11 Best Laptops for College in 2024

By Steve Light | Updated March 24, 2024
Best Laptop for College

What is the Best Laptop for College?

Embarking on the academic journey, college students find themselves at a crucial crossroads where selecting the right technology can significantly influence their educational experience. In 2024, the quest for the best laptop for college transcends mere functionality; it’s about finding a technological companion that resonates with one’s academic and personal aspirations. The landscape of laptops for college students is as varied as their courses of study, making the choice of the perfect device both exciting and daunting. This comprehensive guide to the best laptops for college students in 2024 aims to demystify this choice, offering tailored recommendations for every academic endeavor.

Our exploration into the best laptop for college begins with understanding the unique demands of college life. Students require devices that are not only robust and efficient but also embody portability and style. Whether it’s for writing lengthy research papers, executing complex computational tasks, or unwinding with multimedia entertainment, the ideal laptop needs to be a versatile powerhouse. In this guide, we delve into laptops that offer this multifaceted functionality, ensuring that every college student finds their perfect match.

In a world where technology rapidly evolves, staying updated with the latest advancements is crucial. We’ve handpicked laptops for 2024’s college students that are on the cutting edge, equipped with features that cater to modern academic needs – long-lasting batteries, high-performance processing units, and designs that balance lightness with durability.

From the sleek and powerful Apple MacBook models to the versatile and budget-friendly Windows laptops, we’ve meticulously selected laptops that stand out in their respective categories. Each recommended laptop is evaluated not just on performance, but also on its ability to enhance the overall college experience, be it through superior connectivity, immersive displays, or ergonomic designs.

Furthermore, recognizing the diverse financial backgrounds of students, our guide encompasses options across various price points. We understand that the best laptop for college isn’t always the most expensive one; sometimes, an affordable yet efficient laptop can perfectly align with a student’s needs.

Our goal is to offer a spectrum of choices, from high-end to budget-friendly, ensuring every student finds a laptop that not only fits their budget but also fulfills their academic and personal needs. In curating this list of the best laptops for college in 2024, we’ve considered not only the technical specifications but also real-world usability and student feedback. This approach ensures that our recommendations are grounded in practicality and relevance.

As you peruse this guide, keep in mind that the ideal laptop for college should align with your personal and academic ambitions. Whether your path leads to the arts, engineering, business, or beyond, the right laptop can become a central tool in your educational journey. Let’s embark on this exploration together, uncovering the best laptops for college students in 2024, tailored to empower, inspire, and facilitate your academic success.

Here are my Best Laptops for College Students

1. Dell XPS 13

Overall the Best Laptop for College

1.Dell XPS 13

(Image credit: Dell)

Specifications:

Color: Platinum Silver, Frost

Screen Size: 13.4 inches

Storage: Up to 2TB SSD

RAM: Up to 32GB

Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i7

Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics

Dimensions & Weight: 295.7 x 198.7 x 14.8 mm (Width x Depth x Height) 1.27 kg

PROS

Ultralight and compact

Stunning 4K display

Powerful performance

Long battery life

CONS

Limited port variety

Premium price point

SCORE 9.6 / 10

Design

My top pick in our best laptop for college review is the the Dell XPS 13 which has an ultra-sleek look with top-tier functionality. Its body, presented in shades like Platinum Silver and Frost, radiates a professional elegance. The focal point, its 13.4-inch FHD+ display, gifts students with crystal-clear visuals, pivotal for both detailed academic tasks and multimedia pursuits. This laptop’s impressively light weight of just 1.27 kg is a nod to Dell’s mastery in crafting portably powerful machines.

The XPS 13’s build is sturdy, ready to take on the demanding college environment. Its compactness does not detract from its resilience, essential for students who are constantly on the go. The laptop’s fine details, from its responsive and cozy keyboard to its clean, minimalistic lines, transform it from a mere educational tool into a reflection of personal style.

Features

In the competitive world of the best laptops for college students, the Dell XPS 13 makes a strong impression with its array of features, defying the expectations set by its sleek frame. Equipped with the cutting-edge 11th Gen Intel Core processors, and with RAM options extending up to 32GB, the laptop is well-prepared to tackle a variety of demanding applications and multitasking challenges with ease. Its Intel Iris Xe Graphics ensure sharp and efficient graphic output, a must-have for tasks ranging from video editing to gaming.

