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7 Best laptops for phd students and researchers in 2021

by FiveTech Team
7 Best laptops for phd students and researchers in 2021

Everything today is based on online computing devices, even when you are doing PHD or researching on an important project. For being over the top as a PHD student, you must be having a device that gets you to fulfil every requirement. Laptops are ‘once and for all’ solution for your everyday tasks, projects, and assignments, whatever the intensity of the work is. The best laptops for PHD students and researchers fall under basic functionalities but some features are essential. 

Essential Requirement Features & Specs 

When it comes to categorizing down the list of best specs or features that a laptop for PHD and researching student should have, we have crucial aspects.  


The processor that should be included in the laptops for PHD and research scientist have to be at least Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5. If you are going below that, you should expect that your laptop wouldn’t be able to cope with the power-intensive tasks. Intel Core i7 is an ideal pick for demanding projects or tasks which could take more than just a usual processing power for all-time usage.  

Memory & Storage 

It takes time and a lot of memory to get your research to elite level, whether you are a PHD grad or a researcher. The minimum RAM that should be equipped into the laptop has to be around 8GB or more. A good RAM inclusion will help students or professionals to multitask more often, without having to worry about lags. 

As for the storage, the best option we would recommend is SSD. You might already know about SSD, and some may even think this is a bit unnecessary. However, according to our analysis it would be an ideal scenario to pick an SSD laptop for best PHD work and assignments. It will provide you with more options of storing lengthy files, documents, and programs.  


Although, the perfect GPU support that any laptop can contain is the dedicated graphics. We still wouldn’t suggest it for PHD students or researchers, because it’s quite unnecessary. So, it’s better you don’t spend your extra bucks on dedicated GPU settings. In case you are also into editing, creative work, or multimedia projects, you can opt for discrete graphics in your laptop. 

Lightweight & Portable 

The best laptops for graduate students should be lightweight and portable, so they can carry it around without any second thought. It’s easier to work on the go than to be only dependent on the situations or conditions. You can work on your projects or assignments even when you are travelling or in the middle of your lecture.  


It’s important that you can connect your laptop to peripherals that can help in presentations, videos or improving research. The essential port selection that the best laptops for researchers should consist of are HDMI, SD card, VGA port. Also, a USB Type C port along with the Type A and Type B would be like an icing on the cake. 

Best Laptops for PhD Students & Researchers 

NameFeaturesCheck Price
Lenovo ThinkBook 15
Lenovo ThinkBook 15
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 10th Gen
  • Processor Speed: 1.00 GHz
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • OS: Windows 10

HP 250 G7
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 10th Gen.
  • Processor Speed: 1.00 GHz
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • OS: Windows 10
Microsoft Surface Go
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 10th Gen
  • Processor Speed: 1.00 GHz
  • Resolution: 1536 x 1024
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro Professional
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 10th Gen
  • Processor Speed: 1.00 GHz
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
Apple MacBook Air
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 8th Gen
  • Processor Speed: 1.60 GHz
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1600
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • OS: Mac
DELL XPS 13 9310
  • Processor: Intel Core i7
  • Processing Speed: 4.70 GHz
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1200
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • OS: Windows 10 Professional
Acer TravelMate P6
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 10th Gen
  • Processor Speed: 1.80 GHz
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • OS: Windows 10 Professional

Lenovo ThinkBook 15 – An Affordable Professional Laptop  

Lenovo ThinkBook 15The Lenovo Thinkbook range primarily focuses on office and business users, but the best thing about this laptop is its solid processing. For students enrolled in PHD programs, this core i5 laptop can be greatly useful for most of their tasks. Whether you have to research for long hours, document extensive files or even surf through multiple programs, the Intel Core i5 is the best. 

This Lenovo laptop comes with the Core i5 processor that has the base speed of 1 GHz and the maximum turbo speed of 3.6 GHz. The RAM of 8GB in this Thinkbook is combined with the solid-state drive storage of 512GB in this laptop. You can easily switch between multiple files or applications without getting any superior slowdowns.  

A big display of 15.6-inch means your screen viewing angles are going to be comfortable and good for long-hour research. It is packed with the Resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a screen-to-body to ratio of 83%. No doubt, this laptop has efficient display for modern users, and a robust design for not having any consequences of damage. 

  • Best Value for money 

  • PCI-e-SSD storage 

  • No noisy operations 

  • Extra Ports 

  • Full-sized SD card  

  • Solid Build 

  • Only 1 year Warranty 

  • Subpar colour accuracy 

Must Read: Review: Lenovo ThinkBook 15-IIL 15.6″ Business Laptop Core i7 

HP 250 G7 A Laptop with Hidden Potential 

The HP 250 G7 make its way through the best laptops for researchers and PHD grads for being sufficiently equipped with specs. It features an Intel Core i5 processor that has the base speed of 1 GHz and a max turbo speed of 3.6 GHz. This is more than sufficient for everyday to medium-intense task flow that you have lined up for the day.  

