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The Best Laptops for Students

The Best Laptops for College Students (Update)
A new school year is fast approaching, and for new or returning students a laptop is as essential as your textbooks and school ID. And when we say campus life, we don't just mean school work. It may also include extra-curricular activities such as social networking, watching movies, listening to music, posting photos, gaming, video-chatting with the 'rents back home, and so on. And of course, the best laptops for college students need to last them for the long haul, four years of undergrad and maybe a year of grad work. Lucky for you, we have a bunch below that fit that description perfectly.

Before you do anything else, however, you should first check with your college or university for specific system requirements. Some schools require their students to have a Windows-based laptop, to avoid software incompatibility issues as much as possible. Many schools will have on-site repair centers that only service university-bought laptops, where the turn-around time is much quicker than if you sent it back to the laptop manufacturer. And keep in mind that most schools offer price breaks for particular manufactures and include extensive software bundles, which can shave off a good amount from your laptop purchase.
So, what the best laptop to get? True, there are a plethora of choices on the market today, and slogging through them can be a bit daunting. No worries, we did the slogging for you. Check out the hottest laptops to grace the dorm room, college classroom, and campus quad for this school year.


Acer Aspire 5349-2635

$328.97 list
With a decent 15-inch screen screen and keyboard, a full-size numeric keypad, and enough juice for day-to-day productivity tasks, the Acer Aspire 5349-2635 is a surprisingly likable laptop for a surprisingly low price. 

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (Mid 2012)
Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (Mid 2012)

$1,199 direct
$1,154.00 at Datavision The new Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (Mid 2012) is a simple upgrade of the class-leading line, with a $100 price drop. Although a new processor gives you a little extra performance and some tests, the real additions are things like the new (for Mac) USB 3.0 ports and free upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion. 

Dell Inspiron 14z (Summer 2012)

$899 direct
The Dell Inspiron 14z (Summer 2012) brings third-generation Intel Core procressor, discrete AMD Radeon 3D graphics, and an ultrabook form factor to the sub-$1,000 laptop buyer. This ultrabook is built for speed, and makes a great laptop for students. But be prepared to sacrifice on battery life somewhat if you rely on its raw multimedia and 3D power.

hp folio 13-1020us
HP Folio 13-1020us

$899.99 list
$959.99 at Amazon The HP Folio 13-1020us is one of the most handsomely designed and well-engineered ultrabooks you can buy for $900. It also sports a great keyboard, full set of features, and long battery life. 

Lenovo IdeaPad U310

$799.99 direct
$799.00 at Lenovo The Lenovo IdeaPad U310 ultrabook delivers strong performance thanks to a third-generation Intel Core i5 processor, and does so at a reasonable price. But while its battery life can get you through a day of classes, others in its category lasted significantly longer.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y480

$1,000 street
$749.00 at Lenovo The Lenovo IdeaPad Y480 combines quad-core "Ivy Bridge" adrenaline with speedy Nvidia graphics to stir up the 14-inch mainstream laptop segment.

Sony VAIO E15 (SVE15116FXS)

$749.99 direct
With the Sony VAIO E15 (SVE15116FXS), Sony brings Intel Ivy Bridge processing to entry-level desktop replacement laptops to great effect, and throws in enough extras to keep people buying when other manufacturers catch up. 

toshiba portege r835-p88
Toshiba Portege R835-P88

$849.99 list
$799.00 at Microsoft Store In a world where ultrabooks are hip and happening, ultraportables can seem like yesterday's news. But the Toshiba Portege R835-P88 shows that an ultraportable can give ultrabooks a run for their money.
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