Ss12367
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Hi! I wanted to know what device (laptop/tablet) students studying accounting and finance at uni would recommend. I’m looking at getting a surface pro 8 when it comes out which is a 2 in one laptop and tablet w a pen too. But I’m open to other suggestion e.g. MacBook and why it’s better
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MindMax2000
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Having done a degree in accounting, then another one in finance, you don't actually need a powerful machine for any of the modules.
The most that you will need, is something for Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and possibly install whatever the university's regression software is.

The sort of specs I would look for are:

  • 2GHz+ processor (currently, Intel i3, i5, and i7 are the better ones to my knowledge)
  • 4GB+ RAM (unless you have 100+ browser tabs open whilst you work, this should be more than adequate)
  • 500 GB+ Hard drive - technically doesn't matter, as you will often use a memory stick for most things, and I have yet to ever need more than 8GB, but for value for money, you want something decent
  • Windows - because most computers at university will run on Windows, and it's a lot cheaper than Macs
  • Microsoft Office home and student edition - don't use this for business please
  • Antivirus software - just because


A laptop in the £400 range is more than adequate, but it's probably where you will get most value or money.
I'm not a particular fan of the Surface Pros, since their specs are not as high as the standard laptops. If you need touchscreen, get a tablet, not that you will be using your tablet for academic work.

Accessories I would recommend having:

  • Wired mouse (wireless are a complete pain in my experiene)
  • Earphones
  • Memory stick (8GB or higher)
  • Laser pointer - cheap ones go for £10, but I go for the £25 range, as they are more ergonomic
  • 4-USB port
  • Printer - something that prints faster than 8ppm, but won't break the bank (£60-ish is a good budget)
  • Laptop bag - cheap £20 with strap and can carry a few things should be more than enough


You can try to link your tablet to the PC for presentations, but you seriously won't need to do that to get first class marks. If you do get a tablet, get a stylus, a cover, and ideally a keyboard. You might also need an adaptor for the PC, but it depends on the tablet.

Should you like to be fancy, you can opt for the following if you don't already have them:
  • Chromecast
  • HDMI cable - to connect to the TV
  • Spare monitor - because why do you want only one screen?

Post graduation
Even in a professional setting, I haven't seen that many accountants or financiers use anything beyond Microsoft Office. If they do, it would be a particular accounting software the client is using (Sage, Xero, and Quickbooks being popular, unless it's a major corporation and they use something archaic), a very specific software the company is using, or a specific regression and programming software. A lot of the specialised software you would probably won't get access to, and you won't need for your laptop for. If you want to use specific regression and programming software, there are usually cloud versions you can look into, but you will usually need to know C/C++ programming (some use Python), and even then it doesn't need a lot of high specs on a laptop (the accounting and finance degree alone probably won't be able to get the sort of jobs that require this sort of software).
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Ss12367
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(Original post by MindMax2000)
Having done a degree in accounting, then another one in finance, you don't actually need a powerful machine for any of the modules.
The most that you will need, is something for Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and possibly install whatever the university's regression software is.

The sort of specs I would look for are:

  • 2GHz+ processor (currently, Intel i3, i5, and i7 are the better ones to my knowledge)
  • 4GB+ RAM (unless you have 100+ browser tabs open whilst you work, this should be more than adequate)
  • 500 GB+ Hard drive - technically doesn't matter, as you will often use a memory stick for most things, and I have yet to ever need more than 8GB, but for value for money, you want something decent
  • Windows - because most computers at university will run on Windows, and it's a lot cheaper than Macs
  • Microsoft Office home and student edition - don't use this for business please
  • Antivirus software - just because


A laptop in the £400 range is more than adequate, but it's probably where you will get most value or money.
I'm not a particular fan of the Surface Pros, since their specs are not as high as the standard laptops. If you need touchscreen, get a tablet, not that you will be using your tablet for academic work.

Accessories I would recommend having:

  • Wired mouse (wireless are a complete pain in my experiene)
  • Earphones
  • Memory stick (8GB or higher)
  • Laser pointer - cheap ones go for £10, but I go for the £25 range, as they are more ergonomic
  • 4-USB port
  • Printer - something that prints faster than 8ppm, but won't break the bank (£60-ish is a good budget)
  • Laptop bag - cheap £20 with strap and can carry a few things should be more than enough


You can try to link your tablet to the PC for presentations, but you seriously won't need to do that to get first class marks. If you do get a tablet, get a stylus, a cover, and ideally a keyboard. You might also need an adaptor for the PC, but it depends on the tablet.

