There are a few important things that you need to consider before choosing the best laptops for MBA students. For example: is the laptop durable enough that withstand in traveling? can it handle the multiprocessing like – working with large excel sheet, taking note and doing research simultaneously?
Best Laptops for MBA Students
In addition, when you will attend the business school they have their own recommendations and guidelines. Most schools suggest the Microsoft office and even they might recommend the best laptops for their students.
For example, Columbia Business School recommendations are below.
- Processor – Intel Core i3 and above
- Memory – 8 GB
- Hard Drive – 128 GB + SSD with at least 50 GB of free disk space
- Wired Networking – LAN Port or USB Ethernet Dongle
Apart from that, as a student, you have to consider your budget. Make sure, you want to pick a laptop that ticks most of your requirements checkboxes without spending too much.
Then, what are the important requirements that should be considered before choosing the best laptops for MBA students?
An Ideal Processor for Your Need
Personally, I would recommend the Intel processors for a business laptop. And for MBA students you don’t need to go above Intel Core i3 processor until you won’t play games on it. This processor is capable to run latest Microsoft Office smoothly. Intel processors having somewhat better battery life than AMD processor, that’s why I recommend them.
Of course, if you want a more powerful laptop then you can go with Intel Core i5 or i7 processors (especially U and Y series processor are recommended because they provide the best performance while maintaining battery life). For example – i7-8565U, i7-8500Y, i7-8550U, i7-7500U, i7-6500U, i5-8265U, i5-8200Y etc.
And for gamers, something like i7-6700HQ or i7-7700HQ would be more suitable, but keep in mind, the laptops with these processors suffer from the significantly shorter battery life of around 2 hours.
How much Memory is Sufficient?
Picking a laptop with a low amount of RAM can result in an underperforming scenario, despite a good processor. RAM also play an important role in the multitasking, so try to buy a laptop with more memory, this will make your laptop future proof.
In general, a laptop with 8 GB of RAM works well in most of the cases. The best thing about RAM consideration is that you just have to think about its size. Other things like latency, dual/quad channel, or Voltage are not super important, even if your laptop has DDR3 or DDR4, it doesn’t even matter much. According to the numerous tests, the difference between average and best RAM is not more than 10%. But for future proof, it’s a good idea to go with DDR4, you will be in a slightly better position to upgrade the memory.
Some of the business school like Mero MBA, recommends 4 – 8 GB of RAM, while the University of Denver recommends at least of 8 GB of RAM. And this is especially true if you’re doing multitasking. Because, when a program is opened, then programs and its data (ideally) stored in RAM. And processor can access it much faster than it normally if the data remains in memory.
Do I ever need 16 GB of RAM as an MBA student?
There are some few circumstances when I recommend 16 GB of RAM.
- You’re a gamer
- You’re an advanced user, and do heavy multitasking
- You don’t have the high budget to afford an SSD laptop and still want high performance.
- You’ve some computer-based hobbies
Longer Battery Life
Probably most of the business students don’t have a lot of time to charge the laptop battery during the day. So, you definitely need a laptop with enough battery life that not disappoint you. But don’t worry, all of the laptops that I am going to recommend have at least 6 hours of battery life while browsing on the Wi-Fi connection.
Of course, this is also an important factor for consideration. But don’t worry, I usually only recommend laptops that offer good value and price ratio, it means all the laptops are in the best in their price range for MBA students.
Should I choose an SSD?
This is not a high priority recommendation, but if you go with an SSD then it’s definitely a good move. The SSD (Solid State Drive) has fewer moving part than HDD, resulting they are a lot faster and durable. Moreover, SSDs are quieter, lighter and they consume less power than HDDs.
The only thing that I don’t like about these drives is that they are expensive. If you pick a laptop with completely higher SSD storage then it will cost you more, so it’s a good idea to choose small SSD for performance and big HDD for rest of files.
There are numerous options to choose from the SSD + HDD setup. In fact, I am also using 256 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD combination, and its working just fantastic.
Dedicated Graphics Card
This depends on you that you will go with a dedicated graphics card or not. A dedicated graphics card has its own memory, which is called VRAM, means it reduces the workload of the processor. But for as a business student you don’t need a dedicated graphics card at all, an integrated GPU is sufficient. Or I can say that you don’t even need to think about the GPU because all of the laptops with 4th-7th gen Intel core processor have an integrated GPU sufficient for MBA students.
But if you like to play the game on the laptop, then you should definitely go with a dedicated graphics laptop. Personally, I would recommend Nvidia GeForce GTX video card:
We can divide all games into three categories, according to hardware requirements.
- Low graphics older game (Sims4, WoW, LoL): Requirement – 940 MX, 950M, 960M
- Medium graphics newer games (Mass Effect 3, Max Payne 3, Hitman Absolution); Requirement – 960M, 970M
- High graphics games (The Witcher 3, Dishonored, BioShock Infinite, Shadow of Tomb Raider): Requirement – 1060, 1070, 1080
Nvidia is a leading gaming hardware manufacturer of the market but for making this guide complete I am also providing the recommendations for AMD Radeon card:
- Low graphics requirement: Radeon R9 or R8
- Medium graphics requirements: 295X, M390X, M395X, 480M, M485X
- High graphics requirements: Radeon RX 490M
Celeron | 4GB | 16 GB eMMC | 11.6″ 1366×768 | 10H
As a Chromebook, Asus C202SA-YS02 is very light, portable, it has a great battery life, and, most crucial thing, it is an inexpensive device.
