With so many different brands, technical specs, and price points to choose from, finding the best student laptops can be challenging. New products are being released all the time, each with their own unique advantages, so breaking down the key features and finding out how they may be beneficial to you is key to uncovering your perfect portable match.
Here at Gear Nuke, we’re ready to clear away the over complicated technical fog of computer sales jargon to help find the best laptops for you, no matter what you’re studying, or how you spend your spare time. From competitive prices to battery life and even apps and programs, our comprehensive list explores the best student laptops on the market right now.
Here are the best student laptops available today:
- Apple MacBook Air M2
- HP Pavilion 14”
- Acer Chromebook Spin 713
- Dell XPS 13
- Surface Laptop Go 2
- IdeaPad 5 Pro Gen 6
1. Apple MacBook Air M2
If you’re looking for a premium student laptop perfect for creative projects, the MacBook Air M2 makes perfect sense. With Apple silicon tech and strong aesthetics, the MacBook Air is an uncompromising option and easily one of the best MacBook laptops you can buy. Expect to pay in at $1,199 (£1,249).
Here are the Apple MacBook Air M2 specs:
|Apple MacBook Air M2 specs|
|RAM||8GB Unified Memory|
|Screen||13.6-inch Liquid Retina, 2560 x 1664|
|Battery||Up to 20 hours|
- Lightweight design perfect for on-the-go
- Long battery life
- Good quality built-in webcam
- High price point
- M2 may not be compatible with all apps and programs
The MacBook Air M2 is Apple’s 2022 model, packed with features perfect for student life. A hefty upgrade from the original MacBook Air M1, the M2 runs approximately 13.6 inches wide and weighs 1.24kg, making it a perfect fit for most laptop bags and larger handbags.
One signature upgrade on its predecessor is a much-improved battery that can last up to 18 hours, depending on what you’re running. Though if you do run out of power, the small but mighty USB-C to Magsafe charger utilizes a fast charge function, giving you more power in less time. This upgraded model also houses a well-lit, crisp 1080p built-in webcam, which is perfect for online meetings and classes.
If you’re already part of the Apple Ecosystem, additional benefits like iCloud and software tools like Handoff can bring unity to all your devices, making switching between technology a breeze. While the MacBooks price tag remains relatively high compared to the others on this list, a student discount may be available to reduce its premium cost.
2. HP Pavilion 14
The HP Pavilion 14 is a powerful, lightweight laptop with a great sound system, ideal for everyday use. It creeps below the $1000 price mark and offers ample hardware for the price. Expect to pay $829.99 (£769.99).
Here are the HP Pavilion 14 specs:
|HP Pavilion 14 specs|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 7|
|GPU||Integrated AMD Radeon|
|Screen||14-inch FHD, 1920×1080|
|Battery||up to 10 hours|
- Great sound system
- Fast charge function
- Budget-friendly option
- Moderate battery life
The HP Pavilion 14 is an excellent machine made for efficiently running all manner of everyday tasks. If you’re on a looking for one of the best laptops under $1000 and a low-maintenance device that packs a punch, the Pavilion houses a reasonably-sized 256 GB SSD offering ample storage for projects and programs. If you’re worried about the storage the HP Pavilion 14 offers, you an check out some of the best external hard drives to pair with it. It also boasts plenty of ports perfect for your additional accessories like drawing tablets and headphones.
The Pavilion’s 14 screen is home to HP’s Flicker Free technology which helps to reduce eye strain over long periods, which is great for late nights in the library. A 12-month subscription to Dropbox is also included, giving users an additional 25GB of online storage to play with.
While HP’s relationship with Beats has come to an end, their promise of high-quality audio holds firm, thanks to their new collaborator B&O. With crisp and clear sound, the HP Pavilion’s tuned speakers make taking calls and playing music a consistently impressive experience, no matter how loud your environments may be.
3. Acer Chromebook Spin 713
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 offers dynamic 360-degree convertibility, making it perfect for mixing your traditional laptop workflow with the flexibility of a touchscreen tablet. Expect to pay $749.99 (£799.99).
Here are the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 specs:
|Acer Chromebook Spin 713 specs|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-10210U|
|Screen||13.5-inch FHD, 2256×1504|
|Battery||Up to 15 hours|
- The foldable design blends laptop functionality with a tablet
- Tough external chassis helps reduce the risk of damage
- Bulky design is not for everyone
When looking for laptops great for long study sessions, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is hard to beat. This 2-in-1 laptop can conveniently switch between a tablet and a PC with a few movements, so finding a comfortable position is always easy. The Chromebook Spin’s fifteen-hour battery life ensures that you’re rarely out of juice, and thanks to built-in fast charging technology; you can add four additional hours of wire-free working with just 30 minutes of charge.
