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Best student laptop deals: Laptops for college from $215

Going to high school or college can be an overwhelming experience, and you probably don’t want to add figuring out what laptop you can buy to that stress, especially when you’re working under a limited budget and some of the best laptops cost thousands of dollars. That’s why we’ve gone out and picked some of our favorite laptops that work well for students and listed them below, and we’ve included some of the best budget laptops out there. If you’re unsure of where to start, it’s worth checking out our laptop buying guide to give you an idea of which direction to go, and if you don’t find that in the laptops we’ve listed below, you can check out these other great laptop deals and Chromebook deals as well. Below you’ll find some of the cheaper options from HP laptop deals, Dell laptop deals, Acer laptop deals and Lenovo laptop deals.

HP Laptop 14 — $204, was $269

Front angle of the HP 14-inch Chromebook.

The HP Laptop 14 is a popular choice among students because of its entry level price point. It’s specs aren’t going to blow anyone away, but they’re good value for the price and are plenty to get the job done. This build of the HP Laptop 14 has 8GB of RAM and a quad-core Intel Celeron processor. It does check in with just 64GB of storage space — this may not be enough for some users, but if you aren’t planning on loading your laptop up with media this is one that will accompany you well around campus.

IdeaPad Slim 3i Chromebook — $425, was $550

The IdeaPad Slim 3 Chromebook is a great option if you often work unplugged for long periods of time.

Fitting in as one of the best Chromebooks for students, the IdeaPad Slim 3 Chromebook runs on 8GB of memory and an Intel i3 processor. The 14-inch FHD screen has a 100% sRGB color gamut and sides of the keyboard contain speakers, making it a serviceable video lecture companion. The IdeaPad Slim 3’s WiFi 6 allows for quick downloads and a solid internet connection. This, combined with the laptop’s 13-hour battery life, solidify it as the perfect laptop to throw in your bag and take notes with at class. You can still watch (purely educational, of course) YouTube videos, but the machine isn’t designed to be overly distracting.

ASUS Vivobook 16-inch — $450, was $750

The ASUS Vivobook 15.6-inch version with a menu open.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The ASUS Vivobook 26-inch is a great study companion due to quirks that make it perfect for late night usage. Like other ASUS laptops (just one reason ASUS is featured among the best budget laptops) it sports a quiet keyboard with slender-pressing keys. And, in this case, they’re also backlit, meaning you can find the right keys easily even in the dark of night. Its 180-degree hinge, when fully opened, means the ASUS Vivobook can lie flat, allowing for multiple comfortable positions for in-bed studying. The ASUS Vivobook 16-inch features 12GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and an AMD Ryzen 7 processor.

IdeaPad Slim 3 — $480, was $700

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3 on a white background.

When we look at 15 inch laptops we shouldn’t ignore the IdeaPad Slim 3, which comes with an AMD Ryzen processor and AMD Radeon graphics. Behind its 1080p, anti-glare screen is the 8GB of memory and a 512GB SSD storage drive. What makes the IdeaPad Slim 3 special is its tough exterior, made for withstanding harsh drops. This, along with its slim build, make it perfect to throw in the backpack and tug along with you wherever you go. Take even 15 minutes between classes for a charge session and you’ll get two full hours of usage out of your IdeaPad Slim 3, it is a truly versatile machine that is ready to go when you are.

HP Pavilion Laptop 15t — $560, was $1,000

The HP Pavilion 15t-eg300 laptop against a white background.

If you’re willing to spend a little bit more, the HP Pavilion Laptop 15t really starts to ramp up the stats. The 16GB of RAM can be especially useful if you need to use advanced creative software, for example, and competes with the very best business laptops. Of course, the Intel Core i7 processor won’t hurt either. Store you projects and PowerPoints locally on the 256GB SSD contained within, as you don’t want poor reception in the depths of the philosophy building keeping you from getting your points across. Overall, this is one of the best student laptop deals for those that need a little extra power but aren’t ready to break the bank on luxuries like an ultra-advanced display (the HP Pavilion Laptop 15t is 1080p).

Dell XPS 13 — $599, was $799

Dell XPS 13 on a white background.

Consistently one of the best laptops around, the Dell XPS 13 is a dream in almost every way. The thinnest and lightest 13-inch XPS laptop yet, it’s powerful too. It has a 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory and 256GB of SSD storage. Its 13.4-inch full HD+ display with a 1920 x 1200 resolution is a delight to look at with 500 nits of brightness ensuring it can handle all lighting situations too. An impressive battery life of up to 12 hours means it’ll handle the busiest days of classes while you can enjoy streaming your favorite shows in style later in the day thanks to the great display and bigger internal speakers than previous models.

HP Envy Laptop 17t — $900, was $1,150

A side profile of the HP Envy 17-inch laptop against a white background.

Featured among our best HP laptop deals as well, the HP ENVY Laptop 17t is praised for its photo connectivity features. By using HP Palette, you can search through the images of your college memories with photo recognition software. (Yes, the guy you went to chemistry with was also the awful karaoke singer last night.) The HP ENVY Laptop 17t also has quick file sharing between connected devices. Another thing to note about this laptop is how bit it is. It has a 17.3-inch, 1080p screen, so be sure to check out our favorite 17-inch laptop bags if you pick up this offering, as your current one might not be able to handle it. And that big size won’t go to waste at all, as it will not only help you see your pictures better, but also see yourself better from its 5MP built-in webcam. The HP ENVY Laptop 17t uses an Intel Core Ultra 5 125H processor, gets 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage.

ThinkPad E16 Gen 1 — $701, was $1,130

The ThinkPad E16 Gen 1 turned to its side, open, and with a menu open.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When we think of the best Lenovo laptops, one line always comes to mind: ThinkPad. They have a reputation for high durability and good keyboards. While we’ve warned in the past that the latest laptop model isn’t always the best, there is something to be said about the ThinkPad E16 Gen 1 being a new arrival to the Lenovo store. It’s got the latest features that you’ll want for the long term, in abundance. For example its got both USB-C ports and WiFi 6, which are becoming increasingly useful. Furthermore, the ThinkPad E16 has a 16-inch 1920 x 1200p screen, 256GB of storage, and an 8GB memory.

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John Alexander
John Alexander is a former ESL teacher, current writer and internet addict, and lacks the wisdom to know what the future…
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