(Original post by mahalia2001)
That's helpful to know, thanks. I'm looking for a laptop however I could spend a higher amount if that will get me a good laptop and last some time. Is a Windows one still my best option, and if so which one? I would probably prefer portability but still good enough performance for my course.
To put things in perspective financially, an entry level MacBook Pro (that costs £1250) is outperformed by a £500 Windows laptop, with the tradeoff being design and build quality. But you can get Windows laptops in the £900-1200 range that easily compete with the MacBook on things like weight, size, build quality and outperform it in the hardware department too. MacBook simply aren't good value right now.
Generally speaking, I think your best bet is to look at custom devices. I'm not a huge expert on the options available but I've picked this
purely to check costs. Configuring it with an i7 8750H, 16GB of RAM, an MX150 GPU for GPU acceleration, a 256GB M.2 SSD for the OS and a 1TB HDD for large files comes out at £857. It's a 2.5Kg, 15.6 inch laptop so it's not super lightweight, but it covers everything you requested in the OP and comes in under budget. Odds are there are better options that may be cheaper, smaller and lighter, but it confirms you can get something very powerful that suits your needs within your budget. I think you'd struggle to find something similar in an off the shelf model.
I'd also say that's about the limit you're going to get in terms of portability, as going much smaller will start to impact cooling. 2-2.5Kg is a reasonable weight for a laptop. Looking at something lighter and better built, you could get something like an XPS 15. Spec wise it's fairly similar, but the price shoots up to £1500, even with student discount. The weight drops down to 1.8Kg and you'll get a really nice, well built machine but not everyone values that at an extra £600.
If you're happy to compromise on size and weight to get a more powerful device that'll last your course, going custom built is your best bet imo.