Best laptop for college | ENBLE

Best laptop for college | ENBLE

The Asus ZenBook 14 OLED: The Perfect Laptop for College Students

Asus ZenBook 14 OLED Image Source: Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

I’ve reviewed many major laptops released in recent years, and one question that constantly arises is which laptop is best for a student heading off to college. Finding the perfect balance of portability, quality, and affordability can be challenging. However, one Windows laptop stands out above the rest in meeting these criteria – the Asus ZenBook 14 OLED.

An Affordable Price

Asus ZenBook 14 OLED Battery Image Source: Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

College is an expensive endeavor, and a laptop represents a significant portion of a student’s budget. It’s crucial to strike a balance between price and quality. The ZenBook 14 OLED starts at just $700, offering an AMD Ryzen 5 7530U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 14.0-inch 2.8K OLED display. While these are minimal specifications, for an additional $170, you can upgrade to an AMD Ryzen 7 7730U, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and maintain the same display – all while staying below $1,000. This level of value is hard to beat.

Comparing it with other options, the Apple MacBook Air M1, available at a student discount for $900, only offers an Apple M1 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 13.0-inch Retina IPS display. Though the MacBook Air has received previous recommendations for being a great choice, the ZenBook 14 OLED provides better overall value and more features, especially considering the added cost of storage and memory when choosing Apple.

Good Enough Performance and Great Battery Life

Asus ZenBook 14 OLED Display Image Source: Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

For most students, a laptop equipped with mainstream performance is more than sufficient. Taking notes, writing essays, web research, and occasional streaming activities don’t demand high-end specifications. The ZenBook 14 OLED utilizes a low-power AMD Ryzen 5 or 7 CPU that offers ample speed. In benchmark tests, it either matched or surpassed the equivalent Intel CPU, especially in multi-core applications. Your student won’t encounter any issues completing their work, and the laptop operates quietly, making it suitable for classroom note-taking.

Additionally, the ZenBook 14 OLED demonstrates the typical efficiency of AMD processors, delivering battery life well above average. It boasts more than 12 hours of web browsing and 17 hours of video looping, with a PCMark 10 Applications battery score of 14.5 hours. This impressive battery life ensures that students can rely on their laptop throughout the day, with enough power left for homework in the evenings.

A Gorgeous Display for All-Around Use and Media Streaming

Usually, laptops priced below $1,000 don’t offer exceptional display quality. While you can find a decent IPS panel within this price range, it remains an average display that fails to deliver the best colors and contrast. This makes tasks like viewing and editing photos and videos less enjoyable (though serious video editing isn’t realistic on any laptop under $1,000). Moreover, media streaming experiences can be mediocre.

However, the ZenBook 14 OLED breaks this trend by featuring a spectacular OLED display at an affordable price. It exhibits excellent brightness, remarkable color width and accuracy, and deep contrast. The laptop excels in handling HDR content, providing a visually immersive experience that reduces eye strain. Whether it’s schoolwork or creative tasks, the ZenBook 14 OLED offers outstanding display quality for all your needs.

The Best College Laptop for the Money

If you have a larger budget, there are better laptops available. For instance, the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 provides a pen for handwritten notes, and high-end MacBook Pros deliver enhanced creative performance. However, if you’re working with a limited budget, you can’t go wrong with the ZenBook 14 OLED.

Asus ZenBook 14 OLED Image Source: Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The build quality of the ZenBook 14 OLED is excellent, featuring an impressive keyboard and touchpad, with an embedded LED numeric keypad. Moreover, its performance, battery life, and display quality are optimized to provide a great college experience. Considering all these factors, I can confidently say that the Asus ZenBook 14 OLED is the best laptop choice for the majority of college students.