Whether you’re heading off to uni or studying at home, finding yourself a good student laptop is one of the most important decisions students need to make. It’s something you’ll be spending a lot of time using, so it’s worth taking the time now to make life easy in the future and find yourself a laptop that can handle everything you need it to.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution that will work for everyone, it depends on what your needs are and what you’re studying, the sorts of software you need to run, and of course budget! With so many laptops and specifications to consider, it’s all a bit much to be honest. With that in mind, we did the hard work and pulled out some of our favourites on the market to suit all types of students. It’s worth checking out the product page of our top picks to help you make an informed choice when buying a new laptop setup.
If you’re tight on cash, don’t worry. There are laptops out there with great specifications, within a compact lightweight premium design, which do it all without breaking the bank.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3i
raises the bar on what to expect from an affordable laptop for students. Built a great all rounder, this is the one to get you through your tired looking dissertations. For those strapped for cash, if you can stretch a little higher on the budget, the
HP Pavilion 14
is built for speed and convenience, and is definitely worth considering. This one currently has £120 Off too, so don’t wait around and grab it while it’s cheap!
Acer Chromebook 314
has huge appeal with a tiny price tag. A lightweight, extra slim body, with a super clear 14” screen size. Acer’s Chromebook has features you would tend to find on premium models, and while Acer have it discounted £80 cheaper than normal, for a super affordable £169.99, it makes the Acer Chromebook 314 a brilliant cheap laptop for students. It would be crazy to ignore!
If you’re not on a budget, and need to get a laptop that can do everything you need it to, it’s worth investing in the technology that will see you through to the end of your course and beyond. It will hopefully last you the longest, giving you a super fast student laptop, with all the bells and whistles you need to get you through.
We believe the
is the most affordable Macbook, but easily one of the best. It’s perfect for students who need a laptop with incredible performance and otherworldly battery life. It will act as a workhorse day to day with a set up of applications that do that bit more than the rest. It’s delivered all within a premium look and feel you want from a Macbook. The
Macbook Air 2020
comes with the revolutionary M1 chip for super high end performance, in the premium compact Macbook Air shell. There is a
Macbook Air 2022
release, with the M2 chipset and redesign, which is significantly more expensive, but we know what Apple fanatics can be like, and if you want the newest on the market, you won’t be disappointed. If you’ve got the cash it’s worth the investment.
For those that want a luxury laptop but want to keep it Windows, the
Dell Inspiron 16 Plus
is a heavy hitter in the luxury laptop market. It’s a perfect powerful and portable content creation machine, fitted with Intel i7 processors and graphics cards for the most demanding of creatives. You’ll be able to enjoy smooth running processor heavy software of all kinds, super fast gaming, and a 16” wide screen to keep you engaged whether you need to work or chill out.
Yes you need a laptop that can deal with essays and spreadsheets. But if you’re a gamer we know you need a student gaming laptop that’s a little more special.
Asus TUF Dash
is a perfect entry level gaming laptop for students. Powered by Intel’s latest 11th Gen i7 processor and the brand new Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, a powerful cooling system to keep everything running smoothly and a crystal clear 15.6” Full HD display to cater for all your needs. To level up with the higher end of the gaming laptops look at the the
Acer Nitro 5
Asus Rog Stix G15 Advantage Edition
. They are both built with much improved processor firepower, the latest processors and graphics cards, and technology to boost performance and deal with whatever you need.
Convertible 2 in 1 laptops combine the processing power of a laptop, and the convenience and portability of a tablet. This experience is ideal for those who need a lightweight set up for travelling to lectures or the library, would like more control than a touchpad when getting creative, and importantly need a fully powerful computer set up.
Lenovo Duet Chromebook
is one of the cheapest convertible laptops on the market, seamlessly switching from a study laptop to a chill out tablet. What’s more, it’s easily one of the best value for money 2 in 1 laptops on the market. For a more powerful setup for those looking for a laptop experience and a tablet in one, look no further than the
Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Lenovo ThinkPad X12
Laptops are great for travelling about with, but if you want a computer with the best processing power, speed, and specifications, you should consider a desktop. They come with more dedicated space for impressive high powered hardware, desktop computers generally outperform laptops. Great for those who are working with creative software, or who enjoy gaming for hours on end. We like the All In One desktop options for students, as a happy medium for a slightly more portable computer when you do inevitably need to move home.
HP All In One 22
blends the power of a desktop with the beauty of a slim device fit with a borderless display. Tackle your busiest days with the performance of a reliable processor, and save more of what you love with a great amount of storage for all your photos, videos and documents.
Two great options for those who have a little more money to play with are the
Dell Inspiron 5400
,packed full of all the storage and speed hardware you come to expect in a desktop experience. Another new contender is the UK assembled
Portus 27 Series 1
, whichcomes with a super wide 27” screen, more than twice the size of some laptops, and a great step up in speed and performance hardware for a very decent price.
