7 Best Laptop For MBA Students to Choose From

MBA students working on their laptop

As a business and management student at college, you need a good laptop to keep yourself ahead of the game. Projects, shared files, photos, PDFs, charts, etc. can be viewed and worked on with any decent laptop these days.

However, you don’t want to cheap out because a poorly designed laptop will fail you when you need it the most.

Worry not, we made a list of the top laptops for MBA students. If you don’t have the time to read through our entire article, our top pick is the ASUS ZenBook 15.

The ZenBook 15 represents a good balance of portability and power in a package that isn’t very expensive compared to rival models from other companies.

IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR TOP 7 PICKS FOR THE BEST LAPTOP FOR MBA STUDENTS…

ASUS ZenBook 15 (UX534FTC-XH77)

ASUS ZenBook 15 Ultra-Slim Laptop 15.6” FHD NanoEdge Bezel, Intel Core i7-10510U, 16GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, GeForce GTX 1650, Innovative ScreenPad 2.0, Windows 10 Pro, UX534FTC-XH77, Royal Blue
  • Innovative ScreenPad: 5.65-inch interactive touchscreen trackpad that adapts to your needs for smarter control and multitasking
  • App Switcher on ScreenPad: easily move docked windows between your main display and ScreenPad display
  • 15.6 inch wide-view Full HD 4-way NanoEdge bezel display
  • Latest 10th generation Intel Core i7-10510U Quad Core Processor (8M Cache, up to 4.9 GHz) with NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 Max-Q discrete graphics
  • Fast storage and memory featuring 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD and 16GB LPDDR3 RAM

[spacer height="-20px"]Last update on 2021-06-16 at 15:59 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our top choice for MBA students, this laptop comes with a ton of advantages over its competition. For starters, it uses an Intel Core i7-10510U processor.

Unlike most other ultrabooks in this price range which use Intel’s new Ice Lake 10nm based chips, this might seem like a step backwards. But it is incredibly fast in terms of clock speeds, one advantage the old Comet Lake 14nm chips have over their Ice Lake counterparts.

This means you get better performance in software that relies on clock speed, like certain games and productivity apps. There are downsides though, it consumes more power and has worse onboard graphics.

But there is more to look at in the ZenBook 15. It is an extremely slim laptop, yet the chassis feels super rigid. That’s because ASUS used premium materials and high quality machined parts to make this laptop tough, it won’t bend or flex even when you cram it into your backpack with a bunch of other heavy stuff.

The onboard audio is excellent, thanks to Harman Kardon. And you get all-day battery life. However, keep in mind the fact that this laptop packs a GTX 1650 dedicated graphics processor from NVIDIA with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM.

So gaming will decrease battery life significantly, down to 4 or 5 hours from the usual 9 to 10. Everything on this laptop just feels right- a super thin bezel FHD IPS display, an ergonomic hinge that lifts the keyboard into a more comfortable typing position, the innovative ScreenPad 2.0, etc.

Pros

  • Intel 10th generation Core i7 processor with 4 cores and 8 threads (Comet Lake, 14nm)
  • 16GB dual channel RAM
  • 1TB PCIe SSD
  • NanoEdge thin bezel 1920×1080 IPS display with 92% screen to body ratio
  • Just 0.74” thick and 3.64lbs
  • Durable despite being slim and light: MIL-STD 810G certified
  • TPM firmware and Windows Hello IR webcam for secure logins
  • Beefy 71Wh battery for all-day battery life
  • GTX 1650 dedicated graphics
  • Harman Kardon audio

Cons

  • The Comet Lake processor in this laptop isn’t as energy efficient as Ryzen 4000 series or Intel Ice Lake processors
  • No hardware based shutoff/ privacy shutter on the webcam
  • Comes with ASUS bloatware preinstalled

