How To Choose a Laptop for College [Detailed Guide]

How To Choose a Laptop for College

How To Choose a Laptop for College

If you are a college student and wondering how to choose a laptop for college, then you are in the right place. Every college student needs a laptop, but laptops are long-term investments, unlike low-cost school supplies like pens and paper.
Spending some time studying laptops might aid you in figuring out what you should look for in a laptop for college and what you can afford. Laptops for college students are used for more than just completing homework and case studies.
This article will go over the most important things to think about when buying a laptop for college. We’ll also go through financing alternatives and how to get the best laptop bargains for college students.
Moreover, we have a separate article on Best Touch Screen Laptop for Students, you can check that out as well if you want a touch screen laptop.

How to choose a laptop for college

Because the average student spends about 75% of their time on technology, it’s critical to research how to choose a laptop for college before buying one. It isn’t as simple as one might believe in making a decision.
A good student laptop has different requirements than a professional or gamer’s premium equipment. The performance of a laptop is based on five key foundations. Performance = Processor + RAM + Internal Memory + Battery + Graphics Card
Depending on your major, you need a powerful laptop for college studies. Engineering students and anyone undertaking graphic or 3D modeling will require a powerful CPU and GPU to complete their work.
A laptop with 4GB of RAM and core i3/i5 is enough for a student whose significant assignments are term papers or Word/Excel tasks. But students using demanding apps like graphic/3d modeling should go for higher-level processors like an Intel Core i7 or i9.
What Laptop Do Most College Students Use
This article covers the features and specifications of a good laptop for college students, which will aid you in choosing the best laptop for you. Before buying a laptop for college, all students should consider the following crucial points listed below.

1- Make a budget plan

Laptops, like other gadgets, come in a wide range of prices and quality. Expensive models have better processors and graphics cards and larger hard drives, while less expensive models have less powerful technology that gives a lesser performance.
An entry-to-mid-level laptop ($300-$600) is sufficient for most students to meet college-related requirements. It’s worth noting that some specialist fields may necessitate more powerful laptop gear.
It’s critical to establish a rough estimate of how much you’ll spend. It will aid you in selecting a laptop from the various categories and types available.

2- Look for laptop size

If you want to do basic chores like word processing, light, tiny, and simple laptops should suffice, but some students may place a higher value on screen size and processing ability.
Like RAM or ROM, the size of the laptop is something you can’t replace or adjust. As a result, you must exercise extreme caution while selecting a size, as laptops ranging from 11.6 to 17.3 inches are available on the market.
Laptops from HP, Dell, ASUS, and Acer are available in 13.3-inch, 15.6-inch, and 17.3-inch. If you prefer tiny laptops, small and lightweight laptops are great; otherwise, medium-sized laptops are ideal.

Display size 12.5 to 14 inches

The display size of 12.5 to 14 inches supplies the most delicate blend of usability and portability. Unless you work in computer science or need a giant screen and fast speed for specific jobs like design work, an 11-to-13-inch laptop under 5 pounds should be sufficient.

15-inch display size

It is the most common size; consider it if you want a larger screen and won’t be carrying your notebook around much.

Tip on laptop size

Laptops with a small screen supply the best portability and usability blend; nevertheless, larger screens are excellent if you don’t travel frequently, and smaller models are ideal for children.

3- Look for laptop weight

Laptop portability is usually a high priority for college students. Most 15-inch (38-centimeter) laptops weigh roughly 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms), which is reasonable to transport from home to college every day.

Why the weight is a crucial factor?

Heavy computers stifle mobility. If portability is a high priority, a smaller-sized Windows laptop is the way to go. They’re usually smaller and lighter than others.
Look for laptops with a screen size of 12.5 inches or 13.3 inches and a weight of between 1 and 1.5 kg.

4- Select an operating system

Today, Windows 10 is one of the most widely used operating systems. In today’s world, it comes pre-installed on almost every laptop. It’s simple to use. Any software, from work to leisure to games, can be installed.
Depending on what you’re studying, there may be specific system requirements, such as Mac OS or Linux. A MacBook or MacBook Pro is expensive, but you can install Windows on it.
Linux-based laptops may be less expensive than those with Windows pre-installed. Choosing an operating system is very important for how to choose a laptop for college.

Which is better, a Mac or a PC?

A PC and a MacBook can perform identically, yet the MacBook will always cost more because it is an Apple product. MacBooks are thinner and lighter than conventional PCs/Laptops because Apple strictly regulates their software and hardware.
What laptop brand is the best for college
Because PC components must be interchangeable, those laptops are typically larger and heavier. So, while deciding between a Mac and a PC, consider what software you’ll need and which platform will support it.

5- Choose your RAM

Most laptops now come with 4GB of RAM, which is ideal for everyday tasks like using Microsoft Office, browsing the web, and watching movies. If you’re willing to spend a bit extra, you might be able to find models with 8GB of RAM.

SSD or HDD, What to Choose?

If possible, go for a laptop with a solid-state drive (SSD) instead of a Hard Disk drive (HDD). It will significantly improve the performance of your laptop. Although SSDs are costly, you can now get a 256GB SSD for approximately the same price as a 1 TB mechanical hard drive.
Multitasking between heavy software becomes more accessible with more RAM. 128GB SSDs are plenty. However, now that 256GB is cheaper consider how much storage space you’ll need and whether you’ll be keeping huge items on flash drives/external drives.

6- Choose the Finest Processor for Your Laptop

Intel and AMD processors are used in laptops. It’s not easy to pick the right one. An Intel Core i3 or AMD A-series A6 or AMD A8 processor would be adequate if you want to use your laptop primarily for college assignments, simple game titles, and applications.
Laptops with Intel Core i5/i7 or AMD A10 CPUs may be worth the extra money for students who do a lot of programming or use graphics-intensive software.

