Summer is a great time to pick up a new laptop for students of all ages.

It gives them time to either upgrade to a new computer or buy their first, and they come in all shapes and sizes for a variety of specific needs. Note taking? Gaming? Photo or video processing? Everything? There’s definitely a laptop out there for you, and we’ve compiled a list of our favorites.

For kids – Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11 2-in-1 – $438.99

The Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11 2-in-1 is a great choice for kids. It’s drop-resistant and spill-resistant with rounded corners. It also runs Chrome OS, which gives you access to the entire Google suite of programs, including Docs, Sheets, Slides, and other Android apps.

This is a great machine for doing homework, and it transforms into a tablet for keeping the kids busy on long trips. It has 32GB of eMMC onboard storage for storing files and movies for offline use.

Just the basics – HP 240 G6 14-inch – $519.99

This HP 240 has everything you need for basic productivity work, including a surprising 16GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. There isn’t a ton of storage on this laptop, but you can add a 1TB external bus-powered drive for a little more money.

If you need to run the Microsoft Office suite of programs, this laptop will take care of you for a nice, low price, as well.

Portable productivity power – ASUS ZenBook 15 – $1399

For folks who want more power with their productivity, the ASUS ZenBook 15 is a good pick. It crams a Whiskey Lake i7-8565U, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD into a 0.70” thick, 3.68 lb. package. It also comes with a GTX 1050, which is good for light gaming and productivity tasks.

For folks who want to plug into a wired internet connection, it also comes with a USB 3.0 to RJ45 cable.

If you like the Macbook Pro form factor and snazzy design, but don’t dig on OS X or Apple’s higher prices, this is a good Windows 10 replacement.

High-end 2-in-1 – Microsoft Surface Pro 6 – $1185.99

The Microsoft Surface is in a class by itself. It’s a tablet, a laptop, and a drawing device in one. It’s compact at only 12.3”, and it packs an i7 under the hood.

This unit is particularly appealing to studio photographers who like to tether their cameras to their laptops. Its beautiful screen, integrated kickstand, and full-sized USB ports makes it perfect for this use case.

Visual artists can use the Surface and pen as a mobile, digital sketchbook. Note, however, that the pen and keyboard are sold separately.

Mid-range gaming workhorse – ASUS TUF 15.6” Laptop – $1099.00

The Asus TUF Gaming 15.6” laptop sports an AMD Ryzen 7 R7-3750H quad core CPU and a GTX 1660 Ti. Along with that, it’s got 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 1TB HD.

The 15.6” IPS HD screen has a 120 Hz refresh rate, which will be great, because the 1660 Ti pushes quite a few frames at 1080p.

It’s also fairly portable at a mere 4.85 lb. and 1” thick. This is great for a gamer on the go, or the student who wants a little extra oomph.

High-end gaming with Ray Tracing – Acer Predator Triton 500 – $1,999

If you want mobile ray tracing, this is the way to go. It’s packing an 8th generation i7-8750H and an RTX 2080 Max Q, along with 16GB of RAM.

It has a 512 GB SSD, keeping OS and game load times snappy. Its 15.6” IPS 1080p screen packs a 144Hz refresh rate, which keeps gaming super smooth.

And all of this comes in a 4.41lb. package that’s less than an inch thick. This is the best all-around gaming laptop.

Mobile workstation – Lenovo ThinkPad P72 – $3095.13

For anyone that needs a giant pile of power for animation and video editing, there’s the Lenovo ThinkPad P72. It comes loaded with an Intel Xeon E-2176M, a Quadro P4200, and a 17.3” HD screen.

It’s got not one, but two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which allows you to use a separate 4K display and a high speed storage device like a Thunderbolt NAS RAID. But it also has a 512GB SSD onboard, so you shouldn’t be hurting for storage.

All this power comes at a price. This laptop is a backbreaking 7.5lb. Carry at your own risk.

Justin Woo

Author Justin Woo

Once upon a time, Justin was 13th in the world with Hyde in Evolve. It was his one shot at love. Now he ranks Bronze in Overwatch, quietly wishing for flamethrowers and gas grenades.

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