There are several budget laptops and desktop computers designed for college students and business professionals, but the major challenge is – which one among them is suitable for me? There are over 18 million students at the various colleges and universities scattered around the United States alone and by far a greater number outside its shores. Laptop and desktop computers are invaluable in the academic lives of students as they aid research and completing assignments handed to them by lecturers and professors. Besides, there is also the social angle to owning laptops, especially if you are a student. Some of these laptops come with cool, interactive features and programs that help students communicate easily among themselves. Every laptop optimized for college students should be fairly light, sleek and powerful enough to help them perform their daily activities and carry out assignments without any fuss. That’s why we have taken our time to compile a list of budget laptops that are pocket-friendly and powerful enough to handle the basic academic tasks required by college students.
10 Best College Laptop and Desktop computers for college students
1. Asus Zenbook UX305FA 13.3 Inch Laptop
The ASUS Zenbook UX305FA, 13.3 Inch Laptop, is currently one of the top-rated laptop brands at the moment and shares lots of similarities with the MacBook Air, especially with regards to appearance and design. The ASUS Zenbook UX305FA, 13.3 Inch Laptop, comes with an ultra-thin design, light-weight design, measuring 0.5-inches in terms of thickness and 2.6 (1.17 Kg) with regards to weight. This laptop boasts of a 13.3-inch Full-HD IPS display, with an impressive 170°viewing angle, so watching your favorite videos and playing HD PC games should be fun and exciting. The ASUS Zenbook UX305FA, 13.3 Inch Laptop, is powered by a 2.0 GHz Intel Core M-5Y10 processor, which makes it perfect for complex and simple computing operations such as Internet surfing, word processing, video gaming and a host of other activities.
The Asus Zenbook UX305FA also boasts of an 8GB RAM, which enables it to handle an enormous amount of memory demanding programs, one of which involves playing HD video games. Battery life is pretty impressive, as the ASUS Zenbook UX305FA 13.3 Inch Laptop is capable of sustaining continuous use and operation for up to 10hrs, which means you can virtually use it the whole day without the need to recharge, which is very helpful, especially during official outings and engagements. If you a heavy user of memory-demanding programs, then the Asus Zenbook UX305FA is the perfect choice for you.
Basic Features and Specs of the ASUS Zenbook UX305FA 13.3 Inch Laptop
- Display: 13.3-inch Full HD IPS with Anti-Glare Display
- Platform: 2.0 GHz Intel Core M-5Y10 Processor (4M Cache)
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Storage: 256 GB solid state hard drive
- Connectivity: USB 3.0, USB 2.0, WiFi 802.11N, Bluetooth 4.0
2. Asus X551MA 15.6 Inch Laptop
The Asus x551ma, 15.6-inch laptop, is a budget computer, designed for students as well as people who need to perform simple daily computing operations but are constrained by finance. The Asus x551ma, 15.6-inch laptop, comes with an excellent range of features, perfectly tailored to meet basic daily computing activities such as emailing, surfing the web, watching videos, playing music, word processing and a host of other functionalities. The Asus x551ma, 15.6 inch laptop, is powered by a 2.16GHz Intel Celeron N2840 dual-core processor, which offers considerable speed for simple computing operations, and can ramp up speeds up to 2.58GHz using Turbo.
The Asus x551ma 15.6 inch laptop also comes with 15.6 HD screen with a resolution that stands at 1366 X 768 pixels. This laptop computer also comes with an Intel HD graphic, which helps to deliver crystal clear pictures with incredible colors, allowing you to enjoy your favorite video games, photos, and videos with impressive lucidity. This Notebook computer also features the Asus Audio Wizard and Sonic Master, which are optimized to deliver impressive sounds via the built-in stereo speakers.
The Asus x551ma, 15.6-inch laptop, is perfect for you if you are on tight budget. But if you want more powerful brands with better specs, you can check the computer category of our website for other options.
Basic Features of the Asus x551ma 15.6 inch laptop
- Display: 6 inches HD LED-lit display with 1366 X 768-pixel resolution
- Platform: Intel Dual-core Celeron N2830 processor
- Memory: 4GB RAM
- Storage: 500 GB Hard drive
- Connectivity: HDMI, 1 X USB 2.0, 1 X USB 3.0, WLAN (802.11n)
3. Toshiba CB35-B3340 13.3 Inch Chromebook
Just like the Chromebook, the Toshiba CB35-B3340 13.3 Inch Chromebook 2 is a fantastic budget laptop, designed to consolidate on the gains earlier achieved by its predecessor. Chromebooks are renowned for their affordability and simple-to-use features, which makes it one of the best laptops for students, as well as individuals looking decent budget laptops. The Toshiba CB35-B3340 13.3 Inch Chromebook 2 comes with a 13.3-inch IPS display, with full HD capability and 1920 X 1080 pixel resolution, and is perfect for watching movies, streaming videos and glancing through your favorite photos. The colors of its display are sharp and impressive, especially when compared to other budget laptops in the same price range.
