The Best Laptops for College in 2017

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2017 brought us unique, interesting laptops.

Some are refreshments of their last year models, others are a completely new series. This year definitely seems to be the one of touch screens, and with the hardware getting more and more compact, and portable, it’s not uncommon for us to see many powerful solutions, for a relatively nice price tag, especially if you compare them against models from previous years. So, let’s begin!

#5 MacBook Air 13.3 inch

When it comes to balancing power and physical specs, the MacBook Air usually comes to mind first. It’s one of the most popular laptops for students world-wide. It combines good specs, with a high-quality build, into one sleek and well-designed package. MacOS makes sure it’s fast and stable, and that it gets all your daily jobs done in no-time. This year, it brings more storage, which is also much faster compared to its older sibling, as well as some other improvements on the specs spreadsheet. The thing that is also attractive to college students is its relatively low price, it’s the cheapest one you can get, while still being an Apple product. All in all, if you want to keep it light and portable, as well as a fashionable laptop made out of high-quality aluminum, definitely give the MacBook Air a shot – that is if you have the budget for it.
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#4 Microsoft Surface Laptop (Surface Book)

The Microsoft Surface Book (or Surface Laptop, whichever you like) is a 2 in 1 offering from Microsoft. It packs impressive processing power in a slim, portable package. The Surface Book has a high-quality, high-resolution touchscreen display, which supports Microsoft’s Pen for the Ink Workplace, lots of RAM, and an SSD. The more expensive variant even has a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GPU (note that this GPU is located in the keyboard/dock) which can be used for casual gaming as well – running most modern titles on medium quality. The conversion between laptop and tablet modes is seamless, and even with the dock, this hybrid device is surprisingly light and portable, making it ideal for students (let’s face it – no student wishes to drag a 5kg laptop in their bag around the campus). The included Pen is great for work in drawing programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, which makes it perfect for students who study web design, architecture, etc., but thanks to its powerful specs, it is quite usable for other stuff as well. An added bonus is that it runs Windows 10 out of the box. The Surface Book does rock a high price tag, but for those who can afford it, it’s well worth the investment.
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#3 ASUS Chromebook Flip

asus chromebook flip review

The ASUS Chromebook Flip is a ChromeOS laptop that can fold into a tablet. It’s an interesting offering from ASUS, which packs solid specs, at a low price, making it perfect for students with a tight budget. The biggest selling point of the Chromebook Flip is its build quality – it’s made entirely out of aluminum, even the hinges are metal. I would go as far as saying that this is the best-built Chromebook so far. It easily converts into a tablet, and the touchscreen works well. It has a sweet 2K display, a good processor, and enough of RAM for your everyday tasks (keep in mind that even though the CPU is an i3 and it only has 4Gb of RAM, it is running ChromeOS, not Windows and what would be low-end in Windows, it’s more than enough for ChromeOS). The battery is also rather good, in fact you can easily leave your charger at home, without worrying that the battery is going to die out on you during your day at campus. The keyboard is one of the best you’ll find on a Chromebook, but sadly the same can’t be said for the trackpad. Luckily, tablet mode works great. Keep in mind though that it only has 64Gb of flash storage – as ChromeOS itself is mainly made for usage in the cloud so you won’t be storing a bunch of movies here anytime soon. If you need an affordable device for your everyday life at college, this is definitely the choice for you.
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#2 MacBook Pro with TouchBar

MacBook ProAs every year, Apple released a smashing top-tier laptop, and as always, with some interesting features and innovations. The MacBook Pro is powered by Apple’s latest system dubbed MacOS Sierra, has a top-notch processor, loads of RAM, high speed storage drives (PCI-e based SSD), and it can also feature a Radeon Pro GPU (if you have the appropriate model). As you can see, these are all high-end specs, which make sure that the MacBook handles everything you throw at it with ease. It has a gorgeous 2k Retina display, which is either 13” or 15” big. One of the most notable features on this year’s model is the replacement of the usual Function buttons with the so called TouchBar. The TouchBar is a touchscreen strip on top of the keyboard, which dynamically adapts to the current application, offering various options and shortcuts. Did I also mention the marvelous build quality? Yeah, well the MacBook Pro is made only out of the highest quality materials, featuring a sleek aluminum body. The high price will be a turn-down for some, but if you can save up enough for it, you will not be disappointed.
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#1 Microsoft Surface 4

If you’re looking for a powerful, flexible laptop/tablet, and you’re ready to pay for a device which doesn’t compromise on performance, then look no further – Microsoft’s offering, the Surface 4 is the device for you. It has vast improvements compared to the last gen, including a bigger screen, a better keyboard, a larger touchpad and better overall specs. There are several variants, ranging from i3 to i7 Intel CPUs, RAM goes from 4Gb up to 16Gb, and storage starts at 128Gb going up to 1Tb. The thing that might take some getting used to is the relatively strange 3:2 screen aspect ratio, but after a couple of days, the screen feels very natural. The included Surface Pen (which is kept magnetically on the side of the tablet) works great on the touchscreen – it’s fast, precise, and gets the job done rather nicely. It has all the connectivity you can ask from such a device, including Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11ac. Pack all of that in a well-built body and a strong battery (Microsoft advertises up to 9 hours of video playback), and you’ve got yourself a neat 2 in 1 laptop/tablet device. An added bonus is the fact that it runs Windows 10 out of the box, meaning you won’t have to shell out more cash for an OS license. As with the Surface Book, this device will be used best by designers and architects, but due to its powerful specs, it can be used pretty much by anyone – if you have the money to get one, that is.
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