Best Graduate Laptops

Higher education calls for a serious laptop.

If you’ve made the big decision to go to grad school after graduating college and getting your degree (congratulations!), you might be looking at some of your old stuff from your years as an undergrad and might be wondering if it’s time for an upgrade.

You’re going to be in a more specialized field, so it’s only natural that your laptop that contains your entire academic life on it gets a little more technical, too. That’s why we’re rounded up some of the best graduate laptops available. Use your Student Beans discount to save while you shop, too!

What To Look For In A Graduate Laptop

While everyone’s preferences will be a bit different when it comes to picking out their graduate school laptop, here are a few key things you’re going to want to keep in mind while you shop:

  • Screen: Regardless of what you’re studying, most of your time is going to be spent staring at your laptop. This is where a majority of your budget should go, so just make sure you get exactly what you want. While you don’t need 4K, be sure to get something with a minimum 1080p display.
  • Keyboard: The only way to really get a feel for the keyboard is to get your hands on it. If possible, physically type a bit on it to see if you like the layout or not.
  • Battery Life: It can be tempting to buy a laptop that boasts a long battery life, but what’s more important is the battery itself. Don’t get a laptop with less than a 35 Wh battery capacity unless you want to have to charge it every few hours.
  • CPU & RAM: This is another big factor that’s largely dependent on what you’re going to be studying. If you’re going to be doing complicated math or rendering large video files, opt for something on the higher end for CPU—everything else will be fine. The general rule for RAM is more = better, so purchase what’s within your budget.

Best Grad School Laptop For Film School & Audio Production

ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo OLED — $1979.88

ASUS really went all out for creatives when they designed the ZenBook Pro Duo OLED. The primary display is gorgeous thanks to the OLED screen, but they went a step further by adding in a secondary touch screen, located just above the keyboard. While it might seem like a gimmick, it’s seriously worth your attention.

The primary screen has a 4K resolution, meaning you’ll have a cinema-quality piece of tech to edit on. This is the perfect choice for photographers, programmers, video editors, musicians, animators, and even if you’re planning on going into video game streaming.

  • Asus ZenBook ProDuo laptop
  • Stand
  • Stylus
  • Palmrest

Technical specs

  • Operating system: Windows 11
  • RAM: ‎32 GB DDR4
  • Processor: ‎2.1 GHz core i9
  • Storage: 2000 GB flash memory solid state
  • Screen resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Screen size: 15.6-inches
  • Screen type: LED
  • Battery life: 5 hours
  • Battery type: Lithium ion
  • Audio connections: Built-in speaker
  • Webcam: HD camera with IR function to support Windows Hello
  • Colors: Celestial Blue


  • Dual screen is a game-changer
  • 300Hz refresh rate
  • Anti-glare coating


  • Unique keyboard layout may be an issue
  • Average battery life
  • Heavy

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Best Grad School Laptop For Graphic Design

Apple MacBook Pro — $1999.00

The classic. What can we say about the Apple MacBook that hasn’t already been said? The M1 processor has been dubbed the piece of tech that’s ushering in the golden age of Apple products due to the superior quality. And of course we all know the Apple is a master of sleek and effortless design, especially with regards to the MacBook.

But inside the laptop is what’s seriously impressive. The 58.2 Wh of battery life means you can work a full day without having to charge, boasting up to 20 hours of battery life. The standard model comes with 8GB RAM, but upgrade to the 16GB if your budget allows—it will really make a difference.

What’s in the box

  • MacBook Pro
  • USB-C charging cable
  • 61W USB-C Power Adapter

Technical specs

  • Operating system: iOS
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Processor: 8-core GPU
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Screen resolution: 1680 x 1050
  • Screen size: 13.3-inch
  • Screen type: LED
  • Battery life: 20 hours
  • Battery type: 58.2-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
  • Audio connections: Stereo speakers with high dynamic range
  • Webcam: 720p FaceTime HD camera
  • Colors: Space gray or silver


  • Insanely fast
  • Beautiful display
  • Brilliant speakers


  • Touch bar is annoying

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Best Grad School Laptop For Business Majors

Lenovo ThinkPad P15 — $1589.00

Lenovo’s ThinkPad series has been a mainstay in the business world for years now, and for good reason—they’re serious powerhouses, inside and out. The tough exterior shell means you don’t have to worry if you drop it, but the inside boasts impressive stats as well.

