Laptop designs have continued to be refined over the years with companies now offering more sleek-looking notebooks that are not only light and portable but thin and made of quality materials. Heading to campus armed with such a companion makes the course work a little bit more bearable. We've compiled a short list of some of the most attractive notebooks available on the market.
Microsoft's new Surface Laptop (see our review) packs some of the company's finest work when it comes to the Surface family of PCs. Measuring in at just 14.47mm thick, the 13-inch laptop features a glorious 2256 x 1504 display with ample amounts of power to get any student through the day. Not only is the display fantastic for productivity, but it brings media and other content to life after those long sessions of studying.
Other specifications that are noteworthy include a whopping 512GB solid-state drive (SSD), 16GB of RAM, and the latest in Intel processing (all the way up to Core i7, depending on configuration). And if you're more of a creative genius in the classroom, the Surface Laptop works just fine with the Surface Pen. Pricing starts at around $799 (eligible students save an additional 10 percent), which isn't cheap, but well worth it.
It's one of the best looking laptops around and is the best notebook for students heading back to school.
Dell XPS 13
The XPS 13 by Dell is absolutely stunning. Sporting one of the best looking designs of any laptop, the company managed to work in some magic with this latest iteration. A 13-inch display has been installed inside a chassis that one would expect to house an 11-inch variant, which means you'll be able to focus on documents and other content without having to take in massive bezels. The screen almost appears to blend in with the surroundings.
Hardware configurations make it possible to select between a touch-enabled or standard 1080p display, Intel processors up to seventh-gen Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and even a 1TB PCIe SSD for blazing fast performance. Starting at $799 also means this notebook won't destroy the available budget. As an added bonus, there's even a convertible 2-in-1 model available.
Should you do a little gaming in your spare time and wish to remain active while on campus, you'll want to go for a laptop with a little more power in the GPU department. This is where the Razer Blade comes into play. This 15-inch notebook packs a capable NVIDIA GTX 1060 that can power even more demanding titles with ease, thanks to solid processing power and 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM.
As for the rest of the specifications list, the Razer Blade also sports an 8th-Gen Intel Core i7-8750H hexa-core CPU, 16GB of RAM, and up to 512GB PCIe SSD. The 1080p display (4K option is available) is a joy to use, allowing the GTX 1060 to really come to life without having to tone down in-game settings too heavily. And in case the sleek black design of the laptop wasn't enough already, the company implemented a fully connected Chroma keyboard.
Configurations of the Razer Blade commence at around $1,900.
HP Spectre x360
HP's Spectre x360 screams premium from the get go. Just looking at the quality design gives off the impression that this is a serious notebook, as noted in our review. Coming in at just 13.7mm thick, it's also incredibly slim for a 2-in-1 convertible. We're talking about a 13.3-inch touch-enabled display, which works well in tablet, stand or tent modes, and the keyboard and touchpad combo is solid for traditional notebook use.
Much like other laptops on this list, the Spectre x360 packs inside the latest from Intel with at least an 8th-Gen Core i5 processor. Joining the powerful CPU is 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The cheaper models come with a 1080p screen, but there is a 4K option available that adds around $300 to the overall cost. Configurations start at around $949.99, so this isn't an affordable notebook by any means.
ASUS ZenBook UX331UA
The ZenBook notebooks by ASUS are stunning pieces of kit. Sporting an iconic design, which consists of a solid aluminum build, the UX331UA is unique in that it has both the design and dimensions to draw attention for all the right reasons. Inside you'll find an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 256GB SSD. On paper, this isn't the most powerful laptop available. That said, it'll be more than capable of powering through studies.
Other handy features include a fingerprint reader and USB 3.1 Type-C. For the price, and we're only talking $799 here, this is a steal of a laptop. When it comes to battery life, it's possible to hit 10 hours with light use (web browsing or using Word), which is ideal for use in coffee shops and other locations.
MSI GS65 Stealth
The GS65 is a departure from what we usually expect to see with MSI gaming laptops. The internals is roughly the same, sporting at least an 8th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor and GTX 1060 GPU. What sets this laptop apart is the design. It's ridiculously thin and not a black slab of plastic. What MSI has done is work in some stunning colored accents on the chassis, and packing everything in a laptop that measures at just 0.69 inches (17mm) thick.
Anyone who may happen to glance at the GS65 will immediately know this thing holds some serious horsepower. Prices actually undercut the Razer Blade, too, starting at around $1,799 (with a GTX 1060) but configurations can easily surpass the $2,000 mark.
Only the best will do
Sometimes looks aren't always the most important feature of a laptop. Should you demand the best in specifications or perhaps connectivity, you'll want to check out our picks for best Windows laptop.
Updated August 17, 2018: We updated this guide to include the latest technology and models from major vendors.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.