Lenovo ThinkPad E15

2020 Lenovo ThinkPad E15 15.6" FHD Full HD (1920x1080) IPS Business Laptop (Intel 10th Quad Core i7-10510U, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 2TB PCIe SSD) Type-C, HDMI, RJ-45, Windows 10 Pro + IST 500GB
  • ▌Please Read Before Purchasing ▌This brand new laptop is upgraded from a base model. The manufacturer box is opened and resealed to install the parts to achieve the specifications as advertised. One-year warranty for upgraded RAM / SSD from Issaquah Highlands Tech. One-year original warranty for remaining components from Lenovo. 16GB DDR4 RAM, 2TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, with bonus IST Computers 500GB Portable Hard Drive
  • Intel 10th Gen Core i7-10510U with UHD 620 (4 cores 8 threads, base clock speed 1.8GHz, max turbo to 4.9GHz, 8MB L3 Cache)
  • The Latest ThinkPad E-series E15, A Successor to E590, Features 15.6"(1920x1080) IPS Anti-glare 250nits Display, Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 - Supports external digital monitor via HDMI or USB Type-C, Max external digital monitor resolution: 4K(3840x2160)
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C (Power Delivery and DisplayPort), 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 (1 always on), 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI 1.4b, 1 x RJ-45, 1 x Audio Combo Jack
  • Windows 10 Professional 64-bit, Ideal for Student, Home, Professionals, Small Business, and School Education

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Ah, the good old Lenovo ThinkPad. Can’t have a list of student laptops without at least one of these. And the all new E15 model is an excellent laptop, a good successor to the old E590. It’s designed for self-employed people, small businesses, students, and pretty much everyone in between.

The Lenovo ThinkPad E15 delivers solid performance, great security, and an excellent keyboard at a rather reasonable price. It even has the TrackPoint aiming device- a tiny red joystick nestled in the keyboard so you can scroll or select items on the screen without having to remove your hands from the keyboard.

Once you get used to it, the trackpad won’t seem very appealing. Plus, it is your only option if you are wearing thick gloves.

In terms of security, Lenovo has scored a full 10/10. You don’t get any more secure than this on most commercially available laptops for the common user.

The ThinkPad E15 has biometric security via a fingerprint scanner(integrated into the power button), and a discrete TPM 2.0 chip installed on the mainboard for data encryption. The webcam won’t record you when you don’t want it to, since there’s a physical shutter on it.

Pros

  • Tons of security- TPM 2.0 chip, fingerprint reader, physical shutter on webcam
  • 1920 x 1080 anti glare IPS display
  • 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor (i7-10510U Comet Lake chip based on the 14nm node)
  • 16GB dual channel DDR4 RAM
  • 2TB PCIe SSD (this is massive, most other laptops in this price range have half the storage capacity)
  • Windows 10 Professional installed- ideal for students and small businesses
  • TrackPoint aiming device
  • Solid build quality with metal on top and heavy duty plastic underneath
  • Excellent full-sized keyboard with spill resistance and ample key travel
  • Lots of ports- USB Type C with power delivery and DisplayPort capabilities, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A, USB 2.0, HDMI 1.4b, RJ 45 Ethernet jack

Cons

  • Low display brightness of just 250 nits
  • Poor quality audio
  • Webcam could have been better

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Gen 14" Ultrabook - Intel Core i5-10210U Processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
  • Intel Core i5-10210U Quad-core 1.60GHz (Up to 4.20GHz) Processor
  • 8GB DDR3 2133MHz RAM (8GB soldered), 128GB PCIe-NVMe SSD
  • 14" WQHD (2560x1440) IPS, 300 nits, anti-glare Display
  • Intel UHD Graphics, IR & 720p HD Camera, Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, 1 Year Lenovo Warranty
  • Hard Drive Upgrade | View Product Description for complete details and specifications

[spacer height="-20px"]Last update on 2021-06-16 at 15:59 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The old ThinkPads look like… well, ThinkPads. However, this looks like something completely different even though it belongs to the same family. Almost like an evolution, as if the ThinkPad went on a diet, started hitting the gym, and got into CrossFit.

