Back-to-School 2018: 12 Best Laptops for Students

It still feels like summer, but make no mistake: Fall is coming. And that means the 2018 back-to-school shopping season is ramping up. That typically means a trip to pick up pencils, pens, notebooks, a ruler and a calculator ... but increasingly, it also means scouring stores for the best laptops to get the kids through the school year.

Laptop access used to be a "nice-to-have" - now it's a necessity for college and high school, and it's increasingly important for primary-school students, too. The days of hand-written assignments are dwindling; we've switched to neatly formatted and printed ... or even submitted online.

The stakes for back-to-school shopping are higher as a result. You've gone from $50 worth of office supplies to potentially spending more than $1,000. Striking gold isn't easy, either; finding the best laptops means sorting through literally hundreds of models - a more complicated process than deciding between blue and black ink.

Here are 12 of the best laptops for back-to-school 2018. Some of these picks focus on overall general quality, while a few are focused on specific areas such as high-end power, gaming and value.

Microsoft Surface Laptop

Courtesy Microsoft

Computers that run Microsoft's Windows operating system have some significant advantages, including the largest selection of compatible software and the widest

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Kiplinger

Kiplinger5 min read
12 Different Times When You Should Update Your Will
I can't tell you how often I meet with clients who tell me they have been meaning to update their wills for years but never got around to doing it. Their numbers are only surpassed by the people who didn't think they needed to update their legal docu
Kiplinger9 min read
13 Reasons You Will Regret an RV in Retirement
As you roll toward retirement, dreams of blue highways might be giving you an itch to hit the open road. With the kids grown and no job to tie you down, why not sell the house, buy a recreational vehicle and see the country? You wouldn't be alone. Ap
Kiplinger8 min read
Can You Just Walk Away from a Debt-Riddled Business and Start Fresh?
In the wake of the coronavirus shutdown, many business owners are under immense financial stress caused by the economic impact of a nearly worldwide standstill. Some may be in or at risk of breach or default. Creditors may be jockeying for payment an