Best Laptops for Students in 2020 that won’t break the bank

by Mayank

Okay, I get it! Schools and universities are currently closed all over the world due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also, we do not expect schools to open anytime before June 2020. That’s actually the main reason why I’m writing this article this time of year, so that as soon as this crisis comes to an end and you join your classes, you have a good laptop with you that you’ll enjoy using every day.
I am writing this article by taking into account the features ideally suited to a typical college student, such as portability, battery life, decent processor and RAM and, most importantly, good build quality. Although I have taken budget into account, I sincerely believe that investing a little more out of your pocket for a good laptop can be really beneficial for you in the future.Whether you need a Windows laptop, a Macbook or a Chromebook, we’ve got something for everyone.

1. Acer Swift 3

The best budget laptop for students that exists today

Credits: Acer

Specs: Intel Core i5-1035G1 | 8GB RAM | 512 SSD | 14-inch Full HD Display | Intel UHD Graphics

  • Great performance
  • Premium looks, Light weight, Slim
  • Great build quality
  • Good Display Quality
  • Good battery life and fast charging support
  • Odd placement of Page Up & Page Down keys
  • Speakers are not good

I can’t recommend this laptop enough for any student out there. I have been using this laptop myself for over 4 months now and I haven’t faced any issues with it. The 10th gen intel i5 offers great power and the 512 GB SSD cruises through every application I use. I use this mostly for programming but this laptop can handle some light gaming (although don’t think of it as a laptop for gaming). There is also another version of this laptop with the GeForce MX250 graphics, but it’s quite expensive and there are other better choices.

NOTE: Acer just refreshed the Swift 3 for 2020 with an option for the new AMD Ryzen 4000 series processor. So, if you can wait for a couple of months, then the 2020 edition would be a better choice.

Buy on Amazon

2. HP Envy 13

The best balanced laptop

Credits: HP

Specs: Intel Core i5 10210U | 8 GB RAM | 256 GB SSD | 13.3-inch Full HD Display | Built-in Quad Speakers

  • Looks premium and is built really well
  • Great battery life
  • Good performance
  • The quad speaker setup sounds great
  • No Thunderbolt 3 support

HP Envy 13 has long been one of the students’ favorites. The new model is equipped with a drop-jaw hinge that lifts the laptop slightly when the screen is opened. The keyboard thus raises to an angle, making it easier to type. This also allows better air flow inside the laptop. This model also allows users to disconnect power from the webcam by just a click, which is a nice to have security feature. The display is also very bright with a very high contrast and good color reproduction. Overall, this is one of the best laptops for students you can buy right now.

Buy on Flipkart

3. Asus Vivobook X505ZA-EJ509TX505Z

Beast like performance for a budget

Credits: Amazon

Specs: AMD Ryzen 5 Quad Core | 8 GB RAM | 1 TB HDD | AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics | 15.6-inch Full HD display

  • A decent display
  • Best performance you can get for the price
  • Extra M.2 slot and an extra RAM slot
  • Thin and light
  • Build quality could have been better
  • Speakers do not sound good
  • Battery life is average
  • Display viewing angles are bad
  • Lack of SSD

he main highlight of the Asus Vivobook is its performance. The Ryzen 5 on the Asus Vivobook is much better than any other intel alternative under the 40k mark. This APU can easily crush almost any task. It can handle games quite well, too. So, if you care a lot about raw power and you can make some compromises on the screen and build quality, then this laptop is just for you.

Buy on Flipkart

4. Macbook Air (2020)

The pocket friendly Macbook for students

Credits: Amazon

Specs: 13.3-inch display with 2560×1600 resolution | 16:10 aspect ratio | 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i3, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz | 256GB SSD | 8GB RAM | Intel Iris Plus Graphics | Support for external GPUs through Thunderbolt 3

  • Premium build quality
  • Awesome trackpad
  • Gorgeous display with thin bezels and adjustable backlight
  • Good battery backup
  • Great Speakers
  • Lower selection of ports
  • Performance could have been better for the price
  • Charges slowly

So, here is a laptop for all the MacOS fans out there. Apple just refreshed the Macbook Air in 2020 with some really major upgrades from 2019 model. The highlight being that the scissor switches on the keyboard are back. Hence, the keyboard is finally fixed. Also, the Intel Iris Plus graphics provide a significant graphics improvement. Yes, it is definetly not a budget laptop and you can get a good Windows alternative at this price but the versatility of a Macbook is just amazing.

Note: Only the 128GB and 256GB models seem reasonable to purchase as the higher storage variants are quite expensive for students.

Buy on Apple

5. Asus TUF FX505DY

The budget gaming laptop for students

Credits: Amazon

Specs: AMD Ryzen 5-3550H | 8GB RAM | 1TB HDD + 128GB PCIe SSD | 4GB AMD Radeon RX560X Graphics

  • Peak performance with the Ryzen 5 and Radeon integrated graphics
  • Good trackpad
  • Display quality is good
  • Nice build quality
  • Good selection of ports
  • Good expandability
  • Although durable, it feels kind of cheap due to the plastic build
  • Audio quality is poor
  • Average battery life
  • No SSD

If you’re wondering why I’m recommending a gaming laptop here, then you’re not wrong. But listen to me for a second. Gaming laptops are designed by keeping in mind, which makes it easy for a gaming laptop to smash through regular student tasks. Yes, there are some tradeoffs such as portability and battery life. However, if you need to do your everyday assignments, write programs and you would love some gaming too then there is no better option than the Asus TUF FX505DY. No other laptop at this price segment offers such great performance.

