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Top 10 Best Student Laptops on a Budget

Top 10 Best Student Laptops on a Budget

Regarding laptops for students, there are two crucial things to keep in mind: the price and the battery life. Laptops under £500 will likely have a slower processor, smaller hard drive, and shorter battery life. Students should opt for a laptop with a faster processor, a large hard drive, and a long battery life.

In today's world, the laptop is a necessity, not a luxury. There is no denying the fact that laptops are not only used for educational purposes but also office tasks, gaming, and video chatting with friends.

You don't have to spend a fortune on your laptop. I'll show you how to choose a student laptop that's powerful enough to do any job you need it to while being affordable and easy to maintain.

Top 10 Best Laptops for Students

Apple Macbook Air Review

1 – Apple Macbook Air

The Apple MacBook Air is the ideal laptop for creative professionals. It's incredibly portable, and it's great for everyday use. It's light enough to carry around and has a great battery life, perfect for when you're on the go.

It's packed with powerful hardware, like the Intel Core M processor, up to 10-core graphics and up to 24GB of RAM. So, it's perfect for multitasking and processing complex projects.

With the MacBook Air, you can take your work wherever you go. The display is so bright that you can see everything clearly, even in direct sunlight.

Apple 2022 MacBook Air Laptop with M2 chip: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, 1080p FaceTime HD Camera. Works with iPhone and iPad; Midnight
  • STRIKINGLY THIN DESIGN — The redesigned MacBook Air is more portable than ever and weighs just 2.7 pounds. It’s the incredibly capable laptop that lets you work, play or create just about anything — anywhere.
  • SUPERCHARGED BY M2 — Get more done faster with a next-generation 8-core CPU, up to 10-core GPU and up to 24GB of unified memory.
  • UP TO 18 HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE — Go all day and into the night, thanks to the power-efficient performance of the Apple M2 chip.
  • BIG, BEAUTIFUL DISPLAY — The 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display features over 500 nits of brightness, P3 wide color and support for 1 billion colors for vibrant images and incredible detail.
  • ADVANCED CAMERA AND AUDIO — Look sharp and sound great with a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, three-mic array and four-speaker sound system with Spatial Audio.

There are also two Thunderbolt ports on the side of the MacBook Air so that you can connect several peripherals simultaneously. These include external displays, hard drives, and even cameras.

The MacBook Air also comes with a decent webcam and speakers. They aren't the best, but they do a good job.

Another thing that I love about the Apple MacBook Air is the MagSafe power connector. If you accidentally knock it, it won't fall off.

I love the MacBook Air, and I'm glad I upgraded from my old cheap 13-inch laptop. I use it to edit videos, design websites, and run Photoshop. It's perfect because it fits in my backpack and I can take it everywhere.

2 – HP Envy 13

We've seen many laptops this year, but we have yet to see many that were as good as the HP Envy 13.

The Envy 13 is a powerful, portable Windows laptop that packs a ton of power into a compact package. It's built with a powerful quad-core processor and is the first to use the new Intel(R) 11th-generation processors.

The 13-inch screen is large and bright, packed with all the features you'd expect from an ultrabook.

HP ENVY 13 Laptop, Intel Core i7-1165G7, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, 256 GB SSD Storage, 13.3-inch FHD Touchscreen Display, Windows 10 Home With Fingerprint Reader, Camera Kill Switch (13-ba1010nr, 2020 Model)
  • 【Memory & Storage】LPDDR5x 6400MHz 16GB RAM | 1TB PCIe SSD. Everything is original from manufacturer. With massive amounts of storage and advanced communication power, PCI-e SSD are great for major gaming applications, multiple servers & more. Bundled with HDMI.
  • 【14″ & 2.8K & OLED】14″ Micro-Edge BrightView 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED 48- 120HZ 500-Nits Display.
  • 【Processor】AMD Ryzen7 7840U (8-core) Processor, Integrated AMD Radeon 780M Graphics, Microsoft Windows 11 Home.
  • 【Features】Wi-Fi 6E (2×2/160) Gig+ & Bluetooth 5.3, Full-Size Backlit Keyboard & IR Camera with Privacy Shutter.
  • 【AMD Ryzen AI Technology】Enhances Windows Studio Effects Capabilities Including Automatic Framing, Eye Contact Correction, and Advanced Background Effects.