Should you like to be fancy, you can opt for the following if you don't already have them:
  • Chromecast
  • HDMI cable - to connect to the TV
  • Spare monitor - because why do you want only one screen?

Post graduation
Even in a professional setting, I haven't seen that many accountants or financiers use anything beyond Microsoft Office. If they do, it would be a particular accounting software the client is using (Sage, Xero, and Quickbooks being popular, unless it's a major corporation and they use something archaic), a very specific software the company is using, or a specific regression and programming software. A lot of the specialised software you would probably won't get access to, and you won't need for your laptop for. If you want to use specific regression and programming software, there are usually cloud versions you can look into, but you will usually need to know C/C++ programming (some use Python), and even then it doesn't need a lot of high specs on a laptop (the accounting and finance degree alone probably won't be able to get the sort of jobs that require this sort of software).
Wow!! Thank you so much. This info is great and way more detailed than I’ve seen anywhere else 😊 much appreciated!
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UniofGreenwich
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Ss12367)
Hi! I wanted to know what device (laptop/tablet) students studying accounting and finance at uni would recommend. I’m looking at getting a surface pro 8 when it comes out which is a 2 in one laptop and tablet w a pen too. But I’m open to other suggestion e.g. MacBook and why it’s better
Hi Ss12367,

I was an undergrad accounting student, now studying a postgrad in finance and investment. MindMax2000 has pretty much covered it in amazing detail!

A laptop would be better than a tablet but in a pinch either will do. I was initially using a tablet-style device but found it difficult to use when writing essays or reports, sometimes you can have a crazy amount of tabs open so a device with a larger screen and decent RAM is a better shout but not essential.

I actually found I wasn't taking my laptop into uni as much as I expected I would. Most universities have an abundance of IT suites or laptops you can borrow for when you do want to work at university. I prefer to complete my assignments at home but if you'd rather work at university and do not need the responsibility or the added few kg to carry around a laptop, just save things onto your share drive or a USB and you're good to go on the Universities devices. I even just shared things on WhatsApp web to myself when I was too lazy to use the alternatives.

In terms of software, you won't need much more than the MS Office student edition which includes Excel, Word and Powerpoint. All of which you will use a lot of. You can use your university email to download these for free.
Printing is something I would make the best of at university, printing is usually cheap in comparison to printing it at home but a cheap home printer will help if you like to do your assignments at home. Sometimes you need a physical copy of your sources in order to annotate them better.

If you do go for a Windows Laptop, my recommendations are Dell, Acer and Lenovo. Avoid HP.

Otherwise best of luck!

~Mo
Last edited by UniofGreenwich; 10 months ago
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Ss12367
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#5
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
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(Original post by UniofGreenwich)
Hi Ss12367,

I was an undergrad accounting student, now studying a postgrad in finance and investment. MindMax2000 has pretty much covered it in amazing detail!

A laptop would be better than a tablet but in a pinch either will do. I was initially using a tablet-style device but found it difficult to use when writing essays or reports, sometimes you can have a crazy amount of tabs open so a device with a larger screen and decent RAM is a better shout but not essential.

I actually found I wasn't taking my laptop into uni as much as I expected I would. Most universities have an abundance of IT suites or laptops you can borrow for when you do want to work at university. I prefer to complete my assignments at home but if you'd rather work at university and do not need the responsibility or the added few kg to carry around a laptop, just save things onto your share drive or a USB and you're good to go on the Universities devices. I even just shared things on WhatsApp web to myself when I was too lazy to use the alternatives.

In terms of software, you won't need much more than the MS Office student edition which includes Excel, Word and Powerpoint. All of which you will use a lot of. You can use your university email to download these for free.
Printing is something I would make the best of at university, printing is usually cheap in comparison to printing it at home but a cheap home printer will help if you like to do your assignments at home. Sometimes you need a physical copy of your sources in order to annotate them better.

If you do go for a Windows Laptop, my recommendations are Dell, Acer and Lenovo. Avoid HP.

Otherwise best of luck!
Thanks a lot! I’ll look into the brands u suggested
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zoyazehra
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#6
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#6
(Original post by MindMax2000)
Having done a degree in accounting, then another one in finance, you don't actually need a powerful machine for any of the modules.
The most that you will need, is something for Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and possibly install whatever the university's regression software is.

