Best Laptop for Business Students in 2018
Taking up a business degree can be a daunting roller coaster ride. Financial Management, Accounting 101, Economics, and more, these subjects can take a toll on every business student. However, with a trustworthy companion such as an efficient laptop, you can spend more time grasping the material and less time worrying about how your technology can help you learn.
If you are looking for a good laptop for your business classes, then look no further. In this article, we will highlight our top picks of the best laptop for business students. In addition to this, we will also give you a short guide on what to consider when looking for the laptop that best suits your busy life as a business student.
Top Laptops For Business Students in 2018
Let’s look at our top picks for the best laptop for business students. Rest assured, we kept the important features mentioned in our Buyer’s Guide (at the bottom) in mind when coming up with this list. Make sure to read our short description of each laptop as well as their pros and cons.
1. MacBook Pro with Retina Display (13-inch) – Best Laptop For Business Students In 2018
Under the hood, it is equipped with an i5 dual core processor clocked at 2.7 Ghz coupled with an 8 GB DDR4 RAM. It also houses a 128 GB SSD with an Intel Iris 6100 GPU. This combination is more than adequate to power usual tasks for business courses.
MacBooks tend to be overlooked whenever they come up as an option because of the lack of support with usual Windows programs. Because it is powered with MAC OS, Microsoft Office programs such as Excel is not supported
With this at hand, if you choose to go for a MacBook Pro you need to use Boot Camp or Parallels in order to use Microsoft Office programs.
Measuring only 13.5 inches and weighing only 3.5 lbs, this beast of a laptop is ironically lightweight and portable. To add icing to the cake is its slim and sleek design. It is one of the slimmest laptops in the market right now.
This powerhouse can last up to 10 hours in a single charge. The keyboard is also very solid and has a premium feel.
With these combination of specs, sleek design, and robust build quality, this laptop deserves to be one of our top picks for the best laptop for business students – just make sure to set aside a few more bucks to get one. However, with this premium price, you get what you pay and even more.
- Powerful processor and high RAM
- Gorgeous display
- Robust build quality
- Superb battery life
- Lightweight and portable
- More expensive than many other laptops
- Some common Windows software applications may not be supported
2. Dell XPS 13
Boasting top specs at a reasonable price, this laptop is a constant favorite for tech savvy individuals. At a much lesser price, the Dell XPS 13 can go toe to toe with higher end laptops with premium price tags such as the MacBook. Unlike Macbooks, you get the sheer luxury of working under Windows OS. With this, compatibility with Microsoft office programs will not be a problem.
The Dell XPS 13 is powered by an Intel Core i5-6200u CPU which is clocked at a speed of 2.5 GHz. It also houses a 128 GB SSD, allowing you to get more storage space for important files. It has 8 GB of RAM sand is powered by an Intel Iris 6100 GPU, same as the one found in the previous laptop, MacBook Pro.
With this configuration of specs, doing accounting reports, business presentations, and computing tasks will be a breeze. You can do a wide array of accounting tasks from numerical simulations to heavy spreadsheet work in Excel.
Another sweet feature of this laptop is its 13.3 inch display. Although it does not hold a candle to the MacBook Pro’s Retina Display, its full HD resolution is still easy on the eyes. The output also is excellent. The texts look crisp and the colors are vibrant.
Making it more eye popping is the fact that the display houses an infinity edge style which means that bezels are kept at a minimum. This means better viewing angles and a larger screen to do all your tasks.
In terms of design and build quality, the Dell XPS 13 is housed by an aluminum frame while the insides is made by carbon fiber. We think that the build quality is strong enough to withstand elbow height drops and great pressure.
When it comes to the keyboard and touchpad, they are obviously made of top quality material. The keyboard produces excellent feedback and the touchpad is very responsive even with slightly wet hands.
Connectivity wise, it dons all the important ports that most laptops nowadays require. Therefore, compatibility of equipment during presentations do not become a problem.
The best feature in terms of connectivity about this laptop, is the fact that it houses a thunderbolt 3 port. This type of port allows you to connect to two external displays, both of which up to 4k resolution. This allows you to do multitasking. If you want to take a moment from your presentation, you can do quick games with another monitor and them go back when you already feel the pressure of finishing your work. Sounds good, right?
Battery life wise, it can last up to 10 to 12 hours on a single charge which is the same as the MacBook Pro. However, the laptop feels a bit lighter compared to the Macbook Pro, thanks to its compact battery.
The main drawback we see with the Dell XPS 13 is the fact that the camera is situated at the bottom portion of the screen, which we think is rather unusual. Because of this, you get this awkward angle of yourself when doing video calling through Skype or other video conferencing programs. But this disadvantage pales in comparison to the ton of value you get from this laptop.
