The Student Room Group

Laptops for uni

This might be a stupid question but does everyone use laptops at uni, mine is quite old and bulky and I don't have the money for a new one so just wondering what everybody tends to use?
I use a laptop to write my essays but if never came to class with me. I ordered printing out PowerPoint slides and making notes on them by hand during lectures.

So up to you. Unless you do say computer science!
Probably depends on your course and uni.
My course was almost exclusively macbooks or ipads - expensive yes but mine survived 5 years of uni and is still going strong a year on.
Some courses provide laptops if they think they're necessary.
Often university libraries have laptop loaning schemes also.
You pretty much need a laptop for uni that will last all day on one charge. Ideally a new one so it lasts three/four years
Original post by student1R
This might be a stupid question but does everyone use laptops at uni, mine is quite old and bulky and I don't have the money for a new one so just wondering what everybody tends to use?


try find a new/perfect condition on facebook marketplace if u search hard enough u can find a new laptop for cheap
i found an ipad pro 5th generation for £400 cheaper on Facebook it had 1 year apple warranty but make sure not to get scammed
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by student1R
This might be a stupid question but does everyone use laptops at uni, mine is quite old and bulky and I don't have the money for a new one so just wondering what everybody tends to use?


If you’re mainly using a laptop for MS Word and PowerPoint slides, then sticking to your current laptop should be good enough.

I studied humanities at university, so I only relied on an A4-sized notebook and a pen to take notes during lectures and tutorials/seminars. If I needed anything, I will just print them out ahead of time. Printers at university are normally good and efficient.

I used an old and awful laptop that couldn’t turn on without being plugged into a working socket throughout first year, so I’d leave it at home and would only bring it with me when I had to (e.g. giving a presentation). It’s not as bad if you have a good backpack that doesn’t hurt your back at all with good padding and straps.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 6
There are plenty places to get refurbished/ almost new computer and Apple devices. Here are few links and almost pretty much come with either 30-day return or 1 year warranty (always read the fine print):

Amazon renewed: Amazon renewed laptops
Ebay refurbished: Ebay Refurbished
Apple refurbished: Apple refurbished

Some tips:
- Avoid anything over 4/5 years - as prices have come down so much you can get high spec Business machines for laptops at almost half or even quarter of the new price.
- Try to get items with returns policy usually 30-day
- Items with 1-year warranty
- read Ebay Seller feedback, gives you an indication of how good they are.

We can all do out bit, save the planet and save vast amounts on tech which doesn't got the earth and definitely cater to the standard study requirements.
Original post by student1R
This might be a stupid question but does everyone use laptops at uni, mine is quite old and bulky and I don't have the money for a new one so just wondering what everybody tends to use?

Hey @student1R

I use a laptop to access my course content (PowerPoints on Moodle), write my notes on word, and complete coursework and online exams. However, a lot of the people I know handwrite their notes! Quite often university libraries lend out laptops so if you needed a laptop to finish coursework that may be an option?

Rebecca :smile:
Original post by student1R
This might be a stupid question but does everyone use laptops at uni, mine is quite old and bulky and I don't have the money for a new one so just wondering what everybody tends to use?

Your old one will do the job OK. Especially if it has an SSD hard drive and you replace the battery when the old one stops holding charge well.
You could supplement it with a Dell Latitude 7390 for £180ish from ebay. Get a fully working one with 1920 screen resolution and 8th gen CPU for that price. That model of laptop would be fantastic for your needs. Pleasantly portable. Lightning fast for Word, Chrome, video conferencing etc. Strong and rugged thanks to the magnesium alloy construction. Better keyboard than consumer grade laptops. Good battery life.


Original post by domonict
You pretty much need a laptop for uni that will last all day on one charge. Ideally a new one so it lasts three/four years

Ideally not a new one. Ideally a used premium business laptop. For the fantastic quality of the laptop. Combined with the Student Loan friendly pricing.

Original post by Adas1332
try find a new/perfect condition on facebook marketplace if u search hard enough u can find a new laptop for cheap
i found an ipad pro 5th generation for £400 cheaper on Facebook it had 1 year apple warranty but make sure not to get scammed

Last time I looked ebay had better deals on Dell 7390's, 7490's, HP 840 G5's, 830 G5's.
Facebook Marketplace is good, but it all depends on exactly what you can get for what price. Plus with a Facebook Marketplace purchase, run the built in diagnostics and boot into windows and check it all looks and works OK before handing over the cash.

