The life of a college student is a hectic one. Classes to attend, papers to write, tests to take, and tuition to pay — it’s a lot.
And while we can’t take all that stress off your plate — you’ll have to ace those tests on your own — we can help you check one stressful task off your to-do list: Buying the right laptop for college.
Mashable shopping reporters have reviewed dozens of laptops, and in this guide, we’ll give you our top hand-on-tested picks for the best laptops for college students (with more recommendations coming in future updates).
How do I choose a laptop for college?
For the student lifestyle, portability, performance, and price are key. Because you’ll be hopping around from class to class on a tight schedule, you’ll need a laptop that you can carry around easily without weighing you down. You’re too young for back problems.
In terms of performance, you probably won’t need anything too fancy, but you will want a device with a CPU, GPU, and RAM that can handle multiple tasks at once. If you’re an art student who will be using your laptop to edit photos and videos, you should aim for something with higher processing power like the M3 Apple MacBook Pro.
As for price, college students already have a huge financial burden on their shoulders, so don’t buy something that’s going to make life even harder. There are plenty of affordable laptops that’ll do what you need them to do.
What are the best laptops for college?
We’re excited to help you pick out your new college companion. Below, our hands-on-tested recommendations for the best laptops for college students in 2024.