The best laptops to buy for college students in 2021

The best laptops to buy for college students in 2021

These days, computers are often essential parts of the learning process, and you want to make sure you have one that can handle the things you need them to do. There are a lot of fantastic laptops out there, and we’ve already highlighted a few for students of different ages. This time, we’re specifically focusing on the best laptops for college students.

College students are likely to be using their laptops for a lot of similar things — reading, writing documents and assignments, and browsing the web. But even within that context, everyone is different. Some students like to play games, some want an ultraportable machine, and others might want something that’s priced reasonably. As such, we have a handful of choices to help you find the perfect match for you.

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Best overall: HP Spectre x360 14

HP Spectre X360 14

We praise the HP Spectre x360 14 fairly often in our laptop rankings, and there’s good reason for it. This is a stunning laptop with high-end performance and great specs across the board. That’s very much in line with what the Spectre lineup is, but the 14-inch model gets extra points, and it’s easily one of the best laptops for just about any college student.

First off, the performance is as top-notch as the rest of the Spectre lineup. You can get it with up to an Intel Core i7-1165G7, which is a quad-core, 8-thread CPU with boost speeds up to 4.6GHz. That CPU is backed up by Intel Iris Xe graphics, which are a huge leap forward from previous generations of integrated graphics. Additionally, the Spectre x360 can be configured with up to 16GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD (or 1TB accelerated by 32GB of Intel Optane memory). That amount of RAM ensures you can run multiple apps at the same time easily, whether you’re doing some research and writing in Word at the same time or whatever the case may be. And 2TB of storage is enough for pretty much any school projects you need to do for a long time.

What makes the Spectre x360 14 stand out from its siblings is the display. HP has typically stuck with a 16:9 aspect ratio for most of its laptops, but the Spectre x360 14 is the first to use a 3:2 panel. This aspect ratio is taller than your typical screen, and that means you get more surface area on the display. It may not sound like much, but once you’ve tried a taller screen, you truly understand how much more space it gives you, especially for work. The base model comes with a Full HD+ (1920 x 1280) display, but you can also upgrade to a 3K2K (3000 x 2000) display which is not only very sharp, but also an OLED panel with vibrant colors, pure blacks, and high contrast ratios.

One of the big downsides of this laptop, however, is what’s above the display. The camera on the HP Spectre x360 is a 720p camera, but HP also wanted it to be as small as possible to shrink the bezels around the screen. Because of that, you get a very small sensor that doesn’t capture a lot of light, and so image quality isn’t the best. You do get Windows Hello support, though, both through an IR camera and a fingerprint reader, so you can log in in the most convenient way for you.

The design is one area where the Spectre x360 easily stands out from almost all other devices out there. You can get it in a plain silver color if you want, but the Nightfall Black and Poseidon Blue models are what’s truly unique here. They come in this dual-tone color scheme, combining black with copper accents or dark blue with gold accents. That makes this laptop look beautiful, and elements like the angular edges and trimmed corners under the display make for an even more unique look. Of course, it’s also a convertible, and that versatility is always a plus. It weighs 2.95lbs and measures just 17.02mm in thickness, so it’s also a very portable machine.

Another potential downside of this laptop is the port selection. It comes with two Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports, one USB Type-A, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. Thunderbolt ports are very capable, and you can connect just about anything to them, but the thing is, you’ll probably need an adapter or Thunderbolt dock. Most monitors and TVs have HDMI inputs, and there’s no HDMI here, which is a big omission. Of course, if you have USB-C/Thunderbolt displays around you, or if you already have adapters, it’s not a big deal.

It’s not perfect, but the HP Spectre x360 14 is definitely one of the best laptops you can buy as a college student. It’s fast, it has a great display, and it looks stunning. It has some downsides, but if you can overlook those, it’s going to give you a great experience.

    HP Spectre x360 14
    The HP SPectre x360 is a beautiful Windows convertible with high-end specs and a 3:2 display.

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Best MacBook for college: MacBook Air

macos 12 monterey on macbook air m1

Not a Windows fan? MacBooks are very popular laptops among college students, and the latest MacBook Air is probably the best one you can get right now, depending on your needs. The MacBook Air is probably best for most students who don’t need the absolute fastest processor and graphics.

