5+ Best Laptops for College Students & Young Professionals (2021-2022)

Whether studying yourself or want the perfect gift for a student in your life, here are our picks for the best laptops for college students!

According to IBIS World, the percentage of families owning a computer is expected to be 95.2% by 2022. Additionally, in households where the yearly income is over $100,000, the current percentage of them that have at least one computer is more than 98%.

This is in large part because computers are becoming so popular at work offices, libraries, and schools. At more and more colleges and universities these days, laptops are a must, not just a luxury.

So if you’re a college student or a family member of a college student, you might be wondering about what the best laptops for college students are.

No worries!

In this guide, we walk you through a variety of options, from solid budget laptops to convertibles to high-end models capable of getting through the most challenging computational tasks with ease.

Read on below for our picks!


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(If you want to understand how to pick your own portable computer for university from the thousands of options available on the market, read this guide: 5 Things to Look For When Picking a Laptop)

Here are our choices for the best college student laptops:

The Best 2-In-1 Laptop

If you enjoy using tablets but want the power of a laptop then you should look for a 2-in-1 laptop when laptop shopping. These can be great because they give you the best of both worlds. On the one hand, you can use it as a laptop to quickly type up notes when you’re in class.

On the other hand, if you need to use the tablet function, you can easily switch to it and use the touchscreen.

This can be especially useful if you prefer the feel of a tablet in your hands when watching TV shows or if you want the capabilities a tablet gives you, such as being able to draw straight on it. (This can be useful for art students.)

The best laptop for students in this category is the HP Pavilion X360 14. It comes with 256 GB of SSD storage that has a high speed, 8GB of RAM, and an Intel processor that’s 11th generation and has Xe graphics that are onboard.

When you’re using the laptop version, it’s powerful. The touch screen can be used whether you’re using it as a laptop or tablet, and you can also use a stylus with it.

The Best Laptop for Design (And Other Creative Pursuits)

If you’re planning on using your laptop for design or for another creative pursuit like architecture or video editing, one of the ways you can prepare for college best is to buy a laptop that makes these creative activities easier to carry out when you’re on it.

You can’t simply go with your average laptop. You need a laptop that has a high-resolution display, a GPU that’s powerful enough to handle 3D calculations, and a capable processor.

The ASUS Pro Duo 15 is a great choice. First of all, it has an OLED display, which provides you with some of the best contrast and color available through laptops on the market.

Additionally, it has touchscreen controls, which are incredibly useful for many creatives.

It also has an Nvidia RTX 3070 and an Intel CPU that’s 10th generation. It also has an impressive GPU, which makes it fast even while completing more complex processes artists use on laptops.

It also comes with a second display, which means you’ll be able to view what you’re creating on one screen while using the other. This is incredibly useful for creatives.

Related Read: 6 College Essay Tips to Help You Write & Ace Your Next University Paper

The Best Laptop for Research

If you’re a student who’s going to study a research-heavy discipline, you need a laptop that can meet many of your research-related needs. This is where the Lenovo Ideapad 5 is a great choice. There are many benefits to it, which we’ll cover now.

First of all, it has 12GB RAM that has high bandwidth, which means you can have many different programs going on at once without it slowing down or draining your battery.

If you’re one of those researchers who often have multiple tabs open, you know what a lifesaver having a computer that can handle a lot going on can be.

Additionally, this laptop has great clarity and color on its screen, which means your eyes won’t get as tired when you’re doing hours of research.

Speaking of hours, its battery lasts an incredibly long time. It has been reported to last up to 12 hours.

This laptop is also lightweight, which means you can easily carry it with all your research books in your bag.

However, despite being lightweight, it still has the ports you need: a combo jack, an SD card reader, a USB-C, and two USB-a ports.

The Best Budget Laptop

If you’re already paying a large amount for tuition and books, and you don’t have many complex features you really need from your laptop, you might be looking for a budget laptop. However, how do you ensure you get a good deal while still getting a quality laptop?

What you need to look for is a laptop that’s budget-friendly while still getting one that has good overall specs, is high-quality in terms of build, and has some important features.

Given these considerations, we recommend the Asus Chromebook Flip C434.

This is a powerful computer because of its Intel Core m3 processor and it has a good amount of storage, 64 GB.

Most impressive is its screen. Even though the laptop seems like a smaller, 13-inch device, it has a 14-inch screen. This gives you a larger space on which you can see the work you’re completing.

This screen also has a full HD display and works as a touchscreen, making it perfect for viewing videos and other media while also having the plus of being usable with your touch.

In fact, it’s a 2-in-1 laptop, so it can be used as either a laptop or tablet.

This highly portable laptop is available at a low price of $570, and you can find it cheaper if it’s on sale. However, be aware that because it’s Chromebook, you can online use online services and apps on this laptop.

Related Read: What Should I Major In? The Complete Guide on How to Choose a Major

The Best Laptop for Gaming

Are you looking for a laptop you can use when typing up your notes in class but that’s also powerful enough for gaming when you’re taking a break from your studies? In this case, you should consider getting the Asus ROG Zephyrus.

This laptop comes with a 1080p display, a refresh rate of 144 Hz, an Nvidia RTX 3060 Max-Q graphics chip, and an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS.

As a result, you get a lot of power, speed, and an impressive display. You can get 100+FPS in Esport titles and most games. So if you’re a gamer, this is a great choice.

Compared to other gaming computers, this is a great choice for students because it’s so easy to carry around.

It only weighs 3.6 pounds and has a thickness of 0.7 inches, and this combined with a powerful battery means you can use it for 5 to 6 hours before having to charge it again.

Whether you’re learning or gaming, this laptop is a great choice.

The Best Laptop for Animation and Film Students

If you’re planning on taking many animation or film classes, a great computer is the 16-inch Apple Macbook Pro from 2019. It has the power you’d expect from an Apple computer, and with its large screen, you can have a great display that includes slimmer bezels.

Additionally, the sound quality is impressive, because it has 6-speaker audio. This makes it useful if you’re creating any artistic projects that include sound.

This laptop also has impressive graphics and a powerful CPU. Its battery can last 11 hours, which blows its competitors out of the water in terms of battery life.

However, this laptop doesn’t have an SD slot or full-size USB slots, so if you need either of these, it’s best to go with another laptop.

Related Read: What Is a Capstone Project? All You Need to Know on College Capstones

Wrapping Up

We hope you’ve found the best student laptop for your budget and requirements!

As usual, if you have any questions, feedback, or further amazing college laptops to consider for our list, let us know below in the comments!

For more advice on everything related to college, check out Goodwall’s education section.

Thanks for reading!

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Goodwall Team
Written By Goodwall Team
This article was written by the Goodwall team or by a contributor for publication on Goodwall. Goodwall is dedicated to helping students, entrepreneurs, and young professionals reach their full potential. We'll share thought-provoking and supportive articles on career advice, self-improvement, navigating the college landscape, climate action, social impact, and more. On the business side, we'll talk about SMB subjects related to community, diversity, talent acquisition, case studies, and enterprise.

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