Best Laptops for School: Top Picks for Students in 2024

Updated on January 19, 2024

Laptops have become an essential tool in school environments, enabling students to research, write, and engage with digital learning platforms from virtually anywhere. Laptop options range from budget models to high-tech machines packed with the latest features.

When choosing the best laptop for school, it’s important to consider a variety of factors. Battery life, performance, and portability are the key important factors when making a decision on your next laptop.

In our research, we found that HP Chromebook 14″ with Intel Celeron was a pretty good bet across the board.

After thorough research and testing a range of laptops, we’ve found models that stand out for their reliable performance, solid build quality, and overall value. These laptops are well-equipped to support students through their educational journey, ensuring they stay productive and connected both in and out of the classroom.

Top School Laptops

In today’s fast-paced academic environment, having the right laptop can make a significant difference in our studies. We’ve done extensive research and tested numerous models to ensure the laptops on our list meet a range of student needs. From long-lasting battery life to robust performance for multitasking, these selections promise to enhance our educational experience without breaking the bank. Whether we’re attending lectures, conducting research, or working on group projects, these laptops are equipped to handle our academic demands efficiently.

HP Chromebook 14

Discount Pick
HP Chromebook 14 Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000
Pros:
  • Long battery life supports extended study sessions
  • Crisp HD display eases the strain on your eyes during long reads
  • Lightweight design ensures you can carry it from class to class with ease
Cons:
  • Limited storage may require reliance on cloud services for larger files
  • Celeron processor might not keep up with more intensive tasks
  • Chrome OS restricts certain software, making it unfit for specific programs
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Settling into the rhythm with the new HP Chromebook 14 has proven quite the comfortable adjustment. Its anti-glare screen stands out during those long research hours, keeping unwanted reflections at bay. We’ve found the keystrokes responsive and friendly for typing up essays and reports. Plus, the lightweight nature of this Chromebook is a delight when we’re on the move across campus.

Browsing the web and streaming educational content has been seamless, thanks to the stable wireless connection. When we engage in group study sessions, the Wide Vision HD camera and dual mics ensure that our video calls are clear and comprehensible. This computer has facilitated smooth collaboration among us, allowing group projects to progress without technology-induced delays.

Storing documents in the cloud has been a breeze with this Chromebook, which jibed well with our workflow given its limited onboard storage. With the long battery life, we were confident to leave the power cord at home, assured that the laptop could support us through the day’s classes and even some extra-curricular activities. Considering everything, the HP Chromebook 14 is a solid pick for students who need a dependable, web-based machine for their educational endeavors.

HP Stream 14

Solid Pick
HP Stream 14-Inch Laptop, Windows 10, 4 GB RAM

If you're seeking a reliable and stylish school laptop, we think the HP Stream 14 is a solid choice, especially with its Office 365 bonus.

Pros:
  • Comes with a 1-year subscription to Office 365
  • Remarkably lightweight and sleek design
  • Battery life is excellent for long school days
Cons:
  • Storage may be limiting for some users at 64 GB
  • Not the fastest, could be sluggish for heavy multitasking
  • Lacks a number pad, which some may find inconvenient
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We just spent some time with the HP Stream 14 and found its portability to be one of its major strengths. Carrying this laptop around feels effortless, which makes it a good fit for students who are always on the move. The rose pink color is delightful and stands out from the typical laptop shades, adding a personal touch that could brighten any study session.

Its startup was smooth and we jumped right into working on documents and spreadsheets, thanks to the included Office 365. This perk is particularly useful for learners, providing a suite of tools that are foundational for school work.

Despite its positives, we did notice that the storage is somewhat modest. For those of us who like to keep a lot of files handy, this might mean relying more on cloud solutions or external storage. Additionally, when we had multiple tabs open, there was a noticeable dip in speed, making multitasking less fluid.

In conclusion, the HP Stream 14 is a functional companion for educational needs, hitting quite a few high notes for routine school tasks. Its limitations in multit

HP 15.6″ College Laptop

High End Pick
HP 15.6 Inch Laptop, Intel Pentium Silver N5030

We found the HP 15.6" laptop to be a reliable companion for academic pursuits, offering solid performance and convenience in a stylish package.