- Excellent battery life
- Full HD Display
- Lightweight and extremely portable
- Thunderbolt 3 connectivity
- Speedy processor and a lot of RAM
- Sleek design
- Sturdy aluminum build
- Competitive pricing
- Awkward camera placement
This is one of the sleekest looking laptops there is. Plus, it boasts extreme portability thanks to its light weight. However, despite this, it retains all the capabilities of a high end laptop and tablet packaged in a sleek and slim design.
What differentiates the Microsoft Surface Pro from others in its class, is the fact that it is actually a convertible laptop – which means it also functions as a tablet.
Specs wise, it dons almost the same features as the Dell XPS 13. It is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor which is coupled with 8 GB of RAM. Storage wise, it houses an 128 GB SSD and also has an Intel Iris 540 for its GPU. It dons a slightly smaller 12.3 inch display but with greater resolution of 2736 x 1824. That is higher than both full HD and retina display!
The laptop is extremely lightweight weighing only 1.7 lbs. One disadvantage though the Surface Pro is it’s average battery life. It only manages to churn out 7-8 hours on a single charge. Although this is enough to sustain you throughout the day.
Now to address the elephant in the room, the biggest caveat with the surface pro is the lack of a built in keyboard. Unlike most laptops that both don a screen and a keyboard, the surface pro carries a separate screen and an attachable keyboard.
This may take some getting used to especially when doing a lot of excel work. However, the screen acts like a tablet wherein you can scribble anything you want using a specialized pen that comes along with the purchase.
Making use of the pen and the tablet gives ultimate convenience for business students especially if you need to jot down important information immediately. It acts like the usual pen and paper, only more high tech with better reproducibility.
Also, presentations can also be done in a breeze whenever you use it in tablet form. Moving from slide to slide is as simple as a single swipe on the screen.
- High-resolution screen
- Can act as laptop or tablet
- Moderately fast processor
- Very lightweight
- Sleek design
- Offers more usage options
- Responsive pen
- Sturdy build quality
- Separate keyboard may take some getting used to
- Average battery life
Laptops in this category, including the Lenovo Thinkpad 460, are generally fast performers. The Thinkpad series of Lenovo lives up to the brand’s reputation of manufacturing well-built, affordable, and business-class laptops – and the Thinkpad 460 is no exception.
The Lenovo Thinkpad 460 is a good alternative for business students who don’t want to spend much but also want the most out of their purchase. With its combination of specs, you are sure to get good value for your money.
First off, it is powered by a modest i5 dual core processor clocked at 2.7 GHz. It also houses an 8 GB size RAM with 128 GB (SSD) on board storage. For its GPU, it makes use of the Intel Iris 61000 which is also used by higher end, more expensive laptops.
What gives the Thinkpad 460 greater value is its astounding display. It dons a 13.6 inch retina display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600. That’s almost the same as the MacBook Pro.
However, when we compared the displays of the two laptops, we still think that the MacBook Pro has the superior screen although only by a stone’s throw difference.It simply had better color reproduction, deeper blacks and crispier images. Not to do discredit Thinkpad 460’s display, it can still go head to head with the MacBook’s display considering its price point.
Speaking of display, the screen measures 14’’, that’s an inch bigger compared to the other ones listed in this list. Although a 14 inch screen may seem to large for some, it’s all a matter of personal preference. But we believe that a larger screen simply allows you to do more.
Moving on to battery life, the Thinkpad 460 can churn out 8 hours of straight use on a single charge. Sounds average right? However, the laptop can last up to a whopping 17 hours since it gives you the privilege of switching cell batteries so that you can save more energy when doing tasks. Amazingly, that’s almost two days of usage.
The main disadvantage of the Thinkpad 460 is the weight. Out of the bunch, it is the heaviest, weighing 3.8 lbs. Despite this, the overall form factor still remains compact with just the right size to carry around in your backpack.
- High-resolution display
- Fast processor
- Laptop is sturdy yet compact
- Excellent battery life
- Bit heavier than other options
- Larger screen may be cumbersome
5. ASUS ZenBook
Our list wouldn’t be complete without a bang-for-the-buck offering. To close out our top laptops for business students, we have the ASUS ZenBook.
While the ZenBook is definitely cheaper compared to the other laptops mentioned in this list, it does not go off without a fight. Coupled with a speedy processor, decent screen, and huge storage, the ZenBook is a sure winner for those wanting a budget laptop that has all the necessary features.
It has an i5 dual core processor clocked at 2.3 GHz coupled with 8 GB of RAM. It houses an SSD with a size of 128 GB.