Music lovers will also fancy the Toshiba CB35-B3340 13.3 Inch Chromebook 2 as it comes with high-quality speakers, located just beneath the keyboard, a position optimized to deliver crisp sound. The Toshiba CB35-B3340 13.3 Inch Chromebook 2 is powered by an Intel Core processor and features a 4GB RAM and 16GB Internal storage. The hard drive storage capacity of the Toshiba CB35-B3340 13.3 Inch Chromebook 2 isn’t particularly impressive, especially if you are the type of user that loves downloading and storing huge HD video files. You can always choose to expand your internal storage if you want to, but for a student who isn’t too concerned about gaming and multimedia functionalities, the default 16GB solid-state drive might just be enough to store those word documents and eBooks.
Basic Features of the Toshiba CB35-B3340 13.3 Inch Chromebook 2
- Display: 3-inch IPS screen, Resolution- 1920 X 1080
- Platform: Intel Celeron Processor
- Memory: 4GB RAM
- Storage: 16GB Solid-State Drive
- Connectivity: USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI-out, headphone jack, SD card Slot
- Battery Life: 9-hrs, perfect for reading eBooks and continued computing operations
4. Toshiba Satelite C55D-B5308 15.6-Inch Laptop
The Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5308 is one of the top rated budget laptop computers at the moment, designed to help you combine and manage work and social life effectively. This laptop may not be suitable for heavy memory demanding programs and applications; nevertheless, it’s perfect for simple the tasks you may need to execute at home or office.
The Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5308 laptop comes with an AMD E1-2100 dual-core processor, clocked at 1.0GHz. Although lots of Smartphones produced these days come with a better, faster processors than the Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5308, don’t forget, it’s low-end but highly capable of handlings simple, daily computing operations such as sending emails, internet surfing, word processing and some light multimedia task.
It also features a 15.6 inch HD LED backlit display with TruBrite technology and a resolution that stands at 1366 X 768 pixels. The display features appear impressive but not suitable for playing memory demanding HD games as well as HD videos at 1080P.
The Toshiba Satellite C55D comes with an AMD Radeon HD 8210 graphic engine, which is optimized to deliver crisp, crystal clear graphics, perfect for watching and streaming your favorite videos and movies at 720P. If your budget is tight and you want a laptop that can perform basic tasks and other light computing operations, then the Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5308 will make a good buy.
Basic Features and Specs of the Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5308
- Display: 6 inch HD LED backlit display, with TruBrite technology
- Platform: AMD E1-2100 dual-core processor with 1.0GHz clocking speed
- Memory: 4GB DDR3L SDRAM
- Storage: 500 GB SATA Hard Drive
- Connectivity: USB 3.0 Port, USB 2.0 Port, VGA, HDMI, RJ 45 Port, 6-in-one card reader
- Network: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, 10/100 Ethernet LAN
5. HP 110-210 Desktop, AMD A4 5000
The HP 110-210 desktop computer is designed to provide superior performance and excellent service at a fraction of the cost of most high-end personal computers on the market. The HP 110-210 Desktop comes in a modern, stylish design that adds much value to the aesthetics of your workspace. The simplicity of its installation process, as well as intuitive interface, makes this computer ideal for home and office use.
The HP 110-210 Desktop computer is powered by an AMD A4 5000 and comes with 4GB RAM, which is suitable for most daily computing needs like internet surfing, sending emails, word processing and much more. For those who require more memory to run demanding programs, they can simply upgrade the default RAM size to 8GB, which will help to boost or speedup processing speeds.
The HP110-210 also comes with a 500 GB 7200 RPM SATA hard drive, which is more than sufficient enough to satisfy the needs of the average PC user. This Desktop PC is energy efficient, which essential for keeping the utility bills low. The HP 110-210 desktop computer also comes with the integrated graphics Intel HD (Bay Trail), which is average at best but sufficient enough to handle older HD video games at low settings. Overall, the HP 110-210 is highly affordable and a perfect choice for those who want immense value but don’t have enough finance to go after high-end brands and models.