That’s not to say the latest MacBook Air isn’t a fantastic performer by any means, though. It comes with the Apple M1 processor, which is Apple’s first foray into in-house processors for laptops. It has 8 CPU cores (four for performance, four for efficiency), and it can boost up to 3.0GHz. That may not sound like much, but comparing that to ultramobile Intel processors, including those in previous MacBook Air models, the Apple M1 is both faster and more power-efficient. It can easily last you through any normal day, and perform great while doing so. You can also configure it with up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage, so it will handle just about anything you throw at it just fine.

The MacBook Air also has a great display. It’s a 13.3-inch panel, and it comes in a 16:10 aspect ratio, which has been the staple for Macs for a while. This aspect ratio is taller than 16:9, and as we’ve mentioned, that means more surface area for the display. You can see more of webpages and documents in a single view, which is great for productivity. On top of that, it comes in a 2560 x 1600 resolution, and that’s the standard across the board. That means you’ll get a great display experience regardless of the model you choose.

The camera, which is above the display, has a resolution of 720p, but unlike some other laptops, it still looks great. MacBooks have some of the best webcams on a laptop, and Apple also improved the image single processing with the M1 chip, so you should look great in video calls. Macs have yet to add support for something like Face ID, but if you want a more convenient way to unlock your laptop, you do have Touch ID built into the power button.

Design-wise, the MacBook Air is certainly a MacBook, for better or for worse. It weighs 2.8lbs, which is fairly light (albeit not as impressive nowadays), and it measures up to 16.1mm at its thickest point, so it’s certainly a very portable laptop. The design is potentially a bit boring, however, being a very standard clamshell laptop without much flair. It comes in silver, space gray, and gold colors, and that last option is potentially the only one that stands out at all. Of course, a somewhat plain look may be a good thing for many people – we’re just a bit more partial toward unique devices.

Ports are also quite limited with the MacBook Air, but that’s been the case for a few years now. You get two Thunderbolt (USB Type-C) ports and a headphone jack, and that’s it. The Thunderbolt ports let you connect just one external display, and with adapters, you can also connect a wide range of peripherals. But that’s just the thing, you’re very likely going to need a USB-C hub to connect anything to your laptop.

While it has some limitations, the MacBook Air is still a fantastic laptop, and if you’re a Mac fan, these limitations are already familiar to you. Apple did recently launch an updated MacBook Pro with more power and more ports, but it’s much more expensive, and only a handful of users can truly make use of that extra power. The MacBook Air remains our recommendation for most people.

    MacBook Air (2020)
    The MacBook Air is a fantastic laptop for students with a thin design and the powerful M1 processor.

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Best premium Windows laptop: Surface Laptop 4

Surface Laptop 4 angled view

Microsoft’s Surface devices are probably the closest equivalent of a MacBook in the Windows world. And the Surface Laptop 4 is the closest to the MacBook Air, being a traditional clamshell laptop with a premium, but generally understated design. That also makes it one of the best laptops for college students.

Starting with performance, the Surface Laptop 4 comes in Intel and AMD versions. The Intel-powered variants come with up to an Intel Core i7-1185G7, with four cores, eight threads, and boost speeds up to 4.8GHz. The AMD versions come with customized AMD Ryzen processors, up to a Ryzen 7 4980U. This version is based on a last-generation AMD processor, but it’s tuned up so it’s closer to the Ryzen 5000 series processors in some ways. Both of these are very powerful mobile processors, with Intel offering better single-core performance, and AMD being better for multi-core tasks. The AMD versions also offer better battery life.

The Intel versions do offer higher configuration options. You can get the Surface Laptop 4 with up to 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD if you choose Intel, while the AMD version maxes out at 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. Depending on your needs, that might still be a fine option, as 32GB of RAM and 2TB of storage is more than what a lot of students need.

The Surface Laptop 4 comes in two different sizes, too – 13.5 inches and 15 inches – and the size also affects the configurations available, with the 15-inch model being more powerful. The 13.5-inch model has a resolution of 2256 x 1504, while the 15-inch version comes in at 2496 x 1664, but that means both models have the same pixel density and the same 3:2 aspect ratio. As we’ve mentioned, this taller screen is great for productivity, as it gives you more surface area compared to wider displays. This is also a touchscreen with Surface Pen support, though you can’t fold it back like a convertible.

