Best Laptop for College Students 2016

Best Laptop for College Students 2016

As former college students ourselves, we can tell you that a laptop is not a luxury. It’s paramount for a successful scholastic career, regardless of the degree you’re pursuing. You have a wide spectrum of portable computers to choose from. But the best laptop for college students in 2016 depends on the student. For example, an English major surfing the Web and writing papers will need a different laptop from an engineering student running powerful design software. No matter your major the laptop you choose needs to be durable, powerful enough to handle all your high-level classes and within your budget.

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IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS:

CPURAMStorage
1.Dell XPS 13Intel Dual-Core i5-5200U CPU8GB256GB SSDView
2.Asus ZenBook UX305FA Intel Dual-Core M5Y10 CPU8GB256GB SSDView
3.Microsoft Surface BookIntel Dual-Core i5-6300U CPU8GB128GB SSDView
4.HP 17 AMD Hexa-Core Ryzen 5 3600 APU4GB512GB MHDView
5.HP Envy 15Intel Dual-Core i5-7200U CPU8GB256GB SSDView
6.Microsoft Surface Pro 4Intel Dual-Core i5-6300U CPU8GB256GB SSDView
7.Dell Inspiron 3000 (3189)Intel Dual-Celeron N3060 CPU4GB32GB eMMCView
8.HP 17 Intel Dual-Core i5-6300U CPU8GB256GB SSDView

Best Laptop for College Students 2016 Review

1. Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13 QHD 13.3 Inch Touchscreen Laptop (Intel Core i5 5200U, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Silver) Microsoft Signature Image
  • Intel Core i5 5200U 2.2 GHz Processor
  • 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM
  • 256 GB SSD Storage; No Optical Drive
  • 13.3 Inch WQXGA+ (3200x1800) LED-lit Infinity Touchscreen
  • Windows 10 Operating System; Silver Chassis

Last update on 2021-11-23 at 09:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Dell XPS 13 is our top choice for the best laptop for college students in 2016. It crams a 13-inch screen into a compact package, along with a winning combination of the latest 7th generation Intel Core CPU, even more battery life and a stronger Wi-Fi performance than ever – all things that are important in a device you’ll be using for school.

Made of machined aluminum on the top and bottom, it’s just as attractive as before with a durable and rigid feel. Even the deck on the inside feels better with a comfortable, soft-touch, checker patterned carbon-fiber. And at lightweight 2.7-pounds it’ll be easy throw into your book back as you rush to your next class.

The most striking feature, however, is its Infinity display, which has a Full HD 1920×1080 resolution. It’s one of the brightest displays the list at 302 nits. Inside is an Intel Core i5-5200U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Typing feel is fairly comfortable with a roomy Precision touchpad that offers smooth and precise scrolling dynamics.

As small as it is, there’s room for all the ports you’ll need, including two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, headphone jack, and a USB Type-C port (with Thunderbolt 3 support). But the best part? An almost 14-hour battery runtime, by far and away the best on our list!

2. Asus ZenBook UX305FA

Asus ZenBook UX305FA 13-inch HD Ultrabook UX305FA-RBM1-GD, Intel Core M-5Y10, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 8.1, (Titanium Gold)
  • Intel Core Broadwell M-5Y10 0.8 GHz
  • 256 GB ssd
  • 13.3--Inch FHD Screen
  • Windows 8.1
  • Designed to be ultra-slim with an all-aluminum body. The unit weighs only 2.6 lbs, is less than .5-inch thin.

Last update on 2021-11-23 at 09:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Here’s yet another Ultrabook we think will make an excellent companion for your college career. As you can see from the Dell XPS 13 above, Ultrabooks need to deliver on three things: 1) a thin, easy-to-carry design 2) enough power to handle your course load 3) a long battery life. The Asus ZenBook UX305FA answers the call with more than a 9-hour battery life, a solid Intel Core i3 CPU and a slick, half-inch-thick aluminum body.

The lines and curves of the UX305FA flow from edge to edge with elegant fluidity and simplicity. This iteration continues the ZenBook tradition by featuring a gorgeous, fanless aluminum body that only weighs 2.64 pounds.

Though not quite as bright as the XPS 13, the display produces 281 nits of brightness with an almost 180-degree viewing angles. And you get great outdoor visibility thanks to the matte surface.

Seeing a low-powered Intel Core M5Y10 CPU can be alarming at first (we sure were). But it provides enough power to stream 1080p movies with several worksheets and Chrome tabs open in the background. Assisting with power is 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD.

Inside, the aluminum deck is complemented by a comfortable Chiclet-style keyboard and spacious one-piece touchpad. There are a healthy number of ports on this small machine, including three USB 3.0 ports (one more than the XPS 13), an SD card reader, micro-HDMI port, and a combo headphone/mic jack.

