5 Best Laptops for College Students on a Budget

College students always need a new laptop. The right laptop can help them study, write papers, and get work done while on the go. The challenge, however, is to find a laptop that is affordable and has the features they need. For the cost-conscious students, there are still good laptops on the market. However, the best laptop for college students will depend on your budget. Let say, the best budget laptops under $400 can be considered the best option for college students.

There are lots of choices available when you’re trying to decide which laptop to buy for college—from fully-featured high-end machines to cheap Samsung and Acer Windows laptops. The problem is that there are so many manufacturers that, for the most part, the only way to really know what you’re getting is to do some research.

Best Laptops for College Students on a Budget

1. Apple MacBook Air 

Apple MacBook Air (13-inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray (Previous Model)
10,528 Reviews
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray (Previous Model)
  • Stunning 13.3-inch Retina display with True Tone technology
  • Backlit Magic Keyboard and Touch ID
  • Tenth-generation Intel Core i3 processor

If you want a laptop that can handle everyday tasks like homework, social networking, and video editing, while also being power-packed enough to run a high-end gaming session or handle the new programming language you have been learning, then the Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition is a great choice. As of late, Apple is the only one that makes a laptop that is both thin and light and powerful too, and that’s the MacBook Air.

When Apple unveiled the 11″ MacBook Air last year with its ultra-compact dimensions and light weight, it was hailed as a major step in the right direction for Apple fans who were sick of lugging around heavy laptops with large screen sizes. Fast-forward to 2015, and the MacBook Air has been updated with a new design and a handful of new features. Let’s take a look at what’s new for this year.

Apple Macbook Air vs Macbook Pro

When Apple released the original Air, it was a breath of fresh air. A super light and thin laptop that not only looked great, but also was surprisingly powerful. The Air featured a 0.6-inch thin design, and although it was powered by a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, it was incredibly speedy. The Air was also equipped with a whopping 2GB of RAM, which helped ensure the third-generation model was very responsive.

There’s no denying that Apple is the most successful laptop brand in the world, and its laptops have a reputation for being premium and reliable. But can you trust its best-selling Macbook Air, the entry-level Macbook Air, to be reliable? For Apple’s other Macbook laptops, reliability is a given. But the Macbook Air is built to be more “tactical” than “tactical”, and it’s designed with a slimmer profile, fewer ports, and an Intel Core processor that’s been derided as being overkill for the average user. And yet Apple still sells it for a good chunk of change.

Apple Macbook Air vs Dell XPS 13

In the battle of Apple vs. Dell, what should you choose? The MacBook Air is a compact, lightweight laptop, but the XPS 13 looks like the winner, as it is slightly more powerful and has a better display. However, the Apple Macbook Air is cheaper and lighter than its Dell counterpart.

Apple continues to dominate the laptop market, but Microsoft’s Surface brand is starting to gain more traction. Both companies offer affordable designs with long battery lives, high-res displays, and powerful performance. Dell’s XPS 13, which launched last year, is currently the best value option in Apple’s laptop lineup. It’s a speed demon with a gorgeous display and an excellent keyboard. At the same time, the MacBook Air has been the go-to PC for many for its sleek design and long battery life.

2. Google Pixelbook Go

Google Pixelbook Go - Lightweight Chromebook Laptop - Up to 12 Hours Battery Life[1] - Touch Screen...
1,251 Reviews
Google Pixelbook Go - Lightweight Chromebook Laptop - Up to 12 Hours Battery Life[1] - Touch Screen...
  • Pixelbook Go lets you stay unplugged for up to 12 hours [1] so you don't need to carry a charger; when you do need a charge, get up to 2 hours of battery use in just 20 minutes so you can keep going [2]
  • Lightweight Chromebook laptop that's barely 2 pounds and 13 millimeter thin with a grippable design making it easier to carry[3]
  • Protects your data passwords, and information with the Titan C security chip and built-in antivirus software; Chrome OS updates automatically to give you the latest features and security [4]

In this review of the Google Pixelbook Go, we are going to talk about the companies first 10-inch tablet, the Google Pixel Slate. This is the first time in Google’s short history of tablet computers that the company has released two tablets at the same time.

The Google Pixelbook was launched in October of 2017. It was Google’s first laptop, and it comes with a huge list of top-notch specs, coming with a top of the line Intel Core i5 processor, a gorgeous 14” Full HD display, and a brilliant 12.3” widescreen touch screen with a Pen. The Pixelbook is a fully-functional laptop, it is a full-fledged computer, and it is not quite a Chromebook. That means it runs Google’s Chrome OS and has all the same capabilities as a Chromebook, but it also has the full power of a traditional laptop.