Above the display, there’s a 720p webcam, which is somewhat disappointing considering Microsoft uses much better cameras for devices like the Surface Pro 8 and even the Surface Go 3. Still, this is pretty good for a 720p camera, and it also includes Windows Hello facial recognition to make unlocking your PC as convenient as possible.

In terms of the design, the Surface Laptop 4 has a clean and sleek look, similar to the MacBook Air, but it comes in different colors. The 13.5-inch model comes in Platinum, Matte Black, Sandstone, or Ice Blue, and at least the last two of those look somewhat unique. It also has the benefit of using Alcantara for the keyboard deck in the Platinum and Ice Blue models, which gives it a different look and also feels more comfortable to the touch. The 15-inch model only comes in Platinum or Matte Black, and there’s no Alcantara option, so it’s not quite as interesting in that regard. Both models are very thin (14.5mm for the 13.5-inch version, 14.7mm for the 15-inch model), and they’re also fairly light – the 13.5-inch model starts at 2.79lbs, while the 15-inch version weighs 3.4lbs.

The port selection on the Surface Laptop 4 is one of its downfalls. It has one USB Type-C port, one USB Type-A, a headphone jack, and a Surface Connect port. The Surface Laptop 4 doesn’t include Thunderbolt, which Microsoft has added to the Surface Pro 8 and Laptop Studio, and instead, it relies on Surface Connect for docking. It also doesn’t have a traditional display output or an SD card reader, so it’s a bit limited, but at least it includes USB Type-A for legacy peripherals you may still have.

If you want a premium Windows laptop that doesn’t stick out too much, the Surface Laptop 4 is a great choice. It has great performance, a premium and sleek design, and a great display, making it one of the best laptops around for a college student.

    Surface Laptop 4
    The Surface Laptop 4 is a premium Windows laptop with a sleek design and a high-resolution touchscreen.

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Best mainstream laptop for college: HP Pavilion Aero 13

Front view of HP Pavilion Aero 13

Premium laptops are great, but they can also be very expensive, and many times, they’re out of the reach of many college students. Thankfully, the HP Pavilion Aero brings a lot of what makes a premium laptop to a much more reasonable price point. This is a fantastic laptop for a college student without a huge budget, and at first glance, it almost seems too good to be true.

Starting with performance, you can get the Pavilion Aero with up to an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U processor, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage (at writing time, this combination of CPU and RAM doesn’t seem to be available, but it does exist). The Pavilion Aero starts at $749, and at that price, you get a Ryzen 5 5600U, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage, which is already great. It’s often discounted, too, and it currently starts at just $629, making it an even sweeter deal. It’s worth noting that these are the more powerful versions of AMD’s latest Ryzen processors, using Zen 3 cores, whereas many laptops use weaker Zen 2-based versions.

The display also adds to this enticing package. It’s a 13.3-inch display, but it comes in a 16:10 aspect ratio. We’ve seen taller screens on a few premium laptops, but the Pavilion Aero brings that to a much more reasonable price point, and it’s great to see. The base configuration uses a Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) display, but you can even upgrade to Quad HD+ (2560 x 1600), which is something else that’s very rarely seen in a mainstream laptop like this. This all adds up to making this a great value proposition.

As you might have expected, the webcam is a simple 720p camera, so it could be better. It also doesn’t have Windows Hello facial recognition, which isn’t entirely surprising at this price point. You do get a fingerprint reader on the keyboard, so it’s still fairly easy to unlock your PC when you need to.

The design of the HP Pavilion Aero also has some standout features. It’s the first laptop on this list to use a magnesium alloy chassis, another material that’s often reserved for more premium laptops. Magnesium is light, and that means the HP Pavilion Aero weighs just 2.2lbs, making it one of the lightest laptops on this list. It also measures just 17.02mm in thickness, so this is a very portable machine, especially considering its price range. Another great thing about it is that it comes in four colors: Natural Silver, Ceramix White, Warm Gold, and Pale Rose Gold. They’re fairly subdued colors, but it does allow you to get something that suits your personal style a bit better.

The ports on the HP Pavilion Aero also cover most of the basics. You get one USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader, so you can connect just about anything to it. The USB Type-C port supports charging, but the Pavilion Aero also has a proprietary barrel charging port, which is what’s used by default. You also don’t get Thunderbolt support, and that’s because this is an AMD laptop and Thunderbolt is an Intel technology with expensive licensing.

