There are not always cheap laptops on the market for students. While there are also some budget laptops which are mentioned throughout this article.
The best laptops for students must meet specific criteria. Of course, they have to be cheap, even if they don’t necessarily have to be affordable. They must also offer optimal performance so that they can handle a student’s particular workload and streaming and perhaps light gaming post-courses. And finally, they must have exceptional battery life, hopefully enough to last an entire school day on a single charge.
The good news is that online retailers are keen to move laptops to students and usually offer a range of tempting offers and discounts to get you separated from your money: and offers to tempt students, so keep your eyes peeled for the best deals, For students on laptops while shopping. You may end up spending less than expected.
So, whether you’re going to college, starting studying at home, or any other middle ground, use our guide to the best student laptop overall to narrow down a perfect device for you – one that has the features you need at a suitable price.
See Also: Best laptop for MBA students in 2021
Best Laptops For students on a budget in 2021
1. MacBook Air
This year’s MacBook Air addresses many of our complaints with previous models. It comes with new, more powerful interiors, a drastically improved keyboard, and more storage space. However, the screen is slightly dimmed, and the battery life is average. However, if you’re an Apple fan looking for an inexpensive MacBook, we can highly recommend the new MacBook Air, which we haven’t been able to do with previous versions.
There isn’t a radical redesign of the MacBook Air with the 2021 model, but many people argue that Apple doesn’t need to tinker with such a successful design.
Hence, the MacBook Air remains incredibly thin and light, as the name suggests, with dimensions of 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61 cm). It’s a slightly thicker construction than the 2019 model, and this year’s MacBook Air 2021 also weighs somewhat more with 1.29 kg.
We used the MacBook Air base model – probably the version that many people will choose for – which means that the dual-core Intel i3 chipset is the heart.
The ultra-thin design of the MacBook Air comes at a somewhat high price when it comes to performance. When under long load, the MacBook Air can get quite hot, causing the fans to hum. This can also decrease performance due to thermal limitation, which is when the CPU power is reduced to prevent it from overheating and being damaged.
There is some good news since on standby; the energy impact is relatively minimal – during the night, we have barely seen a drop in battery life, although it is worth mentioning that it is still a new MacBook Air so that it will work at a maximum of performance.
This is one of MacBooks’ best things compared to Windows 10 laptops: you can leave them on standby for days, and the battery life will be relatively unchanged. In the meantime, many Windows laptops will somehow experience battery life even when they’re not in use.
2. Acer Swift 3
The matte silver finish with the shiny Acer logo on the back is just as flashy as the laptop, and, for some, that’s precisely what they’re looking for. You will have to provide the personality yourself.
The Acer Swift 3 measures 12.6 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches and weighs 2.7 pounds, making the device incredibly portable without feeling fragile. Once our cat got bored with the box and decided to investigate the power cord, he brought the laptop up and down from a three and a half foot-high desk onto a hardwood floor and bolted it on without leaving visible or apparent damage to the outside or inside of the laptop.
Although it is in no way recommended as a test to be run on your machine, it is good to know that there is a possibility that the Acer Swift 3 will survive in the real world.
Speaking of opening it, the island-style keyboard features responsive, chicklet-shaped keys and a Windows Hello-enabled fingerprint scanner. While some may find the keyboard a bit narrow, the keys are well spaced for a laptop of its size, and the black keys are backlit with soft white LEDs for better visibility.
After running Acer Swift 3 through a series of benchmark tests for CPU, GPU, and battery, we are happy to say that there is a measurable improvement compared to the last few years’ models.
The hottest part of the laptop is located at the bottom rear of the machine near the battery, so the most likely moment you will notice heat build-up will be if you play or modify a project while sitting on the bed with the laptop on your legs. Even then, it won’t get “hot” uncomfortable as others might.
Unfortunately, where the Swift 3 runs out of speakers are its speakers. Laptop audio is metallic with almost no low end, so everything seems a little flat. It’s okay to listen to Spotify or YouTube while working on a project or writing a report, but at full volume, it’s barely audible from a room or two away.