The X1 Carbon is marketed at executives and creative professionals, people with no time to waste and lots of really important work to do.

It certainly packs the power needed by executives and creative professionals- a quad core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM should be enough. Not the fastest laptop at this price range but good enough for most enterprise applications that still run fine on old hardware.

Its webcam though, that could have been better. But hey, you get a privacy shutter for security, so no one watches you when you don’t want them to.

And there’s the fingerprint scanner, although Lenovo didn’t integrate it into the power button and left it near the trackpad instead. Almost seems like a step backwards from their cheaper E15 models which have fingerprint readers built into the power button.

There’s also a TPM 2.0 chip installed for hardware based encryption. And the display is a WQHD 2560 x 1440 resolution IPS panel with a matte finish for those boardroom meetings.

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Thinner and lighter than older ThinkPads, while having a longer battery life
  • Very premium in both looks and feel
  • Hardware based security via TPM 2.0 chip
  • Privacy shutter on webcam
  • Tenkeyless keyboard with good key travel, and nice large keycaps (plus there’s the TrackPoint)
  • 2560 x 1440 anti-glare matte display
  • Windows 10 Professional
  • Weighs under 3lbs
  • Stays quiet even under load

Cons

  • Sort of pricey considering the processor and memory/ storage specs
  • Webcam picture quality is underwhelming
  • Speakers don’t sound very good

Dell XPS 13 9300

Sale
Dell New XPS 13 9300 13.4-inch FHD InfinityEdge Touchscreen Laptop (Silver), Intel Core i7-1065G7 10th Gen, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Windows 10 Pro (XPS 9300-7524SLV-PUS)
  • Precision cut from a block of aluminum in two pieces so there is no variability in construction.
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 6 is tough, damage resistant, durable, elegant and allows for no flex in its display.
  • Dual fans separated to spread heat over a larger area, to dual heat pipes to hidden exhaust venting through the hinge,
  • The power button lets you log on with just a touch
  • A 2.25mm high quality HD webcam gives you the best camera experience.

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The best display, trackpad, and keyboard of any laptop on this list. No doubt about it, the Dell XPS 9300 is an excellent machine and is perfect as a student laptop.

It is light, has tons of battery life, performs well, and is built to last. The carbon fiber deck looks and feels great, it also acts as an insulator to prevent heat from the components underneath reaching your palms as you type.

Plus carbon fiber is light yet strong, so it adds to the durability of the machine. The chassis is constructed from precision machined aluminum alloy, and the display is protected from scratches by Corning Gorilla Glass 6.

The trackpad has a glass cover on it so it feels smooth to the touch. Everything about this laptop is premium, so it is well worth the price tag.

Pros

  • Intel 10th generation Ice Lake 10nm i7 quad-core processor with Iris Plus onboard graphics
  • 16GB dual channel 3733Mhz LPDDR4x RAM
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Dual fan cooling system that is quiet
  • Fingerprint sensor built into power button so you can log in with a literal touch
  • Good quality webcam and mic
  • Excellent keyboard and trackpad, best in class and perhaps best among all Windows laptops currently on sale
  • Gorilla Glass 6 on top of FHD 13.4” IPS display with ultra thin bezels (500 Nits of brightness, Dolby Vision HDR)
  • Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX500-DBS + Bluetooth 5

Cons

  • Some earlier units have a defect where the touchpad is too wobbly (report to Dell support and they will get it replaced if yours has this issue)
  • Comes with McAfee antivirus preinstalled which drains battery life unnecessarily
  • Can get really hot if you push the hardware for extended periods of time

Lenovo IdeaPad 3

2020 Newest Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15" HD Touch Screen Laptop, Intel 10th Gen Dual-Core i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCI-e SSD, Webcam, WiFi 5, Bluetooth, Windows 10 S - Almond
  • 15.6" touch screen for hands-on control
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor
  • 8GB system memory for advanced multitasking; 256GB Solid State Drive (PCI-e)
  • HDMI output expands your viewing options; Wireless/Wired connectivity (WiFi 5 - 802.11 ac); Built-in HD webcam with microphone
  • Windows 10 Home in S mode

[spacer height="-20px"]Last update on 2021-06-16 at 15:59 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you guys felt all the previous laptops were too expensive for MBA students, check out this budget option. It’s an IdeaPad, and you will be hard-pressed to find something better at this price.