No matter how you slice it, the HP Pavilion Aero is a fantastic value proposition. If you don’t have the budget for a premium laptop, this is the closest you can get at a reasonable price, and it’s easily one of the best laptops you can buy for a college student.

    HP Pavilion Aero
    The HP Pavilion Aero is a fantastic value proposition with high-end specs at an affordable price.

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Best 17-inch laptop for college: Dell XPS 17

Dell XPS 17 angled view on small table

For some of us, a large screen is important, and the Dell XPS 17 is one of the best 17-inch laptops you can buy. We say that because it makes great use of the extra space afforded by a 17-inch screen, so it’s not only big, it’s also very powerful.

On that note, let’s start with performance. The Dell XPS 17 can be had with up to an Intel Core i9-11980HK processor, and that’s a very different processor from the laptops we’ve looked at so far. Those laptops use 15W Intel processors, but this is a 45W processor. That high power rating means it has 8 cores, 16 threads, and it can boost as high as 5GHz, so this is an incredibly powerful laptop. On top of that, you can add dedicated NVIDIA graphics up to a GeForce RTX 3060, making this a fantastic choice for students with 3D rendering workloads, or those who want to do some gaming on the side.

If that’s not impressive enough, you can configure it with up to a whopping 64GB of RAM and a massive 8TB of SSD storage. That’s more than most students will ever need, but if you do see value in those upgrades, you can go that route. These components can also be upgraded later on, so you don’t have to spend extra right off the bat.

The display on the Dell XPS 17 is also fantastic. It’s a 17-inch panel, and it comes in a 16:10 aspect ratio, so you get the productivity benefits of a taller screen. That, plus the sheer size of the display, makes for a fantastic productivity experience. The base configuration has Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) resolution, which is pretty good, but for a 17-inch laptop, you may want to upgrade. Thankfully, you have the option for an Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400) panel with 100% coverage of Adobe RGB for color-sensitive work, which also supports touch. Both models have up to 500 nits of brightness, too. so they should be visible in any environment.

The Dell XPS 17 has a large 17-inch laptop, but thanks to the tiny bezels around it, it’s about as big as many 15-inch laptops. Dell even says the XPS 17 is smaller than 14% of 15-inch laptops. But to allow for that, the company used a tiny 2.25mm webcam with 720p resolution. It’s a similar problem to the Spectre x360, as the small sensor means not much light is being captured, and thus, images from the webcam just don’t look great.

The design of the XPS 17 is great in other ways, too. It uses a dual-tone design, and that’s combined with unique materials. The external shell is a relatively plain Platinum Silver color, and it’s made of aluminum. The keyboard deck, however, is made from woven carbon fiber, and it’s black. This makes the XPS 17 look fairly unique on the inside, but still subdued to not stand out to those around you. Despite all the power it’s packing, it’s just 19.05mm thick, which is definitely impressive for this kind of laptop. It is a bit heavy, though, starting at 2.87lbs for the Full HD+ model.

Finally, there’s the matter of ports, and the Dell XPS 17 leans heavily into Thunderbolt support. It has four Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports, a headphone jack, and an SD card reader. By itself, that can be somewhat limiting, since you’ll need a Thunderbolt dock to connect any kind of peripheral, but Dell ships the XPS 17 with a USB Type-C to Type-A and HDMI adapter, so you can still connect some legacy peripherals and displays without spending extra. It covers all the basics without taking up space on the inside of the laptop.

Overall, the Dell XPS 17 is a fantastic choice for users who demand more power and a bigger screen. That’s not a description that fits every college student, but if you do need that kind of power in a compact form factor, this is one of the best laptops you can find. If you want the full suite of configurations, you’ll have to look at Dell’s website, but some configurations are far cheaper on Amazon using the link below.

    Dell XPS 17
    The Dell XPS 17 is a powerful 17-inch laptop with 45W Intel processors and dedicated graphics.

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Best laptop for college gamers: Razer Blade 14

Person using Razer Blade 14 on couch

One thing that many college students like to do is gaming – or at least I hope that wasn’t just me. It used to be pretty hard to find a laptop that could handle demanding games and was still easy to carry around, but today, things have gotten a lot better. The Razer Blade 14 is a powerful gaming laptop, but it’s still portable enough that you can carry it around at school without too much of a hassle.