The sort of specs I would look for are:

  • 2GHz+ processor (currently, Intel i3, i5, and i7 are the better ones to my knowledge)
  • 4GB+ RAM (unless you have 100+ browser tabs open whilst you work, this should be more than adequate)
  • 500 GB+ Hard drive - technically doesn't matter, as you will often use a memory stick for most things, and I have yet to ever need more than 8GB, but for value for money, you want something decent
  • Windows - because most computers at university will run on Windows, and it's a lot cheaper than Macs
  • Microsoft Office home and student edition - don't use this for business please
  • Antivirus software - just because


A laptop in the £400 range is more than adequate, but it's probably where you will get most value or money.
I'm not a particular fan of the Surface Pros, since their specs are not as high as the standard laptops. If you need touchscreen, get a tablet, not that you will be using your tablet for academic work.

Accessories I would recommend having:

  • Wired mouse (wireless are a complete pain in my experiene)
  • Earphones
  • Memory stick (8GB or higher)
  • Laser pointer - cheap ones go for £10, but I go for the £25 range, as they are more ergonomic
  • 4-USB port
  • Printer - something that prints faster than 8ppm, but won't break the bank (£60-ish is a good budget)
  • Laptop bag - cheap £20 with strap and can carry a few things should be more than enough


You can try to link your tablet to the PC for presentations, but you seriously won't need to do that to get first class marks. If you do get a tablet, get a stylus, a cover, and ideally a keyboard. You might also need an adaptor for the PC, but it depends on the tablet.

Should you like to be fancy, you can opt for the following if you don't already have them:
  • Chromecast
  • HDMI cable - to connect to the TV
  • Spare monitor - because why do you want only one screen?

Post graduation
Even in a professional setting, I haven't seen that many accountants or financiers use anything beyond Microsoft Office. If they do, it would be a particular accounting software the client is using (Sage, Xero, and Quickbooks being popular, unless it's a major corporation and they use something archaic), a very specific software the company is using, or a specific regression and programming software. A lot of the specialised software you would probably won't get access to, and you won't need for your laptop for. If you want to use specific regression and programming software, there are usually cloud versions you can look into, but you will usually need to know C/C++ programming (some use Python), and even then it doesn't need a lot of high specs on a laptop (the accounting and finance degree alone probably won't be able to get the sort of jobs that require this sort of software).
i’m not doing accounting but economics/management and i currently own a chromebook with which i am going to buy an ipad
would you suggest getting another (windows) laptop instead because the chromebook is more suited to google drive/sheets/etc rather than microsoft
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MindMax2000
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#7
(Original post by zoyazehra)
i’m not doing accounting but economics/management and i currently own a chromebook with which i am going to buy an ipad
would you suggest getting another (windows) laptop instead because the chromebook is more suited to google drive/sheets/etc rather than microsoft
Yep, for economics and management degrees


Whilst you can get away with doing most of the work on Docs and Sheets, I wouldn't recommend it. Microsoft Office have a number of features not available on Google Drive. When I was doing my management degree, we often end up using Excel a lot.
Having said that, you can always use the computers in the university library or computer rooms to do your work (they will have all the software you will need). I just find it more convenient to get everything I will need from my own laptop instead of having to trek to the university for stuff.
Also, if you're doing a stats module (economics should require you to do one, but not entirely sure about management), they might request you to use a certain software (e.g. SPSS, EViews), and they tend to run on Windows. If you don't like to spend all your time on uni computers to do your work, then a Windows laptop can prove economical.

I don't know whether it's economical to get an iPad. Don't get me wrong, they're great for a number of personal and business things, but how do you intend to use it for uni work? I can see it being beneficial if you use a lot of Apple apps or do a lot of design, but I can't see much use in uni.
You can technically link up your tablet for presentations, but you might need additional hardware (adapters, etc.) and link up with the uni's equipment which can get fiddly and doesn't add all that much to your marks.

So yeah, unless you are going to use the iPad specifically for personal use, I don't think it's worth getting one for uni.
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DJKL
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#8
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A larger screen (say 24inch or more) than that offered by a laptop sitting at home to plug in will be useful as eye strain can becomes an issue with spreadsheets , also assists splitting screens which is sometimes helpful ,make sure the laptop chosen has a calculator keypad ( certainly the Toshiba Satellite used to) not just numbers along the top. In my case a plug in mouse is a given as I hate the pads, but that is personal not universal.
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