The 16 best laptops for students in 2021, according to reviewers

·6 min read

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elementary student wearing red and white striped t-shirt pointing to laptop while learning at home
Heading back to school this fall? These are the 15 best laptops for students in 2021, starting at less than $300 (Photo by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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From elementary school to college, millions of students across the country are packing their backpacks and heading back to school this week. Therefore, the last-minute rush is officially on for those shopping for a new laptop.

Whether you're an engineering student or studying philosophy, searching for a Mac or PC, or looking for a laptop that can double as a tablet, for many students, finding the right computer comes down to one thing: the price.

With student loans looming, nobody wants to pay more than they have to for a laptop. With this in mind, we searched the internet to find the 16 best laptop deals for students, starting at just $289. 

From Amazon to Best Buy Canada, Chromebooks to Macbooks, PCs and everything in between, these are the 16 best laptops for elementary to university-level students in 2021, according to ratings and reviewers.

Best laptops for elementary to college-level students in 2021

The best laptops under $500

ASUS Flip 14" Touchscreen 2-in-1 Chromebook

green screen with icons of the ASUS Flip 14
ASUS Flip 14" Touchscreen 2-in-1 Chromebook (Photo via Best Buy Canada)

With a compelling average rating of 4.4 out of five stars, Best Buy Canada shoppers rave that this 14-inch ASUS Flip Touchscreen 2-in-1 Chromebook is the "perfect laptop replacement" and features a "great battery life, amazing keyboard, and very nice trackpad."

SHOP IT: Best Buy Canada, $430 (originally $550)

HP 14" Chromebook

hp laptop with earth background on screen and white keyboard
The 15 best laptops for students in 2021, according to reviewers: HP 14" Chromebook (Photo via Best Buy Canada)

Earning an average rating of 4.4 stars, you can take home this budget-friendly HP Chromebook for $130 off until Sept 4. "I am absolutely in love with this laptop," writes one Best Buy Canada shopper. "If you use Google applications on a daily [basis] like Google Drive and Google Classroom, this is definitely the laptop for you."

SHOP IT: Best Buy Canada, $400

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 10.1" Touchscreen 2-in-1 Chromebook

2 in 1 computer and tablet with separate keyboard
The 15 best laptops for students in 2021, according to reviewers: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 10.1" Touchscreen 2-in-1 Chromebook (Photo via Best Buy Canada)

With more than 1,600 reviews, Best Buy Canada shoppers describe the Lenovo Chromebook as "incredible value for your money," according to one reviewer. The two-in-one device is reliable and fast and light enough to keep in your bag between classes. 

SHOP IT: Best Buy Canada, $280 (originally $400)

ASUS L210MA-DB01 11.6” Laptop

black asus laptop with purple screen and black keyboard and body
The 15 best laptops for students in 2021, according to reviewers: ASUS L210MA-DB01 11.6” Laptop (Photo via Amazon)

This 11.6-inch ASUS laptop has earned a staggering 10,000 reviews on Amazon. With an average rating of 4.2 out of five stars, users say the budget-friendly laptop is "awesome for the price" and call it a "great little laptop." 

SHOP IT: Amazon, $289

Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop

white lenovo chromebook laptop with black screen for college students
The 15 best laptops for students in 2021, according to reviewers: Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop (Photo via Amazon)

With an average rating of 4.4 stars out of more than 7,600 reviews, Amazon shoppers call this convertible Lenovo Chromebook the "best [option] for the price" and praise its bounty of features, innovative design, and compact size. "I can't say enough about this tablet," writes one shopper. "For the money, I'd buy another without thinking about it." 

SHOP IT: Amazon, $324 (originally $380)

HP Chromebook Notebook PC 11.6" Intel 3350

hp chromebook with black body and keyboard and earth on screen
The 15 best laptops for students in 2021, according to reviewers: HP Chromebook Notebook PC 11.6" Intel 3350 (Photo via Amazon)

This ultra-compact Chromebook has earned an average rating of 4.6 stars from Amazon shoppers. The affordable laptop offers several entertainment features and fast connectivity, and 4GB of memory.

SHOP IT: Amazon, $289

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The best laptops under $750

Lenovo ThinkPad T470s Laptop

amazon laptop Lenovo ThinkPad T470s Laptop showing product design on screen (Photo via Amazon)
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s Laptop (Photo via Amazon)

Save a whopping $950 for a limited time only on this top-rated Lenovo ThinkPad T470s Laptop. The pre-owned computer has an average rating of 4.9 out of five stars, with Amazon shoppers promising it "performs as [if] brand new."

