Back-to-School 2018: 12 Best Laptops for Students

It still feels like summer, but make no mistake: Fall is coming. And that means the 2018 back-to-school shopping season is ramping up. That typically means a trip to pick up pencils, pens, notebooks, a ruler and a calculator ... but increasingly, it also means scouring stores for the best laptops to get the kids through the school year.

Laptop access used to be a "nice-to-have" - now it's a necessity for college and high school, and it's increasingly important for primary-school students, too. The days of hand-written assignments are dwindling; we've switched to neatly formatted and printed ... or even submitted online.

The stakes for back-to-school shopping are higher as a result. You've gone from $50 worth of office supplies to potentially spending more than $1,000. Striking gold isn't easy, either; finding the best laptops means sorting through literally hundreds of models - a more complicated process than deciding between blue and black ink.

Here are 12 of the best laptops for back-to-school 2018. Some of these picks focus on overall general quality, while a few are focused on specific areas such as high-end power, gaming and value.

Microsoft Surface Laptop

Courtesy Microsoft

Computers that run Microsoft's Windows operating system have some significant advantages, including the largest selection of compatible software and the widest

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