10 Best Laptop for PhD Students 2021

Last updated Oct 9, 2021

Are you looking for the best laptop for PhD Student to spice up your studying experience? Or you might be a professional looking for extensively powered systems.

No matter what your department or major is, the significance of a portable unit is undeniable.

As laptops are expensive and use multiple features at once, it’s hard to select one, especially for Ph.D. students. Time is everything.

They can’t risk using a slow and average system for their work.

Dealing with various research software, thesis writing files, and apps, they require something as productive as them. Though they come in a handful of specifications, it all depends on your need.

For example, if you’re doing a doctorate in film and media sciences, you’ll deal with a lot of video editing and Photoshop software.

On the other hand, a literature student needs massive storage and connectivity for its data files.

Looking at the best laptop for Doctoral students, there’s one thing common in all of them-quality speed and storage speed.

We have filtered out some of the killer spec-ed units for you. Scroll below and find what matched your interests.

10 Best Laptops for PhD Students Summary

1. Lenovo Flex 14

Lenovo is a great option for students who are looking for efficient units within a budgeted price. Its modern technology will get you through your studies in the way you want it to.

Stunning graphics

Coming around with a 14-inch HD display screen, the touch screen makes it the best handy laptop.  With a resolution power of 1920 x 1080, you’ll get to experience crispy yet vibrant colors.

The screen is a beautiful blend of perfect contrast and brightness. Further activity is enhanced by the Intel UHD graphics 620

Brings efficient Results

To get the job done quickly and right; an AMD Ryzen 5 processor is integrated into the unit. The supported action of 256GB NVMe SSD and 8GB RAM, adds value to its worth.

Be it your regular document files or editing a long video, the specs work equally great for both.

Storage is no longer an issue for your heavy data.  Operated on Windows, multitasking and web browsing is a breath of fresh air.

Looks and Hardware

 The body is light and minimally designed making it perfect for carrying and transporting. With a 2-in-1 convertible body, it can be used in a laptop, tablet, and a tent mode.

Talking about ports, a USB 3.1 type-c port, full-size SD card slot, an audio jack, and power jack are included. Other than this, two USB 3.1 type-a ports and an HDMI video output is also present.

  • Decent Battery Timing
  • Clicky Keyboard
  • Solid-Body
  • Touch Pen not included

2. Apple MacBook Air

With multi-ranged products and laptops, Apple is certainly topping the user’s hearts. Manufactured with great detail and heavy-duty materials, there’s always a signature look to their systems. Sleek and slim, the MacBook Air is one such example.

Stunning Graphics

The screen is pixeled at 2560 x 1600, giving a vivid visual experience. Its dedicated true tone technology automatically adjusts the screen settings for you. Whether you are in too dark or too bright spaces, your work will never get interrupted.

Moreover, the 12-inch display is more than enough for students. An Intel Iris plus graphics also marks its presence.

Brings Efficient Results

Equipped with Intel’s 1.1 GHz Quad-Core i5 and 4MB L3 cache, it is one of the fastest units out there. What else could one have expected from Apple? It is the king of multitasking and no one can say otherwise.

It operates on Mac OS; therefore, the tasks are smoothly taken care of.  A 256GB PCle-based SSD and a power-packed 8GB RAM sets a distinctive vibe of the unit.

Looks and Hardware

Available in a few colors, this sophisticated notebook can easily become the best laptops for phd research and note-taking.  12-hour battery timing and a light body make it a reliable study buddy.

A 720-pixel face time webcam with Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5, 2x USB-C/thunderbolt 3 is provided by this notebook system. To add value to the system, a headphone jack is also incorporated in the body.

  • Perfect for Travelling
  • Stunning Display
  • Thunderbolt 3 Supported
  • Expensive

3. Acer Spin 3 Laptop

Operating on Google’s software, Chromebooks are a bit different from laptops. But despite the variance, it’s worth the investment. Link up all your data files with the Google Cloud and you are good to go.

Stunning Graphics

For studies, a touch screen is a life savior. Scaled at 14- inches, its 2K screen supports finger and stylus action. Drag the document from an end to the other, take notes, and research. This unit is capable of doing more than normal.

