The best laptops for students are light and portable, offer solid performance, and have a decent battery life while still being budget-friendly. That said, with hundreds of great laptops to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of models available.
That’s why we’ve reviewed the best and most popular models on the market, comparing their specs and features of the best laptops for students in Australia, so you can make an informed decision and find a laptop that’s perfect for you.
Top 10 Best Student Laptops Ranked
Here’s our full list of the best laptops for students in 2023:
- Acer Aspire 5 — Overall, the best laptop for most students, with a stunning 15.6″ FHD display, a backlit keyboard, and simultaneous ethernet and WiFi connections.
- Lenovo Chromebook C330 — Lightweight 2-in-1 laptop with an 11.6″ HD display, built-in microSD card reader, and a 10-hour battery life.
- ASUS VivoBook E203MA — Super light and durable Windows laptop with a one-year Microsoft Office 365 license and a full-size keyboard – perfect for typing.
- Acer Chromebook 314 — Gorgeous, modern model with a 14″ FHD touchscreen and an impressive 12.5 hours of battery life.
- Lenovo Flex 5 — Premium 2-in-1 laptop with a powerful AMD Ryzen 5 CPU. Perfect for creative students working in resource-intensive apps.
- HP Stream — Affordable option with a one-year Microsoft Office license and 1 Tb of Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage.
- Dell Inspiron — Powerful and durable, with built-in dual microphones, an FHD camera, and a stunning 14″ display with a 16:10 aspect ratio.
- HP Chromebook — Best budget laptop for everyday use, with an 11″ anti-glare display and up to 15 hours of battery life.
- Samsung Chromebook 4 — Decent performance and a 15.6″ display. Perfect for students who love Chromebooks but need a larger screen.
- Acer Swift 3 — High-end laptop with an octa-core AMD Ryzen 7 processor, perfect for running resource-intensive apps and programs and gaming during your free time.
Reviews of the Best Student Laptops
Here are our in-depth reviews of the best laptops for college students, so you can see exactly what kind of performance you can expect for the money from the different models:
1. Acer Aspire 5 — Overall, the Best Laptop for Most Students
The Acer Aspire 5 is a sleek, modern 15.6″ laptop with a stunning Full HD IPS display, so it’s perfect for both taking notes and studying online, as well as unwinding with your favourite TV shows and movies.
The Acer Aspire 5 comes with a dual-core AMD Ryzen 3 processor and 4 Gb of DDR4 RAM, so it’s reasonably fast for the price. You can have a dozen Chrome tabs open without worrying about the laptop slowing down or freezing.
|From $652 AUD||AMD Ryzen 3 3200U||Integrated Vega 3 Graphics||4 Gb DDR4||15.6″||128 Gb SSD||36.3 x 24.7 x 1.8 cm||1.8kg||Ethernet, 2x USB 2.0, USB 3.1, HDMI|
Both the display and the keyboard are LED backlit, so you’ll still be able to see everything clearly during those long nights when preparing for an exam.
With an average battery life of 7.5 hours, you can easily take the Acer Aspire 5 with you to take notes during lectures without having to worry about charging.
One of the most unique features of this model is that it supports simultaneous ethernet and WiFi internet connections. This gives you full control over the internet traffic and lets you use a faster and more stable ethernet connection for downloading college materials or watching movies and TV shows while simultaneously browsing, studying, researching, or watching YouTube on your WiFi router connection.
- Gorgeous Full HD 15.6″ display
- LED backlit screen and keyboard
- Easily upgradeable
- Simultaneous ethernet and WiFi connection
- The touchpad isn’t ideal, so anyone who needs precision clicking will have to invest in a mouse
2. Lenovo Chromebook C330 — Lightweight 2-in-1 Laptop With an 11.6″ HD Display
The Lenovo Chromebook C330 is a light, convertible 2-in-1 laptop that doubles as a tablet.
This mini laptop features an 11.6″ HD touchscreen, which might not be the best option for streaming online content but will more than suffice for everyday use. It also weighs as little as a hardback book, so you can easily pack it into your backpack and carry it with you.
|From $473 AUD||MediaTek MT8173C||PowerVR SGX543||4 Gb LPDDR3||11.6″||64 Gb SSD||29.21 x 21.59 x 1.96 cm||1.2 kg||USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.0, HDMI, microSD card reader|
The Lenovo Chromebook C330 features a MediaTek MT8173C processor with an integrated graphics processor, so you shouldn’t expect it to run resource-hungry apps and programs.