3. Microsoft Surface Book

Microsoft Surface Book LCL-00001 2-in-1 Laptop, Intel Core i5-6300U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (Renewed)
  • Intel Core i5 6th Gen 6300U (2.40 GHz)
  • 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD
  • Intel HD Graphics 520
  • 13.5" Touchscreen 3000 x 2000
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Last update on 2021-11-23 at 09:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What does the Microsoft Surface Book have to offer a college student? An impressive display, superb battery life and 2-in-1 versatility. You’re looking at the first notebook Microsoft has ever made. Here’s why it’s among the most successful premium 2-in-1s.

A push of a button transforms it from a clamshell into a tablet. Made of sturdy magnesium, the light silver chassis has a fulcrum hinge that expands and contracts when you open and close the laptop. The Surface Book is fairly light at 3.34 pounds.

Microsoft calls the removable 13.5-inch display a slate. Sharp, bright and colorful with a 3000×2000-pixel resolution, it’s one of the best in class with 387 nits of brightness. It also benefits from Microsoft’s PixelSense technology, which provides the smoothest and most responsive touch performance you’ll ever experience.

This is one of the first laptops to pack Intel’s sixth generation Core i5 CPU, which gets paired to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. Overall, this is a swift performer that’ll get you through your academic career.

Keyboard quality provides a better typing experience than average, too. Using the glass touchpad feels silky smooth. And as a student, you’ll appreciate the fact that the magnetically attached pen lets you take notes and draw with high precision.

The left side of the Surface Book houses two USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader. On the right is a Mini DisplayPort and a Surface Connect port which you can use to connect the optional dock.

4. HP Pavilion 15

Sale
HP Pavilion 15 Notebook PC, Black
  • A truly powerful audio experience

Last update on 2021-11-23 at 09:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The HP Pavilion 15 is poised to take on the load of coursework. The Pavilion lineup are affordable multimedia notebooks designed for practically any use case. And it’s been touted as the quintessential laptop for college students for years. In this latest iteration HP has upgraded its leading laptop with stronger components, while making it thinner and lighter than before.

Always with a talent for style, HP has tried something new with the looks. To keep costs low, you won’t find an aluminum finish or obscenely small measurements. Instead, it’s encased in a smooth plastic shell that’s adopted a new design language: a band of color lines the keyboard deck and is said to be inspired by tennis shoes. Furthermore, considering all the components inside, the Pavilion 15 only weighs 4.62 pounds.

Chrome-covered hinges support the 15.6-inch display which has a 1366×768 resolution. Also, to help keep costs low, inside is an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 APU, 4GB of RAM and a 512GB MHD (mechanical hard drive). Battery life is fantastic at 9 and a half hours.

The Chicklet-style keyboard has a squishy feel. But the plastic touchpad is smooth enough to type up your projects. When it comes to connectivity, you get one HDMI port, two USB 3 ports, one USB 2 port, an SD card reader and an audio combo jack.

5. HP Envy 15

HP ENVY 13-ab016nr Laptop (Windows 10, Intel Core i5-7200U, 13.3" LED-Lit Screen, Storage: 256 GB, RAM: 8 GB) Black/Silver
  • Why buy: A thin and light, all-metal laptop with booming audio and processing power to handle all of your tasks on the go.
  • Processor: 7th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-7200U Processor, Dual-Core, 2.5GHz up to 3.1GHz; Fast, responsive performance and more natural, intuitive interactions with your PC.
  • Display: 13.3-inch diagonal Full HD (1920x1080) IPS eDP BrightView WLED-backlit; 2.07 million pixels for crystal-clear visuals and vibrant images.
  • Memory: 8GB LPDDR3 SDRAM; Use multiple applications at the same time without slowing down.
  • Solid-state drive: 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2; Up to 17x faster performance than a traditional notebook hard drive.

Last update on 2021-11-23 at 09:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The HP Envy is also a series of HP laptops well known to students for its sharp design with respectable hardware for schoolwork since its introduction back in 2009. With this generation, HP takes things into a thinner, more premium direction.

In fact, the first thing you really notice is how much lighter and thinner the new all-aluminum chassis is at 4.4-pounds. HP achieved this by ripping out the DVD/CD drive and dedicated graphics card. The back end of the screen lip still extends and loops around the rear edge. This helps prop the keyboard at a slight incline for stability and a comfortable typing angle.

You get a much more vibrant display this time around. It features brighter colors and vastly better viewing angles, making it much more suitable for watching the videos your professors assign. When it comes to specs, you get an Intel Dual-Core i5-7200U CPU, 8GB of RAM plus a 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, which is the fastest type of solid-state drive you can get.

