Best laptop for college student on a budget ($700 MAX) ? I've seen two I really like...


Nov 20, 2012

I'm getting a laptop for my 1st yr of college, I'm gonna be studying Software engineering. That's for context.

So, I have a $700 budget and I came across these two HP Laptops on Amazon:

This HP i5-8250U 12GB 2TB:

And, this HP i5-8250U 8GB 1TB:

I really like how they look and believe they are powerful enough for programming. I don't really use photoshop or anything like that.

I think I'm going for the 12 GB one because there's not much of a difference. And in a few years, those 12GB are going to definitely make a difference.

What do you guys think?

Do you have a better laptop that is hopefully not over $700 that has at least an i5, 8GB and 256GB SDD (or an HDD)?

Please feel free to provide me with options or pros and cons. I think HP is a nice brand, good quality hardware.


Daniel S.


Oct 9, 2006
I think Lenovo offers better laptops than HP.
In particular, the thinkpad units.

Neither of the two you linked includes a ssd. The included 5400 rpm hard drives will be slow.
Usually, you can buy a laptop with a minimal hard drive and replace it yourself with a decent ssd.
It makes all the difference in the world for performance.

There are other specs you might want to consider.
The 8gb version is 4.1 pounds, the 12gb version is 8.8 pounds; a crazy difference.

The display can vary considerably in brightness and quality.

Whatever you are considering, go to or a similar site to check out the details.

For good value, look at the Lenovo outlet.
If you see something you like, it is easy to add ram or change to a ssd.


Nov 20, 2012


That weight quote is a typo. They are the same exact chassis. Both weigh less than 5 pounds. That said, I wouldn't want either one because of the less than full HD display. But that's just me. Other
folks have different needs/wants. :D



Jul 26, 2017

This HP laptop is really good!
It has a powerful processor which is way more power than you need. It has a super fast 256GB SSD with which lightning fast loading times are guaranteed.
Battery life is rather impressive with up to 10.5 hours of battery. There is 12GB RAM as you asked. Very light and thin. It has some extras like a backlit keyboard and touchscreen. And the best part is........ ITS ONLY 650$!
You should absolutely consider buying it. The reviews are good.



It's i7-6500u is a dual core CPU. The i5-8250u in the laptops the OP is looking is a quad core CPU. While those laptops only have a standard hard drive it can be replace later on with a 2.5" SATA SSD. Sure a PCIe NVMe is faster than a SATA SSD, but that only becomes apparent if you are accessing a massive amount of data from the SSD at a single time. An example would be editing multiple 4k videos together into one 4k video. A SATA SSD is fine for accessing up to 2 4K videos at the same time to be edited together. A PCIe NVMe SSD would be able to access at least 4 4k videos at once, but how many people would need to access that much all at once?
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
marsmann11 Laptop General Discussion 1
C Laptop General Discussion 1
Y Laptop General Discussion 1
K Laptop General Discussion 4
Q Laptop General Discussion 1
jpete15 Laptop General Discussion 5
D Laptop General Discussion 1
M Laptop General Discussion 2
L Laptop General Discussion 3
M Laptop General Discussion 1
W Laptop General Discussion 3
P Laptop General Discussion 7
A Laptop General Discussion 1
O Laptop General Discussion 1
ConfusedArtist Laptop General Discussion 3
G Laptop General Discussion 1
L Laptop General Discussion 1
A Laptop General Discussion 1
M Laptop General Discussion 1
D Laptop General Discussion 1