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Top 10 Laptops For Students 2016

Perfect for cash-strapped students warding off to college and important even for those still in high school these days, our selection of laptops for students includes models that function a combination of a low cost, rugged durability, easy portability, long battery lives or blisteringly fast speeds, and all of them look pretty sharp, too.

Apple 13.3Lenovo Yoga 910 - 13.9ASUS Zenbook UX330UA-AH54 13.3-inch Full-HD Quartz Grey Laptop, Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Fingerprint with Windows 10Dell XPS9360-3591SLV 13.3Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG Laptop, 15.6 Full HD (Intel Core i5, NVIDIA 940MX, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, Windows 10)Apple MMGF2LL/A MacBook Air 13.3-Inch Laptop (8GB RAM 128 GB SSD) MMGF2HP - Spectre x360 2-in-1 13.3Acer Chromebook 15 C910-C453 (15.6-inch HD, Intel Celeron, 4GB, 16GB SSD)Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (128 GB, 4 GB RAM, Intel Core i5)Lenovo Y700 15.6

Why Students Need Laptops

Everyone agrees that a laptop is needed for college and university students, but they can be just as vital for students in middle school and high school. There are a number of advantages students who have laptops gain over those without, such as more efficient note taking, increased technology literacy, faster writing and editing increased engagement, and easier collaboration with other students.

For those who feel that a laptop isn't necessary for education, consider for a moment how you would feel going to see a doctor who was still using outdated medical practices from the 70s and 80s. Most of us wouldn't dream of seeing a doctor who wasn't up to date with the most current medical techniques and research. This is essentially what parents are doing by only supplying their children with pens and paper; limiting them to just the technology that was available two or three decades ago.

Schools across the country are beginning to realize this, and some have even begun to implement the class curriculum designed with laptops in mind. In 2000, the state of Maine made an agreement with Apple to provide all seventh and eighth graders with laptops. In 2010 alone they gave out over 70,000 laptops free of charge to students. Their goal is for every student from grades 7 to 12 to have a laptop.

Since starting the program, officials say they have seen an improvement in grades and increased collaboration among students. They have also seen an improvement in students' critical thinking abilities. In 2000, a study was conducted by researchers at Wayne State University to analyze the achievements of students with laptops compared to those without. They found that students who used laptops for school had more interest in education, higher levels of self-confidence, and better research and writing skills.

How To Choose A Laptop For A Student


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Every student will have slightly different needs when it comes to the best student laptop for them. For example, a college student majoring in graphic design will need a much more powerful laptop than a student just entering high school. That being said, there are a few tips that apply to the majority of students and can help you choose the best laptop for their needs.

Portability should be a top concern. Purchasing a device that is too large to conveniently carry to and from class will limit the benefits a student receives from their laptop. Ideally, most student laptops should weigh less than 4 pounds, with a screen size between 11 and 14 inches. Younger students may get away with an 11-inch screen as they often don't mind staring at a smaller screen and may prefer something that is lighter to carry. For most a 12 to a 13-inch screen is generally considered the sweet spot for a student laptop as they will still be easy enough to carry, yet don't compromise on usability.

While many parents are looking for the most affordable laptop to buy for their child, it can sometimes be worth it to pay for a higher end model that has an aluminum or magnesium alloy case. These will be more durable than models with a plastic case and have a better chance of lasting through a few years of being jumbled about in a backpack. If you can find a model with a spill-proof keyboard, it should definitely be considered.

One of the biggest issues with technology these days is how quickly they become obsolete. You may be tempted to purchase a lower cost model with an i3 processor, but there is a good chance they will become obsolete in just a couple of years. It's better to go with an i5 or i7 processor to ensure it lasts the student through graduation. For this reason, 4GB of RAM should also be considered the bare minimum, with 8GB being a better choice. This ensures the laptop is capable of running resource heavy programs without lagging.

