It’s that time of year again… time to endure the hail of homework assignments, endless streams of all-nighters, and attempt to cramp more information into a brain that’s already filled to capacity with Pokemon Go trivia. If you’re going to survive you’ll need a fast, durable laptop to help you stay organized, take notes, and marathon The Lord of the Rings Extended Editions. You may be drowning in research papers, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore your inner geek.
Asus Chromebook Flip (C100PA-DB02)
This small powerhouse packs all the power you’ll need for basic day-to-day schoolwork, for a meager $250. Running the latest version of Google’s Chrome OS, you’ll have all the power of the search giant’s in-house apps like Music, Docs, and Chrome (of course). Plus with over 11 hours of rated battery life, this little spitfire can help you slam out a term paper — even if you can’t find an outlet.
Dell Inspiron 17 5000 Series Non-touch
This 17-inch behemoth is a bit more expensive, but a lot more flexible. The extra $200 over the Asus Chromebook gets you a much larger screen, 500GB of storage space (vs 16GB), and all the flexibility of Windows 8. Ideal if you’re a budget-conscious computer science major, the extra screen real-estate can help you manage a few extra windows. The big thing to keep in mind here, though is that at 6.6 pounds it is on the hefty side.
Macbook Air 13-inch
Apple’s long been a popular holdout for college students — and for good reason. Their all-aluminum chassis, solid performance, and exceptional battery life bring can outpace just about anything else on the market. The MacBook Air in particular is special, though. It weighs in at just under three pounds, meaning you can carry it around in a messenger bag all day. Plus, it sports a monstrous 16 hour+ battery life. If you’re the type to fret about power and need a strong contender that will keep up with you, the MacBook Air is a stellar choice.
Acer Aspire E5-573G-57HR
The Acer Aspire is a desktop replacement-class laptop. And that means it comes with all the bells and whistles you’re used to — loads of storage, great performance, and a full HD screen. This fellow is has a 15-inch display that looks great from almost any angle. The chassis is gorgeous, too, with a fashionably textured surface that looks chic without tilting into gaudy. If you’re looking for a good, budget-conscious all-arounder, look no further.
Dell XPS 13 Touch (2016)
If you’re looking for something light, fast and powerful, this is for you. Featuring a gorgeous 3200 x 1800 resolution display, 8GB of RAM, more than 9 hours of battery life, USB-C port, and all for less than 3 lbs? This is a special machine indeed. Packed into a svelte 0.6 inch frame, the XPS 13 is a pint-sized powerhouse. It’s well-built with loads of great features that will help you tackle almost anything college life can throw at you. But be prepared for some sticker shock: this lappy costs nearly $1500.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2016)
Lenovo’s always had a great reputation for making serious laptops, and the ThinkPad Carbon is no exception. With a 1440p display, more than 10 hours of battery life, and plenty of horsepower, it’s a valuable collegiate companion.
Razer Blade Stealth QHD
The Razer Blade Stealth is a light-weight all-around heavy-hitter. It’s got an all-aluminum chassis, it’s fast, and it’s sexy as hell. Excellent display resolution, plenty of expansion ports, and speedy performance are all plusses here. Plus, it has one of them new-fangled USB-C ports with lightning-fast data transfer and charging. At this price point, you’ll be hard-pressed to find much better.
Asus ROG G751JY-DH72X
The Asus RPG G751JY is a mouthful — and a monster. Coming in at over 9lbs, it’s a big boy, but it’s got some impressive specs that certainly make up for the heft. With a whopping 32 GB of RAM, an Nvidia GTX 980M, and 1.5 TB of HD space, you won’t find much better. It does cost almost $1,500 and the weight and size (17 inches) might be a deal-breaker for some, but if you’ve got a bag that’s big enough and stamina to match, it’s an amazing workhorse.
Origin EON 15-X
The Origin EON is a special beast. Our only custom-built laptop, Origin specializes in taking run-of-the-mill parts and making something grand. The EON 15 is a prime choice for just about any gaming-minded college student. It’s got a burly, desktop class Intel i7-4790k with 4.0 GHz clock speed. On top of that, the 15-inch laptop sports a high definition display, backed by an Nvidia GTX 980M video card — plenty of power for just about anything. The only real downside here is, if you’re lucky, you’ll manage 2 hours before needing another charge. But isn’t it worth it to have the beefiest laptop at the LAN?