Having a reliable laptop for school is almost a must these days. You might get by without one but, needless to say, you’ll be writing a lot by hand, and unable to do other tasks as quickly, (or at all).

Not impossible, but not necessarily preferable.

That being said, many students are forever on an amazingly tight budget. We know that getting the biggest bang for your buck is essential.

In that light, here are 5 of the best laptops for students on a budget:

1) The HP Stream  $250 CAN

The HP Stream 14-ax010ca 14" laptop, Hewlett Packard’s personal notebook, is easily available at many electronic outlets including Walmart . At just $250 CAN, it won’t gouge too far into your wallet, but will give you the general tools you need.

In addition to free access to Office 365 Personal for one year, users get:
  • an Intel® Celeron® N3060 processor (1.6 GHz, up to 2.48 GHz, 2 MB cache, 2 cores)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • standard memory with 4 GB DDR3L-1600 SDRAM (1 x 4 GB)
  • 32GB of SSD storage
  • USB 3.0 connector
  • USB 2.0 connector
  • 3-inch display

This laptop is said to be one of the more durable cheaper personal devices out there, so if you’re prone to throwing your backpack down on benches, this could be the way to go. (That being said, go easy on this tool).

The HP Stream comes in cobalt blue, orchid magenta, violet purple, and horizon blue.

2) Acer 15.6" Chromebook $269 CAN

Acer’s 15.6” Chromebook laptop covers the basics for under $300.

If you’re comfortable with all of your work being stored in “the cloud”, this could be for you. Chromebooks work mostly on the web, and are formulated for users to operate through their Google account, centralizing their work in virtual space.

Most of your data will be stored online. Interested? Check out lifehacker.com’s points on the pros and cons of using a Chromebook as a student, here.

Lightweight and highly portable, Acer’s version can be a great laptop for students on a budget.

Features include:
  • -16GB SSD
  • -15.6” HD display
  • -built-in mic and webcam
  • - a 2.16 GHz Intel® Celeron® N2830 Dual-Core Processor
  • 2GB of DDR3 SDRAM memory
  • 16GB Solid State Drive storage
  • Chrome OS operating system

3) Asus Chromebook $229 CAN

The same points apply to an Asus Chromebook, as to one produced by Acer, in terms of being based in the cloud.

The ASUS C201 11.6" Chromebook offers an impressive battery life of up to 13 hours- useful in a student laptop-a spacious touchpad with multi-finger gesture support and a Rockchip Mali T764 graphics chipset.

Other features include:
  • -16GB eMMC (embedded MultiMediaCard) hard drive and 100GB of free Google Drive space for 2 years
  • -11.6-inch display with 1366x768 resolution
  • -Support for dual-band 802.11ac WiFi
  • -2 USB 2.0 ports, a micro HDMI output, and a memory card reader
  • -an HD webcam
  • -a full-size one-piece keyboard
  • -comes preloaded with Chrome OS

4) Lenovo ThinkPad 13 $469 CAN

Laptopmag rates the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 as the best laptop for students, overall. What does it have to offer? Well, at the moment it’s on sale at Best Buy in Canada, which is a good start.

Other features include:
  • -full HD display
  • -9 hours of battery life
  • -USB Type-C port
  • - Intel Celeron 3855U Dual-core (2 Core) 1.60 GHz
  • - 4GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • - 16GB Flash Memory Capacity
  • - Intel HD Graphics 510 LPDDR3
  • - Chrome OS
  • - front camera/webcam
  • - bluetooth

5) Dell Inspirion 15 3000 series (3558) $479.88

The Dell Inspirion 15 3000 series (3558) laptop gets 4 out of 5 stars from pcmag.com, as well as the honour of being labeled the “new Editors' Choice for budget desktop-replacement laptops,” back in July of 2016.

It’s a bit pricier than the others, but if you find you need to store a lot on your computer, and you have the chance to charge up your battery between or in classes, it’s a good catch. This hearty laptop offers a hard drive with 1 TB of storage space, as well as other perks.

Features include:
  • a 15.6” screen
  • an Intel Core i3-5015U 2.1 GH processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • Optical Drive : DVD+/-RW
  • an Intel HD graphics chipset
  • webcam
  • USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports
  • Integrated Wi-Fi
  • A battery life of up to 4 hours
  • Pre-loaded Operating System : Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit

Good luck with your choice and studies.