Best Laptops for Phd and Research Students


Either you’re a researching geek, or in the way of your doctoral degree, only you’d know how much research you have to do. You might be in search of a laptop that’s comfy to see on, great to type on, and of course, decently fast to handle multitasking.

The good news is you’ll get all these perks in our line of best laptops for PhD and research students. Your laptop should be powerful enough to bear hours and hours of research and best for taking notes.

From gathering information from dozens of sites, consolidating data, checking, and finally proofreading if everything makes sense, trust me, things get easier when you’ve got the right equipment.

Today, the world is continuously on the move with every passing second. The amount of knowledge a person can acquire has no boundaries. Your performance merely depends on your tool.

Once you get one of the best laptops for research, you’ll only get to see your new analytical strength, but also you’ll expand your range of mastery with an excellent grip over theories. Sounds impressive! Right?

We’re right here to aid you in your challenging task of getting the best bang for your buck, especially when you have got a bunch of options.

Along with our top ten picks, the detailed buying guide will make you a step closer to your purchase.

Let’s get right into the business!

Best Laptops for PhD Students

1. LG Gram Thin 15Z980 – Best Overall

After marking its prominence in the tech world, LG is right here with its advanced 15Z980 series that offers you a high-end performance in research work.

Do you know what makes it so unique? It’s lighter in weight and heavier in performance. Plus, it has beaten its competitors with its 72Wh Lithium battery that can last up to 19 hours. It’s quite enough for hours of uninterrupted research and multitasking –that’s what a Ph.D. student needs!

Let’s talk about the aesthetics!

Despite being remarkably lightweight and portable, LG’s advanced series feature Nano-carbon magnesium construction, ensuring a sleek and aesthetical touch.

If you carry your laptop everywhere, you’re good to go with this ultra-portable. Plus, the bezels are exceptionally thin with a high-pixel webcam and the LG logo’s accents on the bottom.

Performance, not only in terms of multitasking but everything a Ph.D. student aims is guaranteed –all thanks to its Intel Core i5 processor.

The brightest bright in the darkest dark, LG’s 15.6” FHD IPS display with 1920x 1080p resolution is remarkable with optimal color contrast. You can even do your work outdoors, and barely you’ll face any downfall in the brightness.

With 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, you can store countless numbers of assignments and research papers without getting your system down.

LG ensures optimal connectivity in USB Type-C and HDMI ports that ensure excellent data transfer rate and great video output.

With exceptionally long battery life, brilliant aesthetics, and responsive touch and keypad, Dell 15Z980 Series deserves to be on the top of the best laptops for PhD students and also best for college students.

  • Exceptionally-long battery life
  • High-end aesthetics
  • Ultra-portable
  • Great value for money
  • Average network speed

2. Acer Predator Helios 300 – Best Graphics

There’s no exaggeration in saying that Acer is a well-known name in the gaming world due to its high-specs gaming gear. When it comes to performance, the Predator Helios 300 series is not an exception.

No matter if you’re not a gaming geek, Acer has a lot to aid your long-term research work. Your eyes will have a pleasant experience with brilliant color contrast on FHD+ 1920x 1080p resolution –all thanks to its NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti graphics card.

Want to know more? Let’s dig a little deeper!

You’ll feel the level of responsiveness Acer has put into the keypad and touchpad. The RGB-backlit keyboard features concave-shaped keycaps with minimal travel distance. What’s the ultimate result? Of course, you get hours of comfortable writing –it’s ultra-responsive!

When used continuously for hours, most of the laptops get heat-up and noisy, but Acer has played well in this aspect too. The 4th Gen AeroBlade 3D Fan Technology cools the system down when it’s under heavy load.

You can play room-filling deep and immersive music during your tedious research work –thanks to Acer’s MAXXAudio Tech.

This laptop’s aesthetics reveals that it’s a heavy-duty bulky gaming rig, but trust me, if ultra-portability isn’t your top priority, you’re good to go with it. It features a unique textured construction that’s quite hefty to carry along everywhere.

But wait, if Acer couldn’t have lagged come competitive models with its 6-hours of average battery life, it deserved the place on the top in the line of best laptops for research students.