Let’s talk performance first: The Razer Blade 14 is powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, which is a powerful 45W processor with 8 cores, 16 threads, and boost speeds up to 4.6GHz. AMD Ryzen processors are quite powerful, too, and despite the lower clock speeds, they can give Intel processors a run for their money in many scenarios. The Blade 14 also comes with NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics up to an RTX 3080, and that’s a version with 100W of power – a very impressive number for a laptop this small. You also get 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage, though that storage is upgradeable down the line. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for the RAM.

The display on the Razer Blade 14 offers a great balance of quality and smoothness. It’s a 14-inch panel, and it comes in Quad HD (2560 x 1440) resolution, which is the perfect middle ground. Many laptops have Full HD displays that aren’t as sharp or 4K displays that use up too much battery, but Quad HD is a great balance. On top of that, the display supports refresh rates up to 165Hz, so your games will look great and run smoothly, giving you faster reaction times. Those specs are standard across the board, so all models of the Razer Blade 14 are great for gamers.

For the webcam, the Razer Blade 14 sticks with a 1MP/720p camera, which isn’t fantastic, but also not uncommon. Some gaming laptops don’t have cameras at all or put them in terrible places, and at least the Blade 14 avoids that. It’s not the best camera around, but it’s a laptop college students can use for online meetings and classes in a pinch.

The design of the Razer Blade 14 does have hints of that classic gamer aesthetic, with a glowing Razer logo on the lid and an RGB backlit keyboard, but it also looks very clean. It’s an all-black laptop, and even the RGB lighting on the keyboard only comes through the key labels, so it’s not obnoxious. What’s most surprising about this laptop is that it measures 16.8mm in thickness, which is very impressive very a laptop with this kind of power. And weighing 3.92lbs, it’s also fairly light for what it offers.

Despite its powerful specs and compact design, the Razer Blade 14 still makes room for a decent amount of ports. You get two USB Type-C ports with DisplayPort and Power Delivery, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.1, and a headphone jack. There’s no Thunderbolt support (remember, this is an AMD laptop), but there are enough ports here to cover just about any basic need you might have. Plus, the USB ports are distributed evenly on both sides, so you can plug in the charger and peripherals in the way that’s most convenient to you.

The Razer Blade 14 is a very impressive laptop in more ways than one, and if you’re a college student who likes to game, it’s easily one of the best laptops out there. It’s a personal favorite of mine among the laptops on this list.

    Razer Blade 14
    The Razer Blade 14 is a powerful and compact gaming laptop that's easy to carry around anywhere.

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Best for portability: Surface Go 3

Surface Go 3 on black table

Almost on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of power is the Surface Go 3. This may not be the most powerful PC out there by any means, but it is meant to be light, thin, and affordable. And it does that while still delivering a premium experience, making it one of the best laptops to buy if you just want to take notes in college classes.

The Surface Go 3 is a notable upgrade from its predecessor, even if it’s not impressive compared to the most premium laptops. It comes with up to an Intel Core i3-10100Y, and that’s a dual-core processor with four threads, capable of boosting up to 3.9GHz. That’s not going to compete with the premium laptops on this list, for basic tasks like taking notes, writing up assignments, and participating in online meetings, it’s still a serviceable option. It also comes with up to 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD for storage, which is a solid combination for basic work and multi-tasking.

The display on the Surface Go 3 is also quite good considering it’s price. It’s a 10.5-inch display, and it comes in a 3:2 aspect ratio,  a feature that’s very often reserved for premium devices. That means you get extra surface area on the display, making it ideal for browsing the web and reading documents. The resolution is Full HD+ (1920 x 1280), and for a display of this size, that’s going to look pretty sharp. And, of course, since it’s a tablet, it supports touch and the Surface Pen.

That’s not all the good news, either. The Surface Go 3 has arguably the best webcam of any laptop on this list, so if you have college classes or meetings online, it’s a fantastic device. The front-facing webcam is a 5MP sensor and it supports 1080p video, and you also get an 8MP rear camera, which also supports 1080p video.

As we said at the start, being thin and light is the focus of the Surface Go 3. It’s just 8.3mm thin, and it weighs just 1.2lbs, making this an extremely portable machine you can take anywhere. The crux of it is that it’s a tablet, and you also have to take into account the Surface Go Type Cover, which adds 4.6mm in thickness and 0.54lbs of weight. Even with that, though, it’s the most portable device on this list, and you can detach the keyboard when you don’t need it to make it even easier to carry.

