No matter what stage your education is at having a laptop has never been more crucial.
The pandemic drew attention to the need to have a reliable computer to access online teaching and even complete exams. And with the wealth of choice available it can be difficult to know what laptop best suits your needs.
We regularly get asked what’s the best student laptop and the answer is there isn’t one device that fits all. The first step is deciding what you need from a laptop.
Refurbished or Like New also offers the chance to pick up a laptop that otherwise may be out of budget, with crucial money saved that can go towards other educational expenses.
So, with that, here are a few tips on how to pick the best budget laptop for you.
The first step is deciding what you need from a laptop.
You should first ask whether you intend to take your laptop around campus. If so, a 14” laptop is most suitable for taking to class. Lenovo’s IdeaPad range weigh less than 1.5kg with a variety of great models available under £300.
If you intend to leave your laptop at home, then a 15” or higher offers better screen quality and normally more performance. Why pay more for a smaller screen if you don’t intend to take it with you?
Windows or Chrome?
Google’s Chromebook can be a great budget option with 14” and smaller available for less than £200. Chromebooks have apps such as Google Docs for coursework and with Chrome OS the cheapest models boot quick and offer fast access to the web.
You get built-in virus protection, online storage options and regular free updates with popular online chat applications such as Skype, Zoom & Teams all Chrome friendly.
There are limitations, such as the inability to download programs from outside the Play Store, however their budget friendly pricing and added features make them a viable option.
The Right Spec
If you are unsure what specifications you need, ask your college or university. Most will advise minimum requirements needed from a laptop in order to complete your chosen field. Newly armed with this knowledge it should help narrow your search.
Also ensure you don’t pay for features you may never use. Dedicated graphics help with playing games, but rarely is necessary to complete your course. And a touchscreen may seem cool but may be a gimmick you stop using.
Also ensure you don’t pay for features you may never use.
Don’t pay for unnecessary software
Most universities give their students access to programs such as Microsoft Office at reduced pricing or sometimes for free. Before buying, check your student portal and see if you are eligible. This may free up funds to buy a better laptop.