Top 20 Laptops for Back to School

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11. The ThinkPad T410 is still one of the greatest evolutions of the popular T-series ThinkPad from Lenovo. This model brings a new line of dedicated and integrated graphics cards, the Intel Core-series processor line, and a completely redesigned chassis. Our lab tests showed the ThinkPad T410 provides roughly twice the processor power of the previous T400 and twice the graphics performance to boot.

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12. The Toshiba Satellite M640 and M645 offer a 14-inch laptop with solid performance and an attractive design at a modest price. Starting at around $700, this notebook certainly has an appealing price. Bottom line, despite a few minor issues, the Toshiba Satellite M645 makes a great choice for students who are looking for a 14-inch laptop and want the “best bang for their buck.”

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13. The HP ProBook 4520s is a small and medium business notebook that replaces the older 4510s from last year. The new model bumps the configuration from the older Intel Core 2 Duo family of processors to the newer Intel Core line, including the Core i3, i5 and i7 processors. Again, this business notebook makes a nice school laptop for serious students.

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14. The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 15 is the biggest notebook in the Edge family that also includes 13 and 14-inch models. The Edge series is known for its stylish looks that set it apart from other models in the ThinkPad series as well as its chiclet style keyboard. If a 15-inch notebook is too large for your needs then be sure to take a look at the ThinkPad Edge 13.

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15. The new Lenovo G550 is an update to the Value Line G530 with the primary difference being the shift from a 16:10 to a 16:9 screen. This 15-inch laptop offers your choice of Intel Pentium or Core 2 Duo processor and up to 4GB DDR3 installed memory. The G550 is a solid notebook without much flare. The fact that many online retailers sell this notebook for a bargain price is main reason the G550 remains popular on this website.

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16. The HP Pavilion dv6z promises to deliver great performance at a low price and continues to be a popular seller for HP. The Pavilion dv6z features the latest AMD processors, your choice of integrated or discrete graphics, and all the ports and features you need. At a starting price of just $579.99 it might just be the most competitive desktop replacement notebook on the market. Please note  that this notebook was recently refreshed and our current review is for the old model.


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17. The Dell Studio XPS 16 is designed for those who want power, cutting-edge features, and style. If you’re someone who likes to make a statement with your notebook, the metal and leather looks of the Studio XPS 16 will help you in that area too. Sleek design combined with a 1080p display and powerful components come together to make for an awesome notebook.

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18. The Studio 17 is a 17-inch multimedia and gaming desktop-replacement notebook from Dell. This system can be configured with Intel Core i7 processors as well as high-end ATI Mobility Radeon graphics cards to compete against powerhouse systems like the Acer Aspire 8940G or Asus G51J. Dell has one trick up its sleeve with the Studio 17: it’s the first large consumer notebook to offer an optional multitouch display.

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19. The ASUS G73JH is the latest gaming notebook in the successful G-series product line. This 17.3-inch monster has a Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and the most powerful mobile video card available, the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870.

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20. The Acer Aspire 7740 series is a 17.3-inch multimedia notebook designed for people who want a lot of features for not a lot of money. This notebook costs $749 while still offering an Intel Core i3-330M processor, Intel GMA HD graphics, Blu-ray drive, and a HD+ LED-backlight display.

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Please keep in mind that this list does not cover all of the laptops on the market today that would make fantastic notebooks for students.  This list was merely designed to highlight a few laptops that we thought might appeal to a wide range of both students and parents alike.

Remember to get advice on which laptop you buy instead of just going with what is popular, visit our What Notebook Should I Buy For School? discussion forum to find the perfect system to suit your specific needs.

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