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August 15, 2022

Shopping for back-to-school PCs? Check out these Windows 11 laptops

Another school year is on the horizon – for some, it’s already started – but if you’re still looking for the right PC, Microsoft’s partners offer plenty of choices. These devices all include Windows 11, which makes every task easier, especially when it comes to helping prepare students for the  school year.

Snap layouts, touch inputs and creator tools make Windows the best option for multi-taskers to get things done.

And when students aren’t studying or working on their next school project, these laptops can also help entertain them, with screens, speed and sound for streaming films and TV shows, as well as for playing the latest PC games. And with PC Game Pass, there’s even more to peruse during downtimes.

For parents of younger children, Kids Mode in Microsoft Edge creates a safer environment, with content filters and pre-selected, kid-friendly sites and settings.

Here are some choices to consider as you shop for the students in your life:

Laptop open and facing reader

Powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core processor, the Acer Aspire 5 laptop helps students easily tackle their classwork, presentations, video editing and more. Even when it’s working hard, this PC stays cool thanks to dual fans, dual copper pipes and a heat-expelling air-inlet keyboard (which is also backlit for late-night cram sessions). The large 15.6-inch full high-definition display with IPS technology makes online textbooks easy to read and immerses students in streaming video when classwork is done. Students participating in online classes will appreciate the HD webcam with a blue glass lens for improved image quality. Plus, AI noise reduction and dual microphones suppress background noise and provide clear audio. Connecting to peripherals or an external display is easy too, since the Aspire 5 has a wide range of ports, including the latest USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 support. The fast and reliable Wi-Fi 6 connection keeps students connected on-the-go. The Acer Aspire 5 laptop line starts at $549.99.

ASUS Vivobook open and facing left

The Vivobook 13 Slate OLED is a 2-in-1 device that has a 13.3-inch OLED Dolby Vision touchscreen with a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. The detachable keyboard is full-size, and the cover stand has a 170-degree hinge – so students can work on it or watch from a variety of positions. And for those who like to take handwritten notes, there’s also a high-precision ASUS Pen 2.0 stylus – compliant to Microsoft Pen Protocol 2.0 – that is neatly stored in a handy magnetic holder so it’s always easily accessible. Four interchangeable pen tips have different textures that mimic pencils to provide a natural feel for sketching and drawing. This do-it-all laptop is equally at home in landscape or portrait mode, with or without a keyboard, so writing, typing or watching at any angle in many environments is easy. For online classes and learning, it has two cameras in the front and rear — 5 MP and 13 MP. AI Noise-Canceling Audio means that voices in meetings are as clear as possible, even when there are lots of people in the room. All Vivobook 13 Slate models come bundled with a keyboard cover, kickstand and the new ASUS pen 2.0. The entry level configuration is available for $599, with a top-of -the-line model for those who need more memory and storage.

Dell XPS 15 open and facing left

If you’re looking for an immersive visual and audio experience, the Dell XPS 15 checks those boxes with Waves MaxxAudio Pro and Quad-speaker design with discrete 3D surround sound. But it also includes 12th Gen Intel Core processors and NVIDIA RTX 30- series graphics to handle academic, creative and entertainment needs. Students who like large screens (up to 15.6-inch 4K UHD+ InfinityEdge touch display) will also be pleased with this PC, which aims to be an easy lift to carry to classes. And to make sure students’ content stays safe, it comes with a camera and fingerprint reader that work with Windows Hello.

Windows 11 PC standing in tent mode

With the HP Envy x360 15.6-inch 2-in-1 laptop PC, students can do schoolwork anywhere, anytime.  When multi-tasking schoolwork and projects, the device offers up to AMD Ryzen 7 processors for improved power and performance. Easily create and manipulate drawings and other content, using gestures like pinch-to-zoom, double tap, and press and hold on the touch display. When making a video or participating on a Teams call, students will hear and see better no matter where they are in the room with HP Auto Frame and HP Dynamic Voice Leveling.

Lenovo Yoga 6 open flat back to back floating

Eco-conscious shoppers may be interested in the 13-inch Lenovo Yoga 6, with its cover made from recycled aluminum (or a fabric-wrapped cover option made with 50% recycled plastics and treated with a stain-resistant finish for resilience) and nearly 25% of its battery cells using post-consumer plastic. The full HD 16:10 ratio touchscreen display and two front-facing speakers are up for any academic tasks as well as for much needed downtime. And this lightweight convertible is powerful, too, with up to an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U processor and integrated AMD Radeon graphics delivering ultra-fast performance via up to eight powerful cores. Plus, you’ll get more I/O ports over the previous generation, and the optional pen comes bundled in select markets.

Samsung GalaxyBook2 Pro 360 in tent mode, three side by side

The Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 is another strong candidate for students who are looking for the right device to learn on and unleash creativity. This laptop has a 360-degree convertible touchscreen display, lightning-fast Wi-Fi and up to 21 hours of battery life (with a universal fast charger that gets you 40% of battery power back in just 30 minutes). The upgraded full-HD camera with a 1080-pixel wide-angle view will make those late-night chats with family and online video classes clearer than ever. The latest Evo-certified CPU 12th Gen Core i7 processor provides quick response times, impressive graphics, multitasking power and speedy downloads. For students working late nights in their rooms, the AMOLED screen automatically adapts to any lighting environment, and thanks to its 1MM:1 contrast ratio it’s easy on the eyes. Similar to the Galaxy Z Fold4, this flexible 360 unleashes unlimited possibilities in tent, presentation, tablet or laptop mode. The S Pen included in the box opens up more productivity for notetaking, brainstorming or collaborating in study groups.  The Galaxy Book2 Pro series is the first consumer PC lineup meeting Microsoft’s secured-core PC requirements, so now everyone can enjoy enterprise-level security for enhanced peace of mind.

Whatever PC you choose for the students in your life, Windows 11 will make every day of their academic year easier, with faster ways to find what they need in these productivity powerhouses – which also don’t skimp on play, either.