Cait0301
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Looking for the best affordable laptops for students
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Dunnig Kruger
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Free laptops from the IT Departments of nearby large organisations. They will be used business laptops that are surplus to their requirements. Ideally one with an SSD, and a battery in OK condition.

You can't get better value for money than £free.

If you will only be using it for typical student use, word processing, email, web based stuff, you don't need anything new or with fancy internal bits. Just something with an SSD to keep it nice and lightning fast. And a decent keyboard (for a laptop).
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username5770391
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(Original post by Cait0301)
Looking for the best affordable laptops for students
Please fill in the laptop recommendation form found here. It's impossible to give good or useful advice without at least knowing a few things, such as your budget and use case. "Affordable" means different things to different people, and "student" is a very broad term. If nothing else, we'd want to know how much you're looking to spend and what you need the laptop for.

There's also significant differences between regular laptops (be it Windows based or MacBooks), Chromebooks and tablets (iPads and Android). Again, filling in the form will tell us which one is most suitable for you.
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Dunnig Kruger
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The only information that's required in order to give excellent advice on buying laptops are:

1 what will it be used for? Which applications and in what context the applications will be used. EG if spreadsheets are one of the applications, whether it will be sheets with less than 1,000 lines, or number crunching on sheets with 250,000 lines.

2 where you stand on the larger screen size vs portability compromise. EG a 6' 5" rugby prop forward with a car would be OK with a 15", whilst a 5' 1" slim woman that walked or caught the bus everywhere would be happier with a 12", 13" or light 14".

Anyone asking what budget you have is someone whose advice on IT you shouldn't take. Because it makes sense to buy the cheapest laptop that will be a great tool for the jobs it will have to do. IE what you spend should depend on your needs.

If you were buying a watch it would be madness to set a budget and then buy a watch at or just below your budget. Especially if all you wanted was a watch that told the time accurately and you weren't bothered about it being a piece of jewellery or a status symbol. It would make far more sense to get the cheapest or free watch that satisfied your needs.
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mypwnsupport
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Stay away from chromebooks, they're way overhyped. If you're on a budget and willing to buy used I'd recommend ex-business laptops (Lenovo Thinkpad T/X/P/L series, Dell Latitude 5/7 series).

Make sure whatever you buy has an SSD.
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ScienceLover2001
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dont buy a tablet and especially not a chromebook, talking from experience. Get a laptop where its atleast 15 inches with 4gb ram. Make sure its a windows laptop. You can get a decent one for £300
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mypwnsupport
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(Original post by ScienceLover2001)
dont buy a tablet and especially not a chromebook, talking from experience. Get a laptop where its atleast 15 inches with 4gb ram. Make sure its a windows laptop. You can get a decent one for £300
4gb of ram is tiny these days, I'd go for at least 8.
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Dunnig Kruger
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(Original post by mypwnsupport)
Stay away from chromebooks, they're way overhyped. If you're on a budget and willing to buy used I'd recommend ex-business laptops (Lenovo Thinkpad T/X/P/L series, Dell Latitude 5/7 series).

Make sure whatever you buy has an SSD.
This is very sound advice.

To which I would add a clarifcation.

One route to getting a highly affordable laptop that would be great for typical student needs is to get a laptop that has an unattractive specification that few other people would want. And then to spend modest amounts bringing it up to a specification that's perfect for your needs.

So that, if for example, you are offered a premium business laptop with no hard drive or with a mechanical hard drive - for free or for ultra low money then it would make a huge amount of economic sense to get it. And then to buy an SSD for about £35 and fit it yourself or get a techie friend to fit it for you.

The same thing applies to RAM. If a business laptop is free or nearly free and has only 4 GB RAM, as long as it has a spare RAM memory slot, you can bring it up to 8 GB RAM at a cost of about £23.

But yeah, as mypwnsupport quite rightly said "Lenovo Thinkpad T/X/P/L series, Dell Latitude 5/7 series" are the best affordable laptops for students. To which I'd also add the HP 840 and 830 series.
With the key being to get one for free or for the right price for current market conditions for the particular make, model and condition.
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mypwnsupport
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(Original post by Dunnig Kruger)
So that, if for example, you are offered a premium business laptop with no hard drive or with a mechanical hard drive - for free or for ultra low money then it would make a huge amount of economic sense to get it. And then to buy an SSD for about £35 and fit it yourself or get a techie friend to fit it for you.

The same thing applies to RAM. If a business laptop is free or nearly free and has only 4 GB RAM, as long as it has a spare RAM memory slot, you can bring it up to 8 GB RAM at a cost of about £23.
I agree with this. My current laptop is a Dell 5490 which I won on eBay, and I just upgraded it from a 256GB SATA SSD to a 1TB NVMe. The improvement was huge.
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