Made from Corning Gorilla Glass, it can withstand pressure shocks while showing off its strength.

Brings Efficient Results

Powered by the Intel’s Core i5-8250u processor, browsing is a breath of fresh air. While you are getting your work done, the 16GB DDR4 memory ensures the system never experiences a lag.

As students have to deal with large files of data and documents, storage can be a hassle.  Acer understands all your concerns. That’s why a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD is configured in the system.

Looks and Hardware

The convertible body design is a great addition to its sophisticated look and design. Operating on windows 10 home, the unit can be used for over 10 hours. The spin 3 comes equipped with a variety of ports and slots. 

These include an HDMI 2.0 port, a USB 3.2 type-a port, a thunderbolt 3 port, and a microSD reader. Furthermore, a Kensington lock slot, stylus dock, and headphone port are also provided.

  • deal Price Tag
  • Action Stylus Included
  • Chiclet Keyboard
  • Cheap Graphics Card

4. Huawei Mate Book X Pro Signature Edition

Be it their smartphones or laptops, Huawei is slowly and steadily stepping up its game. Garnering positive reviews and happy customers all around the globe, mate book series is to watch out for.

Stunning graphics

Mate book bright screens lands at 13.-Inches in size. Though the mate book is not a full-screen unit, the display quality tells otherwise.

The 3000×2000 resolute screen is bound to give visuals that are near to real. With 260 pixels per inch, the graphics are unmatchable. Other things are handled by the intel® UHD graphics 620

Brings efficient results

Thanks to its 8th generation Intel® Core™ i7-8565u processor, the input gets a super quick output. It is responsive and supports productivity.

Just like its processor, the 256 GB NVMe PCle SSD is upgradeable to up to 1TB. Further, the use of SSD with an 8 GB LPDDR3 is the icing on the cake. Not only is it fast, but also quiet and stores in a lot of stuff. 

Looks and Hardware

Huawei has cleverly adjusted in a 720p camera under its F1 key. Available in a few color options the unit is perfect in terms of look and price.

To ensure quick data transfers and easy linking with other devices, a set of ports is available in this unit. These include a Type-C USB Port, Headphone, a Thunderbolt 3 as well as a USB 3.0.

  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • Sleek Screen
  • Decent Battery Time
  • No SD Card Slot

5. Dell XPS 13

Talking about the swiftest and the handy units, how can one miss out on Dell? The XPS 13 is proof of top-notch performance in a slim and stylish body.

Making slight changes in its body and look, Dell has managed to turn XPS into an almost bezel-less framework.

Stunning Graphics

Supported by Intel Iris Plus, the graphics are bound to exceed your expectations. The 13.4-inched touch display has a beautifully balanced color contrast and temperature. You will be impressed by it.

With 1080-pixel resolution, the screen quality may distract you from studies. After all, what’s studying without a little fun?

Brings out Efficient Results

Dell is not just about looks. Top-quality hardware with unparalleled performance is what makes Dell special. What keeps this system moving is the Intel’s Core i7-1065G7 Ice Lake processor with a hefty 16 GB of RAM.

Speed and Efficiency are assisted in action by the 512 GB M.2 NVMe SSD. In short, you are going to a power-packed performance at a small price.

Looks and Hardware

It has a beautiful lid color, flawless hinge action, and a textured finish. Dell XPS has an impeccable look to it with a glass touchpad and a satisfying keypad. For quick log-in, a fingerprint reader is incorporated in the system.

The presence of a pair of Thunderbolt 3 has added to its value. Other than that, a micro-SD slot is also present.

  • Compact Body Shape
  • Colorful Display
  • Fast in Action
  • USB Type-C missing

6. Acer Predator Helios 300

As the name suggests, Acer’s predator is going to hunt all those weak systems around us. With its modern technology and better than previous features, you are in for a new adventure every day. In terms of price, this unit will land at a sweet spot.

