Buying a laptop is quite a difficult task for any purpose. However, when a student needs it, the matter becomes more urgent. You don’t want to be caught without a portable computer in college! That would be like trying to get a degree without books.
Simply put, a student absolutely needs a laptop for research, studying, and even working on extracurricular activities. A personal computer might do the trick if you’re still in high school, but a laptop is highly recommended for college and graduate school. With the proper laptop, you can get all your work done in the least amount of time. Thus, we have a compiled a list of the best budget laptops for college students.
Table of Contents
- Best Affordable Laptops 2018 Under $400
- General Information
- Laptop Buying Guide
- Final Words
Best Affordable Laptops 2018 Under $400
1. Acer Chromebook 15
This Acer Chromebook has quite a few amazing features that would be great for any student. It boasts a huge screen measuring a full 15.6 inches and 4GB RAM. It also has an SSD of 32GB. With 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, it also seems to be well-received by customers.
The CPU options are Celeron and Core i5. This would get all your tasks done quickly and smoothly! If there are any system updates available, the Chromebook would download them automatically. You can, hence, be sure to have the latest version of the Chrome OS.
The 9-hour battery life is an immensely attractive feature as well. This means you cancarry this computer around campus without worrying about charging it every few hours. You can also open every MS Office file and edit it as you wish using the QuickOffice editor, Google Docs, and even Microsoft Office Online.
2. Acer Chromebook CB3-111-C670
With a sleek, portable design and attractive colors, this laptop is sure to look good in the dorm, classroom, or library. The small 11.6-inch screen and 2.43-pound weight make it light and easy to carry. Put it into a backpack, purse, or just carry it like a book! Furthermore, the keyboard makes for comfy typing and there’s no noisy fan to distract you.
This high-value Chromebook also has a whopping 8.5-hour battery life, which would help you get all your work done while being free of wires. What’s more, it’s among the budget priced laptops in its performance range! You can get all the processing power without breaking the bank.
The Google Chrome OS, paired with the 2.16GHz dual-core processor and Intel Burst Technology, can get you a high-speed performance. Zip through your research and download whatever you need without any frustration or time wastage.
3. Acer Chromebook 14
Having a decent rating of 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, the Acer Chromebook is quite a nifty device. It has a good-sized 14-inch screen, which is small enough for portability and large enough to get work done. As long as studying concerns reading, typing, and researching, this screen would work best for students.
It also boasts a 2.24GHzquad-core processor and 32GB RAM. This means you won’t be wasting much time deleting old files to make room for new ones. The battery life is an impressive 12 hours, so you can go wireless for half a day.
The metal chassis casing and immersive display also give a great laptop experience. You can look forward to a speedy and strong wireless connection along with the ability to run any Google app you want. Thus, students would find it extremely convenient laptop under 300 dollars budget, to access all their documents, audios, videos, etc.
4. ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02
If you’re looking for a sturdy machine that can withstand some rough usage, look no further than ASUS. With the ASUS Chromebook C202SA’s water-resistant and rugged design, you wouldn’t have to worry about your laptop dying any time soon.
Haul your laptop all around campus and on any adventurous trips you please – the rubber guards, spill-resistant keyboard, and easy grip handles would withstand mostly anything. Plus, you may also get a choice between a dark blue or silver color, allowing for some personalization.
Being rated at 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon, this Chromebook is worth considering. It has an Intel Celeron 2.48 GHz N3060 processor.
While some students may be disappointed at not being able to install the regular MS Office software, there are features to make up for this. Anyone can work on Google Docs, MS Office Online, or the embedded QuickOffice editor. It’s the future now, and we must keep up with the times!
5. 2018 Lenovo IdeaPad 320
This laptop may have a lower rating (3.3 out of 5 stars) than some others on this list, but it does have some great features.
Its Wi-Fi, for instance, has a speed three times the regular rate, and it has a 2.40 GHzdual-core N3350 processor. It has a whopping 1TB HDD, along with a webcam, Bluetooth capability, HDMI, DVD-RW, and Windows 10.
The screen of this IdeaPad is an immense 15.6 inches, which is great if you want to use the laptop for artwork, designing, or watching videos. There’s also the ability to run several programs at the same time and still be sure of seamless transition between them.
The display on this wide screen has a brilliant hi-def resolution. What’s more, it’s equipped with anti-glare technology so that you can browse, watch and learn in comfort. With a place for DVDs and CDs, you can also burn and write several formats if your work requires it.
6. 2017 HP 14″ProBook 6470B
This laptop may be technically a business computer, but who’s to say studying isn’t serious business?
It has a 3.1 GHz Core i5 processor. The storage capabilities are great news for any student in search of a laptop with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD. Add in the DVD capabilities, Wi-Fi, Intel HD Graphics 4000, and the 4-in-1 card reader that comes with it, and we have a solid gadget to make a student’s life a bit easier.
You can also be sure of browsing and watching anything on this laptop without your eyes hurting thanks to the anti-glare technology. If you ever need to attend online workshops, sessions, tutorials, or classes, you can easily do so with the HP TrueVision HD Webcam. There’s also a digital microphone for your input.
