10 Best Laptops for Ph.D. and Research Students 2021 | Reviews

Buying a laptop for research is not a game of bargain for students. The students indeed have a limited budget, but this becomes a problem as they require some extra things out there. 

Laptops under $500 are good to use, but some extra budget can increase the computer’s efficiency by providing some additional qualities. 

When looking for a research laptop, keep in mind preferring a laptop with qualities like light, thin, portability, efficiency, and battery time that can be used over a whole day. 

Have a look at some of the best laptops and Chromebook of all time for students who can handle the dominant operating system like Windows 10 or macOS. Each laptop owns some unique features and drawbacks, so let’s get started.

Top 10 Laptops for Research and Ph.D. Students

1. Apple MacBook Air

Apple 13" MacBook Air Core i5...
  • 1.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Processor
  • Intel HD Graphics 6000
  • Fast SSD Storage
  • 8GB memory

As a whole, we realize Apple claims for creating original items once in a while. They have consistently presented innovation in the market and beat their rivals with great imaginative and unparalleled things. 

With a goal of 2560 x 1600 for more than 4 million pixels, it results in amazing pictures that elevate the authenticity on another level of detail. The aluminum used by Apple conveys the quality strength and unimpeachable finishing of the product.

Apple MacBook Air owns an eighth era Intel Core i5 processor that enables you to understand messages flawlessly and peruse the web for making keynote editing in iMovie. The 16GB memory allows you to open numerous applications at a time, and to mention it will not affect the efficiency of the laptop.

The 1TB of SSD lets you access extraordinary space for pictures, recordings, records, and programming.  With just 2.75 pounds, one can carry it around the school, college, or university with amazing proficiency.

MacBook Air has a Thunderbolt c that manages the ultra-high data transfer capacity with the ultra-flexibility of the USB-C industry standard to make a fantastic general port. MacBook Air has two of them.

  • Easy for portability
  • Sleek design
  • Lacks CD and DVD player
  • Irreplaceable processor, RAM, and storage

2. Samsung Chromebook 3

Samsung Chromebook 3, 11.6",...
  • 11.6 inch ( 1366 x 768), 16:9
  • Intel Celeron Processor N3060, 1.6 GHz to 2.48 GHz
  • 4 GB Memory. Spill Resistant : Yes
  • Google Chrome system. Brightness: 220 units

The Samsung Chromebook 3 is efficient and affordable, making it one of the top reasonable budgets picks if you want a laptop for online college and courses. The Intel Celeron processor N3060 of Samsung Chromebook 3 is not among the speediest available processors.

 But this processor fits the basic computing tasks like light web browsing and checking emails. Samsung laptop has an 11.6-inch display with 2GB memory that is more than enough for school demands. 

As accidentally, it may drop in water, or a glass of water is spilled down on it, so the company decided to make a laptop that will be spill-resistant with a waterproof keyboard. Samsung Chromebook 3 is the result of it.

The user can use the laptop in its traditional posture or tilt the screen to 180 degrees. A Google Chrome operating system allows you to access the basics such as Google, Docs, Gmail, Maps, and many more.

The battery life of Samsung Chromebook 3 is around 11 hours after every charge. You don’t need to replace the battery so soon as the Chromebook is designed to retain most of its charge after three years.

  • Lacks a touchscreen
  • Slightly heavy

3. Asus ZenBook 13

ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim...
  • Powerful & fast for effortless on-the-go computing: 8th...
  • Durable & reliable: meets the ultra-demanding MIL-STD-810G...
  • Long battery life: powered by a high-capacity battery that...
  • Exclusive ErgoLift design: an engineering masterpiece designed to...

The Asus ZenBook 13 is among the thinnest laptops with a high-performance separate graphics chip, which gives it all the pixel-pushing horsepower that you require for entertainment such as manipulating photos and editing videos or watching movies and playing games and for creativity.

