Best Laptops for Back to School

Best Laptops for Back to School

Published by Carly on Aug 28th 2017

Best Laptops for Back to School

While many students find themselves in need of a laptop computer for school, the selection can be overwhelming. Which laptop should you buy? Are you considering price, function, size, or more? Laptops have evolved greatly over the years and they now offer more functionality than ever before. While the options may be expansive, we have compiled the best laptops for back to school in 2017!

Dell XPS 13

Released in early 2017, this new laptop is said to be the fastest device ever released by Dell. With the latest Intel processor, Kaby Lake, this 2.9-pound laptop is sleek and speedy all the same. The addition of the new Intel Core i7-6560U, 2.3 GHz Processor means that this laptop can handle hefty programs, such as Lightroom, with ease. While the XPS 13 is not a 2-in-1 (though if you’re interested in a 2-in-1, check out the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 ), it offers similar benefits, such as a touchscreen, while offering a higher quality display than most tablets on the market. The screen is a crisp 13.3inch QHD, LED-lit with 3200 x 1800 pixels. According to Techradar’s battery tests, the device played a DVD on loop for over 7 hours before dying. Also, one great feature that many newer laptops are missing, but that the XPS 13 offers, is the addition of a SD card slot reader. Whether you’re looking for a computer to use in class, for photo editing, or gaming, this is a great option. The Dell XPS 13 with touchscreen and Intel Core i7-6560U, 2.3 GHz Processor is available starting at $1,162.

HP Chromebook 13

Chromebooks are all the rage in laptops. Instead of running off of a Windows or Mac operating system, Chromebooks support Google’s Chrome OS. Particularly appealing to students, Chromebooks often come at a lower price point than many newer laptops. Most applications offered on Chromebooks are internet-based through the cloud. If you are wondering if a Chromebook is right for you, check out this article. The HP Chromebook 13 measures in at just about .5 inches thick and weighs in at 2.6 pounds, which makes it lighter than most other 13-inch laptops on the market. This laptop is light, while still supporting an all metal, aluminum, and sleek body, as opposed to the plastic body seen on many of its competitors. Also, it has a little better than average battery life for a Chromebook, which is about 9 hours of continuous use. If you’re in need of a device to let you search the Internet, read email, stream, or use Google Drive then this is a higher-end choice to do just that. The HP Chromebook 13 with M3-6Y30 Processor and 4GB of memory is available starting at $593.50.

Samsung Chromebook Pro

Another chromebook, yet with different assets, the Samsung Chromebook Pro offers a hybrid design as a laptop, and then as a tablet, for a competitive price. This model of Chromebook showcases a new feature of Google Chrome OS (which is available in all new Chromebooks starting in 2017 – however not available for the HP Chromebook 13, discussed above), which allows access to the Google Play Android app store. This means that you can download millions of Android apps, some of which can run without internet, similar to that of traditional computer software. As a hybrid device, the traditional screen flips and can stand up or lie flat for a tablet-like experience. Similarly, a stylus is included which even has a little home slot for storage on the side of the laptop. There are a few stylus-compatible functions built in, such as Google Keep, for sketching or note taking. The screen measures in at 12.3-inches with the laptop itself weighing right about 2.4 pounds. Battery life was similar to that of the HP Chromebook 13, landing right under 9 hours of continues video play . The Samsung Chromebook Pro offers a hybrid laptop device, with downloadable apps, touchscreen, a stylus, and decent battery life for a relatively inexpensive price, starting at $499.

Microsoft Surface Pro

Known by many as the “tablet that can replace your laptop” or more recently as the “most versatile laptop” it is unclear whether Microsoft wants to market the Microsoft Surface Pro as a laptop or a tablet, but either way, it is a stand out device. With a new version of this device released in summer of 2017, it is actually relatively difficult to tell the old version from the new just by plain sight. However, Microsoft claims to have updated the system from the inside out, so you are definitely going to want to pick up the newest version possible of this 2-in-1. One addition for the Microsoft Surface Pro is the Kaby Lake Intel Processor, with options including the m3, Core i5, and Core i7 series, which will offer a laptop-like performance capability, much different than that of many Chromebook or tablet competitors. This solidly built, yet sleek device allows you to type like you’re using a traditional laptop, or detach the keyboard for a tablet-like experience. One component than many users enjoy about the line of Microsoft Surface devices is the usage of the Surface Pen, a highly sensitive stylus device that allows you to write and draw in many compatible programs. However, the Surface Pen is sold separately and will cost you about $100 for the latest version. Another feature of the Surface Pro is Windows 10 Hello, which allows you to log-into your device through just look or touch. If you’re interested in a 2-in-1 device, it does not get better than the Surface Pro. This lightweight (under 2 pounds), thin, yet powerful hybrid will do everything you need for school and more. The latest version of the Microsoft Surface Pro is available starting at $789.


What Mac does, they do well. While this 2017 version of the MacBook does not see many changes from previous years, it is still one of the best laptops – if not THE best – on the market. With a new butterfly mechanism keyboard that let’s you really feel the click of the keys, as well as new Kaby Lake Intel Processor options, the 2017 MacBook made improvements to continue to earn it’s place on “Best Laptop” lists. With the same 2-pound weight that it has had for years, the 12-inch MacBook still finds a way to compete with 2-in-1’s in weight. This is still a perfect size to throw in your backpack on the way to school, measuring in at just over .5 inches at its thicket point. One consistent benefit of a MacBook purchase is all of the MacOS based apps that come along with the laptop. The list is pretty exhaustive and means that you can start using your device right out of the box. Also, when it comes to battery life, Apple claims that the MacBook sports up to 10 hours of non-stop wireless web time. This is a near unbeatable device when it comes to speed, durability, and quality. Of course, quality comes at a price. The latest version of the 12-inch MacBook is available starting at $1,199.

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