Every student has different needs and requirements for a laptop. Some may need a quickly booting notebook for their basic school tasks while others will sacrifice the all-day battery for more muscle under laptop’s lid. But even with this wide range of demands some laptops shine through as being more suited for fellow students than the rest. I split laptops in 3 groups: budget, portable laptops and gaming machines. No matter if you’re a high school freshman or a senior – you’ll find a great option here.
Best budget laptop for a student
Toshiba Chromebook 2Great for all basic tasks
- A stunningly bright screen
- Great value for money
- Well built keyboard and trackpad
Chromebooks is where it’s at. They boot up quickly while offering unmatched battery times. Even if laptop’s platform was born in web era – it still can get stuff done off the net. Just remember that they do not offer much in gaming department (but that might be a plus for some parents). And this Chromebook is the best at its price point.
HP Stream 13A Chromebook, but with Windows
- Long lasting battery
- Colorful design
- Bundled with Microsoft Office
So you like the idea of a Chromebook, but you’re afraid of being limited to Google’s platform. I get you. You would like to get a Chromebook, but you don’t want to sacrifice the vast selection of software that Windows offers. Then HP Stream is the right choice for you. It might not have all the benefits of a Toshiba, but hey, it still has what matters the most. It still boots up rather fast, has good battery life and doesn’t break the bank. What is more, it comes with full version of Microsoft Office 365 Personal! I can point out one drawback though – poorly lit screen. But until you’re inside that’s completely justified.
Best portable laptop for high school students
Microsoft Surface 3Was it designed by a student?
- Can be used as a tablet
- Has many use cases for students
- Crisp and clear screen
This laptop/tablet combo is Microsoft’s best attempt to merge both devices into one yet. And I’ve got to say they did an amazing job. Especially for a student. It introduces many new interactions and features that I wasn’t even aware of. Here’s a student guide illustrating just that:
Note: you should get Surface pen for a truly good student experience.
Apple MacBook Pro 13.3-inchThe best Macbook from Apple yet
- Retina Display
- Superb battery life
- Great trackpad (+ Force Click)
The best option for all Apple fans right now. It features all the things we love Apple for: superb battery life, sleek and stylish design and top of class screen. In this release they updated their already-best trackpad by introducing Force Click. It is designed to make looking up dictionaries and Wikipedia almost instantaneous. It is a great laptop if you already have other Apple gadgets and want to round off your devices with the latest MacBook.
Asus Zenbook UX305The best affordable ultrabook
- Balanced performance
- Vibrant and glare free screen
- Excellent keyboard and trackpad
Asus did it again. They seem to be one of the few companies to have cracked the code on what makes a laptop great. This Zenbook makes so little noise that it can even be too quiet – it’s speakers will not fill up the room. It has no bells and whistles and it doesn’t need them. It is simply a very well-rounded machine. It even got me into a mood to write a haiku:
No fans so no noise
No glares bouncing off the screen
Best laptop for high school and gaming
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black EditionA lightweight laptop with a lot of power
- Great performance
- Rich sounding speakers
- Balance between performance and mobility
Powerful processor? Check. Great graphics card with lots of storage? Check. Is it Christmas already? Apparently, yes. It offers a lot of performance per dollar and packs it all really tight. This 1000$-machine has an Intel Core i7-4720HQ processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M graphics card and 1TB of storage. You can pay extra for more RAM and an SSD. You can even add more RAM layer, when you’ll feel like it – that’s what I did.
But even some of the best have their problems. Here’s few things you need to consider before buying:
- it has almost all ports on one side which might introduce slight buzzing to your external speakers while laptop is charging
- some customers complained about wi-fi reception
- long gaming session can overheat the laptop – fans might need cleaning ~once a year
Apart from that, you can’t get anything more powerful and this lightweight under 1000$.
Asus ROG GL551Gaming rig in disguise
So you need good laptop for studying and gaming and you are willing to spend a bit extra for a more powerful machine? Get Asus ROG GL551 (what a catchy name! -.-). It can be a beastly gaming rig during the night and a silent classroom laptop during the day.
Due to Optimus Technology, it switches off it’s noisy and power-hungry video card when it is not needed.
I hope you’re Asus did not wrote “gaming rig” all over it with harsh edges and blinding LED lights. It can be respected how it maintains a sleek minimalist look as its more domesticated “cousins”. Despite that, no one will be fooled. Anyone who’ll get close will be able to tell it is not your regular-type of laptop. If you’re searching for a student/gamer balance, what more could you ask?
Don’t forget to check out the guide on choosing a laptop for college using our interactive homepage.