Best Laptops For College Students In 2022 – Top 5 Picks!

You’re getting ready to head off to college, but before you go, you’re going to need a laptop. Whether you’re going to a large school like the Ohio State University or somewhere else, a laptop is an essential classroom tool. In what follows, I’ll help you choose from the best laptops for college students in 2022.

Why Do I Need A Laptop?

If you’re like me, you didn’t get to use laptops much in high school. My school was lucky enough to get a ton of Chromebooks for us to use under special circumstances, but they weren’t personal machines. When you’re at college, you’ll have the freedom to use your laptop both in class and at your dorm.

Laptops aren’t just great for watching Netflix and messaging your friends during class (don’t do that). They’re great for taking notes, completing online homework assignments, and staying in touch with your friends and family.

At Ohio State, I relied on my Surface Pro 4 heavily. You’re going to need a reliable machine that will last you through college, so you should consider some of the best laptops available in 2022. The price tags might seem a little high, but consider it an important investment.

Should I Get a Laptop Or A Two In One?

This question is all about form-factor and power. Laptops traditionally have the most power, but they tend to not be as powerful. Tablets are extremely portable, but they lack productivity and multitasking power. Two-in-ones are more portable than laptops and more powerful than tablets, but they tend to not be perfect in either area.

I use a two-in-one computer, the Surface Pro 4. It’s a bit older, but I love it to bits. It was one of the best ‘laptops’ available for college students in 2017. These days, you might want to look into something more powerful, as laptops for remote work become even more important.

The answer to this question is totally up to your needs. If you need a lot of power and resources, a traditional laptop is probably what you should stick with. If you aren’t a power user and you’d like the comfort of portability, a two-in-one should do just fine.

What About Tablets?

Some schools like the Ohio State University give their freshmen an iPad for free with some caveats. For example, OSU’s IT department pretty much has control over your device, so your privacy isn’t entirely protected. These have become an invaluable resource for OSU’s freshmen.

However, while these are great note-taking machines, these iPads are not great all-round computers. There are some mobile alternatives to some powerful apps like the Microsoft 365 suite (formerly Office 365) for iPad, but they aren’t nearly as capable as their PC and Mac counterparts.

A tablet is a great, portable way to take notes, do basic homework, read, watch videos, and video chat when needed. However, a laptop is needed for more power-intensive tasks. This is especially in the case that you need precision tools like a mouse pointer.

All About Configurations

Although you and another person might have the same model of laptop, you may not have the same capabilities. This is because laptops are generally sold in different configurations. An entry level version of a laptop might have a lower end processor than the higher end version.

As a student shopping for the best laptop in 2022, you’ll have to consider what configuration is best for you. A lower configuration generally means you are getting a less capable processor and less internal storage. This means you won’t be able to multitask as well and you won’t be able to store as much on the device.

However, you may not need to store that much if you are using cloud storage. You may also not need a very powerful processor if you don’t intend to run that many programs at once or run any intensive programs like games. It’s best to choose the configuration that is right for you and your budget.

One More Thing!

The Ohio State University Marching Band doing script ohio in Ohio Stadium

As a fellow college student, I’m happy to help you out by sharing my thoughts about the best laptops for college students in 2022. Below in my list, you’ll see some links to the devices. If you choose any of them and make a purchase on Amazon, I could get a small commission for that purchase.

I did my best to find some good prices for each of them to help you out. If you appreciate my recommendations, it would be awesome if you could lend a hand and make a purchase through my links below! Thanks, and go Bucks!

Microsoft Surface Go 2

A Surface Go 2 in laptop mode.

I mentioned earlier that I use a Surface Pro 4 in this article. The Surface Go 2 is probably what I might have chosen had it been available at the time. It’s a two-in-one machine that’s probably the best versatile laptop for students in 2022.

Combined with the Surface Go type cover keyboard and Surface Pen, the Surface Go 2 can run Windows 10 apps in desktop mode and tablet mode. Its small size makes it perfect for taking with you throughout your day without taking up too much space in your backpack. Whether it’s taking notes, working on homework, or watching videos, the Surface Go 2 can handle it.

The Go 2 isn’t meant to be a powerhouse, though. Even with its higher level configurations, you should consider that the Surface Go 2 is still a very small device and isn’t meant for very intense use.

MacBook Pro 2022

A MacBook Pro viewed from the top down. A touch bar is visible at the top of the keyboard close to the screen.

A MacBook has been a classic choice for students looking for a powerful and reliable machine to get through their college experience. However, it can be quite the investment, but it’s definitely worth your money. The newest MacBook Pro comes in two models: 16-inch and 13-inch. Although the larger version definitely gets a power boost compared to the smaller version, the 13-inch model still holds its own with a powerful Intel Core i7 processor.

The MacBook Pro is one of the best laptops for students in 2022 because of its reliability, all-day battery life, and elegant form factor. Aside from its fantastic retina display, you also get the benefit of its Touch Bar for media controls and even Touch ID for security.

Although MacOS arguably isn’t as flexible as Windows, plenty of my classmates have used these computers without problems with compatibility. My only recommendation is that you submit your assignments as .pdf or .docx files instead of .pages, as many of my professors have had difficulties opening these files.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

A Surface Pro 7 in laptop mode.

Let’s say you’re still a Windows user. The Surface Go 2 looks great, but you’re not sure it’s big enough or powerful enough to do what you need to do. Enter the Surface Pro 7, the Surface Go 2’s big brother, and one of the best laptop two-in-ones for students in 2022.

The Surface Pro 7 has everything the Surface Go 2 has and more. With a more powerful set of processors in its configurations, this machine can allow you to multitask a lot more than a Go 2 would.

As a Surface Pro 4 user, I can confirm the Surface Pro 7 is pretty much the exact same machine, except it has modern components inside of it. It also has a USB-C port on the side that you can use for peripherals or for charging. These modern components like the processor make this device much more powerful than my Surface Pro 4.

MacBook Air

A MacBook Air with a swirly blue background.

So, the MacBook Pro is a bit out of your price range. No problem! The MacBook Air is a great alternative, offering a good amount of features and performance that make it one of the best affordable laptops for college students in 2022.

You aren’t getting a lot of processing power with the base model with its Intel Core i3 processor, but you should remember that Apple’s apps are very optimized for MacOS, since Apple is responsible for the hardware and software. This will help you run your apps fast even with a less powerful processor.

You’ll also still get that awesome all-day battery life which is extremely important for getting through a long day of classes.

Samsung Galaxy Book 2

A Samsung Galaxy Book 2

Wait, doesn’t Samsung make smartphones? Well, apparently they make awesome laptops too, and I think this one might be one of the best laptops a college student can have in 2022.

The Galaxy Book 2 is an interesting machine because it’s actually running Windows 10 on a Qualcomm ARM processor, but what does that mean? ARM processors are very similar to the ones that run in your smartphone. They are small and use much less battery, but they are a bit limited in what programs they can run.

When using the Galaxy Book S, you’ll see a dramatic increase in battery life. Samsung claims you can get up to 25 hours of video playback on a single charge, which blows all the devices on this list out of the park.

However, the ARM processor is only effective with apps that are optimized for it. Other apps may have to be ’emulated’ which can take more power, or they may not run at all. It’s best that you do some research before you buy to make sure that the apps that you intend to use on this device will work.

Did I mention that the device has a detachable keyboard and pen? Yep! It’s a two-in-one convertible laptop like the Surface Pro series!

Which One Will You Choose?

And there you have it, those are my picks for the best laptops for college students in 2022! I hope that this helps you figure out which laptop is best for you. Please be sure to share this with a friend or family member and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment down below.