With the RAM of 8GB and a solid-state drive storage of 256GB, this laptop passes above the usual users’ expectations. Not only you can conveniently multitask through various programs and files but also lean on heavy software for longer period. Plus, it weighs just around 1.7 kg which makes it direly portable for carrying it around anywhere, everywhere. The graphics inserted in this laptop are the Integrated graphics which are good choice as there is no specific need for the dedicated ones. 

In the price point that HP 250 G7 is labelled, you can get nearly twice as much performance as its competitors. The display is kept large with 15.6-inch screen and a full HD Resolution of 1920 x 1080 with a contrast ratio of 16:9. The battery of this laptop is also long-lasting which is good news for those who are always on the way.  

  • Optical Drive storage 

  • Best Core i5 performance 

  • Sufficient Battery life 

  • NVMe SSD 

  • No heating issues. 

  • No USB Type C 

  • TN Panel Display 

  • Keyboard doesn’t have backlight. 

Microsoft Surface Go – Perfect 2-in-1 Latpop 

Who doesn’t love a laptop that is sleek, slim and lightweight with plenty of power? The Microsoft Surface Go has all that and as its name suggest, it’s the perfect device to use on the Go. It comes with a compact yet solid screen of 12.4-inches and a Resolution of 1536 x 1024 for immersive visuals. Imagine you taking it out like a Notebook and multitasking with your books and this laptop. This one serves it purpose with the Intel Core i5 processor. 

Microsoft has not kept any downsides of this laptop, except you can find it on a little pricey side. The 10th Generation Intel processor that this laptop comes inserted with, plays an effective role in delivering accurate results. Play along extensive files, or surf on different Windows every day for hours, the Surface Go can prove to be an ultimate option. 

The storage included in this Microsoft laptop is thankfully the solid-state drive storage which comes with 8GB memory. Plus, the multitasking becomes easier with 128GB SSD and 8GB RAM, providing an automatic boost to the hard drive. You are also getting a pixel touchscreen in this laptop, which means you can use it anytime like a mini tablet-laptop. There is also a bigger battery capacity that you will get in this laptop so a PHD student can be on their laptop till midnight.  

  • Faster than its rivals 

  • Vivid & colourful display 

  • Backlit keyboard 

  • Windows Hello Recognition 

  • Not-so-long battery life 

  • Additional pen & Keyboard cost 


The ASUS X509JA is an affordable Core i5 laptop that knocks off every day basic computing like a pro. The 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor armed with this laptop has the base speed of 1GHz and a max turbo speed of 3.6 GHz. Along with that, you get On-board graphics for sophisticated visuals on your screen. This laptop is produced for daily users like college and university goers, but it accomplishes the demands in a smooth flow. 

The massive storage of 512GB comes in a solid-state drive form which makes it one of the powerful Core i5 laptops. Not only it can solve every storage-related problem with ease, but your operations and functions get smoother. The addition of 8GB RAM with SSD makes this laptop capable of multitasking and allows switching between programs easily. 

There is a full-sized chiclet keyboard attached with the ASUS X509JA and you also get a dedicated Number Pad. This device supports fast charging with its 32Wh battery life and you can charge it almost 60% in just a little more than half hour. The Full HD Resolution of 1920 x 1080 of the display exhibits high-quality for modern everyday users such as PHD students or researchers. The large screen definitely helps in surfing or viewing the screen all-day long. 

  • Durable & Robust 

  • Fast charging battery life 

  • Good overall Performance 

  • Metal-reinforced design 

  • Mediocre battery life 

  • Plastic Build & Design 

  • Not Amazing Display 

Apple MacBook Air (2019) – The Best Sleek Laptop  

The Apple Macbook Air is one of the top-notch brands laptop that comes in a relatively affordable price as compared to its other versions. It comes with the latest Intel Core i5 processor, which is based on the 8th Gen and carries a base speed of 1.6 GHz. The max turbo speed that this ASUS laptop follows through is around 3.6 GHz. 

This laptop is extremely lightweight with a weight of just 1.25 kg, making itself the best portable choice. The humongous RAM of 16GB included in this laptop is the best spec combo with the solid-state drive storage of 256GB.  If you need a powerful and thin laptop in compact chassis and potent features, the Apple Macbook Air is the one. A lighter form of build and immense amount of power makes it one of prominent budget Apple laptops.  

