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How to Choose a Laptop for a College Student

Nov 22, 2023

Author: ASUS    Reading time: 7 minutes

a college student sitting in front of a university building with an open ASUS Vivobook Pro 15 OLED laptop on his laps

Nov 22, 2023

The way people study is evolving. Higher-education students have become more mobile, often studying in different cities or even countries. Additionally, many classes, assignments, and activities have transitioned to online platforms. Meanwhile, innovative learning models like hybrid learning and project-based learning are gaining popularity.

This shift means that a significant portion of a college student's learning occurs on a laptop rather than the traditional methods involving textbooks and notebooks. But what makes a laptop particularly well-suited for students' needs? Let's explore key considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a laptop for university or college students.

Dimensions and Form Factor

The most noticeable distinctions between laptops lies in their size, weight, and form factor. For students, a compact and lightweight design is crucial for easy transport between lecture halls and during commutes. A 14-inch display strikes a balance, providing a clear view while remaining compact enough to fit into most backpacks or briefcases. Consider a laptop that is thin and light, aiming for less than 2 cm in thickness and no more than 1.5 kg in weight.

You may also want to explore different form factors. While traditional clamshell laptops are excellent, you may also consider convertible laptops with a touchscreen. These devices are comfortable for reading and ideal for taking handwritten notes or collaborating via a virtual whiteboard. Convertibles come in two popular types: those with a 360° hinge, such as the ASUS Vivobook S 14 Flip OLED, and those with a detachable keyboard, like the ASUS Vivobook 13 Slate OLED.


Your laptop should be powerful enough to handle all your coursework with ease. While specific requirements vary by field of study, this article focuses on laptops suitable for most majors, including business, social sciences, languages, mathematics, and statistics, where power-hungry software isn't a necessity. For creative studies, you may require a more robust creator laptop.


At the core of every laptop is its processor (CPU). The CPU determines how efficiently the laptop handles tasks and influences its multitasking capabilities. For most students, a mid-tier processor like the 13th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 or AMD Ryzen™ 5 7000 series should suffice. These processors comfortably handle common tasks, such as word processing, internet browsing, video playback, and video calling, even simultaneously. They are suitable for light content editing and casual gaming.

Unless you need to tackle graphics-intensive tasks like content creation or competitive gaming, an integrated graphics card (iGPU) built into the CPU is sufficient.


For higher education, memory (RAM) plays a crucial role. The amount of RAM impacts your laptop's ability to run multiple processes simultaneously and handle large files without freezing. Aim for a minimum of 8 GB, but 16 GB is more appropriate. Additionally, check if the laptop allows memory upgrades via SO-DIMM memory slots, which lets you add more memory in the future without replacing the entire device.


Storage space is another critical consideration. To store necessary files directly on your laptop, 512 GB is sufficient, but you may eventually require cloud storage or an external drive for archiving files. If you prefer relying solely on the laptop's internal drive, opt for 1 TB.

Battery Life and Fast Charging

To avoid constant searches for power outlets and prevent your laptop from dying during class or meetings, opt for a laptop with a robust battery and fast-charging capabilities. A 70 Wh battery should last an entire school day with prudent power management. Fast charging, capable of at least a 60% recharge in an hour, is a valuable feature.


As a student, you'll want a sturdy and dependable laptop that can withstand the all rigors of your daily learning schedule. Many ASUS laptops are tested to meet the MIL-STD-810H military-grade standard, ensuring their durability. It's advisable to inspect the laptop physically before purchasing, paying attention to factors like the lid material (metal is best), build quality, hinge robustness, and screen flexibility.


With the extended screen time that's part and parcel of learning, a high-quality display with good eye care features is essential. Look for OLED displays, such as ASUS Lumina OLED, offering excellent color accuracy, deep blacks, and 70% reduced blue light emissions compared to traditional LCD screens. OLED displays also minimize flicker and glare, reducing eye strain while providing wide viewing angles, beneficial for collaborations.


Versatility is enhanced by having numerous connectivity options. Consider laptops with a combination of USB Type-A® and USB Type-C® ports. The inclusion of a USB-C charging feature is a significant bonus. Built-in HDMI® ports are essential for connecting external displays. Additionally, an audio combo jack is valuable for plugging in wired headsets. For wireless connectivity, opt for the latest-generation WiFi 6E and Bluetooth® 5.3 technologies for fast and reliable connections.

Other Features Useful for Online Learning

For online classes and remote collaboration, select a laptop with features that simplify video-calling, such as AI noise cancelation or webcam image optimization. High-quality speakers with Dolby Atmos® certification ensure clear, distortion-free sound. A physical webcam shield adds peace of mind and enhances privacy.


When shopping for a laptop, seek a balance between performance and affordability. The ASUS Vivobook laptop family is known for its reliable performance, durability, attractive design, and competitive pricing, providing a wide range of options for every student.

Our Pick: ASUS Vivobook S 14 Flip OLED

For most students, the ASUS Vivobook S 14 Flip OLED is our recommended choice. It's a convertible laptop with a 360° hinge and a touchscreen, suitable for use as a clamshell laptop, a tablet, and everything in between. This laptop strikes a great balance between compact size and performance, weighing only 1.5 kg and measuring less than 2 cm in thickness. It features a 14-inch NanoEdge display with an 85% screen-to-body ratio, ensuring it comfortably fits in virtually any laptop bag.

The laptop boasts a 2.8K OLED display with impressive color accuracy, brightness, and reduced blue light emissions. With a compact form factor, you can choose up to the latest-generation Intel® Core™ i9 13900H high-performance CPU, up to 16 GB DDR4 memory with an upgrade slot, and up to 1 TB of fast SSD storage. Additionally, it's available at an attractive price.

If you'd like to learn more or find out where to purchase the ASUS Vivobook S 14 Flip OLED, click the link below!

Discover the ASUS Vivobook S 14 Flip OLED