6 Best Laptops for College Students Under $1,000 in 2023

Laptops are essential gadgets today. Whether it’s simple stuff like taking notes, researching papers, and watching movies, or professional tasks like coding, video editing, or even gaming, laptops serve many use cases. No wonder choosing a good laptop feels like a chore. But don’t worry! This list of the best laptops for college students under $1000 will help you make the right choice.

5_Best_Laptops_for_College_Students_Under_ 1000_in_2022

Some key characteristics that define a good college laptop are portability, battery life, reliability, performance, and price. While there definitely cannot be a one-size-fits-all pick, here we have some of the best laptops for college students under $1000.

All the laptops we have picked here are under $1000, but

1. ASUS Vivobook 16

  • Screen Size: 16-inch | Screen resolution: 1,920×1,200
  • RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Processor: Core i7-13700H | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
ASUS Vivobook 16

Let’s face it – college-goers need to take a lot of notes. As such, you’d feel right at home with a laptop with a 16:10 aspect ratio display, which lets you view lengthy documents and PDFs without having to scroll too much, thereby saving you time and hassle. The ASUS Vivobook 16 is one such laptop, and it is backed by terrific hardware that’ll serve you well for years to come.

The ASUS Vivobook 16 makes use of Intel’s Core i7-13700H processor. For those unaware, the CPU is a step up over the 12700H processor that powers the Vivobook S 14 OLED mentioned below. In fact, while both CPUs offer the same core cluster comprising six performance and eight efficiency cores, the 13700H’s P-cores can turbo higher, at up to 5.00GHz. 

More notably, the laptop comes with a 1TB NVMe SSD, so you can easily store a large number of documents and course material without splurging on an external hard drive. What’s more, the laptop is MIL-STD 810H certified, so it should come out unscathed on the off chance you drop it, too. Add to that a bevy of connectors and a 720p webcam, and the Vivobook 16 makes a strong case for the best laptop for college students under $1,000.

What We Like

  • Accommodating 16:10 aspect ratio display
  • Backed by a competent processor
  • Sturdy and stylish design
  • Affordable

What We Don’t Like

  • Somewhat heavy
  • Display refreshes at 60Hz only

2. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

  • Screen Size: 15.6-inch | Screen resolution: 1,920×1,080
  • RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Processor: Core i5-1235U | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
Acer Aspire 5 Laptop College Students

The Acer Aspire 5 is one of the best 15-inch laptops under $1,000, perfect for those on a tight budget. It’s not too heavy at 3.9lbs but still offers a big 15.6-inch IPS display. The screen does its job decently enough, and the bigger size helps in multi-tasking and spreadsheet work. The i5 processor isn’t the most powerful but offers a great balance between performance and power consumption.

This enables the Aspire 5 laptop to deliver up to nine hours of battery life on mixed usage. The lack of a dedicated graphics card means this laptop isn’t for heavy gaming use. However, light games like Counter-Strike 2 should run smoothly. Despite its slim profile, this laptop features three USB-A ports, a USB-C port, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack. It has features like the latest WiFi 6, 4K Thunderbolt support, and a built-in fingerprint reader for secure login.

Like most Windows laptops in this price range, this one’s screen is not bright enough for outdoor use. You’ll also have to make peace with its plastic build, although that’s not a big shortcoming in real-life usage. For its starting price of less than $600, it’s no wonder many reviewers call it one of the best cheap laptops for college students.

What We Like

  • Big Screen
  • Dedicated Numpad
  • Wi-Fi 6

What We Don’t Like

  • Not Intel Evo-certified
  • Plastic base

3. HP Pavilion 15 Laptop

  • Screen Size: 15.6-inch | Screen resolution: 1,920×1,080
  • RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Processor: Core i5-1235U | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
HP Pavilion 15

If you have been vying for a laptop with a touchscreen display to take to college, you’re in luck. HP recently announced the HP Pavilion 15 laptop, which sports a 15.6-inch, Full HD IPS touchscreen. Additionally, the laptop is powered by Intel’s Core i5-1335U processor.

The laptop’s U-series processor strikes the perfect balance between power and efficiency. To that end, the 10-core processor has two performance and eight efficiency cores. The P-cores can turbo up to 4.60GHz, and the laptop can deploy up to 12 threads for strenuous workloads. Rest assured, the HP Pavilion 15 can handle applications like Chrome, Slack, Discord, and even Microsoft’s Office suite with ease. 

Moving on, the laptop comes with a host of connectors, including USB Type-C and Type-A ports, an HDMI 2.1 slot, and a 720p webcam. The device boots Windows 11 from the get-go and ships with 32GB of DDR4 memory and a 1TB PCIe SSD. Note that the device has been upgraded by the vendor, although it still carries a one-year warranty, which is excellent. 

What We Like

  • Loads of RAM
  • Touchscreen display
  • Stylish design 
  • Affordable

What We Don’t Like

  • Not the most powerful laptop on the list

4. ASUS VivoBook S 14 OLED

  • Screen Size: 14-inch | Screen resolution: 2,880×1,800
  • RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Processor: Core i7-12700H | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
Asus Vivobook Oled Laptop for Students

The Asus VivoBook S 14 OLED laptop might be the best Windows laptop under $1,000. It weighs just around 3.3 pounds and boasts a stylish aluminum chassis. Its 180-degree hinge allows this laptop to open up completely flat on the table, which might come in handy during group projects. It features the latest 12th-generation i7 processor and, more importantly, is Intel Evo-certified. 