3. HP Chromebook 14
The HP 14 Chromebook is a good option, thanks to the crisp 14-inch display, snappy keyboard and attractive chassis.
The Chromebook 14 has an attractive design highlighted by a new white color variant that stands out from the crowd. The lid of the Chromebook 14 has a rough texture with a shiny HP logo embossed in the center. Opening the lid reveals a brushed white deck, white keys, and white bezels.
I have no complaints with the keyboard of the Chromebook 14, apart from the lack of a backlight. The white chiclet-style keys are well spaced and large, apart from a few undersized arrow keys. And while they travel only 1.2mm (less than our 1.5mm preference), the keys seem quite bouncy, perhaps due to their 71 grams of above-average actuation force.
Armed with an Intel Celeron N3350 CPU and 4 GB of RAM, Armed with an Intel Celeron N3350 CPU and 4 GB, the Chromebook 14 has enough power for simple daily tasks, but don’t try to run demanding apps on this budget machine.
The Chromebook 14 will remain on for an entire working day. The laptop lasted 9 hours and 18 minutes during our battery test. However, my face looked so pale that I could have filled myself as a member of the zombie cast in Walking Dead. Also, my black shirt was so dark and lacking in detail that the paint bucket tool seemed to have been used to fill it with color.
The Chromebook 14 is the right choice if you want a cheap Chromebook for simple tasks, such as surfing the web, sending emails, or watching YouTube videos.
4. MacBook Pro
From a design point of view, the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2021 looks identical to the 2019 model because Apple has not made any external changes except for the new keyboard. He continues to use the same 13.3-inch chassis, which is disappointing as there are rumors of an exchange with an updated 14.1-inch design.
That 14.1-inch “MacBook Pro” may still reach some point in the future, but for now, Apple is continuing to sell the same old 13.3-inch model along with the 16-inch “MacBook Pro.”
We purchased the base model machine, which means that it still uses Intel’s 8th generation processors. The higher-end 13-inch MacBook Pro models starting at $ 1,799 have faster and more recent 10th generation processors.
Apple’s butterfly keyboards led to the start of a massive repair program. Although Apple has tried repeatedly to repair the butterfly keyboard with different patch methods, nothing worked, and the only way to get the most reliable keyboard was to go back to the scissor-switch design.
It’s worth noting that the higher-end MacBook Pro models with four Thunderbolt 3 ports can now support the XDR Pro 6K display, but low-end models with only two Thunderbolt 3 ports are limited to one 5K or two 4K display.
5. Asus Flip Chromebook
The Chromebook Flip C434 could easily be mistaken for one of Asus’ most expensive Zenbook Ultrabooks. When I look at its matte silver aluminum finish with chrome finishes, I can’t think of another laptop in this price range that looks as elegant as the Flip C434.
The first thing you will notice when you open the laptop are the bezels that barely surround the display. We’ve seen it before, but with an 87% screen-to-body ratio, the Flip C434 is one of the most compact 14-inch laptops we’ve tested.
Inside the Flip C434, you will find a silver keyboard and chrome finishes that outline the deck, as well as the touchpad, the volume and power buttons, and the hinges. The C434’s design won’t blow your mind, but the uniform silver/chrome aesthetic at least does enough to stand out from the MacBook’s appearance, something we couldn’t say about Flip’s predecessor.
With such subtle bezels on this machine, my eyes were drawn to the Flip C434’s 14-inch, 1080p touchscreen, which is bright enough and vivid, if not innovative.
Asus somehow measures a webcam on the thin bezel above the C434’s display. As a result, the 720p camera, which captures only average images, still beats the devil from any nasal cam.
The Chromebook Flip C434 remained cool during our heat test, which involves playing a 15-minute video in full screen. The touchpad maintained a comfortable 83 degrees Fahrenheit and the center of the keyboard (87 degrees) and the bottom panel (92 degrees) also remained below the 95-degree comfort threshold. Only the lower-left corner (99 degrees) has heated up to relative levels.
