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Best laptops for high school grads in 2024

Most students rely on a laptop for notes, research, papers, online classes, staying in touch with teachers and friends and more. Now that your loved one is about to be a graduate, setting them up with one of the latest laptops will give that a competitive edge in the next phase of their life — whether’s they’re pursuing a higher level of education or kick-starting their career.

One of the latest laptops — whether it runs Windows, ChromeOS, or is an Apple MacBook — will provide a new graduate with a powerful productivity tool and entertainment device they’ll likely rely heavily on everyday for the next few years. Thus, a new laptop is the ideal gift for any high school graduate.

Our in-house team of  has compiled this roundup of the laptops that make the best gift for a high school graduate. Whatever your budget, you’re sure to discover the perfect graduation gift right here. However, if you’re looking for other types of gifts for an important graduate in your life, consider gifting them a pair of , , or maybe a new .

What is the best laptop for a high-school grad?

There are Windows laptops priced as low as a few hundred dollars, but that go as high as $5,000. A Chromebook is typically much less expensive, but these rely on the ChromeOS operating system and on cloud applications and storage. For Apple enthusiasts, there are a variety of MacBook laptops available. The least expensive MacBook Air has a starting price around $1,000.

Best laptop overall for high school grads: Asus Zenbook Pro Duo 15 OLED (UX582)

Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED UX582 Laptop

Most people think of a Windows laptop has having one screen and a keyboard, but what sets the Asus Zenbook Pro Duo 15 OLED apart is that it’s comprised of a 15.6 inch and a 14 inch OLED display that showcase bright, accurate and detailed graphics. The second display — the ScreenPad Plus — is a touchscreen that automatically tilts up by 9.5-degrees to create an angle of 144.5-degrees between the main display and ScreenPad Plus. This provides for more comfortable viewing and seamless visuals across both displays, plus easy multitasking.

This overall design gives the laptop a tremendous amount of versatility and extra on-screen real estate. The computer is powered by a 12th Gen Intel i9-12900H processor with a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU, so it offers plenty of computing power for tasks like photo editing, video editing and gaming.

This laptop’s unusual design sets it apart, yet it easily handles all of the tasks someone typically uses a Windows laptop for. And what we love about this laptop it that the display supports 4K resolution when streaming video content. So it serves as a robust entertainment system, too.

Best Windows laptop for high school grads: LG Gram 17

LG Gram 17-Inch

The thing we love best about this LG Windows laptop is its extra-large, 17 inch WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600 pixel resolution) display that’s supported by a Nvidia RTX 3050 GPU. This allows the laptop to display vivid 4K resolution graphics.

Combine this with built-in surround-sound speakers that support Dolby Atmos, and you wind up with a powerful laptop that can serve as a high-end entertainment and gaming machine, and that can also be used for tasks like 4K video editing or high-resolution photo editing.

The display offers a lightning-quick 144Hz refresh rate, 16:10 aspect ratio and a 99% DCI-P3 color gamut. The laptop runs using a 13th Gen Intel Core i7-1360P processor and comes with 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD for storage.

While this computer is priced on the higher side, you’re getting a robust machine that offers excellent speed and performance, along with plenty of on-screen real estate for multitasking. This will give your recent grad with plenty of computing power for whatever they choose to pursue next in life.

Most portanble Windows laptop for high school grads: Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED

Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED Laptop

The Apple MacBook Air laptops are known for being incredibly thin and lightweight, but they run the MacOS operating system. So if you’re a fan of Windows, you’ll need to adapt to use it. But now, there’s now a super-thin and lightweight alternative from Asus that runs Windows 11 Pro — called the Asus Zenbook S 13.

This computer is equipped with a vivid, 13.3 inch 3K OLED display (offering a 60Hz refresh rate). It weighs a mere 2.2 pounds and is just 0.46 inches thick when shut. This makes it one of the most portable laptop options out there for a grad.

The computer is powered using an Intel Core Ultra 7 processor and comes configured with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for storage. The display offers 2,880 x 1,800 pixel resolution with 100% DCI-P3 color gamut for color clarity and accuracy. And because this laptop meets U.S. military MID-STD 810H standards, it’s designed for durability, so it’s a reliable travel companion.

The computer is also equipped with Harmon/Kardon speakers that support Dolby Atmos. Plus, thanks to Microsoft CoPilot, you get an advanced AI assistant at your disposal. And while the battery typically offers all-day power, the quick recharge feature will charge the battery up to 70% in under 50 minutes.

The Zenbook S 13 is a lightweight, yet powerful Windows laptop that offers a nice collection of features and integrated technologies that’ll serve the high school grad you’re gifting it to exceptionally well.