The XPS 13 meets the modern student’s need for connectivity head-on, featuring Thunderbolt 4 ports that support rapid data transfer and facilitate a range of peripheral devices. Its storage capacity is generous, offering up to 2TB SSDs, meaning students have plenty of room for all their essential files and entertainment. Additionally, advanced Wi-Fi 6 technology in the XPS 13 ensures a stable and speedy connection, crucial for the increasingly online world of education.

Performance

The Dell XPS 13 is a formidable player in the performance department within the best laptop for college sphere. Its core, powered by the latest 11th Gen Intel Core processor and supported by up to 32GB of RAM, effortlessly manages diverse and demanding academic tasks. This level of performance is vital for students in need of a reliable device that can cope with everything from heavy research data to creative projects.

Battery life is a standout feature of the XPS 13, offering extended usability to cater to long days in college or marathon study sessions. Moreover, the laptop’s sophisticated thermal design ensures it remains cool even under high stress, maintaining peak performance consistently. This fusion of top-end processing capabilities, long-lasting battery, and durable build positions the XPS 13 as an unparalleled choice for students who demand a laptop that excels in all facets of their academic life.


2. Asus VivoBook 15

Best Budget Laptop

(Image credit: Asus)

Specifications:

Color: Slate Grey, Peacock Blue, Coral Crush, Transparent Silver

Screen Size: 15.6 inches

Storage: Up to 1TB SSD or HDD

RAM: Up to 16GB

Processor: Up to Intel Core i5

Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics

Dimensions & Weight: 360 x 235 x 19.9 mm (Width x Depth x Height) 1.75 kg

PROS

Affordable pricing

Lightweight and portable

Versatile color options

Ample storage capacity

CONS

Limited graphics performance

Average battery life

SCORE 9.4 / 10

Design

The Asus VivoBook 15 redefines the standard for budget laptops in the best laptop for college category. It showcases a modern and stylish design, available in an array of colors like Slate Grey and Peacock Blue, offering a personal touch for style-conscious students. The 15.6-inch Full HD display provides crisp and clear visuals, enhancing both academic work and entertainment. Weighing around 1.75 kg, the VivoBook 15 balances portability with a screen size that’s comfortable for extended use.

Despite its budget-friendly tag, the VivoBook 15 doesn’t skimp on build quality. Its sturdy construction is ready to handle the busy college lifestyle, making it a reliable companion for students. The laptop’s design is a blend of practicality and aesthetic appeal, proving that budget laptops can also be trendy and durable.

Features

The VivoBook emerges as a robust contender in the realm of best laptops for college students, particularly for those on a budget. It’s powered by up to an Intel Core i5 processor and can be equipped with up to 16GB RAM, providing enough power for most college tasks. While its Intel UHD Graphics may not support high-end gaming, they are more than adequate for everyday tasks and light multimedia use.

The laptop offers a variety of ports including USB 3.2 and HDMI, catering to external connectivity needs. With storage options going up to 1TB SSD or HDD, students won’t find themselves short on space for their academic files and multimedia content. The VivoBook 15 also includes a fast-charging feature, a handy addition for students with busy schedules.

Performance

In performance, the VivoBook holds a strong position as one of the best laptops for college students. Its latest Intel Core processors, coupled with up to 16GB of RAM, ensure that it can handle a range of academic software and multitasking without breaking a sweat. This is particularly commendable for a laptop in its price range.

The battery life is adequate, suitable for several hours of use, though it may require charging for heavy usage throughout the day. Its efficient cooling system is another plus, keeping the laptop at a comfortable temperature during use. The VivoBook 15 stands out as an excellent choice for students seeking a capable, affordable laptop that meets the demands of college life without stretching their budget.


