Top Value Laptops For Students in 2023
As a student, having the right laptop can make a significant difference in your academic journey. Whether you’re crunching numbers for assignments or unwinding with some entertainment, the choices available can be overwhelming.
To simplify your decision-making process, we’ve compiled a list of the best college laptops, offering both budget-friendly options and high-performance machines.
Let’s cut to the chase and walk you through our top picks!
1. MacBook Air (M1) – The All-Rounder
SRP: Starts at ₱50,000
- CPU: M1
- GPU: M1 (integrated)
- RAM options: 8GB and 16GB
- Storage options: 256GB up to 2TB
- Display: 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600 pixels
- Weight: 2.8 pounds
- Size: 11.9 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
- Remarkable performance
- Impressive battery life
- Sleek unibody aluminum chassis
- Compatibility with iPhone and iPad apps
- Excellent speakers and Magic Keyboard
- Limited ports
The MacBook Air M1 offers unparalleled performance, making it an ideal choice for macOS enthusiasts. With its affordable price range starting from ₱50,000 (student discount), it provides excellent value for money and an astonishing 14 hours and 41 minutes of battery life. Although the MacBook Pro is another option, the Air’s portability and silence from the absence of a fan make it the better pick for most college students.
2. Acer Swift 14 – Best Windows Laptop for College
- Intel Core i5-13500H
- GPU: Intel Iris Xe
- RAM: 8GB
- Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen. 4 x4 NVMe SSD (with a 1TB option)
- Display: 14-inch, FHD + (1920 x 1200)
- Size: 12.73 x 8.62 x 0.63 inches
- Weight: 2.65 pounds
- Sleek design
- Gorgeous display
- Comfortable keyboard
- Strong performance perfect for multitasking
- Long battery life of up to 13 hours
- High-resolution webcam
- Iffy touchpad
- No dedicated GPU
The Acer Swift 14 impresses as the best Windows laptop for college students, offering a sleek design and an array of features at a palatable price point. Equipped up to a powerful Intel Core i7-13700H CPU and Intel Iris Xe GPU, this laptop ensures smooth performance for both productivity and entertainment tasks, and maybe even some light gaming. With 16GB of RAM and a spacious 1TB SSD, you’ll have plenty of room for your files and seamless multitasking.
The 14-inch 2560 x 1600 display brings clarity and vibrant visuals to your work and entertainment, while the comfortable keyboard enhances typing experience during long study sessions. Boasting nearly 12 hours of battery life, the Acer Swift 14 keeps up with your busy schedule throughout the day.
While the touchpad may be a bit iffy and the audio slightly lacking, its overall performance and attractive price of ₱49,000 make it an excellent choice for Windows enthusiasts on a budget.
3. Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022) – Best Budget Laptop
CPU: Intel Core i5-1235U
GPU: Intel Iris Xe
Storage: 256 GB SSD
Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels touchscreen
Size: 12.3 x 8.8 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 3.2 pounds
Excellent, bright, colorful responsive touch display
Speedy stable performance
Excellent and sturdy design
Great keyboard and stylus combo
For budget-constraint college students seeking an efficient and versatile device, the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 proves to be the best cheap college laptop. Powered by an Intel Core i5-1235U CPU and Intel Iris Xe GPU, this Chromebook offers speedy and stable performance, making it perfect for everyday tasks, web browsing, and productivity work.
The standout feature of the Chromebook Spin 714 is its excellent 14-inch 1920 x 1200 touchscreen display, which is bright, responsive, and adds a touch of interactivity to your studying experience. Its 2-in-1 form factor allows you to use it as a traditional laptop or flip it into a tablet for note-taking and creativity. The included stylus further enhances your productivity, allowing you to easily jot down notes or sketch diagrams on the go.
While the battery life may be middling at just over seven hours, it has a sturdy design, responsive touch display, and impressive performance, all for an affordable price of ₱35,000, making it a compelling option for students who value practicality and budget-friendliness.
As a Chromebook, it’s great if you only need basic internet and word processing tasks for school. However, note that it may not be able to run many other productivity apps due to the Android operating system.
4. Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, M2, 2022) – Impressive Battery Life
SRP: Starts at ₱69,000
- CPU: M2
- GPU: M2 (integrated)
- RAM: 8GB/16GB
- Storage options: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB
- Display: 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600 pixels
- Size: 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
- Weight: 3.1 pounds
- Exceptional battery life
- Impressive performance
- High-quality display
- Availability of iPad and iPhone apps
- 720p webcam resolution
The Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch with M2 chip, coming at a student price of ₱69,000 (base model), continues to be an outstanding laptop, offering even more performance and extended battery life. This sleek and powerful machine is a true powerhouse, surpassing most PCs on the market, including some workstations. The M2 chip ensures smooth multitasking and handles resource-intensive tasks with ease.
One of the standout features of this MacBook Pro is its exceptional battery life, lasting a ludicrous 18 hours and 20 minutes on our battery test, simulating real-world usage. The inclusion of an image processing unit enhances the webcam’s quality, making it better than its 720p competitors. Moreover, its compatibility with iPad and iPhone apps further enhances its versatility and productivity.