Google Pixelbook Go vs Macbook Air

Apple has been raking it in with its premium and expensive MacBooks, but the company’s supposed flagship, the MacBook Air, has been falling behind. The new Air is better than the old Air, but there’s still room for improvement. In this review, we’ll take a look at Google’s Chromebook Pixelbook Go, which sports a 2:1 aspect ratio display and a keyboard that swivels from front to back.

Apple has been raking it in with its premium and expensive MacBooks, but the company’s supposed flagship, the MacBook Air, has been falling behind. The new Air is better than the old Air, but there’s still room for improvement. In this review, we’ll take a look at Google’s Chromebook Pixelbook Go, which sports a 2:1 aspect ratio display and a keyboard that swivels from front to back.

Google Pixelbook Go vs Macbook Air M1

After many years of Chromebooks slowly building traction, Google is finally giving them a push by launching a Pixelbook Go and a Pixelbook M1. Both notebooks are Chromebooks that run on Chrome OS and have been designed specifically to make using the Chrome OS more user-friendly. Both models have the same Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 12.3-inch display with a resolution of 2400 x 1600 pixels. You’re also getting the same keyboard and trackpad with the Pixelbook Go even if you opt for the M1.

We’ve all used a laptop before, and most of us have at least used a Macbook. But have you ever used a Chromebook? Chromebooks are, for the most part, laptops. They have the same internals as MacBooks (a touchscreen and a keyboard), are much cheaper, and are on nearly every college campus. The only difference is that they run ChromeOS instead of MacOS, and they have limited app compatibility with the exception of Google’s suite of apps, which are mostly used as a browser. So, are Chromebooks a good buy? Or is the Pixelbook Go the best Chromebook out there?

3. HP Chromebook 14-inch Laptop

HP Chromebook 14-inch Laptop with 180-Degree Axis, Intel Celeron N3350 Processor, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB...
165 Reviews
HP Chromebook 14-inch Laptop with 180-Degree Axis, Intel Celeron N3350 Processor, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB...
  • Processor: Intel(R) Celeron(R) Processor N3350, Dual-Core, 1.1GHz up to 2.4GHz
  • Google Drive: Get 100 GB two-year cloud storage with Google Drive
  • Display: 14.0-inch diagonal Full HD AntiGlare IPS WLED-backlit Display (1920 x 1080)

After finally taking some time to reflect on the past year’s worth of Chromebooks, I’ve come to the conclusion that Chrome OS is a great operating system for almost anyone, but lacks a few features that might be worthy of praise—namely the ability to run Android apps. The 11.6-inch Chromebook 14 is a nearly all-metal laptop that looks a ton better than the majority of Chromebooks, for example. It’s not necessarily the best-equipped Chromebook you can buy, but it’s more than serviceable.

The HP Chromebook 14 is the largest Chromebook yet, but it’s still light and thin enough to take anywhere. It features great battery life, and it only weighs 2.8 pounds with the battery installed, and 4.2 pounds with the battery removed. It’s also equipped with the latest Intel® Core™ processor, making it one of the fastest Chromebooks on the market, and it comes with up to 8 GB of RAM and up to 128 GB of storage space. And, if you want to hook up a display, you can do so with a HDMI 2.0 port.

HP Chromebook 14 vs Acer Chromebook 314

After a long battle with cancer, my father recently passed away. He was a huge tech fan, and his last words to me were that he would like me to find him a laptop that would make him happy. He had several requirements—it could not be a high-end gaming laptop, he would never consider a Chromebook, and he wanted it to have an SD card slot.

After an impressive debut last year, the HP Chromebook 14 has returned for an encore this year with some new features. The new model has a 14-inch display and comes in a choice of two colors — silver, and a darker version of the same called “mocha”.

At the moment, Chromebooks are all the rage. Highlights of this year include the HP Chromebook 14 and Acer Chromebook 14 Nitro Black Edition. Both of these models have a sleek, futuristic design that makes it easy for users to slip the two-inch laptops into their bags. However, the HP and Acer Chromebooks are not quite the same as one another. Can the HP Chromebook 14 really be considered the better choice?

HP Chromebook 14 vs HP Chromebook 14A

The HP Chromebook 14 and the HP Chromebook 14a are two very similar models from a brand many of you may have heard of: HP. The Chromebook 14 and 14a are part of the same family of devices, so one could easily be confused with the other. This is not a bad thing, however, since the two Chromebooks are very similar machines and offer many of the same features.

