New School year for many students mean purchasing a new laptop. As an NYU alumni, I will be discussing the best laptop options for incoming freshman and returning students.
I’ve reviewed multiple laptops and chose my top 3 based on the following criteria:
- Speed of the processor
- Type of Hard Drive (Hard Disc Drive versus Solid State Drive)
- Price to performance
#1 Lenovo ThinkPad E15 – $1,300
- Intel 10th Generation Core i7-10510U Quad-Core (1.8 GHz on the base, up to 4.9 GHz with Intel Turbo, 8 MB Cache) – This is Intel’s high end laptop CPU chip. It’s a quad core CPU that can turbo to almost 5 GHz under heavy use. It’s basically a fast car that has access to Nitro system to go even faster when needed.
- Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 – Integrated graphics basically means the CPU also acts as a GPU. Intel 620 will allow you to play many of the new video games in low to mid settings in 1080p. It will also allow graphics intensive software such as AutoCAD to work fine.
- 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080), Matte, IPS, 250-nits Anti-Glare Display – IPS screen with Anti-Glare display. Being 15.6″ will also allow you to multi-task by having 2 software open side by side.
- 32GB DDR4 Memory – Overkill on the RAM but more is better. 32 GB of RAM will future proof this for 4 years easily.
- Built-in 720p HD webcam – Zoom calls? Skype? No problem with the 720p HD front camera.
- 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD – Excellent amount of storage using newer SSD technology for blazing fast load times. This will compliment the Google Drive cloud storage space all NYU students usually receive.
- Comes standard with other useful features found in many laptops: HDMI port, USB 3, USB-C, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc.
#2 Apple MacBook Air with Apple M1 Chip – $1,000
- System on Chip (SoC) Apple M1 chip; 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores; 16-core Neural Engine – Using Apple’s M1 chip that is ultra fast and efficient. Perfect for a lightweight laptop that can be carried around campus.
- Apple 8-core GPU – Standard GPU from Apple that can play most E-Sports games that support MacOS and handle some intensive Computer Design Software.
- Two Thunderbolt Ports and USB-C – Fast data transfers
- 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560-by-1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors – High end screen like most Apple Devices. Excellent for watching video lectures or movies.
- 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage – Standard RAM with 8 GB, allowing you to multitask efficiently. 256 SSD storage may get full in 4 years of school but you can always utilize Google’s free storage for NYU students.
- FaceTime camera – Watch video lectures on Zoom or chat with friends on FaceTime, Skype, etc.
#3 Microsoft Surface Laptop Go – $700
- 2.4” PixelSense touchscreen display – Small but touchscreen with high resolution. Might not be the best size for anybody looking to watching a movie or have multiple windows open side by side. However, it helps bring the weight down and makes this the ultimate portable school laptop.
- built-in 720p HD camera – Zoom in for lecture no matter where you are.
- Intel Pentium Intel Core M (8th Gen) – Perfect for browsing the web, writing essays, watching lectures, etc. Don’t expect high performance but it can definitely help you get through 4 years of school.
- 8 GB Memory – Standard memory seen in most laptops. Enough to allow you to efficiently run multiple software without any slowdowns.
- 128GB SSD – Leaves much to be desired but easy workaround is using Microsoft’s One Drive Cloud Storage or NYU’s Google Drive Cloud storage for students.
- 2.4 lbs weight – Insanely light and can fit in a small bookbag or hand bag. Great for those needing to be at multiple places throughout campus.
These 3 laptop options are all you need to chose from. If you are a big Apple fan then I recommend just going with the new MacBook Air.
If you love windows and want something High End then the Lenovo is calling your name.
If you’re a MacBook lover or a Windows user who is looking for something lightweight then say yes to the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go.