15 Best Laptops For Graduate Students in 2020

Pursuing graduate study course is no joke. Students pursuing doctorate or master’s degrees deal with a truckload (and seemingly endless) paperwork! Professors require research papers, dissertations, or essays. These entail long hours of data gathering and a series of fact-checking methods. A laptop with high-quality performance that doesn’t give up any time of the day is what they need.

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Regardless of the college students academic level, a portable electronic device is necessary to make learning a lot easier. About 90% of college students are in favor of using laptops in class because they find it useful for note-taking, researching, and other word processing. A trusted laptop helps them accomplish all these tasks. 

As you are working on your new laptop, check out these tips for getting it all done: 8 Ways to Be Productive in Grad School

Here are the key features of a good laptop for postgraduate students:

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Huawei Matebook X Pro 2019
Acer Aspire 5 2019
Lenovo Flex 14
HP PAVILION 14
MacBook Pro (2019)
ASUS VivoBook S15 (2019)
Dell Inspiron 13 5000
HP Spectre x360 (2019)

Lenovo ThinkPadX1 Carbon (7th Gen)
Dell XPS 13 (2020)
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
ASUS ZenBook 13 (UX334)
LG gram 17″
Acer Swift 3 (2019)
HP Envy 13 (2019)

Operating System

Postgraduate students do a ton of assignments that require different programs running simultaneously. A good OS such as Mac OS, Windows, and Linux maintains the fluidity of the laptop while these applications are running altogether. 

CPU and RAM

A well-performing CPU is Intel-based. The i3s, i5s, and i7s are very common. They are suitable for multimedia tasks to run efficiently. They’re expensive, but these are high-grade processors. Digital media postgraduate courses necessitate a laptop with a sound processor and higher RAM capacity.

Battery Life and Connectivity Options

Longer battery life and extensive connectivity options are essential in a heavy-duty laptop. Postgraduate students have to stay connected as much as possible. Ideal battery life can last up to 17 hours, and the model must have a variety of USB ports, WiFi compatible, and advanced Bluetooth technology.

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Looking for the best laptops for your Ph.D. needs? Check out our top picks!

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Huawei Matebook X Pro 2019

Huawei Matebook X Pro 2019

The Huawei Matebook X Pro has outstanding performance and portability. It has a 13.9″ touchscreen display with a high-resolution feature. Researching and multitasking with other programs all at once are feasible because it has an i7-8550U processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD. The Windows 10 OS allows the use of several apps efficiently.

To keep it interesting, this has a built-in NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU, which only takes less than 10 seconds to boot the system. This feature is suitable for editing videos and photos. The battery life can remain up to 14 hours, more than enough for the day.

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Acer Aspire 5 2019

Acer Aspire 5 falls under a low-cost unit. This Acer Aspire 5 laptop has an advanced i5 processor with a RAM of 8GB and SSD of 256BG. There are no slow-response issues from the system, even if there are several apps up and running. The GPU of GeForce MX150 is decent enough to provide the best graphics display. Postgraduate students have videos and photos that need rework at some point. This model makes it possible because of the graphics card.

Movies and other media files seen on the 15″ screen with high-resolution features have sharper and clearer images. The laptop looks bulky, but the performance is similar to the premium models.

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Lenovo Flex 14

Lenovo Flex 14 is a professional laptop. Its 300-degree hinge feature can change the appearance into three different modes—a standard laptop, tablet, or tent mode. The 14″ display has Full HD features, keeps the images vivid and vibrant. The screen actively responds to the Lenovo Active pen gestures that come together with the unit. For students who need to jot down notes most of the time, they need this laptop.

The Lenovo Flex 14 carries an AMD Ryzen R5 processor, which is capable of finishing daily tasks. The RAM has a capacity of 8GB and 256GB SSD, ample space for downloading apps and files. The laptop has an 8-hour battery life with a fast-charging feature; it only takes an hour to have a full battery. 

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HP PAVILION 14
[8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U]

HP Pavilion 14 is known for its affordability and top-of-the-line performance. The interior components, such as its Core i5-8250U processor and the Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU, are the key elements that muscle through the continuous tasks done by postgraduate students. The RAM has a capacity of 8GB and 256BG SSD, which is suitable for downloading as many apps as they want without slowing down the processor. The Windows 10 Home operating system makes word processing done smoothly.

