As a student, you certainly don’t want to spend a lot of money. You go to college and money is very hard to get. That’s why I’ve put together the top 5 cheap laptops for students.
These are excellent laptops for a low price that will give you enough power for your tasks. In addition, they are strong for specific programs that you will have to use during your studies.
A laptop for students does not necessarily have to be a high-end laptop. Every student uses a laptop for something different and you must know what you are going to use the laptop for.
The top 5 cheap laptops for students are:
- Lenovo idea Flex 5
- Apple MacBook Air (2022)
- Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15ALC05
- HP Pavilion 15
- Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15ADA05
These are the best value laptops for college students right now. Most of these laptops are from Lenovo and that’s because Lenovo has the best cheap laptops.
The prices of Lenovo laptops are very low and the components they have are excellent and some of the best. If you want one of the best price and quality laptops for studying, Lenovo laptops are a top choice.
What is important in a cheap laptop for students?
As a college student, there are some key points to look out for in a laptop. If you are going to use the laptop for heavy tasks such as photo editing, video editing or designing 3D models, you will want a strong processor and even a video card.
You don’t need such a strong laptop for light tasks such as surfing the internet, using the Office package or even making reports. Indeed, you always want a laptop that is strong enough to perform your tasks well.
The most important components for a student on a budget laptop is the processor and the working memory. In addition to these two components, you want to look at battery life and image quality.
With an affordable laptop, you always want a Full HD resolution. It is ideal for quality and performance thanks to its 1920 x 1080 pixel count. For battery life, 6 hours or more is always useful. Of course, you don’t want to have to charge at all times because your laptop can’t run on battery.
Of course, it is standard to look at the size of the laptop and always stay between 13 and 15 inches. A laptop bigger than this is going to be a pain for you to take around from local to local.
For a processor for cheap laptops for students, an i5/Ryzen 5 or i7/Ryzen 7 processor is a good choice. The i5/Ryzen 5 are good for photo editing while the i7/Ryzen 7 is good for video editing and other heavy tasks like designing, 3D designing and so on.
You can take an i3/Ryzen 3 processor if you are not going to perform tasks such as photo editing or video editing. An i3/Ryzen 3 is a good choice if you are going to perform basic tasks such as just using the internet, an office package and reading your mail.
In addition to the processor, RAM is also a big point. For students who don’t want to spend a lot, 8GB of ram is sufficient. If you think you will have to perform many tasks at once, 16GB is a better choice.
We will tell you more about components that are important in addition to the processor and working memory. But first, I’m going to discuss the top 5 cheap laptops for college students.
Top 5 affordable laptops for students
Lenovo idea Pad Flex 5
As one of the best cheap laptops for students, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is a top choice with a fair price. This laptop has top components and even a 2 in 1 design with a touchscreen, so you can use the laptop better.
The laptop is 14 inches and has a great design that makes it easy to use. This, in addition to a touchscreen, makes it a perfect laptop for on the go.
The laptop has a Ryzen 7 processor with very good speed. What is very special is that the laptop also comes with 16GB of ram, which is very abnormal for such a budget laptop.
The storage is also quite high for its price. The laptop is recommended if you want a fast cheap laptop for studying and for school.
Screen: First you have the screen of the laptop. The screen is 14 inches and has a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The screen is also touchscreen and has an IPS panel that displays your colours better than most panels.
Processor: The processor of the laptop is the AMD Ryzen 7 and this is a top processor with which you can run heavy programs. Programs such as Adobe, programming programs and many more can be easily run.
Working memory: The working memory of the laptop is 16GB and this is often more than enough. This is perfect if you do a lot of multitasking and want to have music and conversations on discord in addition to your schoolwork.
Storage: The laptop’s storage is a 512GB SSD. An SSD is always important for both speed and faster programs. Programs can run faster because they can extract data from the SSD faster.
Video card: The video card of the laptop is the AMD Radeon Graphics and this is a basic integrated video card. This is more to help the laptop with some tasks and is not intended for heavy games.