Which intel core is the best?

The uncertainty begins when you choose between Intel’s dynamic options: Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7. The answer is straightforward.

  • If you’re looking for a budget laptop, the Intel Core i3 is the way to go.
  • Intel Core i5 processors are excellent for general-purpose laptops.
  • The Intel Core i7 processor, on the other hand, is employed in some high-powered gadgets.
  • The Intel i9 processor is the most powerful, but not everyone needs one.

7- Calculate How Much Storage You’ll Require

You’ll have a lot of things to store as a college student. Documents, presentations, images, movies, music, and much more are available. Hard discs with capacity ranging from 500 GB to 2TB and beyond are standard in most laptops today.
A 500GB hard drive will suffice for all of the software you’ll need to install, but you’ll need something huger if you want to save important data files. Don’t worry if you’re on a budget and have to settle for a 500GB drive.
You can either wait or buy a larger external hard drive later.

8- Look for the Battery Life of The Laptop

The average battery lasts 10-14 hours. Smaller computers have longer battery lives and work more efficiently, while higher-powered laptops require more power and hence run less efficiently while having shorter battery lives.
Laptops’ battery life ranges from 8 to 10 hours on the low end to 12 to 17 hours on the high end. When selecting a computer for college, all students should also consider this feature.

9- Select A Graphics Card

There are two sorts of graphics solutions on laptops: integrated and discrete. Integrated ones are usually slower, while discrete ones are more performance-oriented.
A laptop with an integrated graphics card would suffice if you only planned to use it to play basic games or browse the web and view movies.

10- Choose Display Quality

So, since you’ll be staring at your laptop screen for most of the day, choose the most comfortable display screen. If you want enough space to line up windows and keep items in view, the 1920×1080-pixel resolution (Full HD) should be your first pick.
Following that, you must evaluate other screen elements, such as whether or not you want a touchscreen. Laptops with touchscreens are now available to provide users with more capability. However, they produce a glossy display due to repeated touching.
If you have to watch, edit, or write content, this will be a problem. As a result, all you need is a screen with some outstanding display qualities.

Is 8GB ram enough for college?

For most college students, 8GB of RAM is sufficient these days. However, if you’re an engineering or business student who wants to use your laptop to process a lot of data, 16GB of RAM is a good idea.
is 8GB ram enough for college
Unless you’re on a tight budget, we recommend avoiding laptops with 4GB of RAM if at all possible. Programs will require more RAM as time goes on, but 8GB should be sufficient for the next few years.
While 8GB of RAM may be sufficient for now, as apps become more demanding, you’ll most certainly require more. If you’re taking intense courses like gaming or modeling, you’ll also need extra RAM.

The Most Important Takeaway

An 8GB RAM is sufficient for primary productivity. It can open up to 30 tabs, edit 10 photographs, and play games. Furthermore, as long as the graphics card is not too demanding, you may play the most fun with it.
You’ll need at least 4GB of RAM if you’re going to use the computer for video editing or gaming. It’ll probably suffice if you’re only using the machine for work.

What laptop brand is the best for college?

You can be a fan of a particular brand or want to try something different. As a result, the brand you choose is entirely up to you. However, it is recommended that you select a brand that has been on the market for an extended period.
It is critical since you may need to replace any of your hardware components in the future, such as the keyboard, screen, and other features. So, when you buy a new laptop, be sure to look at its size, display, keyboard, CPU, and RAM.
In our opinion, the best brands for college laptops, according to their rating, are Dell, HP, and Asus. Because Dell laptops are compact, lightweight, and has a long-lasting battery, they are considered the best laptop for college students.
HP has the finest laptops, which are helpful for students who need a portable machine with plenty of power and long battery life, and better designs.
Asus keeps a high level of industry respect because of its outstanding inventions, such as dual-screen laptops and reasonably priced notebooks.

Recommended Laptop for College Use

It all relies on your individual needs and budgets, and size will play a significant role. However, if you’re in a rush, here’s what we recommend.
Choose a display size between 12.5 and 14, an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 1920 x 1080 screen, battery life of at least 5 to 8 hours, and SSD storage over the hard disc.

FAQS: How to choose a laptop for college?

RAM ability, processor speed & technology (i3/i4/i5/i7), hard drivability, graphics card, and display size are all notable features and specs to consider when buying a laptop. It would help if you struck the correct balance of all of these factors based on your task.

Dimensions of the display screen:

The standard is 15.6 inches; however, 12 to 14 inches can be more portable.

Type of display:

When it comes to viewing angles, IPS is the way to go.

RAM and ROM are two types of memory:

These are two types of memory. You'll need at least 512GB of storage and 4GB of RAM for multitasking.


The battery life of a good laptop is estimated to be around 8 hours.

Final Thoughts

As you prepare to go to college, you may be considering how to choose a laptop for college study. This article covers all the key takeaways you should consider while buying a laptop for college.
The first thing to think about is your budget. What is the most amount you are willing to spend on a laptop? HP Laptops are an excellent option if you’re dealing with a limited budget.
You would love to check out our detailed guide on Best Budget Laptop Under 400 Dollars. Go for a laptop with long battery life if you need to carry a laptop to college.
We recommend opting for at least 8GB of RAM. 4GB of RAM is sufficient for online browsing and basic college tasks, but 8GB is preferable for multitasking and other functions you will need over time.
The CPU is the brain of a laptop; the more influential the processor, the more jobs it can manage at once. Consider a laptop with a solid-state drive (SSD) instead of a hard drive because you’ll get at least three times the speed and a faster laptop overall.

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