hp-pavilion-x360-2015-09.jpgChoosing a new laptop for school is both challenging and exciting. Everyone’s needs and requirements are a bit different, but thankfully we also have a wide variety of laptops, 2-in-1’s, desktop replacements and gaming notebooks that are versatile and ideal for every type of student.

As the main student’s tool for school, laptops need to provide portability, all-day battery life, ample power for running applications, e-mail, messaging as well as being versatile enough to handle entertainment and some gaming. Notebooks designed for use in education need to be tough and durable, relatively lightweight and also affordable.

Students and parents looking into buying a new laptop, or any PC or tablet in 2015, need to also consider that their choice should be compatible with Windows 10 (or at least come with the free update to Microsoft’s newest operating system).

Thin and Light Laptops

Often considered the most advanced portables in terms of battery life and portability. Thin and light laptops eschew various ports and features in exchange for longer battery life and unparalleled light weight and portability. With faster SSDs (solid state drives) becoming even thinner and more affordable, thin and light laptops are increasingly more portable while offering decent performance for running desktop applications. New, mobile processors are also more energy efficient and can sip battery while maintaining all-day use.

Dell XPS 13

en-INTL-L-Dell-XPS-13-9343-2773SLV-i7-256GB-Silver-Androidized-CWF-01967-mnco.jpgThe Dell XPS 13.3″ Ultrabook may be small, but it packs big features. It maximizes screen real estate with a virtually borderless infinity display that makes it a 13-inch notebook in a compact 11-inch body. Take it anywhere and this Dell can keep you productive with its 5th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 128GB SSD.

Though small, the Dell XPS Ultrabook won’t have you squinting at an even smaller screen. Its display is virtually borderless on 3 sides, packing a 13-inch screen into the size of an 11-inch laptop.

At a mere 15mm thin and 1.26kg light, the XPS Ultrabook can easily be slid into your backpack, briefcase, or messenger bag without weighing you down. Dual USB 3.0 ports are great for connecting to high speed external drives, cameras and other peripherals while the 8-hour battery life ensures continued use and performance for even the most demanding course loads and schedules.

ASUS 13.3-inch laptop

10380387_2.jpgWherever you go, you’ll be connected, productive, and entertained thanks to this 13″ laptop from ASUS.

Designed for the style and fashion conscious, this gold Ultrabook Features a beautiful QHD+ screen for stunning visuals, this unit packs an Intel Core M-5Y10 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB solid state drive into a sleek and compact design. It also sports built-in WiFi and Bluetooth for effortless connectivity.

Battery life is rated at 8 hours on a single charge while operation is cool and whisper quiet, thanks to its fan-less, noise-free design which uses natural airflow to dispel heat, enhancing performance and making it more energy-efficient.

Other outstanding features include 3 USB 3.0 ports  and a  256GB solid state drive, which is nearly 6 times faster than regular hard drives, and provides a serious boost to your boot-up and load times.


Considered the Swiss Knives of computing, convertibles or 2-in-1’s can switch between different modes of use (i.e. makeshift tablet to notebook), and enable a wider range of use than traditional clamshell notebooks. For students that use their laptops for more than just getting work done, or typing up reports, a convertible can fulfill the need of having to carry a tablet as well as a notebook. It also makes it easier to turn your laptop into a TV, media player and video-conferencing device.

HP Spectre x360 13.3″ Convertible Laptop

10374594.jpgGorgeous and multi-functional, HP’s latest Spectre x360 convertible features a 13.3″ Radiance Full HD Infinity LED-backlit touchscreen display, it packs an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB SDRAM, 256GB SSD, and super convenient connectivity features into a compact, ultrathin design.

Despite the small size, you get 
3 USB 3.0 ports that offer lightning-fast data transfer speeds to your USB 3.0 devices, while the HDMI port allows you to connect to an HD device such as an HDTV so you can enjoy your content on the biggest screen in your house.
At the core of the Spectre x360’s user experience is the 
2.2GHz 5th generation Intel Core i5-5200U processor and 8GB SDRAM which offers solid, reliable performance and smooth multitasking for all your day-to-day computing tasks and much more,
10361720_3.jpgThe renowned Yoga line from Lenovo has defined the convertible notebook’s form and function for a number of years, the latest version brings 
the ability to switch between 4 different configurations to best suit your needs, a brilliant 13.3″ touchscreen, and tons of ways to keep you connected to your favourite content.
Hinged on the 
13.3″ LED QHD+ IPS display with 3820 x 1800 pixel resolution and 10-point multi-touch touchscreen it can
 be placed in 4 different modes to match your work, play, or mood requirements: laptop, stand, tent, or tablet.
1.2GHz Intel Core M-5Y71 processor with a turbo boost of up to 2.9GHz and 8GB of RAM provides efficient and speedy performance while you e
njoy up to 6 hours of battery life with the lithium ion battery.

Gaming notebooks
Gaming notebooks are probably the most desired devices for student gamers. They are full-on desktop replacement PCs with hefty specs and high-end graphics cards which also make them excellent for gaming.
While larger and heavier than most other types of notebooks, Gaming notebooks can pretty much slice and dice anything you throw at them and are valued for being the types of notebooks that can do it all while being a lot of fun to use for the latest PC games.


HP Omen 15

10380789_2.jpgEveryday computing becomes a breeze, and serious PC gaming is made portable with the HP OMEN 15.4″ laptop desktop replacement.

This high-performance machine features a scorching 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 processor and 8GB of RAM, with a 256 solid-state drive and dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX960M graphics card.

This machine is surprisingly thin and light and is for more than just everyday computing.

Power and function are backed by a 2.6GHz i7 processor and 8GB of DDR3L SDRAM.

That’s some serious multitasking power, though there’s only one task at hand right now — get online and back into that multiplayer action.

An NVIDIA GeForce GTX960M dedicated graphic card works hard to deliver smooth video playback, the kind of realistic cinematics that keep you immersed, and your head in the game.

Also onboard are BANG & OLUFSEN audio is perfect for playing high-quality audio, watching videos and immersive gaming.

Alienware 17.3″ Gaming Laptop

10377668_1.jpgFew gaming notebooks approximate the popularity and power that Alienware’s flagship gaming laptop line can offer. The Alienware 17.3 inch gaming laptop combines jaw-dropping power with outstanding graphics.

Designed for high-performance gaming, and schoolwork, it boasts a panoramic 17.3″ FHD touchscreen and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M graphics for stunning visuals.

It also sports an Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB RAM for performance and multitasking that can zip through even the most demanding tasks and still maintain high-framerates and latency-free gameplay. 

To match the massive specs and size, you get a 1TB hard drive that provides a ton of space to store multimedia files, while the 128GB SSD boosts your boot-up and load times which is th best of both world’s approach.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M with 3GB dedicated video memory takes the burden off the processor and delivers visually-stunning graphics and smooth, lag-free visuals to your movies and games which few competing devices can touch.


Depending on your needs and requirements, many of the above laptops available at Best Buy, should satisfy both the practical and school-work focused needs as well as serve as excellent personal computers for entertaining. keeping connected and gaming at a high level.

Gadjo Sevilla
Gadjo is a veteran journalist covering consumer technology, lifestyle and business. He has written for international newspapers, magazines and online publications. He is founder of Canadianreviewer.com as well as an avid photographer and travel enthusiast.