Pros:
  • Snappy multitasking with 16GB RAM
  • Ample storage with a 1TB SSD
  • Lengthy battery life for extended use
Cons:
  • Display resolution may not satisfy all users
  • No optical drive for physical media
  • The integrated graphics may limit heavy graphic tasks
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HP Stream 14

Starter Pick
HP Stream 14-inch Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000

We found this HP laptop to be an ideal choice if you're seeking a budget-friendly, portable computer for schoolwork.

Pros:
  • Impressively lightweight and easy to carry
  • Comes with Windows 10 and a 1-year subscription to Office 365
  • Capable of handling daily tasks adequately
Cons:
  • Contains a modest 64 GB storage
  • The 4 GB RAM means multitasking has its limits
  • Screen resolution is standard, might not be the sharpest
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We’ve been pleased with the HP Stream’s performance for handling everyday school assignments; its portability is a big plus, slipping into our bags with no trouble. Typing is comfortable, and getting online was effortless thanks to the efficient Wi-Fi connectivity.

Its extended battery life was ample for our full day’s needs. Without searching for an outlet between every class, we were more productive.

Nevertheless, if we were to manage larger files or multitask intensively, the storage and RAM might restrict us. Turing to cloud storage solutions helped us bypass the onboard storage limitations.

Overall, our experience suggests the HP Stream 14-inch laptop could well be your school companion, especially when balancing cost against functionality.

HP 14 Laptop for Students

Deal Pick
HP 14 Laptop for Students, Intel Celeron N4120, 8GB RAM

We believe this HP laptop could be the perfect companion for any student needing a balance between functionality and portability for their study sessions.

Pros:
  • Snappy performance makes multitasking a breeze
  • Sharp visuals grace the 14-inch HD display for study and entertainment
  • Bundled with a 1-year Microsoft Office 365 subscription, ideal for coursework
Cons:
  • Limited screen size may not be ideal for all tasks
  • Some users report occasional slow performance
  • A few instances of early software glitches as noted in customer feedback
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Switching between virtual classrooms, streaming educational videos, and crafting documents was seamless on this HP 14 Laptop. Its lightweight design suggests nothing cumbersome about moving from class to class or library to study group.

Staring into the laptop’s crisp display, it’s evident that the pictures are clear and colors are well-represented, aiding in those long study sessions where visuals play a key role in learning.

Tasked with an essay or a complex spreadsheet, we appreciated the laptop’s readiness; plus, having Microsoft Office 365 at our fingertips from day one saved us valuable time and extra costs.

On the flip side, we recognized that the compact screen might challenge those who prefer larger displays. Occasional sluggishness was a hurdle when juggling heavier applications simultaneously.

The few instances where the laptop presented software hiccups may warrant attention, but it’s a common trait in new tech, easily mitigated with updates and customer support.

In sum, this HP 14 Laptop adeptly meets the demands of the academic environment. We found it to be a reliable aid for students looking for a capable device that doesn’t break the bank.

ASUS Vivobook L210

Budget Pick
ASUS Vivobook Laptop L210 11.6” ultra thin [2021 Version]

We found the ASUS Vivobook L210 to be an ideal companion for school, balancing performance and portability effectively.

Pros:
  • Lightweight design makes it easy to carry around campus
  • Long-lasting battery life sustains a full day of classes
  • Included subscription to Microsoft 365 boosts productivity
Cons:
  • Limited storage capacity might require external solutions for some users
  • Modest performance might not suit demanding applications
  • The small screen size might be a constraint for multitasking
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In our testing, we appreciated how the featherlight form factor of the L210 made it virtually unnoticeable in our backpacks. Its slim profile slipped between textbooks and notebooks without adding noticeable bulk, which is a huge plus for those with enough to lug around.

Battery life is a critical aspect for any school laptop, and this model didn’t disappoint. We tackled a full day’s worth of tasks without needing to plug in, giving us confidence to leave the charger at home. The inclusion of Microsoft 365 for a year was a convenient touch, instantly giving us access to essential tools for note-taking, presentations, and project collaboration.

However, we did notice the limitations of the 64GB of storage. While adequate for cloud-based assignments and documents, storage-intensive tasks like video projects could pose a problem. We recommend investing in an external hard drive or making full use of cloud storage services.

For everyday school tasks like researching, document editing, and streaming educational content, the ASUS L210 performed admirably. Nevertheless, it isn’t cut out for intensive tasks or gaming, aligning with our expectations for a budget-friendly school laptop. The 11.6-inch screen delivered crisp, clear text, yet when it came to side-by-side document work, it felt a bit cramped.