If you’re a fan of Chromebooks, you’ll have noticed that in recent years, HP has taken a back seat to more popular brands like Dell and Samsung. The beautiful thing about Chromebooks is that they are so easy to use. The devices will boot up, connect to the internet, and work like a desktop computer. Heck, you don’t even have to install a desktop operating system. But there are a number of limitations, too. For example, Chromebooks are not as powerful, you can’t use your webcam, and, for some people, the battery life is quite limited.

4. Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop

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Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop, Intel Celeron N4020, 11.6' HD Touch, 4GB LPDDR4, 32GB...
8,335 Reviews
Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop, Intel Celeron N4020, 11.6" HD Touch, 4GB LPDDR4, 32GB...
  • Chromebook runs on Chrome OS - An operating system by Google that is built for the way we live today. It comes with built-in virus protection, updates automatically, boots up in seconds and continues to stay fast over time. (Internet connection is required).
  • All the Google apps you know and love come standard on every Chromebook, which means you can edit, download, and convert Microsoft Office files in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.
  • Get access to more than 2 million Android apps from Google Play to learn and do more.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is a laptop that is quite different from the other Chromebooks on the market. Rather than the cheap plastic build of most other Chromebooks, this one features a metallic look and feel, as well as a premium-grade 14 inch LED display that comes complete with a 1920 x 1080p resolution.

After the recent release of Acer’s 11.6-inch Chromebook Spin 311, we had to have one. It’s a pretty excellent device in our opinion, especially for a Chromebook. It’s got a nice display, solid hardware, and comfortable keyboard, and Acer has added a few useful features to it as well. The RAM is only 4GB, but it’s expandable to 32GB, and it has a USB-C port for charging and connecting to the web.

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 vs Acer Chromebook Spin 713

The Spin is the lowest end of the Spin family – it comes in two versions, both of which lack dedicated video output. The 311 is available for $279.99 (available now), while the 713 version is available for $329.99 (available now). Both models have 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, with an Intel Celeron processor and 16GB of eMMC storage.

When it comes to Chromebooks, you have two choices: Acer or HP. The newer Acer Chromebooks, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 and the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, are very similar in functionality. They both look good and they’re rugged and durable. They both have the same screen size and resolution. They both have the same processor. The main difference between these two is the price and the warranty.

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 vs Acer Chromebook 314

A few months ago, we wrote about two Acer Chromebooks, a Spin 311 and a 314. The Spin 311 was a very small lightweight laptop that was aimed at the budget market. The 314 was a larger version of the Spin 311, with a larger screen and more power. All the Chromebooks have some similarities. They both use Acer’s Chrome OS, and they both have some of the same specs. The similarities end there.

There are two new Chromebook devices launching in the Chromebook family this year; the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 and the Acer Chromebook 314. The Spin 311, which is the smaller of the two, has a 12.3-inch touchscreen, a detachable keyboard, 2.16Ghz Celeron processor and 4GB of onboard storage. The Spin 311 has a starting price of $279, offers 4 hours of battery life, and a generous 30GB of free Google Drive storage.

Chromebooks (which are powered by the Linux OS) are known for being super-portable, but the problem is that these ultra-portables are typically designed for people who are too busy to think about carrying a bag around. When you make a Chromebook, it means you’re going to be carrying a bag around all day, every day, and that can get really annoying. I mean, just check out Asus’ webcam-enabled Chromebook C100: it weighs 2 pounds and measures 11.6 inches wide. As you can imagine, it will be a pain to carry around all day.

5. Acer Spin 5, 13.3″ Full HD Touch

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Acer Spin 5, 13.3' Full HD Touch, Intel Core i5, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, Windows 10, Convertible,...
63 Reviews
Acer Spin 5, 13.3" Full HD Touch, Intel Core i5, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, Windows 10, Convertible,...
  • 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6200U Processor 2.3GHz (Up to 2.8GHz)
  • 13.3" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Multi-touch widescreen LED-backlit IPS display
  • 8GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB SSD. Card Reader-microSD

Acer is a popular brand of laptops, which has been around for quite a while. But a few years ago, they decided to shake things up by moving to a new design approach. The Spin 5 is the first laptop they’ve launched under this new strategy, and it comes with a sleek aluminum body, a bright IPS touchscreen display, Dolby Audio sound, discrete WLAN, and an optional stylus.

