When shopping the best thinkpad for students for school or college, it’s important to choose features that meet your budget and fit the student’s educational and lifestyle needs — both today and in several years when they’re completing their course curriculum.
As distance education becomes more and more common, it’s just as important for that laptop to include the features that enhance remote learning. Depending on your needs, those might be built-in webcams and speakers, the ability to handle peripherals such as headset mics and the processing power to handle the web conferencing needed to participate in online lectures and discussion forums anywhere you may be. Whether you’re wrapping up that term paper while waiting for a doctor’s appointment, emailing your professor during the bus ride home or catching up on homework during lunch in your favorite coffee shop, the right laptop can be the key to online education success.
Best thinkpad for students
|SCREEN||17.3-inch 4K IPS|
|CPU||Intel Xeon E-2276M vPro|
|GPU||Quadro RTX 5000 16 GB VRAM|
|STORAGE||2 TB SSD|
|CONNECTIVITY||3× USB A, 3× USB-C, 2× HDMI, Ethernet, Audio Jack, Smart Card Reader, SD Card Reader|
If you want the best of the best, take a look at the ThinkPad P73. This is an extreme workstation machine that features top of the line hardware. First of all, we have the Intel Xeon E-2276M vPro CPU with six cores and 12 threads. Next, there’s 128 GB of RAM, more than enough for any usage scenario. Finally, the device boasts the Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000. A professional graphics card with 16 GB of VRAM.
The display is a 17.3-inch IPS with 4K resolution. It’s bright and with solid color accuracy. It offers below-average contrast but a wide color gamut. The factory calibration is a bit too cool but you can fix this by manually calibrating the screen. The battery of the P73 is excellent. It offers almost 10 hours of life when under moderate load (movies, browsing). However, the device has some CPU-related heat issues that can lead to throttling under heavy use.
Despite thermal issues, the ThinkPad P73 offers superb performance. The keyboard is excellent, as it should be in every ThinkPad laptop. TrackPoint implementation is also pretty nice. Build quality is superb. The laptop features an IR camera with facial recognition, which is a nice touch. Its chassis is virtually indestructible. While this model shows some thermal issues, it’s still an excellent device.
|SCREEN||15.6-inch 1080p IPS|
|CPU||Intel Xeon E-2176M|
|GPU||Quadro P2000 4GB VRAM|
|STORAGE||512 GB SSD|
|CONNECTIVITY||2× USB A, 3× USB-C, HDMI, Audio Jack, SD Card Reader|
While the ThinkPad P1 is the best workstation and the best ThinkPad you can find, it also sports a ridiculous price. If you want an excellent workstation ThinkPad without shelling out enough money to buy a new car, check out Lenovo ThinkPad P1.
This is a powerful workstation equipped with a powerful Xeon E-2176M with 6 cores/12 threads. You get 32 GB of RAM, which is enough for almost any use case. The Quadro P2000 is a solid professional video card as long as you don’t want to play games. Finally, the base model comes with 512 GB SSD. While this can be too low for some users, you can find a second SSD slot under the hood, allowing for an easy upgrade. You get the excellent TrackPoint implantation that accompanies okayish touchpad.
The aluminum chassis is of superb quality. You can bend it a bit if you apply lots of force but that’s pretty much it. The 1080p, 15.6-inch IPS display offers great brightness. It also features excellent contrast and deep color saturation. The keyboard is one of the best you can find on a laptop. Battery life is average, providing about 5 and a half hours under medium load. Performance is top of the line thanks to a powerful CPU and loads of RAM.
Overall, the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 is an excellent workstation device. Its performance is great even in 2020. Its build quality is worthy of the ThinkPad branding, and the keyboard is one of the best on the market. If you’re looking for a powerful mobile workstation that doesn’t feature extreme price and internals, ThinkPad P1 is the best choice at the moment.
|SCREEN||15.6-inch 1080p IPS|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 7 3700U|
|GPU||AMD Radeon RX Vega 10|
|STORAGE||256 GB SSD|
|CONNECTIVITY||3× USB A, 1× USB-C, HDMI, Ethernet, Audio Jack, Card Reader|
If you’re looking for an affordable ThinkPad laptop the ThinkPad E595 is a great choice. It sports a mainstream price but offers classic ThinkPad advantages. Stuff like rugged chassis, TrackPoint, comfortable and full-sized keyboard, and powerful hardware. The CPU used is AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700 U that offers great performance for the price. 8 gigs of RAM is enough for office use and light productivity applications.
