Back To School Buying Guide 2017: Best Laptops & Chromebooks

It's that time of the year, time to talk about kids going back to school. Whether they are heading back to grade school or heading off to college, there are some essentials that are needed for the upcoming school year. And one of those essentials is a new laptop or a Chromebook. Google Chromebooks are great for most students, but some are going to need a full-on laptop running Windows or macOS. Luckily we have compiled a great list of both Chromebooks and traditional laptops that will be great for taking to school. Remember that Chromebooks are somewhat limited, as it basically only has Chrome on-board. So if you are able to do all of your school work in the browser, then it's a great option.

On this list, we have laptops ranging from pretty cheap, around $300 all the way to pretty expensive, over $1000. Not every student needs the top-0f-the-line laptop, but some will need something pretty powerful. So there are plenty to choose from in this list. With the best from Dell, HP, ASUS, Acer, and many others. It'll be easy to find something for your student to take back to school for the 2017-18 school year and really start it off right.

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302

The ASUS Chromebook C302 is ASUS' latest Chromebook and it is a great looking one. It features an aluminum body, and has USB-C connectivity as well. Which makes it a great fit, especially if you just got a new smartphone that has a USB-C port for charging. It's running on an Intel Core m3 processor, which is one of Intel's slower processors, but for Chrome OS, it'll work just fine. There's also 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage inside. Since the Chromebook Flip C302 stores everything in Google Drive, in the cloud, 64GB of storage is plenty. Lastly, we cannot forget that it also has Android apps included.

Dell XPS 13 9360

This is Dell's latest version of the XPS 13, which has a 13-inch display with basically no bezel. So it's a great looking laptop, but perhaps more importantly, it has some great specs which leads to some great performance on this laptop. It's powered by the Intel Core i5-7200U, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. Since it has an SSD inside, it's going to be pretty fast, and that's important for navigating through Windows 10, as well as using different apps like Adobe Photoshop and such.

Acer Chromebook R 13 Convertible

Acer has a good looking Chromebook here, it's the R 13 which is a 13-inch convertible Chromebook. It does have a touch screen, and Acer does allow you to also fold it all the way back and use it as a tablet. Which is a pretty cool feature, especially since it does have support for Android Apps. The Chromebook R 13 is powered by an ARM processor this time around, sporting the MediaTek MT8173C processor, with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Remember that since this is running Chrome OS, basically everything is stored in the cloud, so 32GB of storage is more than enough.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is said to be Microsoft's best Surface Pro yet. It runs the full Windows 10 OS, and since it is technically a tablet, it does have a touch screen and it makes portability that much easier. The Surface Pro 4 comes in a few different spec variants, but the entry-level one has an Intel Core M3 with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Now this goes all the way up to an Intel Core i7 with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, if you have plenty of money to spend on the Surface Pro 4.

Apple 13" MacBook Pro

This is the newest model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro from Apple. It does have a hefty price tag, however Apple's customer service is top notch and so is its build quality. This MacBook Pro will last your student at least four years if not longer. As far as specs go, this has a 13-inch 2560x1440 resolution display, powered by a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD for quick storage. That isn't a lot of storage but there are options to get more.

Razer Blade Stealth 12.5"

This is a great laptop for the gamers out there. The Razer Blade Stealth is another one that isn't that cheap, but it is definitely worth the money. You'll be getting top notch specs, and an incredible 4K display here. We're looking at the Intel Core i7-7500U powering the show here, with 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD which is plenty of storage and since it is a SSD, it's going to be plenty fast.

ASUS ZenBook

The ZenBook is an Ultrabook from ASUS, which means it's going to be lightweight and be great for taking back and forth to school. It has a 13.3-inch display, which is generally the sweet spot for laptop displays. It's powered by the Intel Core i5-7200U, 8GB of RAM and then a 256GB SSD inside keeps the storage running nice and fast. It's also one of the cheaper laptops on this list, so definitely worth a look.

Dell Chromebook 13

The Dell Chromebook 13 is one of the best Chromebooks for the money right now. It is a great looking Chromebook, that is also lightweight and fairly cheap. The Chromebook 13 is powered by the Intel Celeron <span class="a-list-item">C3855 processor, which may seem a bit weak, but remember, Chrome OS is fairly lightweight, so this processor makes the Chromebook 13 fly, still. There's 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage as well. This one does not yet have Android apps support, but it will be getting it rather soon. </span>

Samsung Chromebook Pro

The Chromebook Pro is Samsung's most recent Chromebook and its most powerful. It is powered by the Intel Core M3, along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The Chromebook Pro is unique, however, due to the fact that it has a S Pen along with it. This means that users will be able to draw on the display, use it for taking notes and much more. The Chromebook Pro is a convertible as well, allowing users to fold the display back and use it as a tablet if they wish to do so.

Acer Aspire R 15

This is another convertible laptop from Acer, this time it runs on Windows. The Aspire R 15 is a great laptop for a number of reasons. It has a 15-inch display, which allows users to get more work done. It's also powered by the Intel Core i7-7500U, 12GB of RAM and 256GB SSD which is going to make for a smooth performance on Windows 10 Pro. Not to mention the fact that the NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card is inside, which is going to make for a great gaming performance.

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About the Author
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Alexander Maxham

Section Editor
Alex has written for Androidheadlines since 2012 as Editor of the site and traveled the World to many of the biggest Smartphone and Technology events. Alex has a background in Technology and IT and Deep Passion for Everything Android and Google. His specialties lay in Smartphones of all budgets, Accessories, Home Automation and more. Contact him at [email protected]
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