3. Apple MacBook Air (M2)

Best Value MacBook

4. Apple MacBook Air (M2)

(Image credit: Apple)

Specifications:

Color: Space Gray, Silver, Starlight, Midnight

Screen Size: 13.6-inch 

Storage: Up to 2TB SSD

RAM: Up to 24GB

Processor: Apple M2 chip

Graphics: Integrated 8-core or 10-core GPU

Dimensions & Weight: 304.1 x 215 x 11.3 mm (Width x Depth x Height) 1.24 kg

PROS

Sleek and ultralight design

Impressive Liquid Retina display

Powerful M2 chip for creative software

Silent operation with efficient cooling

CONS

Limited port variety

No Face ID authentication

More expensive than some competitors

SCORE 9.2 / 10

Design

The Apple MacBook Air (M2) is a standout laptop for creative students, blending Apple’s signature sleek aesthetics with cutting-edge technology. Available in a range of colors including Space Gray, Silver, Starlight, and Midnight, it offers personalization to match any style. The 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display is a highlight, providing vibrant colors and sharp details, essential for creative work like graphic design and video editing. Weighing only 1.24 kg, the MacBook Air is incredibly portable, making it a breeze for students to carry around campus.

The MacBook Air’s build is not just about good looks; it’s solid and reliable, designed to withstand the daily demands of a student’s life. Its fanless design ensures silent operation, which is a significant advantage in quiet study environments.

Features

With a lower price point when compared to the MacBook Pro in our best laptop college lineup, the MacBook Air with the M2 chip excels in the features category, as you would expect from an Apple device. The new M2 chip provides a substantial boost in performance, making it capable of handling demanding creative software with ease. The integrated 8-core or 10-core GPU ensures smooth graphics rendering, a plus for creative tasks.

While the MacBook Air does have limited port options, necessitating the use of adapters for some peripherals, its Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports provide high-speed connectivity. Additionally, advanced Wi-Fi 6 ensures fast and reliable internet access for online research and cloud-based creative work.

Performance

The performance of the MacBook Air solidifies its position as a great laptop for creative students. The M2 chip’s efficiency and power are noticeable in everyday use, from multitasking to running graphic-intensive applications. The battery life is another strong point, offering extended use that can easily last through a day of classes and creative projects. 

While the MacBook Air may come at a higher price point compared to some of its competitors, its blend of performance, display quality, and portability makes it an excellent investment for students in creative fields. The MacBook Air’s combination of a high-quality display, powerful internals, and lightweight design makes it one of the best laptops for college students pursuing creative disciplines, seeking a device that can facilitate their artistic expression and academic pursuits.


4. Apple MacBook Pro 16 (M2)

Best Premium Laptop

5. Apple MacBook Pro 16 (M2)

(Image credit: Apple)

Specifications:

Color: Space Gray, Silver

Screen Size: 16 inches 

Storage: Up to 8TB SSD

RAM: Up to 64GB

Processor: Apple M2 Pro or M2 Max

Graphics: Integrated Apple GPU (varies with M2 Pro or M2 Max)

Dimensions & Weight: 355.7 x 248.1 x 16.8 mm (Width x Depth x Height) 2.1 kg

PROS

Exceptional processing power

Stunning Liquid Retina XDR display

Vast storage options

Superior build quality

CONS

High price point

Limited port variety compared to PCs

SCORE 9.0 / 10

Design

The Apple MacBook Pro 16 is my premium pick in our best laptop for college review. Sporting Space Gray or Silver finishes, it radiates a professional and sleek appeal. The standout feature is undoubtedly its 16-inch Liquid Retina XDR display, providing unparalleled visual clarity and color accuracy, beneficial for a wide range of academic and creative endeavors. Weighing 2.1 kg, it’s impressively portable for its size.

The MacBook Pro 16’s build quality is exceptional, resonating with Apple’s reputation for precision and durability. It’s designed to meet the demands of a rigorous college schedule, from long study sessions to multimedia projects. The balance between its aesthetic allure and robust construction makes it not only a powerful computing tool but also a symbol of sophistication and high-end technology.

Features

For students looking for a top-tier premium model, the MacBook Pro confidently secures its position as the best laptop for college with a stunning array of features. Powered by either the M2 Pro or M2 Max chip, it offers extraordinary processing capabilities, handling everything from complex simulations to video editing with ease. The integrated Apple GPU, tailored to each chip variant, delivers exceptional graphics performance.

The MacBook shines in terms of memory and storage, offering up to 64GB of RAM and an impressive 8TB SSD, ensuring that storage and speed are never issues. Though it has fewer ports than some PC counterparts, the available ones, including Thunderbolt 4, provide high-speed connectivity and data transfer. The inclusion of advanced Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enhances its connectivity, making it ideal for collaborative academic work.