You probably know, Chromebooks mostly used in the cloud. You will get 100GB of Google Drive storage with great speed. You might save even save hundreds of dollars if you can use Google Drive alternatives to Microsoft Office, or just use Office online. This Chromebook comes with a comfortable keyboard and touchpad, and many additional ports to add peripherals. Moreover, inbuilt 16 eMMC and 4 GB RAM is sufficient for all your work to need. If the price is the main factor for you then Asus Chromebook is a laptop that you might consider.
The Celeron is a slow processor, so you’re not going to use this laptop for heavy multitasking, but web browsing, responding email, and working on the cloud, you can easily do with that.
This laptop might be a great secondary portable device. Because your work will be saved in the cloud, so you can work from your home on a desktop or another laptop.
i5-7200U | 8GB | 1TB HDD | 17.3″ 1600 x 900 | 5.5H
The HP Pavilion 17 is a budget laptop for MBA students, this laptop offers 17.3″ big IPS display, that is very convenient for eyes and provides more room to work. At this reasonable price, it covers easily minimum requirement to run the latest Microsoft Office. The Intel i5-7200U is the perfect processor for the mid-range device, which provides performance with maintaining the battery life. Additionally, 1TB of capacious storage, allows you to store a lot of your project data and 8 GB RAM makes multitasking easier.
Due to the big screen size. this laptop is having slightly high weight (5.84 lbs), but when considering other 17″ laptops then this weight is below average.
Overall, the HP Pavilion is the best laptops for MBA students in the affordable price range, which offers big 17″ display, energy efficient and high-performance Intel i5 7th gen processor, 8 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage capacity.
i5-7Y57 | 8GB | 128GB SSD | 12.3″ Touch 2400 x 1600 | 10H (Fast Ch.)
As we said earlier, the Intel U product line processors consume less power, where U stands for Ultra Low Power, while Y product line processors are even more energy efficient. And, Google Pixelbook works on an i5-7Y57 processor, that provides amazing performance with great battery life. Fast charging features is another good thing that is capable of serve 2 hours backup with only 15 min of charge.
This Chromebook can handle any type of task that you’ll need to do as an MBA student, and in this price range, you are getting more features than that you are paying for.
With its convertible design, you can use it as a notebook and as a (powerful) tablet. Just flip the keyboard behind the screen and here you go – play games or watch movies without any hassle.
Moreover, this laptop comes with very lightweight construction, so you can easily carry between lectures, and the great battery lasts up to the whole day.
Overall, the Google Pixelbook is a solid choice for MBA students in the mid-price range, that comes with great performance, amazing battery life with fast charging, convertible design, lightweight and decent built quality.
i5-8300H | GTX 1050Ti 4G | 8GB | Intel Optane 16GB + 1TB | 15.6″ 1920×1080 | 5H
Around the same price as Google Pixelbook, the MSI GV62 8RD-200 laptop is the best options for those MBA students who like to play the game on the laptop as well. Yes! it is a gaming laptop, but you don’t need to worry about that, along with your gaming need, this laptop is capable to handle any complex task or process that you will need to run as an MBA student.
This laptop comes with 8th gen Intel i5 8300H processor, and GTX 1050Ti 4 GB graphics memory. Moreover, for storage and memory concern, there is 8 GB of inbuilt memory and Intel Optane 16GB + 1TB of storage capacity is provided. The Intel Optane is a great implementation here, that boosts the performance and allows to access files faster. But, as a high-performance laptop, it is having some short battery backup (as we said earlier, Intel H product line consume more battery due to faster performance).
Additionally, you will also get a backlit keyboard, that is very ideal in low light, and Nahimic 3 surround sound that completes the immersive gaming experience.
The price of this laptop is very reasonable compared to its rivals. Overall, the MSI GV62 8RD-200 laptop is the perfect choice for those MBA students, who also want to play some games.
i5-7300U | 8GB | 256GB SSD | 12.3” Touch 12736 x 1824 | 13.5H
The Microsoft Surface Pro is one of the best laptops for MBA students without any doubt, that offers ultra-light body, top battery backup, decent performance, and convertible design. This is the definitely at the high end of the laptop.
This is a convertible laptop, so you can use it with and without the keyboard, the display quality is far better than other laptops in our list. With the surface pen, you can take advantage of many useful features like a direct connection to OneNote.
Honestly, it is not much powerful than other ~1044$ laptops, but considering the insane portability, it is really acceptable. There are more than 8+ variations available, you can choose according to your budget.
If you are looking for the most portable and lightweight laptop with optimal features, then Microsoft Surface Pro is a considerable option.
Table of Best Laptops for MBA Students
Finally, you have a lot to think about as you consider what you need for the best business school experience. Now, picking the perfect laptop shouldn’t be that hard for you.