The Student Room Group

laptops

So going to uni in september and my dad's asked me and my sibling to find a laptop that we can both have. He's going to start alevels in september. Price has to be reasonable- anything apple is out the window. Any laptop recommendations/ what to look for in a laptop. TIA
Reply 1
What is your budget and what will you both be studying and using it for, as this can determine which laptop you both get?
Original post by westty
What is your budget and what will you both be studying and using it for, as this can determine which laptop you both get?

Hi, so I'm doing biomedical science. Budget would be around 600-700
Reply 3
hi, is that total for both laptops or for each device?
Asus Zenbooks are nice, should last quite a while too
Original post by westty
hi, is that total for both laptops or for each device?

hi sorry its for each device
Reply 6
You can definitely get some decent machines for that budget from a range of manufacturers. Is there anything specific features such screen size, which then depends on portability, 12 inch, 14 inch or larger 15.6 or 17 inch screen? separate numerical keypad, etc.

I always advise to stay away from consumer machines and steer more towards either pro-sumer or business machines. They are built using more sturdy materials and have better features, i.e. SD card slots, better screens and faster drives.

Models from HP Probook, Lenovo Thinkpad or Dell Inspiron or Vostro are robust, can take knocks and in some cases the odd spill. Stick with machines that have 8GB RAM as minimum, preferably 16GB and atleast 256GB/512GB SSD Drive for storage, more can be added with cloud or external storage for data/files.

Since you are a student and this goes for all is try using student discount offers when purchasing devices and even software. Hopefully, which ever uni /college you go to they most likely use Microsoft Office so you could use there license to install the Office applications like Word, Outlook, Excel etc. If not then Microsoft also do student discounts.

Hope this helps.
Original post by westty
You can definitely get some decent machines for that budget from a range of manufacturers. Is there anything specific features such screen size, which then depends on portability, 12 inch, 14 inch or larger 15.6 or 17 inch screen? separate numerical keypad, etc.

I always advise to stay away from consumer machines and steer more towards either pro-sumer or business machines. They are built using more sturdy materials and have better features, i.e. SD card slots, better screens and faster drives.

Models from HP Probook, Lenovo Thinkpad or Dell Inspiron or Vostro are robust, can take knocks and in some cases the odd spill. Stick with machines that have 8GB RAM as minimum, preferably 16GB and atleast 256GB/512GB SSD Drive for storage, more can be added with cloud or external storage for data/files.

Since you are a student and this goes for all is try using student discount offers when purchasing devices and even software. Hopefully, which ever uni /college you go to they most likely use Microsoft Office so you could use there license to install the Office applications like Word, Outlook, Excel etc. If not then Microsoft also do student discounts.

Hope this helps.

it does thank you
Reply 8
Original post by username3456272
it does thank you

well, if at anytime you have further questions or need help, hopefully this forum can assist again.
Brand new consumer grade laptops make no sense for your needs.

Good laptop purchasing involves buying the best tool for the least amount of money.

Depreciation is a wonderful thing when buying tools. Especially business IT equipment.

A Dell Latitude E7470 from ebay or Facebook Marketplace would be a great laptop for your needs - if you're not bothered about Windows 11.
You can buy them for under £150. Even though they are a few years old, they have SSD hard drives that make them lightning fast for web browsing, word processing, simple spreadsheets, watching videos, video conferencing. They also have nice FHD 1920 resolution screens, world class coated magnesium alloy chassis and lids to make them light and strong. Good quality lid hinges. Nice keyboards (for a laptop). Windows 10 Pro licenses built into the motherboard.
They are all round high quality tools. A pleasure to own and use. Consumer grade laptops are plasticky junk compared to the Dell Latitudes.

If you want to run Windows 11, buy a Dell 7490 or 7400 or 7390 or 7300. A premium Dell laptop with an 8th generation or later Intel processor. Expect to pay £250 ish for one of these.

Any laptop that you buy will need to have the battery replaced every 5 years or so.With a used laptop this might come sooner rather than later. With you studying biomedical science you should have the ability to replace the battery yourself in a few minutes. Replacement batteries for Dell Latititudes cost about £35.
An advantage of buying a Dell, HP or Lenovo business laptop is that these are big sellers. Making spares availabilty in years to come good. Unlike other brands with less market share. Or with consumer grade laptops that sell in lower numbers than business laptops.

A used Dell 7470 or 7490 bought today should give you 10 years faithful service before going BER - Beyond Economical Repair. As long as you don't spill coffee over it or drop a boulder on it, or leave it in a car overnight with temperatures of -15c.