An incredible way to get yourself a high end laptop for a budget price is through
! Amazon refurbish tech gear, professionally inspect, test and clean them. If you’re worried about your laptop going wrong, everything's backed by the 1 Year Amazon Renewed Guarantee! They are slightly older models, but if you want to get the best on the market for a heavily discounted price, this might be a great option for you. Have a look at some of our picks.
When shopping for a good laptop for university, everything can feel a bit crazy. There’s a lot of info to sort through, too many specifications, gigabytes this, megahertz that. What does it all mean? What with so many different brands and models to choose from, it’s a bit daunting.
Beside being able to handle the demands of obvious uni tasks of putting together your essays and uni coursework, there are a few key factors you should consider when making your decision in finding the right student laptop for you.
Budget is one of the most important considerations you’re going to deal with when choosing a good student laptop. It will likely end up being the main deciding factor for you. More money will generally get you a higher specified laptop, super fast and speedy, with a better battery life, and a bigger or higher quality screen.
Not everyone can spend a fortune on a brand new top spec laptop. It’s pretty normal to go for a more budget friendly option, and the good news is there are so many options out there for those of you looking for a
. Fancy something more loaded with features to get you through uni and beyond?
Click here to check out our recommendations
: Generally you find a budget student laptop for around £200 – 300.
: At the pricier end of the scale expect to pay around £1250 plus.
Another biggie you will end up thinking about when looking for the best laptop for uni student life, is battery life. You need a laptop that will last all day, during your classes and still have enough battery left for late night studies in the library.
The last thing you want is to run out of battery on your laptop, when you need it most. So you’ll want a laptop with at least
6-8 hours of battery life
. It’s always worth staying on the safe side, and getting a laptop with a longer battery life.
You’re going to be lugging your laptop from your digs to uni every single day. It’ll be with you most of your study time, so you probably will want it to be a portable, lightweight and slimline laptop. As always, the size of your laptop will depend on what you need to use it for.
Laptop screens vary hugely, from 11 inches all the way up to 18 inches, and saldy their weight will vary along with that. Studying graphic design, photography or video, or enjoy gaming or watching movies? You might want to consider a screen on the bigger size. But keep in mind their portability and what you think you can carry every day.
If you want a bigger screen, but want to try and get a lightweight option, search for an Ultrabook for your next student laptop. Ultrabooks are laptops have all the screen size, as well as powerful processing systems, all within a slimline and lightweight design.
The key reason you’re getting a laptop at uni, is to take care of your studies and web browsing with ease. We know, Netflix and chill for 3 years sounded alright, but it might just not get you the 1st Class Honours you need.
You want a student laptop which can seamlessly multitask between all the programs you’ll need without slowing down and dragging your workflow to a standstill. The specifications you need though, will depend on your studies. English Lit degrees might focus more on word docs and web browsing, but a graphic design or videography degree will demand a whole host of other resources from a laptop in order to keep up to speed.
: A laptop's CPU is the brain of your laptop, the main processor responsible for overall laptop performance. It ensures smooth and efficient performance for daily tasks such as browsing the web, creating documents, and running various software applications or games. You generally want to find a laptop with over 1.0GHz processing power, but some higher-end laptops will have 2.0GHz or 3.0GHz, and will be able to handle most demanding applications in their stride.
: RAM is crucial in a laptop's performance, enabling smooth multitasking and efficient access to data. The less RAM a laptop has, the more it will slow down. With more RAM, you can run multiple programs at once, smoothly, like listening to music while studying, or putting a youtube video podcast on in the background of your study sesh. Most students will be okay with 4GB of RAM, but if you’re looking to do more computer heavy work like image editing, video processing, or gaming, consider anything with 8GB of RAM or more.
: Your hard drive is where a computer stores all your files, pictures, music, games and software. There are different types of hard drives, but for most students you won’t need to worry about the type, more the size. Anything above 256GB will be enough for most of you. If you’re going to be storing a lot of larger files, like photos or videos, consider a faster SSD hard drive, with anything between 512GB to 2TB.
Most uni students are going to go for a laptop, and it makes a lot of sense. For most of you. Laptops can be thrown in your backpack to take to lectures, the library, or to the coffee shop. Wherever you want to attempt to get your creative juices flowing, your laptop will probably need to come with you.
There are some of you out there that might prefer a desktop though. You might prefer to do all your studying at home, and don’t want the hassle of carrying a laptop around. What’s more, they are generally much more speedy, packed with more processing power and screens double the size. Generally, for a similar spec computer, you can save a lot of money by getting a desktop. It’s a pretty personal choice, but you’ll know if you need a desktop computer.