainability from long usage.
  • Good security system.
  • Good network connectivity to catch and hold the internet signal continuously.
  • Good sound and camera quality for video conferencing or content creation.
  • Sufficient ports for connecting external peripherals when necessary.
  • Elegant design.

These are some general aspects you can search for while deciding on the best laptops for college students. But, not necessarily you need all of them at a time. Again, there are more than what we didn’t mention on the list. You may prefer a convertible or a 2-in-1 touch-happy laptop to use both as a tab or a computer. And if high-end power is not mandatory for your work, you may select from light-weight Chromebooks for everyday usage. So, that comes to your requirement in the end. We have sorted out the five best laptops for college students in 2021 to meet everyone’s needs at least once. You must decide which one tops your list based on your study purpose.

Dell XPS 13 9310 (2020, 11th Gen) - The Best laptops for college students based on performance and portability.

 

 

Quick peek:

CPU: Intel Core Core i5/Core i7 (11th Gen Tiger Lake) | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 512GB/1TB | GPU: Intel Iris Xe | Display: 13.4-inch, 1920 x 1200 or 4K | Size: 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 1.27Kg | OS: Windows 10 Home/Pro

Pros: 

  • Superb performance 
  • Frameless display
  • Enough battery life 
  • Attractive chassis 

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Lack of ports

Dell, the name says it all. This laptop brand is always favored as one of the best laptops for college students due to its outstanding performance. And Dell XPS 13 9310 laptops add more edge with its one-of-a-kind latest 11th generation Tiger Lake processor. 

Processor and Memory: 

If you are looking for a powerful beast inside a tiny body, this is the one you should focus on. As they say, ‘tiny but mighty’. We have two powerful variations of processors here to certify them as one of the perfect choices for the best laptops for college students. These are Core i5-1135G7 and Core i7-1185G7. 

Both are empowered by 4267MHz LPDDR4x onboard memory modules. Whereas the capacity is 8GB with the i5 processor, it goes up to 16GB for the i7 variation. Besides, we get 8MB cache power and up to 4.2 GHz clock speed with the i5 one, while the i7 processor with 12MB cache clocks up to 4.8GHz of speed. The hard drive memory is poised over 512GB or 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs.

Display and Graphics:

The amazing 13.4-inch InfinityEdge display with Anti-Glare protection and 500-Nit of brightness comes both in non-touch and touch-happy choices with full HD and Ultra HD options respectively. They churn out the power from the latest integration of Intel Iris Xe Graphics chip onboard. This chip is powerful enough to outsmart their AMD counterparts well-known for PC gaming or video editing-related jobs.

Design and Life-span: 

These metal body ultraportable laptops weigh only 1.2 to 1.27Kg, making them nominated for the best laptops for college students. And the integrated 4-cell battery power with more than 11 hours of life span says the same when you can carry them around for day-long projects or as playmates. The backlit keyboard offers two color variations of black and white.

Ports and Other Specifications:

Although you get twin Thunderbolt 4 ports, the insufficiency of ports may bother you sometimes. Along with that, we see one headset combo port and a micro-sd card slot carved into the laptop’s body. 

The Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 dual-band connection with Bluetooth 5.1 provides pretty good signals all the time. The 720p Widescreen HD cam is so-so. The professionally tuned dual stereo speakers with Waves MaxxAudio Pro go up to 4W of the peak level.

In one word, Dell has built a complete package for students from any academic arena to call these laptops the best laptops for college students. However, the price could be a little reasonable. But if you are chasing performance, these are definitely the best laptops for college students as well as professional purposes.

 

HP Chromebook x2 - The Best laptops for college students based on 2-in-1 Chromebook standards.

Quick Peek

CPU: Intel Core m3-7Y30 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB SSD | Display: 12.3-inch, 2400 x 1600-pixel | Weight: 1.39Kg | Dimensions: 11.5 x 8.3 x 0.3 inches | OS: Chrome OS

Pros:

  • Classy screen.
  • Lap-happy design for typing comfort.
  • Powerful performance
  • Good battery life.
  • Detachable design.

Cons:

  • Mediocre cameras.
  • Little expensive than usual Chromebooks.
  • Thick bezels.