The SSD only has 256 gigabytes, which can be low for most users. Luckily both memory and storage are upgradable. You get one RAM slot and one SATA slot (populated by a dummy) for easy upgrade. The touchpad is average at best but you get TrackPoint which is much more usable. The 15.6-inch 1080p IPS display is fantastic for the price. It features very good brightness, excellent contrast, and average color gamut.
Battery life is excellent. The battery can last more than eight and a half hours with moderate use. This is a standout result at this price point. Overall, the ThinkPad E595 is a superb bang for the buck. It won’t blow your mind but at its price point but it is one of the top contenders in the mid-range market.
ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Gen
|SCREEN||14-inch 1080p IPS|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-10710U|
|STORAGE||1 TB SSD|
|CONNECTIVITY||2× USB A, 2× USB-C, HDMI, Audio Jack|
If you’re a business user who looks for a light and mobile device that comes with premium specs and modern design, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the top choice. The device looks sleek and is quite thin and light. The magnesium and carbon fiber case weighs in at only 1.1 kg. it’s rigid, stable, and won’t crack or bend under pressure. The only potential negative are a bit too wide side bezels considering the price.
The keyboard is the same as on the other ThinkPad models. It’s very enjoyable to type on and is among the best on the market. Touchpad and TrackPoint are both excellent. Very precise and easy to use. The display is a 14-inch 1080p IPS unit with high brightness and excellent contrast values. Colors are vivid and saturated but the factory calibration is a tad too cool. The device sports a fingerprint scanner along with an optional IR camera for added security.
Performance is superb thanks to the powerful Comet Lake Core i7 with 6 cores/12 threads and 16GB of RAM. 1TB SSD should be enough for most users. The laptop features integrated Intel graphics so forget about serious gaming. Battery life is excellent, as long as you go with the 1080p model. You’ll get 11 and a half hours under moderate load. On the other side, the 4K model suffers from poor battery life.
The seventh generation of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a perfect business laptop. It’s light but rugged and durable. It comes with top of the line keyboard and precise TrackPoint for using the device on the go. Its display is more than solid. The thin body hides the latest Core i7 CPU, which is more than enough for any task you might throw at it.
ThinkPad Yoga 11e
|SCREEN||11-inch 1366×768 IPS|
|CPU||Intel Core i3-7100U|
|STORAGE||128 GB SSD|
|CONNECTIVITY||2× USB A, HDMI, Ethernet, Audio Jack, Card Reader|
The ThinkPad Yoga 11e is the best-rugged ThinkPad you can get. If you need a durable laptop for a student or if you need a laptop that you can use anywhere, this is the right choice. The chassis is a thick block of reinforced plastic. It endured 12 different military-grade tests and 200 regular durability tests.
The body features tough hinges that allow the display to rotate 360 degrees. The keyboard is water-resistant but also surprisingly enjoyable to type on. You get an average 11-inch display that won’t impress anyone but it’s good enough for basic usage. The CPU is powerful enough for browsing the web, word processing, and watching videos.
The battery life is solid. It offers full-day use under low load. If should last enough through an average school day. Overall, the ThinkPad Yoga 11e is a cheap but durable laptop. It’s great for students and those who seek a rugged but inexpensive laptop. It features an amazing keyboard, solid battery and performance, and average screen.
ThinkPad X1 Yoga 4th Gen
|SCREEN||14-inch 1080p IPS|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-8265U|
|STORAGE||256 GB SSD|
|CONNECTIVITY||2× USB A, 2× USB-C, Docking port (for Ethernet and additional USB ports), HDMI, Audio Jack|
The ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a terrific 2-in-1 convertible. It’s super light at 1.35 kg, it has a premium aluminum unibody, and it features great hardware. That unibody aluminum case really is something. It has a stunning design and near-perfect build quality. It isn’t as sturdy as its carbon fiber brethren but you won’t be able to find any weakness in it. Security features include a fingerprint scanner along with an IR camera supporting Windows Hello.
Moving on to the keyboard, which is also near perfect. The keystroke is a bit too shallow but everything else is top notch quality. The touchpad could be larger but thanks to the TrackPoint you won’t be needing it. The 14-inch 1080p display is stunning. It has high brightness, excellent colors, and great contrast for an IPS panel. You also get wide color gamut, with the only noticeable downside being high response time.
You can rotate the screen by 360 degrees. You can also use touch control, which works great. Performance is solid thanks to the Core i5-8265U CPU with 4 cores/8 threads and 8 GB of RAM. If you need more power, there’s a variant of this model that comes with the Core i7, 16 gigs of RAM, and 512GB SSD. Battery life is also great. With the average load, the battery can last for almost 10 hours. Overall, this is a superb 2-in-1 device that definitely should get your attention.
