Best Laptop for High School Students in 2018

Why the XPS 13 is the best laptop for students

Picking the best laptop before heading back to school (or graduating) in 2018 doesn’t have to be yet another chore on the list of things to get done. The beauty of the XPS 13 is you’re able to configure it exactly how you wish. Need more than 128GB of solid state drive (SSD) storage? Simply add a 256GB drive when ordering or install one after the laptop gets delivered, if you can save money through Amazon or another online retailer. Then you have a Full HD display with barely any bezel, which can be bumped to QHD with touch-screen support.

Speaking of specifications, the XPS 13 was recently refreshed by Dell to include Intel’s seventh-gen “Kaby Lake” processors. These components are matched with at least 4GB of RAM and Killer 1535 wireless connectivity. The latter improvement with the XPS 13 is a major benefit for students, thanks to its excellent wireless range and reliability. The laptop can also be personalized with a choice of color: silver or rose gold.

The keyboard is likely what will be used the most, and this is probably the laptop’s weak spot. It’s not the worst keyboard by any means, but it’s also not among the best. With only 1.3 mm of key travel (how far the key can be pressed down), it can feel somewhat “mushy” to those who are used to desktop mechanical keyboards or other portable PCs with enhanced means of input. There’s also an issue with oil stains after considerable amounts of use.

Overlooking the keyboard, you have a super-portable laptop with a gorgeous display and excellent performance. Couple all that with improved battery life (thanks to expanded capacity and the newest processors) and you’ve got one fantastic device for any student.

See our review of the XPS 13


The XPS 13 by Dell is a stunning laptop and is one of our favorites. A gorgeous design, solid performance and reliability make it fit for purpose at college. Should you need a little more, Microsoft’s Surface line-up is where it’s at, taking into account student discounts.

Updated August 16, 2018: We updated this guide to make sure it still offers only the best laptop recommendations for high school students.

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