Best laptops for students in 2019

As a student in the modern age, having a good quality laptop that allows you access to everything you need in order to learn, work and revise - as well as interact with friends and entertain yourself - is as essential as the textbooks you’ll be shelling out for. Finding the best laptop specifically for you is a little trickier, as there are always a whole bunch of options and different specifications. On top of that, not every laptop is ideal for every subject that you want to.

With that in mind, we've put together an assortment of our top picks for the best laptops for students you can get your hands on this year, for a range of budgets. Let's take a look.

MacBook Pro 13-inch

CPU: Intel Core i5
RAM:8GB
Storage:128GB SSD
Graphics card: Iris Plus Graphics 655

Okay so right off the bat, the MacBook Pro is, of course, an Apple product and as such, it’s going to be on the higher end of the scale when it comes to price-points. That said, just because something is expensive doesn’t mean you’re not getting a whole lot of bang for your buck.

The most recent MacBook Pro 13-inch laptop packs in an impressive feature set and, provided you set your expectations on the lower end of the Mac scale, you can snag a 13-inch model for a moderately sensible price of around £1250. For that amount of money, you’ll be getting an i5 processor, 8GB RAM and a 128GB SSD for storage - more than enough for the majority of your studying and creative needs, from video and audio editing to day-to-day writing. It’s always worth keeping in mind, though, that the latest models only feature USB-C ports, so be prepared to buy Apple’s adapter cable to plug in a USB external hard drive.

If you’re a student studying art, design, video or anything that could benefit from the way that the MacBook powers through Adobe Creative software with ease (or you just really appreciate the shiny, shiny metal finish on the latest MacBook Pro models), this might be a laptop to look into. Fortunately, Apple also offers a Student Discount via its own online store, which will help cut down on costs a little bit.

MacBook Pro from Apple | MacBook Pro from Amazon

Huawei Matebook X Pro

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8550U
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Graphics card: Geforce MX150

Huawei may not be quite a household name just yet but thanks to the company’s latest ranges of laptops and smartphones, it might not be long before it is. Case in point, the Huawei Matebook X Pro - a fantastic laptop and a suitable alternative to the MacBook Pro.

What it lacks on brand recognition, the Matebook X Pro more than makes up for with its 8th-generation Intel processor, 16GB RAM, tremendous battery life and sleek design. While not exactly cheap, it packs better specs than a similarly priced MacBook and you’ll have a hard time finding a better laptop for the price, no matter what kind of work you plan on using it for.

The 13.9-inch frame, when closed, comes in at just 14.6mm thick at its thickest end and a staggering 4.9mm at the thinnest point. The overall style is clearly influenced from the most recent crop of MacBooks - with the primary model even adopting Space Grey as its base colour. The IPS display doubles as a touchscreen and consistently impresses with its sharpness (in terms of resolution, this laptop displays at around 3K).

For the money, it’s hard to beat the Huawei Matebook X Pro - a newcomer to the laptop market that has caused quite a stir in the tech world, with good reason.

Huawei Matebook X Pro at Amazon

HP 15-da0041na

CPU: Intel Core i5
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB SSD
Graphics card: Integrated

For the budget-conscious, the HP 15-da0041na is both an affordable option for research and written work and the laptop with the least memorable name around.

While it’s not powerful enough for, say, video editing or gaming, this laptop is an extremely reliable model that will take care of the majority of your needs for a fraction of the cost of most other alternatives. Of course, at its price point of around £550, don’t expect a 4K screen. The Full HD display does its job just fine though and will be more than sufficient for written work and even Netflix binges, should you fancy a break.

The included Intel Core i5 processor coupled with 8GB of RAM ensures that you won’t run into any troubles day-to-day, provided you don’t try and push your luck too much. The battery life is also superb, meaning you’re not likely to run out of power over the course of a full day’s work. It also helps that this little guy weighs 1.7kg, making it entirely transportable and light enough to carry around in a backpack.

HP 15-da0041na at HP

Dell XPS 13

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB SSD
Graphics card: Integrated

Dell’s XPS range of laptops has gained a bit of a reputation for being one of the easiest to recommend for almost any circumstance. Quite rightly so, too, as the XPS 13 offers a huge amount of spec options - meaning you can choose your own model from a variety of components - as well as being one of the slimmest and lightest laptops around.

