Most Affordable Laptops For College Students in 2021

When it comes to the most affordable laptops for college students in 2021, there is a wide range of gadgets to choose from. To manage dozens of study requirements, the best laptops for college students are not only equipped with sufficient storage and power but are also highly durable.

The main priority is to find a gadget that requires low maintenance while you use it, and that is wear-proof for at least two to three years. Another crucial aspect is the laptop’s battery life. Only the laptop that has enough juice to last all day in lectures and lessons, can be attributed as the ideal one for college students.

What more? The gadgets storage of course. Students often crave massive storage capacities to house tons of huge work files. So, without further ado, here are the top 5 budget laptops for college students who want to Ace their exams with a tweak of gaming and video streaming too.

 

Top 5 Budget Workstations

1. Lenovo Chromebook S340   

“Overall Best

  • Intel Celeron 2.6GHz N4000 Processor
  • Integrated Intel Ultra HD 600 Graphics
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64 GB Flash Memory
  • 14 inches Full HD IPS display with 1920×1080 pixel resolution
  • Google Chrome Operating System
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • Connectivity Ports: 2x USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 1, a headphone jack, USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1 ports, and a microSD card slot.
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PROS
  • Full HD resolution
  • Display port via USB Type-C
  • IPS display
  • Good battery life
  • Power delivery
CONS
  • Only one microSD card reader
  • Low contrast, dark display
  • No SSD

Undoubtedly, the S340 Chromebook by Lenovo is the best budget pick for college learners if they are ready to compromise the adaptability of the Windows 10 operating system. Thanks to the mighty Intel Celeron processor sitting under the hood with 4 GB memory and 64 GB of storage, this laptop will prove to be a great bang for your buck if you are dreading pricey tuition classes. 

One of its most admired features is that the flash storage of 64 GB can be upgraded without any hassle via just a small micro SD card. Though the configuration in the following Chromebook by Lenovo is far less than what high-end computing gadgets possess, the less demanding operating system by Chrome fits fairly well.

Additionally, the Lenovo Chromebook S340 is housed with all the essential software a college student will like to have. For instance, Google Slides, Google Docs, and a variety of several apps backed by Google. Chrome OS also allows you to easily download Netflix, Microsoft Office, Skype, and various apps from Google Play station.

Access to the Google PlayStation is indeed a ticket to vast apps of entertainment. As soon as you enter PlayStation, you’ll not only get access to the extensive collection of apps but a variety of songs, games, and movies too. 

Despite the affordable price, Lenovo has not let go of their laptop’s good looks and great build quality. The 14-inch screen with narrow bezels is decent enough to illuminate your college document screen pretty well. Furthermore, the keyboard also gives a nice responsive and springy feel with acceptable travel in this budget. However, you probably won’t like the somewhat small arrow keys.

The trackpad occurs to be much more delighting than we expected it to be. With good palm-rejection, it works quite well. Coming to battery performance, the average 10 hours of battery life on full charging provides you enough juice to get done with a massive college project and then also stream movies and audio on your way back home. The impressive battery life also allows you to fulfill any task sitting in a near cafe without the hassle of carrying a charger.

It is so reasonable, yet has loads of useful ports, a decent touchpad and keyboard, an amazing battery life and looks nice as well. It will not be wrong to call Chromebook S340 the best budget laptop launched by Lenovo by far.

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2. Acer Chromebook 314

“Best Battery Support”

  • Intel Dual-Core Celeron N4000 Processor, Up to 2.6GHz
  • Intel Ultra HD 600 Graphics
  • 14 inches FHD Widescreen IPS LED-backlit Display with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
  • 4GB LPDDR4 Memory
  • 64GB eMMC Storage
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 2x USB Type-C ports, microSD card reader, USB charging, and Displayport over USB Type-C
  • Google Chrome Operating System
  • Up to 12 hours of battery life
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PROS
  • Clean and simple design
  • Decent selection of ports
  • Excellent battery life
  • Clear and crisp display
CONS
  • No touchscreen
  • Absence of fingerprint sensor

Notebooks powered by Google Chrome Operating System make excellent college student laptops as they provide great value for money. They are usually priced lower than Windows backed laptops while delivering better, or equal, performance.

This is solely because of the robust Chrome OS operating system which is optimized to function superbly with low configurations too. This also induces brilliant battery support as well, making it easier for you to carry your workstation to college for a whole day.