Performance

Performance-wise, the MacBook Pro 16 is in a league of its own, solidifying its status as the best premium laptop for college. Whether you opt for the M2 Pro or M2 Max, you’re guaranteed a level of performance that can effortlessly handle demanding college tasks. This is particularly crucial for students in fields like digital arts, engineering, or computer science, where computational power is key.

Its battery life is exceptional, allowing for extended use without the need for frequent charging. Apple’s advanced thermal architecture ensures that the MacBook Pro 16 maintains consistent, high-level performance without overheating, a critical aspect during intensive tasks. This blend of extraordinary processing strength, stunning display, and enduring battery life makes the MacBook Pro 16 one of the best laptops for college students who seek unrivaled performance and quality in their academic journey.


5. Dell XPS 15

Best MacBook Alternative

6. Dell XPS 15

(Image credit: Dell)

Specifications:

Color: Platinum Silver 

Screen Size: 15.6-inch 

Storage: Up to 2TB SSD

RAM: Up to 64GB

Processor: Up to 11th Gen Intel Core i9

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti

Dimensions & Weight: 345 x 230 x 18 mm (Width x Depth x Height) 1.8 kg

PROS

Exceptional 4K display quality

Robust processing and graphics performance

Premium build and sleek design

High-quality audio system

CONS

Higher price point

Heavier than other ultrabooks

Battery life can be average with 4K display

SCORE 8.8 / 10

Design

The Dell XPS 15 cements its status as our top MacBook alternative pick for college, combining elegant aesthetics with formidable functionality. Adorned in Platinum Silver with a black carbon fiber palm rest, it radiates a luxurious and professional vibe. Its 15.6-inch 4K UHD+ InfinityEdge touch display is a key highlight, rendering vibrant and sharp visuals that elevate a range of activities, from intricate video editing to casual note-taking. At around 1.8 kg, the XPS 15 finds a sweet spot between offering a substantial screen and being manageable to carry around, a crucial factor for students on the move.

The craftsmanship of the XPS 15 is notable, with Dell employing high-quality materials to ensure resilience and longevity. This laptop isn’t just a powerhouse; its elegant yet sturdy design makes it a perfect companion for students who want their technology to be both a reliable work tool and a style statement.

Features

With its array of impressive capabilities, the XPS 15 shines in our best laptop for college review and is a great alternative to the MacBook. Equipped with up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i9 processor and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, it adeptly handles a spectrum of tasks from demanding computational assignments to creative ventures.

Despite being a tad heavier compared to some ultrabooks, the XPS 15 compensates with a comprehensive set of ports including Thunderbolt 4, USB-C, and an SD card reader, broadening its usability. The superior audio quality provided by its high-fidelity speakers enhances both study sessions and relaxation time. Furthermore, the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 means students benefit from quick and stable internet connectivity, crucial for their studies.

Performance

The Dell XPS 15 distinguishes itself in performance, solidifying its role as a leading MacBook alternative for college-goers. The combination of a top-tier processor and options for substantial RAM ensures seamless multitasking and smooth operation across diverse and demanding applications. While the battery life is generally adequate, the consumption by the 4K display might necessitate more frequent charging during intensive use. Nonetheless, the laptop’s efficient cooling system admirably maintains operational stability and comfort.

Overall, The Dell XPS 15 emerges as an exceptional choice for students looking for the best laptop for college that excels in both academic and creative realms, offering a harmonious blend of powerful specs, a stunning visual experience, and durable construction.


6. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10

Best Mid-Range Laptop

8. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Specifications:

Color: Classic Black

Screen Size: 14-inch 

Storage: Up to 2TB SSD

RAM: Up to 32GB

Processor: Up to 12th Gen Intel Core i7

Graphics: Integrated Intel Iris Xe

Dimensions & Weight: 315.6 x 222.5 x 14.9 mm (Width x Depth x Height) 1.13 kg

PROS

Ultra-lightweight and durable

Exceptional display quality

Powerful processing capabilities

Excellent keyboard and trackpad

CONS

Fewer USB-A Ports

Limited gaming performance

SCORE 8.6 / 10

Design

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 truly excels as the best laptop for college in the midrange category, striking an ideal balance between enduring build and sleek aesthetics. Its Classic Black hue imparts a sense of professional sophistication. The 14-inch display, with options extending to 4K UHD, offers vivid and immersive visuals, enhancing both study sessions and downtime. Weighing only 1.13 kg, its portability is a standout feature, perfectly suited for students who navigate across campus regularly.

