Thanks to the recent advances we have been making in the world of technology, we are greeted with new devices and hardware every single day. This has brought the price of technology to a recent all-time low, as everyday quality products are seen as obsolete. This is a great opportunity to help you get some of the tech you once wanted, but couldn’t afford. Here is a list of the best laptops for college students on a budget.
Since laptops are pretty important to one’s academic life, we decided to not go too low price-wise either. After all, you do need your laptop to be able to handle your college student habits and endeavors. So, none of the products on the list today will go over $500, and neither will they go under $200.
Before we go any further, I would like to make a disclaimer. This article will not be a top 9 list. Instead, we will simply list a number of the best laptops for college students under 500 dollars. This is owed to the fact that most people need their laptops to be able to do specific things, so the rating of the laptop would be mostly subjective. All of the laptops on this list will be great, so it’s up to everyone to decide which one best suits their needs.
Asus VivoBook E403SA
Product Description: Going for around $380, this relatively inexpensive laptop is one of the best laptops for college students you can find. With a native resolution of 1920×1080, 4GB of RAM, and 1.6GHz Intel Pentium N3700 CPU, this particular PC may not be the best for gaming, but it can be recommended for pretty much anything else.
Like pretty much all products, the VivoBook has both its positive and its negative points. However, the features definitely outweigh the flaws of this staple of engineering. When it comes to affordable, budget computers, you can’t go wrong if you buy this highly rated piece of technology.
Pros: Relatively cheap, elegant design, high-quality performance, satisfactory battery life, great innate resolution.
Cons: It tends to overheat unless using a cooling pad, can be pretty fragile, relatively dimly lit screen.
Toshiba Chromebook 2
Product Description: Perhaps one of the best products on this list, Toshiba’s Chromebook 2 may not be the best laptop for college students, but it’s undoubtedly the best for its price range. Going for around $270, this laptop has an integrated Intel HD Graphics card, 4GB of RAM, and a 1.70 GHz Intel Celeron 3215U CPU.
The thing about Chromebooks, if you’re not familiar with the laptops, is that they run on Chrome OS. While it may not be a selling point because of the relatively young age of the operating system, this type of laptop comes highly recommended.
Pros: Highly performant, vibrant display, very long battery life, high-quality keyboard, pretty affordable price.
Cons: Mediocre sound quality for mids and lows, mediocre touchpad quality.
Lenovo Ideapad 100S
Product Description: One of the best deals on this list of the best laptops for college students, this particular mini computer goes for under $200. Lenovo might not be one of the best laptop brands out there, certainly not as popular as Apple or Dell, but they definitely delivered this time.
With an Intel Atom Z3735F CPU, 2GB of RAM, an integrated Intel HD Graphics card, and running on Windows 10 Home edition, the Ideapad may not be the best laptop for a college student, but it’s the best for its price range.
Pros: Stylish, modern design, great battery life, exquisite keyboard, free Microsoft Office 365, great viewing angles, very affordable price.
Cons: Inferior touchpad which doesn’t support gestures, tends to overheat, fragile frame.
Lenovo 100S Chromebook
Product Description: Another Lenovo entry under $200, the 100S Chromebook has similar specs to the Ideapad. However, its CPU is an Intel Celeron N2840. Plus, you can upgrade it to 4GB of RAM. However, while not everyone may be pleased with the Chromebook’s specifications, it is definitely one of the best quality to price ratios on the market.
Pros: Very small and lightweight, very satisfactory battery life, highly affordable, easy to maintain, resilient frame.
Cons: Relatively poor sound quality, a mediocre display, fairly poor sound quality.
Lenovo Ideapad Miix 310
Product Description: Going for around $300, the Miix is certainly one of the best laptops for college students. Doubling as a tablet, the laptop is not the best option you could with for your main computer, but it’s one of the best options for your secondary system.