  • 16GB RAM is more than enough for multitasking
  • RGB-backlit and responsive keypad
  • High-end cooling system
  • Excellent processor
  • Average battery life
  • Overclocking could’ve been better

3. Lenovo Newest IdeaPad 3 – Best Affordable

Here’s an upgraded iteration of Lenovo’s Ultra-slim Series, the IdeaPad 3, that comes with high-end performance without compromising over style.

You won’t believe it!

It’s one of the slimmest and budget-friendly laptops in Lenovo’s top-line products.

If you’re looking for the best laptop for mba students, it won’t go wrong for a great budget-buy. You’ll get all you need for your research and multitasking except a few corners that you need to cut down.

As your eyes will be stuck on a laptop’s screen for hours and hours and to aid you in that purpose, Lenovo has brought you FHD high-resolution display with brilliant color contrast and optimal eye protection.

The Ideapad 3 comes in an average-quality plastic construction with some outstanding tweaking options and smooth brushed finishing. The bezels are quite thinner than its competitors in this price range.

The Neodymium Fingerprint Magnet touchpad ensures optimal responsiveness. And you know what? The keypad has good travel-distance and clicky keys with larger caps that go well for long typing sessions.

The inclusion of the NumberPad section is a much-anticipated thing for accounting students.

If you plan a movie night or a gaming session, Lenovo’s room-filling audio quality has a lot to give you. Trust me, you get powerful music out of this sleekest device.

If we neglect its Intel Core i3 processor, the inclusion of 8GB RAM with 256GB of NVMe SSD makes the system store a lot and a lot of your files without running down.

  • Excellent value for money
  • HD and high-pixel webcam
  • High-end connectivity
  • Ultra-responsive touch display
  • 45-Degree viewing angle isn’t fair
  • No RGB-backlit

4. Asus TUF Gaming A15 – Best Performance

Asus has marked its debut in the gaming world by ‘TUF Gaming Series’ that have high refresh-rate HD displays, ultra-durability, and competitive GPU going hand in hand.

If you love your co-curricular gaming activities going simultaneously with your doctoral degree, trust me, there’s no better option for you than Asus A15. The high-end specs being ideal for gaming are a lot more for your average-level research work.

With the combination of AMD Ryzen 4000 processor and NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU, Asus has brought you the performance you’ve never experienced before.

Even if you open countless tabs, you’ll get the same speeds and effectiveness –thanks to its advanced CPU and RAM. Let’s talk about the aesthetics!

The heavy-looking MIL-STD-810H construction makes the chassis scratch and dust resistant. Moreover, you’re good to go with its portability if you want to carry it anywhere and everywhere. It’s much slimmer and sleeker with thin bezels and an aesthetic ASUS logo.

The dual-fan cooling system aided with anti-dust technology prevents the system from getting noisy and hot. And that’s the reason Asus A15 is one of the best laptops for doctoral students.

The RGB-backlit keyboard featuring keys with a decent travel distance goes well for extra-long writing sessions, even in the dark. The keys aren’t noisy, though much responsive. The touchpad isn’t bad at all; Asus has some brilliance in it too.

On the whole, if you want a perfect gaming and working partner, you’re good to go with Asus TUF gaming A15 series.

  • Enhanced connectivity
  • Ultra-durable construction
  • Unrivaled performance
  • Great cooling system
  • Lags in display color accuracy
  • Too-flex lid

5. HP AMD Ryzen 3 – Best Lightweight

Here’s one of the most affordable laptops in HP’s top business laptop line that has enough to offer a Ph.D. student. The upgraded 2020’s Ryzen 3 model comes with a lot of upgrades to ensure a high-end experience.

Do you know why it’s on our list? The performance it gives on multitasking and continual research hours is incredible –all thanks to its Dual-Core CPU and AMD Radeon 3 GPU. It comes at par with some expensive models.

The aesthetics seem to be quite better and a step-up from last year’s graphite-colored models. The sleek silver finishing with the engraved HP logo adds a lot to its classy design.

We really appreciate HP’s approach to thinner side bezels covering 14” HD SVA display inside.

Although the SVA-display is quite inferior to the IPS counterpart, trust me, it’s only for the sake of cutting the budget. Unless you’re not up for some heavy-duty gaming, it’s quite enough for your hours of research work.

With 4GB RAM and 128GB SATA-based SSD, you’ll get average-level storage capacity compared to its competitors. And you may feel the system going down when it’s under heavy load.

