Now that many classes are switching to online-only, it has never been more important to have a laptop that works and more importantly, works well for you specifically. Students are known for having a notoriously low budget on… just about everything. I’m definitely not telling you to skip lunch for a couple of weeks just so you can afford the best laptop. But when purchasing a laptop, you are making an investment for the next few years. Sometimes, it makes sense to allocate a little more money into such a valuable asset. I managed to get through college with a very below-average laptop, and that’s being generous to my old laptop’s abilities. Luckily, I never had to join in on zoom class sessions… my old laptop definitely could not have gotten through that. In this list, we will be going over the best laptops for students.
1. Google Pixelbook Go
Oh, the Google Pixelbook. What a machine. But, this isn’t about that expensive masterpiece. If you are on a “college student budget”, like I was, you probably couldn’t afford that. If you can, great, go buy it. This, however, is for the guy who wants a Pixelbook but doesn’t have the budget for the top of the line model. Enter, the Google Pixelbook Go, a Pixelbook that is actually within some college budgets. The Pixelbook Go features Google’s “hush” keyboard. This keyboard is the best combination of both silence and responsiveness I have ever seen on a laptop keyboard. On top of that, the Google Pixelbook Go also boasts an incredible battery life of over 11 hours.
- Incredible battery life
- Amazing “hush” keyboard
- No biometric login system
2. Microsoft Surface Go 2
Microsoft is notoriously known for having a high price point when it comes to their laptops. This tablet to laptop hybrid is one of the more popular lines among Microsoft due to its affordability. The Microsoft Surface Go 2 offers more than just a punny name. The laptop comes equipped to run Windows 10 operating system, giving it more versatility than many other tablets. With a battery life of over eight hours on a single charge, for the price, this is a great option for students.
- Can run full Window 10
- Battery life
- No-touch cover and stylus sold separately
- Base model is not premium, competitive price can rise quickly as upgrades are added on
Get to know more details on our Microsoft Surface Go 2 in-depth review.
3. MacBook Air 2020
This list would not be complete without the inclusion of the MacBook Air. For years it’s felt like the MacBook Air has made baby steps in improvement from each yearly model to the next. Finally, it seems as though the MacBook Air has made a stride and significantly improved on its previous 2019 model. These improvements come in the form of a greatly improved keyboard, double the storage capacity, and a stronger processor. In addition to the improved specs, the 2020 MacBook Air also has been released at a lower price of entry in comparison to its 2019 counterpart (there are still add-ons that can be purchased, taking you to a higher price point). In a time of ever-rising costs, it’s nice to see a company like Apple release new and improved models at cheaper prices. Let’s hope this trend continues.
- Lower price of entry compared to previous models
- New 10th generation processor
- Improved keyboard
- Still a 720p front-facing webcam
- Average battery life
If you are interested in learning more about it, you can read more here in our MacBook Air 2020 in-depth review.
4. Acer Spin 5
For students who are not the fastest of typers, it can be difficult to keep up with note-taking during a lecture. The Acer Spin 5 features a 3:2 display accompanied by a stylus making this the ultimate laptop for taking notes. The laptop features a docking area in the side of the laptop for you to store your stylus to help avoid losing or breaking it. The laptop also features a charging port for the stylus and one of the coolest features is the ultra-fast charging system. If the stylus runs out of power, a quick plug-in for 15 seconds will result in 90 minutes worth of renewed battery life.
- Fantastic battery life
- 3:2 Display is perfect for note-taking
- Feature-rich stylus included
- 3:2 display is not as good as the 16:9 display for video
For more details, check out this Acer Spin 5 in-depth review.
5. HP Chromebook 14
The HP Chromebook 14 is the most affordable laptop on this list. It definitely comes with its fair share of perks. The HP Chromebook 14 features a beautifully vivid screen display. Accompanying that, the Chromebook also boasts an excellently responsive keyboard. The trackpad features a one-button design. If you are accustomed to a MacBook, you will still be within your comfort zone.
- Excellent keyboard and trackpad
- Good display for price
If you are interested in learning more about it, you can read more here in our HP Chromebook 14 In-depth Review.
In Conclusion, TLDR
The Google Pixelbook Go is a laptop that boasts tremendous battery life, processing power, and one of the best keyboards I have ever tested. The Microsoft Surface Go 2 is a tablet to laptop hybrid that hits the sweet spot between price and performance. The MacBook Air 2020 is a huge improvement over its predecessors. It brings a keyboard that now features premium scissor-switch keys as opposed to the cheap butterfly keys. The MacBook Air 2020 is also built with a stronger processor and is sold at a cheaper price point than the previous models. Win, win, win! The Acer Spin 5 is the ultimate note-taking laptop with its 3:2 display and feature-rich stylus. The HP Chromebook 14 is the most affordable laptop on the list, it brings a crisp and vivid screen to the table along with an excellent keyboard and trackpad. The HP Chromebook 14 won’t be the most powerful laptop on the list but is the best bang for your buck.
Disclaimer: All product prices listed are accurate at the time of writing and are subject to change.