need a laptop for school

Need A Laptop For School? This is a detailed research on budget laptops for students. If your preference is the best student laptops 2021, then this article is perfect for you.

The best laptops for students put value over having the top-of-the-line processors and graphics cards. (Image credit: Future)

If choosing the best student laptops has proven a bit challenging for you, you’re not alone. While there are many amazing portables out there, there are a few more things to tick off the list when choosing a laptop for students, which makes the decision-making part a tad harder. After all, students can’t always go for the most kitted out one and call it a day.

Need A Laptop For School

budget laptops for students

best laptops for students

Narrowing down the options for the best student laptops can be tough. Not only should they have enough power and features to see through research and school projects, but they must also be affordable or at least make financial sense – which is why laptops under $500 are great candidates. On top of that, they must also be light and svelte, with a long battery life to last a whole school day since students shouldn’t have to carry a charger when they’re already lugging heavy textbooks around campus all day.

The tricky part is finding such laptops that provide that kind of performance and form factor while keeping things affordable. Is it worth spending a little extra to get certain features or a laptop with a bit more power? Absolutely. A higher-quality machine might be worth spending a little more on considering the better value you’ll get down the road. On the other hand, some students don’t really need that much power, and will be more than satisfied with budget machines.

That’s what we’re here for. We found the best student laptops 2021 has to offer, from different price points and performance levels. From the best Chromebooks and student Chromebooks to the more robust Ultrabooks, here are our top picks. https://www.youtube.com/embed/kY2vbWIshCc

MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
(Image credit: Apple)

1. MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

Best laptop for students with a flexible budget

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPUGraphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core GPURAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memoryScreen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina displayStorage: 256GB – 2TB SSDTODAY’S BEST DEALSPrimeUS$996.12VIEW AT AMAZONCheck Thomann

REASONS TO BUY

+macOS Big Sur is fast and responsive+Battery life is great+Silent in use

REASONS TO AVOID

-Fanless design could impact performance

Apple topped the previous year off with a bang, rolling out their much-talked about M1 silicon chip that’s so far been a real game-changer. And, the first laptop to receive it is the company’s thinnest and lightest, putting it on the list of the most exciting Apple laptops of recent years. With this new chip, the MacBook Air is better than ever, touting excellent performance alongside its brilliant battery life – without raising the price to keep it (fairly) affordable still. It’s not going to be the cheapest option for students, but for those who have a slightly bigger budget, this is the best student laptop to get.

Read the full review: MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

Google Pixelbook Go
The Google Pixelbook Go has earned our coveted “Editor’s Choice” award in the Chromebook category. (Image credit: Google)

2. Google Pixelbook Go

Google’s best Chromebook for budget consumers

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core m3 – i7Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 (300MHz)RAM: 8GB – 16GBScreen: Full HD Display – 4K Ultra HD Molecular DisplayStorage: 64GB – 256GBTODAY’S BEST DEALSPrimeUS$807.44VIEW AT AMAZONPrimeLOW STOCKUS$2,122.50View at Amazon£629View at Google Store EMEASee all prices (4 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Incredible battery life+Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard

REASONS TO AVOID

-No biometric login

Have you been waiting for the day you can finally afford the premium price of Google Pixelbook? Well, with Google releasing Pixelbook Go, your wait is finally over. Granted, it isn’t quite the actual luxury device you’ve been dreaming of. However, rest assured, you will love this Chromebook, just as we have during our time with it. We love it so much, in fact, that it earned our coveted “Editor’s Choice” award in the Chromebook category. It boasts incredible battery life, an even more impressive keyboard and a 1080p webcam, which you don’t see often in the more budget-friendly laptops even in 2021. And, that’s just to start.

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook Go

HP Chromebook 14
(Image credit: HP)

3. HP Chromebook 14

A well-balanced Chromebook

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: AMD A4 – A6, Intel Celeron N3350 – N3450Graphics: AMD Radeon R4 – R5, Intel HD Graphics 500RAM: 4GB – 8GBScreen: 14-inch diagonal HD (1366×768) SVA anti-glare – FHD (1920×1080) IPS BrightViewStorage: 16GB – 64GB eMMCTODAY’S BEST DEALSUS$259VIEW AT AMAZONPrimeUS$259.99View at AmazonPrimeUS$271.91View at AmazonSee all prices (12 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Excellent keyboard and trackpad+Chrome OS is responsive+Crisp, vivid screen

REASONS TO AVOID

-Average battery life

The HP Chromebook 14 may not be as powerful as other Chromebooks, but this tiny laptop has a few aces up its sleeves, helping it secure a well-deserved top spot on our best laptops for students list. Those aces include striking a good balance between ample screen space and portability, as well as a surprisingly excellent keyboard and a decent trackpad. That’s without mentioning how vivid the display and how low its price tag is.