That said, it’s running on ChromeOS, so you’ll have no trouble having multiple Chrome tabs open, writing essays or taking notes in Google Docs, or running apps from the Play Store.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the Lenovo Chromebook C330 has an average battery life of 10 hours, so you won’t have to worry about charging it in between classes.
- Mini laptop, lightweight and portable
- Flexible, 360° hinge
- One-click Sign In with your existing Google account
- HD display with a true IPS panel and great viewing angles
- The hinge may get damaged after prolonged use, leaving you unable to use the keyboard until you get the laptop serviced
3. ASUS VivoBook E203MA — Super-Light and Durable Windows Laptop
The ASUS VivoBook E203MA is a great option if you type a lot, thanks to its sizable, ergonomic keyboard. The laptop comes with Windows 10 and a one-year license for Microsoft Office 365, so you’ll have Word, Excel, and PowerPoint pre-installed.
Another benefit of the ASUS VivoBook is that it’s very light and super compact while still being super durable. There are no cheap parts or plastic weighting to crack, so you can expect it to work perfectly for the duration of your college education.
|From $475 AUD||Intel Celeron N4000||Intel UHD Graphics 600||4 Gb DDR4||11.6″||64 Gb eMMC Flash Storage||27.94 x 19.05 x 1.7 cm||1.05kg||USB Type-A, USB Type-C, HDMI, microSD card reader|
It features a 64 Gb hybrid drive, but if you need more storage, you can easily upgrade it with a 256 Gb micro SD card, so you can have more room for all your college materials and personal files, like photos and videos.
Another reason to opt for the ASUS VivoBook is its built-in HD camera, which allows you to Skype or Zoom with your friends and family without having to invest in a webcam.
- Light, compact, and durable
- Full-size ergonomic keyboard
- Spacious touchpad with clear indicators for left and right click
- Comes with Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 365 (one-year licenses)
- The keyboard isn’t backlit
4. Acer Chromebook 314 — Gorgeous, Modern Model With a 14″ FHD Touchscreen
The Acer Chromebook 314 is a sleek, modern laptop with a gorgeous 14″ Full HD touchscreen, perfect for both college work and watching movies, TV shows, and YouTube in your spare time.
Since it’s running on ChromeOS, you’ll be able to log into your existing Google account and gain quick and easy access to all the files on your Google Drive. You’ll also be able to download apps and games straight from the Play Store.
|From $347 AUD||Intel Celeron N4000||Integrated Intel graphics||4 Gb LPDDR4||14″||64 Gb eMMC||32.54 x 23.19 x 1.98 cm||1.68kg||2x USB Type-C, USB 3.1, DisplayPort|
The Acer Chromebook 314 also supports Gigabit WiFi, so you’ll have a fast and stable internet connection and will be able to download files with lightning speed.
Another advantage of the Acer Chromebook 314 over other models in the same price range is its 12.5 hours battery life, so you’ll be able to use it throughout the day without having to constantly worry about charging.
- Gorgeous Full HD 14″ display
- Crisp video playback
- Excellent battery life
- No HDMI port
- Not compatible with MS Office
5. Lenovo Flex 5 — Premium 2-in-1 Laptop With a Powerful AMD Ryzen 5 CPU
The Lenovo Flex 5 is a premium 2-in-1 laptop with a powerful CPU, ideal for students who are working with resource-intensive applications like AutoCAD, 3D modelling software, or image/video processing programs.
This powerhouse of a laptop features an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U and 16 Gb of DDR4 RAM, delivering a performance that’s on par with desktop PCs. You can use it for college work, working in demanding programs, and pretty much anything else you might need a laptop for – up to the level of dedicated gaming machines.
|From $1,317 AUD||AMD Ryzen 5 4500U||AMD Integrated Graphics||16 Gb DDR4||14″||256 Gb SSD||32.16 x 21.74 x 2.08 cm||1.65kg||2x USB Type-A, USB Type-C, HDMI, SD card reader, 3.55mm headphone jack|
The Lenovo Flex 5 has an average battery life of 10 hours and supports quick-charge, so you can go from 0% to 80% battery in just one hour.