While the Chromebook S340 by Lenovo is the best piece of equipment to assist a college-going student, the Acer Chromebook 314 is also a splendid choice. If you are in search of a fairly sized that is reliable, handy, and has a brilliant battery life and screen combo, then this is it.

The Chromebook 314 by Acer knows its capabilities and limitations, hitting a tremendous balance between usability, battery life, design, features, and performance. Though it comes in more than a few good colors, we recommend you going with the silver one.

You will be offered an exceptional silverish look on the entire body of this budget laptop except for the black keyboard, but that too produces a pleasing contrast with the metallic color on the rest.

As referred to above, Chrome 314’s prominent features include its screen which is bright, crispy, and realistic, plus the size of the screen enables a generous display to house dozens of apps, view various tabs, and manage documents.

Additionally, the 12 hours of battery life is one of the most crucial things you will need in a college laptop. Besides, Acer will assist you pretty well with all your online tasks including watching entertainment and web browsing. The keyboard is indeed a joy to use, its clicks and clack might give you a satisfying typing experience.

The variety of connectivity ports offered in Chromebook 314 by Acer is also decent. There are two ports for each kind, USB Type-,A and USB Tube-C. However, the model lacks external display ports which means you won’t be able to connect your laptop with another screen or monitor in case of presentations.

Unlike Acer’s Chromebook Flip 311, the Chromebook 314 lacks in offering touchscreen ability or a fingerprint sensor.

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3. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

Offers Best Connectivity

  • 10th Generation Intel Core i3-10110U Processor
  • Intel Integrated Graphics
  • 13 inches Full HD Touch Display, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
  • 4GB DDR4 SDRAM Memory
  • 64GB eMMC SSD Storage
  • Up to 10 hours of average battery life
  • Google Chrome Operating System
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PROS
  • Packed with latest connectivity options
  • Maximum performance
  • Stunning high resolution and Full HD display
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Pleasing plastic chassis
CONS
  • Slightly dim display
  • Cramped storage

With an exceptional performance at its low affordable price, a great mousepad, and keyboard, and a light, compact body, the Flex 5 Chromebook by Lenovo is the notebook to buy.

It is a perfect notebook, backed by Google Chrome operating system, especially for college students who don’t require much or Windows for a certain software. It is indeed an ideal Chromebook that can do almost everything you expect from a high-end one, including streaming videos, document work, and video calls.

It comes with an Intel Core 10th Generation i3-10110U processor and a 13-inch wide full HD display. Moreover, it is equipped with 4 GB of Memory and 64 GB of eMMC SSD storage. If you bundle the processor and RAM, you get sufficient power to multitask.

You will further get a webcam, Bluetooth, microSD card reader, a backlit elegant looking keyboard, and a robust Chrome operating system. Additionally, to substantiate, you are offered a future-proof Chromebook. There are two USB 3.0 and USB Type-C ports packed under the hood.

The screen resolution is pretty clear and crisp at 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution bundled with a touch screen. Thanks to the LED backlight, the LCD is anti-glare. To offer you the best display possible, Lenovo ensured the least screen clutter and thinnest bezels.

Because of being supported by a light operating system, your Lenovo Flex 5 is indeed really quick to boot. The 4.1 GHz of CPU memory provided by the Intel Core i3 also stacks up well with the less but satisfactory 4GB RAM.

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4. XIDU Tour Pro

A mighty workstation

  • 8th Generation Intel Celeron R-3867U processor, up to 4.0GHz
  • Integrated Intel HD 610 Graphics
  • 8 GB LPDDR3
  • 128 GB eMMC SSD Storage, allows up to 1 TB SSD extension
  • 12.5 inches WQHD touch screen display, 2560 x 1440 pixel Resolution
  • Windows 10 Home Operating System
  • 6-8 hours of average battery life
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PROS
  • Great 1440 IPS touchscreen
  • Space for an extra SSD
  • Elegant looking backlit keyboard
CONS
  • Average battery life
  • Only one USB Type-A port

Yes, all these high-end specifications offered within a pocket-friendly price range are for real. The XIDU Tour Pro Notebook is exactly what you were looking for if you crave a decent-sized screen with quality graphics and admirable pricing.  

This mighty piece of equipment is housed with an Intel 8th Generation Celeron Processor R-3867U and 8 GB of memory. It proposes a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels which is truly excellent for every computing activity like browsing through photographs or watching movies.