The FHD resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, NanoEdge display on ZenBook 13, gives you outstanding reach to incredibly realistic images and text. The inclusive 100% sRGB color scale guarantees bright and precise colors resultantly, and everything looks more attractive and natural.

It helps you in the more detailed and exact research work by focusing on every minor attribute. The full HD display makes your research work more professional. ZenBook 13 owns an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 discrete graphics chip.

One can easily attach all the projectors, displays, and current peripherals as the ZenBook has an HDMI port, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, and a microSD card reader. It owns a dual-band 802.11ac WiFi. 

ZenBook 13 is just 0.5in thin and 2.5lb in weight, which makes it easy for portability. Bluetooth 4.2 of ZenBook 13 permits you to connect with your favorite devices with a minor effect on battery life.

  • Fast storage and memory
  • Switchable numeric keypad
  • Sleek and lightweight
  • Easy for portability
  • Standard reliability and durability
  • Lacks touch or backlit keyboard option

4. HP Spectre X360

HP Spectre x360 2019 GEM Cut...
  • HP Spectre x360 13T Cutting Edge GEM CUT Design - 8TH GENERATION...
  • SUPERIOR SPEED and NETWORKING: Fast Data Access with 512 GB PCIe...
  • IMPRESSIVE HD PANEL with HD Active Stylus Pen and Thunderbolt...
  • UNMATCHED PERFORMANCE, Windows 10 PRO(Pre-installed by HP) 64...

The 4. HP Spectre X360 has a display screen of 13.3 inches with a high-resolution (1920×1080) that gives you detailed and clear images. HP Spectre X360 owns all the qualities a Ph.D. student looks for when buying a laptop for research work.

The 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 with four cores processor adds up to the laptop’s performance with outclass efficiency, 16 GB DDR4, and 512 GB SSD with 2666 MHz memory speed. The fast RAM, storage capacity, and powerful processor rank it among the most demandable laptops. 

One can perform multitasking on this laptop efficiently and store the data for later use. Almost all the devices can be connected with the laptop, which aids in wireless technology and data sharing. Being light in weight it is easy for portability.

The Bluetooth 5 Combo (MU-MIMO supported) and Intel 802.11b/g/n/ac (2×2) WiFi make it far better than others in quality. Students can share the data quickly, and they can perform their research work as per their convenience.

It is one of the top picks due to the 8th Generation Intel i5-8250U quad-core processor and competitive price tag.

  • Excellent design
  • Amazing efficiency performance
  • Luxurious keyboard
  • Impressive battery life
  • Powerful audio
  • Sturdy build
  • The less powerful graphic processing unit

5. Dell Inspiron 13 5000

Dell Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 -...
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Processor (Quad Core, 6MB...
  • 8GB 2400MHz DDR4 up to [32GB], (additional memory sold...
  • 1TB 5400RPM Hard Drive Storage, No Optical Drive
  • 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS True-life LED-Backlit Touch...

The Dell Inspiron 13 is one of the top picks if you desire a reasonably priced and well-rounded laptop. The user can transform it in four different ways. The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 has an 8GB memory that can be expanded to 16GB and 256GB SSD.

The traditional model is for taking notes; you can also flip it to tent or stand modes for various tasks such as web browsing or watching movies. Its 13.3-inch FHD display is compact and keeps the laptop light and portable.

Dell Inspiron 13 5000 provides sufficient space for viewing even the minor details of the laptop. The touch display is backlit and wide enough for viewing angles for an ideal experience. The laptop has Bluetooth 4.1 and 802.11ac WiFi along with the 2.4 and 5GHz support.

  • Compact size
  • 256GB SSD
  • Several modes for usage
  • Slightly heavy
  • Irritable fan noise

6. Acer Chromebook 514

Acer Chromebook 514,...
  • Chromebook runs on Chrome OS - an operating System from Google...
  • All the Google apps you know and love come standard on every...
  • Get access to more than 2 million Android apps from Google play...
  • Chromebooks come with built-in storage for offline access to your...

