Top 10 Best Laptops for College Students in 2013

These days a laptop for college student is important as their college ID and books. And they don’t just need it for their studies or college life but also for their extra activities like chatting, gaming, movies, music and so on. So in case you are looking for a nice and reliable laptop for a college student which will last for at least 4 years or more, then it can be extremely difficult to find that type of laptop. But, don’t worry we have done all the research you were about to do and here we have combined a list of 10 best laptops for college students in 2013, I have to say that it was quite tricky to come up with this list because there are just so many brands and their series’ of laptops these days.

Also, before you buy a laptop, you should check with your university or college if they have any specific requirements like Windows OS laptop. Yeah, there are many colleges and school who require their students to use laptops with Windows to avoid incompatibility of their applications. So are you ready to buy a laptop for your college use? Well then let’s get started with the list of best laptops for college, classroom, dorm and campus.

10. Asus Zenbook 13.3-inch Thin Ultrabook


This new ultra thin laptop is without a doubt perfect for college students but right now it is little bit overpriced, however if you can afford an expensive laptop then this can be extremely reliable. It is entirely made of aluminum alloy and weighs less than 3 lbs. It comes with i5 Intel’s processor; 4GB DDR3 RAM, Genuine Windows 7 and its battery lasts for around 7 hours. So, if you are not looking to compromise with performance then I’d suggest you to go with Zenbook because it is the most recommended laptop for college student.

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9. Acer Aspire S5 13 Inch Ultrabook


Well, I am sure that you already are familiar with Acer Aspire series of laptops since they are simple yet effective which also comes for a decent price that any college student can afford. Their newest laptop of this series comes with Intel’s i7 processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, USB 3.0 ports and all other basic features. Special thing about this laptop is its sleek keyboard which can surely last for a very long time. Also, if you are into gaming or other HD applications then believe me, Acer Aspire won’t disappoint you.

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8. ASUS VivoBook 14 inch Touchscreen Laptop


This one can be really great for any student since it is the most powerful laptop in the market right now which you can own for less than $800. It is recommended for heavy tasks that can’t be performed quickly on regular laptops. It comes with 500GB hard disk, i5 Intel core processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM and Genuine Windows 8. So if you are looking for performance, newest technology and also style in one laptop then I guess you’ve just found the perfect match for you.

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7. Dell Inspiron 15 inch Laptop

Dell Inspiron

This one is surely the most recommended laptop for college students from last 2 years or more. It is extremely light and thin which makes carrying around dorm rooms really easy and comfortable. Not only for students but also for office work or any other heavy tasks you’d like to perform. It comes with 6GB DDR3 RAM, 750 GB HDD, DVD Burner, Intel HD Graphics 3000 and all other regular features including 3.0 USB ports. It is also known for being a perfect alternative to Acer Aspire laptop.

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6. Lenovo IdeaPad


New Ultrabook from Lenovo which is named as Lenovo IdeaPad can be extremely strong performer since it comes with third generation Intel’s processor and that too for an affordable price. It delivers entire set of features and is one of the most perfectly designed laptops in 2013. It comes with 500GB hard disk space, 4GB DDR3 RAM and 1.7 GHz i5 Intel core processor. Also, Lenovo IdeaPad is always mistaken as Apple Macbook since their design is very much similar other than Brand’s logo.

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5. HP Folio


This one is undoubtedly among most preferred laptops for college students since it comes with entire set of features that are desired by most of college students. It was first introduced in last year by HP after the huge success of HP Envy series. Best thing about HP Folio is that you control it entirely including features like cooling fan, you can simply turn it on anytime and make heat go away. Specs of Folio are competitive as other ones in market and it features 4GB RAM, Intel’s i5 processor, 128 GB storage space and genuine copy of Windows 7.

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4. Lenovo ThinkPad


Lenovo ThinkPad might be a little expensive but if you can afford it then stop thinking and simply go for it. This one is surely for those people whose entire life and career runs through computer, so if you are one of those then this is the most suitable laptop for you. Specs of ThinkPad are very much up-to-date and it features Intel’s i7 processor, 8GB RAM and 1000m NVIDIA graphics card. It surely is the most recommended laptop for any student but due to its high price not everyone is able to afford it and that’s the only reason it is not on top in our list.

