Are you looking for the Best Laptop for Grad Students? As a graduate student, one needs to have an excellent laptop to study well. To earn good grades, it is necessary to work well on term papers, assignments, and projects.
It is essential to have a good laptop that supports a word processor, internet connectivity, and an LMS. Many a time, students need to take a loan to purchase a laptop.
For this reason, the best laptop for grad students is one of the biggest investments in his or her academic career. This article discusses the features, performance, pros, and cons of some of the best laptops for graduate students.
Table of Contents
8 Best Laptop for Grad Students
Acer Aspire 5 is a mid-level budget laptop that is sleek, lightweight and offers multiple features without compromising on the final results.
Powered by an Intel processor and AMD chip, this model comes with a 15.6-inch screen. Since this model has a light body, it weighs only 3.97 pounds. Powered by AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, this model offers full HD display, 4GB DDR4 RAM, and a Vega 3 graphics card.
Its chassis is made of high-quality plastic. It consists of thick bezels, and the keyboard size is large, which is a plus point. Acer Aspire 5 offers multiple ports with dual USB 2.0 and a single USB 3.0 and USB-C ports. It also has an Ethernet and memory card slot.
The Acer Aspire 5 is a premium quality laptop, which is not too expensive. The thin body and powerful features make it a perfect laptop for students who are on a restricted budget. Moreover, it can also be used as a gaming laptop. These features make it probably the best laptop for grad students in the market.
The only major drawback of the model is its low-quality webcam and dull sound.
Lenovo’s IdeaPad is a powerful, high performing laptop that comes with a sleek body and a comfortable keyboard.
One of the major drawbacks of the model is its short battery life and low resolution screen. However, considering the price of the laptop, these drawbacks can be easily overlooked. This model comes with a 15.6” display.
It runs on an AMD A9 processor, 256GB SSD, 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD. The exterior of the laptop looks just like a high end Ultrabook.
The Lenovo IdeaPad offers a variety of different USB ports. It comes with a standard memory card and security slot and two USB 3.0 ports situated on the left and side of the laptop.
It also features a USB C and HDMI port. This model comes offers an average 1366 x 786 screen display, which is not the standard resolution, even for budget laptops.
Lenovo’s IdeaPad can be easily used for your everyday computing tasks. The speed of the system itself doesn’t disappoint either. However, you need to have a lot of free storage space to prevent it from lagging or freezing.
Moreover, this model comes with short battery life. The battery lasts for 6 hours when fully charged. The webcam doesn’t offer vibrant and crisp images. However, you can easily use it to make daily video calls.
HP’s Pavilion is a powerful mid-level laptop that comes with a strong processor and multiple USB ports.
HP Pavilion is budget-friendly and comes with a powerful processor. It has a limited battery life and is powered by Intel Core i3-8145U processor. It comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD. The 1366 x 768 screen display does not give crisp and vibrant images.
This model comes with a high performing fingerprint reader. Also, the bezels aren’t too thick either. The laptop weighs around 3.6 pounds which makes it quite heavy when compared to other laptops available in the same price range.
This models offers multiple USB ports. It comes with a two USB 3.0 ports, one USB Type-C and HDMI port, a standard headphone jack and security and SD card slot. The 1920 x 1080 screen resolution gives dull images.
The keys are smooth and comfortable. The touchscreen is also smooth and responsive. The audio quality of the system isn’t bad, either.
This model does not come with long battery life. The battery lasts for a maximum of 6.5 hours. The web camera does not offer crystal clear images that often displays blurred or grainy photos.
The system does not heat up quickly and is the best laptop for grad students who is looking for a budget laptop to use on a daily basis.
4: Dell XPS 13
Dell’s XPS 13 is a sleek and powerful laptop that comes with a large screen display. This model is powered by a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and a long battery life.
This laptop is lightweight and travel-friendly. The base model comes with an Intel Core i5-1065G7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 1920 x 1200 touch screen monitor. The lid of the laptop is of anodized aluminum which makes it look unique and stylish. This model also comes with a fingerprint reader for better system security.
One major drawback of this model is probably the limited number of ports. It comes with a total of two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a standard micro SD slot and a headphone jack. The system does not heat up quickly, and the 1920 x 1200 HD display gives vibrant and vivid images.