What impresses about the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is its robust construction. Lenovo has evidently prioritized both strength and style, ensuring that the laptop can withstand the daily challenges of college life. While its slim form is attractive, it’s the laptop’s resilience and reliability that truly make it an ideal companion for students, seamlessly fitting into their active and varied lifestyles.

Features

In the competitive world of our best laptop for college review, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon makes a significant impact. It’s powered by up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and complemented by Intel Iris Xe Graphics, adeptly handling a range of tasks from intensive research to creative projects.

Renowned for its keyboard and trackpad quality, this model continues to deliver an exceptional typing experience, vital for extensive note-taking and writing. The range of ports, including USB-C, Thunderbolt, and HDMI, addresses all the connectivity needs a student might have. Additionally, with advanced Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth, staying connected is effortless and reliable.

Performance

The performance of the Lenovo firmly positions it as a top midrange laptop, it’s equipped with the latest Intel Core i7 processor and offers up to 32GB of RAM, translating into smooth multitasking and efficient handling of various applications. This level of performance is particularly beneficial for students who juggle multiple tasks and require a laptop that can keep up without any lag.The laptop’s battery life stands out, supporting extended hours of use, essential for students who spend long hours in classes or working on projects.

Additionally, Lenovo’s effective thermal management ensures that the laptop remains cool, providing consistent performance even under demanding use. The blend of potent processing abilities, enduring battery life, and a lightweight yet durable build makes the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 one of the best laptops for college students seeking a reliable and powerful laptop without venturing into the high-end price bracket.


7. HP Envy 17

Best Large Screen Laptop

3. HP Envy 17

(Image credit: HP)

Specifications:

Color: Silver

Screen Size: 17.3 inches

Storage: Up to 1TB SSD

RAM: Up to 16GB

Processor: Up to 11th Gen Intel Core i7

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX450

Dimensions & Weight: 398.78 x 259.08 x 19.3 mm (Width x Depth x Height) 2.73 kg

PROS

Expansive 17-inch display

High-performance graphics

Premium build quality

Robust processing power

CONS

Heavier than smaller laptops

Higher price point

SCORE 8.4 / 10

Design

The HP Envy 17 truly shines as the best laptop for college in the large screen category. Its Natural Silver finish gives it an air of sophistication that appeals to any student looking for style and substance. What sets this laptop apart is its 17.3-inch screen, a delight for those seeking more screen real estate. Available in both Full HD and 4K UHD options, it caters to a range of needs from detailed academic work to rich multimedia experiences. Weighing 2.73 kg, it’s understandably heavier, but that’s a small compromise for the expansive display it offers.

The build quality of the Envy 17 is noteworthy. It’s sturdy enough to handle the hustle of college life, yet it doesn’t feel cumbersome. The thoughtfully designed chassis, spacious keyboard, and large touchpad all speak to HP’s focus on user experience, blending a premium feel with practical design choices.

Features

The Envy 17 stands as a formidable contender among the best laptops for college students, especially for those who favor a larger screen. It packs a punch with an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce MX450 graphics, offering ample power for a range of demanding tasks, from graphic design to complex simulations.

In terms of connectivity, the Envy 17 excels. With a suite of ports including USB-C and HDMI, it’s equipped to handle all sorts of external connections, from hard drives to additional monitors. 

The 1TB SSD storage is a boon, ensuring students have plenty of space for their projects and entertainment. Fast Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 round out its impressive feature set, keeping students connected seamlessly.

Performance

In performance, the Envy 17 doesn’t just meet but exceeds expectations. Its high-end Intel Core i7 processor, alongside 16GB of RAM, handles multitasking and demanding applications with ease. This laptop is particularly suited for students in graphically intensive fields, thanks to its dedicated NVIDIA graphics card.

While it’s larger and heftier, the battery life remains impressive, allowing students to work on lengthy projects without constant recharging. HP’s focus on efficient thermal management also pays off, ensuring the Envy 17 stays cool and performs well even during long, intensive work sessions. The combination of its powerful internals, expansive display, and reliable performance makes the HP Envy 17 one of the best laptops for college students who require a more substantial working space and robust capabilities for their college endeavors.