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3. Toshiba Portege


Toshiba Portege is totally a hassle free and simplified laptop which is known for its long battery life and swift performance. These days everyone wants a laptop which is affordable and can handle heavy tasks like photo and video editing. So if you are looking for that too then go for Toshiba Portege which is priced at around $800 right now. Specs include: Intel’s i5 processor, 6GB DDR3 RAM and hard drive of 640GB.

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2. Sony VAIO


Sony VAIO can surely be one of the most reliable laptops and here in this post I am not going to tell you what model to buy for a college student, you can simply go for any VAIO as long as it is a laptop from Sony VAIO series. This one is most commonly seen in colleges and even schools so without a doubt you can rely on it. Specs also differ and it totally depends on which model you buy, but you can get almost any specs you want according to your needs.

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1. Apple MacBook Air 13


Like I always say, nothing even comes close to Apple laptops and yeah that stands for college students too; Apple MacBook Air 13″ can be the perfect one. It was recently unveiled by Apple and has become one of the most popular laptops in very less time. Specs of this MacBook are obviously very powerful and it comes with 8GB RAM, i7 processor and 512GB storage space. Current price of Apple MacBook Air 13-inch is around $1400 but surely will be reduced in coming months.

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  • Nice list Preetam, recently I grabbed HP Folio laptop for my niece since she just got admission in NYU and I am not sure if she is totally satisfied with it, I read it somewhere that Folio laptop from HP is the ultimate laptop for college students but after reading at few reliable sources now I think I should have gone with Apple Macbook or Sony VAIO since they are the only laptops which are highly recommended for college students in 2013.


    March 12, 2013

  • Definitely Alice, MacBook Pro would have been the best choice.. but honestly HP Folio isn’t that bad like you make it sound, so you don’t really have to be sad or disappointed unless your niece asks for new laptop.


    March 13, 2013

  • Hi,
    I am about to go to college and according to them laptop is mandatory but the problem I am facing right now is I only have about $450 for laptop, can you please recommend some good laptop for college student according to my budget?
    Thanks in advance!


    March 13, 2013

  • Hi Rong, I think you can easily get a reliable laptop for that price, so relax and I’d suggest you to go with Acer Aspire laptop since that’s the best you can get for less than $400.


    March 14, 2013

  • I recently purchased ASUS Vivobook for my college because I thought touch screen laptop would be lot more ordinary than a regular one, but its nothing special and just same as other decent budget laptops.


    March 14, 2013

  • Hi there, you have made a nice list of laptops for college students, but have you ever thought about their budget? And do you really think students could really afford these kind of laptops on their own? Well, for rich dudes this might be nothing, but for middle class students none of these laptops can be affordable.


    March 15, 2013

  • Hey guys, you all have started a pretty nice discussion here about best college laptops and believe me Lenovo ThinkPad is the best you could get for a student. Recently I bought it for my son and never had any issue so far and also I’d like to say that people should buy laptops from only top brands if they want to use it for 3-4 years because most of lesser known laptop brands simply outsource the hardware parts and that definitely can’t be good if you want to use your laptop for long time.

    Dr Deepak

    March 17, 2013

  • Thanks for your input Dr Deepak, this will surely be very helpful for our readers and yeah I think you’re right about Lenovo ThinkPad because I already have heard few good things about it.


    March 18, 2013

  • I think MacBook Pro is anytime better than Air and it doesn’t matter if you are buying it for professional worker or student.


    March 25, 2013

  • Hi! Good reviews, I’m glad you like Apple products. I am a huge fan of Apple but I recently talked to my parents about getting one for college and they think I should stick with a PC since I’ve had compatibility issues with software on Macs in the past. However, I’m concerned that I won’t be able to find a PC that is as good or close to the quality you usually see with Apple products. Are there any specific laptops you can recommend that have been proven to last with little to no issues and decent speed? I’ve read many reviews but haven’t really found a product that seemed worth it. Thanks!


    April 7, 2013

  • Hi Taylor, thanks for your comment and I think only HP is the brand that can slightly compete with Apple, I have seen many people using HP Envy and HP Folio laptops without any performance issues so these surely can be best laptops for college students who are looking for a laptop with Windows and you can check out their reviews online yourself and see if they’re good enough for you.