For context, Intel Evo certification means a laptop meets a set of premium criteria mandated by Intel, which assures a combination of performance, responsiveness, battery life, and portability in a sleek, stylish package.

What sets it apart from the competition is its gorgeous 2.8K OLED display. It offers punchy colors and unmatched contrast levels, making this one of the best laptops under $1000 for multimedia viewing. Plus, the screen supports a 90Hz refresh rate, meaning day-to-day operations and scrolling will feel much smoother.

There’s 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD for storage, enabling it to juggle multiple applications easily. There’s no dedicated graphics card on board, so don’t expect it to run the latest games. Although occasional video editing and less graphics-intensive games like Fall Guys and FIFA should be fine.

Further, the battery life here is just about enough for a day’s usage, and the touchpad experience isn’t the best either. But the OLED display and the latest processor make this a good laptop for college.

What We Like

  • OLED Display
  • 90Hz Smoothness
  • Reliable Performance

What We Don’t Like

  • Average Trackpad
  • Not suitable for gaming

5. MacBook Air M1

  • Screen Size: 13.3-inch | Screen resolution: 1,680×1,050
  • RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Processor: Apple M1 | Graphics: Integrated
best lightweight laptops Apple MacBook Air M1

The MacBook Air M1 is about three years old, but it still ticks almost every box needed to call it the best laptop for college students. It’s one of those laptops you can easily fit into any backpack. What’s more, the Air M1 manages to eke out exceptional battery life, with most reviewers agreeing with Apple’s claims of 15-18 hours of battery life.

Along with all-day battery life, Apple’s M1 chip also delivers excellent performance and can even take on heavy workflows like video editing and graphics simulations. The 13.3-inch Retina display and built-in stereo speakers on the Air M1 are sufficient for multimedia consumption. The Air M1 offers a great keyboard and touchpad experience, making it suitable for productivity seekers and leisure users alike.

If you already own an iPhone or any other Apple product, you’ll be blown away by how seamlessly the Air M1 fits in. MacBooks are known to offer the best webcams and mics, so remote classes and Zoom calls won’t be a problem. However, Apple’s walled garden approach might be a hassle for anyone not already using Apple products or an iPhone. Android phones don’t gel well with MacBooks, and you won’t be able to run Windows software on this machine.

Besides, it only comes with two type-C ports, so you’ll have to purchase an adapter for HDMI or USB-A connections. Alternatively, you can opt for the more expensive MacBook Air M2, which offers better performance, display and design, and I/O.

What We Like

  • Battery Life
  • Performance
  • Works seamlessly with other Apple devices

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited ports
  • Only comes with a 256GB SSD

6. Acer Nitro 17

  • Screen Size: 17.3-inch | Screen resolution: 2,560×1,440
  • RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Processor: Ryzen 7 7840HS | Graphics: Nvidia RTX 4060
Acer Nitro 17 1 1

Acer’s Nitro range of gaming laptops needs no introduction. For years, the laptops in the lineups have appeased budget-conscious buyers – particularly college students requiring a powerful laptop to get through their curriculum. And, the all-new Nitro 17 will help you do just that without burning a hole in your wallet.

The Acer Nitro 17 is a high-end gaming laptop that you can currently snag at a hefty discount. For its discounted price, the laptop gets a lot right. In particular, it comes with AMD’s Ryzen 7 7840HS processor, which comprises eight cores that can turbo up to 5.1GHz. The CPU complies with DDR5 memory, although it cannot be overclocked. Regardless, the 7840HS will help you quickly crunch through data-laden Excel sheets, CPU-intensive programs, and more.

Of course, all work and no play can make Jack a dull boy. So, when you are not using the laptop for work, you can rely on its RTX 4060 GPU to play the latest AAA games. The laptop also has a sizeable 17.3-inch QHD IPS display that refreshes at 165Hz. Coupled with Nvidia’s G-Sync and Advanced Optimus features, the panel should keep up with most fast-paced games in your library. Additionally, you can utilize the GPU if you dabble with subjects revolving around graphics design. Needless to say, the laptop has amassed a slew of positive reviews, with the majority of buyers lauding its performance chops.

What We Like

  • Sports a QHD IPS panel with a 165Hz refresh rate
  • Backed by superb hardware
  • Comes with a healthy assortment of connectors and ports

What We Don’t Like

  • Heavy
  • May not fit in most backpacks

Affordable and Better

Ultimately, what makes for the best laptop for college students under $1,000 depends on what the user wants out of it. If you already have Apple devices, investing in a MacBook will make your life much easier. For everyone else, a Windows machine can give you a great experience at a decent price.

Further, Windows laptops offer the most versatility, but you must be careful about the model you choose. Many budget laptop models available on the market are 3+ years old, offering outdated specs and some other hidden disadvantages. Understanding how you will use your laptop will help you pick out the best laptop for college.

Last updated on 28 November, 2023

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