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6. HP Chromebook 14

A budget friendly chromebook

Credits: Amazon

Specs: Intel Celeron N3350 | 4GB RAM | 64GB onboard + Additional Cloud storage/256GB Expandable | Chrome OS | Backlit Keyboard | 14-inch Display with 1366 x 768 resolution

  • Sufficient USB ports
  • Portable
  • Great battery life
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Struggles in performance
  • Low resolution display
  • Audio quality is bad

The HP chromebook 14 is a budget laptop for those students who don’t want to spend much on their laptop. The ChromeOS on this laptop works really well as far as web browsing, editing documents are concerned. But the fact that this laptop is powered by an intel Celeron processor makes it struggle in multi-tasking. Also the storage on this laptop is just 64GB which is just not enough. Also, the screen has bad viewing angles and the colours look washed out. Hence, you should only buy this if you have a really tight budget or you love ChromeOS else just spend a little more and go with a Windows laptop.

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7. HP Pavilion 15

A great laptop from the popular Pavilion series

Credits: Amazon

Specs: Intel 10th Gen i5-1035G1 | 8GB RAM | 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD | 2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX 250 Graphics

  • Premium build quality
  • Good selection of ports
  • Comes with Intel’s latest 10th Gen processor & dedicated graphics
  • Speakers sound really good
  • No fingerprint sensor

The HP Pavilion series has a history of being the choice of students and office workers. The reason for this is their portability, along with the polished specifications. The HP Pavilion 15 cs3006tx is a great performer for all college tasks. The keyboard is nice and has a good tactile feel. Dedicated graphics add to this laptop’s great performance. The laptop is really sleek and still has a sufficient number of ports. The speakers sound really good and the display is sharp and the colors are accurate. The brightness of the display, although it’s pretty good outdoors, could have been better. In conclusion, this laptop is a great purchase to complete your daily assignments, watch Netflix and play some games.

Buy on Amazon

8. LG Gram 14 (2019 Edition)

The biggest battery packed inside the lightest laptop

Credits: Amazon

Specs: Intel Core i5-8265U | 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD | Intel UHD 620 Graphics

The LG Gram 14 is one of the best laptop for students out there. Eventhough, the 2020 model is already up for sale, it’s quite expensive. The 2019 LG Gram recently got a price cut and is now available for cheap which makes it a laptop of choice for students. The battery life is insane. It lasts around 10 hrs. with moderate usage. So, if the slightly old 8th Gen i5 doesn’t matter much to you then this laptop is a steal.

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9. Apple Macbook Pro 13 -inch

The Macbook that defines power

Credits: Flipkart

Specs: 13.3-inch Quad HD Retina Display with 2560 x 1600 resolution | Intel Core i5 8th Gen Processor | 8 GB RAM | 128 GB SSD | Mac OS Mojave | Intel Iris Plus 645 Graphics | Stereo Speakers | Apple T2 Chip

  • The design & buid quality is great.
  • The true tone display looks gorgeous.
  • The trackpad is very smooth & responsive.
  • Includes the touchbar.
  • Great performance & battery life.
  • Slightly old specs (This is the 2019 variant)
  • The keyboard is not good.
  • This variant has just 128GB of storage. Hence, an external drive is necessary for storage
  • Just 2 ports therefore, carrying dongles is important

So, I am recommending Apple again but this time we’re getting to the pricey one. Macbook Pro is the best Apple has to offer on laptops. This laptop is just the beast of performance. Thanks to MacOS Mojave, it loads applications instantly. Yes, this laptop looks slightly old and expensive but for a Macbook it’s not. If you want the extra power and do not care much about the keyboard, the Macbook Pro (2019) would be a better choice than the Macbook Air (2020). The sleekness and premium feel of the Macbook Pro is just eye catching.

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10. Dell XPS 13

The premium Windows laptop

Credits: Amazon

Specs: 13.3 inch Display Full HD Display | Intel 10th Gen Core i5-10210U | 8GB | 512GB SSD | Intel UHD 620 Graphics

  • Great build quality and premium looks with small bezels
  • Good Display
  • Good ports selection
  • Quite expensive for an everyday use Windows laptop
  • Keyboard isn’t quite snappy as the previous models

The biggest advantage of buying this laptop is its performance. The 10th Gen Intel processors make any Windows application easy to load. Added to that, this laptop’s portability is absolutely amazing. The display gives brilliant colors and the contrast ratio is high. The display is very bright, too, so the outdoor visibility is good. The battery life is also good. If you don’t care a lot about the mushy keyboard, you can consider buying this laptop.

Buy on Amazon

So, these were my laptop recommendations for students in 2020. Which laptop did you like the most? Comment below.

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