How Much Should I Spend On a Laptop For College?

how much should i spend on a laptop for college

A laptop is one study aid as a college student you cannot afford to lack. About 90% of students in college use laptops, making it a necessity due to some demanding units and courses. It should therefore be at the top list of things to have or buy.

How much should I budget for to buy a laptop for college? This might be what is worrying you as you plan your budget. Well, for a beginner in college you have fairly light needs hence a decent laptop should not exceed 800$. Preferably, the appropriate time to buy a laptop is towards school opening days. At this season manufacturers offer fair discounts on prices.

However, the estimated price can differ depending on what you are majoring in. Light computing students, those that are having one or two computer units in one academic year, should go for laptops that range between 200$ and 500$ in price. These are the likes of students majoring in business, social, and humanities who don’t require expensive graphic cards. For more demanding majors like engineering and architecture, they will require the latest hardware with high ended graphics, CAD software, and other specifications. This can be very expensive but they should not exceed 1000$.

Related: Best time to buy a laptop for college

What To Consider While Shopping For a College Laptop.

Before getting a laptop for your college studies, you need to think through some factors. What to consider differs from one student to another influenced by different circumstances. Price is the first thing to consider. Depending on your pocket, go for what you can comfortably afford. Different majors demand different features in computers; you should therefore buy a laptop that fits your course.

Also explore some features that come with different laptops like screen size, battery life, weight (more so if you are coming from a long distance to school or the place is hilly), storage capacity, and speed. The key thing to consider is the ratio of price to performance. If it fits your budget and the features impress you then go for it.

Related: What laptop is best for science majors?

Benefits Of Having a Laptop In College

  • Helps a student meet today’s needs by researching things and interacting with the new technology. Some lecturers prefer receiving assignments via email.
  • It will guarantee a student access to supporting facts. You can get books, articles, and past papers that will make students access relevant information.
  • It will increase your class engagement skills since you will be able to research and find additional information.
  • It will boost your organization skills by creating files and arranging your documents safely in organized folders for easier access.
  • It will reduce your copying error; due to autocorrect errors of writing wrong formulas will be reduced.
  • It will enhance your typing skills
  • It gives you access to software that will aid in your studies
  • It has enabled digital learning

Related: What laptop is best for writing research papers?

Features To Look For In a Student Laptop That Is Worth Spending On


The main reason for buying a laptop is to carry it with you to attend classes or lectures. Therefore, having a smaller and lighter laptop of about 14 inches will be fair enough for a student. The screen size will be more than enough to support your writing activities comfortably.


Remember you will need your laptop until you graduate, if the services exceed longer than that the better. Therefore get a laptop that is made from stiff long-lasting materials like magnesium alloy, aluminum, or carbon fiber. It is also advisable to stick to the manufacturers you know to prevent having a fake device.


Shop for a laptop that at least has a 1080p resolution, not unless you are a video or art student, then you can go for a higher resolution.


An Intel Core i5 or i7 will be powerful enough for a student. As long as it has a 6000 processor in it making it a 6th gen chip.


Storage of a minimum of 4 GB will be ideal. It can exceed 8 GB depending on the curriculum you are majoring in.

Storage Drive Or Hard Drive

I would advise on having an SSD since it is fast and reliable.


Financial planning is very essential for everyone in life, being a student is no exception. College can be quite expensive since you will need food, tuition fee, resources, housing, and other day-to-day costs. Therefore, you will need to plan your budget tightly and one way of achieving this is having an affordable laptop. Set aside the luxury and settle for a laptop that has basic features which you can work with. However, if you can afford a good laptop, then you can go for one that satisfies your needs forgoing the price factor.


Tom is a network engineer and a tech consultant. He spends his time solving networking problems while keeping tabs with the latest in the technology field.

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