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best laptops for college students

Best Laptops for College Students

Linsey Knerl & Daniel Horowitz
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Reading time: 12 minutes

Students today need a laptop that can keep up with their increasingly busy lifestyles, and our top picks have something for every major, interest, and life goal. Selecting the right model from this list of the best HP laptops for college students may be the easiest thing they do to prepare for their next semester. HP laptops are versatile, rugged, and innovatively designed without sacrificing quality.
Whether you are looking for all the bells and whistles to study engineering or graphic design, or simply need to write papers and research online, the varied HP laptop families have what you need to get the best laptop for you as you make the leap from high school to college.
You can also find all you'll need for the school year, whether you're a student or teacher, on our HP Back to School Guide, featuring bundles and curated PC and accessory options picked for your specific education needs. For special discounts every day of up to 40% on tech for school, join the HP Education Store Program - no student ID is required!

HP student discounts

If you’re shopping for cheap laptops for college students, make sure you check with your college. Some schools work with computer companies like HP to provide purchasing deals for students.
You may be able to use your student discount, too, so it might be worth it to look into the models your school bookstore offers or programs such as HP’s UNiDAYS. You can also subscribe to get updates on laptop deals, like HP weekly deals and annual sales.
Now, let’s get to our list of best affordable laptops for college students.

HP Pavilion laptops

The HP Pavilion series of laptops combines functionality with a classic design while providing plenty of power and space on a student’s budget. You also have the option of adding a touch screen and a choice in color, with either silver or navy blue available.

HP Pavilion Laptop 15z-eh300

For a budget-friendly laptop that can do it all, nothing beats the HP Pavilion 15z-eh300. It offers more than enough power to get standard student tasks done with its AMD Ryzen six-core processor and 8GB RAM, and it can be upgraded to a full 16GB for heavy use.
HP Pavilion 15z-eh300 laptop
One of the best features is its slim frame, which makes it easy to slip into a backpack. But don’t worry, you still have a full-sized island-style keyboard and a generous 15.6-inch diagonal High-Definition (HD) micro-edge screen, customizable up to a 1920 x 1080 touch screen, to see every project with perfect clarity.

HP Pavilion x360 Convertible 15t-dw400

For more versatility, you can opt for the HP Pavilion x360 Convertible 15t-dw400. This convertible laptop is highly portable, just what you need to cart across campus. The strong hinge makes the convertible options easier than ever to use and the touch-enabled micro-edge HD 1366 x 768 display, customizable to Full High-Definition (FHD), just might be the best HP Pavilion touch screen laptop.
HP Pavilion x360 Convertible 15t-dw400
Weighing only 4.17 lbs and measuring 0.81 inches thick, the HP Pavilion x360 is super-compact and comfortable to use in any format. Use the traditional laptop option for typing and getting work done, or fold the keyboard back and turn it into a high-powered tablet.
For the most performance, you can choose up to an 12th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, as much as 1TB solid-state drive (SSD) storage, and up to 16GB of RAM.
For a combination of good specs and pricing, the HP Pavilion x360 15t perfectly balances a big display with performance.
Additional series features:
  • Supports battery fast charge: approximately 50% in 45 minutes
  • HP Audio Boost with dual speakers tuned by Bang & Olufsen
  • Made using ocean-bound recycled plastics

HP ENVY laptops

With so many options to customize the specs and display, you have plenty of choices when it comes to choosing the right HP ENVY for you. All of the laptop models include an Intel Core processor and a 1-year warranty from HP, which provides customer support for all of your technical needs.
How much storage you would like is up to you, but you can customize your device up to 2TB. Opt for the fingerprint reader for an easy, secure login, and take advantage of HP BIOS to keep your computer safe from hackers.
Best of all, most models include an NVIDIA® GeForce® graphics card, which makes sure you can play your favorite games.

HP ENVY x360 15-fe0097nr Laptop

One of the great things about the HP ENVY x360 touch laptop is how it delivers amazing graphics in such a small package.
Available in 2 different screen sizes (13-inch and 15-inch), students can find the option that best suits them and what they need from their laptop. It also includes a touch screen, so it can be used for multiple purposes.
HP Envy x360 15-fe0097nr laptop
This computer also boasts long battery life for long nights spent typing papers or binge-watching the latest “it” show. You also have HP Fast Charge so you can get back to work quickly, even if you run down your battery watching old reruns of Friends.
Additional features:
  • 13th Generation Intel Core i7 CPU
  • Up to 1TB SSD (PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD)
  • Full-size island-style backlit keyboard