Operating system: The operating system of the laptop is the Windows 10 Home. This is one of the most widely used operating systems at the moment.
Battery life: The battery life of the laptop is 12 hours and this is super good for students. You don’t want to constantly have to sit next to a plug and charge because your laptop can’t last long without charging. With 12 hours you can easily work in lectures and classrooms without having to recharge.
Extra: The laptop also comes with a backlit keyboard, which is very important if you have to do homework in the evening. In addition to that, the laptop also has an HDMI port, so you don’t have to spend extra on a USB-C hub. Presenting immediately becomes a lot easier because you don’t have to think about a USB C all the time.
Apple MacBook Air (2020)
If you are a fan of the MacBook laptops and you want one that is a bit cheaper, then the MacBook Air (2020) is a good choice. This is one of the cheap laptops for students who often have to run heavy programs.
The laptop still has the new strong M1 Chip from Apple but comes with less RAM and less storage. It’s an ideal choice if you don’t want to spend a lot and don’t need a lot of storage.
The laptop is only 13 inches so it is useful for students who are on the road a lot. This small laptop for school is one of the best cheap laptops for students thanks to its speed, price and battery life.
Remember that you can also later take an external HDD to save all your school projects. In addition, the MacBook laptops are excellent because they have one of the longest battery lives usually above 12 hours.
The laptop is very nice to use and is also often chosen because it is so cheap compared to all other MacBook laptops available at the moment.
Display: The display of the MacBook Air is 13.3 inches and has Retina sharpness with an IPS panel. The IPS panel is usefully necessary to work with colours and to see true colours.
Processor: The processor is of course Apple’s new M1 Chip with 8 cores which is super fast. The speed of this processor is 3.2Ghz per core, so that’s 8 cores that run at that speed. The processor is great for heavy programs and it has extra functionality that makes it good. The processor also acts as a video card for the laptop.
Working memory: The working memory is a bit lower and this is 8GB of ram. This is fine for most users, but if you want to perform many tasks at once, it will be difficult. You can of course also opt for more RAM if you are going to buy the laptop, but that will cost more money.
Storage: The storage is also mediocre and that is a 256GB SSD. This is sufficient for several programs and projects, but not if you are going to save a lot of projects. Keep in mind that if you are going to work with video material, it can fill up quickly. So I recommend checking an external HDD.
Video Card: The laptop’s video card is also the M1 Chip. This processor works like a video card, so you can render projects in Adobe faster and run other programs that require a video card.
Operating system: The operating system of the laptop is the MacOS of course from Apple. This is a completely different operating system from Windows so if you use Windows you will have to get used to it.
Battery life: The battery life of MacBook laptops is always excellent. This is one of the reasons why this laptop is in the top 5 cheap laptops for students. It has a battery life of 18 hours that allows you to work continuously without having to recharge.
Extra: what is very important to know about this laptop is that it has no normal USB ports besides that USB C. This is good to know as a student because you will need a USB C hub if you want to present. So you don’t have an HDMI port or normal USB A ports.
Also read: Top 10 student laptops of 2022 and beyond
Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15ALC05
Another choice for budget laptops for students is the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15ALC05. This is also definitely one of the favourite choices because it’s just so cheap for the excellent components you get.
This is one of the laptops I talk about a lot in this blog because the laptop is so strong and the price is so good.
The laptop is only 15.6 inches and has a Full HD resolution. You would think that the laptop will weigh a lot, but it is not. The laptop weighs only 1.66 kg and can run on battery for up to 14 hours, which is great for a student who is on the road a lot.
A laptop is under 800 euros and has excellent components that make it one of the best choices for school, on the go and study. The laptop has a Ryzen 7 processor, 16GB of ram and a lot of storage which you get more than what you will need.
Even if I had to buy a new laptop, this one would be one of my first choices. The price is very good and the components are excellent and very strong.
Display: First we have the display of this cheap laptop for students. The display is 15.6 inches with a Full HD resolution. The panel of the laptop is an IPS panel and there is nothing much more to the screen.
