10 Best Laptops for College 2016

If you’re getting ready for the next hectic college semester you definitely want to insure that you have a high quality, reliable and efficient laptop. However, with the constantly updated technology that is coming out it can be difficult to figure out what you need, and what you do not need. We’ve compiled a list of the most practical choices in order to help you find the best laptops for college.

This short, easy to read guide will help you find the best laptops for college students that are currently available. This list was created in order to help college students all around the world find what they actually need in order to survive; much less thrive while at college; because getting some straight answers about the technology that you are purchasing should not be difficult.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Laptop

  • Why you are getting a laptop in the first place. They’re easy to transport from place to place; such as between your class rooms and dorm room, or to and from study sessions. The technology being utilized in laptops is constantly being upgraded and/or completely renovated; making laptops lighter, easier to carry, faster to use and all of this is complimented by a longer battery life than ever before.
  • Any special software or features that you need. If you take classes that are frequently dimly lit for presentations, projections, etc… you may want to consider a back lit keyboard. Other classes may require that you complete your homework with specific software; such as MS Office.
  • Hardware. If you intend to use your computer for a lot of multitasking or to use a program that requires a lot of processing power; you will need internal hardware that is powerful enough to accommodate your tasks.

Top 10 Best Laptops for College Ultimate Chart

PictureNameHard DriveProcessorScreen SizePriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameHard DriveProcessorScreen SizePriceRating (1-5)
1. Dell Latitude E6400 Laptop80 GB2.26 GHz Core 2 Duo P870014.1$$4.1
2. HP ENVY 17-j140us 17.3-Inch Laptop12 GBcore i7 2.5 GHz17.3$$$$4.1
3. Acer Aspire E15 (ES1-511-C59V) Diamond Black500 GB SATA2.16 GHz Intel Celeron15.6$$3.9
4. Dell Inspiron i15RV-6143BLK Touchscreen Laptop500 GB1.9 GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core15.6$$3.9
5. Acer Aspire E 11 ES1-111M-C40S 11.6-Inch Laptop32 GB2.16 GHz Intel Celeron11.6$3.8
6. Dell Inspiron 15z Ultrabook / Moon Silver500GB 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i5-3337U processor15.6$$$3.8
7. ASUS F550LA-SS71 Non-touch Notebook Computer750 GBIntel Core i7-4500HQ Haswell 1.8GHz 15.6$$$3.6
8. ASUS X551MA-RCLN03 Laptop (Black )500GB Intel Celeron N2815 1.86GHz, up to 2.13GHz Burst Processor15.6$3.4
9. ASUS Zenbook UX31 Laptop [OLD VERSION]256 GB1.7 GHz Core i7-3517U13.3$$$$$3.2
10. Toshiba Satellite C55-B5299 Laptop500GB 2.41 GHz 803215.6$3.2

Tech Terms Explained

If you are unsure of what to look for in a laptop, the terms listed below will help clear up a few common questions that buyers have; mainly ‘What does that mean?’.

  • Processor. To put it most simply, the processor is in charge of data retrieval. The size/speed of your processor directly affects how responsive and quick your laptop is.
  • RAM. (AKA Random Access Memory) is where all of the information is stored on a laptop or computer. The more RAM that you have, the more tasks that you can run on a laptop simultaneously without suffering any loss of speed.
  • Hard Drive. This is where all of the good stuff is stored at; your document and project files, video and audio files that you have saved, etc… The size of your hard drive dictates how much storage capacity you have to save things on your computer.
  • Cloud. Cloud storage is remote (meaning that it is stored on a bank of computers separate from yours; but still accessible through an account that you create a profile for) hard drive space that you use to store your excess data and files. Cloud storage is mainly recommended in order to insure that your data is safe; even if your computer is stolen or damaged.

Top 5 Laptops for College Reviews

1. Dell Latitude E6400

The Dell Latitude E6400 Laptop is rated the best laptop for college for a variety of reasons. It is lightweight; weighing only 2.2 lbs. The model is compact so that it is easy to store in your bag with your books; or off to the side of your work space when it is not needed. The screen is 14.1 inches; large enough to easily multitask, but not an inconvenient size to carry around.

