Best Budget Laptops for College Students 2020


A modern laptop should be able to perform a wide range of tasks and support various, including specialized, software. Of course, the required features may depend on the college a student has chosen since, for example, a future graphic designer and a lawyer may need different things. However, every student wants to surf information on the Internet or watch funny videos after completing assignments. Therefore, the laptop must have sufficient performance for viewing high-definition video and good sound. Another important characteristic of a laptop is its battery life. It should be enough for a full day in college. This indicator depends on the model, so pay attention that not all budget laptops have a sufficiently capacious battery. If I had enough money, I would offer someone to write my paper for cheap, but most students wouldn’t agree because the value of money is different for everyone. Thus, you will find laptops with different prices, but all of them fall into the category of budget ones.

Lenovo Ideapad 330s 15

This model with a 15.6-inch screen is compact and convenient enough for a college student, the battery lasts up to 7 hours, and a quick charge function is provided as well, so you can charge your laptop on the way. The manufacturer promises that if you charge a turned-off laptop for 15 minutes, it will be able to operate for two hours.

The choice of processors can start with the most budgetary Pentium-4415U, and up to Intel i7-8550U that will allow you to do a lot. Lenovo also offers a line on AMD processors where AMD E2-9000 is the budget minimum, while AMD Ryzen 7 2700U is already in the top. In general, the laptop is easy to use and reliable, so it can become perfect for studying.


Dell offers such laptops only with the Intel processor. The laptop is well built, and the keyboard and touchpad are comfortable to use. Well, the screen is an ordinary TN-matrix, and although it supports FullHD, it does not differ in brightness or contrast, and the viewing angles are small. Alas, choosing a budget laptop, you will have to sacrifice something. On the other hand, the laptop can surprise you with its efficiency. Thus, it can run up to 9 hours in economy mode, and this is an incredibly good result. There is also the possibility of self-upgrading disk space, as well as adding RAM.

Acer ASPIRE 3 (A315-41G-R8PF)

This affordable laptop will be interesting for college students. Ryzen 5 3500U can boast of energy efficiency and quick response. Besides, a discrete Radeon 535 card is responsible for video acceleration, so it will not take a part of the system memory. The latter one has 4 gigabytes in the chosen configuration, but, alas, it is rather slow according to the Ryzen’s standards (DDR4 2133). Perhaps, the RAM will be upgraded in the first place over time. The screen has the same issues as the previous model on the list. To get IPS-matrix, you will have to choose a more expensive option.


If you have to carry a laptop all the time, then this model will be a good choice even for girls since it is one of the lightest models with a 15.6” screen, its weight is only 1.68 kg. The laptop has Intel processors, in the range from i3-6006U to top-end i7-8550U. At the same time, in all configurations, only the built-in video subsystem of the Intel HD Graphics central processor is used, so there is no need to worry about unnecessary heating or excessive battery consumption in everyday tasks. Moreover, the battery capacity is only 33 watt-hours, which has become the payback for the lightness. Therefore, if you choose a laptop by its autonomy, it may not be the best option, although the possibility of fast charging can save the situation. However, if you work with resource-intensive applications, it will hold its positions confidently since it works great in the top-end configuration with i7, 16 GB of memory, and a hybrid storage system.

 HP 250 G7

At first glance, this model does not stand out from the most affordable laptops since it has a typical “budget” design and plastic case. However, the main strength of the HP 250 G7 is hidden inside. The performance of the device is at a decent level, and it can be compared with more expensive laptops. Depending on the configuration, the model can have a Core i3 or i5 processor, up to 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD. It allows you to run not only standard undemanding applications but also specialized editors like Photoshop. The main disadvantage of the laptop is its dull screen, which, despite the 15.6-inch diagonal and Full HD resolution, does not have a high quality of the output picture. It is not a critical drawback if the device is used for study only.

Microsoft Surface Go

A portable and versatile Windows hybrid is a great option for those who prefer to take notes electronically. A user gets good performance for a reasonable price: an Intel dual-core processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 64-128 GB of internal memory, depending on the configuration. It is enough for multitasking word processing, web browsing, and video streaming.

Additional features that can be purchased separately, will significantly increase the functionality of the model. These include a comfortable, long-term text-based keyboard and Surface Pen with 4,096 pressure levels for writing and drawing on the device’s 10.1-inch screen. The ability to draw on the display using a stylus can be a great advantage for students working with graphics.

MacBook Air

A popular laptop is not powerful enough to run specialized applications or other extremely demanding programs. However, any user, including a student, will find many other strengths in this device. One of them is a 13.3-inch Retina display with IPS-matrix and a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels with support for the True Tone function.

The high build quality and compactness make it easy to carry the laptop with you. Another advantage of the model, which increases the mobility of the device, concerns the battery life, which exceeds 13 hours in video mode. The user uses the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to log in or pay for online purchases. It is an excellent ultraportable model with a great display and long battery life both for study and watching videos during the day.