Devices: Computers & Laptops

Top Ten College Laptops: Back to School in 2019

Top Ten College Laptops: Back to School in 2019
Top Ten College Laptops: Back to School in 2019

Back to School : Top 10 College Laptops in 2019

Ah, the dog days of summer are fast dwindling down, and it’s time once again for students to grab their laptops and return to the fray. Many high schools provide laptops (In our daughter’s case, a MacBook Air), but in college, most students are on their own. So, if you’re looking to arm yourself with an electronic ally to conquer the academic arena, here are experts’ top choices, based on budget (Note: Prices vary outside the U.S.):

College Laptops under US$500

Dell Inspiron 11.6-inch HD Chromebook

Dell Inspiron 11.6-inch HD Chromebook
Display11.6-inch, HD (1366×768) Touch
CPUIntel Celeron N3060
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 400
Hard Drive16GB SSD
Memory4GB
Weight3.09 lbs
Price$159.99
Where to buyAmazon

If you’re on a tight budget, this baby might fit the bill. While it’s no powerhouse, and isn’t suitable for an engineering or technical major, it has a long battery life, and can handle ordinary coursework very well. This laptop is built to take a beating, and will survive being dropped. It also converts to a tablet, so after your work is done, you can easily segue into Netflix or Mortal Kombat without batting an eye.

Microsoft Surface Go

Microsoft Surface Go
Display10-inch, PixelSense (1800×1200) Touch
CPU1.6GHz Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 615
Hard Drive64GB SSD
Memory4GB
Weight1.15 lbs
Price$398.99
Where to buyAmazon

This is Microsoft’s most affordable laptop, perfect for students. While its Pentium CPU is nothing to write home about, it’s engineered to get the job done. For this bargain basement price, it boasts a remarkable build quality, meaning it’s solid, with well-made components. On top of this, it also makes a stylish appearance. All systems go!

College Laptops: US$500 – $900

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Display12.3-inch, PixelSense (2736×1824) Touch
CPUi5-8250U (4 Cores, 3.40 GHz, Q3’17)  or i7-8650U (4 Cores, 4.20 GHz, Q3’17)
Memory8 GB or 16 GB
Hard DriveSSD 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
GraphicsIntegrated Intel® UHD Graphics 620
Weight3.53 lbs
Price$748.00
Where to buyAmazon

This model, like other Microsoft Surface models, is considered one of the best Windows devices. It sports a gorgeous touchscreen, and offers endless battery life and a stellar performance. It’s a tablet that, with a Surface Type Cover, can easily morph into a laptop when game time is over. While this model adds nothing substantial from the last, its quad-core processors make it a super speedy Pro.

Huawei MateBook 14

Huawei MateBook 14
Display14-inch, FHD (1920×1080) Touch
CPU1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 620 + NVIDIA GeForce MX150
Hard Drive256GB SSD
Memory8GB
Weight3.51 lbs
Price$799.00
Where to buyAmazon

We bet you’re surprised to see this one on the list, as Huawei is currently in the U.S.’s doghouse. Fortunately, Microsoft and Intel both agreed to support Huawei laptops and allow Windows 10 updates. But stores were uncertain about this, and slashed the price of this model! Though its battery life is so-so and it lacks some bells and whistles, this Ultrabook is feather-light in your backpack, has awesome graphics and performance, and is an exceptional value. Grab one at a rock-bottom price while you can!

Acer Swift 5

Acer Swift 5
Display15.6-inch, Full HD (1920 x 1080) Touch
CPU1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8265U
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 620
Hard Drive256GB SSD
Memory8GB
Weight2.2 lbs
Price$829.00
Where to buyAmazon

This laptop gives Apple a run for its money. It may not look sleek, but would a college student really care? The Acer is lightweight, and has ample storage and an exquisite display. Its state-of-the-art processors enable you to ace any assignment. An economical choice.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
Display15.5-inch, PixelSense (2256×1504) Touch
CPU1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 620
Hard DriveFrom 128GB SSD
MemoryFrom 8GB
Weight2.76 lbs
Price$846.95
Where to buyAmazon

If you’re not totally on board with Microsoft’s 2-in-1 Surface Book 2 and crave a pure laptop, this one’s for you. While not a huge improvement over its predecessor, Surface Laptop, it offers full Windows 10 Home and delivers premium power, courtesy of its updated hardware. It has a formidable build and handsome black color option, to boot!

College Laptops over US$900

Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13
Display13.3-inch, Full HD (1920×1080) Touch
CPU1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 620
Hard DriveFrom 128GB SSD
MemoryFrom 8GB
Weight2.7 lbs
Price$947.88
Where to buyAmazon

This flagship laptop has been a customer favorite for years, known for its light design and breathtaking display. This latest model is a revival of the entry-level one, with a lower sticker price. It offers an array of customized options, much improved battery life, and a long-awaited improvement: The webcam is now at the top center above the display, so when you video chat, people won’t look up your nose!

Apple MacBook Air (Late 2018)

Apple MacBook Air (Late 2018)
Display13.3-inch, Retina Display (2560×1600) Non-Touch
CPU1.8GHz Intel Core i5-8210Y
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 617
Hard DriveFrom 128GB SSD
MemoryFrom 8GB
Weight2.75 lbs
Price$949.99
Where to buyAmazon

Alas, this revamped Mac has all the latest features it previously lacked, especially a Retina display. It’s thinner, lighter, and more economical. College students can finally say, “Hallelujah!”

Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS 15
Display15.6-inch, Full HD (1920×1028) Non-Touch
CPUIntel Core i7-8750H
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 630 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI
Hard DriveFrom 8GB SSD
MemoryFrom 256GB
Weight4 lbs
Price$1,249.99
Where to buyAmazon

This laptop is a continuation of the success of previous versions, offering proven reliability and premium power without breaking the bank. Fortunately, the base configuration is more than adequate to meet the needs of the average user. Those who want to go the whole nine yards can get an optional Intel Core i9 processor and 32GB of RAM, upgrading the Dell XPS 15 to a virtual stallion!

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
Display15.4-inch, Retina Display (2880×1800) Non-Touch
CPUIntel Core i7-9750H
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 630 + Radeon Pro 555x Graphics
Hard DriveFrom 256GB SSD
MemoryFrom 16GB
Weight4.02 lbs
Price$2,099.99
Where to buyAmazon

Our list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Apple’s personification of Power with a capital “P.” This one IS pricey, but for those who can afford it, this is the best and fastest laptop for school projects, photo editing, graphics, and gaming, and can be used professionally. For diehard Apple aficionados, it doesn’t get any better than this!

So there you have it. Hopefully, after you’ve paid for tuition, books, and room and board, you’ll have enough left for one of these for your rising student. Happy shopping!

Links

Best laptops for students in 2019 [Video]

Video uploaded by Engadget on July 22, 2019

View Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. KeithUti

    August 10, 2019 at 06:48

    You missed a few. Chromebooks are rather good for college students.

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