Check in: Amazon

Check in: Flipkart

Well, the search for the best laptops for college students remains incomplete without a Chromebook, right? After all, not every student needs a geeky laptop for running heavy-weight applications. In that case, Chromebooks are the best laptops for college students who are searching for a carry-around device for web surfing, notes taking, or just streaming some videos. Google’s brilliant idea of the lightest Chrome OS can be installed in the shortest space of a budget-friendly device. 

Although, this HP Chromebook X2 doesn’t really fall under the cheapest variations of Chromebooks, instead of a little higher than that. Then, how can it come under the umbrella of the best laptops for college students in 2021? Mostly because of its comfy detachable design and day-long battery life. Other things aside, these two features are the most common ones for all the devices considered as the best laptops for college students.

Processor and Memory: 

I know there is nothing much to talk about a 7th gen Intel Core m3 processor, but you can open dozens of tabs under the Chrome OS without a lag. The clock speed runs from 1 GHz of base frequency to 2.6 GHz of Turbo frequency. 4GB LPDDR3-1600 SDRAM and 32GB of eMMC SSD could be some disappointing choices unless you are talking about the best Chromebooks under Rs. 35k range. After all, all the work and data storage can run under the instant Google drive access free for two years. Moreover, you can expand the RAM capacity up to 8GB and also stash a micro-sd card for more storage memory.

Display and Graphics:

The 12.3 inches 2k WLED backlit touchscreen is comparable with its pricey Surface Pro counterpart based on a sharp and bright display. The integrated Intel HD Graphics 615 backs up the vision perfectly well. The detachable keyboard and the stylus pen comes included with the device. Even if it’s a non-backlit one, the typing experience in the full-size island-style keyboard is praised by all the users.

Design and Life-span: 

The body of the white-colored HP Chromebook x2 Chromebook is fabricated with anodized aluminum metal. Use it as a tablet or snap into a laptop anytime by attaching the rubber and leather-textured keyboard with it. However, the weight is slightly heavier than usual for a 2-in-1 convertible laptab but less than many ultrathin laptops.

The best part is its all-day-long life juice. The 4-cell powerful battery offers a 12 and a half hours of life span, expectable only in the best laptops for college students.

Ports and Other Specifications:

The network connectivity is empowered by the dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 Combo. Two USB 3.0 Type-C Gen 1 ports, a multi-format SD media card reader, and a combo audio jack serve the need for peripheral connectivity. The B&O PLAY dual speakers express quality sound. HP 5MP front-facing and 13MP rear-facing camera are okayish.

If you are looking for a perfect combination of an android tablet and a Chromebook laptop, this is the right choice for you to grab as the best laptops for college students.

Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FA - The Best laptops for college students among premium laptops under budget.

Quick peek:

CPU: Intel Core i5-8265U/ i7-8565U | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD | Display: 13.3 inches, 1920 x 1080 | Size: 11.9 x 7.4 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 1.19Kg | OS: Windows 10 Home

Pros:

  • Solid performance 
  • Adequate battery life 
  • Premium build quality and design 

Cons:

  • The screen is not bright enough.
  • Small trackpad

Yes, Asus ZenBook 13 is a premium performer, which has no intention to break your bank. It’s a brilliant creation of Asus, which offers overall quality performance in almost all fields of work or academia. Performance, portability, affordable price, and long battery life - do you need anything more to enlist this device among the best laptops for college students?

Processor and Memory:

The ‘brain’ of these laptops comprises powerful 8th gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processors. Whereas the i5 version clocks between 1.6 to 3.9Ghz speed, the i7 CPU runs between 1.8 to 4.6GHz. They both are supported by an 8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 RAM and 6MB and 8MB cache memories, respectively. Moreover, 512GB of superfast PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD is a perfect companion for running heavy software or indulging in multitasking, which feels like a breeze with these Windows 10 Home preloaded beasts. You can expect a performance closely compared to Dell XPS 13 2019 version. That said, these workhorses can indeed be counted as the best laptops for college students when performance is your sole concern.

Display and Graphics:

But the performance arena doesn’t end with the CPU unless we consider the graphics section. And that is a sufficiently good deal with these laptops containing an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 unit. It causes a crispy view on the 13-inch screen, covering almost a frameless panel with a 95% screen-to-body ratio. Also, 115 percent of the sRGB spectrum on the panel almost touches the average score for best quality premium laptops. However, with 225 nits of brightness, the backlit FHD display with 1080p resolution is dimmer than average. Although you get a full-sized backlit keyboard, the touchpad is small and needs improvement in responsiveness. However, the Ergo-lift hinge design is another gift for smoothening the typing experience.