HP ENVY 17t-cw000 Laptop

There is something to be said for endurance. And with today’s college student experiencing long days of studying, working, researching, and relaxing, the ideal laptop should be ready to deliver.
That’s why some students are turning to the HP ENVY 17t-cw000 laptop, an amazingly versatile machine with up support for fast charge to 50% battery in about 30 minutes.
HP ENVY Laptop 17t-cw000
Take this powerful machine is perfect to bring to all the classes, games, and study groups you want. It’s equipped to connect you to the internet or accessories on Intel WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, and with it’s 13thGeneration Intel Core processor, it’s ready to go when you are.
With its IPS technology FHD display, and option to upgrade to 4K UHD (3840 x 2160), your work will shine on this laptop.
The HP ENVY 17 includes 2 Thunderbolt 4 with USB Type-C ports, 3 USB Type-A ports, 1 HDMI 2.1 connection, and a headphone/microphone combo jack. And with up to 1TB of storage, you’ll have plenty of room to store photos and documents from your assignments.
Additional features:
  • Windows 11 Home or Pro operating systems
  • Intel Iris® Xe or NVIDIA GeForce RTX™ 3050 graphics
  • HP Wide Vision 5MP IR webcam with temporal noise reduction

HP Spectre laptops

HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 Laptop 14t-ef200

While it may seem like a bit of an investment for a student, the HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 laptop comes with a solid warranty and plenty of features to keep you happy through four or more years of college, plus give you a jump on your post-graduate career. With the choice between a 13th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, this sleek computer can handle almost anything you throw at it.
HP Spectre x360 14t-ef200 Laptop
It also includes HP’s Fast Charge feature, making it simple to achieve 50% battery life between classes. The fingerprint reader adds an extra layer of security for peace of mind, and the touch screen allows for an interactive experience for those who like to go hands-on for completing projects and writing notes.
Like our other convertible laptops, the HP Spectre x360 gives you plenty of options for every class project. Use the clamshell for typing papers with the full-sized island-style keyboard, then flip to stand mode for project presentations or to tutor fellow students.
Additional features:
  • HP True Vision 5MP IR camera with camera shutter and temporal noise reduction
  • 90% screen-to-body ratio
  • Bang & Olufsen quad speakers

HP Spectre x360 16t-f2000 Laptop

This HP Spectre x360 laptop offers all the basics that a student needs while also offering a full entertainment system. You also get the added comfort of a 2-in-1 laptop for a tablet or tent experience. The touch display can be used with your fingertips or with the included HP Rechargeable MPP2.0 Tilt Pen, and the 13th Generation Intel Core i7 processor offers power that many detachable laptops lack.
HP Spectre x360 16t-f2000 laptop
This petite laptop is made for notetaking and offers the ideal writing angle. Students can decide whether they feel like using the included keyboard or if they would prefer to write directly on the stunning screen. It’s also a great option for art students who may need a laptop that supports graphic design.
Additional features:
  • Intel Iris Xe Graphics upgradeable to Intel Arc™ A370M Graphics
  • 3K+ 3072 x 1920 display upgradeable to OLED UHD+ (3840 x 2400) screen
  • HP True Vision 5MP IR camera with the camera shutter and fingerprint reader

HP OMEN gaming laptops

Gamers don’t stop gaming when the school year starts, and students wanting the best of all worlds will want a model that can handle work and play.
That’s why the HP OMEN laptop is a popular back-to-school shopping pick, earning it a top spot as one of the best HP gaming laptops for college students.

OMEN Transcend 16t-u000 Gaming Laptop

When there’s always a little time for gaming between study sessions, there’s the OMEN Transcend 16t-u000 Gaming Laptop. With a 13th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics, you’ll have no problem booting up quickly for a quick match online.
OMEN Transcend 16t-u000 Gaming Laptop
There’s plenty of room for school work as well, with a standard 512GB SSD, upgradeable to 2TB for all your work and play necessities.
If this gaming laptop’s 165 Hz refresh rate on a WUXGA display isn’t enough – trust us, it may very well be – then there’s the option to upgrade to a 240 Hz refresh rate screen in WQXGA (2560 x 1600) clarity. You’ll look just as good as your screen with an HP True Vision 1080p FHD IR camera with temporal noise reduction as well.
Did we mention it comes in either Shadow Black Magnesium-Aluminum or Ceramic White Magnesium-Aluminum finishes? Talk about an all-around good-looking machine.