Battery life is also a top priority. Look for a model that offers at least 8 hours of battery life to last students through a full school day. Most students prefer a touchscreen laptop because of the added functionality, but touchscreens are known for being battery hogs. Models without touch screens generally last 10 to 25% longer on battery power, so the pros and cons should be weighed before purchasing a laptop with touch capabilities.

SSDs Versus HDDs For A Student Laptop


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When choosing a student laptop, you'll invariably be presented with the choice between one that has an HDD and one that has an SSD. It is no secret that an SSD is faster, more durable, and just generally a better overall memory device than an HDD, but they are also more expensive and most consumers have to sacrifice on memory size when purchasing one. A laptop with a 250GB SSD can often cost $200 or more than a similar model with a 1TB HDD.

It is a better choice to choose a student laptop with a smaller SSD than one with an HDD. In the next few years, SSDs will most likely completely replace HDDs, so buying a model with an SSD is a good way to future-proof your laptop. Luckily, they are quickly dropping in price, making student laptops with SSDs more affordable than ever before. Supplemental memory devices are also relatively low cost, so one can always buy an external hard drive or a USB flash drive to increase memory space.


#10.Lenovo Y700 15.6" Laptop, Black (Intel Core i7-6700HQ, 8GB, 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, Windows 10) 80NW0034US


So far so good! I got a decent deal on this due to the lightning sale. I bought a few upgrades like the Kingston 16gb DDR4 RAM and Samsung Evo 850 500 GB SSD. After installation, this thing is running like a champ. I had a few issues though with the upgrades. The most problematic was migrating the Windows 10 OS to the SSD. The Samsung migration software did not work for me and I spent countless hours trying to fix it. I was getting a continuous loop boot on start up and thought that I had bricked my brand new laptop. Long story short I had to restore it and use a 3rd party migration software from Paragon to put the OS into the SSD. Now, it's super fast on start up and works flawlessly.


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#9.Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (128 GB, 4 GB RAM, Intel Core i5)


Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Featuring a 6th Gen Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB memory and a 128GB solid state drive, it is more powerful than its predecessor yet lighter than ever before at 1.73 pounds. The amazing 12.3" touchscreen PixelSense display with 2736 x 1824 resolution has extremely high contrast and low glare. Use the included Surface Pen to mark up presentations, sign documents, take notes and much more. Performance and versatility for professionals, creatives, and more.


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#8.Acer Chromebook 15 C910-C453 (15.6-inch HD, Intel Celeron, 4GB, 16GB SSD)


Really a good laptop for its price. But after time, mine began shutting off when opening new tabs, or taking out headphones, and other trivial things. That's really annoying when you're trying to do work. Luckily, I have a 2-year warranty, and I just send it off to be fixed. So if it gets back and works fine, I'll bump this up to 4 stars.

edit: I think I just got really unlucky with my motherboard at first, based on everyone else's reviews. I sent the laptop back under warranty and they fixed it. Since then, it's been very reliable and I am happy with my purchase. Also, know that you're buying a Chromebook and not a Windows PC/Mac. You cannot download programs and run things like Microsoft Word on this.


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#7.HP - Spectre x360 2-in-1 13.3" Touch-Screen Laptop - Intel Core i7 - 8GB Memory - 256GB Solid State Drive - Natural Silver/Black


It’s time to demand more from your notebook. Function meets flexibility in the elegantly designed x360. Any way you bend it, the Spectre x360 delivers. With four modes, lightning-fast performance, and impressive battery life, this convertible PC has the best of all worlds and the shortcomings of none. Distinctive versatility: Enjoy a seamless transition from notebook to tablet and everything in between, with an elegantly designed 360° hinge that lets this convertible PC look great in every position. Includes multi-format SD media card reader. HP TrueVision Full HD WVA Webcam (front-facing) with integrated dual digital microphones. Bang & Olufsen audio with 2 speakers. Full-size island-style backlit keyboard. Weight: 3.17 lb. Dimensions (W X D X H): 12.79 x 8.6 x 0.63 in


