College expenses are quite high and can put a strain on your finances for most students. From the college fees, accommodation, college supplies such as books and laptops among other expenses. That is why is you are joining college, you should find ways to minimize the costs. One of the ways you can cut down some of the college expenses is by buying a low cost but quality laptop. The good laptops are priced higher compared to low cost laptops. However, there are tons of laptops of top quality in the markets that are reasonably priced.
This article will guide through finding the best laptop in the market
What Is the Best Budget College Laptops for Students?
There are few colleges that offer their new students laptops for school use. Before, you set up a budget for a laptop, confirm if your college gives laptops to its student. If not, then you should set up a budget.
First, check the curriculum of your course. The demands of the programs will enable to know the type of laptop that suits you. For instance, consider aspects such as the processing speed, the specifications of the software, connectivity options among others.
Note, that different courses require different specs in laptops. The student taking up chemistry courses might need a laptop from a student taking up accounting course.
The following are the budget friendly college laptops you should consider. We analyze four brands, Dell, HP, Acer, and Lenovo that are under $500.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is an incredibly great laptop under $500. It has an excellent battery life and a colorful screen. It comes with a detachable keyboard and it is touchscreen.
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet performs exceptionally well. It has a relatively high speed thanks to the Mediatek Helio P60T 2.0GHz octa-core CPU and 4GB of RAM which allows for multitasking. The battery can last for up to 12 hours.
It does not have much high-end but is good enough for a college student.
- Price: $249 (64GB eMMC)
- CPU: 2.0GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P60T
- Graphics: ARM G72 MP3
- Display: 10.1 inches, 1920 x 1200 pixels
- Memory: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB eMMC, 128GB eMMC
- Dimensions: 9.64 x 6.66 x 0.71 inches
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Ports: USB-C
- Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Acer Chromebook Spin 713
The Acer Chromebook is the best laptop for college students or if you are on a budget. It is not only affordable but also delivers an excellent performance.
A few of the physical features of this Acer include, a good 3.2 display, fingerprint sensor, thunderbolt 4 support, a smooth touch pad, backlit keyboard, and among other premium features.
The standout feature for the Spin 713 is the 2256 x 1504 panel which gives out nicely popping colors, crisp details, and a bright screen.
Also, it has two USB type C Thunderbolt ports on the left side which makes this laptop one of the most affordable one with the Thunderbolt 4 ports. Other ports on this laptop includes the HDMI port, a microSD reader, USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 and headphone jack.
In terms of connectivity, this laptop supports the Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6. The drawback of this laptop is mainly the aesthetics. If you are looking to stand out with this laptop, you will not. The finishing is pretty basic and simple. However, it is perfect, affordable, and highly functional for a college student.
- CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7
- Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
- RAM: 8GB
- Screen: 13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504p (3:2) LCD Touchscreen
- Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
- Ports: 2 x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen Type-A, 1 x HDMI, 1 x microSD,
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
- Camera: 720p webcam
- Weight: 3.20 lbs or 1.45 kg
- Size: 11.8 x 9.3 x 0.67 inches or 299.72 x 236.22 x 17.01mm (W x D X H)
- Battery: 56WHr
The Acer Aspire costs under $500 and it is one of the best laptop for a college student. The Acer Aspire is a strong 8th generation with Core i3 performance. The screen gives a brightness of 1080p display and the battery has a pretty decent life which is almost 9 hours on a full charge.
On the downside, the Acer Aspire does not have a DVD writer. However, it has several ports.
- CPU: Intel Core i3-8145U
- GPU: Intel UHD 620
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 128GB
- SSD Display: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080
- Size: 14.3 x 9.9 x 0.7 inches
- Weight: 3.76 pounds
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 5000
The Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 5000 is a real deal if you are looking for great laptop and for less. It is a 11th generation with Intel core i3 with four threads. Another great feature is the NVMe SSD storage, with limited 128GB of storage, and 4GB of RAM.
If you want a high performance laptop, this Dell Inspiron is a high performance laptop. It runs on a AMD Ryzen 7 5700U processor, which means you can open several tabs, document editing, and as well video encoding without affecting its speed.
