Your Back To School Laptop Guide
Best school laptops for tertiary and university students
For tertiary and some university students, it will soon be time to head back to school to start a new semester. And going back to school means that you are likely to need a new laptop.
Digital and online learning has become a cornerstone in schools here, which makes a laptop a necessity for completing assignments and revision. Ideally, students would purchase a reliable laptop to last throughout all semesters of their school. With so many choices available, which laptop works best, based on budget, academic course and personal preference? Read our guide to determine the best school laptops available.
Budget School Laptops
Acer Chromebook 13 (S$998.00)
The Acer Chromebook 13 is ridiculously affordable, considering the software and hardware packed into the laptop. With its smaller than average 13″ screen, this budget laptop is extremely portable especially when you have multiple classes to attend. Contrary to its smaller display, the Acer Chromebook 13 packs some serious battery capacity which could easily power through all of your classes in one day.
If you’re a fan of Android devices, you will be pleased to know this laptop runs on Chrome OS and has access to the Google Play Store for you to download your favourite apps.
However, for its price point, don’t expect any extra features or amazing technical specs on this device. The Acer Chromebook 13 handles basic functions and tasks well but may fall behind on other fronts such as its CPU and screen clarity. Overall, it’s a very solid school laptop on a budget.
- Good Battery Life
- Very Affordable
- Limited CPU Functions
Microsoft Surface Go (S$618.00)
Although the Microsoft Surface Go is technically a tablet, it doubles up as a reliable laptop for students always on the move between classes. Don’t be deceived by its small size, the Surface Go was built to balance portability, value and performance. It weighs in at approximately 500g and can last for up to 9 hours on a single full charge. Certainly a laptop built for convenience. Furthermore, if you’re the type of student that still prefers handwritten notes while staying connected, you can easily take down notes with the Surface Pen.
Although Microsoft built this device to handle work applications and multitasking well, it is not ideal for heavy usage or other tasks like intensive video editing. If you’re not taking a niche course, the Surface Go will be an extremely good choice as a school laptop.
- Limited CPU Functions
The Surface Go is currently out of stock on the official Microsoft website. Do check back again!
Alternatively, you can find it on Amazon.sg, but it is priced at S$841.65 instead of S$828.00 (Microsoft Store) for the 128GB option.Get Your Microsoft Surface Go!
Best School Laptop for Design Students
Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (S$1899.00)
For design students, the MacBook Pro is the ideal partner as a school laptop. This laptop boasts a high performing CPU, graphics card and a beautiful retina display that will just make every single assignment in design class just a little easier. The added touchbar can also help with shortcuts whenever you are using design applications like Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. The 13″ model is just the right size to slot into your backpack and its relatively slim profile takes up little space.
When you’re not completing a school assignment, the MacBook Pro handles other basic and leisurely functions well. It can’t hurt to watch some Netflix on the high-resolution display.
- Slim Profile
- High Performance
Best School Laptop for Video Editing Students
Dell XPS 15 (S$2999.00)
The Dell XPS 15 is commonly touted as a ‘performance powerhouse’ among all other laptops. The laptop is outfitted with what every video editor needs: a quad-core CPU, a solid Nvidia graphics card and a stunning 4K display option. On top of its amazing features, the Dell XPS 15 is far from flimsy and oozes a quality finish. It almost ticks off the list of features you want from a home-based video editing PC rig.
Unfortunately, these features drain a lot of battery power which makes this device less ideal for long workdays on a single charge.
- High Performance
- 4K Display Option
- SD Card Slot
- Battery Life
Best School Laptop for Computing Students
Dell Inspiron 15 (S$1399.00)
Feeding code and executing processes can take a toll on your laptop but the Dell Inspiron 15 readily takes up that challenge for computing students. Although the laptop comes with an impressive FHD display, the RAM and memory take the cake for us. It comes with a 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM.
Despite its impressive specs, the Dell Inspiron 15 does not last very long on a single charge and can be considered bulky for a laptop in this day and age. If you don’t mind carrying around a slightly heavier and bulkier school laptop than usual, the Dell Inspiron 15 is a must-have.
- Good amount of RAM and Storage
- Battery Life
HP Pavilion 15 (S$1699.00)
We believe the best back to school laptop should be one that is an all-rounder and able to keep up with various projects and tasks. Students do attend a diverse set of classes and we think the HP Pavilion 15 is one that can be relied upon throughout your tertiary or university days.
The HP Pavilion 15 is a good balance between portability and performance which is what is required by students who move around campus to different classes throughout the day. The 18mm slim profile ensures it never takes up too much space in your backpack and weighs in at 1.85kg.
This laptop does not hold back in terms of performance and appearance considering its 15″ display, 1TB SSD and 16GB of RAM. It also conveniently comes with an array of ports: USB-C, USB 3.1 Type-A, HDMI and even an SD card reader.
Lastly, the HP Pavilion 15 comes at a relatively affordable price for the specs and features found on the device as compared to other brands in the market. It definitely fulfils on price, performance and portability, and makes it the best overall choice as the top school laptop.
- Good Port Selection
- Fan Noise
- Backlight Bleed
- Your Definitive Guide to the Best Wireless Headphones in 2020
- Your Guide to The Best True Wireless Earbuds in 2020
- Editor’s Choice: Best Smartwatches of 2020
Do you love to write and would like to see your work published here? Check how you can guest post here.