Aug 20 2014

Back to School: 4 Notebooks That Make the Grade

The latest notebooks offer an array of features to suit students’ needs.

With school back in session for many districts, students are putting new tech to work inside and outside the classroom.

Today’s notebooks offer features that are especially appealing to students, whether they’re looking for a lightweight ultraportable or a versatile hybrid device that can convert to a tablet. Here are four that could prove a big hit this year with students returning to school.

Samsung’s Chromebook 2

The follow-up to Samsung’s first Chrome OS–powered notebook comes with a vivid display and touts its light weight. While the model doesn’t have a touch-screen interface, it does feature a multigesture touchpad. Read our Chromebook 2 review for more information.

Dimensions: 11.4x8.1x0.7 inches

Weight: 2.6 pounds

Battery Life: Approximately 8 hours

Display: 11.6-inch (1366x768 HD)

Processor: Samsung Exynos 5 Octa

Ports: USB 2.0 and 3.0, HDMI, audio, microSD


This Windows 8.1 notebook capably straddles the line between quality and value. With both a touch screen and touchpad, the ultraportable device offers a variety of input options. Read our ASUS K200MA review for more information.

Dimensions: 11.9x7.9x1.2 inches

Weight: 3 pounds

Battery Life: 5 hours

Display: 11.6-inch touch-enabled (1366x768 HD)

Processor: Intel Celeron N2815

Memory: 4GB

Lenovo ThinkPad S1 Yoga

Get comfortable with this lightweight Ultrabook , which literally bends over backwards to be useful. Lenovo’s latest ThinkPad is powered by Windows 8.1 and comes equipped with a dual-action hinge, allowing its touch screen to be flipped and used as a tablet or folded into a tent or stand configuration. Read our Lenovo ThinkPad S1 Yoga review for more information.

Dimensions: 12.4x8.7x.7 inches

Weight: 3.5 pounds

Battery Life: 8 hours

Display: 12.5-inch touch-enabled (1366x768 HD)

Processor: Intel Core i3 (1.7GHz)

Memory: 4GB

Toshiba Portégé Z30

This sleek and lightweight Ultrabook from Toshiba offers power at a reasonable price. Measuring just 0.7-inch thick and weighing only 2.6 pounds, the Portégé takes a load off for those who need full-featured, on-the-go computing. Read our Toshiba Portégé Z30 review for more information.

Dimensions: 12.4x8.9x0.7 inches

Weight: 2.6 pounds

Battery Life: 12.25 hours

Display: 13.3-inch (1366x768 HD)

Processor: Intel Core i7 (2.1GHz)

Memory: 8GB

Image by GoldyRocks/ThinKStock

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