Design and Life-span:

The mesmerizing Royal Blue color on the sturdy metal-body fabrication is definitely a beauty on these laptops. 1.19Kg weight is not much to ache your back when you carry it around all day long. However, it’s a bit thicker than its close Dell competitor. But, adding with the fantastic battery life score of more than 11 hours, these laptops have a stand on the best laptops for college students queue.

Ports and Other Specifications:

With USB 3.1 Type-C and Type-A, USB 2.0, along with HDMI, audio-out, microphone jack, and micro-sd card reader, the port hub has fulfilled all your requirements. Bluetooth 5.0, combined with dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi has nailed the network connectivity system. Although the sound quality is good, the in-built speaker is not sufficiently loud. The HD camera can recognize your face even in low light. However, voice recognition is not so improved at all.

These ultrathin ultralight laptops have made a stronghold for the best laptops for college students category with impressive performance and long-lasting life juice. 

Acer Aspire 5 A514-54 - The best laptops for college students among budget-friendly choices.

Quick Peek:

Display: 14 inches; 1,920 x 1,080 | CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 | GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics/NVIDIA GeForce MX350 Graphics - 2GB-DDR5 VRAM  | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Weight: 1.45Kg | OS: Windows 10 Home

Pros:

  • Bright display
  • Sufficient battery life 
  • Outstanding performance for the cost

Cons:

  • Average build quality

If you ask me about performance, price, and portability, these Acer Aspire 5 laptops have such a claim for the best laptops for college students like no other. Although 1.45Kg is a bit heavier than the average ultrathin margin, you must consider the size and price bracket compared to their thinner counterparts. And, of course, it’s hard to believe using the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU under the hood of a laptop not even close to a premium range.

Processor and Memory:

Let’s start with the buzz of the 11 Generation latest model Core i5-1135G7 processor. The quad-core CPU can turbo boost up to 4.2GHz, just like any premium performer. The 8GB DDR4 SDRAM can be expanded up to 20GB. Another satisfaction is the 512GB SSD with PCIe NVMe interface. Hence, the superfast multitasking performance on heavy professional applications reminds you of any powerful and premium quality device. Moreover, you get the opportunity to add as much as 2TB of extra hard disk for storage. Enjoy offline videos or games without any hassle.

Display and Graphics:

Talking about games, it's good news for all the gamers that indulging in the breeze of integrated Iris XE graphics performance or even in the ambiance of a dedicated NVIDIA unit is not so far even when you are caught up in a tight budget. A 2GB-DDR5 VRAM memory also supports the model with the NVIDIA GeForce MX350 graphics processor. The LED-backlit 14 inch IPS FHD display with 1080p resolution comes with Acer ComfyView technology for high-brightness vision. Supported by the impressive GPU unit, this panel offers a clean and crispy view and a lag-free gaming experience. A multi-gesture touchpad accompanies the full-size backlit keyboard. Do you have something more in your mind that you can expect from the best laptops for college students?

Design and Life-span:

Even if the build quality isn’t that top-shelf, the look on the silver-colored laptop is nothing less than elegant. The battery life is also excellent, something crucial for college students.

Ports and Other Specifications:

The network connectivity is well-organized in these laptops with Intel Wi-Fi 6 IEEE 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5, and Gigabit Ethernet support. The port section offers versatility with a USB 3.2 port with power-off charging support, USB Type-C port, dual USB 3.2 port, HDMI, and RJ-45 jack. The 720p webcam is so far so good. Dual stereo speakers are as usual. 

Frankly speaking, Acer has built an outstanding model, especially for budget buyers. Definitely worth calling these the best laptops for college students.

Apple MacBook Air M1 (2020) - The overall best laptops for college students among mac lovers.