Coming in at 12mm thick and only 1.2kg heavy, the XPS 13 is already an attractive offering, even before you get to the 4K display variants or the array of connectivity options - from Thunderbolt to USB-C. This is a truly customisable laptop that allows you to built it to suit yourself almost from scratch.

Like it’s nearest competitors - the MacBook Pro and the Matebook X Pro - it’s not exactly a cheap option. While entry-level versions start at around £1100, getting the exact model you want will require you to stretch your budget quite a bit more, depending on your needs. With all that in mind, this is also a Windows 10 alternative to a MacBook that can (and will) perform every bit as good on a daily basis.

Dell XPS 13 at Amazon | Dell XPS 13 at Dell

MSI GL62MVR

CPU: Intel Core i5
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB SSD / 1TB HDD
Graphics card: Geforce GTX 1060

If you just can’t be separated from your recreation time, even during the school year, you can spend your hard-earned cash (or your student loans) on this monster of a laptop. The MSI GL62MVR is a 15.6-inch laptop that weighs around 2.4kg, meaning it won’t be the most portable of portable computers.

If you can get around the general heft of the thing, what you’ll find is an incredibly powerful machine built every bit for entertainment as it is built for work - capable of video editing, intensive art and design work, relatively high-end gaming and much more, all for under a grand.

For your money, you’ll also be getting a quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, a GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, and the always-welcome combo of a 256GB SSD and a 1TB HDD which will allow you to have your software and games on the quicker SSD and store all your other data on the HDD. If you’re looking for a machine that will take care of every bit of work you throw at it as well as let you play the vast majority of modern games on high settings, this might be your best shot.

MSI GL62MVR at Ebuyer

Asus ROG GL703G

CPU: Intel Core i7
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 256GB SSD / 1TB HDD
Graphics card: Geforce GTX 1060

If the 15.6-inch MSI gaming laptop wasn’t quite enough for you - somehow - you can opt, instead, for the absolute powerhouse that is the Asus ROG GL703G. This laptop comes in at a staggering 17-inches, and it’ll absolutely pack quite a punch for your budget, too.

At £1500, this is one of the more expensive computers on this list - however, you’ll be getting an absolute beast of a machine for that money. In addition to the massive 120Hz screen, the Asus ROG GL703G also comes equipped with a GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, 16GB RAM, and the one-two punch combo of a 256GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive.

Needless to say, this thing will run pretty much any program or game you throw at it and will do quite nicely for all of your needs, whether they are study-focused or just for fun. If you’ve got the money and you don’t mind treating yourself, this laptop will do you just fine for your entire university stay.

Asus ROG GL703G at Amazon

Microsoft Surface Pro

CPU: Intel Core i5/i7
RAM: 8GB-16GB
Storage: 128GB-1TB
Graphics card: Intel UHD Graphics 620

Particularly suitable for those of you studying art, the Microsoft Surface Pro is a nice alternative to a more traditional MacBook or iPad.

This is a powerful little machine that also doubles as a tablet that offers more variety and adaptability than Apple’s iPad Pro. This can be absolutely ideal for anyone studying art, design, architecture or any other subject that will require you to sketch or create diagrams. This is made extremely easy and accurate when paired with the Surface Pen - though, it’s worth noting that this doesn’t come with the system and is another £100 on top.

Microsoft Surface Pro at Amazon | Microsoft Surface Pro at Microsoft

Surface Laptop 2

As for the Surface Laptop 2 - with this one, you’ll be getting an absolutely top-of-the-range laptop that will be more than capable of handling any work you throw at it, be it art-based or word-based. It also comes with a decent amount of RAM and the latest Intel Core processors, ensuring it’ll be snappy and effective to use daily. This latest iteration of the Surface Laptop is also a massive step up in terms of performance from the original Surface Laptop. 

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 at Amazon | Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 at Microsoft

So there you have it - a few of our top picks for the best laptops for students we’ve seen recently. Did we miss any makes or models that you’d recommend? What laptops are you currently using as your day-to-day machines? Let us know over in the forums.

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