Original post by wifd149
If you’re mainly using a laptop for MS Word and PowerPoint slides, then sticking to your current laptop should be good enough.

I studied humanities at university, so I only relied on an A4-sized notebook and a pen to take notes during lectures and tutorials/seminars. If I needed anything, I will just print them out ahead of time. Printers at university are normally good and efficient.

I used an old and awful laptop that couldn’t turn on without being plugged into a working socket throughout first year, so I’d leave it at home and would only bring it with me when I had to (e.g. giving a presentation). It’s not as bad if you have a good backpack that doesn’t hurt your back at all with good padding and straps.

Your old laptop needed a new battery. Cost of about £35. Plus a few minutes work with a small scredriver.
Batteries in laptops are semi consumable items. It's no big deal replacing. A laptop that doesn't hold charge is a right royal PITA.


Original post by westty
There are plenty places to get refurbished/ almost new computer and Apple devices. Here are few links and almost pretty much come with either 30-day return or 1 year warranty (always read the fine print):

Amazon renewed: Amazon renewed laptops
Ebay refurbished: Ebay Refurbished
Apple refurbished: Apple refurbished

Some tips:
- Avoid anything over 4/5 years - as prices have come down so much you can get high spec Business machines for laptops at almost half or even quarter of the new price.
- Try to get items with returns policy usually 30-day
- Items with 1-year warranty
- read Ebay Seller feedback, gives you an indication of how good they are.

We can all do out bit, save the planet and save vast amounts on tech which doesn't got the earth and definitely cater to the standard study requirements.

Refurbished is mainly just marketing speak.
Refurbished generally means that they've: removed any stickers, rubbed it over with a rag and furniture polish, run the built in diagnostics, put a rubbishy fresh Windows build on it. All of which adds pretty much zero to the value of the laptop for you as the next user of it.

With Dell 7390's and 7490's at £180ish I completely agree that it makes no sense to get anything over 5 years old - unless you get it for free. Free is the best value for money you can get with laptops.
Dell 7390's retailed at approx £1300 new. That's an 85% discount off the original retail price. Depreciation on business IT equipment is a wonderful thing for buyers.


Ebay has a return policy on all sales. If it's not as described, you can return it for a full refund. Or take the path that I like of negotiating with the seller a discount for the cost it will take you to fix it. EG an ebayed laptop I bought for a friend showed the hard drive was near end of life via the onboard diagnostics that I ran as soon as I got it. Sent a photo of this to the seller. We quickly agreed a £35 discount for a like for like hard drive replacement. Resulting in that laptop being grin inducingly good for the total money spent on it.

1 year warranty. Nice to have. But you won't get them on Dell 7390 era laptops.
It's possible to go for a Dell 7310 era laptop with 12 months or more warranty left - but you're looking at £290ish.
I'd rather pay £180 and sod the warranty. Because I know how reliable Dell and HP premium business laptops are. And for me it's a simple logical business investment decision - ie pure logic and balance of probabilities. 50% lower price. Significantly less than 50% chance of ever wanting to make a warranty claim.

I do wholeheartedly agree with your buy used ethos.


Original post by Lancaster Student Ambassador
Hey @student1R

I use a laptop to access my course content (PowerPoints on Moodle), write my notes on word, and complete coursework and online exams. However, a lot of the people I know handwrite their notes! Quite often university libraries lend out laptops so if you needed a laptop to finish coursework that may be an option?

Rebecca :smile:


Handwritten notes are fine. And are an entirely sensible way to take notes.

I think that an investment of £180ish in your own premium business laptop is one that's easy to justify.
Reply 9
Original post by Dunnig Kruger
Your old one will do the job OK. Especially if it has an SSD hard drive and you replace the battery when the old one stops holding charge well.
You could supplement it with a Dell Latitude 7390 for £180ish from ebay. Get a fully working one with 1920 screen resolution and 8th gen CPU for that price. That model of laptop would be fantastic for your needs. Pleasantly portable. Lightning fast for Word, Chrome, video conferencing etc. Strong and rugged thanks to the magnesium alloy construction. Better keyboard than consumer grade laptops. Good battery life.



