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The best back to school laptops in 2018

The price point, power, functionality, and mobility are all important for students. Here is our pick of the best.

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Topic: Laptops
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1 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

ASUS VivoBook Flip

A budget-friendly option for a mobile PC is the ASUS VivoBook Flip. This lightweight Windows 10 Home device comes in at only 2.6 pounds and sports an 11.6-inch HD touchscreen display which is convertible to a tablet, tent, stand or traditional laptop setup due to the inclusion of a 360-degree hinge.

Modestly priced, the laptop comes with fair specs which should see students through college. The laptop has 4GB memory, 32GB storage, an Intel 8032 processor, and Intel HD Graphics 400.

Price: $217

Via: Amazon

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2 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Acer Chromebook 15

If you are a student with a fondness for Chromebooks, the Acer Chromebook 15 is a 15.6-inch model which, while larger than most portable devices, could be useful for those who consume a lot of media.

The Chromebook is equipped with a Full HD 1920 x 1080 touch display, Chrome OS -- which supports Google apps such as Docs and Sheets -- a 2.5GHz Intel Pentium N4200 processor, 4GB RAM, 32GB SSD storage, and a budget-friendly price tag.

Price: $319.99

Via: Amazon

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3 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

MacBook Air

Apple's MacBook Air is a common sight on today's campuses, owing not only to a preference by some of Mac OS over Microsoft Windows but the lightweight design of the popular laptop.

If you are looking for a laptop model which will last you through college and beyond, the MacBook Air could be the right one for you, albeit being a pricey option.

You can pick up a 13.3-inch MacBook Air with up to a 2.2GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor, 512GB SSD storage, 8GB RAM, and Intel HD Graphics.

Price: $999+

Via: Apple

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4 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS 13 is a strong investment for students seeking a new workhorse. The 13.3-inch laptop sports a 1920 x 1080 touch display, up to an Intel i7 processor, up to 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage, as well as Windows 10 Home.

This particular model is not the latest available in the lineup, but we've found the laptop to be a reliable, steady, and mobile option for users. It is solid and available for a reasonable price, but those looking for more modern specs should check out our review.

Price: $799.99+ (currently on sale)

Via: Amazon

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5 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is one of the more expensive devices included in this roundup, and for those who prefer the Windows operating system combined with high-end specs, the laptop could be a worthwhile investment.

The laptop sports a 15-inch 1920 x 1080 HD convertible touchscreen display, useful for media, and is versatile as you can use both the standard keyboard or an included S-Pen stylus for tablet-style control. The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro runs on Windows 10 Home and comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, 256GB SSD storage and 16GB RAM.

Price: $1,299+

Via: Samsung

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6 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Microsoft Surface Pro

An option for students who wish to invest in a mobile computing device which will last them through college and beyond is the Microsoft Surface Pro.

The Surface Pro is a versatile hybrid model which can be used as a traditional laptop or standalone tablet. Equipped with mobile connectivity and long battery life, the product comes with a 12.3-inch PixelSense 2736 x 1824 display, Windows 10 Pro, up to 1TB SSD storage, up to an Intel i7 processor, up to Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, and between 4GB and 16GB RAM.

Price: $799+

Via: Microsoft

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7 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

HP Chromebook 13 G1

A Chromebook worthy of note for students is the HP Chromebook 13 G1. This thin and light Chromebook looks stylish and has been built to offer a display out of the common way -- a 13.3-inch QHD+ 3200 x 1800 pixel panel.

The laptop, which runs on Chrome OS, comes with up to an Intel m7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 32GB storage.

Price: $519+

Via: HP

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8 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Lenovo ThinkPad A275

The Lenovo ThinkPad A275 is a mid-range option for students which need a stable, solid workhouse for their assignments, especially if they are power-hungry in subjects such as STEM which may need specialized software.

The laptop can be customized with Windows 10 Home or Pro, up to a 12.5-inch FHD 1920 x 1080 anti-glare display, an AMD Pro A12-9800B processor, AMD Radeon R7 graphics, 16GB RAM, and 256GB SSD storage.

Price: $799+

Via: Lenovo

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9 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

MacBook Pro

A more powerful laptop model, and also somewhat bulkier, is the Apple MacBook Pro. While I would not recommend this product for heavy gaming or graphics-based powerful application usage, the MacBook Pro remains a steady workhorse for other applications.

Apple's MacBook can be purchased in 13-inch or 15-inch designs with Retina display, Touch Bar, a 720p FaceTime HD camera, up to 2TB SSD storage, 16GB RAM, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, and up to a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor.

Price: $1299+

Via: Apple

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10 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Alienware 17 gaming laptop

The Alienware 17 laptop would be a valuable asset to any student with a fondness for gaming. VR ready, the laptop sports a 17.3-inch screen, an Intel Core i7 hexacore processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD storage and 256GB SSD storage, and operates through Windows 10 Home. Other models of the same product with boosted RAM are available.

Price: $1,598+

Via: Dell

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