The Acer Chromebook Spin’s bright and vibrant screen is a double threat. Touchscreen functionality and a high-resolution display make it comfortable for the eyes when used over long periods. When moving from class to class, the Spin’s reinforced metal chassis will protect the device from knocks while maintaining its polished look. The backlit keyboard is also a bonus for those who may be working late into the night.
4. Dell XPS 13
The Dell XPS 13 exemplifies power in a small package by boasting high-spec hardware in an impressively light frame. If you’re looking for a stylish, reliable, laptop, this would be a great choice. Expect to pay $849 / £999 GBP.
Here are the Dell XPS 13 specs:
|Dell XPS 13 specs|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-1230U|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe|
|Screen||13.4-inch FHD, 1920×1200, 60Hz|
|Battery||Up to 12 hours|
- Light body and thin frame
- Powerful specs under the hood
- 12 Months of McAfee Livesafe included
- A 720p webcam is not the best for online classes and calls
The Dell brand is synonymous with well-built quality machines that are perfect for personal and professional use. Though previous designs may have felt left in the past, Dell’s XPS range of laptops proves that the company’s classic, reliable, hardware is readily available in stylish, modern cases.
The Dell XPS 13 is a lightweight machine with monstrous specs that can handle heavy workloads thanks to its fast 256GB SSD and 12th Generation Intel Core i5 CPU. Multitasking across projects and moving between programs is a near-seamless experience thanks to its heavy-hitting hardware and the strong battery life that can handle the load. The XPS 13’s sizable screen has integrated anti-glare, so it’s great for long days, too, reducing eye strain during study sessions.
5. Surface Laptop Go 2
Looking for a sleek, easy-to-use laptop that’s great to grab and go? The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 is a pint-sized all-rounder whose long battery life and Microsoft pedigree make it hard to beat. Expect to pay $599 (£529).
Here are the Surface Laptop Go 2 specs:
|Surface Laptop Go 2 specs|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-1135G7|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe|
|Screen||12.4-inch, PixelSense Touchscreen, 1536×1024|
|Battery||Up to 13.5 hours|
- Formidable battery life
- Great range of colors to choose from
- Touchscreen functionality
- 128GB SSD in base model
- No backlit keyboard
Luxury doesn’t always have to come at a cost, and the new Microsoft Surface range makes sure that even its base models are stacked with plenty of helpful features, ideal for students on a budget. Despite its small size, the Surface Go 2 is home to a large trackpad and keyboard, though it’s worth mentioning this model doesn’t feature a backlight.
Its built-in webcam and microphone are of reasonable quality and work great in casual video chats or classes. Plus, a healthy choice of colors adds a nice element of personality if you’re looking for more self-expression from your laptop. The Surface Go’s 12.4” display often feels bigger than expected due to its 3:2 aspect ratio and pairs nicely with touchscreen functionality.
If you add in the Essentials Bundle, you can also get 15 months of Microsoft 365 for the cost of 12. This means you can access Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and more at a reduced cost. Additional discounts for accessories are also available through Microsoft, meaning those on a budget might be able to source a full set-up for a more reasonable price.
6. IdeaPad 5 Pro
Whether you’re hunkering down for a monster study session or looking for some time to decompress with your favorite games, the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro has you covered. Expect to pay $1225 (£999).
Here are the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro Gen 6 specs:
|Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro Gen 6 specs|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-1240P|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce MX550 2GB|
|Screen||14-inch Touchscreen, 2240×1400, 60Hz|
|Battery||Up to 13 hours|
- Has a NVIDIA graphics card
- Built-in Alexa
- Considerably heavier than other student laptops
Finding a reasonably-sized device that can handle the student workload and operate admirably as a games laptop is quite an ask. Even so, the IdeaPad Pro attempts to answer that call happily, making it a great option for students trying to balance work and play.
Where dorms and student flats may offer limited amounts of desk space, this PC promises great functionality in a small form factor. Larger models are equipped with function keys that can help with everyday data entry and gaming functionality. Immersive audio courtesy of Dolby Atmos sounds great when settling down to relax with your favorite shows, too. The Pro also offers a solid 13 hours of charge, which will put an end to searching for plugs after long days of study.
The Ideapad also has built-in Amazon Alexa functionality to help you stay organized while juggling multiple projects. You can make shopping lists and set reminders with your voice to make your student life easier.
Still looking for more options? Why not try our list of the best Chromebooks to see if there’s something more appropriate there!