Examples of good current deals include:

I'd bid up to £120 for this laptop:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/125208659318?hash=item1d27048576:g:PYIAAOSw~jdiM4U4

This laptop needs about £40 in parts and 30 minutes DIY work to bring it up to fully working condition.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/144459278430?hash=item21a271a85e:g:rNgAAOSw1F5hqovK

This laptop looks ready to go Just needs a light wiping with a vinegar moistened cloth to get the fingerprint marks off the screen. An offer of £225 would be likely to be accepted.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/115276834557?hash=item1ad708e6fd:g:XMQAAOSwmKliIIee

Bid £200 on this. You never know, you might be the only bidder: If you weigh like 50kgs and will be carrying the laptop around with you a lot, a 13.3" laptop like this would make a lot of sense. You're compromising on the screen size, but gaining on the portability.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/265592470473?hash=item3dd68b7bc9:g:hkMAAOSwVbdiLhr4
Reply 10
Original post by Dunnig Kruger
Brand new consumer grade laptops make no sense for your needs.

Good laptop purchasing involves buying the best tool for the least amount of money.

Depreciation is a wonderful thing when buying tools. Especially business IT equipment.

A Dell Latitude E7470 from ebay or Facebook Marketplace would be a great laptop for your needs - if you're not bothered about Windows 11.
You can buy them for under £150. Even though they are a few years old, they have SSD hard drives that make them lightning fast for web browsing, word processing, simple spreadsheets, watching videos, video conferencing. They also have nice FHD 1920 resolution screens, world class coated magnesium alloy chassis and lids to make them light and strong. Good quality lid hinges. Nice keyboards (for a laptop). Windows 10 Pro licenses built into the motherboard.
They are all round high quality tools. A pleasure to own and use. Consumer grade laptops are plasticky junk compared to the Dell Latitudes.

If you want to run Windows 11, buy a Dell 7490 or 7400 or 7390 or 7300. A premium Dell laptop with an 8th generation or later Intel processor. Expect to pay £250 ish for one of these.

Any laptop that you buy will need to have the battery replaced every 5 years or so.With a used laptop this might come sooner rather than later. With you studying biomedical science you should have the ability to replace the battery yourself in a few minutes. Replacement batteries for Dell Latititudes cost about £35.
An advantage of buying a Dell, HP or Lenovo business laptop is that these are big sellers. Making spares availabilty in years to come good. Unlike other brands with less market share. Or with consumer grade laptops that sell in lower numbers than business laptops.

A used Dell 7470 or 7490 bought today should give you 10 years faithful service before going BER - Beyond Economical Repair. As long as you don't spill coffee over it or drop a boulder on it, or leave it in a car overnight with temperatures of -15c.

Examples of good current deals include:

I'd bid up to £120 for this laptop:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/125208659318?hash=item1d27048576:g:PYIAAOSw~jdiM4U4

This laptop needs about £40 in parts and 30 minutes DIY work to bring it up to fully working condition.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/144459278430?hash=item21a271a85e:g:rNgAAOSw1F5hqovK

This laptop looks ready to go Just needs a light wiping with a vinegar moistened cloth to get the fingerprint marks off the screen. An offer of £225 would be likely to be accepted.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/115276834557?hash=item1ad708e6fd:g:XMQAAOSwmKliIIee

Bid £200 on this. You never know, you might be the only bidder: If you weigh like 50kgs and will be carrying the laptop around with you a lot, a 13.3" laptop like this would make a lot of sense. You're compromising on the screen size, but gaining on the portability.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/265592470473?hash=item3dd68b7bc9:g:hkMAAOSwVbdiLhr4

Definitely concur with you on this. Unless you are doing very intensive tasks, i.e. Video editing, high-end graphics/3D, AutoCAD and anything that might resemble what 'The Big Bang' characters do :h:, then even previous generations of laptop will certainly do the job. Even accomplish playing the odd games, obviously not some of the top-end games as they will require dedicated GPU's.

I myself, just recently purchased a £145 laptop inc. shipping 6th Gen HP Elitebook 1040 G3 laptop and its charger, very good condition for the age, with very faint marks on the base of the case, but that's expected. But the screen and keyboard and rest of the machine was clean, no marks. This was a 14inch, Intel core i5 6500U, 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD and came with Fresh install of Windows 10 Home.

I would say anyone looking for a machine to get started with, plenty of bargains out there and once you know what your course requires perhaps then upgrade to a more specific machine.
Don't get a HP, awful battery life, save yourself the pain :frown:
Reply 12
Original post by CatInTheCorner
Don't get a HP, awful battery life, save yourself the pain :frown:

I can agree on some of the consumer HP laptops, ones you might find in PC World or Argos, but this one and other previous models I always purchase are Business/Enterprise laptops. They tend to have better components, especially batteries.

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