The Student Room Group

what kind of laptop to bring to uni?! macs vs windows, etc.

currently i’m considering my options for a potential upgrade to my technology as my ipad (which i used throughout all of a levels!) is beginning to struggle a bit more. it still works and i’ll bring it to uni with me as a casual user, i just don’t plan on using it in lectures etc. as the battery does struggle a bit more now and it takes quite a while to charge (it also loses approx 40-50% if left overnight so it’ll usually be close to dead if i forget to charge it after a day at uni!) meaning if i forget to charge it then i’m a bit stuck in terms of what to use in class/lectures. as such, i’m looking at treating myself to a new laptop!

as for the general use of whatever i end up with, i mostly want to do things like uni work and casual browsing etc. on it; nothing too hard. i just want something lightweight-ish with a nice battery life that isn’t going to burn up or sound like it’s going to take off when i open a few tabs! i do plan on bringing my PC to uni with me which has more power for things like games etc. so i’m not too bothered about a ‘gaming’ laptop or anything (i figured it’s a better use of my money to just bring my pc and buy a more ‘normal’ device for uni work rather than spend loads of money on a laptop capable of playing games when realistically i’ll end up moving my pc at some point anyway!). i just want something efficient and simple for uni work as well as general life really :smile:

my first thought as something similar to the ipad was obviously a macbook, however these are quite pricey and i’ve never had one so i’m not keen to invest if it isn’t going to be something i find useful particularly as it’ll be a bit of a learning curve. i do really love my ipad for it’s portability and lightweightness which i know is another thing lots of people enjoy about macbooks, the only thing i can really fault my current ipad for is wishing it could function more as a computer and have a little bit more juice in it (hence considering a macbook). i enjoy using apple products for school in terms of their functionality, and from what i’ve seen i do see really positive reviews about their computers! my main hesitation is that i’m aware lots of people using macbooks use them for things like graphics and video editing and the like i haven’t really heard much about how useful they are for the types of software i’ll be using in uni as i’ll be studying law (so lots of things like word!) rather than something like graphic design.

i have also considered a windows laptop —i’m not really keen on chromebooks having used them in school, so it’d need to be apple or windows really! i’ve used windows my entire life at home and it is what i’m more used to, but a lot of the laptops i’ve seen don’t really tick all/even most of my boxes! either that, or they’re significantly more expensive than the macbooks i’ve been looking at. i’m not sure if i’m looking in the wrong places or something as i’m honestly a bit lost on where to start with laptop buying and stuff! i do like that i have experience with windows laptops and my first thought was that i could save a bit of money by just buying a regular laptop rather than a macbook or the like, but from everywhere i’ve really looked i’ve either had the options of sacrificing my main wishes (battery life, decent processing/convenient for working on, lightweight-ish) or practically paying for an extra student accom room :’)
(edited 9 months ago)
If you like your ipad and are just concerned about battery life then why not just upgrade it - or even cheaper just get a couple of good quality (anker etc) portable battery chargers
If you decide on a Macbook, don't even consider anything lower/older than the 2020 M1 MacBook Air, as that was the first MacBook that used Apple's own chips rather than Intel. It's hard to describe with words how much better Apple's own chips are compared to the older Intel MacBooks. You can get a used 2020 M1 MacBook Air off of eBay for around £600, sometimes even less if you get lucky. While this isn't cheap, its only half as expensive as the newer M2 models and it will still last you at the very least 5-7 years before it becomes outdated. In my opinion it's definitely worth the investment. As it has no fans in it, it will be completely silent, but it will also not overheat as the Apple M1 chip is so power efficient. I've heard that some people can get multiple days worth of battery life out of a full charge as well. The 2020 model is much better value than the newest models, especially if you get it second hand. Bearing that in mind, it's hard for me to even consider a windows laptop as none that I have seen come close to the ease of use, power, form factor and longevity for the price. I really can't recommend it enough. Another bonus is that all of your current notes from your iPad, assuming you use the Apple Notes app or Google Docs etc, will likely be able to sync with your laptop. The only downside I can find about the MacBook is the storage, but in all honestly I'd just go for the 256gb model, or if you find one that's reasonably priced, a 512gb model, and buy an external SSD or hard drive if you need it as it will save you from spending an arm and a leg on a model with higher storage.
Reply 3
Does anyone have any specific tech recommendations for an economics degree? I was thinking of just purchasing an m2 MacBook Air and a new iPhone (the battery life on my current one is pretty poor).
Just buy a normal PC laptop. Apple products use the same hardware and just charge more for the aesthetics. They are also designed to be closed systems preventing you getting them repaired anywhere other than the Apple store where they charge a premium for that.

For literally any Apple product you find you could find a non-apple version which has exactly the same or better specs for less. You're a student, you aren't going to have a lot of money over the next few years in all likelihood. Spend it wisely.

Also please use paragraphs...
Reply 5
Original post by artful_lounger
Just buy a normal PC laptop. Apple products use the same hardware and just charge more for the aesthetics. They are also designed to be closed systems preventing you getting them repaired anywhere other than the Apple store where they charge a premium for that.

For literally any Apple product you find you could find a non-apple version which has exactly the same or better specs for less. You're a student, you aren't going to have a lot of money over the next few years in all likelihood. Spend it wisely.

Also please use paragraphs...


ah i had included paragraphs, but when i copied from my notes app (i find the TSR interface quite glitchy on my phone so will write longer posts outside then copy in) i must have forgotten to double check that formatting had worked properly! thank you for letting me know :smile: i have edited the post back to how it was meant to be…

anyway, thank you everyone for your recommendations/advice/opinions! i have a little while to think about what i’m buying so i’ll definitely be taking everything into consideration :biggrin:
Reply 6
Original post by rwnsl
ah i had included paragraphs, but when i copied from my notes app (i find the TSR interface quite glitchy on my phone so will write longer posts outside then copy in) i must have forgotten to double check that formatting had worked properly! thank you for letting me know https://fmapps.org:smile: i have edited the post back to how it was meant to be…

anyway, thank you everyone for your recommendations/advice/opinions! i have a little while to think about what i’m buying so i’ll definitely be taking everything into consideration :biggrin:

Your thoughtful consideration and openness to recommendations reflect a wise approach to decision-making. Acknowledging and rectifying formatting glitches shows your dedication to clear communication. Take your time in evaluating options; your methodical approach ensures a well-informed decision. Best of luck with your purchase.
(edited 1 month ago)
Have you thought about getting a new iPad? It can also be an option.
And it's true that Mac is expensive, but it's worth it. There is no need to buy the newest one or Pro; the MacBook Air with M1 chip will be perfect.
I have it, and it works perfectly for my studies. I also like that if I need some help, I can easily ask someone or find the needed info online. Recently, I found this page https://setapp.com/how-to/how-to-remove-search-marquis-from-mac, which provided me info about Search Marquis and how to get rid of it. I'd never heard about it before, but now I know what I can do to protect my laptop and provide fast and quality work.
(edited 3 weeks ago)

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