Read the full review: HP Chromebook 14

Microsoft Surface Go 2
(Image credit: Microsoft)

4. Microsoft Surface Go 2

Premium design, more affordable price

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core m3 – Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425YGraphics: Intel HD Graphics 615RAM: 4GB – 8GBScreen: 10.5” 1920 x 1280 (220 PPI) PixelSense DisplayStorage: 64GB eMMC – 128GB SSDConnectivity: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, Bluetooth 5.0, Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE ModemTODAY’S BEST DEALSUS$399.99VIEW AT MICROSOFT USUS$499View at Buydig.comUS$536.35View at AmazonSee all prices (10 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Premium design+Affordable+Can run full Windows 10

REASONS TO AVOID

-No Touch Cover or stylus included-Base model’s specs are weak

Microsoft’s devices are known for their higher price tags, which is why the Surface Go line proves popular with the more budget-conscious crowd. It’s Microsoft’s best affordable premium tablet, and the follow up, Surface Go 2, continues that tradition with its reasonable price and premium design. It even runs the full Windows 10 operating system, so it’s even more capable than other tablets out there as far as what applications it can run. Unfortunately, as with the original, it suffers from the same curse of being underpowered, especially at the base configuration. However, it does offer a slight bump in performance over its predecessor. If you’re looking for the best student laptops, this one’s certainly a great contender.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Go 2

Acer Chromebook Spin 311
(Image credit: Acer)

5. Acer Chromebook Spin 311

Versatile little Chromebook for study and play

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Celeron N4000Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600RAM: 4GBScreen: 11.6″ HD (1366 x 768) 16:9 IPS touchscreenStorage : 64GB Flash MemoryTODAY’S BEST DEALSPrimeUS$265.13VIEW AT AMAZONUS$282.99View at AmazonPrimeUS$285.12View at AmazonSee all prices (6 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Great design and build+Lovely size+Excellent touch screen and flip mechanism

REASONS TO AVOID

-Dim screen-Massive bezels drastically reduce actual screen size

If versatility is a top priority, then look no further than the Acer Chromebook Spin 311. This all-rounder has all the makings of a great student laptop, from its good battery life to its robust build and solid usability. However, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 takes it further with its impressive levels of versatility, thanks to its abundance of ports considering its size, 2-in-1 design, portable size and excellent touchscreen display. It also boasts a keyboard and a touchpad that are not only reliable, but also satisfying to use. That’s a rare thing in a machine at this price point.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook Spin 311 

Acer Spin 5 (2020)
(Image credit: Acer)

6. Acer Spin 5 (2020)

A fantastic 2-in-1 laptop

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7Graphics: Intel Iris Plus GraphicsRAM: 8GB – 16GBScreen: 13.5″ (2256 x 1504) 3:2 touchscreen displayStorage: 256GB – 512GB SSDTODAY’S BEST DEALSPrimeUS$948.89VIEW AT AMAZONCheck Thomann

REASONS TO BUY

+Fantastic battery life+3:2 display perfect for note-taking+Feature rich stylus included

REASONS TO AVOID

-3:2 display not ideal for 16:9 video-Bloatware includes desktop pop-up ads

A great feature set definitely adds a lot of value, and if you’re looking for the best laptops for students, that’s one thing to keep an eye out for. It’s that combined with its affordability that makes the Acer Spin 5 (2020) a terrific candidate. This 2-in-1 laptop isn’t just versatile due to its form factors and fantastic battery life. It also comes with a 3:2 display and a feature-rich stylus that together give it that extra advantage for students over its rivals: an easy and seamless note-taking experience. If you’re one of those folks who have a contempt for typing up notes in class, this old-school approach might just seal the deal.

