Whether you’re taking notes, working on your newest research paper, or binge-watching your favorite shows, a laptop is a college student’s most indispensable gadget. You’ll want one that’s convenient to carry from class to class, has a long battery life, and has a powerful enough CPU to keep up with your workload, even when you’re trying to keep up with your own. And, of course, don’t forget an SSD for speedy boot-up at the start of class.
What is the most reliable laptop for college students?
We’re sure you have a lengthy list of requirements for your ideal laptop, and we want to ensure you get the one that meets them all. There are numerous high-quality, long-lasting machines available to see you through the next few years, and it would take some time to determine which models are the greatest fit for you. As a result, we’ve gone ahead and completed your homework for you. Take a look at some of our finest laptops for students in 2022.
Acer Swift 5
- Display: 14” (1,920 x 1,080) IPS touchscreen 340-nit
- CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7
- GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- RAM: 16GB LPDDR4x
- Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
- Weight: 2.31 lbs
- Size: 12.56 x 8.15 x 0.59 inches
You don’t want anything delaying you from completing your schoolwork or getting to and from classes. The Acer Swift 5 is an excellent companion in this sense, as its ultra-lightweight design and thin chassis make it extremely portable. However, despite its compact size, it is equipped with powerful hardware that can keep up with your tasks while sipping on the battery for extended periods of time away from a power outlet.
This model features a Full HD touchscreen with a maximum brightness of 340 nits, which helps you see more clearly even while you’re outside. With a quad-core Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor and 16GB of RAM, you’ll experience lightning-fast performance and can open dozens of tabs on your browser. Additionally, 1TB of storage allows you to store all of your schoolwork on the laptop while still leaving room for casual games that the Intel Iris Xe Graphics can handle.
Dell XPS 15
- Display: 15.6-inch, 3456 x 2160 (3.5K) OLED
- CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
- RAM: 16GB
- Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
- Weight: 4.3 lbs
- Size: 113.6 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches
The Dell XPS 15 excels in productivity, multimedia, and even a little gaming. The XPS 15 features a beautiful, sleek design and a powerful processor. While that may seem trivial, the four-border InfinityEdge bezel allowed one of the highest resolution displays on the market, which is now available in stunning OLED for people who don’t require the longest battery life.
And if that isn’t enough, there is an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 Comet Lake H-Series processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU under the hood. All of our benchmark tests, including our graphics test, were dominated by the laptop. This implies that you can start a solid gaming session in a jiffy. Everything you could possibly want in a system is covered by this one.
Apple MacBook Air
- Display: 13.3″ Retina (2,560 x 1,600)
- CPU: Apple M1 Octa-core
- GPU: Integrated
- RAM: 8GB Unified Memory
- Storage: 256GB SSD
- Weight: 2.8 lbs
- Size: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches
Apple’s Macbook Air is the perfect Macbook for college students. Apple’s current model is physically identical to the previous one and retains the same lightweight and portable design, but now features Apple’s custom-built M1 chip inside. This is a significant departure from the Intel processors that have traditionally powered Apple’s MacBooks, and it comes with a significant advantage for students: increased efficiency.
The M1 chip contains eight processing cores in total, four of which are high-performance and four are high-efficiency. When the MacBook Air needs to accomplish anything quickly, it uses the faster cores, for easier tasks, it can rely on the more efficient cores. This all adds up to a longer battery life, which makes jumping from class to class a breeze. Even the integrated graphics on the M1 chip perform admirably, allowing you to squeeze in some gaming time when you need a break from homework. Additionally, with the MacBook Air’s compatibility with iOS apps, you’ll have lots of options for managing your education and social life.
Microsoft Surface Go 3
- Display: 10.5” 1920 x 1280 (220 PPI) PixelSense Display
- CPU: Intel Pentium Gold Processor 6500Y – 10th Gen Intel Core i3
- RAM: 4GB – 8GB
- Storage: 64GB eMMC – 128GB SSD
- Weight: 1.18 lbs
- Size: 7.98 x 10.82 x 1.89 inches
The Microsoft Surface Go 3 is one of the most affordable 2-in-1 tablet devices available. You’d need to purchase the keyboard separately (and possibly the stylus as well, if you’re taking a course that requires one), but when combined with its peripherals, this can frequently be a better alternative for students than an actual laptop.
This is because Microsoft has maintained the sleek and elegant style of its other Surface products while keeping the Surface Go 3’s price attractive. Although it is not as powerful as the newly introduced Surface Pro 8, or even the previous Surface Pro 7, it is a fantastic choice for most students who need a laptop or tablet that they can use to write Office files while still browsing the web.