Acer Chromebook 514 owns a 6mm narrow bezel, 14″ screen, and wide viewing angle to enjoy the full magnificence of films, TV shows, and videos. The optional touch screen allows you to control and navigate videos on the 1920×1080 resolution display with 2,073,600 pixels.

The latest technology helps protect the eyes from the harmful effects of sitting in front of the screen for a long time. 2.4 GHz Celeron N3350, 4 GB DDR4 RAM, 32 GB Flash Memory, and Intel HD Graphics 500 power up the Acer Chromebook 514. 

The most recent innovation helps in the assurance of eyes from the unsafe impacts of sitting before the screen for an extensive period. 2.4 GHz Celeron N3350, 4 GB DDR4 RAM, 32 GB Flash Memory, and Intel HD Graphics 500 catalyst the Acer Chromebook 514. 

With a quick boot time, you’ll begin working faster; the improved interface makes it simple to learn. Productive utilization of intensity implies that you can work the entire day without your capacity connector. You can convey this laptop to any place you need and accomplish your investigates work quickly. It is probably the ideal choice for Ph.D. researchers. 

The reversible USB 3.1 Type-C ports are anything but difficult to draw in to and with an exchange up to 5GB/sec, which is multiple times quicker than USB 2.0. The weight of this laptop is 3.09 pounds, and its measurements are 12.72 x 9.13 x 0.67 inches.

  • Multi-touch LCD
  • Amazing connectivity
  • Noticeable battery life
  • Sturdy design
  • Moderate storage

7. Acer Aspire E 15

Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6" Full...
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i3 8130U Processor 2.2 GHz (Up to...
  • 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED lit Display
  • 6GB Dual Channel Memory, 1TB HDD and 8x DVD
  • Up to 13.5 Hours of battery life

The Acer Aspire E15 isn’t lightweight and versatile, yet this mate offers a more excellent screen alongside broadened battery life at a moderate cost. The engine offers Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB memory, and 256GB SSD stockpiling alongside NVidia MX150 committed GPU. 

This laptop has enough capacity to deal with every full assignment that you will do as a Ph.D. researcher. Indeed, even you can do a few illustrations of situated work as this laptop offers an NVidia MX150 section level discrete GPU. 

The Acer Aspire E 15 introduces as long as 15 hours of battery life, which can keep going for an entire day. Moreover, it contributes a 15.6-inch full HD show; along these lines, it can give new picture quality. 

When you move around a great deal, at that point, you ought to keep away from the laptop due to weight and colossal size, as I said previously. Be that as it may, on the off chance that you love the long battery life and vigorous execution, at that point, it is anything but a severe deal. 

Generally speaking, the Acer Aspire E 15 is likewise a reasonable choice for Ph.D. researchers in 2020, which won’t make a significant scratch in your wallet.

  • Spectacular full HD screen
  • Outstanding performance
  • Impressive battery life
  • Upgradable design
  • Slightly heavy and thick

8. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

When you are looking for the best laptop for exploration, graduate, or Ph.D., you are taking a gander at it – the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Its assembled quality is first rate—the primary motivation behind why it’s supposed to be manufactured like a tank. The laptop is produced using a mix of carbon fiber and magnesium. 

So you have a light and a genuinely sturdy laptop. There is practically no flex on the cover and console region. Its weight is 2.5 pounds, which is a little over a kilo. Probably the lightest laptop out there. Furthermore, as an examination, postgraduate or Ph.D. understudy weight is a significant factor. 

Execution insightful, the Lenovo ThinkPad is a fantastic machine. An Intel Core i7, 512 SSD, and 16GB RAM. It has the equipment to deal with all that you toss at. Performing various tasks and opening a few program tabs.