With 8, 16, 24, or 32GB RAM, you can customize this laptop to fit your needs exactly. While the base model only comes with 300 nits of brightness, you can upgrade to the 500 nits version for a screen that will offer peak brightness and display. It also includes WiFi 6 for fast Internet connections. This is the laptop to get if you want one that will last for years to come.

What’s in the box

  • Lenovo ThinkPad P15
  • AC adapter

Technical specs

  • Operating system: Windows 10 Pro 64
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4 2933MHz
  • Processor: 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-10850H Processor with vPro®
  • Storage: 1 TB PCIe SSD
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Screen size: 15.6-inch
  • Screen type: LED
  • Battery life: 16.4 hours
  • Audio connections: 2 x 2W stereo speakers
  • Webcam: 720p HD
  • Colors: Black


  • 94 Wh battery
  • Solid battery life
  • Military grade durability


  • Upgrades necessary for peak performance

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Best Grad School Laptop For Computer Science

HP 15 ENVY — $1549.99

Computer science majors need a powerful CPU, and the HP 15 ENVY delivers incredible processing speed. 12GB of RAM also means you can have multiple applications open without fear of slowing down. And if you really need more, there’s even a built-in hard drive for extra memory.

The display is very clear and easy to see at a distance, and the touchpad is super responsive as well. A backlit keyboard means you can easily work at night (we know you’ll still be pulling late-night cram sessions, even in graduate school), and the layout feels perfect under your fingertips.

What’s in the box

  • HP 15 ENVY
  • Charging cable

Technical specs

  • Operating system: Windows 11 Home
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4-3200 MHz
  • Processor: Intel Core i7
  • Storage: 512 GB Intel® PCIe® NVMe™ M.2
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Screen size: 15.6-inch
  • Screen type: LED
  • Battery life: 8.5 hours
  • Battery type: 83 Wh Li-ion polymer
  • Audio connections: Audio by Bang & Olufsen; Dual speakers
  • Webcam: HP Wide Vision 720p HD camera with camera shutter
  • Colors: Natural Silver Aluminum


  • Unrivaled computing power
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Great keyboard feel


  • Small number of ports
  • Lower battery life

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Best Grad School Laptop For Engineering

HP ZBook Firefly 15 — $1449.00

The HP ZBook Firefly has a wide range of features and budgets to choose from, but we personally like the Firefly 15. The solid build can handle a wide array of tasks without completely killing your bank account in the process. It’s a great all-around laptop, but engineering students will like the level of customization they can input into this laptop.

While there’s plenty of ways to rig this laptop, here’s what we recommend: 16GB RAM, 512GB of NVMe SSD, and a 10th generation Intel CPU. The display isn’t good enough to support gaming, but it’s perfect for students planning on studying physics, engineering, math, and plenty more.

What’s in the box

  • HP ZBook Firefly 15
  • Charging cable

Technical specs

  • Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4-3200 MHz
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-1135G7
  • Storage: 512 GB PCIe® NVMe™ TLC M.2 SSD
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Screen size: 15.6-inch
  • Screen type: LED
  • Battery life: 14 hours
  • Battery type: 56 Wh Li-ion polymer
  • Audio connections: Audio by Bang & Olufsen, dual stereo speakers
  • Webcam: 720p HD privacy camera
  • Colors: Silver


  • Good battery life
  • Incredible speed and power


  • Windows 10 pre-installed instead of Windows 11
  • Average display

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Best Grad School Laptop For Finance

Dell Precision 5560 Mobile Workstation — $1789.00

Dell’s line of Workstation laptops are able to handle just about any kind of workload you throw at it, and the Precision 5560 is no exception. The slim design won’t weigh you down, even with solid performance features, which is good to know if you’re going to be traveling back and forth between campus.