The 720p built-in camera is perfect for making video calls. The long battery life is something that is not offered by a lot of laptops available in this price range. The battery can last for 12 hours on a single charge.
The system has a robust ventilation system and doesn’t heat up quickly. The only drawback of the laptop is the limited number of USB ports.
Lenovo’s S145 is a budget laptop that is perfect for students who look for speed and efficiency but cannot afford expensive laptops.
This model is powered by AMD Core A6-9225 processor. It comes with a 15.6 inch screen. It has a 4GB RAM and 500GB hard disk drive. It comes with a standard USB 3.1, and HDMI ports.
It operates on the Windows 10 OS. Moreover, this model is lightweight and travel friendly. The body is made of plastic but it is sturdy and durable.
Since this is a budget laptop, it cannot manage heavy loads. It is made for light everyday tasks. This model comes with a large size display. However, the screen has a very low resolution.
Moreover, the battery does not last for an extended period. The 1TB HDD isn’t too impressive either.
Since this is an entry-level budget laptop, you won’t get a lot of additional features and services. It has a large screen.
You can even use this model for playing light video games. The 1,366 x 768 display is dull and doesn’t give sharp images. Moreover, the battery doesn’t last for an extended period.
Still, the Lenovo S145 model offers a lot of extra storage space. Students can easily download large PDF files and other reading material online.
Aspire 1 is a high performing budget laptop. This model has a sleek and stylish body. It is lightweight and comes with a 1080p screen display.
This model has a short battery life, and an average quality built-in camera. Moreover, the exterior of the laptop isn’t sturdy enough. Nevertheless, it is a good option for those students who cannot afford high end laptops.
Moreover, this model does not come in many color options. Also, the body is made of plastic which makes it flimsy and less sturdy.
This model is powered by 1.1 GHz Intel Celeron and comes with multiple USB ports. It comes with a memory card slot, a standard USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, an HDMI and Ethernet ports.
A Kensington security slot and microphone jack is also available. However, a standard USB-C port is not available in this model.
Since this is a budget laptop, it doesn’t come with long battery life. The lasts for about 6 hours. Moreover, the system heats up quickly. Additionally, there isn’t much storage space.
You cannot use it for downloading large files or playing games. The plastic body makes it lightweight, and you can easily carry it in your travel bag. Since this model comes with multiple USB ports, you can easily use it for different multimedia devices.
This ultra-slim and a durable laptop is an ideal laptop for a student or an undergraduate with a limited budget.
This laptop takes care of most of your daily tasks with ease. It is designed to help you keep up with all of your studies and assignments, projects, research, etc.
With its ergonomic keyboard and up to 180° hinge rotation, it is a winner model according to its price range for undergraduates.
For its range, this VivoBook boasts of several classy features, making it an ideal investment for undergraduates.
This sleek and lightweight laptop comes with an HD display screen of 11.6 inches, providing a maximum screen resolution of 1920×1080 pixels.
It runs on an Intel Celeron N4000 processor. It has a long battery life of up to 10 hours, ideal for students who study while on-the-go. It also includes a reliable Wi-Fi connection of dual-band 802.11 ac for fast speed and convenience.
The laptop consists of a highly sensitive touchpad, which is slightly larger than its counterparts within the same price range, making it more user-friendly.
The model also features two USB ports; USB 3.1 Type C and USB 3.2 Type A. It also includes a MicroSD slot and HDMI output.
It provides optimal performance with long battery life and a reversible USB port. It adds to the performance and convenience of the laptop as it can easily be connected to other devices as well.
Students can easily and quickly transfer loads of data by using the USB 3.1 Type-A port. The pre-installed Windows 10 in S mode adds to the convenience of students.
The device also includes an HD webcam, making it easy for students to attend lectures via Skype, Zoom app, etc. Its 4GB LPDDR4 RAM memory makes it easy for undergraduates to save and download data.
All in all, this VivoBook is an ideal investment for students with a limited budget. The laptop provides a good battery life and an ergonomic keyboard for better and comfortable computing experience.
It has better Wi-Fi connectivity of higher speed and a larger touchpad compared to its counterparts within the same price range.
This powerful laptop comes with an Intel i5 quad-core processor. This machine is designed for speed and is one of the best laptops for undergraduates. This model weighs 13.1 ounces.
Students can easily run several programs at the same time to complete projects and meet deadlines. It comes with an HD display screen of 17.3-inches providing you with crisp and stunning visuals.