The only thing that might be disappointing is the lack of USB Type-C ports. It's great that there's only one USB-A port, but it would be nice to see a USB-C port or two.

But if you're looking for a 13-inch computer that's powerful, fast, and easy to carry around, the Envy 13 is the best option.

3 – Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13 is one of the best Windows laptops on the market today and is built with top-notch materials. The aluminium chassis is incredibly sturdy and can handle the rigours of everyday use, and the carbon fibre palm rest gives it an incredibly premium look and feel.

It has an incredibly sharp 4K display with an anti-reflective coating, which makes it easier to view in bright environments.

The display is one of the highlights of this laptop, and it's great for watching movies, playing games, and browsing the web. The fact that it's a touchscreen makes it even more helpful, as you can interact with the screen without having to use your keyboard or mouse.

Dell XPS 13 9310 Laptop – 13.4-inch OLED 3.5K (3456×2160) Touchscreen Display, Intel Core i7-1185G7, 32GB LPDDR4x RAM, 1TB SSD, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 1-Year Premium Support Windows 11 Home – Silver
  • 13.4-inch OLED 3.5K (3456×2160) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 400-Nit Display
  • 11 Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7, vPro (12 MB cache, 4 cores, 8 threads, up to 4.80 GHz)
  • 16GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x Memory Onboard; 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
  • Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 (2 x 2) and Bluetooth 5.1
  • Windows 11 Home, English

The XPS 13 is also powered with a top-of-the-line Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor clocked at 2.8GHz. This is a quad-core processor that delivers incredible performance, and it's paired with 8GB of RAM for seamless multitasking.

An Intel Iris Xe graphics card handles the graphics; it's one of the fastest. It's powerful enough to run games like Rise of the Tomb Raider, and it has more than enough horsepower to handle daily tasks like browsing the web, streaming music, and watching movies.

The XPS 13 is a beast of a machine, and it's perfect for those who need a powerful laptop that's built to last.

4 – Acer Swift 5

A powerful and reliable laptop, the Acer Swift 5 is the best in its class for professionals, and it's also a great budget option.

The Intel Core i7-1260P processor is a powerful performer, and you can pair it with the dedicated graphics card to run demanding applications faster.

You'll also enjoy the fast-charging capability of the battery, and the USB Type-C port is excellent for charging your smartphone, so you don't have to use an adapter.

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The Acer Swift 5 has a comfortable keyboard, and the touchpad is responsive and accurate. The display is bright, and the viewing angles are excellent.

The Swift 5 is a versatile laptop, and it's capable of handling a wide range of tasks, including video editing, web design, and photo editing.

It's also a great budget option, and the price tag is reasonable for what you get.

If you want a laptop ideal for the workplace, this is the one for you.

5 – Apple MacBook Pro

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is Apple's latest laptop, with plenty of power. It can handle any task you throw at it, from editing photos to coding video.

Apple's been updating the MacBook Pro lately, and this year's model is the best. It comes with the new Intel i7 processor, which is twice as fast as the previous generation.

That's just one improvement. You can expect up to 20 hours of battery life, thanks to the M2 chip. In addition, the screen is bright enough for outdoor use, and it has a larger trackpad for better touch response.

Apple 2022 MacBook Pro Laptop with M2 chip: 13-inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB ​​​​​​​SSD ​​​​​​​Storage, Touch Bar, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera. Works with iPhone and iPad; Silver
  • SUPERCHARGED BY M2 — The 13-inch MacBook Pro laptop is a portable powerhouse. Get more done faster with a next-generation 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU and up to 24GB of unified memory.
  • UP TO 20 HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE — Go all day and into the night, thanks to the power-efficient performance of the Apple M2 chip.
  • SUSTAINED PERFORMANCE — Thanks to its active cooling system, the 13-inch MacBook Pro can sustain pro levels of performance, so you can run CPU- and GPU-intensive tasks for hours on end.
  • BRILLIANT DISPLAY — The 13.3-inch Retina display features 500 nits of brightness and P3 wide colour for vibrant images and incredible detail.
  • HD CAMERA AND STUDIO-QUALITY MICS — Look sharp and sound great with a FaceTime HD camera and three-mic array.

But this laptop isn't just about the specs. It's also great for productivity and creativity. You get a full keyboard and a powerful graphics card, and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor is great for unlocking and authenticating documents.

Related:  The 5 Best Point and Shoot Cameras

Thanks to the ability to connect to two Thunderbolt displays, you can also use this laptop as a workstation.