While XIDU Your Pro offers solid processing which is divine for casual to heavy usage, the 128 GB of memory is rather low. But it’s too early to fret because XIDU allows expansion of SSD storage to up to 1TB.

Another downer is Tour Pro’s battery life which provides enough juice for your laptop to last only 5 to 6 hours. However, XIDU seems to have done a nice job when it comes to connectivities. It provides a mini HDMI port, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, two USB 3.0 ports, and microSD card slot, and Bluetooth 4.0.

Though it’s made up of metal, the Tour Pro model by the Chinese company XIDU is pretty light and thin. Quite surprising for a budget laptop, the XIDU Tour Pro comes with a strong 180-degree hinge that allows the laptop screen to unwrap back on your table.

Along with this, you all also get a few premium features bundled with this robust laptop. For instance the comfortable backlit keyboard. Coming to the top-notch 2K screen display which is a 10 point multi-touch and has slim bezels. It further bundles with the Intel HD graphics to render the best visual content.

Despite all the high-end features packed under the hood, XIDU Tour Pro manages to remain a portable workstation that one can easily carry to college.

The XIDU Tour Pro laptop’s performance and sleek and subtle designs prove that even local, small manufactures can root up from nowhere and provide rather remarkable outcomes.  

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5. Lenovo IdeaPad 3

“A Top Notch Design

  • AMD Ryzen 3 3250U Processor
  • Integrated Radeon Vega Graphics 3
  • 15.6 inches HD LCD Display, 1366 x 768-pixel Resolution
  • 4 GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • 128 GB SSD NVMe storage
  • Windows 10 Home Operating System
  • Up to 6 hours of battery life
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PROS
  • Fair performance for the price
  • Above-average style and design
  • Great keyboard
CONS
  • No USB Type-C port
  • Meager screen brightness
  • Average battery life

Last but not the least, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is another beast worthy enough to make space in this list of the most affordable laptops for college students in 2021. With a firm and robust body made up of entirely plastic, this notebook promises to accompany you even after finishing your college life.

Though the body is made up of plastic, honestly it doesn’t look like one. This is solely due to the tin metal sheen covering the plastic to five the whole Lenovo’s notebook a metallic touch. The build quality is also average.

To begin with, the overall style and design of IdeaPad 3 is far better than what we usually expect from gadgets under this price tag. Though its chin is noticeable, Lenovo offers you quite a slim bezel to highlight the 15.6-inch wide display. To make the ensemble even more pleasing, the manufacturer has added an elegant-looking metallic-brushed deck.

The keyboard is neatly embedded within this deck, comprising keys that don’t sound too much and possess fair travel. However, a major downside associated with the same keyboard is that the keys are not backlit, making it tough for you to work through your college projects when it’s dark.

Perhaps the most prominent feature that is packed with IdeaPad 3 is its robust performance. It is powered by the strong Ryzen 3 3250U Processor by AMD and runs an 8 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD storage plus the Radeon Vega 3 GPU. This configuration will render a decent performance, most ideal for college activities.

Moreover, the Windows 10 operating system sitting under the hood also solves a lot of issues regarding perfect computer processing. You would also admire this notebook because of its microphone and webcam setup which is most suitable for zoom meetings.

Besides, Lenovo IdeaPad 3’s speakers are quite admirable in delivering the display is satisfactory too. However, you won’t find a decent array of connectivity ports that might put you down if you like to keep all your devices online.

First of all, the biggest issue for right-handers, you would probably have to connect your peripherals to the wrong side as Lenovo offers no ports on the right side of IdeaPad 3. You will get the trio that’s common in all gadgets: 2 USB 3.0 and a single USB 2.0. However, you won’t get any USB Type-C port.

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Buying Guide: How to Choose The Best Student Laptop On Budget

People often get confused about what laptop to pick when they come across plenty of varying options. To assist you in getting your ideal price of equipment within a price tag, we have listed down all the factors you should consider before taking a laptop home. Let’s get going.

The Operating System

The very first question you should ask yourself before the real hassle starts is what operating system do you require. Are you looking for a Windows Operating System or Google Chrome OS? Let’s just put macOS aside as it’s almost impossible to find a budget laptop that is backed by macOS.

Laptops backed by Google Chrome operating system are known as Chromebooks. Though these notebooks are often equipped with average configurations, they stack up pretty well with the high-end laptops. The secret behind this is the lightweight operating system by Chrome which doesn’t require a lot to load and run.

On the split hand is the operating system by Windows. You will usually find the Windows 10 OS in budget laptops.