Another strong suit of this model is the fact that it has great cooling, so it won’t overheat even if the CPU is under heavy load. At the same time, the fans are relatively quiet, which is a big plus.
- Powerful Ryzen 5 CPU, capable of running resource-intensive apps
- Flexible 360° hinges that support laptop, tablet, and tent modes
- Lenovo Active Pen support for creative students
- Decent battery life with quick-charge support
6. HP Stream — Affordable Option With Microsoft Office and 1 Tb of OneDrive Cloud Storage
The HP Stream is a decent, affordable option if you’re looking for a laptop for light everyday use like sending emails, browsing the web, and streaming online content.
If you opt for this model, you get a standard Intel core, which can handle everyday tasks with ease, and 4 Gb of RAM. The one drawback of this model is that RAM isn’t upgradeable, so you can’t really run any resource-intensive apps or modern games on it.
|From $375 AUD||Intel Celeron N4000 CPU||Intel UHD Graphics 600||4 Gb SDRAM||14″||64 Gb eMMC||22.61 x 33.71 x 1.78 cm||1.44kg||USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.1, HDMI, headphone jack|
The HP Stream also comes with a one-year license for Microsoft Office 365, so it’s ideal for students working in Word or Excel.
- Excellent value for money
- One-year Microsoft Office 365 license
- 1 Tb of OneDrive cloud storage
- 14″ HD touchscreen display
- RAM not upgradeable
7. Dell Inspiron — Powerful and Durable, With Built-in Dual Microphones and an FHD Camera
The Dell Inspiron is one of the most powerful 2-in-1 laptops on the market, boasting an AMD Ryzen 5 5625U processor, 8 Gb of RAM, and a 512 Gb SSD.
This model is both light and extremely durable, so it’s easy to carry around, and you won’t have to worry about the hinges or the keyboard breaking.
|From $1,599 AUD||AMD Ryzen 5 5625U||Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics||8 Gb DDR4||14″||512 Gb SSD||1.78 x 31.4 x 22.7 cm||1.66kg||USB Type-A, 2x USB Type-C, HDMI, SD card reader, DisplayPort, audio jack|
The laptop also comes with built-in dual microphones and a Full HD camera, which is key if you’re attending classes online or working as a freelancer while studying and need to occasionally join online meetings.
Another strong suit of the Dell Inspiron is its connectivity. You get multiple USB ports, an SD card reader, an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, and an audio jack, so you can easily plug in all your peripherals (mouse, gaming headphones, USB flash drive), as well as stream content from the laptop to your TV.
- High-quality materials and an extremely durable build
- Powerful AMD Ryzen 5 processor
- Built-in dual microphones and an FHD camera
- Gorgeous display with a 16:10 aspect ratio
- Comes with Windows 11
8. HP Chromebook — Best Budget Laptop for Everyday Use
The HP Chromebook is another affordable laptop, great for everyday use, like browsing the web, studying from online materials, and watching movies and TV shows.
This model has undergone 230 HP tests to ensure performance and durability, so you can rest assured that it will easily last you through your entire college education. It’s super light and compact, with up to 15 hours of battery life, so you can take it with you wherever you go.
|From $316 AUD||MediaTek MT8183||Integrated||4 Gb DDR4 SDRAM||11″||32 Gb eMMC||19.3 x 28.45 x 7.62 cm||1.07kg||USB 2.0 Type-A, USB 2.0 Type-C, microSD card reader, audio jack|
Despite being a mini laptop, HP Chromebook features a full-size keyboard, which is perfect if you do a lot of typing. It also features custom-tuned dual speakers, so you can blast music or watch TV shows without having to invest in a pair of headphones.
- Light, compact, and durable
- Excellent battery life
- Anti-glare screen
- Only 32 Gb of eMMC storage
- RAM not upgradeable
9. Samsung Chromebook 4 — Perfect for Students Who Love Chromebooks But Need a Larger Screen
The Samsung Chromebook 4 is a good option if you want the convenience of a Chromebook and easy access to everything on your Google account but want a larger screen.