    April 7, 2013

  • I absolutely refuse to agree that Apple laptops are ever the best on a price/comparison list. I paid $1300 for my MSI GE70 which will run rings around any Apple product with a similar price and allows me to run the top games when I am not using it in school as well. The only way Apple becomes the best is if you are going to be using it for music as well, and at that point, to get a decent Apple that you can actually use for music it is around $2000-$3000.


    April 9, 2013

  • @ Eric, thanks for your comment mate, but that’s the reputation Apple has earned with their gadgets and no one said their products are cheap. It surely is the most expensive laptop brand and that’s probably because of their uniqueness in OS and amazing hardware.


    April 10, 2013

  • Sorry Preetam, but I too have to agree with Eric.. you really got to stop over-rating apple notebooks and even small brands like MSI can manufacture great laptops for anyone including college students and those can easily deliver whatever the needs of students these days are.. also I think you’ve over-rated Sony VAIO since HP Envy series laptops are a lot better than any Sony notebook..
    nevertheless, not bad post for students looking for a laptop to use in their college..


    April 18, 2013

  • Well, to be honest almost all of them are really expensive to afford for a college student on his own, so could you please suggest a laptop that costs around $500 and is good plus reliable?


    May 2, 2013

  • @ Reene, if you are limited with budget then you don’t really have to find the best laptop for college and you can simply go with any regular notebook from a decent brand. As you’ve stated your budget so I’d suggest you check out my post of best laptops under 500 and simply pick one of those.. let me know if you need any more help with choosing the perfect device..


    May 3, 2013

  • I know i do not want an apple laptop because i am on a budget but still need something that is reliable, fast, light, and is good with Microsoft word, excel, powerpoint etc. I am going into accounting and all of my mandatory classes have to do with these programs. any suggestions? thanks


    May 31, 2013

  • also to add on to my last comment i do not need a touch screen. For me it would just be a factor that raises the cost


    May 31, 2013

  • @ Rachel, I’d say go with any 3rd generation i5 laptop with about 4GB RAM and you should be good for next 3-4 years.. Last week I bought Lenovo G580 for my little brother which costed me about $450 and I think it should fit your needs and budget. According to me, it’s the best valued laptop with amazing specs and that too from reputed brand such as Lenovo.


    May 31, 2013

  • Hi, I’m looking to buy a laptop for college and I’m really liking the Sony Vaio.

    I do want the Windows operating system. I’m going into vocal music, so I’m not going to need a laptop for design, but I do photography on the side, and I use photoshop rather frequently.
    I also game, though no serious PC gaming, so I would just need a graphics card that could handle emulators and things like Pokemon MMO.
    Preferably something that could handle recording.
    I multitask a lot too (what woman doesn’t?).
    My grandma gives all her grandchildren $1000 when they graduate, so that’s my budget, but I would rather not pay that much if possible.

    As of right now, I have a Sony Vaio E Series 14 P custom in the making, with Microsoft Office Home and Student and 1 TB hard drive as the only two features that I’ve changed, and it’s only $756. Should I update the graphics card, memory, or get the larger battery? Seeing as how it’s for college, I wouldn’t think I’d need all the extra features though?
    And is this laptop even a good choice for my needs?
    Thank you!


    June 14, 2013

  • @ Jessica
    Your choice of Sony VAIO is already a good one and to be completely honest, you don’t need anything else.. yes, even for college it will be great for next 2-3 years.. and about your game, I am not really sure about the requirements of Pokemon MMO but I think with about 4GB RAM and i3 or i5 Intel Core processor you should be able to play and record it smoothly without any hassle.


    June 14, 2013

  • Hi, I’m a computer science freshie student right now. And I’m planning to buy a new laptop that suits for my course.. I like something that is affordable but at the same time would suit my needs in the near future..

    Can you help me decide what to buy? :)


    June 17, 2013

  • @ Genifer, if you’re looking for a budget laptop then I’d suggest you to go with ASUS, Acer or Dell since these are only brands that provide high-end affordable laptops.. about specs, you should look for 2-4 GB RAM, i3-i5 Intel Core processor and about 500 GB hard drive. A college laptop with these specs should cost you maximum $500. Good luck!


