Top 5 Student Laptops by FatWallet Expert Deal Hunter

Back to school is a great time to find a great deal on a laptop! But, if you’re like me, trying to figure out if what I’m getting for my money is a good deal, isn’t always easy. I think trying to decipher the alphabet soup of RAM, GB, HD, LED is the perfect recipe for cooking up a headache.

So David, author of our Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide and FatWallet’s expert tech deal hunter, has simplified this for us by sharing his top 5 Student Laptop Picks!

Read on to see what David picked, who would love it, and why he thinks it’s a top pick!

Happy back to school!

:) Heather


Meet Your Expert:

David Varble, expert deal hunter and techie superstar who picks the highest quality products at the best prices available. Check out David’s best laptop deals and top HDTV picks before making your next laptop or HDTV purchase!


1.) Apple (MD101LL/A) MacBook Pro 13.3″ Notebook w/ Core i5 Ivy Bridge Dual Core

Who: For the student who just has to have a Mac

What: Apple (MD101LL/A) MacBook Pro 13.3″ Notebook w/ Core i5 Ivy Bridge Dual Core

  • Intel Core i5 Dual Core (2.5GHz, )

  • 13.3″ (1280 x 800) LED Backlit Display
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 500GB 5,400RPM Hard Drive
  • Intel HD 4000 Graphics
  • Wireless N
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Ports
  • OSX Lion or Mountain Lion

Why: Weighing just 4.54 pounds and packed with all the latest technology (Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge processor & Intel HD 4000 graphics) the latest generation of Macbooks are perfect for stylish students. Ideal for photo, music, and video editing.

Where & How Much: Buy it for $999.99 w/ In-Store Pickup at Frys


2.) Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 (08626JU) 15.6″ Laptop w/Core i7-2670QM Quad Core & 1GB GeForce GT 555M Graphics (expires 8/10/2012 8:59pm)


Who: Student gamer

What: Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 (08626JU) 15.6″ Laptop w/Core i7-2670QM Quad Core & 1GB GeForce GT 555M Graphics $699 AC at Lenovo.com

  • Intel Core i7-2670QM Quad Core (2.2GHz, 1333MHz, 6MB L3 Cache)

  • 15.6″ (1366 x 768) LED Backlit Display
  • 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 555M Graphics / Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • 8GB DDR3 1333 RAM
  • 500GB 7,200RPM Hard Drive
  • 6 Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
  • 6 Pounds

Features include HDMI, 2MP webcam with mic, Bluetooth 2.1, two USB 3.0 ports, media reader, wireless N, DVD burner, and a 1-year limited warranty.

Why: Heavier than the typical student laptop, this IdeaPad features a 1GB discrete GeForce GT 555M graphics card, second gen Sand Bridge Core i7 processor and 8GB of RAM. Perfect for writing papers during the day and playing games at night. The HDMI output is a must.

Where & How Much: Buy it for $699 at Lenovo with coupon code: DOORBUSTERDEAL


3.) HP dv7t Quad Edition 17.3″ Notebook w/ 3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3610QM Quad Core (expires 8/12/2012 11:59pm)


Who: Overachiever / Multitasker

What: HP dv7t Quad Edition 17.3″ Notebook w/ 3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3610QM Quad Core

  • Intel Core i7-3610QM Quad Core (2.3 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache)

  • 17.3″ (1600×900) LED Backlit Display
  • 8GB DDR3 Memory
  • 1TB 5,400RPM Hard Drive
  • 1GB Nvidia GeForce 630M Graphics
  • 6 Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Features include a HP TrueVision HD Webcam, 3 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit ethernet, blu-ray player / DVD burner combo drive, bluetooth, digital media card reader, HDMI, and 2 year warranty.

Why: Aside from 3D gaming, this 17.3″ dv7t is ready for anything you throw at it thanks to its quad core i7 processor, 1TB hard drive, and 8GB of RAM.

Where & How Much: Buy it for $799.99 with free shipping from HP. Use coupon code: NBH9721


4.) Asus (X45U-RIN4) 14″ Notebook w/ AMD E1 1200 Dual Core


Who: Student on a budget – You know exactly what you need and refuse to pay more unused features.

What: Asus (X45U-RIN4) 14″ Notebook w/ AMD E1 1200 Dual Core $332.49 w/ FS at Sears

  • AMD E1 1200 Dual Core (1.4GHz, 1MB L2 Cache)

  • Radeon HD 7310 Graphics
  • 4GB DDR3 1066 RAM
  • 14″ (1366 x 768) LED Backlit Display
  • 320GB 5,400RPM Hard Drive
  • 6 Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
  • 5.4 Pounds

Features include wireless N, one USB 3.0 port, DVD burner, gigabit ethernet, HDMI, built-in 0.3MP webcam with mic, and a 1-year limited warranty.

Why: This budget laptop features AMD’s latest E series low voltage APU with Radeon 7310 graphics. Perfect for checking email, surfing the web, school projects, multimedia entertainment, and light 2D gaming.

Where & How Much: Buy it for $332.49 from Sears with Free Shipping and 4% Cash Back!


5.) Acer Gateway (NE56R13U) 15.6″ Laptop w/ Intel Celeron B820 Dual Core

Who: Broke student – If you live on Ramen Noodles then this laptop is for you.

What: Acer Gateway (NE56R13U) 15.6″ Laptop w/ Intel Celeron B820 Dual Core

  • Intel Celeron B820 Dual Core (1.7GHz, 2MB L3 Cache)

  • 15.6″ (1366 x 768) LCD Display
  • Intel HD Graphics
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM (8GB Max)
  • 320GB 5,400RPM Hard Drive
  • 6 Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
  • 5.5 Pounds

Features include gigabit ethernet, HDMI, card reader, DVD burner, wireless N, 1.3MP webcam with mic, and a 1-year limited warranty.

Why: Unlike the Celeron processors of the past, these new CPU’s are based on the Sandy Bridge architecture and pack more power than ever. About the same price as a tablet with more versatility.

Where & How Much: Buy it for $249.99 w/ In-Store Pickup at Target

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