One of life’s great transitional moments is the day our children head off to college for the first time. It marks a growth, expansion and exploration period for children and lots and lots of expenses for parents! Outside of tuition and room and board, one of the biggest and most necessary expenses is acquiring a new laptop for your budding scholar.
But with a seemingly endless number of brands and features, how do you choose which laptop to buy?
OEC Fiber makes it easier. We’ve compiled several highly-recommended laptops—including some quality laptops that won’t break the bank.
We based these suggestions on features that are essential for college students. They include long battery life, a durable keyboard, lighter weight for increased portability and extra RAM to run multiple programs and applications simultaneously.
We begin with our three choices for ‘Best All-Around’ laptops from Dell, Lenovo, and Apple, three reliable and respected brands in the industry.
Dell’s XPS 13 combines portability with easy functionality to make an outstanding laptop to take to college. Its processor is powerful, and you can customize RAM for up to 16GB and choose a hard drive with up to 2TB of storage, making this laptop a true workhorse.
Lenovo’s IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon and its 14″ display stands out among its competitors. Its brilliant 2880×1800 OLED display showcases stunning contrasts and noticeably brighter colors. Its processor and RAM allow for seamless multitasking.
Even with its larger display, the IdeaPad Slim 7 clocks in at barely over two pounds, making it easy to carry across campus.
Apple prices its MacBook Air M1 with college students (and teachers) in mind. This model still features many quality components Apple fans value, including its Force Touch trackpad and Magic Keyboard.
Its processor, the M1 manufactured by Apple, consists of multiple cores to amp up the MacBook Air’s processing power, helping to make this an excellent Apple choice to consider.
We recommend two 2-in-1 laptops to allow your student to use a tablet—an even more portable device—in addition to the laptop but without the additional, separate expense.
Switching effortlessly from a powerful laptop to a sleek tablet, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 is still among the best 2-in-1’s on the market today. Its Intel Core processor (10th generation) will exceed the needs of most college students, and its battery life is excellent.
The second Lenovo on our list is the Yoga 7i. Boasting a 14-inch display, the Yoga 7i is unique among 2-in-1s in its price range, and you’ll notice the extra screen space you can utilize on many apps and programs.
Like the Surface Pro 7, there is generous battery life to get them through most of their classes and study time throughout the day before needing to charge the device.
Finally, we suggest a budget-conscious laptop that will meet most of your college student’s needs while keeping more money in your bank account.
This is a solid laptop with many of the features your student needs most. With its stellar Intel Core i5 processor, the Gateway GWTN141 can keep up with many other models on this list.
Its display is large, and its battery can last about 10 hours between charges, making the Gateway GWTN141 a solid value.
Any of these laptops will serve your college student well for their first year of college and beyond.
These are just some of the options out there. You can purchase laptops of all sizes and capabilities in the electronics section of most major retailers. Walmart, Costco, Target, Sam’s Club and Best Buy are some of the most popular places to pop in and explore the latest devices.
Check them out for yourself—and once you’ve purchased and received their new laptop, don’t forget to give it a test run on OEC Fiber’s high-speed fiber internet before you drop your student off at the dorm!