It has a RAM of 8GB, ideal for students who want to complete plenty of assignments and study by multitasking. It also has a storage space of 256 GB SSD.
This allows students to download and store lots of data, including large files, in very little time. With the Intel Turbo Boost technology, you can get maximum power. This makes the computing process a comfortable one and ranking it as probably the best laptop for grad students.
This laptop includes several outstanding features that make it a must-have for undergraduates. This laptop is equipped with an 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor. It provides you with optimal speed through its quad-core processor.
This laptop is accompanied with a 17.3” HD display screen to provide you with sharp, glossy and crisp visuals. It has a maximum screen resolution of 1600×900 for clear and detailed visual images.
The colors are vibrant and rich in tone, giving you the ideal visual experience to complete your graphs, charts, presentations, etc. This laptop has a 256 GB PCI-e Solid State Drive. It has a Windows 10 operating system.
Its connectivity ports include one HDMI output, one USB 2.0 port, and two USB 3.0 ports. It also has a built-in media reader plus wireless and wired network connectivity.
When it comes to performance, this laptop is a sure winner. This laptop provides you with great speed and efficiency. Its performance is exceptional in terms of reliability and speed.
Equipped with 8GB RAM, this laptop allows users to operate multiple apps or tabs at the same time. You can easily complete heavy-research based college tasks and assignments by using several apps and streaming HD content.
With 256 GGB SSD, you can easily store large files without running out of space. The DVD writer also helps you install and save various apps and data.
With its Intel Turbo Boost technology, you can always have extra power and speed as per your requirement.
Considering these features, this laptop makes for an ideal investment. Students, undergraduates, in particular, can use this laptop with ease to complete their studies and finish their assignments.
This laptop comes with a 17.3” HD display screen for ultra-rich and glossy visuals with clear and fine details. With several USB ports and an HDMI output, it adds to the user’s convenience.
Selecting the Best Laptop For a Grad Student – Purchase Guide
Selecting a laptop is a major decision for a graduate student. The laptop that you choose should be of such quality and price that should last you well through the entire course, which can be spread over several years.
Its performance should support you in your assignments and is also compatible with the software and applications that you need to use in the course of your studies.
Make sure you weigh all these factors, along with the cost, of course, to choose the best learning buddy you will have for the next 4 to 5 years.
Now that you know the features and strengths of various laptops for graduate students, you also need to decide how to choose the best one.
The purpose of this buying guide is to simplify the process of selecting a laptop based on your most essential needs. You must read this guide to understand which factors you should bear in mind to identify the best laptop for your studies.
Every student’s needs, budget, and performance requirements are different, so the outcome for your friend might be different from yours.
- Smaller Display Screen
A smaller display screen offers higher portability. Most laptops are available in the display sizes that vary from 11 to 17 inches. Smaller sizing of the screen makes them lighter and extra compact, and large ones are not portable or easy to carry.
But if you want to use the laptop computer on your lap or elevate it around, a model with a 13- or 14-inch screen, might also provide the balance between display screen size and portability.
- Screen Resolution
If you are all set to invest a considerable amount, then try to look for the laptop, which has the display resolution capacity of around 1920 x 1080 pixels. It can either be referred to as the 1080 or “full HD” resolution.
That variety of pixels makes it simpler to study internet pages without scrolling.
- Battery Life
Choose a laptop computer with at least eight hours of battery life. Try to look for a laptop that provides greater than eight hours of battery life. This saves up on time used to recharge the laptop. Also, it adds to the user’s convenience by facilitating portability.
Important key specifications:
It should have at least Core i5, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD feature in it if you are spending over $600 on a laptop for grad students. For this amount, the minimal specs you must get encompass an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state power (SSD), and a 1080p screen.
As explained in this buyer’s guide, a laptop is a huge investment for a graduate student. It is where you will record all your notes, review lecture handouts, and prepare assignments.
Also read: 6 Best Affordable Gaming Keyboards in 2022
Hence, you must choose the right one and avoid following the herd if you want to avoid the hassle of replacing or returning it in the middle of a semester.
To save your time and energy, and to ensure that your laptop serves you well, follow the steps outlined above. Also, don’t forget to take good care of your laptop as proper maintenance and preventing care can make your laptop last very long.