Going back to school without a computer? Check out the best college laptops right here.
The beating heart of the college environment is a great laptop. New and returning students require a device that can handle heavy multitasking or specialized work, as well as a battery that can last through long lectures. A great display and speakers for watching TV and movies in the evening can’t hurt, and a discrete GPU may be required for work or play in some cases.
The best laptop for college will vary depending on the type of enrollment and the required workload, which is why we’ve included a wide range of performance and price points; there are even some great laptops in the budget range that will perform admirably at school. These are the best laptops for returning college students this year.
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7)
Best laptop for general studies and dorm life
Reasons to buy
- Soundbar hinge, OLED display great for movies and TV
- Versatile convertible design
- Rounded edges more comfortable to hold
- 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs with high-end performance
- Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
Reasons to avoid
- Only about 9 hours of battery life
- Cheaper PCs available
Lenovo’s 7th Generation Yoga 9i 14 refresh has addressed many of the issues we had with the 6th Generation model, making it our top pick for the best Windows laptops. Executive Editor Daniel Rubino writes in his review of the Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7) that “it showcases the best of what a Windows 11 laptop can be in 2022.”
To begin with, the display has been upgraded to a taller 16:10 aspect ratio for more screen real estate. There are several display options, including 1920×1200 (FHD+) with 400 nits of brightness, Dolby Vision, and 100% sRGB color. With a resolution of 3840×2400 (UHD+), you get an OLED screen with 100% DCI-P3 color, VESA DisplayHDR 500, and Dolby Vision. Last but not least, there’s the 2880×1800 (2.8K) OLED screen, which has 100 percent DCI-P3 color, 400 nits of brightness, VESA DisplayHDR 500, and Dolby Vision support.
All of these displays are touch-enabled, and the laptop’s convertible design makes it simple to rotate the screen into tablet mode. Each laptop comes with a Lenovo Precision Pen 2 with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt detection. This only adds to the PC’s versatility; if you’d rather scribble notes than type them out, this laptop can accommodate you.
The touchpad is 45 percent bigger than the previous generation, and the keyboard remains comfortable even after long days of typing. For even more convenience, there’s a column of one-touch Function keys. The all-metal body is joined by a louder-than-ever rotating soundbar hinge. This keeps audio unmuffled regardless of how you use the laptop. Because of Dolby Atmos, it is ideal for watching TV and movies. The 1080p camera on the laptop allows you to confidently conference, and the IR sensor allows for secure logins via Windows Hello.
The Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7) is not just for show. Processors have been upgraded to 12th Gen Intel Core, RAM has been upgraded to LPDDR5x-5200MHz, and the SSD now uses PCIe 4.0 for incredible speeds. This laptop will not hold you back when it comes to meeting a deadline. There are two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2) ports, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
This laptop is also ideal for online classes due to the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6E for use on the 6GHz band with the best Wi-Fi 6E routers. If you like this idea but want something a little different, take a look at our collection of the best Lenovo laptops.What about college laptops for specific areas of study?
Lenovo’s Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7) has the power to get a new student through a general workload while also delivering quality video and sound during study breaks in the dorm. It’s not cheap, but it should last for years as long as the student’s major doesn’t change and necessitate something with more specialized hardware.
If your major does change, we’ve compiled a list of the best laptops for engineering students, best laptops for computer science and programming students, best laptops for students on a budget, and more.
Best laptop for engineering students
Engineering students cannot simply sit down and study on any old laptop. Specific programs (such as 3D design software) used by engineering students require significantly more horsepower than your average Ultrabook can provide. That is why acquiring a PC with a discrete graphics card (GPU) and capable processor (CPU) is critical.
With these performance requirements in mind, you’ll also want to ensure that your engineering student isn’t lugging a massive workstation or gaming laptop around campus. Something thin and sleek will take up less room in a bag and will be far more convenient throughout the year.