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March 6, 2023

Our best Surface laptop features for college students

It could be your first year as a freshman, or you could be well into your studies. In your quest for knowledge, choosing the best laptop to excel at your college education is easy with Microsoft Surface, no matter which laptop or 2-in-1 you choose.

What laptop features do college students need?

Whatever you plan to study or accomplish, you’ll want the best laptop for college to help you make it happen. Here are some essential features:

Power to spare

You may have classes from morning to afternoon, followed by notes to type up, papers to compose, and late-night applications to send. You’ll definitely need a laptop with the battery power to keep up. The new Surface Pro 9 with 5G can last up to 19 hours*, even when using multiple applications and streaming videos. That means your laptop will stay juiced up for you all the way from summoning your essay-writing muses to adding those final-edit touches.

Bring it anywhere

With so much happening at college, you won’t want to stay in your dorm room all day. You might play music on the quad, bring your laptop to the library to cram, or take it to a friend’s place for movie night. Weighing in at just a tick over 1 lb, the Surface Go 3 is Microsoft’s most portable laptop, slipping easily into your backpack or purse. But what is portability without power? Its dual-core 10th Gen Intel® CoreTM i3 processor loads crisp visuals and helps you speed through all your tasks, like checking school emails, finishing your homework, browsing the web, shopping for new school clothes, and more.

Draw, jot, and doodle

Studies show that idle drawing and doodling can improve brain function and spark creativity. If you’re majoring in a creative field, you’ll appreciate a beautifully vivid tablet touchscreen right at your fingertips. But you don’t have to be an art student to create great digital artwork or drafts on your Surface. You can use the Surface Slim Pen 2 to draw, jot, and doodle right on the screen. With tactile feedback and handwriting recognition, it can turn your scribbles into actual, editable text. It feels like you’re taking notes with pen and paper—an old-school feel in new-school tech.

Talk over type

No more typing and transcribing for hours. No more wearing your fingers out while deciphering your messy notes. No more missed lines! Just speak your notes out loud, and the powerful Windows Speech Recognition software picks up your voice through Surface’s microphones, converting it easily to text—in dozens of languages. If you’re a reporter at your college newspaper, for example, you’ll save lots of time on transcription. And you can distill hours-long lectures into sound bites and typed-up speeches that you can organize for your own notes. Hot tip: students can get a version of Office 365 for free.

Send your stuff to the cloud

Remember USB sticks? How about burnable CD-RWs, Zip disks, floppies, and external hard drives? All that tech is already older than last semester. Always-connected cloud technology lets you access your essays, PDFs, and presentations from anywhere—and with the secure, advanced cloud functionality that’s integrated into Surface, you can collaborate in group projects, stream, upload everything, and game. Unlike your old CD mixes, it’s ready for the future.

To find the best college student laptop, watch for these essential features. And if you want help picking, let us help you choose the right Surface for you.

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[*] Battery life varies significantly based on device configuration, usage, network and feature configuration, signal strength, settings and other factors. See for details.