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A long trek across campus can quickly become uncomfortable if you’re lugging around a heavy laptop. Thankfully, laptops available today come in a range of sizes and weights. The very first thing to consider when shopping for the best laptop for students is how you’ll use it now and in the future. With technology advancing rapidly year after year, it’s a good idea to consider a laptop that can handle new applications and programs. This is called “”futureproofing”” your purchase or buying a PC that has headroom for more advanced technology yet to be introduced. For a mid-level laptop that can do it all, nothing beats the HP Pavilion Gaming laptop.
While more expensive laptops will get you better gaming performance, that probably isn’t a priority if you’re focusing on coursework and exams. Elsewhere, solid battery life comfortably provides a full day’s usage, while there’s also Thunderbolt 4 support for fast data transfer. The Swift 5 can get noisy, and the speakers aren’t great, but it performs well in pretty much every other area. Battery lives are also important, so we’ll keep track of how long we can use the laptop without needing to charge.
This incredibly long-lived laptop can last more than 16 hours on a charge, and the M1 chip is beefy enough to handle a lot of the work you’ll face as an engineering student. However, there are some significant caveats that keep this from being our top recommendation for engineering students. Most notably, the m15 R4 has less than impressive battery life — it lasted just four hours on a single charge in our battery test, and even less during hands-on use. It also gets hot and loud under heavy loads, and of course it’s going to cost you between $2-$3k, depending on how you spec it out. And since it has the same thin-bezelled design as the rest of the XPS family you should get maximum enjoyment from this laptop’s gorgeous 17-inch display. However, configuring this beautiful machine for premium performance will cost you a fair bit of cash.
There are almost no visual “tells” this is an affordable model either. The Surface Laptop Go’s screen borders are as trim as those of plenty of £1000-plus laptops. Lenovo.com offers a straightforward website and an easy purchase process that anyone can do. You can also claim the student discount as you purchase your laptop for university. Another series of laptops great for uni students, is the Yoga, with different 2-in-1 laptops series and even high-performance desktops available.
Combine that with the excellent Zen 2 architecture and you’ve got a chip that can handle everyday computing, Office tasks, photo-editing and even video work. If you need a laptop for multi-tasking, tough workloads and content creation, the AMD CPU inside this machine is a better option than anything Intel offers at this price. The lack of a keyboard backlight is a little disappointing and if you’re looking for a vibrant, colour-accurate display, you’ll find better options elsewhere.
Yes, the HP Pavilion 14 is a mid-range laptop, with a price to reflect that. But we think the vast majority of students will find this Windows machine more than ample for their day to day needs. The Laptop Go’s keyboard is one of the best you’ll find anywhere, while the thin and light design makes it very portable.