When it comes to portability, HP Ryzen 3 will not disappoint you in this aspect too. With 3.33lbs overall construction, you can fling it in your backpack and go ahead to university or any workplace.

Let’s talk about the battery life! Although this laptop isn’t equipped with some heavy-end features but luckily, battery life isn’t one.

It comes with a decent 41WHr battery that can last up to 8 hours when you keep the resolution average. So it has beaten Acer Predator Helios 300 that has got a battery life of only 6 hours.

  • Brilliant aesthetics
  • Responsive key and touchpad
  • Compact and portable
  • Quite low in specs

6. Newest Dell Inspiron 15 – Best Keypad     

Here’s the latest iteration of Dell’s Inspiron series, the Inspiron 15, that strikes up the right balance between price and quality.

Although performance and display quality are great and can’t be the reason behind this purchase, Dell’s efforts to build a strong design with excellent battery life are appreciable.

Dell has molded the back, lid, and keyboard deck with a textured black plastic finished with a glossy black casing. The edges break up at the point where the material meets. The accents of the ‘DELL’ logo adds a final look to its aesthetics.

You know what? The CPU and GPU are quite enough to fulfill a research student’s craving, making it one of the best laptops for humanities students.

12GB RAM with built-in 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD are enough to store a lot and a lot –files, research papers, and hours of multitasking.

With a 15” HD display having a resolution of 1366x 768p, the graininess is quite acceptable for web browsing and research work. Some heavy-duty tasks like 4K gaming and video editing are better to be performed by some high-end models.

The responsive keypad is a good reason this laptop is in our top picks. With a classy Sans-Serif font, 1.02mm of travel distance, and splash-resistant deck, Dell’s keyboard is excellent for hours of typing sessions.

If you continuously perform web surfing over Wi-Fi, the 40Whr can run for up to 7 hours. The battery life is quite better than IdeaPad and Notebook’s series.

This heavy-looking device stays perfectly cool when you’re using it continuously for hours and hours. That’s a good reason to go for the Inspiron 15 series.

  • Decent battery life
  • Useful software facilities
  • Solid and durable build
  • Great storage
  • Average display quality
  • Slower HDD

7. Asus ROG GL552VW-DH71 Metallic – Best Aesthetics

Asus has ground-breaking records in the gaming world –all thanks to its ‘Republic of Gamers’ series. With an impressive performance and premium design, the GL552VW-DH71 Metallic has a stable reign in the breed of gaming laptops.

But wait, it’s not an explicit gaming laptop; trust me, it deserves to be in our top picks of best laptops for phd students. The 6th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU provides you a lot more for your hours of research, data compilation, and written assignments.

With only 5.6-pound heavy-build construction, this model is way thinner and lighter than its siblings. And that’s the reason it’s a cool laptop for any student who wants to toss it into a backpack.

Moreover, it features a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 980M graphics card with 1920x 1080p resolution for ensuring hours of continual watching experience.

The RGB-backlit keyboard lacks the rainbow custom colors like Alienware 15 but still enough to work in a darker environment. But wait, there’s more!

There’s no exaggeration in saying that this model comes with excellent connectivity. The two USB 3.0, 2, 3.1, Ethernet, HDMI-out ports, along with a headset and a line-out jack, are quite enough for speedy data transfer.

With excellent CPU and GPU tweaking, you get a brilliant boost clock and overclocking not only for multitasking or web browsing but also for heavy-end gaming.

The Asus’s 48WHr battery is good to go for multitasking while keeping the resolution and brightness low. But when some high-end 4K gaming comes into play, it won’t last more than 3.5 hours.

  • Sleek and slim aesthetics
  • Potent performance
  • Excellent resolution
  • Thin and lightweight
  • No SSD inclusion

8. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 – Best 2-in-1 Combo

When we say that Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is one of the best laptops for graduate students, we really mean it. It suits every student’s budget and goes well with long hours of multitasking and research.

Let’s dig a little deeper! The 360-degree convertible 2-in-1 accessible design makes Flex 5 one of Lenovo’s slimmest and lightest laptops. When it comes to aesthetics, it’s not going to disappoint you at all.

Although Flex 5 isn’t equipped with some heavy-end features, Lenovo offers a lot more in these Chromebook series than its price. If you want a laptop only for study purposes, you’re good to go with Flex 5.

The ultra-thin bezels covering a 13” FHD touchscreen display come with optimal eye protection, ensuring hours of comfy experience. Moreover, user-facing stereo speakers create room-filling audio.