Stunning graphics

If graphics are your concern, then be relieved because Acer has one of the best display screens in the laptop industry. Armed with a 15.6-inch screen is a treat for the eye.

The LED-backlit, widescreen display refreshes at a rate of 144 Hz. It is bright and responsive, with image quality as good as real.

Brings Efficient Results

Primarily created as a gaming laptop, this unit has the power and potential to be the best laptop for computer science students.  The modern Intel Core i7-9300 processor works in co-operation with the 16 GB memory.

You can easily switch between multiple tabs and browsers at once.  The 256GB PCle SSD takes care of all your heavy files and Nvidia GTX 1660ti discrete GPU optimizes the graphics.

Looks and Hardware

In terms of looks, its aesthetic lid has already won my heart. The unit comes equipped with the 4th Gen aero blade 3D fan. So, it remains super cool and airy.

Acer’s signature backlit keyboard and a smooth trackpad is part of the system. It has a notable Killer Double Shot Pro Wireless AC 1550 802. 11ac is also present.

  • Modern Design
  • Swift GPU Action
  • Massive Storage Space
  • Fans are pretty loud

7. ASUS VivoBook 15

Packed in a shiny body, the unit is pretty in looks and gigantic in performance. The compact framework not only adds to its aesthetics but also makes it easy to transport. With its clicky keypad and a gorgeous display, it will become the center of attention.

Stunning Graphics

Whether you are majoring in media sciences or life sciences, the 120×1080 pixels is a great catch for students. The 15.6-inches display screen is good at whatever use you put it to.

The colors are good and bright making you sneak up a film or drama every once in a while.

Brings in Efficient Results

Using an intel core i3 8th gen 8145U processor in it, the Vivo book gives off some extra-ordinary perks to the performance. Operating on windows 10 home, the 1TB storage is more than enough for your research and studies. 

On the other hand, 16GB RAM is also present to cater to your needs.

Looks and Hardware

It is available in a handful of fresh and cool colors. The notebook has a vibe. With an ergo lift in its construction, the design makes it a favorable student option. it has a variety of slots adjusted in its body.

These include an HDMI 2.0 port and a USB Type-C port. For added versatility, the basic headphone/mic jack and a micro SD card slot find its way.

  • Superior design
  • Generous port options
  • Top-notch hardware
  • Audio Quality is meh

8. HP Pavilion 15-cx0056wm8

Coming from hp’s creative and most trusted labs, the Pavillion model is a great catch. Known for its durable framework and top-notch performance, this laptop can do wonders with your performance.

The multi-purpose unit has a set of dedicated features that makes it the best of the best.

Stunning Graphics

The 15.6-inch display screen imitates hp’s signature design.  Sporting a full HD IPS anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit display, it is the perfect package for students.

At the budgeted price, having the resolution of 1080 pixels is a win-win deal. This makes it amongst the Best laptops for college students in 2019.

Brings Efficient Results

I can’t stop emphasizing how advanced specs are introduced in this little model. It has an NVidia GTX 1050 TI 4GB discrete GPU, an i5-8300h Intel core processor, 8GB RAM, and 1TB hard disk drive.

HP has done an admirable job with this little system. Though this is a gaming notebook, it can be used for editing and processing software without budging in performance.

Looks and Hardware

Though it is small in size, it’s a bit heavy. It might be hard to carry it every day but with the offered specs, one can always compromise on weight. In terms of connectivity, you’ve got lots of options up your sleeve.

A backlit keyboard adds to your typing experience whereas the easy-to-use, responsive trackpad will help you navigate the cursor.

  • Brilliant Display Power
  • Decent Price Range
  • Sensitive Trackpad
  • Heavy to Carry

9. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

Talking about the laptops for Ph.D. students, how can we miss out on this beauty? Quality and convenience with a decent price have always been Microsoft’s priority.

Therefore, they have very unique laptop designs and features. The surface of laptop 3 is one such example.

Stunning Graphics

Surface 3 has a stunning 13.5-inch touch display with 2256 x 1504 pixels resolution strength.  The colors are well-adjusted, the screen is bright and the images are crisp and sharp.