This system wasn’t designed for gaming or stationary use. Instead, it is one of the best tablet-laptop hybrids out there. It is great for use on the road, as it has a phenomenal battery life, and offers great versatility for you’re on the move. It fits perfectly in both backpacks and purses.
Pros: High quality to price ratio, very colorful, vibrant screen, very small and light, easily fitting in a small backpack, great battery life, decent performance, decent touchpad.
Cons: Poorly organized, non-ergonomic keyboard, fairly weak sound capacity, inferior-quality, reflective display.
Product Description: This brilliant little piece of technology has an Intel Core i3-5010 CPU @ 2.1 GHz, 4GB of RAM, an Intel HD 5500 Graphics card, and a native resolution of 1920×1080. And since it only goes for around $350, this highly attractive piece of machinery is definitely one of the best laptops for college students out there.
Even featured on Consumer Reports, this laptop is one of the best deals you can get in its price range. It’s one of the few entries on this list which can actually be used gaming, or something other than online browsing and streaming.
Pros: High-quality, strong, high-volume speakers, very attractive, stylish design, sharp, clear image owed to the native 1080p resolution, relatively high quality to price ratio
Cons: Uncomfortable and bouncy keyboard, relatively dimly lit display, fragile frame.
Acer Chromebook 15
Product Description: With an integrated Intel HD Graphics card, 4 GB of RAM, fifth generation 1.6-GHz dual-core Intel Celeron 3205U processor, and running on Chrome OS, this laptop goes for around $350. It is one of the most performant computers on this list, and certainly one of the best laptops for college students.
In fact, the Acer Chromebook 15 was designed specifically with students and home users in mind, as the designers sacrificed looks and portability for efficiency and quality. The Chrome OS works surprisingly well with the setup, making for a guaranteed satisfying user experience.
Pros: Extremely satisfactory battery life, very resilient, solid frame, very advantageous quality to price ratio, very high performance, very loud and clear speakers, highly affordable.
Cons: Fairly mediocre display and dull display, mediocre mousepad, overly large for a lap top computer.
Acer Aspire F15
Product Description: While we kind of broke our rule of not including laptops costing more than $500, this $570 product is often found on sale for less than $500, so we’re technically still safe. With a 2.3-GHz Intel i5-6200U CPU, 8GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU, and 1920×1080 resolution, this the most performant entry on this best laptops for college students list.
Perhaps the best laptop in its price range, the Aspire F15 is an exercise in compromise. The laptop is surprisingly performant for the $500+ price range, although the inferior display and mediocre keyboard do take away from the benefits. Still, if you’ve got the capital, you should definitely consider this laptop.
Pros: Very stylish, elegant, and good-looking frame, highly decent battery life, phenomenal transfer speeds, extremely high performance, strong speakers.
Cons: Pretty expensive, dull color, dim display, spongy, bouncy keyboard, fragile frame, relatively poor quality to price ratio.
HP Pavilion x360
Product Description: Going for just under $400, the only downside to this tablet-laptop hybrid is the relatively poor native resolution of 1366×768. With its 1.9-GHz Intel M-Y510c CPU, Intel HD Graphics card, SSD drive, and 4 GB of RAM that can be upgraded to 8, this is perhaps one of the best laptops for college students on this list.
However, what makes this product truly special is the very elegant and modern frame, which is convertible and can be easily adapted into a wide array of shapes. Of course, the keyboard can also be removed altogether, allowing the Pavilion x360 to serve as a highly performant tablet.
Pros: Superior, high-quality audio performance, very stylish and elegant, convertible frame, very high performance, very satisfactory battery life, small and easily transportable, extremely advantageous quality to price ratio.
Cons: Pretty mediocre display, can heat up fairly quickly, relatively fragile.
After our intensive research, we are pretty sure that these are the best laptops for college students on a budget you can find. We hope that at least one of these affordable laptops fits your needs, and we ask you to return for more tech tutorials and guides. Until next time, browse safely!