The PHD Students can enjoy its brilliant battery life, enhanced storage, and massive memory. The operating system installed in this laptop is the Mac personalized one which should be no stone in a PHD student’s life.  

  • Highly Responsive 

  • Great Battery 

  • Mac OS is good 

  • No noise 

  • Nothing new 

  • Fan-less design

DELL XPS 13 9310 – A Power Beast 

If you haven’t heard about the Dell XPS 13, it is one of the solid laptops that hold the power of phenomenal flagship laptops. It features the most advanced Intel Core i7 processor that achieves the maximum turbo speed of 4.7 GHz. To put it simply, this laptop can jam through basic to complex tasks during the day without any hiccup. The core i7 is fast-paced processor that can knock-off any gaming session, an intense operation or convoluted programming.  

The best that you can get from Dell XPS 9310 is the great display, massive RAM and SSD and speedy processor. The PHD students can work on their thesis with efficient research and use multiple applications or software without any lag. The huge amount of memory with SSD storage allows the user to multitask and work through several programs. 

This Core i7 laptop is not only great for gaming but also associates well with its longer battery life, extra ports and vivid screen. This ultraportable Dell laptop comes in exceptionally compact chassis that showcases its sleek build in the best manner.  If you belong to multimedia field as well, this laptop can help you vastly with its diverse collection of features and extra specs. 

  • Ultraportable Lightweight Build 

  • Tiger Lake CPU  

  • Enhanced USB adapter 

  • Efficient RAM & SSD 

  • Limited ports 

  • Comparatively Expensive 

Acer TravelMate P6 – Your Power-Packed Companion 

The Acer TravelMate P6 is a 14 incher that packs the power of Core i7, along with the RAM of 8GB and a massive solid-state drive of 512GB. This compact laptop has everything settled up for advanced multitasking and fluent task-flow. While most of the researchers are always surfing or reading through extensive documents, it may take longer than expected. This laptop doesn’t show any glitches even when you are using high-end program or file to research or view your information. 

The Intel Core i7 processor equipped in this laptop comes packed with the base speed of 1.8 GHz and a maximum turbo speed of around 4GHz. This is incredible for everyday to heavy-duty task flow whether you need to hop on a complex software or usual application. The 8GB RAM in this laptop is armed with the SSD and Integrated graphics are a good combination features for your everyday laptop. 

The best part about this laptop is its smaller size, and lightweight form. As the name says, this laptop can be truly your digital travel mate and you can even wander with it in a local bus. The 14-inch display packed inside the tiny chassis of this laptop comes with full HD Resolution of 1920 x 1080. You can view vivid, clear, and crisp colours on the screen with its 90% sRGB colour gamut. 

  • Tons of business features 

  • Long-lasting battery life 

  • Powerful performance 

  • Comfortable & Spongy Keyboard 

  • Affordable moderately 

  • Average Screen 

  • Ordinary Build Quality


Frequently Asked Questions 

As most of you might already be finding answers to discover your long-due questionaries, we are here answering few of them. These can be pretty much helpful for those who are always here and there on multiple platforms, to get the right answer.  

Which laptop is best for research students? 

There are many laptops that could go best with the research students. The bests include Lenovo ThinkPads and Microsoft Surface laptops. These laptops come in the middle with features, specs and price all combined. Neither are they a lot expensive, nor at the lower side. You can be demanding with them owing to their sufficient RAMs, Core i5 processors and SSD storage.  

Which laptop is best for university students? 

University or college students need a laptop that is perfect to operate their everyday assignments, tasks or daily activities. Not every student can afford a premium laptop with everything top-notch. So, our recommendation would be Lenovo Thinkbook, and HP 250 G7, with their reasonable prices & reliable features.  

Which MacBook is best for university students? 

Apple Macbooks are known for their commendable features and high price-point. But one of the laptops which is called the Apple Macbook Air and was launched in 2019 come with a budget cost. It is one of the sleekest laptops with modest functionality and Tiger Lake CPU for advanced university tasks or projects. This could be your best option with its reasonable price as compared to its other versions.  

What laptop is best for psychology majors?  

The laptop that psychology major students should require has to be based on at least 8GB RAM, Core i7 CPU and SSD storage. Aside from that, the NVIDIA Dedicated graphics are a definite plus. Our favourite laptops includes Apple Macbook Air, Dell XPS 13 and Microsoft Surface GO that suit best to these conditions. 

Bottom Line 

Our list of best laptops for PHD students and researchers could help you greatly, but you can also find out great deals on laptops at Five Tech UK. Straight up the facts, these laptops can help solve your daily issues that you might face with your ordinary laptops. Not only you can explore them at best prices but get the best functionality out of them.  

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