What Are the Best Laptops for College?

When looking for a laptop to help them through college, most students don’t know where to start. With so many different devices out there, it’s hard to know what will best suit a student’s needs. That’s why we’ve sorted our best laptops into four easy categories so your students can find the perfect one for them.

BASICS

If all a student needs is to write papers and send emails, then these basic laptops are their best choices.

With 8GB of RAM and the latest Intel Skylake processors, the 15.6” Tecra A50 and C50 are well equipped to handle your student’s multitasking and productivity needs.

If they want something smaller, check out the Portege C40. It has similar specs, but is only 14 inches. Your students want to go even smaller and lighter? Then they’re looking for the Portege Z30 13.3” Ultrabook. With a solid state drive, it’s significantly more responsive and quicker to boot. It can also come with up to 16GBs of RAM, if needed.

Beyond that, there’s the Portege Z20, a 12.5” device on the very extreme end of laptop portability. It’s a great choice for students who need to take their device everywhere.

TABLETS

For other students on the go, take a look at these slick, ultra-portable tablets. Toshiba’s Encore and Encore 10K are both 10.1” full HD tablets, with USB ports, HDMI, media card readers, and connectivity options rivaling those of laptops. The Encore 10K has a detachable keyboard as well as double the RAM and storage capacity. From Surface, Microsoft’s flagship line of 2-in-1 devices, comes the 12.3” Surface Pro 4 comes with a variety of RAM, SSD, and processor options, and runs the same operating and software that a laptop does. It features a high-resolution display, an optional keyboard cover for easier typing, and a stylus that can be used to draw.

HYBRIDS

Some students like the versatility a tablet offers, but need a laptop’s power. These hybrid devices were made just for them. The Surface Pro’s bigger brother, the 13.5” Surface Book, has a detachable keyboard that feels like a real laptop’s keys, with discrete GPU options, an even higher resolution screen, and larger storage options. The Portege Z20, mentioned above is also a premium 2-in-1 with a keyboard that charges it. It’s a little smaller than the Surface Book, and also has very versatile and premium hardware options, with a battery that lasts up to 17 hours.

All of our recommended devices can run Windows 10, but Surface was designed specifically for Windows 10’s incredible user experience. If your students want to take full advantage of everything Windows 10 has to offer, we strongly suggest Microsoft Surface. Windows 10 is significantly more functional in terms of multitasking and software versatility than some rival tablet operating systems, such as Apple’s iOS.

HEAVY HITTERS

All of these devices sound nice, but some students need something more powerful. If they want to play games or run photo editing software at high resolutions, they should consider the 14” Tecra Z40T. It has similar specs to the Z30, and comes with a mid-range discrete mobile graphics card, which delivers a better gaming and multimedia-production experience. It also allows for higher resolution options of up to full HD (1920×1080).

For engineering students whose regular activities include CAD, 3D modeling, and advanced rendering, the Tecra W50 is the definitive option for you. It is an uncompromising workhorse that will handle anything you throw at it. It has a high-performance quad core processor, up to 32GB of RAM, a workstation-grade graphics card (quadro), and high-resolution options. This is a must for advanced engineering applications, and many of the programs your students will be using may require the power that this machine can provide.

So there you have it. Four categories featuring the best laptops and devices a college student can buy. Whether they want an ultra-portable tablet to take to every class, or a workstation for advanced rendering, you know exactly what devices to offer. Soon enough, they’ll be leaving your store satisfied that they made the right choice.

If you’d like to share a more in-depth look at how to find the perfect laptop, download our Laptop Buying Guide now.

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