8. LG Gram 14

Best Laptop for Portability

9. LG Gram 14

(Image credit: LG)

Specifications:

Color: White, Black, Silver

Screen Size: 14-inch 

Storage: Up to 1TB SSD

RAM: Up to 32GB

Processor: Up to 13th Gen Intel Core i7

Graphics: Integrated Intel Iris Xe

Dimensions & Weight: 313.4 x 215.2 x 16.8 mm (Width x Depth x Height) 0.999 kg

PROS

Ultra-lightweight design

Strong battery life

Crisp Full HD display

Excellent build quality

CONS

Limited graphics capabilities

No dedicated numeric keypad

Moderate speaker quality

SCORE 8.2 / 10

Design

Next in our best laptop for college review is the LG Gram 14, which stands out as a great option for students where portability is a must. Available in elegant color options like White, Black, and Silver, it strikes a perfect balance between style and practicality. The 14-inch Full HD IPS display is a highlight, offering crisp and clear visuals that enhance both academic work and entertainment. At just under a kilogram (999 grams), the LG Gram 14 redefines portability, making it an ideal choice for students who are constantly on the move.

The build quality of the LG Gram 14 is impressive, boasting a sturdy yet lightweight design. This makes it not only easy to carry around campus but also durable enough to handle the daily rigors of student life. Its sleek form factor doesn’t compromise on functionality, offering a comfortable keyboard and responsive touchpad.

Features

In the competitive category of best laptops for college students, the Gram 14 shines with its feature set tailored for portability without sacrificing performance. Equipped with up to an 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics, it delivers reliable performance for all standard academic needs.

The laptop’s connectivity options include USB-C, HDMI, and more, covering a wide range of external device requirements. With up to 1TB SSD, storage space is plentiful, ensuring students have ample room for all their files and multimedia. The inclusion of advanced Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities further enhances its usability for academic purposes.

Performance

Despite being 9th on our best laptop for college list, the LG impresses in the performance department and with its latest Intel processor, coupled with up to 32GB of RAM, ensures efficient multitasking and smooth operation across various applications. The standout feature of the LG Gram 14 is undoubtedly its battery life, offering long hours of usage, which is essential for students who spend their day across different locations. 

While its lightweight design is a huge plus, it means the laptop has moderate speaker quality and limited graphics performance, which are trade-offs for its ultraportable nature. Nonetheless, the LG Gram 14’s combination of lightweight design, robust performance, and long battery life makes it an outstanding choice for college students who prioritize mobility in their laptop selection.


9. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

Best Windows Laptop

9. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Specifications:

Color: Platinum, Matte Black, Sandstone, Ice Blue

Screen Size: 13.5-inch 

Storage: Up to 1TB SSD

RAM: Up to 32GB

Processor: Up to 11th Gen Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7

Graphics: Intel Iris Xe or AMD Radeon Graphics

Dimensions & Weight: 308 x 223 x 14.5 mm (Width x Depth x Height) 1.31 kg

PROS

Sleek and elegant design

High-quality PixelSense display

Excellent performance for academic tasks

Comfortable keyboard and touchpad

CONS

Premium pricing for higher configurations

Limited port selection

No dedicated graphics option

SCORE 8.0 / 10

Design

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 truly shines as one of the best laptops for college students looking for seamless Windows integration, marrying elegance with practicality in its design. Offered in a variety of colors including Platinum, Matte Black, Sandstone, and Ice Blue, it allows students to express their personal style. The laptop’s PixelSense Display, available in both 13.5-inch and 15-inch models, stands out for its vivid clarity and detailed visuals, perfect for academic use and media enjoyment.

At a weight of just 1.31 kg for the 13.5-inch version, it masterfully blends portability with a high-quality feel. The Surface Laptop 4’s construction is robust, reflecting Microsoft’s dedication to creating long-lasting products. Its slim and streamlined profile is ideal for students seeking a laptop that’s as stylish as it is functional. The design thoughtfully caters to the needs of modern students, providing a durable yet fashionable device that’s easy to carry around campus.

Features

In the realm of the best laptops for college students, the Surface Laptop 4 particularly stands out for Windows enthusiasts. It offers the latest 11th Gen Intel Core processors or AMD Ryzen 7 options, along with Intel Iris Xe or AMD Radeon graphics, delivering reliable and smooth performance for various academic tasks.