The 15.6″ display gives you more area to work with, making it easier to both read online college materials and type in Google Docs.
|From $387 AUD||Intel Celeron N400||Integrated Intel Graphics||4 Gb LPDDR4||15.6″||32 Gb eMMC||35.97 x 24.49 x 1.65 cm||1.72kg||USB 3.0 Type-A, USB Type-C, microSD, audio jack|
What’s interesting about this model is that it comes with Google Assistant-enabled, which leverages the power of AI to enable voice commands. This lets you search for stuff on Google or control the device using your voice, which is convenient and saves valuable time when studying.
Another advantage of this model is the fact that it supports Gigabit WiFi for super-fast connectivity, so you can torrent movies and TV shows or stream online content without buffering or delay.
- Larger, 15.6″ display
- Fast for the price
- Google Assistant
- Supports Gigabit WiFi connection
- Only 32 Gb of storage, so you’ll have to invest in an SD card
- Limited number of ports
10. Acer Swift 3 — High-End Laptop With an Octa-Core AMD Ryzen 7 Processor
The Acer Swift 3 is a high-end laptop, ideal for students who need a machine with a ton of computing power.
With an octa-core Ryzen 7 processor and 8 Gb of LPDDR4 RAM, Acer Swift 3 can easily handle even the most demanding apps and programs. You can also use it for gaming when you want to take a break from studying since it can comfortably run most modern games on medium-to-high settings.
|From $1,511 AUD||AMD Ryzen 7 4700U||AMD Radeon Graphics||8 Gb LPDDR4||14″||512 Gb SSD||32.33 x 21.89 x 1.6 cm||1.2kg||2x USB 3.2 ports, 2x Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, audio jack|
It’s built from high-quality materials, making it super-durable while also giving it that premium look and feel.
This model also offers plenty of ports for excellent connectivity, an HD webcam, and a fingerprint reader for quick and easy login and an added level of security.
- Super thin and light
- Incredibly powerful octa-core CPU
- Full HD 14″ display
- Fingerprint reader for added security
- Doesn’t have an SD card reader, so you’ll have to invest in an additional SSD if you find that 512 Gb isn’t enough
The Best Student Laptops Compared
Here’s a quick comparison of the best laptops for uni students, so you can have a better overview of the specs and the level of performance that different models offer:
|Acer Aspire 5||From $652 AUD||AMD Ryzen 3 3200U||Integrated Vega 3 Graphics||4 Gb DDR4||15.6″||128 Gb SSD||36.3 x 24.7 x 1.8 cm||1.8kg||Ethernet, 2x USB 2.0, USB 3.1, HDMI|
|Lenovo Chromebook C330||From $473 AUD||MediaTek MT8173C||PowerVR SGX543||4 Gb LPDDR3||11.6″||64 Gb SSD||29.21 x 21.59 x 1.96 cm||1.2 kg||USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.0, HDMI, microSD card reader|
|ASUS VivoBook E203MA||From $475 AUD||Intel Celeron N4000||Intel UHD Graphics 600||4 Gb DDR4||11.6″||64 Gb eMMC Flash Storage||27.94 x 19.05 x 1.7 cm||1.05kg||USB Type-A, USB Type-C, HDMI, microSD card reader|
|Acer Chromebook 314||From $347 AUD||Intel Celeron N4000||Integrated Intel graphics||4 Gb LPDDR4||14″||64 Gb eMMC||32.54 x 23.19 x 1.98 cm||1.68kg||2x USB Type-C, USB 3.1, DisplayPort|
|Lenovo Flex 5||From $1,317 AUD||AMD Ryzen 5 4500U||AMD Integrated Graphics||16 Gb DDR4||14″||256 Gb SSD||32.16 x 21.74 x 2.08 cm||1.65kg||2x USB Type-A, USB Type-C, HDMI, SD card reader, 3.55mm headphone jack|
|HP Stream||From $375 AUD||Intel Celeron N4000 CPU||Intel UHD Graphics 600||4 Gb SDRAM||14″||64 Gb eMMC||22.61 x 33.71 x 1.78 cm||1.44kg||USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.1, HDMI, headphone jack|
|Dell Inspiron||From $1,599 AUD||AMD Ryzen 5 5625U||Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics||8 Gb DDR4||14″||512 Gb SSD||1.78 x 31.4 x 22.7 cm||1.66kg||USB Type-A, 2x USB Type-C, HDMI, SD card reader, DisplayPort, audio jack|
|HP Chromebook||From $316 AUD||MediaTek MT8183||Integrated||4 Gb DDR4 SDRAM||11″||32 Gb eMMC||19.3 x 28.45 x 7.62 cm||1.07kg||USB 2.0 Type-A, USB 2.0 Type-C, microSD card reader, audio jack|
|Samsung Chromebook 4||From $387 AUD||Intel Celeron N400||Integrated Intel Graphics||4 Gb LPDDR4||15.6″||32 Gb eMMC||35.97 x 24.49 x 1.65 cm||1.72kg||USB 3.0 Type-A, USB Type-C, microSD, audio jack|
|Acer Swift 3||From $1,511 AUD||AMD Ryzen 7 4700U||AMD Radeon Graphics||8 Gb LPDDR4||14″||512 Gb SSD||32.33 x 21.89 x 1.6 cm||1.2kg||2x USB 3.2 ports, 2x Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, audio jack|
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Laptop for School or Uni
There are quite a few factors you should consider before buying a laptop. Depending on what you plan on using the laptop for and how big your budget is, certain models will be a much better fit than others.