Basic Features and Specs of the HP 110-210 Desktop
- Platform: 41 GHz AMD A4 5000
- Memory: 4GB SDRAM DDR
- Storage: 500 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
- Connectivity: 1 X USB 3.0, 4 X USB 2.0, 1 X Audio-out port, 7-in-1 multimedia card reader
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6. Dell Inspiron I3646-1000LK Desktop
The Dell Inspiron i3646-1000BLK Desktop computer an affordable, highly efficient and powerful desktop computer and is part of the 3000 series compact desktop computers from the stables of Dell. The Dell Inspiron i3646-1000BLK Desktop is powered by an entry-level J1800 processor that is renowned for its power efficiency and speed. If you just need a computer to perform daily tasks such as streaming videos, preparing official documents in MSword and Excel, as well as playing low memory demanding HD games, and then it’s a perfect choice for you. This affordable desktop computer’s J1800 processor comes with the TDP-thermal design of 10W, which is extremely low voltage and very fast, especially when compared to other computers in the same price range.
The Dell Inspiron i3646-1000BLK Desktop also comes with a 4GB DDR3L memory, which can be upgraded to 8GB max if the situation arises, and it is perfect for simple multitasking activities, even without making the upgrade. It also features a 500GB SATA hard drive, with impressive read and write times. It is also perfect for storing thousands of photos, videos, and games. In fact, you’ll need to be a heavy entertainment lover or gamer to use up all that storage space. The Dell Inspiron i3646-1000BLK Desktop is perfect for students, business men and those looking for a high-quality desktop computer with impressive speed and efficiency.
Basic Features of the Dell Inspiron i3646-1000BLK Desktop
- Platform: Intel Celeron J1800 Processor
- Memory: 4GB DDR 3 RAM
- Storage: 500 GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive
- Connectivity: 1 X USB 3.0 ports, 4 X USB 2.0 ports, VGA port, HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0
- Others: Dell Wireless-N 1705 802.11bgn, 8-in-one media card, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
7. HP Envy Phoenix 810-460 Gaming Desktop
If you are looking for a Desktop PC optimized for video gaming, then the HP ENVY Phoenix 810-460 should be your ideal choice. No doubt, PC gaming in recent times has taken an upward trend, and that’s why many PC manufacturers are evolving and upgrading their systems to meet-up with demand. The HP ENVY Phoenix 810-460 is a top-end Desktop computer purely optimized for heavy gaming. This computer is powered by a highly efficient Intel Core i7 4702MQ processor, with a clocking frequency of 3.4GHz. This 4thgeneration, Haswell architecture based chip is one of the very best processors you can find in the Tech market that is optimized for gaming. You can easily play heavy memory and graphic-intensive PC games, and it wouldn’t slow down or freeze like what you’d get when playing such games on un-optimized, low-end PCs.
This HP ENVY Phoenix 810-460 comes equipped with a 16GB DDR3 RAM, which combines effectively with the i7 processor to provide Smooth, sleek gaming experience. Of course, you can always upgrade your RAM size to 32GB if you want to, but we feel that the default RAM size is more than sufficient to handle most gaming needs out there. This desktop PC also comes with a 1TB SATA hard drive, which gives users the ability to store lots of HD games and non-gaming data. With all the amazing features packed into it, the HP ENVY Phoenix 810-460 is every gamer’s delight.
Basic Features and Specs of the HP ENVY Phoenix 810-460 Desktop PC
- Platform: 4thGen 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7-4770 Processor
- Storage: 1 TB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
- Memory: 16.0 GB RAM, upgradable to 32GB
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 745 graphics with 4GB DDR3 dedicated memory
8. HP 110-326 Desktop PC
The HP 110-326 Desktop PC is a highly modern and powerful machine that offers you lots of options to manage your formal and informal life efficiently. If you are looking for a reliable and trusted computer brand to help you effectively manage your daily computing needs, then you should consider purchasing HP branded computers. The HP 110-326 Desktop is a budget PC, but it’s by no means low-end in terms of performance. This Desktop PC is powered by a 2.6GHz Dual-core Intel Pentium G2030T processor, which is moderate in terms of performance, and it’s sufficient enough to run and handle most people’s daily computing activities without hitches.
HP 110-326 Desktop comes with an 8GB RAM, which is sufficient enough to run most people’s daily computing needs as well as a few memory demanding programs. If you are a heavy user of memory demanding programs, you don’t have to worry anymore as the HP110-326 comes with an extra free socket that lets you double or even triple the default RAM size. The HP 110-326 desktop also comes with a 500GB Hard drive space, which is more than sufficient enough to store most people’s official and unofficial files and data. This desktop computer also comes with 6 USB ports but lacks the much faster, more modern USB 3.0 ports.
Basic Features and Specs of the HP 110-326 Desktop
- Platform: Intel Pentium G 2030T Processor 2.6GHz (3MB Cache)
- Memory: 8GB RAM
- Storage: 500 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
- Connections: 6 X USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet port, WiFi, 7-in-one media Card reader
9. Acer C720 Chromebook (11.6-Inch, 2GB)
Are you looking for a portable laptop to take on business trips or official engagements? Look no further, as the Acer c720 Chromebook comes packed with powerful features, designed to make your work and social life pleasurable. It’s slim enough to fit into small bags, yet features Intel processor based on Haswell micro-architecture. The Acer c720 Chromebook is certainly one of the top rated laptop brands out there, and it certainly lives up to the billing. This Laptop comes with an impressive battery life that is put at 8.5hrs, which means you can virtually work all day without the need to recharge your batteries.
