best-student-laptop

The 11 best student laptops for 2024

Published Feb 26, 2024 - The ideal student laptop will be lightweight with a long battery life for all those days you’ll spend on campus. You should also look for a keyboard that offers a comfortable typing experience, along with a processor and operating system that will keep up with your daily tasks.

Whether you’re writing papers, conducting research, or —  let’s be honest — streaming Netflix, you need a student laptop that works for you when you head back to school

But how does someone pick a laptop that’s supposed to get them through the next four years? And what makes a laptop suitable for a student?

Here are a few specs students look for: 

  • A screen between 11 and 16 inches

  • Strong battery capacity 

  • A comfortable keyboard

  • Laptop memory and processor (Intel® Core™ i3 with 4 GB of RAM is enough for most students)

  • Faster SSD-type hard drive (128 GB or 256 GB)

Still need some student-friendly tech guidance? We’re happy to help. Keep reading to discover our comprehensive list of the best student laptops to find one that will get you through those fun college years.

1. Acer Chromebook Spin 11

acer-chromebook-spin-11

Rating: 4.9 stars, 8 reviews on backmarket.com

Price: Starting at $62.99* 

If you’re a student looking for a laptop that’s extremely affordable, lightweight, and easy to navigate, the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is the way to go. This touch-screen Chromebook is ideal for a student who will be taking notes, conducting internet-based research, attending online classes and using their web browser for all of their tasks. 

Since Chromebooks run on an internet-based operating system, it’s important to note that this laptop does not run offline programs such as Microsoft Office, so you must use Google Workspace or another web-based alternative.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and compact 

  • Extremely fast boot-up time

  • Built-in virus protection

Cons: 

  • Doesn’t support Microsoft and other desktop applications

  • Heavily reliant on Wi -Fi connection

Screen size

11 inches

Memory

4GB

Processor 

Celeron N3350

Storage

SSD - 32GB

Operating system

ChromeOS

2. HP EliteBook 830 G7

hp-elitebook-830-G7

Rating: 4.7 stars, 28 reviews on backmarket.com

Price: Starting at $399.99* 

Most students will find everything they need within the HP EliteBook 830 G7. While this is a fairly lightweight and portable laptop, it still has sleek features and boasts more USB ports than you’d see on most laptops of this size. Another notable perk of this laptop is its durability. It can withstand plenty of daily wear and tear without showing much damage, which you’ll definitely want when you’re running late to classes with your laptop bouncing around in your backpack.

Pros: 

  • High screen quality 

  • Multiple USB ports + HDMI connection 

  • Comfortable keyboard

Cons: 

  • Slightly below-average CPU performance 

  • Not ideal for power users like gamers, programmers or graphic designers

Screen size

13 inches

Memory

32GB

Processor 

Intel® Core™ i7

Storage

SSD - 256GB

Operating system

Windows

3. Apple MacBook Air M2 13”

macbook-air-m2

Rating: 4.6 stars, 36 reviews on backmarket.com

Price: Starting at $923.91* 

If you’re a fan of Apple products but want something lightweight and thin (trust us, your shoulders and back will thank you), you can’t go wrong with a MacBook Air. This is the smallest and most compact laptop that Apple offers. But don’t underestimate it due to its size. This specific model has one of the newest and fastest processors on this list. Even if you’re a power user, this MacBook Air is likely to keep up with the many demands of your classes and more.

Pros: 

  • Upgraded processor 

  • Lightweight and slim design

  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • One of the highest price tags on this list

  • No HDMI port

Screen size

13.3 inches

Memory

8GB

Processor 

Apple M2 8-Core™

Storage

SSD - 256GB

Operating system

MacOS

4. Dell Latitude 7490

dell-latitiude-7490

Rating: 4.6 stars, 17 reviews on backmarket.com

Price: Starting at $269.98* 

Students and business professionals like this laptop for dozens of reasons, but most notably, its speed, comfortable typing experience and battery life that lasts through an eight-hour day. If you’re planning to spend long days on campus between classes (not to mention all the homework you’ll be doing in the library), the Dell Latitude 7490 is more than capable for the average student.

Pros: 

  • Comfortable keyboard

  • Above average speakers

Cons: 

  • Subpar screen brightness

  • Reports of overheating

Screen size

15 inches

Memory

16GB

Processor 

Intel® Core™ i5

Storage

SSD - 512GB

Operating system

Windows

5. Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 Laptop

dell-inspiron-14-2-in-1

Rating: 4.5 stars, 2917 reviews on dell.com

Price: $729.99

If you’re a chronic multitasker, you will love the duality of a 2-in-1 laptop. This device features a comfy keyboard but turns into a tablet with one quick flip. For a 2-in-1 laptop, this one starts at a fairly affordable price and offers plenty of power for the average student. When it comes to the battery life, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at its ability to keep up with your busy school days without needing a charge.

