Best Laptops for College Student 2021 | One PC Panda

A laptop is now an essential academic tool for any college student. It provides better access to work on research, assignments and other academic paperwork and requirements. Of course, any PC will do. They also work for many students. However, the most important advantage a laptop gives to a college student is its convenience and portability to bring in class.

We listed down the top 5 most popular and reliable best laptops for college students

MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020)

You can never go wrong with this new Macbook laptop. Considered a good school investment is the MacBook Air M1. It’s a laptop that suits all students and is a far better version of its predecessors in terms of performance and storage capacity. Powerful with its new Apple M1 processor with an eight-core CPU, 16-core Neural engine, and an upgradable seven-core GPU. It’s slim, lightweight, and has a long battery life of more than 14 hours. This definitely can last you an entire day of class or pull an all-nighter without multiple charges in a day. 

HP Envy 13 (2021)

If you’re looking for a more affordable option but offers long battery life and powerful performance, then the newest design of HP ENVY 13 makes a good option. This newer version has Thunderbolt 4 port, 1080p display, and 11th Gen Core i5 CPU. Made of aluminum for sturdy quality yet lightweight, speedy performance, and has 11 hours battery life. It has a 512GB SSD and has a dedicated Nvidia GPU that makes a decent gaming laptop for students who like playing PC games on the side.  

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

A good addition to your options of best laptops for college students, Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is packed with power and performance that you can find in most desktop computers. It has a 12.3-inch LCD touchscreen and front and rear camera. Take online classes, record videos or take photos just like using a phone. Its built-in mic also easily picks up voices from feet away. This makes a good computer not just for classroom or distance learning but also great for home office. With 10.5 hours of battery life, you can definitely get through all your classes.

HP Chromebook x360 14c

HP Chromebook x360 14c makes the list of our best laptops for college for being solidly built and equipped with good security features. In addition to its  ample memory of 8GB, it is slim and can be easily slipped into your bag. Touch screen and convert into tablet when flipped. It has fingerprint reader and webcam kill switch as well as USB Type-C  and Type-A ports, audio jack and microSD slot. In terms of wireless connectivity, it supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.  If you’re taking on business courses, this definitely makes a good mid-range option. Plus, it will last you an 11 hours of battery hours unplugged. 

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14"

Versatile, convertible and an all-rounder, Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 is a touchscreen 15.6 inch laptop. It offers a full 360-degree hinge that converts the laptop into a tablet. Good storage capacity of 128GB SSD,  dual-core Intel Core i3-1005G1 chip and battery life of 10 hours. It’s at a good  price point, it actually is a better option in terms of memory and storage capacity to other laptops on a higher price range. If you’re looking for an affordable college laptop with USB-C connectivity and multi-format memory card, a large touchscreen and 2-in-1 functionality, then this laptop is a good bet.  

Choosing the right laptop for college is not as complicated as you might think. It all goes down to what your school life or school work requires. Your usage scenario defines what kind of laptop and at what range do you need to do the job. 

What to look for in  Laptops for College Student


This is something that is highly to be considered and what really makes or breaks your purchasing decisions. Although it is rather tempting to get the best one in the market or to overspend on a laptop, it is important to have a realistic budget and find something that would really cater your needs.  

Storage Capacity 

How much storage do you need? Given that you’re a college student, you definitely have a lot to store. Schoolwork and requirements and other extras on the side like photos, movies, games,  music and more can really take up storage in the long run.  Nowadays, the standard storage capacity for laptop hard drives are within 500GB to 2TB range. Other laptops could go higher. SSD is also another alternative that allows you to upgrade and replace storage drives. 

Battery Life

As a college student, it is essential that your laptop can go through your school life and classes unplugged. A good battery life can last you hours to do classes, games, video playbacks, research, and more. The goal is to lessen the chances of charging it while in school.  

Processor and RAM

Each processor and RAM capacity really depends on the kind of laptop performance you require. If you’re only using your laptop for classes, assignments, and basic needs such as video playback, then an Intel Core i3 or AMD A-series processor can get the job done. Simple internet browsing, online classes, and menial school paper tasks can be done with 4GB RAM.  However, a heavy-duty and high-performing laptop is needed if your class requires graphic and programming software. It is best to invest in solidly built laptops with processors like intel core i5 and higher or AMD A10 processors. 

What do you look for in a laptop? What kind of school work and activities will you use it for? Whether you need a simple and basic laptop or a high performance, these buying guideline applies to your checklist. 


  1. Hey, good article. Could you maybe do a comparison between the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14" and the HP Chromebook x360 14c. I'm trying to decide what to get between these two models and it's quite a challenge. Both have good and bad parts and I think a comparison would help out. Thanks and keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you for the complement! If it helps, I'd go for the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex

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  5. Best Laptop 2021
    HP Envy x360 (2020) ...
    Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. ...
    Dell XPS 13 (late 2020) ...
    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano. ...
    Lenovo Chromebook Duet. The best laptop for students. ...
    Razer Book 13. A stylish, powerful productivity laptop. ...
    Lenovo Yoga 9i. The best multimedia laptop.

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