The keypad’s responsiveness and the touchpad is a significant thing to consider when you’re looking for the best laptop for a student. Lenovo Flex 5 stands well in this aspect with an RGB-backlit keyboard and a 1.4mm key travel distance –so you don’t get to hear clicky noise.

When you keep the brightness at medium, the battery lasts up to 10 hours of continual web browsing. So, it’s a decent lifespan compared to its competitors of this price range.

The 4GB RAM and Intel Core i3 may be the only reason behind its performance downfall while the system is under stress. But it goes pretty well for medium-range tasks.

  • Ultra-portable and lightweight
  • Decent battery life
  • Responsive touch and keypad
  • Touchscreen display
  • Low RAM

9.  Razer Blade Pro 17 – Best Luxury

Razer is a well-known brand for keeping a perfect balance between performance and aesthetics. The Razer Blade Pro 17 is not an exception to its legacy –it’s truly a ‘techie-thing.’

Equipped with some heavy specs; it’s not only one of the best laptops to meet gamer’s expectations, but it’s more than a treat for a doctoral student.

Although we don’t appreciate investing a huge amount in research-purpose laptops, if you really want a heavy-spec study partner, you’re good to go with this elite Blade Pro 17 version.

You get access to brilliant performance on web browsing, smooth visuals with excellent color contrast, and optimal eye protection –all thanks to Razer’s latest 10th Gen Intel 8-Core CPU and NVIDIA Super GPU.

Even if it has been hours of some heavy-duty tasks while keeping the visual settings to the maximum, the system stays cool due to Vapor Chamber design.

Let’s talk about the aesthetics! When it comes to durability, nothing can beat the standards of anodized CNC aluminum construction of Razer Blade Pro 17.

And you know what adds a lot more to its style? The amalgamation of Razer’s classy RGB-lit logo in the matte lid is a thing to consider too. Bezels are exceptionally thin and sleek, providing an ultra-wide immersive FHD 4K touch display.

You’ll get brightest bright in the darkest dark to get the job done. But wait, there’s more!

With 16GB DDR4 RAM, exceptional resolution, brilliant CPU and GPU, advanced connectivity, Razer Blade 17 provides you the next-level of working experience. It seems expensive; trust me, it’s worth every penny.

  • Highest visual quality
  • Exceptional storage
  • Brilliant thermal design
  • Long battery life
  • Quite expensive
  • The trackpad could’ve been better

10. Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop – Best Durable

Here’s another heavy-specs gear belonging to the ‘Nitro’ series by Acer. So, the Nitro 5 is actually meant for gaming, but it offers you more than you need for your research work.

With a fantastic 9th Gen i5 CPU and fit GTX 1650 Super going hand in hand, Nitro 5 offers hours of high-end performance without getting down or heat-up.  

Beginning from its built-in Alexa, Acer Nitro 5 runs multiple programs astoundingly well and stays cool at the same. This feature makes this laptop a pretty good choice for research purposes.

While the producers of Acer have now improved on their design and durability of the laptop body, the design of Nitro 5 looks pretty good and attractive.

Black plastic covers the back of the laptop and provides a cover and security to the laptop screen. It makes a catchy look when carrying it in hand and ultra-portable for tossing it in your backpack.

Let’s talk about the visual quality! Acer will not disappoint you with its 15.6-inch HD display that goes well for gaming, office work, and personal use. The large and quality display makes it the best laptop for research purposes

Red shining keys on the keypad are useful when working on dark nights. The keypad doesn’t need any extra light for visibility, and it is already visible with the finishing of bright red color on it.

For a cheap gaming laptop, Nitro 5 has a surprisingly comfortable keypad and sensitive touchpad.

Talking about the audio quality of the Nitro 5, this laptop doesn’t need any external audio speakers as it has loud and robust quality built-in speakers.

The healthy quality battery of Nitro 5 gives 8-11 hours of battery life while keeping the visual settings average. With a decent price tag, powerful battery, top-notch display, and attractive exterior, Nitro 5 is the best laptop for research.

  • Enhanced connectivity
  • Fast NVMe SSD storage
  • Long Battery Life
  • Full HD IPS display
  • Quite a dark screen
  • GTX 1050 can be beaten by Radeon RX 550

Best Laptops for PhD and Research Students – The Ultimate Buying Guide

When Lenovo marked its debut with IdeaPad 3 series, Dell rivaled it with its newest Inspiron 15 series; at the same time, Asus stunned its users with its mind-blowing TUF A15 series.