The connectivity options offer various ports for HDMI and USB, as well as a headphone jack. They are making it easy for postgraduate students to attach other gadgets necessary for their homework. No in-between charging during the day, the laptop can work up to 11 hours.

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MacBook Pro (2019)

MacBook Pro is the most preferred laptop because of its outstanding performance and polished aesthetic appearance. The typical exterior features of Apple laptops, thin and lightweight, are all found in this MacBook Pro model. This 13-in laptop is cheaper than other Macbook Pro models, but its interior components are reliable. MacBook Pro has the 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor. Users can choose between RAM’s capacity from 8GB-16GB as well as the storage of 128GB-2TB SSD. When students require more advanced tasks that involve bulk media files and intricate editing, the laptop needs a higher RAM and storage.  

Connectivity jack and ports remain the same with other MacBook Pro models, Thunderbolt 3 ports and an audio jack are all present on the sides. The laptop has improved security features, bringing up the sensitivity level of Touch ID. When students need more advanced digital requirements, this model can save the day with its P3 color gamut support feature, creating more vibrant images. The True Tone function keeps the intensity of the screen less disturbing to the eyes and protects from possible eye strain problems.

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 ASUS VivoBook S15 (2019)

This Asus VivoBook S15 laptop with 15-in with full HD NanoEdge display has reliable features that every postgraduate student needs. An Intel Core i5-10210U processor with 8GB DDR4 RAM is enough to keep up with the students’ considerable amount of projects and lectures. This model can fire up with ease more or less 20 Google Chrome tabs altogether, even with some of those tabs having media clips.  

Despite the 15-inch screen, the laptop is still lightweight. With that screen size, no need to squint while streaming video, browsing, or even word processing. Another key feature is the 5″ touchscreen display that makes the apps more accessible and pretty convenient to the users. The ScreenPad 2.0 can be a nifty tool for taking down notes and simple computation tasks.  

Staying connected with other gadgets is possible through different ports for USB, HDMI, and headphone. The two speakers are necessary when creating audio-video content. Both speakers produce good quality sound in a regular-sized classroom.

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Dell Inspiron 13 5000

The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 carries an 8th Generation Intel i5-8250U quad-core processor, which can run programs expeditiously. Aside from that, the laptop can either be flipped, turned to a tent or stand modes. This feature is making it easier to write notes or stream media at any given time. Initially, there’s an 8GB memory available, but it can expand to 16GB. Together with this, is a 256GB SSD, which can store huge files.

Dell has made sure that the portability of the unit remains, despite the loaded interior components. The screen is 13-inch wide with FHD and high-resolution features, which can maintain image clarity in different viewing angles. With a very fine-tuned screen to a touch display function, scribbling notes can be effortless.

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HP Spectre x360 (2019)

The HP Spectre x360 is not just a portable laptop, but this model lives up to the impression of having first-rate performance as well. Postgraduate students can bring this lightweight laptop, with a 13-inch display and touchscreen function, anywhere. It can convert into a tablet, traditional laptop, or tent style. In postgraduate school, laptops with versatility features are beneficial to students due to the amount of workload and tasks to be accomplished. The added high-resolution feature can make an impressive media viewing experience.

The 8th Generation Intel Core i708565U processor and 8GB DDR4 RAM can run apps and finish basic tasks quickly. With the help of a 256GB SSD, students can enjoy spacious memory storage. Even with an entire day of running the laptop, it can last up to 16 hours before charging it. Wireless connectivity functions are possible through Bluetooth and WiFi compatibility. The webcam installed allows students to engage in video calls to study or catch up with friends.

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Lenovo ThinkPadX1 Carbon (7th Gen)

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 can help postgraduate students with their media-related assignments. The Core i7 Family processor is ideal for everyday productivity with extra muscle. It can swiftly open a word program or any other app. One of the crucial requirements in a laptop for postgraduate students is the quickness to fire up a research software. The Windows 10 operating system provides extra support to this loading process. The vast amount of in-depth learning needs frequent web browsing and researching. Hence, a premium laptop like this is a must.

Store all files and download the apps because this Lenovo genius laptop has 16GB DDR and a hard drive capacity of 512GB. Open up several Google Chrome tabs, run apps altogether, and see what happens. Lenovo ThinkPad can still maintain a smooth performance. This laptop is truly a gift to any postgraduate student who owns one.

The 14-inch touchscreen has an anti-glare function that prevents eye strain as well as maintaining the clarity and vividness of the videos. This laptop is ideal for your writing duties, but also other complicated work. It stands out with its high-quality audio-video experience it offers the user!