This laptop is an extremely rugged model. Having passed several tests for dropping, vibrations, altitude, dust, etc., it’s fully equipped for the fast-paced college life.
7. HP Stream Laptop 14-ax030nr
The HP Stream Laptop would get you the latest versions of trusted and known apps, which include the basic necessities for a student, like MS Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Excel. Furthermore, you can easily store anything in the huge 1TB OneDrive cloud storage provided by Microsoft.
There would also be new features released each month, and owners of this laptop would get immediate access to them. There’s also a whole year of Office 365 Personal included with this computer, compliments of the manufacturer.
Those with a penchant for personalized belongings would also be ecstatic at the color choice of this laptop. One can choose to have a purple, gray, or blue casing and have one of the most beautiful & unique laptops in school!
Finally, the battery life is for almost 11 hours,which is more than enough to get you through a school day. This is imperative for college students, as charging your laptop all the time can be seriously limiting and frustrating.
8. HP Chromebook 11 G5
This Chromebook is quite a compact one. With a screen measuring only 11.6 inches, you can be sure it won’t take up much space in any bag you choose to put it. It has a decent rating of 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon, so we’re quite confident about recommending it.
However, the ratings are there for a reason. This laptop is not only reasonably priced but also equipped with an anti-glare LED screen that is slim and light to boot. The Intel HD Graphics further enhance any kind of viewing experience you want to have on your computer.
There’s also quite a lot of storage on this device, with a 4GB RAM and 16GB hard drive. As an added bonus, the battery life is one of the longest available today, going up to almost 13 whole hours! The Android apps offered through Google Play are surely one of the best reasons for owning this Chromebook since many others don’t have this option.
9. Samsung Chromebook 3
This Samsung Chromebook has a 11.6-inch screen and has storage capacities of 4GB RAM with 16GB eMMC. It can come with a G-Suite subscription as well, which has delighted several student users to date.
The Intel Celeron N3060 processor has a decent processing speed which can go anywhere from 1.6 GHz to 2.48 GHz. While the USB ports are a bit limited in number, the battery life is 11 hours. Furthermore, this laptop is a relatively inexpensive one, so it’s perfect for a student on campus.
What may really attract a student on the go is the weight of this lightweight laptop. At a mere 2 pounds, it promises not to weigh your bag or arms down. The small size of the laptop doesn’t compromise on the keyboard either, which still makes for comfortable typing.
10. Dell Latitude E6420
This laptop is one of the more inexpensive models on the market. A struggling student shouldn’t have to think twice about it in terms of under budget price. Its other features also make it very attractive to someone still in school.
The screen is a decent 14.1 inches, and the weight is around 4.6 pounds. This makes for a nice, light laptop that wouldn’t be a chore to use in any corner of the campus.
Moreover, the Intel Core i5 processor and Windows 10 won’t give you anything to complain about. There’s a huge 320GB hard drive as well that could hold whatever you want to store. There are also no less than three USB ports for plugging in whatever you like.
The glowing reviews on Amazon also show just how valuable and most powerful laptop is. It’s a nice size to type on and has even been appreciated by the less tech-savvy users. However, it doesn’t have a built-in webcam, so that might be an extra purchase for those who need one.
There’s no way around it; being a student in these modern times requires a laptop. Sure, one can technically get by without such a device, but it’s going to make student life very hard.
Having a laptop is essential for taking notes, getting assignments and research done, and even dealing with submissions. It also comes in handy for keeping in touch with teachers, professors, and fellow students.
For Online Classes
If you’re a remote student, a laptop would enable you to log in and attend your classes no matter where you are. You could search for a quiet spot at the library, any corner of your house, or even take your work outdoors for a change.
The Ideal Laptop
The best laptop for students may vary according to an individual’s needs. However, there are still some general features that one usually looks for if they’re using a laptop for studying.
Laptop Buying Guide
In order to get the best laptop as a student, consider the following features. You may have to compromise on some of them, so be sure to choose wisely and according to your needs:
- Portability: Should weigh below 4 pounds if you have to carry it around.
- Durable: Spill-resistant keyboards are a good option, and the overall laptop should be sturdy.
- Storage: 8GB RAM is a good option if you’re going to be downloading a lot.
- Operating systems: Mac OS is best if you’re studying art or design, while Windows is better for other kinds of studies.
- Long battery life: Should be a minimum of 6 hours but ideally 8 hours.
As a student, having a laptop is absolutely necessary. Whether you keep it with you at all times would depend on your classes and the degree you’re pursuing. Since a laptop can be quite an expensive purchase, be sure to conduct ample research before you splurge.
Don’t get blinded by aesthetics, but focus on the need of the hour. For instance, there’s no sense in blowing all your savings on an ultra-thin and -light laptop if it’s going to be sitting in your dorm room all day. You can use that money to invest in a sturdier model with a wide screen. This way, you can also enjoy watching movies and videos on the device, getting more value for money. We hope you found our laptop buying guide and reviews helpful.