Best Laptops for Doctoral & PhD Students 2021

best laptops for doctoral students for 2021

Here, I have researched and compiled the top 5 best laptops for doctoral students for 2021.

Almost becoming a cliché is the phrase about technology changing the lives of everyone. Computer technology has brought change our ways of life and how doctoral students conduct learning.

From elementary schools to the doctorate level of education, digitization has enabled seamless, convenient, and reliable study delivery. However, when it comes to doctoral students, there is more to gain from a laptop.

With tons of study and research work to conduct as a doctoral student, you require a reliable laptop to optimize your productivity, especially with the engaging thesis and research works. The following is a review of the five best laptops for doctoral students in 2021.

5 Best Laptops for Doctoral Students 2021

  • Dell Inspiron 15
  • Asus Zenbook 13
  • Dell Vostro 5000
  • Acer Predator Helios 300
  • Asus ROG


#1- Dell Inspiron 15

With Dell being among the biggest computer tech companies, the company is not short of developing a budget laptop that would work optimally for a doctoral student. The Dell Inspiron 15 makes a super comfy and portable option for doctoral students. Its slim and sleek design makes it one of the best-looking laptops from the exterior. However, it’s not its exterior look that makes it among the best laptops for doctoral students but its tons of features that offer doctoral students value.

The laptop comes configured with a 10th Generation Intel Core i7-1056G processor. Notably, the processor allows the laptop to operate at maximum speeds of up to 3.9GHz, proving to be a monster in the race for performance. Its graphics are also worthwhile having its developers configure the laptop with NVIDIA GeForce MX230 4GB gDDr5 graphics. The laptop’s CPU is freed with such a GPU by working optimally yet offering great color displays.

When it comes to storage, the Dell Inspiron 15 offers value for your money having it come with 512GB SSD storage for seamless storage and access to files for your doctoral study needs. This laptop also comes with 8GB RAM, which helps it process commands fast. While the Acer Aspire might have a similar RAM, the Dell Inspiron 15 has away much better CPU hence better performance.


  • Great processor
  • Dedicated graphics
  • A great design that amounts to smart exterior


  • Its resolution could have been better


#2- Asus Zenbook 13

The Asus Zenbook 13 makes an excellent choice of laptop for doctoral students. Its top-notch performance, alongside its features more than just a budget laptop for your needs. Featuring a beautiful design and lightweight makes it quite a great companion for students who move from one place to another.

With the laptop’s 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10510U processor, the Asus Zenbook 13 clocks up to 4.9GHz of speed hence an optimal choice for your game development needs. The Asus Zenbook 13 has its graphics facilitated by NVIDIA GeForce MX250. Doctoral students might like the laptop’s 1080p resolution and nano edge bezel display.

The Asus Zenbook 13 offers a 512GB PCle NVMe SSD fast storage for your file storage needs. Its 16GB RAM boosts your gaming development needs for optimal processing, having it meet the minimum threshold for a game development laptop. Adding to its innovative ideas, the laptop comes with a unique screen pad with a 5.65-inch engaging touchscreen trackpad that aids you in multitask and smart control.



  • Sleek and lightweight design
  • It has an excellent battery life
  • Great Speed performance


  • Its display might not be the best


#3- Dell Vostro 5000

Yet another great budget laptop that still offers value for doctoral students is the Dell Vostro 5000 laptop. While this variation of the Dell brand is not as popular as other variations, it is worth mentioning as one of the best laptops for doctoral students.

With the laptop comes an 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor that aids in offering one of the best performance from a budget laptop. It can get to speeds of up to 4.6GHz thanks to its quad-core processors. The laptop is also configured with an NVIDIA GeForce MX130 GPU chipset offering a dedicated GPU card option for the doctoral students.

Storage is not compromised when it comes to the Dell Vostro 5000, having the company develop it with an SSD storage of 256GB DDR4 SDRAM. That feels quite enough for a student’s research and analytics needs. You might love its 8GB RAM, which helps it operate without hitches during heavy processes. Its 15.6-inch full HD anti-glare LED IPS display might offer some of the greatest displays for a laptop under a thousand dollars.