The Dell Inspiron 14 is a 2-in-1 laptop, which you can convert into a tablet which makes it extremely versatile.
- CPU-AMD Ryzen 7 5700U
- A 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 IPS Touchscreen
- 16 GB DD4-3200 RAM
- 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe storage
- 720p webcam
- Fingerprint Reader
- Left side Ports: HDMI 1.4b, USB-A 3.1 Gen 1, USB-C 3.2 Gen 1
- Right side ports: Headphone jack, USB-A 3.1 Gen 1, MicroSD card
- Weight: 3.43 lbs+ 0.58 lbs Power brick
- Dimensions: 12.66 x 8.32 x 0.71 inches
Dell Inspiron 15 3000 PC (3511)
Another laptop perfect for a college student in terms of price and functionality is the Dell Inspiron 15 3000(3511). With under $500 you get a laptop that can handle daily tasks and allow you to game.
It is well built and runs on an Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor. It is perfect for students who have a lot of work load due to larger storage capacity. It comes with a 4 GB RAM, 128GB SSD storage. If you want a bigger you double it at an additional cost of $50.
- Screen display size:15.6 Inches
- Screen Resolution: 1366 x 768
- RAM: 4 GB DDR4
- Memory Speed: 1.8 GHz
- Hard Drive: 1 TB mechanical hard drive
- Chipset Brand: Intel
- Wireless connectivity: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
- Operating System: Windows 10
- Item Weight: 4.8 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 14.96 x 10.09 x 0.89 inches
- Item Dimensions:14.96 x 10.09 x 0.89 inches (LxWxH)
- Processor Count: 4
- Memory Type: SDRAM
- Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries
HP Pavilion x360 11
The HP Pavilion x360 11 is a sleek, light weight and convertible laptop with 11.6-inch display which is hard to find its kind in the under $500 price range.
It runs on an Intel Pentium Silver N5030 processor with four cores and four threads which boosts the operating speed to 3.1GHz. With this laptop, you get 128GB SSD storage, 4 GB RAM which is enough for running Windows 11. The specs and features are enough for a college for handling basic day operations such as creating various documents, watching videos, browsing web, or gaming.
- Screen display size: 11.6 Inches
- Screen Resolution: 1360x768
- Maximum Screen Resolution: 1366 x 768 Pixels
- Processor: 1.1 GHz Pentium-N5000
- RAM: 4 GB SDRAM
- Memory Speed: 3.1 GHz
- Hard Drive: 128 GB ssd
- Graphics Coprocessor Intel UHD Graphics
- Chipset Brand: Intel
- Wireless Type: 802.11 abg
- Battery Life: Approximately 6 Hours
- Operating System: Windows 10 S
- Weight : 3.55 pounds
- Dimensions: 11 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches
- Processor Count: 4
- Memory Type: DDR4 SDRAM
HP Chromebook x360 14
The HP Chromebook X360 is a budget friendly convertible laptop suitable for a college student. It has a durable and quality build and easily portable. It has a quality battery that can last up to 8 hours.
It operates on dual core Intel Celeron N4500. Also it has integrated Intel UHD Graphics with 4GB RAM with an option of upgrading to 8 GB and a storage of 32GB eMMC. The specs make it perfect and adequate for handling school work.
- Platform: Chrome
- Operating System: Chrome OS
- Weight: 3.5 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 5.31 x 3.54 x 2.95 inches
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 5.31 x 3.54 x 2.95 inches
- Processor Brand: Intel
- Processor Count: 2
- Memory Type: SDRAM
- Hard Drive Interface: USB 3.0
- Hard Drive Rotation Speed: 0.01 RPM
There are tons of laptops in the market, some cheap, affordable and other high-priced. Also, different brands of laptops come with different features and functionalities. If you are going to college, one of the essentials you will require is a good laptop. A good laptop does not need to be high-priced. There are tons of low-priced laptops which are suitable for handling college student workload among other functionalities. Among the laptop you can get for college are discussed above all under $500.
The key things to consider are your budget, the nature and the requirement of your course. Consider the available software and hardware when buying a college laptop to ensure it will meet the workload and all the tasks required.