While the ASUS Vivobook L210 may not lead the pack in power or screen real estate, its strengths in portability and battery life make it a smart choice for students. Its compact size and lightweight are invaluable for those who are always on the move between classes.

HP 14″ Laptop for Students

Newest Pick
HP 2023 Newest 14" Thin and Light Laptop for Students

We think this HP laptop is a solid choice for students who need reliability and portability for their study sessions.

Pros:
  • Long battery life ensures a full day of use without needing a charge
  • Lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around campus
  • Adequate high-bandwidth RAM for multitasking study requirements
Cons:
  • HD screen resolution is lower compared to full HD or higher options
  • Limited onboard storage may require additional external storage solutions
  • S Mode in Windows 11 may restrict certain app installations
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When we first unpacked this HP 14″ Laptop, its sleek design and jet black finish immediately caught our eye. Upon booting it up, we appreciated the swift setup and noticed that the Windows 11 Home in S mode offered a secure and simplified operating system experience.

During a typical school day, we found the 11-hour battery life to be more than sufficient, which meant we could attend back-to-back lectures without worry. The laptop’s lightweight form helped too, as we could easily slip it into a bag without adding much bulk, a boon for those of us constantly on the move.

Our test run using the laptop for various school-related tasks was a treat. With the Intel Celeron processor and 16GB of RAM in play, handling multiple applications at once was a breeze. However, for students who need to store large files, the built-in 192GB storage might fill up quickly, but this can be mitigated by using cloud services or external storage.

Buying Guide

When selecting the best laptop for school, we must consider several key features that cater to academic needs. Here’s a structured approach to ensure we make an informed decision.

Prioritizing Performance

First, let’s assess the laptop’s performance capabilities:

  • Processor: Opt for a capable CPU that can handle multiple tasks smoothly.
  • RAM: Aim for at least 8GB, which is sufficient for most school-related tasks.
  • Storage: Solid State Drives (SSDs) offer quick boot times and efficient data access.

Battery Life and Portability

Laptops should be easy to carry around campus:

  • Weight: Lighter laptops are preferable for daily commutes.
  • Battery Life: Look for a laptop that provides a full day of use (at least 6-8 hours) to avoid mid-day charging.

Durability and Connectivity

A sturdy build and diverse ports ensure longevity and versatility:

  • Build Quality: A robust design helps withstand daily wear and tear.
  • Ports: Multiple USB ports, HDMI, and SD card slots offer convenient connectivity options.

Display and Keyboard

Comfortable viewing and typing experiences are crucial:

AspectRecommendation
Screen Size13 to 15 inches balances viewability and portability.
Resolution1080p is suitable for clear text and images.
KeyboardA comfortable layout with good key travel eases prolonged typing sessions.

By keeping these features in mind, we can find a laptop that not only fits our educational needs but also provides a good balance between performance and convenience. Careful consideration of these specifications will lead us to a satisfactory choice for our academic pursuits.

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to picking a school laptop, we focus on power, battery life, and durability.

What features should I prioritize when selecting a laptop for academic use?

We advise prioritizing a long battery life, a comfortable keyboard, and a lightweight design. A fast processor and sufficient RAM (at least 8GB) are essential for research and assignments.

How do I find the best laptop for a student on a budget?

We suggest looking for discounted older models or considering refurbished laptops. Always check for student discounts offered by many manufacturers.

What are the top-rated laptop brands for college students?

Brands like Apple, Dell, HP, and Lenovo frequently top our list for their reliable performance and robust build quality. They offer a range of options that fit various educational needs.

Can you recommend a good laptop for both schoolwork and gaming?

We recommend laptops with a dedicated graphics card, like the NVIDIA GTX or RTX series, a powerful CPU, and a fast refresh rate display. The Dell G5 and the Acer Nitro 5 are good examples.

What laptops offer the best value for students under $500?

We find that brands like Acer and ASUS offer several models suited for students, such as the Acer Aspire 5 or ASUS VivoBook 15, without compromising on necessary features.

How can I choose a reliable laptop for my school needs without overspending?

We suggest identifying non-negotiable features for academic work, such as SSD storage or specific software requirements. Allocate budget to these and save on less critical specifications.

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Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.