6. Microsoft Surface 3
Surface Laptop 3 is available with a metal or Alcantara fabric platform. Once you have chosen your favorite material, you can choose from the black, cobalt, platinum, and sandstone color options. I’m glad Microsoft sent us the sandstone finish because the reddish hue is terrific.
There are unmistakable parallels between Surface Laptop 3 and MacBook Air designs. These similarities have always existed, but the new all-metal design of Surface Laptop 3 emphasizes them. Like the MacBook Air, the Surface laptop has an elegant and minimalist aesthetic characterized by soft curves and clean surfaces.
Microsoft has not yet put a negative display on its Surface devices, and the 13.5-inch panel with 2256 x 1540 resolution of Laptop 3 is no exception. The touchscreen is bright and vivid, and the 3: 2 aspect ratio is growing on me.
It’s not 4K, but the Surface Laptop 3’s screen is so detailed that the serial numbers of tiny armored plates mounted on the front of a car were recognizable when I saw a trailer for F9, the upcoming Fast & Furious film. Those iconic double-decker British buses were a suitably punchy shade of scarlet, and the blue flames poking out of Vin Diesel’s car were the color of the blueberry cotton candy in that ridiculous flying car scene.
Surface Laptop 3 played Dirt 3 (high, 1080p) at 47 frames per second, which corresponds to the pace of the Spectrum x360 13 and exceeds the result of the XPS 13 (34 fps). As a general rule, 30 fps is the minimum for playing without frustration.
Surface Laptop 3 isn’t a revelation, but the new 10th generation CPUs and all-metal finishes make it a worthy successor to one of last year’s best portable laptops. These improvements combine with everything we love about previous versions, including a crisp and vivid 13.5-inch display, high battery life, and a comfortable keyboard.
7. Huawei Matebook 13
Huawei MateBook 13 carries the flashlight with which MateBook X Pro functioned as the most valuable flagship laptop in circulation. In a nutshell, you’re getting more power and versatility from inside a laptop that’s just as attractive as – if not more – than the competition.
Of course, the lack of Thunderbolt 3 could be felt by some more professional users looking for the fastest possible data transfers, and we could do with more RAM capacity. If those two deductions make you lose your mind, look elsewhere. Otherwise, consider the number of computers you are outperforming most competing models for the same price.
Huawei is selling two MateBook 13 laptop configurations, an entry-level version and a high-end version. Still, both contain the same 13-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 (220 pixels per inch) touchscreen in a 3: 2 and 8 GB format LPDDR3 memory and a fingerprint reader built into the power button.
This laptop is mounted in the same aluminum body as before in choosing a space gray or mystical silver color option. However, open the laptop, and you’ll notice a fundamental difference: the webcam has moved again.
Now, if you liked the X Pro touchscreen display, you will love it again on MateBook 13. While a smaller touch now at 13 inches straight on the diagonal, the screen still emits a 1440p image at 100% of the sRGB color gamut – and its touch digitizer is snappier than ever.
Huawei is generally minimalist about the amount of bloatware on its computers, and MateBook 13 is no different. This laptop contains a single additional app: Huawei PC Manager. This app analyzes your computer hardware for any problems or possible driver updates that Windows 10 has lost. You can then install these updates with the push of a button.
8. Google Pixelbook Go
Google’s new Pixelbook Go is the Chromebook par excellence for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a lot on the previous Google Pixelbook. The extraordinary battery life and keyboard are just two of the strengths of this Chromebook. They have very few downsides for both average users and dedicated fans of Google and Chrome OS.
Google Pixelbook Go is designed to be thin and light, measuring only 0.5 inches thick and weighing 2.3 pounds. The laptop is available in only two colors: “Black only” and “Not pink” – otherwise known as black and pink. We would appreciate something between these two, like a white or straight anodized magnesium option, but unfortunately.
As mentioned, this laptop’s structure is made of a painted magnesium alloy with a matte texture that, combined with the ruffled base, is more comfortable to hold and hold while moving between meetings or workspaces promised by Google. We find this frame very resistant to pressure and bending, which is rare in Chromebooks. And, boy, Google makes use of every inch of that frame.