Read the full review: Acer Spin 5 (2020)

Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook
(Image credit: Lenovo)

7. Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook

A pricey, but nearly perfect Chromebook

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: AMD Athlon Gold 3150C – AMD Ryzen 7 3700CGraphics: Integrated AMD RadeonRAM: 4GB – 8GBScreen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS LEDStorage: 32GB eMMC – 256GB SSDTODAY’S BEST DEALSCHECK AMAZONCheck Thomann

REASONS TO BUY

+Powerful AMD processor+Outstanding security features

REASONS TO AVOID

-Expensive-Less than 10-hour battery

The Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook lands straight in our best student laptops list due to the fact that it is one of the most powerful Chromebooks money can buy in 2021. While you’re going to pay extra for this kind of horsepower, especially if you want some of the best features that come with the high-end models, it’s well worth it if you’re looking for a future proof Chromebook that’s going to last you for years to come – four years of college at the very least. As a 2-in-1 device, it’s got the flexibility that many other Chromebooks lack, and the screen on this thing is stunning. Best of all, it comes packing the new AMD 3000C-series processors – starting with an Athlon 3150C and scaling up to a Ryzen 7 3700C – and this means you’ll get more processing power out of this Chromebook than many of it’s competitors. 

Read the full review: Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook

Acer Swift 3 2020
(Image credit: Acer)

8. Acer Swift 3 (2020)

Punches above its ultralight-weight

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500 – 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G4GPU: AMD Radeon shared memory – Intel Iris Plus GraphicsRAM: 8GBStorage: 128GB – 512GB SSDDisplay: 14″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 – 13.5″ (2256 x 1504) 3:2, IPSTODAY’S BEST DEALSPrimeUS$679.99VIEW AT AMAZONPrimeUS$708.99View at AmazonPrimeUS$771.71View at AmazonSee all prices (6 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Highly portable+Excellent multitasker+Very affordable for an Ultrabook

REASONS TO AVOID

-Speakers are “meh”-Not great for gaming

The most popular Ultrabooks out there can cost a fortune – you have to pay for that thin and light form factor, after all. Not with the Acer Swift 3 (2020). This is the Ultrabook for the masses, thanks to its low asking price for that lightweight design, decent battery life and brand new specs that deliver when it comes to multitasking. It’s definitely got all the makings of the best student laptop – including that smart design one could mistake for a MacBook Pro.

Read the full review: Acer Swift 3 (2020)

Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1
(Image credit: Dell )

9. Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1

A step up for Inspiron

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: 10th Generation Intel Core i5 – i7Graphics: Intel UHD GraphicsRAM: 8GB – 16GBScreen: 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) – 15.6-inch UHD (3840 x 2160) Truelife Touch Narrow Border WVA Display with Active Pen supportStorage: Intel Optane Memory H10 32 GB with 512 GB Solid-State Storage – 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDTODAY’S BEST DEALSPrimeUS$699VIEW AT AMAZONPrimeUS$699.99View at AmazonUS$719.99View at AmazonSee all prices (19 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Competent performance+Highly versatile+Premium design

REASONS TO AVOID

-Quirky display-4K battery drain-Bunk speakers

The Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 is a versatile 2-in-1 with a lot going for it under the hood.  This premium laptop is more than just about its premium design; it also has high-end internals to compete with the likes of the more powerful Dell XPS 13.  Rounding that out is a 4K display, and a clever stylus slot that makes us wonder whether they actually beat Microsoft to the idea. Granted, the display is a bit of a battery drain, and the speakers impressive, but this is still among the best laptops for students out there.

Read the full review: Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1

MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)
(Image credit: Apple)

10. MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)

Apple’s little MacBook Pro gets a big refresh

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPUGraphics: Integrated 8-core GPURAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memoryScreen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 LED-backlit Retina displayStorage: 256GB – 2TB SSDDimensions (H x W x D): 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56 cmTODAY’S BEST DEALSPrimeUS$1,199.99VIEW AT AMAZONPrimeUS$1,199.99View at AmazonPrimeUS$1,399View at AmazonSee all prices (5 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Huge battery life+Great performance+Can run iOS apps

REASONS TO AVOID

-Still lacks ports

The MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) may not have gotten a massive design overhaul, but what it lacks in that department, it makes up for big time in performance and battery life. Thanks to Apple’s groundbreaking M1 chip, the new MacBook Pro 13-inch delivers excellent performance and exceptional battery life. Its performance is so impressive, in fact, that it can easily handle 4K – and even 8K – videos, which is great news for film students. If you’re looking for a powerful laptop that keeps things small and lightweight, this is the best student laptop money can buy.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)

