Got Kids in College? These Are the Best Back to School Laptops

July 8, 2016

9:45 am

This article is brought to you as part of a syndication partnership with Gadget Review.

Heading back to school after a hiatus, or to take some summer classes, or maybe just to polish up your resume? No matter the reason, one thing on the top of most student lists is a computer that can help them handle their classes – and maybe a few movies or games along the way.

Picking that computer can be a tough decision for busy students, so we decided to make it a little easier by taking a look at some of the the best laptops for college. These computers are lightweight, extra-portable, and powerful enough to do a little bit of everything at the same time. Take a look and pick a model that works for you.

Microsoft Surface Book – $1,200 (mid-range)

Surface Book

Microsoft set out to make a powerful little laptop hybrid that could easily be scaled to any professional need – and they succeeded. It’s higher end than a Dell laptop, and ideal for more complex tasks with its ultra HD 13.5-inch touchscreen, and options for up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1 TB of SSD data storage, and USB 3.0 ports, among many other welcome features. If you’re looking for a portable school laptop (especially if you need a robust machine for big projects or design work), it doesn’t get any better than this. Unfortunately, that also means that the price is a bit high, especially if you start choosing the better specs. Try to pick a model that has enough power to last throughout school and well into your professional life afterward,

Dell XPS 13 (2016) – $1,200 (mid-range)

Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS 13 is a highly portable laptop and widely acclaimed for being one of the best laptops you can spend money on…sort of. You see, there are actually several different versions of the XPS 13, some even created in the same year, so you need to be very careful when buying. The best is undoubtedly the 2016 model, which includes the latest Skylake processor and options for up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. That ultra HD 13.3 inch display is not only small and lightweight, but also has touchscreen properties. The range of ports, which includes mini DisplayPort and USB 3.0, is a final reason to consider this laptop, and puts it ahead of other ultraportable models like the MacBook Air. All in all, it’s a very compelling package.

Toshiba Chromebook 2 – $380

Toshiba Chromebook 2

If your back to school plans include spending a whole lot less money on computers, we’ve got a third suggestion for you, this time a far more affordable Chromebook. Chromebooks aren’t for everyone, but if your school projects focus a lot on collaboration and Google Docs (as well as any other cloud work), they can make an excellent choice. This particular model is actually a little pricey for a Chromebook, but adds in better specs in return: The Toshiba model comes with a 13.3-inch display, an Intel Core i3 process, 4GB of RAM, and a 16GB SSD. Those specs won’t win any prizes, but they will get you through school very efficiently – you just may want to consider getting an external hard drive, too.

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Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human.

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