OMEN 17t-ck200 Gaming Laptop

For those times of the week where gaming is the sole focus, the OMEN 17t-ck200 Gaming Laptop is a true and trusted companion. With a 13thGen i7 Core and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 GPU under its hood, this laptop will take down any paper or online leaderboard you put before it.
OMEN 17t-ck200 Laptop
You’ll make short work of any projects with a dual-memory 16GB RAM, upgradeable to 32GB, while OMEN Tempest Cooling Technology keeps your laptop calm under pressure. And with the option to upgrade your display to 240 Hz refresh rate or storage to a 2TB SSD, nothing will be too much for this OMEN.
You’ll also enjoy those little gamer touches, like a full-size, 4-zone RGB backlit keyboard with 26-key rollover anti-ghosting technology, and 7 ms to 3 ms response time – depending on the configuration.

HP ZBook Studio G9 mobile workstation

Film, art, and other creative students need a laptop that doubles as their vision station, which is where the HP ZBook Studio G9 comes in as a winner. Trusted by professionals but simple enough for beginners to master, it’s a sleek mobile tool that’s undergone 120,000 hours of testing to prove it can handle whatever today’s inspired student can put it through.
HP ZBook Studio G9 Mobile Workstation
The HP ZBook Studio G9 comes standard with the industry’s best tools, too, and boasts Windows 11 Pro, integrated Intel Iris Xe and discrete NVIDIA RTX A1000 Laptop graphics, and 2 Thunderbolt 4 with USB4 Type-C 40Gbps signaling rate ports.
Additional features:
  • 12th Generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Robust security management software

Best entry-level college laptops for students

Every college student is unique, so your computing needs will be vastly different from anyone you know.
Today’s HP laptops are designed to grow with you (or your student, for parents who may be reading on your child’s behalf) and many are easily expandable to give you more storage, power, and accessories when you need them most. For those who just aren’t sure where to start, there are a few basic models available that can help a student grow into the idea of using a laptop at school.

HP Chromebook laptops

HP Chromebook 14a-ne0047nr

An all-around good choice for any student is any of the HP Chromebooks, especially this 14-inch model. These are designed specifically for the student who wants to minimize electronic clutter.
HP Chromebook 14a-ne0047nr
The series runs on the Google Chrome OS and integrates seamlessly with existing Google accounts (such as YouTube, Google Drive, and Gmail).
With a choice between 11-inch or 14-inch screen sizes, there’s a good chance that this affordable, yet powerful, notebook will be the favorite thing in your backpack this year. A student favorite, an HP Chromebook is lightweight and does it all for an affordable starting price.
Additional features:
  • Intel Celeron® processor and Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • Supports fast charge to 50% in 45 minutes
  • Full-size keyboard

HP Chromebook x360 14b-cb0047nr

For students who need versatility in their laptops and want a Chromebook, this HP Chromebook x360 is for you. It also boasts features that promote creativity such as the touchpad with multi-gesture support. Add and options HP pen to allows students to take notes by hand. It has a full island-style keyboard and easy-to-use 360-degree hinge that can turn your device into a multi-functional tablet.
HP Chromebook x360 14b-cb0047nr
The HP Chromebook x360 has plenty of battery life to last through work and play, too, and packs a surprising amount of power into a small device. It’s also light at 3.57 lbs, so students will easily slip it in their bag without worrying about it weighing you down.
Additional features:
  • Chrome OS operating system
  • Integrated: Intel® UHD Graphics 600
  • 14" diagonal, HD (1366 x 768), multitouch-enabled, edge-to-edge glass, micro-edge display

HP Chromebook 15a-na0047nr

The HP Chromebook 15a-na0047nr is an ideal entry-level notebook for all the requirements of college life at a price that parents and students can feel good about. Write, research, take notes, stream movies, and communicate effortlessly with all the perks of one of the best laptops for college students.
HP Chromebook 15a-na0047nr
The included Intel processor (Pentium® Silver) can handle all the jobs of a classroom, with a vivid 15.6-inch diagonal FHD display that keeps movies and web browsing easy on the eyes. And with up to 10 hours and 15 minutes of battery life, its ready for a full day’s work.
Additional features:
  • Full-size keyboard with numeric pad
  • Dedicated mute mic key and HP Wide Vision 720p HD web cam
  • 2 USB Type-C ports, 1 USB Type-A port, and 1 headphone/microphone combo jack

Summary

Having a good laptop for your college student, even if that student isn’t quite sure what they will be studying, is a valuable step as they pursue their higher education. Look for the laptop that will fit them now, and that can grow with them during their studies.
These versatile devices combine power and battery life without sacrificing portability, and with a wide range of price points and components, there is something to meet your needs within your budget.

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