  • It has a dedicated graphics card
  • Its keyboard and trackpad are quite good
  • Its battery life is quite admirable


  • The laptop is quite heavy


#4- Acer Predator Helios 300

With the Acer Predator Helios, 300 comes another great option for the best laptop for doctoral students. While it might not be the best looking on the list, the laptop offers great value to the students thanks to the great features.

The laptop is configured with an Intel Core i7-10750H CPU, fitted in many other expensive laptops for heavy tasks. With this CPU, the laptop can simultaneously handle many tasks, including running some of the heavy programs used for doctoral students’ research and analysis. With its NVIDIA RTX 2060 graphics card, the laptop is highly suited for high-intensity work, especially where animations, videos, or other visuals are used.

The laptop is also configured with 512GB SSD storage and 16GB RAM, offering quite some great doctoral students options.


  • It has a strong metal chassis
  • Excellent 1080p resolution
  • It has room for three storage drives


  • Its chassis has quite sharp edges


#5- Asus ROG Laptop

Yet another product from Asus, the Asus ROG laptop, offers quite some value for doctoral students. With the laptop comes the Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor that aids the laptop to operate at speeds of up to 2.6GHz. Thanks to its 16GB RAM that has the laptop handle every command within a short time.

This 15.6-inch laptop comes with offers a matte IPS full HD display. It comes configured with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics card proving why it has one of the best graphics. You might love that this laptop offers some better storage, offering a 1TB 7200RPM SSD storage.


  • Striking display
  • Fast processing speeds


  • Has battery life issues

Other Guides:

What to Consider When Purchasing the Best Laptop for a Doctoral Student

Not only are laptops different by brand, but also in features and performance. With every laptop’s features suited for specific uses, some laptops are quite versatile and can handle tons of uses. However, with a student, you might need to optimize the laptop’s features and price to make a reasonable purchase. After all, you don’t need to purchase a developer’s laptop or a basic use laptop for your doctoral study’s needs. The following are some of the features to consider when purchasing the best laptop for a doctoral student.

  • CPU: The central processing unit remains one of the greatest features to consider when buying any laptop for whatever needs. You will notice that most of the laptops come with an Intel core-based processor. The optimal CPU spec for a doctoral student laptop is a Core i7 processor or equivalent as the minimum. With such a processor, your laptop can multitask easily and operate heavy research analysis software.
  • RAM: With most of the research work involving heavy tasks for a laptop, investing in a laptop that has quite some great, random access memory might save you from the struggles of slow performance. Notably, doctoral students require a laptop with a RAM of not less than 8GB.
  • Screen Quality: Choosing a quite comfortable screen with your eyes might help you greatly when it comes to maximizing your productivity. The minimum requirement for the best laptops for doctoral students is a Full HD resolution or a 1080p display. Having a large and touch screen laptop might be an added advantage for doctoral students.
  • Size: When it comes to size, doctoral students can use either a large or small screen. However, the key factor here is the weight of the laptop. This is due to portability issues having the students carry the laptop from one place to another. Therefore, light and thin laptop might be most suitable for doctoral students.
  • Connectivity Options: As a student, you will always have tons of devices that you need to connect with your laptop, including backup drives, network cables, and SD cards. Therefore having a laptop that incorporates all these features boosts any laptop that wishes to be featured in the best laptops for doctoral students.
  • Price: Optimizing the laptop’s cost with the features it possesses is quite advisable. Notably, with your needs not being as demanding as those of a developer, you might need to purchase a budget laptop. However, you might need not go too low with the budget since this might jeopardize the laptop’s feature. Optimal choices for doctoral students are laptops under $1000.


From the above-listed laptops, doctoral students can find the best laptops for their scholarly needs. While the laptops differ in specs, you will have each offering value for your money, with all being budget laptops under a thousand dollars. We leave it for your personal preference with the laptop you choose to purchase after this insightful review.