When I was in high school, having computers in the classroom was a relatively new concept. Back then, computers were massive, bulky machines that functioned as little more than large word processors. At least, that is what most people used them for. Thinking back, I honestly cannot remember having even one; outside of the required typing class (wish I would have worked harder on that).

Today’s student, however, does not just want any laptop; they want a cool, lightweight yet super-fast machine that does not cost an arm and a leg. It is, after all, one of the most important things they will purchase all year. It is not only important for their courses, it helps keep them connected to what their friends are doing.

With that in mind, I have compiled a short list of the best laptops for students.

Top 3 Laptops for College Students

Lenovo IdeaPad U260

The Lenovo IdeaPad U260 is a nice, compact little machine that consistently receives top ratings and positive customer reviews. It has a simple to use keyboard, trackpad, and comes complete with a nice range of software included (Windows 7). Furthermore, this laptop includes a quality webcam and a modest 12.5 inch screen.

Despite the glowing customer recommendations, the Lenovo IdeaPad U260 has room for improvement. Like many others, I need to look at the keyboard in order to type. This laptop does not have a backlit keyboard which would make it much more difficult for me to use while my wife watches TV at night (she turns off most of the lights).

The cheapest price I could find for this laptop was at Amazon.

Apple MacBook Pro

While I am more of a PC guy myself, my wife is certainly a Mac type of girl. She absolutely loves her MacBook. I will most likely never be able to buy her anything else in the future.

This Apple MacBook Pro is pretty awesome as well. This robust machine sports an impressive six hour battery life and a stunning 13 inch screen. The updated processor is built upon the revolutionary new architecture known as Sandy Bridge. This processor is being touted as the best thing since Intels Premium 4 processor was released. It is an absolute must if speed is your major concern.

While it was difficult to find many things people did not like about this machine, price is, of course, an issue. Products manufactured by Apple are not cheap. This one comes in around $2,000.

Dell Inspiron 14R N4110

Dell computers have always been one of my personal favorites. I guess it dates back to my very first laptop; so much better than the one I had before. I actually used that old thing for about five years before upgrading earlier this year.

I am a pretty busy guy. It seems as if I am always on the go. As such, I really like catching up on my favorite shows by streaming them from sites like Hulu or Netflix. With that being said, a laptops video and graphics are really important to me. The Dell Inspiron 14R comes complete with a high quality video and audio system. The 14 inch screen only helps to add to this artfully designed machine.

The only thing I could find wrong with this machine is the fact that the battery life seems so short when compared to the other laptops reviewed in this article. I would like to see Dell improve upon its 3 hour charge a bit; although I spend more time plugged in than not!


When you compare its cost, portability, and functionality, I would say that the Dell Inspiron 14R is the best laptop for students; particularly those on a budget.