The Surface Go 3 includes a decent supply of ports, including one USB Type-C port, a headphone jack, a microSD card reader, and a Surface Connect port. With how thin the device is, the lack of USB Type-A or HDMI is more understandable, plus, it’s a very affordable device. You’ll need to use a Surface Dock or a USB Type-C hub to connect these types of peripherals, and while that’s to be expected with a tablet, it’s not so much with a typical laptop.

All in all, while the Surface Go 3 isn’t the best choice for those who need the most performance, it’s a fantastic tablet and laptop for college students who need portability above all else. It offers many elements of a premium experience and with a starting price of $399, it’s very good. However, you’ll definitely want to upgrade to 8GB of RAM and SSD storage, and then you have to pay extra for the Surface Go Type Cover and the Surface Pen if you want them. That adds up, and you have to keep that in mind if you want the Surface Go 3.

    Surface Go 3
    The Surface Go 3 is an ultra-portable Windows tablet that can be used as a laptop.

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Best Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 product image

For all the merits of Windows and macOS, Chromebooks have become increasingly popular, especially in schools. If you feel more at home on Google’s operating system, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is frankly one of the best laptops around, and it’s fast enough to meet the demands of college students, too.

For starters, it has an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor, a quad-core, eight-thread processor that can boost up to 4.2GHz. It also includes Intel Iris Xe graphics, and putting that all together makes for one of the most powerful Chromebooks out there already. Most Chromebooks have Intel Celeron processors or are still using older CPUs, but this is using a modern chip with pretty high performance, so it’s easily one of the best experiences you can get on Chrome OS. Combine that with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, and you have a fantastic combination that stands head and shoulders above its competitors.

The display is also fantastic on the Acer Chromebook Spin 713. It’s a 13.5-inch IPS panel, and it has a 3:2 aspect ratio. That’s not too uncommon on Windows laptops, but for a Chromebook, that’s something you almost never see, and it’s fantastic. On top of that, this is a very sharp display, with a resolution of 2256 x 1504, making for a fantastic screen for productivity but also for media consumption. And since this is a convertible laptop, the display supports touch, and you can use it as a tablet.

Like most laptops on this list, the webcam is only 720p resolution, which isn’t impressive, but it should suffice in a pinch.  There’s no IR facial recognition – not that it would be supported by Chrome OS anyway – nor a fingerprint sensor, which is unfortunate.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 matches its internal specs with a premium design, too, using an aluminum chassis and Corning Gorilla Glass to protect the display. It’s just silver, but that’s forgivable when it already does so much right compared to other Chromebooks. It’s also designed to meet the MIL-STD-810H rating for durability, so it should be able to survive the bumps and scuffs of college life without a problem.

Coming around to the ports, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 has two Thunderbolt ports, one USB Type-A port, HDMI, a microSD card reader, and a headphone jack. That covers pretty much all the basics, and with Thunderbolt support, you can connect even more peripherals using a Thunderbolt dock.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 has all the elements of a premium laptop, which makes it almost incredible that it costs just $699.99. What’s more, at writing time, it’s seeing a huge $170 discount, so you can get it for just $529.99. For that price, this is an absolute no-brainer for any college student looking for a new Chromebook, and it’s one of the best laptops you can buy.

    Acer Chromebook Spin 713
    When it comes to premium Chromebooks, it doesn't get much better than the Acer Chromebook Spin 713. A fast Intel Tiger Lake processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, a super sharp touchscreen, and a premium build make this an amazing deal for $699.

Those are our top laptop recommendations for college students, and they should be good enough for almost any workload a student might have. There are various options for different target audiences here, so you’re sure to find something you like. Not only is it at the top of this list, but the HP Spectre x360 14 would also be my personal pick if I was buying a laptop today. I find the versatility of a convertible extremely appealing, and the beautiful design of the Spectre x360 makes it that much more compelling.

However, back when I was entering college, I probably would have wanted the Razer Blade 14 instead. I was much more into PC gaming at the time, and the Razer Blade 14 is perfect for that while still being very compact and portable. If you feel the same way, that would be my recommendation. With that being said, every option on this list is great, and it could be the perfect one for you.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Writer at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.