Most notably, the touchpad has a smooth, glass-like finish and tracks well enough. Battery life is good at 9-hours. And if you need a recharge, it should only take about 90 minutes for a 90% charge. HP has also upgraded the port selection for this iteration with an added USB Type-C port that supports data, along with three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and an SD card reader.

6. Microsoft Surface Pro 4        

Latest Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (2736 x 1824) Tablet 6th Generation (Intel Core i5-6300U, 8GB Ram, 256GB SSD, Bluetooth, Dual Camera) Windows 10 Professional (Renewed)
  • Intel Core i5-6300U 2. 4 GHz processor with Intel HD Graphics 520, 256GB SSD Drive
  • 8GB RAM, Wireless: 802. 11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4. 0
  • Ports: Full-size USB 3. 0; microSD card reader; Headphone jack; Mini DisplayPort; Cover port; Charging port, Camera: 5MP front-facing and 8MP rear-facing cameras with 1080p HD video recording
  • Display: 12. 3-inch PixelSense touchscreen display; 2736 x 1824 resolution, Stereo speakers with Dolby Audio-enhanced sound
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Professional, This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging

Last update on 2021-11-23 at 09:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you want a tablet you can use as a laptop without much compromise for school, the Surface Pro 4 is another worthy entry from Microsoft for you to check out – It’s also a worthy alternative to the slightly bigger Surface Book above.

One distinguishing factor between this generation and the previous one is that unlike the Surface Pro 3, which ran Windows 8.1. The Surface Pro 4 runs Windows 10, and it comes with a new Surface Pro Pen with more levels of pressure sensitivity. These aren’t the only area where Microsoft refined the tablet. But rather than drastically change the formula, the Surface Pro 4 retains the all-magnesium unibody and general design.

The display size has also been increased a bit, however, without compromising the overall footprint. The 12.3-inch screen has a higher 2736×1824 resolution, making it a brilliant first choice for creative students on the go. Image quality is crystal clear. And it’s exceptionally responsive, bringing increased sensitivity to the enhanced Surface Pen.

Regrettably, the Type Cover is sold separately. But it’s thicker and provides a more rigid feel than before. This time Microsoft adopted a chiclet-style design for the keys, which allows for deeper travel with punchier feedback. And it allows for each individual key to be back lit.

7. Dell Inspiron 11 3000 (3189)

Newest Dell 3189 Convertible Chromebook 11.6 inches HD IPS Touchscreen, Intel Celeron N3060 Up to 2.48GHz, 4GB Ram 32GB SSD, HDMI, WiFi, Webcam, Chrome OS- (Renewed)
  • IMPRESSIVE TOUCHSCREEN: Features an 11.6-inch HD multi-touchscreen display (1366 x 768) with Corning Gorilla Glass NBT, integrated webcam, Intel Dual-core Celeron N3060 up to 2.48Hz processor
  • FAST DUAL-CORE PROCESSOR: 32GB eMMC SSD storage, 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM
  • TRANSFERS DATA FAST: 2x USB 3.1, 1x HDMI, 1x headphone/microphone combo jack, Intel HD graphics, integrated HD webcam, SD card reader
  • EXCELLENT FEATURES: 802.11ac, WiFI, Bluetooth, NO Optical Drive, 720p webcam, mic, and stereo speakers
  • 360-HINGE CAPABILITIES: 360-degree hinge, 2-in-1 laptop/tablet, Chrome OS, 3-cell battery

Last update on 2021-11-23 at 02:37 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you just want a small, lightweight laptop for taking notes that you can easily throw into your backpack. And you don’t want to spend that much for it. The Dell Inspiron 3000 (3189) not only offers a long battery life. But it has a stylish and compact design.

For less than $200, it’s a decent enough system. It’s extremely portable at only 2.4-pounds. And the 11.6-inch display has a 1376×768-pixel resolution. But with only 193 nits of brightness, it’s noticeably dim compared to other laptops on the list.

Inside is a low-powered Intel Celeron N3060 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage, along with 9 hours of battery life. While that may not seem like much, you have enough power on tap to research your next college paper with a few tabs open.

You won’t find a luxurious typing experience when using the Inspiron 11 3000 (3189). But what is available is enough to get the job done. And the buttonless touchpad registers inputs accurately with a good feel to each click.

As far as the port situation, you’ll be happy to know that Dell didn’t skimp. The USB 3.0 port, HDMI slot and microSD reader on the left gives you options for fast connectivity. On the right is where you’ll find the notebook’s USB 2.0 port, headphone jack and a Noble lock slot.

8. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 4th Generation

Sale
Lenovo X1 Carbon 4th Generation: Core i5-6300U, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, 14in Full HD Display, Windows 10 Pro (Renewed)
  • Do more with the Windows 10 Pro Operating system and Intel's premium Core i5 processor at 2.40 GHz
  • Memory: 8GB Ram and up to 256GB SSD of data.
  • Display: 14" screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Last update on 2021-11-23 at 09:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Durable, long-lasting with a slick-thin design. What more can ask from a laptop? Lenovo’s 4th generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a business class laptop that retains the features that should get any college student excited, including a thin, yet sturdy carbon fiber and magnesium construction. A good selection of I/O port. And that famed Lenovo ThinkPad keyboard.

The carbon fiber and magnesium chassis is exceptionally light at 2.54 pounds. The hardy form is also certified for several MIL-STD 810G tests. You get a 14-inch screen with a 2560×1440 Quad HD resolution. This comes in handy if you’re a digital creative working with Web layouts or an engineering major. Colors are vibrant with lots of detail.

Powering the laptop is an Intel Core i5-6300U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Not only is the multimedia performance strong, but there’s plenty of power on tap to get your schoolwork done.

It also come with a spill-resistant, backlit keyboard. The full-sized Chiclet-style keys are among the best you’ll ever feel with just the right amount of travel. The TrackPoint controller between the G, B and H keys provides excellent navigation. Along with the touchpad which has two physical mouse buttons.

Connectivity is excellent with a Mini DisplayPort, three USB 3.0 port, a headset jack and HDMI port. There’s even a hidden microSD card slot and SIM card slot. Battery endurance is excellent at over 10 hours.

Laptop
Dell XPS 13 QHD 13.3 Inch Touchscreen Laptop (Intel Core i5 5200U, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Silver) Microsoft Signature Image
Asus ZenBook UX305FA 13-inch  HD Ultrabook UX305FA-RBM1-GD, Intel Core M-5Y10, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 8.1, (Titanium Gold)
Microsoft Surface Book LCL-00001 2-in-1 Laptop, Intel Core i5-6300U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (Renewed)
Specs
Dell XPS 13 QHD 13.3 Inch Touchscreen Laptop (Intel Core i5 5200U, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Silver) Microsoft Signature Image
Asus ZenBook UX305FA 13-inch HD Ultrabook UX305FA-RBM1-GD, Intel Core M-5Y10, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 8.1, (Titanium Gold)
Microsoft Surface Book LCL-00001 2-in-1 Laptop, Intel Core i5-6300U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (Renewed)
Rating
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Customer Reviews
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Laptop
Dell XPS 13 QHD 13.3 Inch Touchscreen Laptop (Intel Core i5 5200U, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Silver) Microsoft Signature Image
Specs
Dell XPS 13 QHD 13.3 Inch Touchscreen Laptop (Intel Core i5 5200U, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Silver) Microsoft Signature Image
Rating
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Customer Reviews
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Laptop
Asus ZenBook UX305FA 13-inch  HD Ultrabook UX305FA-RBM1-GD, Intel Core M-5Y10, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 8.1, (Titanium Gold)
Specs
Asus ZenBook UX305FA 13-inch HD Ultrabook UX305FA-RBM1-GD, Intel Core M-5Y10, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 8.1, (Titanium Gold)
Rating
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Customer Reviews
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Laptop
Microsoft Surface Book LCL-00001 2-in-1 Laptop, Intel Core i5-6300U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (Renewed)
Specs
Microsoft Surface Book LCL-00001 2-in-1 Laptop, Intel Core i5-6300U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (Renewed)
Rating
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Customer Reviews
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Last update on 2021-11-23 at 09:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dell XPS 13 QHD 13.3 Inch Touchscreen Laptop (Intel Core i5 5200U, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Silver) Microsoft Signature Image
  • Intel Core i5 5200U 2.2 GHz Processor
  • 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM
  • 256 GB SSD Storage; No Optical Drive
  • 13.3 Inch WQXGA+ (3200x1800) LED-lit Infinity Touchscreen
  • Windows 10 Operating System; Silver Chassis

Last update on 2021-11-23 at 09:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

To Sum Up

If you’re a student entering college for the first time, you’ll be able to achieve your best with a laptop that’s nimble enough to go with you from class to class. As you scrutinize laptops, keep your degree in mind. Our top choice is the venerable Dell XPS 13. It’s a sturdy laptop with plenty of battery life and all the features you need for college. The Asus ZenBook UX305FA is a worthy contender without quite the same performance, but still an excellent choice. And if you want more versatility from your device. Look no further than the Microsoft Surface Book, which offers a fantastic display and a 2-n-1 design.