Best Apple MacBook for high school grads: Apple MacBook Air with M3 processor

Apple 2024 MacBook Air 13-inch Laptop with M3 chip

Apple’s lineup of MacBook laptops now includes the higher-end (and more expensive) MacBook Pros, along with the slightly thinner, lighter and less expensive MacBook Air laptops. This particular MacBook Air configuration is powered using Apple’s latest M3 processor (which will serve the average user well, but lacks the processing power of the M3 Pro or M3 Max processors found in the MacBook Pros).

This entry-level configuration includes a 13-inch Liquid Retina display, 8GB of unified memory and a 256GB SSD for storage. However, at the time of purchase, you can upgrade the memory (up to 16GB) and storage capacity (up to 256GB). What’s great about the MacBook Air is that it runs the same version of MacOS and comes with the same collection of preinstalled apps as all other MacBooks and iMacs, so right out of the box, it’s ready to handle a wind range of tasks.

The MacBook Air also integrates with Apple iCloud, so data will automatically sync between the user’s laptop, iMac, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. Plus, the computer works seamlessly with Apple’s services, like Apple Music, Apple Arcade, AppleTV+, Apple Fitness+ and Apple News. For someone who already uses an iPhone and other Apple devices, a MacBook Air will make a great addition to their tech arsenal. While there’s a lesser expensive MacBook Air that runs using the M2 processor, we recommend this more powerful model. However, someone with advanced computing needs will benefit more from a laptop from the MacBook Pro lineup.

Best Chromebook for high school grads: Asus Chromebook Plus CX3402

Asus Chromebook Plus CX34 Laptop

The thing about Chromebooks is that they’re less expensive than typical Windows laptops because they require less powerful hardware and rely more on the cloud.

Another great thing about Chromebooks is that they come with all of the popular Google apps and services preinstalled. This includes Google’s Workplace apps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps and the Chrome web browser. Chromebooks are also able to run most (but not all) Android apps available from the Google Play Store.

The Asus Chromebook Plus CX3402 is one of the more advanced and powerful Chromebooks currently available. It has the hardware configuration that qualifies it to be a . It has a 14 inch (1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution) display and comes equipped with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. It’s powered using an Intel Core i3-1215U processor and has a battery that lasts up to 10 hours per charge.

For more information about this powerful and versatile Chromebook, be sure to read our .

Best 2-in-1 laptop for high school grads: Lenovo Yoga 9i

Lenovo Yoga 9i 2-in-1 Laptop

For a high school graduate who doesn’t have a tablet and needs a new laptop, the Lenovo Yoga 9i is the perfect option; it can serve as either a full-featured Windows tablet or laptop computer. The device has a 14-inch touchscreen and comes with a stylus that handwrites, draws or annotate files, right on the screen.

It’s powered using a 13th Gen Intel Core i7-1360P processor and that runs Windows 11 Home. When used as a laptop, the Yoga 9i offers a full-sized, backlit keyboard. Of course, the computer is also equipped with a 1080p resolution webcam and a nice collection of ports.

Battery life is up to 14 hours, but with a quick charge lasting just 15 minutes, you’ll get two hours of additional power. This computer comes equipped with 1TB of internal storage. It’s a mere 0.6 inches thick when closed and weighs in at just 3.09 pounds.

Best gaming laptop for high school grads: Razer Blade 16

Razer Blade 16 Gaming Laptop

If the high school graduate you’re shopping for is a gamer, this Razer Blade 16 is a PC gaming powerhouse. Of course, it can also handle all of the same tasks as any other Windows laptop. What gamers love about this computer is its 16-inch OLED display with a 240Hz refresh rate. This makes graphics and animations appear bright, detailed and fluid.

And thanks to the computer’s 14th Gen Intel Core i9-14900HX processor (CPU) and Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series GPU, it’s ready to run all of the latest and most popular games, plus handle other applications that require a higher level of processing power. The display offers a 0.2ms response time and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, along with a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut. This means graphics and animations will look incredibly sharp and showcase highly accurate colors.

This configuration of the Razer Blade 16 comes with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for storage, both of which can be upgraded at the time of purchase. This computer doesn’t just function like a high-end gaming PC, it looks like one too. It’s housed within an sleek anodized aluminum unibody casing and has integrated Chroma RGB lighting. And specifically for gamers, the keyboard offers per-key RGB lighting with N-key rollover and a travel distance of 1.0mm (with anti-ghosting) for ultra-smooth gaming.

For more information about the latest and greatest laptops currently available, be sure to check out our coverage of the , the , the , the  and the .