You should check out the MacBook Pro if you're looking for a powerful machine for productivity. 

6 – Microsoft Surface Pro 7

The Surface Pro 7 is Microsoft's latest iteration of their best-selling laptop.

It's a beautiful device with a minimalist design that is sleek, comfortable to hold, and has a great display. The Microsoft Surface laptop runs Windows 10 and is powered by Intel's 10th-generation Core processors.

The device has a USB-C and USB-A port, which means it can connect to displays, charging accessories, and more. There's also a MicroSD card slot for memory expansion, and the Surface Pro 7 supports up to 512GB of storage.

You can use the Surface Pro 7 as a tablet, but it's far more versatile and powerful when used as a laptop.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3″ Touch-Screen – 10th Gen Intel Core i5 – 8GB Memory – 128GB SSD – Platinum with Black Type Cover
  • Next-gen, best-in-class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet, so you can type, touch, draw, write, work, and play more naturally
  • Faster than surface pro 6, with a 10th gen intel core processor – redefining what’s possible in a thin and light computer.
  • More ways to connect, with both USB-c and USB-a ports for connecting to displays, docking stations and more, as well as accessory charging. Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0
  • Standout design that won’t weigh you down — ultra-slim and light surface pro 7 starts at just 1.70 pounds
  • All day battery life up to 10.5 hours, Plus the ability to go from empty to full faster — about 80 percent in just over an hour

Microsoft is touting the Surface Pro 7's 10.5-hour battery life, which is impressive considering its slim and lightweight body. When using it as a laptop, you can get around 9 hours of usage before needing to recharge.

With its small and light form factor, you won't feel like carrying around a big laptop. Its weight is just 1.7 pounds, which makes it super portable and easy to carry around.

While the Surface Pro 7 is relatively thin, it's still fairly wide. At 12.5 inches, the Surface Pro 7 is larger than the previous model, the Surface Pro 6, and it feels a little bulky.

The good news is that two USB-C ports are on the front of the device, which is a welcome addition. If you need to charge your phone or other devices, you can plug them in with the included adapter.

The Surface Pro 7 is a great device; if you want a tablet you can use as a laptop, it's the one to get.

7 – HP Spectre X360

HP has been known for making great laptops, and the Spectre x360 is no exception.

The HP Spectre x360 is one of the best laptops you can buy. The sleek design and solid build make it easy to handle and use. The screen is bright and clear, and the keyboard is comfortable to type on. The performance is excellent, and the battery life is suitable for a laptop of this size.

HP Spectre x360 Luxury 14T,13.5″ 3:2 WUXGA+ Touch, Intel Core i7-1355U, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, B&O Quad Speakers, Fingerprint, Tilt Pen, Nightfall Black, Win 10 Pro, 64GB TechWarehouse Flash Drive
  • BRAND NEW FACTORY SEALED – You will receive a HP Factory sealed Brand New laptop with 1 YEAR HP (MANUFACTURER) PREMIUM WARRANTY. You can buy with confidence that the advertised specs are Factory Installed.
  • WITH EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE, BATTERY EFFICIENCY & A NEW AND STUNNING DESIGN, THE HP SPECTRE 14T OUTCLASSES THEM ALL: 13TH GENERATION QUAD CORE CPU: Intel Core i7-1355U (up to 5.0 GHz, 12 MB L3 cache, 10 cores, 12 threads) + Intel Iris Xe Graphics. WINDOWS 11 PRO 64 BIT PRE INSTALLED BY HP. Intel's XE Graphics is the best Intel GPU yet & coupled w/ 16GB Memory & a blazing 1 TB NVME SSD, you really cant pass this up. It delivers prime performance w/ better power management than ever before.
  • ASTOUNDING VIDEO AND IMAGE QUALITY WITH A 13.5″ WUXGA TOUCHSCREEN AND A 3:2 ASPECT RATIO FOR OPTIMUM PRODUCTIVITY: The HP Spectre 14T x360 delivers stunning visuals & unparalleled quality due to its 1920×1280 display which even trumps FHD performance. Its 3:2 Aspect ratio allows user to do more due to its 90.33% screen to body ratio. The HP Zenvo Tilt pen with a magnetic attachment is HPs best pen yet and delivers “pen point accuracy” w/ smoother color transitions and enhanced response times.