Additionally, it comes pre-installed with Windows 11, which means it can run virtually any application you can think of. If you’re looking for a tablet, this is an excellent purchase, however, for those looking for a laptop capable of typing lengthy documents, we strongly recommend purchasing the Type Cover in addition to the tablet, or investing in a Bluetooth keyboard.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
- Display: 13.5-inch 2256 x 1504 touchscreen
- CPU: 11-Gen Intel Core i5/i7 | Ryzen 5/7 4000-series
- GPU: Integrated Intel Iris Xe or Radeon graphics
- RAM: 8GB to 32GB
- Storage: 256GB to 1TB SSD
- Weight: 2.79 lbs
- Size: 10.76 x 14.6 x 2.12 inches
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is the company’s closest representation of a flagship Windows laptop. This 2021 addition to the Surface Laptop range manages to fit premium components into a slimline body and includes a bloatware-free Windows 10 setup.
If you’re searching for a high-end Windows laptop that you can take around with you all day between lectures, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is the way to go. It features a comfortable keyboard with appropriately sized, pleasing keys and a lovely Alcantara deck option that provides slightly more comfort for your wrists than a conventional all-metal laptop. Add in the decent 10+ hour battery life and the screen’s tall 3:2 aspect ratio, which allows for more comfortable reading and editing of papers, and you have a wonderful notebook for students on the run.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano
- Display: 13 inches; 2K
- CPU: Intel Core i5-1130G7 | Intel Core i7-1160G7
- GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- RAM: 8GB – 16GB
- Storage: 256 – 1TB SSD
- Weight: 2 lbs
- Size: 4 x 15 x 15 inches
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano is an excellent choice if you absolutely need the lightest laptop available for going back to school. This lightweight two-pound laptop is easy to carry and should last you a full day at school; it lasted 12 hours on our battery test, which puts it on par with some of the best laptops available today. That’s impressive considering the 2.9-pound Dell XPS 13 is almost a pound heavier.
Lenovo also did not skimp on performance or usability. The Nano’s Intel 11th Generation Tiger Lake processors provide the speed you need to complete your school projects, and its ThinkPad-branded keyboard provides a snappy and comfortable typing experience. However, you may want to bring a USB-C hub, as it is a little short on ports.
Asus TUF Dash F15
- Display: 15.6” FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS-level 144Hz
- CPU: Intel Core i7-11370H
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 (6GB GDDR6 VRAM)
- RAM: 16GB DDR4 (3,200MHz)
- Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
- Weight: 4.41 pounds
- Size: 14.17 x 9.92 x 0.78 inches
Because bringing your gaming PC to school is unlikely, the next best solution is a gaming laptop. And you’re going to adore the Asus TUF Dash F15 when it comes to destroying opponents in your favorite games — once you’ve finished your schoolwork, of course. This gaming laptop is equipped with a powerful Intel Core i7-11370H CPU and Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics card, which provides more than enough power to fully utilize the 15.6-inch, 1080p 144Hz display. Additionally, with 16GB of RAM, you won’t have any difficulty opening a slew of tabs in your browser to work on large research projects.
It’s all the more impressive that Asus didn’t have to make significant compromises in terms of size or battery life to get this laptop’s performance. Although the Asus TUF Dash F15 is only 4.41 pounds and less than an inch thick, it managed to last more than nine hours in our battery test.
Lenovo ThinkBook 14S Yoga
- Display: 14” FHD (1,920 x 1,080) 300-nit IPS Touchscreen
- CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7
- GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- RAM: 8GB DDR4
- Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD
- Weight: 3.55 lbs
- Size: 12.61 x 8.44 x 0.69 inches
Lenovo has a history of producing high-quality laptops that pack a lot of power into a compact chassis, and this is no different with its vast line of 2-in-1 laptops. Lenovo’s ThinkBook 14S Yoga is the epitome of value-packed laptops. For less than $1000, you can own a 2-in-1 laptop that is light years ahead of the competition in terms of features.
You’ll get a 14-inch Full HD display that is not only bright at 300 nits but also capable of stylus and touch inputs. Therefore, if you intend to use this laptop for designing or editing, a touchscreen might significantly simplify the process. Indeed, it includes a stylus that slips neatly into the chassis. This model features an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor for reliable everyday performance, and Lenovo offers 8GB of RAM to suit the majority of users.