The Best Laptops for Students in 2020
Being a student is never easy, no matter what level of education you are pursuing, it is a challenge. One challenge faced by every student is deciding which laptop, Chromebook, or tablet to buy for school. Choosing a laptop can be confusing and frustrating, especially if there is a lack of technological knowledge and/or a lack of funds. With these challenges in mind, we have compiled a list of the best laptops for students in 2020 to give you a general idea of what is currently available and which would be best for your situation.
Dell Chromebook 11 3189 2-in-1, 11.6” IPS Touchscreen
Price $250.00 on Amazon.com Customer Review: 4.5 stars out of 5
This Chromebook comes with an Intel Celeron N3060 processor, 32GB hard drive, and 4GB RAM. It is durable and has a long battery life, making it perfect for student life. It has the multimode hinge expected in a convertible laptop, giving you four display options. Reviewers say that screen quality is not the best, it can be a bit grainy, but that does not take away from its functionality. It also lacks a USB-C port, which some reviewers found frustrating, but not a deal breaker. This is a good, functional Chromebook in a good price range, it simply lacks a little horsepower. This would be the perfect 2-in-1 for a younger student.
Acer Chromebook Spin 11, 11.6” HD Touchscreen
Price $329.99 on Amazon.com Customer Review: 4.5 stars out of 5
This convertible Chromebook has a number of handy features. Touchscreen compatibility, keyboard and stylus input, two USB-C ports as well as two USB 3.0 ports, and two cameras. It comes with an Intel Celeron N3350 Dual Core Processor, 4GB of on-board memory, and a 10-hour battery life. One big benefit to students is that this is a tough little netbook, able to withstand the typical rough and tumble knocking around that is inevitable in the student life. It does operate on Android and is compatible with all the regular Google apps found in the play store.
Downsides include that is a cloud-based netbook, so it may be lacking in power. If you are looking for something with high level specs, this is not it. Some reviewers also mention that it is a little heavy for a tablet replacement, coming in at about three pounds, so that could be a challenge if you are planning on holding it for long periods of time. The slightly grainy picture and tinny speakers may be off-putting to some as well. On the other hand, if you are looking for a sturdy, compact laptop to do all your basic computer processing, this is the one for you.
Asus Vivobook 15, 15.6” FHD
Price $362.98 On Amazon.com. Customer Review: 4.5 stars out of 5
The big selling point for this laptop is the bright screen and ultrathin bezel, only 5.2mm. It also comes with a long battery life and quick charging, up to 60% in about 50 mins. This laptop comes with the added benefit of a backlit keyboard and the unique Ergo lift hinge, meaning that as the screen goes back, the keyboard lifts slightly, making long term typing more comfortable. It comes equipped with all the desired ports such as USB-C, USB-A, USB 2.0, and HDMI. Bluetooth connectivity, for your headphones and cordless mouse, is also another benefit. Downsides include its weight, 3.75lb, it is a little heavy for proper portability. Some reviewers also mention that the large screen does not have good multi-angle viewing and can look a bit gray or grainy. On the upside it has 8GB of RAM, 128GB Flash Memory Solid State, and Intel UHD integrated graphics, so it can run Adobe Photoshop or other similar software. If you are looking for something with a little more power behind it, but do not want to break the bank, this is one of the best laptops for students in 2020 and it is within a moderate budget range.
Lenovo IdeaPad L340, 15.6”
Price $369.95 on Amazon.com. Customer Review: 4.5 stars out of 5
Lenovo stepped up their game for this low price point, high performance laptop. Not only is it good for school and work, it also comes with enough horsepower for photo and video editing as well as casual gaming. With 8GB of RAM and 128GB hard drive, it can run all the programs you need for work and play. It has the added benefit of a DVD+RW drive, an unusual but handy addition if you are looking to use your laptop for entertainment. A few minimal downsides include the fact that it is not touchscreen and is a bit heavy for portability, 5.75lb. Reviewers agree that the added hardware power makes the downsides negligible. If your chosen major requires a computer that can step it up a notch, this is the one.
Apple MacBook Air, 13”
Price $749.99 on Amazon.com. Customer Review: 4.5 stars out of 5
No list of laptop options is complete without mentioning the Apple MacBook Air. The newest version of the MacBook is not too different from the previous version, so if you are already familiar with the famous MacBook Air and enjoy using it, this one is worth a look. It has similar performance to a couple of our previously mentioned laptops, which is a bit disappointing when considering the significant difference in price. Upsides include the fact that it is an Apple product, so it is compatible with your iPhone, Apple watch, and Apple music. It has 8GB of RAM, 128GB of memory, and Intel Core i5 processor, so it will fulfill your laptop needs in terms of basic performance. The long battery life is also a big plus if you are continually on the go. Reviewers specifically mention the high-quality screen and sleek design, but these may not be quite enough to make the MacBook worth the price. If you are a diehard Apple fan and have other Apple products, then this is a good choice for you. If not, it may not be worth paying extra for the name.
Huawei Matebook 13 Signature Edition 13”, 2K, Touchscreen
Price $929.99 on Amazon. Customer Review: 4 stars out of 5
This one is a bit higher on the price scale, but if you are looking for something with a little more power behind it, but still need light and portable, try the Huawei Matebook 13. With an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor and Shark Fin Design 2.0 cooling system, this laptop offers high performance processing, all the while remaining cool. It is light for a laptop, 2.86lb, but still packs a punch with good graphics and sounds. It comes with a USB-A port, USB-C port, HDMI port, and VGA port.
Downsides include that the battery life will not last you all day with consistent use, but it does come with a quick charge battery pack that can help remedy that. Some reviewers mention that it is not as sturdy as they might hope, but as far as performance is concerned, it is a customer favorite and may be what you need if you are looking for high performance and portability.
Taking the Plunge
As previously mentioned, choosing a laptop for school can be a struggle, but a little bit of time and research can save you a lot of time. Be sure to take note of what you need and be careful not to pay extra for unnecessary bells and whistles.
Looking to buy a laptop for a younger student? Then it is best to stick with the sturdier, if slightly underpowered Chromebook. Focusing on how well the laptop or tablet will hold up under all the wear and tear of transport will save you money in the long run. Most Chromebooks are more than capable of handling any of the requirements of primary education.
If you are looking for something for personal use, ask yourself a few key questions, such as: what do you expect to be doing with your laptop? Are you planning on taking this piece of tech to every class? Are you going to be using this for entertainment purposes as well? If most of your work is going to be online research and writing, then you may want to stick with the Chromebooks as well. They are light and portable, fully functional for research and papers, and super cost effective.
All of that being said, if you are going into a field that requires more computer work beyond note taking and writing, then it is worth spending the extra money to get the performance power you need. No sense in saving money now, only to have to spend more money later when you find your computer will not hold up to the work you need to accomplish.
In conclusion, do not be fooled into thinking that spending more will ensure that you get what you need. Hopefully this list of the best laptops for students in 2020 will help you feel more comfortable in your decision. Simply match your needs to the correct machine and you are sure to be happy with your choice.