It is equipped with a 2.26 GHz Core 2 Duo P8700 processor; giving you the speed that you require to run multiple programs at the same time. The equipped RAM is great too; 2 GB SO-DIMM DDR2. It has a 300 GB HDD 7200 rpm hard drive; which provides far more storage space than the average light weight laptop within its class.

This laptop runs Windows 7 Pro; which provides a variety of advantages to students, including; roughly 74 more GB of physical memory support, backups are stored on the network as well as local HDD, and an encrypting file system. Basically, Windows 7 Pro provides you with far more document security, and more secure storage of data and files.

The Dell Latitude E6400 is a great choice for college students who need to insure that their files are safe, secure and easily accessible on the go. It is equipped with some of the best internal hardware currently available for laptops of this class and purpose.

2. HP ENVY 17-j140us

The HP ENVY 17-j140us 17.3-Inch Laptop is amongst the rankings of the best laptops for college because it is yet another fantastic option for students that are searching for a quality, efficient computer that will get them through their classes. This model is a bit heavier; at 7.07 lbs. however it is equipped with more powerful internal hardware. This touch screen laptop is a relatively large 17.3 inch; which is another added bonus. Those with trouble seeing may favor this model because of its large, easy to see screen. The fact that it is a touch screen is convenient for many apps and other tasks as well.

This laptop has the internal hardware to handle all of your school projects with ease. It is equipped with a core i7 2.5 GHz processor in order to provide you with the processing speed required to multitask on your laptop. The equipped RAM on this model is 12 GB DDR3L SDRAM; which is higher end for the current market. It has a fantastic 1024 GB 5400 rpm hard drive; which is considerably larger than the average internal laptop hard drive.

The HP Envy 17 has a great graphics coprocessor as well; an Intel HD graphics 4600; that makes it possible to play more advanced games that require a lot of processing power and graphic capabilities. The average battery life of the HP Envy 17 is 4.5-6 hours; depending upon the task at hand. Programs and tasks that require more processing power do drain the battery more quickly than simply running MS Word or a program equivalent.

3. Acer Aspire E15 (ES1-511-C59V)

The Acer Aspire E15 model is the third ranked best laptops for college. This laptop made the cut for a lot of different reasons. The screen is a medium range size, at 15.6 inches; but is also incredibly light weight for such a large screen model. The Acer Aspire E15 is only 5.29 lbs.; making it incredibly easy to transport from class to car/bus, or between study sessions and your dorm room. This slim light weight laptop fits easily into most college bags as well; making it easy to store safely.

The average battery life of this model is 4.5 hours, so you may have to charge it between class blocks. It is equipped with a 2.16 GHz Intel Celeron processor unit; which is certainly enough power to get your day to day school work done, and then some.

Other important hardware features include the RAM, hard drive and graphics card RAM. The RAM installed in this laptop is 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM. The Acer Aspire E15 is equipped with a 500 GB SATA hard drive. That’s enough storage capacity to store your projects, documents, media and photos very easily. This model has the bonus of being equipped with 64 MB of graphics card RAM; which is great for students working on media related projects regularly; as well as gamers that need a little break time.

4. Dell Inspiron i15RV-6143BLK

This 15.6” touchscreen laptop is yet another good choice for students. The model only weighs 5 lbs.; a very reasonable weight load to carry around with you on a regular basis. It is equipped with two USB 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports for students’ convenience. It runs Windows 8; the most compatible operating system available for touch screen technology. The Dell Inspiron is a good solid laptop that will last students a long time as long as it is cared for properly.

5. Acer Aspire E 11

The Acer Aspire E11 ES1 Laptop is the final laptop to make our top five list. It is quite similar to the Acer Aspire E15 model; with a few exceptions. This model has a completely different look/style that other Acer Aspire models; and is considerably lighter in weight. It provides all of the same benefits as the E15, however it is much sleeker in appearance, and is equipped with higher quality audio and video hardware; which is why we recommend it for college students.

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