Here’s a breakdown of all the key factors you should pay attention to when comparing the best student laptops to ensure that you choose the one that’s right for you:
A laptop for students needs to be light and compact, so you can easily carry it around with you to classes. Unless you want to invest in a laptop bag, you should carefully consider the model’s dimensions to ensure it will fit into a backpack or the bag you use to carry your books.
Additionally, pay close attention to the weight. While 1.5kg might not seem like much, it’s certainly not comfortable to carry it on your shoulder or back for longer periods of time, so you might want to consider a lighter option.
While build quality is rather difficult to discern from the image and description of a laptop, it’s immensely important. Poor-quality laptops easily break, so you might end up with broken hinges, a non-functional keyboard, or a dead screen.
That’s why we strongly advise you to read through a couple of reviews left by other users and see what they have to say about their experience and the durability of specific models. You don’t necessarily expect a top-end gaming monitor, but you need something that does the job for you.
Ideally, a laptop should last you between three and five years, so it pays off to invest in a slightly more expensive model that will work perfectly for the entirety of your college education.
Some of the best laptop brands that make the most durable laptops are Acer, HP, and Lenovo, but keep in mind that the build quality can vary drastically between two laptop models.
Another thing to pay attention to is the amount of storage. The operating system alone can take up more than 18 Gb, so a 32 Gb and even a 64 Gb SSD might not be enough for all your files, photos, and videos. In that case, you’ll either need cloud storage or a model with an SD card slot.
When you have limited time between classes, the last thing you want to do is have to frantically look for a power outlet to charge your laptop. That’s why you should opt for a model with decent battery life.
The best student laptops should last for at least 10 hours on a single charge, so you can go through an entire day at the uni without worrying about the laptop dying on you.
Aside from the build quality and specifications, you should pay attention to the other features the laptop comes with, such as a webcam, an anti-glare screen, a backlit keyboard, and a fingerprint reader.
Most of these are nice-to-haves rather than essentials, with the expectation of the keyboard backlight, which is crucial if you’re planning on using the laptop to study or type at night – and is a common feature of high-quality gaming keyboards.
Value for Money
As a student, you’re probably on a tight budget, so you want to buy an affordable laptop that offers solid performance. However, apart from looking at the price tag alone, you should consider how much value you’re getting for your money in terms of performance and durability.
The best cheap laptop for college students isn’t necessarily the one that costs the least, but rather the one that runs fast, has great battery life, and will work perfectly for at least four years.
Student Laptop FAQs
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Conclusion – What’s the Best Laptop to Buy if You’re a Student in 2023?
There isn’t a single college laptop that’s going to be the best for every student. The best option for you will depend on your needs and your budget.
That said, your best bet is a lightweight laptop with a decent battery life so that you can easily carry it with you and not have to worry about charging it between classes.
If you still can’t make up your mind after reading our reviews, we recommend the Acer Aspire 5, as it offers excellent performance for a reasonable price, has a gorgeous 15.6″ display, and lets you simultaneously connect to the internet via an ethernet cable and WiFi.