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How to Choose a Laptop for a Student: 5 Models for Every Use Case

In a recent decade, laptops passed through the evolutionary way in many dimensions and aspects. They became more compact, thinner, lighter, and more energy-effective. Newest laptop hardware components allow getting much more performance points per watt than their ancestors could even try to offer. Of course, portable computers turned from luxury accessories into devices required for anyone to function and live in a society comfortably.

Keeping that in mind, PaperCheap professional online writers reasonably add that a laptop is an essential component of any student’s equipment nowadays. Modern educational systems and programs practiced and tested in high schools, colleges and universities concentrate on digital communication threads and instruments much.

Ten years ago, a laptop was a pleasant bonus a student could have to make his or her life a bit more comfortable. Nowadays, it is a necessity in education. So, students should know which laptop to choose.

In the text below, one can find five laptop models relating to different price categories: from under 300 to over 800 dollars. Authors tried to choose the most cost-effective devices for students. Obviously, a higher price means more possibilities and performance.

Note: laptop models mentioned below are NOT gaming rigs. We did not consider the possibility to play the latest games as something vital for students. Education is a priority. Prices from relevant for September 11, 2019.

Fine, now let’s proceed to our top 5 cost-effective laptops for students.

1. Less than $300: Acer CB3-532-C42P

The Acer CB-3 series is the product line of Chromebook laptops. Meaning that, hardware capabilities of such devices end up with making your Internet surfing experience comfortable enough. It is a lightweight laptop for students with the 15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768 pixels) TFT display.

The two-core energy-efficient Intel Celeron processing unit with 1.6 GHz of frequency, 4 GB of an old DDR3 RAM and the integrated graphics cannot offer much by default. Additionally, the laptop has the Chrome OS by Google pre-installed, which is explicitly designed for casual users. In case you need a web browsing Wi-Fi friendly device and nothing more, it is your gadget.

Modern IT tendencies transfer more and more content and activities into online. Google functionality allows working with tables, text documents, presentations, and other “student stuff” without installing software client apps directly onto the drive.  Keep in mind that there’s not enough physical memory to install Windows 7 to 10. The flash memory subsystem of this Chromebook has only 16 GB of capacity.

Overall, this Acer device for students is a solid choice for its price: nearly $250.

2. $300 to $400: Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15IGM81D100JBUS


The next price category includes more functional devices. Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15IGM is probably the best budget laptop for students. For less than 400 dollars, one can get the light and comfortable portable device with the 15.6-inch display (though, the resolution is not the best – 1366×768 pixels), 1.1GHz quad-core Intel Pentium Silver processor, 4 gigabytes of random access memory, and a 1 TB SATA hard drive.

The mentioned gadget is a solid choice for students who need a Windows-based device to study only. Four CPU cores allow relying on an excellent multi-tasking performance, comfortable browsing and launching some entertainments like films or old games. The integrated graphics core cannot offer many 3D performance points. But its power consumption qualities let the user rely on the long-lasting battery life of this student laptop.

The current price from is 378 dollars. At this point, almost any gadget of its type offers the same pack of possibilities. They are enough for educational purposes of most students.

3. $400 to $ 500 ASUS VivoBook F505ZA-DB31

The limit of 400 dollars is a kind of a border for “middle-class” student devices. Asus VivoBook F505 is the portable device giving a student more comfort and usability for quite a moderate price.

This mid-cost 15.6-inch laptop has the screen with the Full-HD resolution (1920×1080 pixels), which is the relevant industry standard. Such displays allow getting excellent picture quality and a wider virtual workspace. Combined with the new AMD Vega 3 graphics core, 6 GB of DDR4 RAM and the AMD Ryzen 3 2200U two-core processor, Asus VivoBook F505 becomes probably the best educational and multimedia laptop a student can get for an under $500 price point.

The performance level of this laptop will also be enough to play some simple modern games to relax after studying. Therefore, it can even be a casual gaming solution without overpaying much money to buy features a student will not have time to use.

4. $500 to $600: Acer Aspire 5 A515-54G-54QQ

Here we proceed to the laptop that potentially is the best in terms of the correlation between its price and capabilities. The standard 15.6-inch 1920×1080 pixel display shows a beautiful picture. The 8th generation Intel Core i5 CPU has four cores with the nominal frequency of 1.6 GHz and can boost its clocks significantly. This processor can deal with any modern software effectively enough. Two times more RAM (8 GB) increase the usability comfort and allow launching almost all modern applications and programs.


The physical memory system in this student laptop is represented by the 512 GB solid-state drive (SSD). The main difference between SSD and standard HDD devices is in their reading and writing speed. An SSD is up to 10 times faster than an HDD. Additionally, solid-state drives are more energy-effective, which means extended battery life capabilities of the laptop.

Moreover, this model has one more difference from previous laptops. Inside the Acer Aspire 5 A515, there is the discrete graphics card, which is significantly more powerful than the integrated core.

In fact, this hardware complex can run any modern games. Students should not expect the ability to set “ultra” graphics in the latest projects. However, they can count on a comfortable gaming experience at least with minimum settings.

The price of the Acer Aspire 5 of this configuration is $599.

Once again, this is the best student laptop in terms of price\performance correlations.

5. Up to $900: ASUS VivoBook Slim S530FN-BH73

The next Asus VivoBook Slim laptop is an overpriced device for most students. Still, it is a must-have item for those who study programming, modeling, graphic design, architecture, and other disciplines where resource-taking software is a need, not a hobby.

The powerful Intel Core i7 CPU with four cores and eight threads can boost the frequency up to 4.6 GHz to allow students completing even big architecture projects. Additionally, it suits all beginning content creators like photographers, artists, video makers, etc. The Full HD 15.6″ display gives enough view comfort. The physical memory subsystem includes the 256 GB SSD combined with the 1 TB HDD.

This device also has the separate graphics processor – NVidia GeForce MX 150, which is more than enough for mainstream multimedia purposes.

However, 8 gigabytes of RAM is acceptable but not perfect. For the price of almost $900, Asus could give at least 4 GB more. Nevertheless, despite this small disadvantage, the powerful and compact Asus VivoBook Slim is one of the best devices if you need serious computing capabilities.

To Conclude

We would offer one of these five laptops to a student. Depending on your estimated budget and needs, you can choose the device according to our recommendations and avoid overpaying for unnecessary features.

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