Throw in some demanding tasks, and the ZenBook can definitely handle them. It performs
almost as fast as the other laptops mentioned in this list. The laptop can run heavy spreadsheet tasks, data management, and PowerPoint presentations like a breeze.
The ZenBook is also lightweight weighing only 2.6 lbs. It also has superb battery life which lasts up to a whopping 10 hours of use on a single charge. It houses all the necessary ports: one HDMI, four USB ports and surprisingly a USB type C port for faster data transfer.
You might be wondering, how did the ZenBook manage to place all these specs at a very affordable price? Well to answer the question, the company decided to compensate on the display.
While it has an adequately sized 13 inch screen, the resolution is stuck at 1080p. This resolution is enough for usual tasks of a business student though, so it’s not much of a drawback.
Moreover, we feel that the keyboard and touchpad is not as sturdy as the ones from the above mentioned laptops. So you might not enjoy the best typing experience with this laptop.
Overall, we still feel like this is definitely a bang-for-the-buck laptop for those business students on a tight budget.
- Priced affordably
- Lightweight and slim
What To Consider When Choosing The Right Laptop
Before we hit the ground running and discuss our top picks of the best laptops, it’s best that we first talk about what to look for when buying a laptop. Rest assured, we took these tips into consideration and made use of them to come up with our list.
Weight & Battery Life
When in class all day, it is expected that you’ll be constantly on the move, and may not always have access to a power source. Because of that, you wouldn’t want a laptop that easily dies on you, begging for you to have it plugged on a socket several times a day. Moreover, it is best that you choose a laptop that is lightweight and easy to carry around.
The optimal weight for a laptop should be less than 4 lb. A heavy laptop can put a strain on your back and shoulders when you’re placing it inside your backpack. When buying a laptop you should evaluate battery life. A laptop with a minimum battery life of 6 hours should suffice for your day to day use. With this battery life, you should expect a full day of use – or maybe having it charged at most twice a day (which shouldn’t be an issue now).
With respect to display, you have to look at the laptop’s screen size and resolution. With how much technology has advanced, gone are the days of using a 720p display, as you don’t want to deal with washed out and pixelated images. Moreover, you wouldn’t want to constantly squint your eyes trying to figure out the text on a low-resolution display.
It is highly recommended to get a laptop with a minimum 1080p resolution. Of course, you can go way higher, but settling with a laptop that has a 1080p display can handle the tasks and imagery you will need.
When it comes to screen size, it is usually a personal preference. However, most students typically prefer a larger display – not only for making it easy to show during group projects or presentations, but also to use for entertainment like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Plus, when going into Microsoft Excel for example, you can view more columns with a larger display and better resolution.
The keyboard is probably one of the most important features that you need to look for in a laptop. Being a business student, you are expected to do a lot of projects, type papers, and submit reports that may require you to type thousands of words or cells in Excel.
Because of this, you need to buy a laptop that is equipped with a keyboard that has good tactility and durability. Also, a numerical keypad is also a must to make computations fast and convenient (so you don’t have to buy an additional number pad).
CPU & RAM
The next feature you need to look into is the CPU and the RAM of the laptop. These two are the most overlooked features of laptops, especially for those who are not tech savvy.
In most cases, processing speed doesn’t need to be crazy fast for a business student, since most of the tasks are done on programs such as Excel or Word that may not be extremely taxing on the CPU. Therefore, modern processors with a tag of Intel i3 or Intel i5 would be more than enough to do the trick. Just veer away from dusty processors such as the Pentium or entry level Celeron processors as they are much more dated.
Aside from a fast processor, a laptop that has good multitasking management is always a plus when doing tasks for business courses. With this, you need to be equipped with a laptop that has RAM (random access memory). For business and accounting related programs, 4 GB would do the job. It’s also worth noting that RAM can usually be upgraded if you decide you need more in your laptop.
For business students, they usually do not have files that bog down the laptop’s storage. The sizes of their files are usually minimal, so any storage size is sufficient. Plus, with cloud storage and the increase in Google Drive, HDD space is not as critical as it once was.
However, a laptop equipped with an SSD (Solid State Drive) is much more convenient as it loads programs faster than regular drives. In addition, SSDs are faster when it comes to looking for lines of codes among huge databases and Excel files.
SSDs also provide laptops with faster boot speeds. After all, who wants to stare at an annoying boot up screen for 10 minutes?
Connectivity & Accessories
You also need to consider additional features such as connectivity and accessories. As a business student, you are expected to do a lot of presentations. With this, you need to look for laptops with reliable HDMI ports. Take note of their compatibility with the screens where you are expected to present. If they happen to be incompatible with each other, you may need an adapter – which is also not a major expense.