SHOP IT: Amazon, $670 (originally $1,622)

Asus 2-in-1 Chromebook Flip

open Asus 2-in-1 Chromebook Flip with closed laptop behind it (Photo via Amazon)
Asus 2-in-1 Chromebook Flip (Photo via Amazon)

With an average rating of 4.3 out of five stars, Amazon shoppers say this two-in-one touchscreen computer is "great for schoolwork" and tout its excellent "performance and reliability."

SHOP IT: Amazon, $506

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15.6" Touchscreen Laptop 

lenovo ideapad laptop photographed at an angle with purple swirl background
The 15 best laptops for students in 2021, according to reviewers: Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15.6" Touchscreen Laptop (Photo via Best Buy Canada)

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 boasts an Intel Core i3 dual-core processor and 8GB of RAM. With more than 700 reviews backing it, Best Buy Canada shoppers say the touchscreen laptop is "fast, lightweight and [has] excellent graphics."  

SHOP IT: Best Buy Canada, $550 (originally $700)

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13" Laptop

lenovo chromebook laptop with grey body and keyboard and aqua and pink screen
The 15 best laptops for students in 2021, according to reviewers: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13" Laptop (Photo via Amazon)

Work from anywhere with ease with this best-selling Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13" Laptop. Engineered with a tenth-generation Intel Core processor, the 2-in-1 laptop combines a keyboard and touchscreen for the ultimate work-play balance. 

SHOP IT: Amazon, starting from $514

HP 15.6" Laptop

open HP laptop with black keyboard and blue screen showing icons
HP 15.6" Laptop (Photo via Best Buy Canada)

Between now and Sept. 9, Best Buy Canada shoppers can save $120 on this top-rated HP 15.6-inch laptop. With an average rating of 4.5 stars, users say it's a "great laptop for work and school" and light gaming. "This is the perfect machine for whoever is just trying to get their work done fast and efficiently."

SHOP IT: Best Buy Canada, $630 (originally $750)

The best laptops under $1,500

Acer Swift 3

open acer laptop that's and editors choice award winner from pc world
The 15 best laptops for students in 2021, according to reviewers: Acer Swift 3 (Photo via Amazon)

With more than 2,300 reviews backing it up, Amazon shoppers say this ultra-thin Acer computer is one of the "best laptops on the market" and write its lightweight design makes it "perfect for backpacks."

SHOP IT: Amazon, $899

Apple MacBook Air 13.3" ft. Touch ID 

open apple macbook air laptop with red, blue, pink, and orange graphic on screen
The 15 best laptops for students in 2021, according to reviewers: Apple MacBook Air 13.3" ft. Touch ID (Photo via Best Buy Canada)

The 13.3-inch Apple MacBook Air has earned near-perfect reviews from Best Buy Canada shoppers, with an average rating of 4.8 stars out of more than 1,700 reviews. The thinnest and lightest Apple notebook yet, shoppers say it's "better and faster" than previous Macbook Air models and write it's a "fantastic device for students and office work."

SHOP IT: Best Buy Canada, $1,300

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

open acer laptop with black and green screen and graphic including netflix and apple itunes
The 15 best laptops for students in 2021, according to reviewers: Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop (Photo via Amazon)

This top-rated 15.6-inch laptop is engineered with a widescreen LED-backlit IPS display and 8GB of memory. Beloved by Amazon shoppers, users say the Acer laptop is "reliable and strong" and "great for everything."

SHOP IT: Amazon, starting at $809

HP 15-dw3017ca Touch Screen Notebook

black hp laptop for college and university students with blue screen
The 15 best laptops for students in 2021, according to reviewers: HP 15-dw3017ca Touch Screen Notebook (Photo via Staples)

Stay productive and entertained from anywhere with this HP 15-inch laptop. Featuring a 1366 x 768 screen resolution and 8GB of RAM, Staples shoppers say the computer is fast and lightweight. 

SHOP IT: Staples, $830

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 12.4" Touchscreen Laptop

light pink microsoft laptop for high school, college, and university students
The 15 best laptops for students in 2021, according to reviewers: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 12.4" Touchscreen Laptop in Sandstone (Photo via Best Buy Canada)

Multitask with ease with the top-rated Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 12.4-inch Touchscreen Laptop. Lightweight and lightning-fast, Best Buy Canada shoppers have given the computer an average review of 4.6 stars and describe it as a "great laptop for college/university," and say they have "no complaints!"

SHOP IT: Best Buy Canada, $810 (originally $960)

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