Round up of today’s best deals2020 Apple MacBook Air with…Apple Macbook Air (M1 2020)Amazon$995.71VIEWSee all pricesGoogle – Pixelbook Go 13.3″…Google Pixelbook GoBest Buy$649VIEWSee all pricesREDUCED PRICEHP – 14″ Chromebook – AMD…HP Chromebook 14Best Buy$249.99$199.99VIEWSee all pricesMicrosoft Surface Go 2Microsoft Surface Go 2Microsoft US$399.99VIEWSee all pricesREDUCED PRICEAcer Chromebook Spin 311…Acer Chromebook Spin 311Amazon$499$265.13VIEWSee all pricesREDUCED PRICEAcer Spin 5 Convertible…Acer Spin 5 2020Amazon$1,099.99$939VIEWSee all pricesLenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga G1…Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga ChromebookStaples$574.99VIEWSee all pricesAcer Swift 3 Thin & Light…Acer Swift 3 (2020)Amazon$679.99VIEWSee all pricesDell Inspiron 13 7000 Series…Dell Inspiron 13 7000Amazon$699VIEWSee all pricesREDUCED PRICENew Apple MacBook Pro with…Apple Macbook Pro 13″ (M1 2020)Amazon$1,299$1,199.99VIEWSee all pricesWe check over 130 million products every day for the best price

best student laptops 2021

BEST SITES LIKE ALIEXPRESS FOR ONLINE SHOPPING

AliExpress is a massively popular Chinese online retail service owned by Alibaba Group. It was launched in 2010 and hasn’t stopped its journey to becoming the ‘biggest online marketplace of the world‘ ever-since. AliExpress stands toe-to-toe even with Amazon in terms of buyers worldwide. It offers wholesale goods at direct-to-consumer prices from Chinese sellers.

https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-2797082318274772&output=html&h=280&slotname=8682476046&adk=2151885909&adf=190697375&pi=t.ma~as.8682476046&w=680&fwrn=4&fwrnh=100&lmt=1627998844&rafmt=1&psa=1&format=680×280&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.connectivasystems.com%2Fsites-like-aliexpress%2F&flash=0&fwr=0&fwrattr=true&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&wgl=1&uach=WyJtYWNPUyIsIjEwXzE0XzYiLCJ4ODYiLCIiLCI5Mi4wLjQ1MTUuMTA3IixbXSxudWxsLG51bGwsbnVsbF0.&tt_state=W3siaXNzdWVyT3JpZ2luIjoiaHR0cHM6Ly9hdHRlc3RhdGlvbi5hbmRyb2lkLmNvbSIsInN0YXRlIjo3fV0.&dt=1627999611755&bpp=15&bdt=23644&idt=17016&shv=r20210729&mjsv=m202107290101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D57bcbc1386fb4a62-224db3b378c90070%3AT%3D1627459095%3ART%3D1627459095%3AS%3DALNI_MZQmD2zSOO1WwcOCkDO0zE4OiSxSw&prev_fmts=0x0%2C680x280%2C680x280&nras=1&correlator=7507617504246&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=1674829253.1626073761&ga_sid=1627999629&ga_hid=1748298441&ga_fc=0&u_tz=60&u_his=1&u_java=0&u_h=900&u_w=1440&u_ah=900&u_aw=1440&u_cd=24&u_nplug=3&u_nmime=4&adx=183&ady=2294&biw=1425&bih=821&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=20211866%2C31062064%2C21067496&oid=3&psts=AGkb-H__m-rY6k2tuH6Khn2ZT1K3KmGtJmUaz_08i6YDTUFf6Fvp1zeWIsLdJtP6dYpB_qM1xawVHYNMB4XiAKOtkw&pvsid=1361440174819822&pem=24&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C1440%2C0%2C1440%2C900%2C1440%2C821&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7CeEbr%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=128&bc=31&ifi=4&uci=a!4&btvi=2&fsb=1&xpc=XrkRroOgKR&p=https%3A//www.connectivasystems.com&dtd=M

It also works as a great dropshipping model for a lot of e-commerce entrepreneurs. Along with a lot of good sides, AliExpress has some cons as well. The biggest problem is the shipping time of AliExpress orders, which is pretty long considering the goods come from China. Also, some orders can be very expensive after shipping charges and taxes.

So, it is a good thing to have some AliExpress alternatives whenever you don’t like its services. That’s why we are telling you about 21 best sites like AliExpress. Some of these websites offer cheaper prices and faster shipping on certain products. And, you can also use them to maintain a nice profit margin for your dropshipping business.