Both the contenders have their pros and cons. We recommend you to go with Chrome OS if you get light project work from your college and spend your free time online, checking emails, catching with friends on social media, and streaming movies, or listening to audio. 

However, if you want to have a little extra as well like using the desktop publishing suite or installing different software, then Windows 10 is for you.

Central Processing Unit

If two laptops contain identical storage, memory, and operating systems, the only thing that can considerably distinguish them is the processor. 

The processor is often called the CPU, the central processing unit of a computing device that governs all the activities and carries out complex calculations from the apps and software you are running, peripherals connected to the computer, and the operating system. 

It is very crucial to choose the right CPU, one which provides top performance within your budget. The most affordable pieces of equipment will usually possess Intel Celerons, Intel Core i3, and the Pentium processors by Intel. You might also come across laptops that use the AMD Ryzen series as well.

We recommend choosing a machine that carries Intel Core i3’s and above or AMD Ryzen 3, due to their greater real-world performance.

Storage and Memory

When it comes to budget laptops, there aren’t many options of storage and memory in terms of size. To begin with Memory, you’ll usually find 2 GB or 4 GB of RAM housed in a budget laptop, or very rarely 8 GB. RAM is the memory that holds all applications that are running on the computer.  The bigger the size of your RAM is, the more applications it can manage at a time. 

Though lightweight operating systems like the Google Chrome OS operate pretty well with small chunks of memory, you are still bound to face responsiveness if you open more than a couple of tabs simultaneously. We recommend you to look for at least a 4GB RAM that decently assists you while you browse the web and design your college projects at the same time.

If you are lucky enough, you might also come across an 8 GB laptop which is surely a win-win. You might also find options that allow you to upgrade your memory.

Coming next to the storage, budget laptops often tend to have Embedded Multimedia Cards (eMMC) storages that you would usually find in mobiles and tablets. They are flash-based storages that are limited in size as well as much affordable than SSD.

We recommend you to get hold of a gadget that uses a 64GB eMMC storage at least as 32GB would not be enough to store all your word documents and presentations.

Display Resolution and Size

The size of a laptop depends on how portable you want your device to be. Budget laptops tend to come in sizes ranging from 10 inches to 15.6 inches.

The resolutions also work side by side with the screen size. For instance, even a lower HD resolution of only 1366 x 768 pixels can suffice with screens that size 10 inches to 12 inches. But for anything bigger than that would certainly give you a very dim and lackluster display.

The more the resolutions, the sharper your image due to more details and dots per inch, thus we recommend you to look for a full HD display with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution.

Looking for the ideal resolution and display size is not enough. You are supposed to consider the display’s contrast, color gamut, brightness, viewing angles, and the presence of anti-glare as well if you want to reach your perfect gadget.

Battery Life

Mostly, with high-end specs housed within an ultra gadget laptop as well, there is no way the manufacturers would compromise on a basic feature: the battery life. Generally, laptops would contain an average battery life of 8 to 12 hours on a full charge. 

However, look out for those laptops which offer less than this range, or else you would run out of your laptop’s battery juice before your college presentation gets over.

Connectivity Options and Ports

This aspect would not be crucial for a lot of people who do nothing more than a few casual computing tasks, but if you are someone planning to manage your heavy college workloads via a laptop, then it must contain an excellent array of connectivity ports.

The more the variety of ports provided by the manufacturers, the more you are allowed to connect devices to your laptop. The combo of a USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 is found in almost every gadget, but USB Type-C is very rare.

HDMI ports, whether full or micro HDMI, are also common among budget laptops. Furthermore, the standard 3.5 mm headphone/microphone combo, a webcam, and a micro SD card reader are common too.

Wrap-Up: Which Option to Choose?

True, there are more options in the market than there were ever before, and fetching out the most affordable laptops for College Students in 2021 through them can be awful. 

The most fitting laptop is not rare, the problem is how to select one which conforms to your criteria and pattern as well as the price line.

The five beasts above are perfect budget laptops for college students by far that are the most suitable options to accompany you to the college classroom this year. The Chromebook S340 Laptop by Lenovo is one of the best gadgets for college learners on a budget to purchase, with ideal features and specs designed for a student.

It is an entirely reliable package with superb portability and outstanding power in performance. If not S340 then the XIDU Tour Pro laptop by a developing but fair yielding company is another good option. Nonetheless, the final decision depends on you so make your decision wisely.

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