  • Light in weight
  • Great performance
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Costly

9. LG Gram

LG Gram Laptop 17" (2560x1600)...
  • 17” WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS LCD Screen
  • Windows 10 Home (64 bit)
  • Intel 10th Generation i7-1065G7 CPU To Iris Plus graphics
  • 16 GB DDR4 RAM and 1 TB M 2 NMVe SSD (512 GB x2)

LG Gram is stiff with a little flex around the presentation and console zone. It is made of magnesium nano-carbon compounds. Sufficient material to withstand stuns, knicks, and vibrations. It has a definite vibe to it. 

Presentations with WQHD goals are, in every case, splendid and have better than expected shading precision and propagation. When you get this laptop, you need to get another knapsack due to its enormous presentation. 

The LG Gram is a reliable entertainer, best case scenario. An Intel Core i7 and 16GB RAM. It doesn’t have a committed design card. The processor is impressive and alongside its bounty RAM. You can open a lot of Chrome tabs, perform multiple tasks, and run some very requesting applications.

  • Light in weight
  • Reliable performance
  • Appropriate keyboard
  • Efficient battery life
  • Lacks trackpad below the spacebar

10. Lenovo Flex 14

Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1...
  • Up to 8 hours of battery life with quick recharge technology to...
  • Comprehensive protection with Windows 10 helps protect against...
  • Convenient TrueBlock privacy shutter allows you to physically...
  • The included Active Pen lets you draw or take notes directly on...

The Lenovo Flex offers a 14-inch full HD show, which is ideal for perusing or understanding archives. Moreover, it’s touch-empowered and accompanies a pointer; accordingly, you can utilize it to take notes or draw. 

The full HD goal guarantees higher sharpness and gives them all the more working territory to perform various tasks. It is offering an AMD Ryzen 5 processor alongside the 256GB NVMe SSD, and 8GB memory. 

It can convey a splendid exhibition at this small cost; you can utilize it for web perusing, report altering, motion pictures watching, or even light gaming. Aside from that excellent execution, the Lenovo Flex 14 highlights 8 hours of battery reinforcement, which is sponsored by snappy charging innovation. 

By and large, if you would prefer not to spend much on your exploration, Lenovo Flex 14 may be a practical decision that accompanies convertible plans.

  • Stunning full HD touch display
  • Outstanding performance
  • Convertible and professional design
  • Owns fingerprint sensor
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Not good battery life

Points to Ponder when Buying Laptop for Research

Picking the best laptop for you relies fundamentally upon your need. Here is a portion of the fundamental contemplations when purchasing a laptop: 


It is genuine when they state size issues in picking workstations. The correct size ought to have the option to meet an understudy’s requirements, regardless of whether it requires a more excellent screen or a lighter laptop that one can bring anyplace. 

Screen Quality 

Workstations have diverse screen quality. A few laptops have an incredible presentation. They will generally have a high-goal show board, which is regularly 1920 x 1080 pixels or higher. The higher the pixels, the more detail one can fit on screen. 


CPU is an indispensable part of any laptop. Most CPUs are presently intel center-based. There are a few sorts, to be specific Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7. This kind of CPU offers the best execution, mainly when performing various tasks, and interactive media assignments are required. 


While the days of yore just require 4GB or less of RAM, the modern workstations need at any rate 8GB. The higher the RAM, the more applications can be run simultaneously. This is particularly valuable for substantial altering assignments like photographs and video content. 

Battery Life 

The average battery life of most workstations can be somewhere close to one to 6 hours, even though this can significantly rely upon the exercises done on the gadget and the projects that are running. Researchers who consistently should be in a hurry may require a laptop with durable batteries. 


Another thought when purchasing a laptop is the value researchers need to pay. There are workstations that they can buy for under $200. In any case, on the off chance that researchers need better quality and more grounded execution, assigning a significant financial plan can extend their decisions.


So when buying a laptop for research, keep the above points in mind as a slight mistake In choosing the right laptop for you will not only result in the wastage of money but, most importantly, will affect your degree.

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