With a 3:2 aspect value, the visual experience is to die for.

Brings in Efficient Results

Although the unit comes with top-quality specs, the interesting thing is its customization offer. it comes in with multiple configurations depending upon your usage and need.

For entry-level tasks, you can select a 256GB storage device with an 8GB memory. For processing, an i5, Ryzen 5, i7 or Ryzen 7 processors are available.

Looks and Hardware

Sleek and Slim body with a perfect touch of shimmer is the beauty point of this system. Microsoft has gone for a very minimal and decent designing for this model.

Furthermore, it has the perfect weight to it, making it an ideal travel and study partner.

It comes with the basic ports like a USB 3.1 Type-A port, a USB Type-C input, and a headphone/mic jack all covered. Furthermore, a magnetic Surface Connect port for charging is also available.

  • Vibrant Display Screen
  • Compact Body Shape
  • Satisfying Typing Experience
  • No Thunderbolt 3 Included

10. LG Gram Laptop

Last up on this list is this compact and modern system from LG. In these last few years, LG has stepped up its game with some quality units. This unit is one of the lightest and easiest units available in the market.

With its convenient action and portable body, it has quickly become a hot item.

Stunning Graphics

LG has proved that quality and quantity both can be well-managed in one unit. The world’s lightest unit rocks a screen resolution of WQXGA (2560 x 1600). 

The 17-inched full high definition display ensures you get the perfect image result. Sharp and crispy images are a done deal with its 16:10 aspect ratio.

Brings in Efficient Results

Processing power is usually gotten from its Intel’s® core™ i7-8565u. Other than that, an 8MB cache size results in quick and productive speeds while working. The operating system is going to be the latest window’s 10.

For a doctorate student, other than speed, storage is a key factor. Thus, a 256 GB SSD–512 GD with the SATA interface is incorporated in its body. The rest is handled by its 8GB RAM.

Looks and Hardware

Looks are everything for this unit. Though there’s nothing special in terms of looks, yet it looks goods. With an ergonomic design, the gram laptop is one of the simplest yet sophisticated units ever created.

This best laptop for research students has LG’s signature styled comfortable keypad is included. Moreover, all the basic ports and slots are included in this unit.

  • Solid Built
  • Crispy Graphics
  • Generous Ports
  • Average Battery Time

Buying Guide for Students


The 12-inch is the lightest units whereas the 17-18 screens make the unit heavy and hard to carry. Though it all depends on your needs, a regular 12- 14-inch units work great for students.

They are light-weight and are easy to carry around. If you are a media student, you may switch up the graphics processor and setting a little bit. Other than that, they work just fine. 


Whether to buy a MacBook, Chromebook, laptop or notebook is the question. All these may or may not be convertible into tablet mode so do check on that.

A simple laptop design doesn’t offer any such design modes at all.  So, if you’re an art student, you may want a notebook that allows detaching the keyboard.


Doctorate students need to type in all the time. In such cases, an average or slightly average keypad won’t do justice to your performance.

You want the best of the best keyboard for this purpose. The same goes for the trackpad. Make sure it is smooth and responsive. Quickly takes up your input and thereby, saves your time.

Specifications and features

Specs can confuse even a computer professional, and we are just students.


Anyways, the central processing unit of your system determines your performance level. There are several Intel cores to look from. Like, the i9 core or the i5, i7, and so on. Apart from Intel, we have got some killer options from Ryzen. So, make sure you research up on that.


RAM determines the speed of the performance and the more it is, the better results you get. Entry-level laptops come with 4 GB RAM, but considering your need, a minimum of 8GB is necessary. It can be more than 64 GB as well.


Storage is another factor that can make or break the system, it is suggested that you prefer SSD’s over HDD; s with a storage capacity in GB’s. Though it might be less for some, switching to 1TB is also possible.


That was it regarding the best laptop for a Ph.D. student. I hope this was an interesting read for you. And that you got to shortlist some units for your next shopping. No matter what your need is, buying a laptop is always hard and tricky.

In that case, I suggest you research a lot and ask for suggestions from your seniors and professionals.

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