So I’m a postgrad and am currently going through the process for the 3rd time.
So yes, you do get a laptop, you make a £200 contribution and the DSA make a £250/ £300/£350 contribution depending on your level of study, needs and software reccomendation.
You then have a choice, whether you take this laptop or upgrade. Then you have 2 options. You can buy a laptop, but you have to write to student finance England stating you will sort the laptop. Basically you can buy a laptop with student discount. But you have to buy it out right then claim back the DSA contribution. Or you can go to the supplier, and they have a choice of laptop they have in stock or are willing to source and you can pay the additional cost of the new laptop.
Be aware you will need to pay any additional money for insurance or for software that goes on another system above the cost stated on your entitlement. Also if you buy a Mac you might not be able to transfer you software so the DSA will not contribute. Also if you buy a laptop which is not better or has a worse processor than your reccomended one you will not get the contribution by DSA.
I don’t know if that helps.