The laptop is equipped with a responsive keyboard and touchpad, ensuring comfortable and efficient typing for long assignments or projects. While the port selection is somewhat limited, it covers essential needs with USB-C, USB-A, and Surface Connect for charging. The inclusion of advanced Wi-Fi 6 support is a significant plus, providing fast and stable internet connectivity, essential for online classes and research.

Performance

The Microsoft excels in performance, making it a worthy addition to our best laptop for college list. Equipped with either an Intel or AMD processor, it adeptly handles multitasking and specific software requirements, catering well to a variety of academic needs. While the laptop performs well in most scenarios, one area where it could see improvement is in battery life, particularly for students who use their devices intensively throughout the day. 

Additionally, the absence of a dedicated graphics card may limit its appeal for tasks that require advanced graphics processing. Nevertheless, for everyday academic requirements, the Surface Laptop 4 offers more than adequate performance. Its blend of sleek design, effective performance, and the versatility of Windows makes it a highly desirable laptop for college students seeking a device that is both reliable and stylish.


10. Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Best 2-in-1 Laptop

7. Microsoft Surface Pro 8

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Specifications:

Color: Platinum, Matte Black

Screen Size: 13-inch 

Storage: Up to 1TB SSD

RAM: Up to 32GB

Processor: Up to 11th Gen Intel Core i7

Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics

Dimensions & Weight: 287 x 208 x 9.3 mm (Width x Depth x Height) 0.891 kg

PROS

Versatile 2-in-1 design

High-resolution touch display

Lightweight and portable

Strong performance for size

CONS

Higher cost for top configurations

Keyboard sold separately

SCORE 7.8 / 10

Design

The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 revolutionizes the concept of a 2-in-1 device in the best laptop for college category. Its sleek form factor, available in Platinum and Matte Black, brings a professional yet contemporary touch. The 13-inch PixelSense Flow Display is a game-changer, offering bright and engaging visuals that are ideal for everything from detailed academic work to relaxing with media. Its weight, an impressive 891 grams, makes it a dream for students who are constantly moving, easily transitioning from the classroom to the coffee shop.

The Surface Pro 8 stands out for its robust build quality, which doesn’t sacrifice style for durability. Its versatility, evident in the smooth transition between laptop and tablet modes and compatibility with the detachable keyboard and Surface Pen, makes it an incredibly adaptable tool. This isn’t just a laptop; it’s a device that adapts to the dynamic needs and styles of modern students.

Features

In the realm of the best laptops for college students, the Surface Pro 8 commands attention, particularly for those in search of a versatile 2-in-1 device. Under the hood, it packs a punch with up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and Intel Iris Xe Graphics, ensuring it can tackle a broad spectrum of college tasks, from intensive research to creative endeavors.

Connectivity is a strong point for the Surface Pro 8, offering USB-C and Thunderbolt ports for quick data transfer and seamless connections to various external devices. It doesn’t fall short on storage either, boasting up to 1TB SSD, ample room for all sorts of academic documents and media files. The integration of Wi-Fi 6 is a nod to the necessity of reliable internet in today’s academic environment.

Performance

Performance is where the Surface Pro 8 truly shines, cementing its position as the best laptop for college in the 2-in-1 category. Equipped with a top-tier Intel Core i7 processor and the option for up to 32GB of RAM, it effortlessly handles multitasking and complex software, a must-have for the diverse needs of college students.The battery life of the Surface Pro stands out, supporting intensive use throughout a busy college day.

Additionally, its efficient cooling system ensures that the device stays cool, maintaining consistent performance during those long study sessions or creative projects. The blend of a flexible, convertible design, robust processing power, and enduring battery life positions the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 as an exceptional choice for students who require a laptop that’s as adaptable and powerful as their educational journey.


11. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Best Gaming Laptop

11. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

(Image credit: Asus)

Specifications:

Color: Eclipse Gray, Moonlight White

Screen Size: 14-inch 

Storage: Up to 1TB NVMe SSD

RAM: Up to 32GB DDR4

Processor: AMD Ryzen 9

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060

Dimensions & Weight: 324 x 222 x 19.9 mm (Width x Depth x Height) 1.6 kg

PROS

Compact and lightweight for a gaming laptop

Powerful AMD Ryzen processor and NVIDIA graphics

High refresh rate display for smooth gaming

Good battery life for a gaming device

CONS

Fans can be noisy under load

Limited port selection

No built-in webcam

SCORE 7.6 / 10

Design

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 excels as the best laptop for college gamers, offering a perfect mix of gaming power and portability. Available in Eclipse Gray and Moonlight White, it brings gaming aesthetics with a touch of sophistication. The 14-inch display, with options for Full HD or WQHD and a high refresh rate of 120Hz, provides crisp and fluid visuals, crucial for both gaming and academic tasks. Its weight at just 1.6 kg is remarkably light for a gaming laptop, making it easy for students to carry around campus.