Buying Guide – Choosing The Right Laptop For College
Laptops for college students are not just used for completing college assignments and case studies. They are also used for web browsing, watching movies, playing games and many more. There are so many laptops to choose from, right from entry-level to high-end gaming laptops. As a college student, the choice of laptop depends also on the budget we’re allotted. Choosing a laptop is not easy when there is so much to consider. Hopefully, we’ll be able to simplify things through this quick guide.
Decide on your budget
There are laptops with different specifications and features priced from Rs. 10,000 onwards. It is important to decide a ball park figure on how much you’re going to spend. This will help decide one among laptop categories and types.
Choose the operating system
Windows 10 is one of the most popular operating system today. You may find it pre-installed in pretty much every laptop these days. It is easy to use. You can install any software, be it productivity to entertainment to games. Depending on what you’re studying, there might be specific system requirements such as Mac OS or Linux.
This is something to consider. Of example, if you need a software package that runs on a Mac, you won’t be able to do that on a Windows laptop. However, a MacBook or a MacBook Pro is expensive, but you can choose to install Windows on it as well. Laptops running Linux might be more affordable than ones that come with Windows pre-installed. This might save your money, but you’ll need to spend a bit more to get a copy of Windows.
Select the processor and RAM
Laptops run on Intel and AMD processors. Choosing the right one is a bit difficult. If you are going to use your laptop mainly for college assignments, basic game titles and software, an Intel Core i3 or AMD A-series A6 or AMD A8 processor will suffice. For students who run heavy programming or graphic-intensive software, it may be worth spending more for laptops running Intel Core i5, Intel Core i7 or AMD A10 processors.
Most laptops today ship with 4GB of RAM, which is great if you want to perform daily tasks like using Microsoft Office, browsing the web and watching movies. If you are ready to spend just a little more, you might find options with 8GB of RAM. More RAM means multitasking between heavy software becomes simpler.
Figure out how much storage you need
As a college student, you’re going to have a lot to store. There are documents, presentations, photos, movies, music, and much more. Most laptops today come with hard drives with capacities ranging from 500 GB to 2TB and above. A 500GB hard drive is sufficient for all the software you’ll need to install, but if you’re going to install game and store movies, you’ll need something higher. If you’re on a budget and settling for a 500GB drive, don’t fret. You can either buy an external hard drive at a later point with higher storage capacities
Choose the graphics card
There are two types of graphics solutions found on laptops – integrated and discrete. The integrated ones are typically slower while the discrete ones are more geared towards performance. If you are going to use your laptop for playing basic games or just for browsing, watching movies, a laptop with an integrated graphics card is perfectly fine. Discrete graphic card solutions on laptops are typically powered by AMD or NVIDIA. AMD calls their cards Radeon, while NVIDIA calls their solutions GeForce.
These GPUs (graphics processing unit) come with dedicated graphics memory which lets them handle graphic intensive software and games. If you are studying a 3D or computer graphics course, a discrete graphics card is essential. Of course, the other benefit is being able to play high-end games on your laptop. NVIDIA’s entry-level graphics solutions are labelled as GeForce 930M, 940M, whereas the mid-range offering start with the GTX 950M and above. AMD’s low-end graphics solutions start from the Radeon R5 going up to the R9 series of GPUs.
The battery on a laptop is as important as the processor and RAM. As a college student, you might need to carry your laptop to college and back. You might not always get a chance to charge it at college. A good capacity battery can last hours on end. One easy way to find out the capacity of the laptop’s battery is by looking at the rating. It’s usually marked as a 3-cell, 6-cell, or 9-cell battery. You can usually find this information on the retailer or on the manufacturer’s web site.
Choose the one that is portable
After choosing the hardware specifications for your laptop, there are other elements that you can’t ignore, such as design, size, weight and the display size. If you are going to carry your laptop daily to college and back, look for a lightweight laptop. If you stay in a hostel, and it’s a full-time machine you’re using, a larger screen size might be recommended. It’s also useful for watching movies, playing games with your friends, reading notes and creating presentations. A larger screen size also means a wider keyboard, which is more ergonomic.
Must-have laptop accessories
There are some accessories meant for protecting your laptop, while some others for increasing productivity. Carrying a laptop is not as easy as carrying your books. A laptop bag is the first thing you should consider. These bags are designed with compartments that let you securely carry the laptop and accessories. Be aware that some manufacturers bundle a free laptop bag with the laptop so you don’t always need to purchase one.
Windows come with a built-in anti-virus to safeguard your laptop from malware threats and viruses. Some manufacturers offer pre-installed software as well. Most of these are subscription based packages where you pay a set fee every year or so. If you want additional security, you can consider third-party antivirus and internet security software for your new laptop.