The HP Spectre x360 is perfect for anyone who needs a laptop that will last a long time. It's also an excellent choice for anyone who likes to travel.

This is the one for you if you're looking for a durable and reliable laptop.

8 – Asus Vivobook 15

For such a small laptop, this one packs a punch. It's a beast of a machine with a massive 15.6-inch screen, and it's one of the best laptops I've ever used.

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is a sleek and stylish laptop with a bright display and a comfortable keyboard. It runs the latest operating system, Windows 10, and it's compatible with various programs, like Microsoft Office.

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD Display, Intel i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, Slate Gray, F512JA-AS34
  • Aspect Ratio:16:9
  • 15.6 inch Full HD (1920×1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio
  • Compatible with Google Classroom; run Google Classroom on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer 11
  • Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU (4M Cache, up to 3.4 GHz)
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD

The first thing you'll notice about this laptop is its huge display. It has a 1920 x 1080 resolution and is packed into a relatively small body. This means you get much real estate for all your documents and spreadsheets. It's also great for watching movies, playing games, and surfing the web.

The second thing you'll notice is the incredible keyboard. It's large enough to type on comfortably, and the keys are spaced well enough to avoid any unwanted accidental presses.

The third thing you'll notice is the overall build quality. This laptop is made of sturdy aluminium and plastic and feels like a quality product.

The battery life is also very good. I can easily watch a movie on Netflix for over 6 hours and browse the internet for hours.

There's a lot of power in this laptop, and it's ideal for people who do a lot of work on the go. It's also great for people who want a versatile device that works with their life.

9 – Acer Aspire 5

If you're a gamer who wants the latest tech, you'll be glad to know that the Aspire 5 is loaded with powerful processors and graphics cards.

AMD's Ryzen 3000 series of processors are built with the latest Zen 2 microarchitecture, and this laptop uses the Ryzen 3 3350U quad-core processor with Radeon Vega 6 graphics.

The Ryzen 3 3350U has a base frequency of 2.10GHz and a boost clock of 3.50GHz and can handle up to 16 threads simultaneously.

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AMD claims this chip is designed to be the best gaming laptop in the world, and I couldn't agree more. The Aspire 5 runs Windows 11 Home, which is Windows 10 Pro's equivalent. This operating system is fully compatible with Windows 7 and 8 users.

The laptop also comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display, perfect for watching videos and playing games.

There's also an upgrade option for the RAM, which gives you a choice between 8GB and 12GB of high-bandwidth RAM. You can also choose between a 128GB SSD and a 512GB SSD for storage.

The Aspire 5 has the same ports and features as other Acer laptops, including a fingerprint reader, a webcam, a backlit keyboard, and a full-size USB Type-C port. The laptop also supports HDMI video output, connecting it to your TV or projector to watch movies or play games.

In addition to the impressive processor, the Aspire 5 is equipped with the latest Radeon RX Vega graphics card. This is the fastest GPU on the market and is perfect for gamers.

AMD claims the Vega 6 can handle “ultra-high-resolution” VR experiences and deliver smooth gameplay with less latency. If you're interested in this laptop, you can get it from Acer's website for $1,699.

10 – Lenovo IdeaPad 3

Lenovo is one of the leading PC manufacturers in the world, and they've been around for over 35 years.

They're known for making solid products, and IdeaPad 3 is no exception. It has a great display and a decent processor to boot.

While it's not as powerful as other laptops in this list, the IdeaPad 3 still has plenty of processing power to handle everyday tasks.

The CPU is a dual-core, paired with 8GB of RAM. That's enough to run multiple applications and browser tabs at once.

There's also a 256GB SSD, and you can connect external drives and USB devices. It has an HDMI and two USB ports to help you charge your phone and other gadgets.

Lenovo 2022 Newest Ideapad 3 Laptop, 15.6″ HD Touchscreen, 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, HDMI, Webcam, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth, Windows 11 Home, Almond
  • 【Memory & Storage】Memory is 8GB high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs all at once. Hard Drive is 256GB PCIe Solid State Drive which allows to fast bootup and data transfer
  • 【Processor】11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 Dual-Core 3.0GHz Processor (6MB Intel Smart Cache, up to 4.10GHz) Intel UHD Graphics
  • 【Screen】15.6″ HD Touchscreen (1366 x 768) Display
  • 【Ports】2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1 x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Combination Audio Jack, 1 x Multi-format SD Media Card Reader, Wireless-AC Wi-Fi 5 + Bluetooth Combo
  • 【Operating System】Windows 11 Home

The laptop has a 15.6″ screen, slightly smaller than most other laptops, but it's still quite large. It's a touchscreen, so you can browse the web, watch videos, play games, and more.