While the MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch models may cater to users with high-end needs, the MacBook Pro 13-inch with M2 remains a strong contender, offering a more affordable price point and sufficient power for most college students.
5. Dell XPS 13 Plus – Best Overall Windows 13-inch Laptop
- CPU: Intel 13th Gen Core i7-1360P
- GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- RAM: 16GB
- Storage: 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD
- Display: 13.4-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels Touch display
- Size: 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches
- Weight: 2.7 pounds
- Battery life: 7 hours and 34 minutes
- Sleek, minimalist design
- Great performance
- Comfortable keyboard
- Charges up to 80% in less than an hour via ExpressCharge
- The design is highly polarizing
- Below-average battery life
The Dell XPS 13 Plus earns its spot as the best overall 13-inch laptop running on Windows, offering a sleek and minimalist design combined with powerful performance. Featuring an Intel Intel 13th Gen Core i7-1360P CPU and Intel Iris Xe Graphics, this laptop handles day-to-day tasks and productivity work with ease. Its minimalist styling may be polarizing, but its powerful performance and stunning optional 4K display make it a standout device.
The Dell XPS 13 Plus excels in performance tests, surpassing the premium average in benchmarks and offering rapid video transcoding capabilities. Its productivity performance shines, making it an excellent choice for students who need a reliable workhorse.
While the absence of a discrete GPU may not cater to gaming or content creation enthusiasts, its powerful productivity performance, sleek design, and comfortable keyboard make it an excellent choice for busy students who need a reliable with peak portability.
6. Microsoft Surface Pro 9 – The Most Versatile Student Companion
- CPU: Intel Core i5-1235U
- GPU: Intel Iris Xe
- RAM: 8GB LPDDR5
- Storage: 256GB SSD
- Display: 13-inch touchscreen with 120Hz refresh rate
- Operating System: Windows 10 (upgradeable to Windows 11)
- Form Factor: 2-in-1 Tablet PC
Smooth 120Hz display with haptic feedback for natural writing
Phenomenal battery life keeps you productive all day
Arm processor for Android app support and more
Convenient cellular connectivity for on-the-go usage
- Windows on Arm may have some app issues
- Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 lacks support for modern technologies
- Slightly thicker build compared to Intel version
The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is a versatile 2-in-1 tablet PC designed to elevate your student life with seamless performance and convenience. Powered by the efficient Intel Core i5-1235U processor and Intel Iris Xe graphics, this device effortlessly handles your coursework and productivity tasks. Its 13-inch touchscreen with a responsive 120Hz refresh rate offers a smooth and immersive experience, making note-taking and content consumption a breeze.
With 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and a speedy 256GB SSD, the Surface Pro 9 ensures fast multitasking and ample storage for all your study materials. Whether you’re taking notes with the included Surface Pen or attaching the optional Type Cover for a laptop-like experience, this lightweight and portable device adapts to your needs, both in the classroom and on the go.
Upgradable to Windows 11, it keeps you connected and productive with the latest features. Its 2-in-1 design and powerful performance make it the ideal companion for students seeking a versatile device that excels in both creativity and productivity. From lectures to study sessions, the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 empowers you to stay organized, efficient, and on top of your academic game.
7. Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2023) – Best Gaming Laptop for Students
- CPU: Intel Core i9-13900H
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
- RAM options: 8GB/16GB/32GB
- Storage: 1TB SSD/2TB SSD
- Display: 16-inch, QHD+, 240Hz, Mini LED
- Size: 14.1 x 10.4 x 1 inches
- Weight: 5 pounds
- Drop dead gorgeous display
- Mind-blowing gaming performance
- Great for creative pro tasks too
- Heats up quickly under strenuous use
- Kind of tinny speakers
- That 4090 is a battery killer
The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 proudly holds the title of the best gaming laptop for students, offering stunning gaming performance in a sleek and eye-catching design. Featuring an Intel Core i9-13900H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU, this laptop delivers mind-blowing gaming performance and handles creative tasks with ease – although at a whopping sticker price of ₱170,000 for the base model and could go as high as ₱312,000 for the highest trim.
However, this monster of a machine packs a LOT. The standout feature of the ROG Zephyrus M16 is its gorgeous 16-inch QHD+ Mini LED display with a 240Hz refresh rate, providing a smooth and immersive gaming experience. The AniMe Matrix Display on the lid lets you create personalized pixelated designs that are impossible to miss, making it a unique and standout gaming laptop.
While its gaming prowess is impressive, the powerful components may lead to quick heating and reduced battery life. Additionally, the speakers may not offer the best audio quality. However, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 strikes a perfect balance between gaming and productivity, making it a worthy investment for students who prefer high-performance gaming and creative capabilities in a portable package.
Selecting the perfect laptop for your college needs requires a careful consideration of factors like performance, battery life, and budget. Whether you’re an Apple enthusiast or prefer Windows, there’s a laptop on this list for you. For an all-round experience, the MacBook Air M1 stands out with its remarkable performance and attractive price point.
If gaming is your passion, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 offers mind-blowing performance and eye-catching design. Whatever your preferences and requirements, these top value laptops will undoubtedly help you ace your studies and beyond. Happy laptop hunting!