Processor: Where this budget laptop for students stands out is with the processor and other components. The processor of the laptop is the AMD Ryzen 7 with 8 cores that run at a speed of 4.3 GHz.
Working memory: In addition to the processor, you also have more than enough working memory to do your work. The laptop comes with 16GB of RAM, which is excellent for both heavy tasks and multitasking.
Storage: The laptop’s storage is weird on a laptop especially for the price. The laptop comes with a combination of SSD and HDD, which you often do not see on a cheap laptop. The total storage is 1256GB and this is a 256GB SSD in which you have your programs that need speed and also a 1TB HDD in which you can store projects.
Video card: The laptop’s video card is also fine. It is an integrated video card, the AMD Radeon Graphics, which is sufficient for tasks in which the laptop needs a video card.
Operating system: The operating system of the laptop is Windows 10 Home and it is used by almost everyone. It is very simple to use and straightforward without any problem.
Battery life: The battery life of the laptop is 14 hours and this is certainly important on a budget laptop for students. So you don’t want to constantly have to charge your laptop because the battery is not strong enough.
Extra: The laptop has a backlit keyboard, HDMI port for presentations, Usb A for your normal USBs, weighs 1.66 kg, and is certainly useful for heavy tasks such as video and photo editing.
HP Pavilion 15
If you just need a laptop for basic tasks such as emailing, making presentations, using the Office package, surfing the internet and photo editing, the HP Pavilion 15 is a great choice.
This is one of the budget laptops for students who are not going to run too many heavy programs, but who do want a strong laptop.
The laptop is 15.6 inches like the previous laptop and also has a lightweight of 1.75 kg. The laptop has a battery life of 9 hours and the laptop is ideal for tasks such as surfing the internet, emailing, photo editing and small-scale video editing.
Screen: The screen of the laptop is 15.6 inches and has a Full HD resolution on which you can see everything in good quality. The panel of the laptop is an IPS panel and this is always handy to see the true colors. Especially useful if you are going to edit photos and want to see true colors to edit them.
Processor: The processor of the laptop is the AMD Ryzen 5 processor with 6 cores. This hex-core processor has a speed of 4Ghz. The processor is very useful for photo editing and also video editing on a small scale.
Working memory: The working memory of this laptop is 8GB and this is sufficient for most tasks. If you want to multitask a lot, then it is better to go for 16GB of ram.
Storage: The storage of the laptop is a 256GB SSD and this is sufficient for a student. If you are going to work a lot with large and heavy projects, you want to get an external HDD.
Video card: The video card of the laptop is not a special video card, it is the AMD Radeon Graphics. This is an integrated video card that is intended to help the laptop with tasks where it is needed.
Operating system: The operating system of the laptop is Windows 10 Home or Windows 11 home. Because Windows 11 is already out, you can upgrade to the version. Windows is mostly used and you will surely learn to use it quickly.
Battery life: The battery life of the laptop is 9 hours and this is more than sufficient for a budget laptop for students. As a student, you will not be in school for more than 7 hours, and most of the time you can also recharge at school once in a while. Working on battery life is often important if you go to lectures or if you can’t charge in a classroom.
Extra: The laptop comes with an illuminated keyboard, Numeric keypad and weighs only 1.75 kg, so you can also take it around. The laptop is not as heavy as other gaming laptops that are 2+ kg.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15ADA05
The final pick for one of the cheapest laptops for students is the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15ADA05. This is another great choice for a cheap laptop for studying.
The laptop is only 14 inches and has a Full HD resolution. Besides the compact size of the laptop, the weight of the laptop is only 1.6 kg and it is easier to carry around than other comparable laptops in its price.
The laptop has a Ryzen 7 processor that is very strong for both photo editing and video editing, and the storage is 512GB SSD. What is very important to know is that the panel of the laptop is a TN panel and it is less good for working with colours when editing photos.