The IdeaPad 3 is very well-made and feels solid in your hands. It has a sturdy body, so you should be fine transporting it from one place to another.

The keyboard is also lovely and spacious, with many keys. The touchpad is responsive, and the mouse buttons are located in a suitable place.

The trackpad is small, but it works fine. The only drawback is that the right and left sides of the trackpad are slightly different, so you might find yourself pressing the wrong button.

Overall, the IdeaPad 3 is one of the best student laptops. This is the best option for you if you're looking for a reliable, portable machine.

How to choose the best student laptops for your needs

Hp Pavilion Laptop

The right laptop can make or break your academic experience, but finding the right one can take time and effort. While there are many factors to consider, such as screen size, battery life, and portability, your choice should also consider the software you use and whether you need a desktop replacement or a mobile solution.

Most students today use laptops to complete schoolwork and research projects. These portable laptops allow students to bring them anywhere and use them anytime. They often come with powerful processors, memory, and graphics chips, allowing students to complete their assignments efficiently. In addition to their portability, you can also use these laptops to connect to the internet and access educational resources online. Some laptops even have wireless capabilities, which allow you to connect your device to a more extensive network while you travel to class.

While these laptops are an excellent option for any student, they aren't perfect. Before choosing your next laptop, several issues need to be considered, including portability, battery life, screen size, and more.

  • Portability: While these laptops are easy to carry around, you can't use them in some situations where you would use a traditional desktop. If you have limited desk space or need a portable computer that you can use outside the classroom, there may be better options than a laptop.
  • Battery Life: Most laptops have built-in batteries that last anywhere from 3 hours to 4 hours. The amount of battery life depends on your specific needs, so be sure to measure your battery life before purchasing a laptop.
  • Screen Size: Laptops with larger screens are great for viewing multiple windows and documents simultaneously, but they have different mobility than smaller laptops. Consider the display size before purchasing if you use your laptop outside the classroom.
  • Desktop Replacement: If you are looking for a laptop that will replace your desktop, there are several options. However, most of these laptops can't match the speed or functionality of a traditional desktop, so it's essential to weigh your needs before choosing a desktop replacement.

What are the Different Types of Laptops Available?

Best 2-In-1 Laptops Guide 2023 2024

Students love to travel with their laptops, but they often need help finding a laptop that can serve them well while away. While you're in class, you need a laptop that is comfortable to hold and easy to use. It would help if you had a versatile computer to handle all your projects and tasks at home.

While most students want to save money on their laptop purchases, they also want a computer that provides the features they need and is durable enough to withstand the rigours of travel and school.

Whether you're looking to upgrade your current laptop or get a new laptop for school, our expert has compiled the following information to help you.

Standard Features to Look For

If you're shopping for a laptop for school, you'll need to consider the features your school has set as a minimum standard. These include:

  • Large screen: A more prominent display means your computer is easier to read, even from a distance.
  • Touch screen: Touch screens are a great addition to your laptop, but you will want to maintain the size of your laptop's screen.
  • Webcam: If your school requires that you take video conferencing or webinars, a webcam will be a must-have feature.
  • High resolution: Many schools require a high resolution of around 1600 x 900, so you should look for a laptop with at least this specification.
  • Dual graphics: If your school has many online courses and resources available, you'll want a laptop with dual graphics.
  • Multiple USB ports: If your school provides a wireless network, you'll need to connect your laptop to the network. Multiple USB ports are helpful, as they allow you to connect many accessories simultaneously.
  • Mobile connectivity: Some schools require you to bring your mobile device, such as an iPhone or iPad, to school. Having a mobile connection will enable you to access your school's network without the hassle of downloading apps on your laptop.
  • Security software: School computers come preinstalled with software designed to protect your data from hackers and viruses. If you're planning to travel with your laptop to school, make sure your laptop has the same security software installed.

Wrapping Up

The list above has been compiled to provide a selection of affordable laptops for students. This includes laptops suitable for college, university, or high school students.

As you will see, there are many options to choose from. But with so many choices, you need to consider which laptop is best for you.

I hope you found this list helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments section below.

Last update on 2024-04-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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