In this video we’re breaking down the five best laptops for students in 2021. I’ve included options for every type of student. If you’re looking for a budget laptop that offers two-in-one versatility for school assignments or a more powerful laptop with packed specs under the hood for more demanding projects, I’ll have the product for you.
The fifth product on our list is the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. This is our best budget laptop for students. These days students need a versatile laptop that’s both convenient to take to school as well as function well for online classes. And for around 240 dollars the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is an excellent budget option.
The keyboard is detachable so you can use it as a tablet so regardless of how thin or lightweight some of the ultrabooks maybe they can’t come close to the portability and sheer convenience of pulling out a tablet at the library or cafe to read or take quick notes. It’s fast and responsive with very little to no lag.
The 10.1-inch 1920 by 1200-pixel display is great for schoolwork and media consumption with crisp images and good color reproduction but some may find it’s not quite bright enough but at this price it certainly shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
The Duet flows seamlessly between tablet and laptop. The laptop experience is solid although if you’re used to typing on a regular laptop keyboard it may take a bit to get used to it since it doesn’t really give much feedback. The keys are a little packed in but typing on it is fine and the touchpad works better than expected with even support for multi-finger gestures.
The Chrome OS is great because it runs pretty efficiently with the MediaTek Helio P60T processor with an arm g72 mp3 graphics and the four gigs of ram is enough for note taking and watching recorded lectures. You get seamless integration working online with google docs so even the 64 terabytes of SSD should be ample for most. The battery life is good for a full day of classes and more with up to 10 hours, but mileage will vary depending on how it’s used.
I think the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a great budget option for students looking for an inexpensive two in one with great portability and the detachable keyboard makes it versatile as a standalone tablet.
The fourth product on our list is the Acer Swift 3. This is our best laptop for students for the money. The Acer Swift 3 does a great job combining performance and portability for about 690 dollars in a lightweight design making it ideal for students looking for an affordable laptop.
The sleek and tapered aluminum and magnesium aluminum metal chassis is only 0.6 inches thick and weighs just 2.6 pounds for ultimate portability and is definitely one of the better looking ultrabooks out there. Plus, the high screen to body ratio on the swift 3 with the really narrow bezels give the 14-inch full HD display plenty of screen real estate.
The display is vibrant, and the text graphics and videos all look pretty good for working on assignments, however the only drawback of the display is the color profile. It’s fine for consuming media but if you need to work with accurate colors, you’ll be better off with something like the Apple MacBook Air which has a wide p3 wide color space.
The AMD Ryzen 7 4700U octa-core mobile processor with Radeon graphics packs enough power to easily get through your school assignments and everyday use. It’s fast responsive and the 11 plus hours of battery performance will easily get you through your school day.
You’ll find the two front-facing stereo speakers are fine for watching YouTube videos and although the DTS audio and optimized bass response do help I think overall it still comes off sounding a little flat for watching movies and listening to music.
Despite being a more budget laptop, you still get features like a windows hello enabled fingerprint scanner, wi-fi 6, built-in Alexa, backlit keyboard and plenty of in and out ports. You also get a pretty decent webcam with two built-in microphones for online classes and video chats. The Acer Swift 3 still manages to pack in considerable performance and some value-added features for an affordably priced ultrabook. And I don’t think you’re going to find a better laptop for the money.
The third product on our list is the HP Envy x360 13. This is our best two in one laptop for students. Now I think the HP Envy x360 13 is going to appeal to a lot of students with its cutting-edge design, great features, impressive specs and versatile two-in-one functionality in one great package for around seven hundred dollars.
It looks fantastic in both the ceramic white and nightfall black design plus there’s some impressive power under the hood with an AMD Ryzen u 5 core processor with AMD Radeon graphics to get you through your assignments. You can even bump that up to an AMD Ryzen 7 for a nice performance boost for about ninety dollars extra.