    June 17, 2013

  • I’m about to buy a laptop for my friend’s daughter. She’s in college and needs a lots of storage. I prefer to buy a computer at Costco – as they stand behind their products and give a 2-year warranty. Seems they mostly carry HP. Please give me advice – I’m older and clueless. Thanks


    June 20, 2013

  • @ Sandy
    You can surely go with HP, I don’t think there should be a problem since HP laptop brand is best known for professionalism and their laptops are great for college students and businessmen.


    June 20, 2013

  • Hi,
    Right now I badly need a new laptop, I don’t use computer/internet 24/7 but only about 2 hours a day to educate myself about various things through internet. So what laptop would you suggest to me? Currently I am using Toshiba which is almost dead and I want to try something new.


    June 23, 2013

  • Hi Vidi,
    Looks like you need a device just for browsing and that too for a very limited time, I’d suggest you to go with any affordable laptop and to be completely honest, Toshiba laptop can be suitable for you as well.. By the way, if it was for me, I would look for something more portable like a smartphone or tablet..


    June 24, 2013

  • Give me one good reason why MacBook Air is best for college students, to be completely honest, most of applications that are given to students from college can’t be used on Mac OS and that’s not all but there are many other things which we can’t do on Macbook. Other than that, there are plenty of great notebooks specifically built for college students manufactured by big brands like HP and Lenovo.
    So I’m really surprised to see Apple’s laptop on top of your list and even their customer support is getting worse these days, I would recommend just about any laptop for students but not the MacBook Air.


    June 27, 2013

  • I’m taking both accounting and computer online courses, can you tell me what’s the best for these courses? Thanks.


    July 7, 2013

  • Hi…please advise me…
    I need a laptop for college. I need it for researching, writing papers, and also for fun stuff. My old HP was great in High School…
    I usually multi-task Facebook,YouTube music videos, and OoVoo at the same time. Not so much games. I do need a DVD drive because I don’t have a TV.
    Please help me.. my budget is around $700.
    Thank you!


    August 4, 2013

  • That apple tipped me off, Why can’t I find MSI notebooks here? I mean if you guys are searching for affordable but powerful laptops you guys could go for MSI, Sager, and/or other laptops that are gaming laptops, but their prices play on $800-1200 and are way more powerful than any of apple’s laptops for the same price range.


    August 15, 2013

  • I am a college student looking for a new laptop (obviously). Of course, if there was an option for a performance computer that weighs 2 pounds, battery life that lasts more than 10 hours, and less than $300… you know I’d be all over that! Fairy tales aside, it is most important to me that it is lightweight and has a good battery life for school primarily. Although, I am a photographer… so I’d prefer some pretty nice graphics too. Right now I just have a basic Toshiba Satellite C655 so I don’t know what I am missing. Mostly anything would be a step up from mine now. I currently have a 0-9 number pad on the right side of my keyboard and I love it! It would be great to get that on my next laptop as well. A touchscreen would be a bonus but it’s not absolutely necessary. I like the fact that the ThinkPad and Portege have the capability to twist around. That would be very handy for taking notes in class. I have the HP Folio, Toshiba Portage, Dell Inspiron, Acer Aspire, Asus VivoBook, and the HP Pavillion SleekBook all open on separate tabs right now. Is there anything that you would recommend to me specifically? Thanks so much.


    August 16, 2013

  • You’ve already pointed out the best laptops for college students so I don’t think any of my advise would be helpful. Still I’d say go with HP Folio or Dell Inspiron, both of them are suitable for you.


    August 18, 2013

  • Hey what do you think of the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga s11?
    I think its pretty cool since its so light, its a tablet and a laptop rolled into one and has some pretty decent specs. Are there any other laptop/tablets rolled into one that compare?

    Nikki M

    August 24, 2013

  • Hey, i would like to know if i should get a new laptop or upgrade my RAM.

    I bought ASUS A42J laptop about 3 years ago. it gets laggy and kind of slow now.. my laptop comes with intel core i5 processor. ( im not sure about the RAM.. maybe 2/4 GB)
    Sadly, battery life lasted for less than an hour or so.

    im a college student. all i need the laptop is for researching and i need a laptop that has a longer battery life.
    so should i upgrade my RAM or just get a new laptop?


    October 2, 2013

  • Are HP laptops as bad as everyone says they are? I was thinking about getting one. I mean, they can’t be that bad, or they wouldn’t be in business right?


    December 10, 2013

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