The Acer C720 comes with an impressive 11.6-inch display with a resolution that’s put at 1366 X 768 pixels. You can quickly share and transfer important files using its USB 3.0 port. With this C720 Chromebook, you don’t have to worry about your data safety anymore because it automatically syncs and backs up all your valuable and sensitive data in the cloud. The Acer c720 Chromebook offers you excellent value for money, especially when compared to other brands within its price range.
Basic Features and Specs of the Acer c720 Chromebook
- Display: 11” HD (1366 X 768) 16:9
- Platform: Chrome OS, Intel Celeron 2955U Dual-core 1.40 GHz (Haswell micro- architecture)
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics with shared memory
- Network: Built in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
- Memory: 2GB, DDR 3L SDRAM, 32GB SSD
- Others: HDMI port, 8.5hrs battery life
10. Lenovo C40-05 21.5-inch All-In-One Desktop
The Lenovo C40-05 is an All-In-One Desktop PC, designed to provide full computing capabilities while housed in a slim body frame. Unlike other models of desktop computers that had provisions for standalone CPUs, the CPU in the Lenovo C40-05 is merged with the display as a single unit. This development means that you don’t require much space to install and operate this ultra-modern desktop PC. The Lenovo C40-05 is powered by a quad-core CPU with a clocking speed of 1.8GHz. It also comes with an AMD A4-6210 processor, which extremely fast and efficient.
This desktop PC also features a 4G DDR3 RAM, which is sufficient for most peoples’ daily activities. It comes with an 8GB memory and a 500GB hard-drive that allows you to store a countless number of files and programs.
Display and Graphics
The display is pretty impressive as it comes in 21-inches and boasts of a 1920 X 1080 resolution. It also features a Radeon R3 graphics engine that comes integrated with the processor. Watching HD movies as well as playing HD video games is fun and exciting because the Lenovo C40-05 display packs a powerful punch.
The Lenovo C40-05 comes with a special video connection capability. It comes with an HDMI input and output capability. This means that you can connect your Lenovo All-in-one to your other Video displays or use it as a video display when connecting video games and other consoles to it. It comes with three USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, which are very fast and efficient. Also included in this unit is the RJ-45 port as well as 802.11 AC WiFi card.
Basic Features of the Lenovo C40-05 at a glance
- 8 GB DDR3 RAM
- AMD A6-6310 1.8 GHz processor
- Windows 8.1 Operating system
- AMD Integrated Radeon R4 graphics
- 1 TB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
Bonus Laptop for College Students
11. Samsung Chromebook 2 11.6-inches
We the decided to add one more to our top 10 budget laptops and Desktop PCs for college students to widen your shopping list and make it easy for your to choose the very best. The Samsung Chromebook 2 is a budget laptop PC, designed to execute simple computing task and processes. The Samsung Chromebook 2 is powered by a 2.16 GHz processor, which allows for improved speed during computer processes. It also features a 16GB Solid-state hard drive, and a 2GB DDR3 SDRAM that combines perfectly with the processor to boost processing speeds. This laptop, however, lacks some important features such as DVD drive, but then you can always download your favorite media files from the internet or get an external DVD drive to play your Blu-rays. Its portable, lightweight design makes it a perfect gift for students and business travelers.
We have gone through various laptops listed on Amazon with a view of selecting the very best that falls within the budget of $100 to $200. No doubt, the Samsung Chromebook 2 lived up to the billing in this regard, having garnered 4.5 star rating from 404 customer reviews, this Chromebook is primed to help you handle simple computing activities. This laptop will cater for your needs if your you computing needs are basic at best, but then it might be insufficient if you are an advanced gamer or photo editor.
Basic features – Samsung Chromebook 2 11.6-Inches
- Powered by an Intel Celeron 2.16 Ghz Processor
- 6 inches LED-lit screen with 1366 X 768-pixel resolution
- 2GB DDR3L SDRAM
- Chrome Operating System, with well-designed silver chassis
The list above isn’t exhaustive as there are many other laptops and desktop computers that can perform the basic tasks student require. This list should provide you a focus on what to buy, especially if you are a student. Business moguls aren’t left out as most of their activities are very much similar to those performed by college students. Students can own a decent Laptop or Desktop PC without burning a hole in their pocket as most of the computers listed above are pocket-friendly, especially when compared to the iMacs computers of this world. Now you know! Take your time to get the very best among the Laptop and Desktop PCs listed in this article.