While tablets and smartphones are often enough to get by, college students will need a laptop — namely for typing up class notes, opening documents, and submitting those all-important assessments. We’ve put together this handy laptop buying guide to help you pick the best laptop for your specific needs, regardless of your major.
Take a look at our round-ups of the best back-to-school laptop deals, laptops with 16GB RAM, must-have accessories, best lightweight laptops, best laptops for Computer Science students and much more!
In this guide:
- 10 Best Back To School Laptops & Deals
- Best Laptops With 16GB RAM
- 10 Best Laptop Accessories & Backpacks 2023
- Best Graduate Laptops
- Best Laptops Under $600 In 2023
- 10 Best 13-Inch, Lightweight Laptops 2023
- Best Laptops For Drawing & Animation in 2023
- Best Laptops For Computer Science Students
- 5 Best OLED Laptops
- Best Webcam Covers For Laptops & Computers
Laptop buying tips
Screen sizes: 12- to 14-inch screen laptops are immensely popular, offering a great mix of usability and portability. The thinnest, lightest laptops — MacBooks, for example — tend to have 11- or 12-inch screens, weighing in at about 2.5 to 3.5 pounds. Anything larger will be ideal for gaming and more processing power, i.e. if you do sound engineering or computer science, but they’re not particularly easy to lug around as they’re heavier offerings.
Operating system (OS): MacBooks come with Apple’s latest macOS, however, if you aren’t a fan of Apple, a notebook laptop that runs Windows 10 or Windows 11 will be the most portable offering. Both systems are top notch, though people do tend to prefer one interface over the other so it’s worth going in-store to see what you like the feel and look of.
Budget: At the lower end of the price scale, there will be smaller, 11-inch laptops from brands like HP, Acer, Dell, ASUS and Lenovo. For a mid-range budget (less than $800), you’ll see the likes of more premium, 14-16 inch choices. Buyers with more money to spend will find a budget of up to £1000 will get powerful and larger options from bigger brands like Apple and Microsoft.
10 Best Back To School Laptops & Deals
Picking a laptop for college is an important decision; aside from housing your entire academic life, a laptop that’ll see you through college is huge investment you want to seriously consider. That’s why we’ve created this buying guide.
We’ve done a roundup of the best places to shop for laptops along with great deals and discounts to help save you money.
Best Laptops With 16GB RAM
RAM is essentially short-term memory for your laptop, as opposed to being written on the hard drive. The more RAM (random-access memory) your laptop has, the more processing power your laptop will offer. For basic note-taking, writing/saving documents, and browsing the web, you won’t need very much RAM. For app development, rendering videos, sound engineering, etc. you’ll need some serious data space in order for your laptop to run programmes smoothly and quickly.
Otherwise, you risk slow progress and, at worst, the system crashing due to overload. But, more computing power comes at a higher price, so we’ve put together this list of 16GB RAM laptops.
10 Best Laptop Accessories & Backpacks 2023
Now that you have your laptop (we presume…), you might be eyeing up some accessories. We’ve rounded up 10 of the best accessories and backpacks for your laptop, including headphones, cooling pads, desks and Bluetooth extras!
We’ve got a wide range of products to help you get the most out of your laptop. The best part? Each of the accessories in our list is eligible for an exclusive Student Beans discount.
Best Graduate Laptops
If you’ve made the big decision to go to grad school after college (congratulations!), you might be looking at some of your old undergrad stuff and wondering if it’s time for an upgrade.
If that sounds like you, and you’re going to be in a more specialized field, it’s only natural that your laptop gets a little more specifically tailored, too. That’s why we’re rounded up some of the best graduate laptops available for film school, graphic design, audio production, computer science, finance, creative writing and more.
Best Laptops Under $600 in 2023
As you’re doing your back to school shopping, you might be in the market for a new laptop. Whether you’re a freshman heading off to campus for the first time or a senior returning to school to see out your last year, being equipped with a laptop that can handle your course load is a must.
There are plenty of solid laptop options available for students, all under $600. Check out our picks for the best college laptops under $600 in 2023.
10 Best 13-Inch, Lightweight Laptops 2023
If the thought of lugging a cumbersome laptop around campus seems less than appealing to you, then you’re in the right place. Tech is getting more portable every year, laptops included — however, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on quality.
These 10 computers are the best 13-inch, lightweight laptops you can get on the market right now and, in addition, every laptop listed here is eligible for your Student Beans discount.
Best Laptops For Drawing & Animation in 2023
The best laptops for drawing and animation students should be high resolution and color accurate, as well as offering the processing power to run the necessary programmes.
Thankfully, there are plenty of great laptops out there when it comes to drawing and animation. We’ve picked our top seven favorite laptops to help you embark on your creative pursuits — with brands including Apple, Microsoft, Asus, Dell and Lenovo.
Best Laptops For Computer Science Students
Studying in computer science has become a more popular major in recent years, especially with their professional skills being in high demand on the current job market. If you’ve decided to take the plunge into studying computer science, you’re going to need a laptop that keeps up.
These are the best laptops for computer science majors — and all of them are eligible for savings from Student Beans.
5 Best OLED Laptops
One of the newest (and best) features that laptops are starting to integrate are OLED screens. In short, each pixel is controlled individually, emitting its own light — by contrast, LCD screens are backlit. What does all that mean? OLED displays feature great image quality, bright colors, fast motion and high contrast.
Below, we’ve narrowed our list down to the top five OLED laptops on the market right now.
Best Webcam Covers For Laptops & Computers
In a world of data leaks and compromised passwords, staying on top of your cyber security is paramount. While some data hackers can gain access to your private devices’ cameras, it’s also pretty easy to protect yourself from these cyber crimes.
Choose from the webcam covers in our buying guide and you’ll have one less thing to worry about whenever you use your laptop.