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Quick peek:

CPU: Apple M1 - 16-core Neural Engine | RAM: 8GB - Up to 16GB Unified Memory | Storage: 256GB SSD - Up to 2TB | Graphics: Apple M1 | Screen: 13.3-inch Retina, 2,560 x 1,600 pixels | Size: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.43 inches | Weight: 1.29Kg | OS: macOS Big Sur

Pros:

  • Decent price for a MacBook
  • Fabulous performance compared to the predecessors
  • Surprisingly well battery life
  • Slim and sleek design
  • Crystal clear display 
  • Top-notch keyboard quality

 

Cons:

  • Limited ports
  • No touch-screen option
  • Average camera

Apple is another brand that is favored by everyone in India. And now it's an all-Apple device. You can say, more good news for mac users. The new Apple MacBook Air M1 has come packed with extraordinary performance under the same sturdy and ultrathin, ultraportable hood similar to its previous sibling. And all the credit goes to its new homegrown Apple M1 processor and alongside the more secured Big Sur OS update. That said, the new much-improved Apple-all device has perfected its teeny tiny downfalls in such a way that you can't keep it aside from the best laptops for college students enlisting.

Processor and Memory:

The paradigm of performance in this MacBook Air has changed drastically after shifting from Intel-empowered CPU chips to homemade Apple M1 chips. With this octa-core processor along with the 16-core Neural Engine, this MacBook Air is no less of a performer than the M1-infused MacBook Pro models. And then it comes to the operating system, the improvement of security and privacy in the Big Sur version is more suitable for students than the older Mojave system was. The unified memory supporting the M1 system-on-chip (SoC) empowerment comes between 8GB to 16GB. So as the SSD, which comes under 256GB to 2TB variations.

Display and Graphics:

Apple's LED-backlit 13.3-inch IPS Retina Display is the same as before. Here we have, 2,560 by 1,600 pixels resolution at 16:10 aspect ratio. The resolution is higher than the FHD variation we see in most of its competitors. Also, they can be scaled in 3 more lower resolutions, including FHD. With 400nit brightness and Wide color (P3) technology for plenty of color variations, the display panel offers a soothing bright view suitable for continuous work without hurting the eyes. That responsibility goes to Apple's True Tone technology for balancing the white light. And again, we have the all-Apple touch of the Apple M1 GPU, which supports a glitchless view on the screen while gaming or creating high-level content for hours. Coming to the keyboard, with an ambient light sensor and Force Touch trackpad, the keyboard enhances your typing experience without overkill. Including the security system, these are the features many students prefer MacBooks as their best laptops for college students.

Design and Life-span:

Apple has already perfected the design and look in all their MacBook models. Outside, you can see the same all-metal ultra-thin body with three color variants: Gold, Silver, and Space Gray. And then comes another common feature of MacBooks' fame in the portable laptop world: battery power. The built-in battery is unwilling to drain, and you can't suck the life-juice out of it even after using it for an entire day. Hence, the everyday charging style is gone. What's more, is the weight. 1.29Kg isn't much for a laptop for carrying it around all day long. Aren't these just the right solutions to stamp these devices for the best laptops for college students? Already thinking that? Right decision.

Ports and Other Specifications:

Let's turn to the port section. Although versatile, we have got only two USB Type-C ports on the right side. You can use them as a charging port, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 3, USB 4, and USB 3.1 Gen 2 port. And the left side contains only the headphone jack. 

The network connectivity is handled pretty well on the shoulders of Wi-Fi 6 with 802.11ax and IEEE 802.11ac support and Bluetooth 5. The 720p FaceTime camera and stereo speakers are so-so.

Lastly, I can say, for macOS diehards, Apple has offered a fascinating cream of the top device under this price tier. When your work or study isn't confined to the Windows applications realm, you should definitely select this one as the best laptops for college students.

Bottom Line

Do you think that the list isn’t sufficient enough? You are right, it’s not. There are plenty of more choices in the market and some of them are launching right now at the time we are talking. So, there is no argument on that. But, as we told you before, we have selected here some of the best laptops for college students so that anyone can choose at least one of them. Of course, there are lots of factors to select one, and it’s always hard to put the crown onto one. Still, we must do it in the end, and our choice as the best among the best laptops for college students in 2021 is the Apple MacBook Air M1 (2020). It’s a pretty good choice especially for Indian college students, but you are welcome to disagree with us, based on your opinion. And we also welcome all your good suggestions all the time. Tell us what we missed. And if you have any kind of laptop-related query, we are here to fix it, always at your service.