10 Best Laptops For Grad School in 2023

By Robin Owens 2 days ago, Hardware

Affordable and high-quality laptops for grad school.

top 3 laptop for grad school

Looking for the best laptop for grad school? Keep in mind that there should be a balance between performance, features, and portability. Don’t forget about the price. It should be an affordable option with all the necessary features. For your convenience, we have created a list of the top models on the market satisfying these requirements.  

Top 10 Laptops for Grad School

  1. Apple MacBook Air 13 inch - Our choice
  2. Google Pixelbook Go - High performance
  3. Acer Swift 3 - For work & study
  4. Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch - 17 hours of battery life
  5. Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch - Most reliable keyboard
  6. Asus F512JA-AS34 - Decent performance at an affordable price
  7. LG Gram 17Z90P - Only 3 lbs
  8. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 inch - Inexpensive home laptop with "AI" CPU
  9. HP Pavilion 15 inch - Ready for even the toughest workday
  10. Acer Chromebook Spin 311 - Best price

Regardless of your academic, you need a good electronic device to use for studies. It greatly simplifies the studying process since you can take notes, research, and perform any other operation with ease.  

1. Apple MacBook Air 13 inch

Our choice
apple macbook air 13 inch laptop for grad school

Processor: 3.2 GHz 8-Core Apple M1 | RAM: 8GB | Display: 13.3" 2560 x 1600 | Storage: 256GB SSD

  • ✚ Nice design
  • ✚ Touch ID
  • ✚ Hassle-free keyboard
  • Not for efficient apps
Rating

The 2Apple MacBook Air 13 inch is slightly better than its predecessors with a less problematic keyboard. At the same time, the price of the base model dropped to $1000, which is $100 cheaper than its predecessor.

This laptop is ideal for those who need portability, compactness, and good autonomy. But in the list of tasks, the user should not have more demanding tasks than a browser, email client, messenger and calendar. Indeed, for more efficient apps, the base Air has too modest components. Otherwise, there is nothing to complain about. The design, input devices, speakers and other built-in hardware are good.

2. Google Pixelbook Go

High performance
google pixelbook go laptop for grad school

Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core m3 | RAM: 8GB | Display: 13.3" 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 64GB SSD

  • ✚ Bright and colorful display
  • ✚ Impressive and loud speakers
  • ✚ Excellent battery life
  • Thick frame
Rating

You might think that $650 is too expensive for a Chromebook. On the one hand, you are right, because with other devices you can get similar features for a lower price. But on the other hand, the Google Pixelbook Go is more attractive and reliable than the models offered by competitors.

It also has the best performance score of any Chromebook. This is confirmed by the fact that today, Chrome OS is able to work as an alternative to Windows or MacOS using the right hardware. Should you buy it? Yes, you should. This is Google's first laptop for the average person and the best Chromebook you can buy today.

3. Acer Swift 3

For work & study
acer swift 3 laptop for grad school

Processor: 2.8 GHz 4-Core Intel i7 | RAM: 8GB | Display: 14" 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 512GB SSD

  • ✚ The display cover opens 180 degrees
  • ✚ GPU improves performance in games
  • ✚ Excellent autonomy
  • High load processor heating
Rating

Acer SWIFT 3 is an easy compact laptop with an IPS screen and good options for selecting the optimal configuration.

The model may be interested in those who are not ready to overpay for image ultraports, but wants to obtain a long-running model in an aluminum case with balanced characteristics and a good set of interface ports for a reasonable price. The optimal option for work / study.

4. Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch

17 hours of battery life
apple macbook pro 13 inch laptop for grad school

Processor: Apple M1 8-Core | RAM: 8GB | Display: 13.3" 2560 x 1600 | Storage: 256GB SSD

  • ✚ Economical and efficient
  • ✚ Very quiet under load
  • ✚ Even with the Rosetta 2, the performance is high
  • No possibility of upgrading components
Rating

The display and keyboard are identical to the MacBook Air, but the MacBook Pro 13 inch on the new M1 has a Touch Bar. MacBook Pro on M1 delivers an even higher level of performance, especially under extended workloads. Under short-term load, the difference is not visible, but if you load all the cores of the MacBook Pro for several hours, then it will bypass the Air.

Battery life is excellent here, although it all depends on load scenarios. Apple specifies 17 hours of browsing using WLAN.

5. Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch

Most reliable keyboard
apple macbook pro 16 inch laptop for grad school

Processor: 2.3 GHz 8-Core Intel i9 | RAM: 16GB | Display: 16" 3072 x 1920 | Storage: 1TB SSD

  • ✚ Improved keyboard
  • ✚ Improved cooling system
  • ✚ Large, high-resolution display
  • Poor set of interfaces
Rating

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is a significant improvement over its predecessor. Many professional users will appreciate the new keyboard as reliability comes first.

One major advantage is the cooling system. It allows the eight-core processor to unleash its potential. The display is excellent, it matches the rest of the hardware. This large Retina bar provides its own charm, as well as plenty of desktop space, which is great when working on the go.

6. Asus F512JA-AS34

Decent performance at an affordable price
asus f512ja-as34 laptop for grad school

Processor: 3.4 GHz 2-Core Intel i3-1005G1 | RAM: 8GB | Display: 15.6" 1920 х 1080 | Storage: 128GB SSD

  • ✚ Productive
  • ✚ Thin, light
  • ✚ Compact power adapter
  • 6 GB of RAM
Rating

There were no serious drawbacks to the laptop, but there is a controversial point, such as 6 GB of RAM. AMD Ryzen chips add performance in dual-channel RAM mode, but here you have to change the standard bar to another one with 4 GB of memory. This leads to additional spending.

