Student Laptop Buying Guide

So you’ve saved some money and want to buy a laptop for your studies. That’s great ! Only… There are hundreds of laptop out there with stunning but not really useful features like “Easy Access” to upgrade your laptop or “Color Blast” by Acer and  “Quantum Dot Technology” by Samsung for vivid and accurate colors. By the way those are fancy words to say the same thing. Hopefully, through this guide, you will be able to see through these unneeded features and buy the laptop you really need and want at the right budget.


What will you be using the laptop for ?

The first question that should but rarely come to mind when buying a laptop is what will you be using it for ? Are you a student for multimedia with a lot of video rendering and production or are you studying accounting ? For the average student, all the pricey laptops such as MacBook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pro and Razer Blade Laptop are OVERKILL. It is like buying a Lamborghini when your everyday travel is for rocky roads or through the highly-densed traffic of cities. Now let’s discuss the different situations that may or may not apply to you. Feel free to click on the relevant link below to skip to what concerns you.

  1. Video Editing
  2. Photo Editing
  3. Gamer
  4. Web searching, Email and Word Processing





If your studies require that you create and edit videos, rendering videos or converting videos to different formats then you are entitled to buy some of the high-ends laptops. Your budget should be at least 500$ for a decent laptop that delivers the graphic processing power for your tasks. The main features that should be the deciding factors are a dedicated graphic card, at 8-16 GB of RAM, enough processing power (Intel Core i7 or Ryzen 9 ), SSD and vivid and high resolution display. Find below the best laptops for this category.

For Mac Users – MacBook Pro 15 Inch display with Radeon Pro Graphics.

Amazon Price: $ 2, 649



For Windows users – Microsoft Surface Book with Performance Base

Amazon Price: $2, 240


Photo Editing

If you are a graphic designer doing a lot of work on Photoshop, the main concern for you would be the screen color reproduction. Especially if you want to have the most accurate print out, this is very important. Some student laptops with the best displays are listed below.

Apple Macbook Pro 15-inch (2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 Processor, 16GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Mac OS X)

Amazon price: $1,869.00



Dell XPS 15 9560 FHD Non Touch Disply 7th Gen Intel i7-7700HQ

Amazon price: $1, 346.66



For game enthusiasts, there are plenty of options. For the average gamer, a 1080 p display and dedicated graphics card is enough. Here are some options available to you.


 The Razer Blade (GeForce GTX 1060) 14″ HD Gaming Laptop (7th Gen Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD) – VR Ready


Amazon Price: $1,799.99


Alienware AW13R3-7000SLV-PUS 13.3″ Gaming Laptop (7th Generation Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256 SSD, Silver) with NVIDIA GTX 1060


Amazon Price: $1,344.00


Gigabyte Aero 14Wv7-BK4 14″ Notebook QHD IPS 7th Gen Intel Kabylake i7-7700HQ NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060


Amazon Price: $1,699.00


Web searching, Email and Word Processing

For the average user who are constantly on Social medias, emailing and using softwares like Word or Excel, all you need is a light-weight laptop with a good battery. These are the one that I recommend.


ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 13.3-inch LCD Ultra-Slim Laptop (Core i5 Processor, 8GB DDR3, 256GB SSD, Windows 10)



Amazon Price: $699.00


Acer Aspire Core i3-6100U 2.3GHz 4GB 128GB SSD 13.3″ FHD 



Amazon Price: $554.14


  1. Really useful post for students but as someone who is just starting a small business, working from home, can you recommend a laptop for me. I have no idea when it comes to laptops and am currently using a budget one for around $400. I will be using it for internet marketing and my goal is to get a Mac but am I just buying into the brand?

    • Hello Lee, thank you for the comment 🙂 You are right to ask this question as this is what the marketing industry makes us do. My general advice would be, if you are an Apple user, it is fine to buy a Mac and if you will be using only for internet marketing, a MacBook Air will do the job.

  2. Thanks for sharing this guide. Super useful as there are so many laptops online with little review.
    Will the Dell XPS be suitable with photoshop type applications? I’m want to use it with graphic design.

    • Hi Vince, thank you for the comment. The Dell XPS is a great choice for a graphic designer. It is not the best in terms of screen color replication accuracy but has the processing power for Adobe softwares at a really good price point.

  3. Great information at one place, after reading I feel like I’m ready to make a good descision knowing my money is going to get me what I really need. Thanks!

  4. Like you said, with so many different name and brand laptops, people can get overwhelmed very quickly. you took a bit of the pain out of that. Thank you for sharing.

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