Pros: 

  • Affordable for a 2-in-1 laptop 

  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • Underwhelming display 

  • Reports of a stiff touchpad 

Screen size

14 inches

Memory

8GB

Processor 

Intel® Core™ i5

Storage

SSD - 512GB

Operating system

Windows

6. Apple MacBook Pro Retina 16”

macbook-pro-retina

Rating: 4.5 stars, 163 reviews on backmarket.com

Price: Starting at $658.62* 

For our Mac lovers who want a stunning display, amazing sound quality and ergonomic keyboard buttons, a 16-inch MacBook Pro might be worth the splurge. This MacBook also features the Mac Touch Bar instead of the function row. The Touch Bar is an intuitive approach to offering a customized function experience within different programs and applications. With the addition of the advanced processor, this MacBook has everything a student needs and then some.

Pros: 

  • Impressive sound quality 

  • Comfortable keyboard 

  • Long-lasting battery

  • Innovative touch bar

Cons:

  • One of the heavier models on this list 

  • No USB or HDMI ports/USB-C ports only

Screen size

16 inches

Memory

16GB

Processor 

Intel® Core™ i7

Storage

SSD - 512GB

Operating system

MacOS

7. MSi GF63 Thin

msi-gf63-thin

Rating: 4.4 stars, 2,300 reviews on amazon.com

Price: $699

Just because you’re a student doesn’t mean you should give up your love of gaming. That’s why the MSi GF63 Thin is a great option for diligently studying students who like to wind down with a round of Counter-Strike — but only when their homework is done, right? This laptop is renowned for its simple gaming performance while also maintaining a thin and lightweight build.

Pros: 

  • Lightweight, especially for a gaming-compatible laptop

  • Inexpensive

Cons: 

  • Lower-end gaming laptop

  • Reports of an uncomfortable keyboard 

  • Less than impressive screen quality

Screen size

15.6 inches

Memory

16GB

Processor 

Intel® Core™ i5

Storage

SSD - 512GB

Operating system

Windows

8. ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED

asus-zenbook-14-oled

Rating: 4.3 stars, 382 reviews on asus.com

Price: $1,299  

If you’re a Windows loyalist in need of a powerhouse laptop, you really can’t go wrong with the ASUS Zenbook 14, featuring a stunning OLED touchscreen. It has an advanced processor that's sure to keep up with even the heaviest workloads and has one of the most impressive batteries you’ll find on the market — a whopping 15 or more hours. With a battery life like that, this laptop is sure to get you through those late nights spent writing papers you should have started weeks ago.

Pros: 

  • Stunning display

  • Plenty of USB and other ports

  • Long battery life

Cons: 

  • Heavier laptop than most

  • Unimaginative design

Screen size

14 inches

Memory

32GB

Processor 

Intel® Core™ Ultra 7

Storage

SSD - 1TB

Operating system

Windows

9. Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5

lenovo-chromebook-duet-5

Rating: 4.3 stars, 157 reviews on lenovo.com

Price: $499

This 2-in-1 laptop is reminiscent of the Microsoft Surface Tablet in that it acts like a laptop, but it’s as portable as a tablet. Since this is a Chromebook, it can only run web-based programs, so it’s ideal for a student who requires a laptop solely for online assignments. This touchscreen is also compatible with a stylus for effortless navigation and taking digital notes by hand, but it comes at an additional cost. 

Pros:

  • Affordable 2-in-1

  • Quality cameras 

  • Beautiful OLED display 

Cons:

  • Flat, uncomfortable keyboard

  • Stylus costs extra

Screen size

13 inches

Memory

4GB

Processor 

Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ SC7180

Storage

SSD - 128GB

Operating system

ChromeOS

10. Acer Aspire 3 Spin 14 Convertible Laptop

acer-aspire-3-spin-14

Rating: 4.3 stars, 3,578 reviews on amazon.com

Price: $439.99

If you like the 2-in-1 concept but not the hefty price tag, the Acer Aspire 3 Spin may be your go-to device. This is a budget touchscreen laptop that includes a stylus, which is something that many 2-in-1 devices lack. So whether you’re a fan of handwritten notes or like the easy navigation of a touchscreen, this laptop packs a punch for students on a budget.

Pros:

  • Affordable 2-in-1

  • Wide range of ports

Cons: 

  • Short battery life

  • Underwhelming display

Screen size

14 inches

Memory

16GB

Processor 

Intel® Core™ i7

Storage

SSD - 512GB

Operating system

Windows

11. Acer Aspire 5

acer-aspire-5

Rating: 4.2 stars, 171 reviews on asus.com

Price: $529.99 

If you’re looking for another budget laptop that delivers all the basics, the Acer Aspire 5 is right up your alley. While many budget laptops run slower and use cost-cutting materials, the Acer Aspire 5 doesn’t. This device offers everything you need and nothing you don’t at a price that’s hard to beat for a brand-new laptop. Plus, its durable build makes this laptop a great choice for students who are running (quite literally) from class to class. 

Pros: 

  • Durable build

  • Affordable price from new 

  • Comfortable keyboard

Cons: 

  • Underwhelming webcam quality 

  • Reports of stiff touchpad

Screen size

15.6 inches

Memory

20GB

Processor 

AMD Ryzen 3 3350U Quad-Core

Storage

SSD - 1TB

Operating system

Windows

Bonus pick: iPad Air