BUT! The rest of the laptop consists of some pluses. Powerful, thin, lightweight, with a compact power adapter, the ASUS VivoBook 15 F512DA-EJ198T is definitely worth the money. At the time of writing this review, the cost of the Asus F512JA-AS34 laptop is $400, which, taking into account all the advantages and disadvantages, is more than an adequate price for this modification.

7. LG Gram 17Z90P

Only 3 lbs
lg gram 17z90p laptop for grad school

Processor: 4.7 GHz 4-Core Intel i7-1165G7 | RAM: 16GB | Display: 17" 2560 x 1600 | Storage: 2TB SSD

  • ✚ 16GB LPDDR4X RAM, 2TB PCIe M.2 SSD
  • ✚ Up to 19.5 hours battery life
  • ✚ Ultra light and ultraportable
  • Price
Rating

LG refreshed the Gram 17 in 2021, making a large number of changes from the previous year's version, as well as fixing some critical issues that have been reported by users and reviewers around the world.

LG Gram 17Z90P is designed for those who work with laptops in the office, travel a lot and often and need a good battery. This laptop is recommended for those who do a lot of mail, web browsing, office suites, etc. LG Gram 17 has a beautiful design, outstanding display and light weight.

8. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 inch

Inexpensive home laptop with "AI" CPU
lenovo ideapad 3 14 inch laptop for grad school

Processor: 3.7 GHz 4-Core AMD Ryzen 5 3500U | RAM: 8GB | Display: 14" 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 256GB SSD

  • ✚ Good performance
  • ✚ Deep keyboard
  • ✚ Nice price
  • No USB-C
Rating

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14-inch has a keyboard designed for work and enough power to have some fun.

It is a very capable laptop, with a reliable processor among budget models and a beautiful keyboard with deep action. Faux metal panels are likely to make some people think you spent more, too. The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 (14-inch) is an affordable laptop designed for students or families who don't need massive power.

9. HP Pavilion 15 inch

Ready for even the toughest workday
hp pavilion 15 inch laptop for grad school

Processor: 4.7 GHz 4-Core Intel i7-1165G7 | RAM: 16GB | Display: 15.6" 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 512GB SSD

  • ✚ Impressive graphics
  • ✚ Unstoppable performance
  • ✚ Long battery life
  • Heats up under load
Rating

With a stunning design and new processing power, this laptop from Hewlett Packard is ready for even the toughest workday. With the HP Pavilion 15 inch laptop with 16 gigabytes of RAM, you can multitask without any problems.

A graphics card is integrated for even greater speed The Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor is designed to perform multiple tasks at the same time without crashing or freezing. With these powerful hardware options, you can get your job done quickly and easily with higher processing power.

10. Acer Chromebook Spin 311

Best price
acer chromebook spin 311 laptop for grad school

Processor: 2 GHz 8-Core MT8183 | RAM: 4GB | Display: 11.6" 1136 x 768 | Storage: 32GB eMMC

  • ✚ 2-in-1 versatility on the cheap
  • ✚ Responsive keyboard and touchpad
  • ✚ Both USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports
  • Meager 32GB of internal storage
Rating

With an elegant design and stylish hardware design, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is ideal for anyone who wants to use a laptop that performs and looks great. It can be used as a gaming laptop or a productivity laptop.

The Acer Chromebook Spin is available with a USB-C port, which is a standard among the latest generation netbooks. In addition to the USB-C charger, this laptop comes with a standard headphone jack as well as audio output and headphones for listening to music. If you are looking for an affordable netbook, the Acer Chromebook Spin is the one to get.

IMAGE NAME FEATURES
apple macbook air 13 inch laptop for grad school
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch
Our choice
  • Nice design
  • Touch ID
CHECK PRICE
google pixelbook go laptop for grad school
Google Pixelbook Go
Budget
  • Bright and colorful display
  • Impressive and loud speakers
CHECK PRICE
acer swift 3 laptop for grad school
Acer Swift 3
For work
  • The display cover opens 180 degrees
  • GPU improves performance in games
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose the Laptop for Grad School?

how to choose the best laptop for grad school

Screen

Although students spend most of their free time looking at a computer screen, you don’t need a 4K laptop. 13-inch and 17-inch displays usually have a 1440p resolution and it’s quite enough for such a device. However, leave aside anything with less than 1080 pixels.

Keyboard

The next parameter to consider when choosing the best laptop for grad school is the keyboard. Perhaps, it is one of the most important features since students type a lot. Be it a bachelor’s paper or an email to a friend, you need durable yet easy to press keys. Thus, it’s recommended to try typing on a keyboard and see whether it’s comfortable particularly for you. The thing is that modern laptop manufacturers create devices with higher-end keyboards and it’s essential to know whether a keyboard is OK for you.

how to choose the best laptop for grad school

Battery Life

The main rule here is not to buy a laptop with less than 35W of battery capacity. And no matter what sellers say about it. A manufacturer may claim such a device will work for 20 hours but it’s possible only under ideal conditions. For example, it will work for almost a day but you can’t see anything on the screen.

CPU

Thanks to severe competition between AMD and Intel, main CPU manufacturers, current processors are really powerful. If you need a laptop for general use, almost any CPU is a good idea. However, in case you plan to do difficult math calculations, physics simulations or other complicated tasks, you need the latest generation processor.

RAM

When choosing the best laptop for grad school, don’t buy something with less than 8GB of RAM. RAM amount varies from 4GB and 32GB. The size of RAM directly influences the number of operations your machine can perform at a time. It’s not the storage size; however, there are some tablets and laptops with 32GB. Thus, make sure you are considering the right parameter.

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