Ideally not a new one. Ideally a used premium business laptop. For the fantastic quality of the laptop. Combined with the Student Loan friendly pricing.


Last time I looked ebay had better deals on Dell 7390's, 7490's, HP 840 G5's, 830 G5's.
Facebook Marketplace is good, but it all depends on exactly what you can get for what price. Plus with a Facebook Marketplace purchase, run the built in diagnostics and boot into windows and check it all looks and works OK before handing over the cash.


Your old laptop needed a new battery. Cost of about £35. Plus a few minutes work with a small scredriver.
Batteries in laptops are semi consumable items. It's no big deal replacing. A laptop that doesn't hold charge is a right royal PITA.



Refurbished is mainly just marketing speak.
Refurbished generally means that they've: removed any stickers, rubbed it over with a rag and furniture polish, run the built in diagnostics, put a rubbishy fresh Windows build on it. All of which adds pretty much zero to the value of the laptop for you as the next user of it.

With Dell 7390's and 7490's at £180ish I completely agree that it makes no sense to get anything over 5 years old - unless you get it for free. Free is the best value for money you can get with laptops.
Dell 7390's retailed at approx £1300 new. That's an 85% discount off the original retail price. Depreciation on business IT equipment is a wonderful thing for buyers.


Ebay has a return policy on all sales. If it's not as described, you can return it for a full refund. Or take the path that I like of negotiating with the seller a discount for the cost it will take you to fix it. EG an ebayed laptop I bought for a friend showed the hard drive was near end of life via the onboard diagnostics that I ran as soon as I got it. Sent a photo of this to the seller. We quickly agreed a £35 discount for a like for like hard drive replacement. Resulting in that laptop being grin inducingly good for the total money spent on it.

1 year warranty. Nice to have. But you won't get them on Dell 7390 era laptops.
It's possible to go for a Dell 7310 era laptop with 12 months or more warranty left - but you're looking at £290ish.
I'd rather pay £180 and sod the warranty. Because I know how reliable Dell and HP premium business laptops are. And for me it's a simple logical business investment decision - ie pure logic and balance of probabilities. 50% lower price. Significantly less than 50% chance of ever wanting to make a warranty claim.

I do wholeheartedly agree with your buy used ethos.




Handwritten notes are fine. And are an entirely sensible way to take notes.

I think that an investment of £180ish in your own premium business laptop is one that's easy to justify.


Wow, thank you for all the responses. I've had a quick look on ebay and found this one
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/234525736899?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=7101533165274578&mkcid=2&itemid=234525736899&targetid=4584826055637462&device=c&mktype=&googleloc=&poi=&campaignid=412354546&mkgroupid=1299623041023876&rlsatarget=pla-4584826055637462&abcId=9300541&merchantid=87779&msclkid=f7dbfcba173918f051f49f985c54120c#rwid
I'm not sure if it's any good but seems to have everything I want, you seem to know quite a lot so would appreciate any help. My other option was to buy a secondhand ipad and a bluetooth case as I'm thinking it would be easier to carry around and use
Reply 10
Original post by student1R
Wow, thank you for all the responses. I've had a quick look on ebay and found this one
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/234525736899?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=7101533165274578&mkcid=2&itemid=234525736899&targetid=4584826055637462&device=c&mktype=&googleloc=&poi=&campaignid=412354546&mkgroupid=1299623041023876&rlsatarget=pla-4584826055637462&abcId=9300541&merchantid=87779&msclkid=f7dbfcba173918f051f49f985c54120c#rwid
I'm not sure if it's any good but seems to have everything I want, you seem to know quite a lot so would appreciate any help. My other option was to buy a secondhand ipad and a bluetooth case as I'm thinking it would be easier to carry around and use


That's a nice bit of kit, looks really good condition. £200 may be a little over, I would start with offer of £175.

Refurbed or 2nd iPad is good option but nothing older than 2018 version, as 1st gen pencil and updates is better from this year upwards.

Which one you get entirely depends on you, perhaps start of with the laptop, see how your course goes then perhaps get iPad later. Or vice versa. Only you can decide on how you best work and take notes and study with the tech I'm afraid.

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