The Best Cheap Laptop & Tablet for Students

In the current market there are so many laptops to choose from that it can sometimes become overwhelming. Hopefully, this will help your search for the best laptop for college. This following article explains The five best cheap laptops for college and a buyer’s guide.

If you’re a student on a budget and looking for tablets to help you study, please check our dedicated guide to the cheap tablets for college. If you need a laptop/tablet and don’t want to spend a penny to buy it, be sure to check our guide to find free laptop.

Living the hectic life of a college student isn’t really as easy – breezy as some people might think. Multiple reports, online research and a lot of online reviews are included into their curriculum. Don’t forget: these tasks have to be done literally anytime and anywhere.

The only solution that answers to all those needs is a laptop. You might think, how could a college student, with a very tight budget even afford one? Well, luckily, there are a lot of tips on how to purchase cheap computers for students and how to find those laptops.

With the rising market for laptops today, there are a lot to easily choose from that will definitely suit the need of a student. If you a fan of tablet computers, be sure to see our guide to the best cheap tablets for college students with budget constraints.

With a lot of designs and brands of cheap laptops for college students in the market to choose from, one should narrow their requirements. You have to know what you need. Though you might want a cheap laptop, it doesn’t mean you want a lousy one that goes with the cheap price. You want high quality hardware that performs well for you.

Then comes the question, should I be buying a new one, or is a refurbished or used laptop an option too? Purchasing a new laptop is indeed advisable. Remember, new laptops have new parts, therefore have a smaller chance of breakdown and a better chance of longevity for you.

But, since budget laptops for students are what we aim for, and a cheap price is the number one requirement; you might have to check on those refurbished laptops too. Just take note, that if you don’t have that much experience with learning the specs of a computer, bring along a friend who knows. Better yet, ask for advice from a computer technician who can give you ideas on what to check for.

Tips to Choosing Budget Student Computers

For a fast checklist on purchasing those cheap laptops, you can follow these tips.

  • Internal Parts: Remember that all laptops have similar but not identical internal parts. All internal parts are not made the same and are put together by different companies. However, you should not be brand conscious, though the brand may be marketed very well, you just have to make sure that your internal parts are the same as the others. You can get the same performance without the extra price on a well known brand.
  • Memory: RAM or Random Access Memory is in charge for loading of programs into your computer. In simplified terms, the more the RAM the more programs you can run. Since your machine will be overflowing with all the files and programs you do, you must consider having a good amount of memory for your computer. The better the memory you have, the better the chances of your computer running quickly and smoothly.
  • Hard Drive: In choosing a hard drive, you must first specify what the laptop will be used for. If you’re into photography, making videos or even movie making you will need a hard drive that can give you enough storage space for files that will not affect the performance of your computer.
  • Internal Wireless Card: If you can find a built in internal wireless card then you are on the right track. Wireless Internet is everywhere now; with this component in your laptop you can expect the full use of your laptop all around campus.
  • DVD/CD-ROM Drive: Though not really a necessity, but again, if you’re in the line of making videos and movies and even photography, you might need a very good DVD-R/DVD-RW or even a simple cd burner � CD-R/CD-RW, all complimenting on what you really need.
  • Processor: The most important feature in a computer since this is usually called the brains of the computer. This feature makes certain of the execution of your computer programs. Though there are lots of options in the marketplace today, just make sure that you choose the processor that can do its function well.
  • Operating System: Regardless of what operating system you chose from, may it be Windows 7, Mac or even Linux, choose the one that will work for you.
  • Size: Choose the size that will work for you. You must remember that you will have to carry this around. The smaller it is or the heavier it is will definitely matter. And since you will be reading off from your notebook screen almost all the time, you will need one that will suit your needs.

In purchasing budget laptops for your study purpose , you don’t need to contain yourself with what you find in the malls, browse through the internet as well. Find online sites that give you discounts and varieties on what you might be looking for. Also ask your friends or classmates, maybe they would have an idea on where to purchase good and cheaper units.

And if buying, don’t forget to ask for discounts, since you’re a student there will definitely be bargain prices for you. Just remember, just because you need a cheap one, doesn’t mean the performance of the machine should also suffer. You will be using this a lot and for a long time, having a good laptop for students equals easier schoolwork for you!

Read: Laptop or Tablet Should I Buy for College ?

Best Affordable Laptops & Tablets for College in 2018

#5 Apple MacBook

Number 5 on the list is the Apple MacBook. The downside is the price, but for under $1000 you can have a smooth sleek machine that will last for years to come. Apple also offers an incredible service plan that I would recommend to any university student.

The MacBook can easily keep up with the fast paced lifestyle of college and still look professional in any setting with its super slim design. The battery life is exceptional as well, and can last through the many hours of papers and internet surfing you are sure to do at all the coffee shops on campus.

#4 Dell Vostro 3500

Number 4 on the list is the Dell Vostro 3500 with a 2.26 GHz processor, 2 gigs of ram and a 250 GB hard drive you would expect to pay around $550. This laptop allows university students to easily create all the necessary documents throughout the day on a single charge with the correct power settings. The size and weight can comfortably ft into any backpack, but for the price I would like to see a little more performance.

#3 HP G62-340

The HP G62-340 squeezes into the number 3 position on the list by sporting a 2.20 GHz processor and 320 GB hard drive and 3GB of RAM standard, all for about the same price as the number 4 laptop. The HP G series laptops are built very well and can accommodate just about anything that the average university student can, I mean will, throw at it. It can create word documents and spreadsheets or help you wind down with a movie after a hard day of classes. This laptop can be found for $550 or less.

#2 Gigabyte TouchNote

Holding the number 2 position is the Gigabyte TouchNote. This laptop contains a 1.66 GHz Processor, enough for any task a college student might need it for, accompanied by versatility. The laptop is able to become a tablet PC; this allows for notes to be “written” on the screen or typed and makes navigation with the computer a lot easier. The battery life is good and this laptop really has all the extras that students yearn for, all with a price tag that comes in under $500.

#1 HP Mini 110-3130nr

The number 1 position belongs to the HP Mini 110-3130nr, a small netbook that can easily surf the web, type all of your college papers or watch your favorite video between classes. The built in camera allows you to keep in contact with everyone from home or record the pesky roommate who’s sneaking into your secret stash.

The keypad is about 92% the size of the average keyboard but after a few sentences you don’t even realize that it’s any different. Its compact size allows students to carry it anywhere without the bulk and weight of a laptop in your bag.

The battery life is great as well, even with the standard battery, but if you want more time the optional extended battery allows hours of useful life without a plug-in. the best news for university students is that you can pick one up for under $300. In my opinion this tough, compact laptop is the best laptop for students on a budget.


While no laptop is necessarily better than another for a person, its use must truly be considered and any of these five laptops and tablets will accommodate the needs of a college student.  I hope that these recommendations help in your search for a laptop.


I'm a technology geek and the founder of Raja Laptop. I love reading books, listening to music and travelling.

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