The overall package is what we’re looking at, rather than pure specs. Even in terms of pure specs this IdeaPad looks pretty good thanks to an Intel Ice Lake 10th generation i3 processor and 8GB of DDR4 RAM.

It’s plenty fast for stuff like MS Office, occasional photo editing, casual gaming, etc. The display is only 768p, but it’s a touchscreen which enhances productivity in many applications.

Plus, this laptop is just 0.78” thick and weighs around 4lbs. The bootup times are good thanks to a 256GB PCIe SSD, and there is no bloatware.

Pros

  • Intel 10th generation Ice Lake dual core i3 processor with 4 threads
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • Touchscreen
  • Tenkeyless keyboard with large keycaps, easily readable font, and ample key travel
  • Built tough with no flex in the deck or lid, and a rugged hinge

Cons

  • No Type C port
  • Windows 10 in S-mode by default (can be changed to regular mode manually)
  • Speakers sound hollow and weak

MSI Prestige 14 A10SC-020

Sale
MSI Prestige 14 A10SC-020 14" Ultra Thin and Light Professional Laptop Intel Core i5-10210U GTX1650 MAX-Q 16GB DDR4 512GB NVMe SSD Win10Pro
  • 14" Fhd, IPS level anti-glare Wide View Angle thin Bezel 100%srgb1920x1080 16: 9NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 (max-q)4g GDDR5
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX1650 (max-q)4g GDDR5
  • Core i5-10210u 1. 6 - 3. 9GHz Intel PTT 512GB NVMe SSD 16GB (16G*1) LPDDR3 2133MHz on board
  • Thunderbolt 3*2 USB 2. 0 *2 LAN Intel Wi-Fi 6 ax201(2*2 ax) BT 5 720P HD Webcam
  • Ac adapter Win 10 Pro webcam 3 Cell (50Whr) Li-Polymer 720P HD Webcam keyboard silky glass multi touch with finger print reader USB White backlight keyboard (84 key)

[spacer height="-20px"]Last update on 2021-06-16 at 15:59 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A premium laptop at a not-so-premium price, the MSI Prestige 14 doesn’t have a fancy machined aluminum chassis or carbon fiber panels. But it gets the important stuff right- an Intel Core i5-10210U with 4 cores and 8 threads ensures this laptop can run anything you throw at it.

And there is a GTX 1650 Max-Q graphics card for when you need to edit videos or render 3D models. Oh, and you can definitely game on this laptop although 1080p medium settings is where it works best in most modern AAA games.

It has a 14” FHD display with 100% sRGB color gamut coverage and good viewing angles. The overall performance is good enough for most applications, and you get a nice 84-key backlit keyboard with a glass covered trackpad.

The laptop feels well-built with little flex in the display or deck, and battery life is adequate (there are laptops with better battery life like Dell’s XPS and HP’s Spectre).