Acer has unveiled the new Acer Spin 5, a super-portable laptop that looks like an iPad Pro, and comes with some of the features you’d expect from a desktop PC, including a touchscreen keyboard. It also comes with a detachable tablet that has a 10.2-inch display, and it supports the Windows 10 S operating system.

Buying Guide

For students on a budget, there are many great laptops to choose from, all offering good performance and enough features to get through school and beyond. While some may have more features than others, what is more, important is the overall value they give you, with a good connection and long battery life to keep up with the demands of college life. When it comes to buying a laptop, there are a lot of things to consider. Battery life, the overall build quality, the design, the resolution of the screen or the ports on the machine, the processor, the amount of RAM, and many other options are available. Depending on your budget you can make some smart choices and save yourself a lot of money in the process.

Storage Space

If you’re looking for the best affordable laptop for students, we may have the perfect one for you.
The best budget laptop for students is the Acer Aspire E15 (E5-575-33BM), an affordable notebook that comes with an Intel Core i5-7200U processor and a GeForce 940MX dedicated graphics chip. It also has a 13.3-inch screen that is bright, has a good display, and is large enough for you to watch videos or play games. The laptop is also thin and light.

With the market constantly changing, new models with improved specs are being released all the time. But the question remains: should you go for the latest and greatest as it is available in the market or should you wait for a while as it gets older and older?
If you are just starting out in the world of laptops, there are certain basic things you should look out for. The first and foremost is the storage space on the hard drive. Most laptops today come with an SSD which is the fastest storage option available at present. But if you are looking for a storage option that is both affordable and reliable, the option of going for HDD storage is a common choice that laptop manufacturers make.

Processor

A deal on a low-budget laptop is always a good time, right? This has been the case for the past few months with the recently announced laptops from HP and Lenovo. The HP 14-an014nr is an affordable budget laptop that has been getting a lot of attention in the blogosphere, being praised for its impressive specifications, and reviews.

The Macbook Air was first released in 2008 and was quickly embraced by millions of students as the best affordable laptop for school. That’s because it was lightweight, had long battery life, and a blazing-fast processor. The introduction of the Macbook Pro and the introduction of the Macbook Retina Display (Macbook Pro) last year has made the Macbook Air seem outdated, but its speed and lightweight has made it a good choice for students who don’t need the processing power or the screen size of the MacBook Pro, the Macbook Air is the best affordable laptop for students out there.

RAM

If you’re looking for a new laptop, you’ll want to consider whether you should go for the best RAM option or the best GPU. The most popular RAM options for computers are standard DDR4 or faster DDR5. If you tend to work with many different programs at once, you’ll want to invest in the best RAM option for your budget and needs.

Performance

Bigger is better in the realm of performance, but it’s not necessarily the case that bigger is better when it comes to laptops. While computing power is definitely more important than display size, there are some laptops that are too big to comfortably work on.

Display

The ever-shrinking screen sizes of laptops have caused a bit of a ruckus recently, with small laptops now coming with only a 1024 x 768 resolution. Such screens are fine for light work and web browsing, but most of the heavy-duty tasks (multimedia editing, photo editing, and video encoding) can’t be done well on such a small screen.

Portability

Apple has made some significant changes to its operating system for the new iPad Pro. These changes are designed to increase the potential portability of the tablet. These changes will be of great benefit to iPad Pro users who want to carry their device around without the bulk of a MacBook. If you are looking for the best laptops with the best value for money, then you should check out this best laptop under $500 for students in 2018 which are listed below in this article. These laptops have high performance, long-lasting battery life, good looks, and affordable prices.

Hard Disk Drive

If you have been away from the world of technology for a while, you might be surprised to see a new laptop on the market this holiday season. So, who is this new kid on the block? It’s none other than the new hard disk drive (HDD) laptop. If you have been looking to buy a laptop for college, you have probably noticed there are a lot of choices when it comes to budget-friendly laptops. Companies like Acer and HP are great options, but there are other options, like the best affordable laptop for students, which I will be talking about today.

Hard disk drives have been in trend for a while now, and for the most part, they have been a decent alternative to a traditional hard drive. However, if you are looking for a portable drive that is reliable and solid, the best laptop hard disk drives are still the best for the money. Many times, the best hard drive for your money will come with a lower price tag than lesser quality alternatives.

Price

Best laptops for students are expensive. Yeah, we know—and that’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best ones available for under $500. Whether you’re buying for work or school, these laptops are all priced at just $500 or less, so you can take your pick. Buying a new laptop is a big purchase, one that could last for a few years and possibly be used for school or work. When you’re picking out an affordable laptop, there’s a lot of factors that may help you decide on the right machine.

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