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Dell XPS 13 (2020)

Investing in a laptop loaded with high-tech specs is an excellent choice for postgraduate students. Dell XPS 13 is known for its reliable performance because of the 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor. Dell has installed integrated graphics too. That’s why the laptop can survive either for learning, playing, or both for up to 12 hours.

The 13.4″ screen has a Full HD feature that ensures exceptional video quality. Even with the heavily-equipped interior, it weighs lighter than other models with similar components. Dell has done a tremendous job of preserving its compact exterior and fully-packed specs. Thus, this model has a high recommendation to postgraduate students looking for heavy-duty laptops.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro is known for its versatility. Microsoft has equipped this model with the best interior components starting with its 7th generation quad-core Intel Core i5-1035G4 processor. Combined with a GPU of Intel Iris Plus Graphics G4 and 8GB DDR4x, which are appropriate for daily tasks, media streaming, and gaming. 

The 12.3″ touchscreen display and high-resolution component can keep the sharpness and clarity of the images to a maximum level. For postgraduate students that require advanced digital-related reports, Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is something to consider. The simple word processing and massive research tasks can also be done efficiently. The convertible options provide convenience and accessibility to the students during lectures. There’s an assortment of ports and slots too but, USB-C is installed rather than the famous Thunderbolt 3. Battery life can stay up until 7 hours of continuous usage.

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ASUS ZenBook 13 (UX334)

The ASUS ZenBook 13″ is known for its quality performance despite its compact exterior. With the GPU of NVIDIA GeForce MX250 512GB SSD, it can power its way through long-running jobs. Thorough web research, word processing, video editing, and binging on TV series—all these are possible without experiencing speed issues. That’s because of the Intel Core i7-10510U and 16GB RAM, which can sustain a speedy performance.

A selection of USB ports, USB 2.0, and USB 3.1 are available. Together with the usual audio jacks, HDMI ports, as well as the WiFi and Bluetooth technology, postgraduate students have immense connectivity options to work on, making it easier for them to plug and play any device and stay online all the time. By the way, this has a 5″ touchpad that serves as a quick launcher for applications, notepad, and calculator. The touchpad makes maneuvering the laptop comfortable, especially when someone’s in a hurry scribbling the lecture.

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LG gram 17″

Postgraduate students are gearing towards being professionals, owning a decent workstation during the course is a must. The LG gram houses a 10th generation Core i7-1065G7 processor that can match with their loaded tasks. Moreover, it has a large hard drive and memory storage, 16GB DDR4 RAM, and 1TB, respectively.

Apart from the powerful interior specs, the battery life is not disappointing to the users, because this can give them an uninterrupted operation for up to 17 hours. It’s something to highlight because not all models can last that long. The USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3, and HDMI ports also exist to provide all sorts of ways to connect other devices. This portable workstation is a sure way to keep everything at a professional level.

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 Acer Swift 3 (2019)

Acer Swift 3 is ideal for postgraduate students who need reliable mobile workstation. It has the nifty 8th generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor and 8GB DDR4 RAM. These specs can maintain back-to-back work processing, media streaming with several apps running, without slowing any process in between. The 256GB Pie SSD accommodates all large files.  

Staying connected is possible with the most advanced WiFi connectivity and Bluetooth 5.0 technology. Other options are a variety of ports for USB and HDMI. No need to worry about getting drained in the middle of the day; this has 12-hour battery life. The 13″ screen with full HD IPS display keeps the video clear and the colors vibrant – an excellent viewing experience.

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HP Envy 13 (2019)

HP has done another outstanding job with their HP Envy 13 model. This model uses an Intel Core i7-8565U processor and 16GB RAM, strong enough to carry on the smooth performance while researching and running programs. It uses an advanced graphics card, like in other high-end models, NVIDIA GeForce MX250. Although this is more into gaming, this graphics feature can also improve screen displays – something needed for postgraduate students taking up digital media courses. They require large media-related assignments. 

The HP trademark of the fingerprint sensor makes it classy, just like in other premium models. The 13″ display that has a thin bezel improves the aesthetic value. Battery life lasts up to 11 hours, no need to shut down in-between to save up power.

Connectivity options are also available having the basic audio jack, card reader slots, and ports for USB and HDMI—HP lives up to having extensive connectivity features in all its laptops.

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