Being able to go from laptop to tablet really makes it more versatile compared to straight clamshell design laptops and great for reading assignments or watching videos. The 13.3-inch FHD multi-touch enabled display is vivid, detailed and bright enough to use outdoors with 1000 nits of brightness. If you’re looking to save a few bucks you can opt for the 400 nits model which is still brighter than most laptops at this price and suitable for indoor use.
The typing experience is quite nice with the large keys, unfortunately it doesn’t leave a lot of room for the touchpad plus the up and down arrow keys are only half size which can be a little frustrating. For online classes or video chats the hp wide vision 720p camera and integrated dual array microphone perform well and even comes with a camera shutter for privacy. You also get a good selection of ports including a DisplayPort 1.4 so you can set up a second display at home.
You get a little more battery performance than the acer swift 3 with up to 13 hours between charges and it should be ample enough to get you through your day. I think the HP Envy x360 13 is going to be the best laptop for students who want the added versatility of a two-in-one in a really great looking portable ultrabook.
The second product on our list is the Apple MacBook Air. This is our best Mac laptop for students. If you’re looking for a MacBook for about one thousand dollars the MacBook Air comes with Apple’s fastest chip ever produced featuring apple’s neural engine, so you get boosted performance all around including machine learning tasks at incredible speeds without having to invest in the more expensive MacBook Pro, so now you don’t have to sacrifice portability for power, you get the best of both worlds.
The MacBook Air is about the same size and weight as the swift 3 but it packs in substantially more power letting you crush even the more demanding school assignments and projects. The stunning 13.3-inch 2560 by 1600 resolution retina display packs impressive pixel density so text looks razor sharp and with the p3 wide color space you get vibrant images in incredible detail with more accurate colors. I think it’s a great on-the-go option for students taking creative and media courses.
And since you may not be working in the same lighting conditions all the time the air’s true tone technology will automatically adjust its display to give you a more natural viewing experience. You also get some great additional features with the air like touch id fingerprint login, a pretty good audio system magic keyboard, large precision trackpad wi-fi six plus the facetime HD camera and a three-mic array makes your video calls and in-class learning a more pleasant and productive experience.
Even with all the firepower under the hood you can work discreetly at the library or even coffee shops without worrying about excessive fan noise since the MacBook Air doesn’t have any. It’s dead quiet but still manages to run cool even when you’re pushing the air to its limits. Plus, with up to 15 hours of uptime it leaves all the other laptops in this video in its wake when it comes to battery performance.
The MacBook Air now gives you performance and power like the MacBook Pro but in a more affordable, sleek, stylish ultrabook that’s ideal for apple savvy students.
The first product on our list is the Dell XPS 13. This is our best premium laptop for students. Now if you’re not in the apple camp and looking for a premium laptop you can splurge on the Dell XPS 13 for about the same price as the Air starting at around 1 000.
The XPS 13 not only looks great on the outside with its sleek compact and lightweight design, the inside is just as impressive. The deck is stunning with either the arctic white woven glass fiber on the frost color option or the black carbon fiber interior on the platinum silver edition.
Plus, under the hood you’ve got some of the best performance in its class, thanks to its 11th generation intel CPU combined with Intel iris XE graphics. You get a 13.4-inch display in a chassis that’s about the same size as most 11-inch ultrabooks, so it slips into bags or tucks under your arm as you go between classes.
The four-sided infinity edge 1920 by 1200 display produces crisp details and is extremely bright at 500 nits making it great for working both indoors and out. The twin coil hinge makes it easy to open with just one hand and although you don’t get the versatility of the convertible hp envy x360 the 10-point capacitive touch panel version is responsive and easily keeps up with really no lag.
And despite its compact size I like that the keyboard only has a minor size reduction, so the island style keys are still a decent size and well-spaced. You get some impressive audio too. I think having the speakers on the side is a great design, so the sound doesn’t sound muffled like on bottom firing speakers. Listening to music or watching movies is enjoyable especially with waves maxxaudio pro pre-installed.
The Dell XPS 13 is a sleek looking compact ultrabook that will initially attract a lot of students for its aesthetics, but it’ll be the great combination of performance, responsiveness, and stunning visuals that students will really appreciate.