1. LIGHTINTHEBOX

LightInTheBox is the perfect AliExpress alternative as it is also a Chinese e-Store. It sells hot and trending products across the globe. Their products range from phone and electronics to fashion, jewelry, shoes, bags, and many other items. You can find almost anything here at a very cheap price.

The delivery time of LightInTheBox is also similar to AliExpress as their warehouses are located only in China. But, you may get a faster shipping time due to having fewer orders to ship. You can pay for your orders with PayPal, Western Union, or your credit card.

2. WISH

Wish is a widely popular online marketplace where you can buy almost anything. From clothing to footwear, electronics, healthcare items, and many more things, you can get them all for an incredibly cheap price. They are also known to offer great deals and coupons to their new customers.

Their shipping time is also faster than AliExpress as their products come from sellers located in small countries. Wish also provides an advanced rating system that is very helpful for both the consumers as well as sellers. It helps promote good ones.

3. OVERSTOCK

Overstock is a US-based online marketplace. It makes profit by selling wholesale products at a highly cheap price tag. A major portion of their stock is comprised of overstock from the major retailers or their seconds. You can find some really amusing deals here. The shipping time will also be lower as compared to the Chinese marketplaces. You can get your items within a week.

The product range of Overstock is incredible. You can find everything such as clothing, decor, kitchen appliances, and many more items. You can even find furniture and other big home items. So, you can use to fill your house with great stuff at a reduced price.

4. DEALEXTREME (DX)

DealeXtreme, more popularly known as DX, is an amazing online marketplace. The website works in a very similar manner as ‘Wish’ and sells cheap products coming directly from sellers. It has partnered with many small businesses and sells its products to a wide base of audience.

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The shipping time is a problem with DX also because their warehouses are located in China. Apart from this, you can get some really worthy deals on DX. You should always keep an eye on their clearance sales for the best prices.

5. GEARBEST

Gearbest is the perfect AliExpress alternative if you are looking to shop for the latest gadgets or electronic devices. It works with over 5000 Chinese brands and top suppliers to deliver the best products. It has products from top Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, and many others. But, it isn’t just an electronic store.

You can also find a massive range of other products as well. The prices available on GearBest are reduced, and you can even reduce them with the available coupons. They also have warehouses in multiple countries. So, you can get faster shipping from the local warehouse.

6. BANGGOOD

BangGood is another Chinese e-commerce platform that provides worldwide shipping of cheap goods. You can find almost anything on this website, from clothing to electronics, and even home items. The prices available are marked down from their original prices. You can also get amazing deals during special clearance sales.

BangGood provides a free $20 coupon to every new user. The shipping time for BangGood orders is faster than AliExpress for certain products. However, the regular shipping time is similar.

7. CHINABRANDS

ChinaBrands is a widely popular Chinese e-Store where you can buy products at wholesale prices. You can find almost anything on this website at a highly affordable price. Their shipping prices are also low but you will get a long shipping time. It is the perfect website for buyers who want the lowest prices but can wait for their orders for at least a month.

Most of the ChinaBrands sellers run their factories from China, and their warehouses are located there only. This is the reason for the considerably long shipping time.

8. BONANZA

Bonanza is a unique American online marketplace where you can find a great range of products. They have over 20 million items from more than 50,000 sellers. It is a growing e-commerce store where even you can sell your items. It is a preferred platform by more than 20,000 entrepreneurial sellers. You can find some really amazing handcrafted items and collectibles here.

For people looking to shop regular items, this store may disappoint you a little. The prices of some items may be a little higher than some Chinese stores. But, the quality provided will be worth it.

21 ALIEXPRESS ALTERNATIVE STORES

Here are 21 AliExpress Alternatives that you can use to shop online.

  1. LightInTheBox
  2. Wish
  3. Overstock
  4. DealXtreme (DX)
  5. GearBest
  6. BangGood
  7. ChinaBrands
  8. Bonanza
  9. DHGate
  10. TinyDeal
  11. Target
  12. MiniInTheBox
  13. GeekBuying
  14. Jet
  15. TomTop
  16. Target
  17. MadeInChina
  18. American Greenwood
  19. Walmart
  20. eBay
  21. Amazon

FINAL TAKE

AliExpress is amazing but it is always good to have options when you are shopping. So, these are the 21 best sites like AliExpress. If you ever feel like you should look somewhere else, these are some stores that you should visit. You can also use these for your dropshipping business if you are an aspiring entrepreneur. Make sure you have a solid plan before beginning.

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