The TN panel is more intended for people who want a cheaper laptop and who don’t need to see perfect colours.
Screen: The screen of the laptop is 14 inches and has a full HD resolution. The panel of the laptop is a TN panel and this is a good panel but certainly not the best.
Processor: The processor of the laptop is the AMD Ryzen 7 and it has 4 cores. These 4 cores work at a speed of 4 GHz and this is fine for photo editing and video editing on a small scale.
Working memory: The working memory of the laptop is 8GB and this is sufficient for students who do not want to spend a lot. A lot of multitasking will indeed be difficult because the laptop will become slow.
Storage: The laptop’s storage is a 512GB SSD, so you have enough space for your files and programs. You can always get an external HDD if you need more space.
Video card: The video card of the laptop is the AMD Radeon Vega 10. This is an integrated video card and is not intended for gaming or such heavy things, but more to help the laptop where it is needed.
Operating system: The operating system of the laptop is the Windows 10 Home. This is one of the most widely used operating systems and is easy to use.
Battery life: The laptop battery life is 7.5 hours and this is fine for a student who wants a very cheap laptop for studying like this one.
Extra: The laptop weighs 1.6 kg and this is fine for a student. Furthermore, the laptop also has an HDMI port so that you can present faster and does not have a backlit keyboard because the price is so low.
How to choose a cheap laptop for studying
Price and Size
When you are going to choose a cheap laptop for studying, you always want to look at the price of the laptop and its size. You certainly want the price under your budget, but you also have to look at what you want to do with the laptop.
A laptop under 1000 euros is a good choice and often they are good. If you want to play games and edit videos with it, it becomes difficult and you will have to spend more. The components you need for tough tasks are quite expensive.
The laptops I mentioned above are all around 1000 euros or less so most students can afford them. The laptops also have excellent processor power and sufficient RAM to be able to complete assignments for your students.
For the size of a laptop, you always want to take 15.6 inches or lower. The lower the better because then you don’t have to carry around a large laptop. Keep in mind that a smaller laptop is more expensive and often less powerful.
For a low budget laptop for students, a 14 inch or 15 inch is a perfect choice. These do not cost as much as the 13 inches and still have excellent components in them and a low price.
Processor and working memory
You also have the processor and RAM of a budget laptop for students. With a student laptop, you always want an i5/Ryzen 5 or i7/Ryzen 7 processor because these are strong enough.
For programs like Adobe and other heavy programs, an i5/Ryzen 5 or i7/Ryzen 7 is your best choice. These must also have 4 cores or more at a speed of 3Ghz or higher.
8GB or 16GG is fine for RAM. Keep in mind that 16GB is more intended for when you want to perform multiple tasks at the same time. If you usually only use 1 or 2 programs at the same time, 8GB is a good choice.
The video card in a laptop is only important if you are going to use programs that require it.
Often you take a dedicated video card with 4GB ram or more if you are going to use programs such as Premiere Pro, Architecture programs and 3D programs such as a blender.
A video card is only good for programs that need it. Think of games where there are many 3D objects, game designers and even architecture programs.
The ports of a laptop are often forgotten or not looked at at all. It is important to know which ports a laptop has so that you know what you can use.
As a student, you are often present and if your laptop only has USB-C, you will have to spend more money on a USB-C hub. In addition, you also want to know whether a laptop has an HDMI port so that you can present faster and do not have to buy a USB-C.
Another point you want to look at is whether or not your cheap student laptop has a backlit keyboard. Remember, as a student you are constantly working and often you come home late and have to do homework.
It is therefore often useful to take a laptop with an illuminated keyboard when you are going to do your homework in the evening. Keep in mind that many cheap laptops for students do not have this, so you should read the description of the laptop carefully.
For battery life on cheap laptops for students, you want at least 6 hours or more. This is sufficient for students who occasionally are not in a room with a plug.
The operating system is what allows a laptop to communicate with its components. For students, the macOS or Windows operating system is your best choice. These are also the most widely used and most supported operating systems out there.