Pros

  • Intel 10th generation quad core i5 processor
  • 16GB dual channel RAM
  • GTX 1650 Max-Q dedicated graphics
  • Good FHD display
  • 84-key backlit keyboard that feels smooth, is quiet, and has ample key travel for those long typing sessions
  • Great glass trackpad
  • Sleek and stylish design

Cons

  • Battery life will drop hard if you do anything that uses the GTX 1650 (it is only slightly above average to begin with)
  • Mediocre webcam
  • The speakers aren’t very good, low on volume and no bass

Dell Inspiron 3793

2021 Newest Dell Inspiron 3000 Series 17.3'' FHD Business Laptop, Intel i5-1035G1, 32GB DDR4 Memory, 1TB PCIe Solid State Drive, HDMI, WiFi, Webcam, DVD Drive, Win 10 Pro, Black
  • 【Display】17.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Non-touch WVA Display
  • 【10th Gen Intel Core i5 Processor】10th Generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 Processor (6MB Cache, up to 3.6 GHz), Intel UHD Graphics with Shared Graphics Memory
  • 【High Speed RAM And Enormous Space】RAM Is 32GB DDR4 Memory For Multitasking Adequate High-Bandwidth RAM To Smoothly Run Multiple Applications And Browser Tabs All At Once; Hard Drive Is 1TB PCIe Solid State Drive allows to fast bootup and data transfer
  • 【Tech Specs】802.11ac 1x1 WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1; 1 x USB 2.0; 1 x HDMI; 1 x SD Media Card Reader; Windows 10

[spacer height="-20px"]Last update on 2021-06-16 at 15:59 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For the price, this laptop is hard to beat. It has an Intel 10th generation Ice Lake quad core processor with 8 threads and 32GB of DDR4 RAM. Plus 1TB of PCIe NVMe storage, which is double what you get in other laptops in the same price class.

The RAM comes in handy if you’re working with large datasets or doing photo editing/ lots of multitasking. It also makes the laptop more future proof.

And the large storage means you can pretty much carry all your movies, music, and games with you at all times (no external storage drive needed).

This is an Inspiron, so it’s targeted at students and homeowners who need an affordable yet reliable machine which is powerful enough to handle daily tasks. Social media, browsing, spreadsheets, blog writing, casual gaming- you can do it all on this laptop.

Pros

  • Intel Ice Lake quad core processor
  • 32GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Windows 10 Professional
  • Slim and light with 8+ hours of battery life
  • 17.3” FHD display
  • Disk drive
  • Backlit Full-Size keyboard

Cons

  • Slightly on the heavier side at 6.16lbs
  • No Type C port
  • Mediocre webcam

How To Select The Best Laptop For MBA Students

Essentially, you want to focus on three things- security, battery life, and portability (not necessarily in that order). Security is essential if you’re going to handle a lot of sensitive or high value data on your laptop.

Battery life is important because you don’t want to be forced into cutting work short just because your laptop ran out of juice.

Portability ensures that you can carry your laptop with you wherever you go- to class, the dorm room, a conference hall, on the bus/ train/ plane, etc. Battery life and portability go hand in hand, you don’t want one without the other.

A laptop with a massive battery that isn’t portable doesn’t make sense because you can’t really make use of that battery. Might as well be tethered to the wall, in which case the battery didn’t do anything.

Conversely, a really light and slim laptop that only lasts 3 hours on battery will never get anything done either.

Performance isn’t super important, any laptop with a recent Core i3/ i5 from Intel will get the job done although you might want a Core i7 model if you like things to run fast. And don’t forget the storage- it has a to be a PCIe SSD.

At least 8 GB of RAM is what we recommend, 16GB is ideal. You also want a laptop with a robust cooling system, one that doesn’t rev up the fans too loud. A loud cooler can be quite distracting in class or when you’re doing a presentation in front of colleagues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Conclusion

We hope this article helped you purchase the right laptop for MBA school. Our top pick or best laptop for MBA students is the ASUS ZenBook 15. It has a good processor, is built rugged, and has excellent battery life (can last a whole day).

And on top of all that it’s also extremely sleek and lightweight so you can travel around with it.

For the more security focused among you, a Lenovo ThinkPad E15 with Windows 10 Professional installed on it is a better choice. It has a TPM 2.0 security chip installed, and a fingerprint sensor as well. There is a privacy shutter on the webcam too.