The Zephyrus G14’s build is solid yet sleek, indicative of ASUS’s focus on making gaming laptops more versatile and student-friendly. Despite its gaming pedigree, the laptop maintains a surprisingly subtle and classy design, making it suitable for both lecture halls and gaming sessions.

Features

In the landscape of the best laptops for college students who are gaming enthusiasts, the ROG Zephyrus G14 stands out. It’s powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, packing a significant punch for gaming, content creation, and other intensive applications.

While the laptop lacks a built-in webcam, a feature that some students might miss, its high refresh rate display and quality audio system make up for it, providing an immersive gaming and multimedia experience. The laptop also includes essential connectivity options, though the port selection might feel limited to some users.

Performance

The Zephyrus G14 shines in performance, securing its spot as the top gaming choice in our best laptop for college lineup. The AMD Ryzen processor and NVIDIA RTX graphics ensure it can handle the latest games and demanding software with ease.

The battery life is impressive for a gaming laptop, offering extended usage for both play and study. One trade-off is the fan noise, which can become noticeable during heavy gaming or demanding tasks. 

Nevertheless, its performance, combined with a high refresh rate screen and portable design, makes the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 an excellent choice for students who want a laptop that can seamlessly transition from academic use to gaming and entertainment.


FAQ

Q: What is the best laptop for college in 2024?

A: Finding the best laptop for college in 2024 depends on individual preferences and needs. The Dell XPS 13 shines for its all-around excellence. For those in creative fields, the Apple MacBook Air (M2) is a fantastic choice, while gaming enthusiasts will appreciate the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. Those on a budget can look towards the Asus VivoBook 15 for a balance of cost and quality.

Q: How important is battery life for a college laptop?

A: Long battery life is essential for college students, providing the freedom to work for extended periods without being tethered to a charging point, especially crucial during long classes or study sessions in places where power outlets might not be readily available.

Q: Can these laptops handle demanding software for courses like engineering or graphic design?

A: Certainly. Models like the Dell XPS 15 and the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (M2) are especially equipped for demanding tasks. Their advanced processors and superior graphics capabilities make them ideal for software-intensive courses.

Q: What should I consider when choosing a laptop for college?

A: Key factors to consider include the laptop’s performance capabilities, battery life, portability, and how well it aligns with your specific academic requirements. Also, think about whether you prefer Windows or macOS, the screen size you’re comfortable with, and your budget constraints.

Q: Is a 2-in-1 laptop a good option for college students?

A: Definitely. A 2-in-1 laptop, like the Microsoft Surface Pro 8, offers the best of both worlds with the versatility of a tablet and the functionality of a laptop, ideal for students who value flexibility in their devices.

Q: Can these laptops handle multimedia tasks like video editing or graphic design?

A: Yes, several laptops in this list are well-equipped for multimedia tasks. For instance, the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (M2) and the Dell XPS 15 provide impressive graphics performance and high-resolution displays, making them suitable for video editing, graphic design, and other creative work.


Summary

Selecting the best laptop for college in 2024 involves considering a blend of performance, battery life, and specific academic needs. This guide has highlighted top choices like the Dell XPS 13 for overall excellence, the Apple MacBook Air (M2) for creative students, and the Asus VivoBook 15 for those seeking a budget-friendly option. Each laptop brings its unique strengths to the table, whether it’s in performance, versatility, or specialized features for gaming or creative work.

Remember, the best laptop for college is one that aligns with your personal and educational goals. Whether you’re studying graphic design, engineering, or liberal arts, there’s a laptop here that can support your academic journey while also fitting into your lifestyle. With the right laptop, you can efficiently tackle academic challenges, unleash your creativity, and enjoy a seamless learning experience.

Further Reading on TechTroveReviews.com: Check out our complete list of laptop articles.

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