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#6.Apple MMGF2LL/A MacBook Air 13.3-Inch Laptop (8GB RAM 128 GB SSD) MMGF2


- 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz) with 3 MB shared L3 cache
- 8 GB of 1600 MHz LPDDR3 RAM; 128 GB PCIe-based flash storage
- 13.3-Inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Glossy Widescreen Display, 1440 x 900 resolution
- Intel HD Graphics 6000
- OS X El Capitan, Up to 12 Hours of Battery Life
- Macbook Air does not have a Retina display on any model.


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#5.Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG Laptop, 15.6 Full HD (Intel Core i5, NVIDIA 940MX, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, Windows 10)


Acer Aspire E5-575G-53VG comes with these high-level specs: 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6200U Processor 2.3GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.8GHz, Windows 10 Home, 15.6" Full HD Widescreen LED-backlit Display, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2GB of dedicated DDR5 VRAM, 8GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB SSD, 8X DVD-Super Multi Double-Layer Drive (M-DISC enabled), Secure Digital (SD) card reader, Acer True Harmony High-Performance Sound System, 802.11ac Wi-Fi featuring MU-MIMO technology, Bluetooth 4.1, Gigabit Ethernet, HD Webcam (1280 x 720) supporting High Dynamic Range (HDR), 1 - USB 3.1 (Type C) port, 2 - USB 3.0 ports (1 with power-off charging), 1 - USB 2.0 Port, 1 - HDMI Port, 6-cell Li-ion Battery (2800 mAh), Up to 12-hours Battery Life, 5.27 lbs. | 2.39 kg (system unit only) (NX.GHGAA.001)


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#4.Dell XPS9360-3591SLV 13.3" Laptop (7th Generation Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Silver)


As the coordinator of technology for my not-for-profit employer, I work with (and order) lots of computers. In particular, I keep my eye out for higher performing computers. The Dell XPS 13 is the closest thing in performance to a desktop computer I’ve ever seen. With specs usually found in high-end business or gamer boxes, this laptop is really powerful. I have long chosen Dell computers for my personal computing needs and generally stick to higher-end machines. This one is right up there with the best of them.


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#3.ASUS Zenbook UX330UA-AH54 13.3-inch Full-HD Quartz Grey Laptop, Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Fingerprint with Windows 10


I rarely leave reviews on Amazon but I like this laptop (i5 version Asus Zenbook UX305LA) so much that I want to share some information and how I turned its screen. I bought this laptop for my mom because of the excellent review article on www.notebookcheck.net and the very decent deal on Amazon. I happen to have a Dell XPS 13-9343, which has identical CPU, RAM, and SSD but QHD+ display. So I'm making a comparison between the 2 products.


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#2.Lenovo Yoga 910 - 13.9" FHD Touch - 7th Gen i7-7500U - 8GB - 256GB SSD - Silver


Lenovo Yoga 910 Convertible 2-in-1 Laptop: Type or touch the screen of this Lenovo Yoga notebook computer to stay in touch with friends, family or co-workers. The 13.9-inch screen offers ample workspace, while Intel Core i7 processing provides a lag-free experience. With an 8GB internal memory, this Lenovo Yoga notebook provides ample space for keeping multiple tabs up and running at once.


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#1.Apple 13.3" MacBook Pro (Space Gray, Late 2016)


Designed to replace the MacBook Air, space gray 13.3" MacBook Pro from Apple is faster and more powerful than the previous generation, yet thinner at 0.59" and lighter at just 3 lb. This system is powered by a 2.0 GHz Intel Core i5 Dual-Core processor that features a burst speed of up to 3.1 GHz, while 8GB of 1866 MHz LPDDR3 RAM helps to ensure smooth multitasking and also allows the computer to quickly access frequently-used files and programs.


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