Being a Chromebook, you shouldn’t expect groundbreaking performance from the Pixelbook Go, particularly with Intel’s fanless CPU inside. Although we cannot talk about the Intel Core m3 performance of the entry-level model, we can say that the Core i5 Y series is more than enough for necessary activities and even for light photo editing.
This is strictly in line with Google’s promised number – 12 paid hours – rare for almost all laptops on the market. The only other laptops that come so close to the advertised battery life are Apple’s, which is a testament to the benefits these companies enjoy from optimizing their hardware and software in tandem.
With that said, we think Google Pixelbook Go should have some form of biometric access at this price, like most other laptops – Chromebooks or not. It is not enough to assume that users have an Android phone to access their laptops, especially in the United States, where iPhones are absolutely everywhere.
9. Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2 in 1
Dell did not receive the Inspiron 13 Black Edition the same type of treatment as the bezel of its XPS range: the side bezels are thin, but the upper part is thicker, and under the display, there is a significant chin. Therefore, this is not the smallest 2 in 1 you will find, nor is it the thinnest at 0.63 inches or the lightest at 3.08 pounds.
This is comparable to the new 2-in-1 XPS 13, which sports some tiny bezels, comes in at 0.51 inches, and weighs slightly less at 2.9 pounds. However, the Inspiron 13 Black Edition compares well with the HP Specter x360 13, which has even larger bezels and a marginally larger chassis. The HP is thinner, though at 0.57 inches, and weighs 2.92 pounds.
Connectivity is suitable for a thin and light 2-in-1 today, with a USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port, a USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 port, a full-size HDMI 2.0 port, and a microSD card adapter. One thing you’ll get with an XPS laptop and not an Inspiron is Thunderbolt 3 support, so keep that in mind if you need to connect to an external GPU or want to run a lot of external 4K displays.
This is a 2 in 1, so the display supports both the touch and the active Dell pen. The display has been responsive and precise for both, and if you are a fan of using 2 in 1 in tablet mode to take notes, you will find that this is a good option.
And finally, in our video test spinning a trailer at 1080p until the battery runs out, the 2 in 1 lasted for just over 10 hours – shorter than we’d like to see, but again, you’ll enjoy those 10 hours on this screen.
Overall, I was satisfied with the longevity of the Inspiron 13 Black Edition. You can find laptops that will last longer – especially some newer computers that use a low-power Full HD display – but the Inspiron 13 Black Edition is likely to take you to spend most of the working day away from a charger.
10. HP Pavilion 14
The Pavilion x360 is covered with warm golden paint and printed in the center is a reflective HP logo. The edges of the hood and the bridge curve outward and then inward as they meet, creating an hourglass design surrounding the x360 pavilion. There is also a Pavilion logo on the laptop hinge.
Karen Gillian’s red top looked drained in the Jumanji: Next Level trailer on the x360 pavilion panel. When Gillian was kicking in what looked like a dining room, I was able to see most of the surrounding furnishings, but only from a certain angle, since there was a significant glow.
Audio benefits from the Bang & Olufsen audio app, which includes presets for music, movies, and voice. Within these settings, there are dials for clarity of bass, treble, and dialogue, as well as a complete equalizer.
In real-world tests, the Pavilion x360 ran the Dirt 3 benchmark at 26 frames per second, which is almost half the category average (43 fps), not to mention the minimum of 30 fps for gameplay. Additionally, the Spin 3 (47 fps), the MateBook D (65 fps), and the ZenBook 13 (59 fps) all worked above average.
While the Pavilion x360’s 720p shooter isn’t as grainy as most webcams, it still has a hard time revealing the hair and beard’s detail. The camera captured the red, white, and blue in my shirt, but not the pink, green or yellow. Not to mention that it has succumbed to the charm of ceiling lamps, so half of the ceiling has been faded.
There are several HP-branded utilities in the Pavilion x360, including HP JumpStart (a tutorial for Windows 10), HP Support Assistant (update HP device drivers), HP Smart (track print status), and HP PC Hardware Diagnostics ( provides a system and test information). There’s also HP CoolSense, which can automatically adjust the performance and fan settings to compensate for the heat.