What to do when you have these much high-end models in front of you? Don’t worry! We’ve got your back in this daunting task.

We’re right with our ultimate buying guide. All you have to do is consider the following factors when you get into any particular model.

1. The Processor Comes First

Like the human brain controls and directs all the body parts, the processor does the same job; it commands all the laptop parts and interacts to determine its overall function.

Your doctoral degree determines the type of your research. If you’re researching in the computer field, you’ll need a heavy-end processor –most probably Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7.

However, if you’re researching in any medical or any engineering field, you’ll go well with Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5.  It can handle hours of multitasking while ensuring incredible speeds.

Another important thing to consider! If you’ve to use your laptops outdoors for hours and hours, the ‘U’ and ‘Y’ series of Intel Ultra-Low Watt processors are ideal for you.

2. Storage – SSD or HDD?

Let’s talk about the type of storage first before we get into its size. HDD is a traditional storage type that brings mechanical platters into play to read and write data.

On the other hand, SSD is an advanced data-storage interface that stores data on instantly-accessible memory chips.

And you know what? Despite being less capacious, SSD is much faster, and it can boost your system’s speeds to the newest heights. We’d recommend you going for SSD-type storage if you really want to bring the best out of yourself.

But wait, there’s more! If you get a choice between PCIe SSD or standard SATA-based SSD, don’t miss out on the chance to get PCIe –it’s the fastest!

For a Ph.D. student, a minimum 256GB SSD is more than enough to save a lot and a lot of your research work. In the case of HDD, it’s enough to have a 1TB capacity.

3. The RAM matters too!

Computer memory –RAM is an important thing to consider if you’re up for the best laptop for research purposes. It has to deal with the efficiency of the laptop.

As you’re a Ph.D. student, we’d recommend you a laptop with a minimum of 8GB RAM if you don’t want any downfall in your performance.

However, if you aren’t tight on budget and want a heavy and powerful laptop, it’s better to go for 16GB or higher. But your research work goes well for 8GB too. The choice is yours!

4. What about the GPU?

To be honest, if you’re not a gaming geek and have only work-relation with your laptop, there’s no need for a dedicated GPU. It’s not only a wastage of your hard-earned money, but heavy-resolution and high GPU settings will decrease your laptop’s battery life.

However, if you do some editing or designing tasks, it’s a good choice to go for a discrete GPU.

5. Budget Determines the Quality

It’s a common saying that the more you invest, the better you get. This phrase goes well for technological equipment. Your laptop’s quality merely depends on the amount of money you spend.

If you want to narrow down your choices, then determine your budget first and then look for laptops in that range. Trust me; once you decide your budget, choosing the best laptops for research isn’t challenging anymore.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Is MacBook Air good for PhD students?

Being exceptionally faster than the base model of MacBook Air, it’s an excellent choice for all post-graduate students. It’s ultra-portable and lightweight. It goes well for research, web surfing, and writing papers.

2.  Which laptop is best for research?

LG Gram Thin 15Z980 is ultimately the best option for all research purposes. The brilliant aesthetics, lightweight construction, decent display, and exceptional battery life is the reason that it’s on the top.

3.  What is the best laptop for me as a phd student?

We’ve filtered the top ten models that are all best for research purposes. But if you’re still confused about the best one, LG Gram Thin 15Z980 won’t disappoint you.

4.  What’s the best laptop for an economics Phd?

The Newest Dell Inspiron 15 is a fantastic choice for accounting and economics students –all thanks to the inclusion of NumberPad in the keyboard. 12GB RAM and 256GB SSD are quite enough to fulfill every student’s desire.


What the best laptops for PhD students is depends on the type of your doctoral degree. If you’re in the field of computer and IT, we’d recommend you spend some extra dollars and go for a heavy-end model.

Determine your budget, narrow down your choices, and get the best bang for your buck after considering all the factors. We have enlisted some top-notch models with their features and a few drawbacks. The choice is yours!

But wait! We’ve our top pick for you.

LG Gram Thin 15Z980 deserves to be the winner of the round because it has got some serious power. With 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 19-hours of long battery life, and excellent display resolution don’t think; just get it!

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