There’s a huge array of configurations to choose from, allowing you to fully customize whatever kind of laptop you need for your post-graduate finance studies. Even if you opt for the lower end of the specs, you’ll still come out with 8GB RAM, a 10th generation Intel i5 processor and a high quality 1920 x 1200 display.

What’s in the box

  • Dell Precision 5560 Mobile Workstation laptop
  • Charging cable

Technical specs

  • Operating system: Windows 11
  • RAM: 8 GB, 1 x 8 GB, DDR4, 3200MHz, Non-ECC, SODIMM
  • Processor: 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-11500H, vPro®
  • Storage: 256 GB, M.2 2230, Gen 3 PCIe x4 NVMe
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1200
  • Screen size: 15.6-inch
  • Screen type: LED
  • Battery life: 10 hours
  • Battery type: 56 Wh, Lithium Ion, ExpressCharge™ Capable
  • Webcam: Windows Hello IR Camera
  • Colors: Charcoal gray


  • Excellent performance
  • Slim design


  • No OLED

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Best Grad School Laptop For English & Creative Writing

Microsoft Surface Pro X — $699.99

Versatile and equipped with its own processor (the Microsoft SQ 1 and SQ 2), the Microsoft Surface Pro X is a great iteration of the Surface Pro series. While it might seem like a good choice for more hands-on studies (like graphic design), it’s actually a fantastic choice for english and creative writing studies.

Thanks to the Surface Pro X’s integration with the Surface Pro Pen, you’ll be able to jot down notes and ideas at a moment’s notice, which is an essential for writers everywhere. The battery also allows for a full day’s work without needing an additional charge—you never know when inspiration will strike.

What’s in the box

  • Surface Pro X
  • Power Supply
  • SIM Card access tool (LTE only)

Technical specs

  • Operating system: Windows 11
  • RAM: 8GB or 16GB LPDDR4x
  • Processor: Microsoft SQ® 1
  • Storage: Removable solid-state drive (SSD) options: 128, 256, or 512GB
  • Screen resolution: 2880 x 1920
  • Screen size: 13-inch
  • Screen type: LED
  • Battery life: 15 hours
  • Battery type: Battery Capacity Nominal (WH) 39.2
  • Audio connections: 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p full HD video
  • Webcam: 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p full HD video
  • Colors: Platinum, Matte Black


  • Tons of functionality
  • Super customizable
  • Touch screen and pen-enabled


  • Average battery capacity

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People Also Ask…

What Is Grad School?

Graduate school, or grad school, is the next portion of school after you get your undergraduate degree. While it’s certainly not a requirement, some degrees like medicine require post-graduate studies in order to become a professional. Other jobs, however, also benefit from more studies and will receive perks accordingly (like a higher salary). Graduate studies include getting your masters or doctorate.

When To Apply For Grad School

It certainly depends on where you decide to go to school, so be sure to check each individual college for their requirements. In general, it’s at least a full semester, if not academic year, before you intend to start your studies. Be sure to plan your applications accordingly.

How Hard Is It To Get Into Grad School?

Again, it depends on where you’re planning on going and what your field of study is when we talk about how difficult it is to get into grad school. Some highly competitive programs only accept 10 or so studies, while others only require you have an undergraduate degree. Be sure to reach out to your prospective school’s graduate studies department for all the information you need.

We hope you find the perfect laptop for your post-graduate studies! We’re sure that you’re going to be successful, especially if you have one of these laptops in your bag. Just be sure to use your student discount to save as much as you can while you shop!

Be sure to grab some new accessories for your laptop, while you’re at it! And don’t forget to check out our list of the best OLED laptops available for purchase, too!