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I’m starting a sports journalism course at University in September and am wondering about whether I should prioritise having a personal laptop. I’ve looked at Chromebooks as they are slightly cheaper however I wonder if I should really get a more expensive but better laptop. Does it matter that much?
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Original post by EuanT11
I’m starting a sports journalism course at University in September and am wondering about whether I should prioritise having a personal laptop. I’ve looked at Chromebooks as they are slightly cheaper however I wonder if I should really get a more expensive but better laptop. Does it matter that much?

Chromebooks were great when cheap laptops were hobbled by crappy dual core processors and slow spinning hard drives, which ChromeOS got around by barely using any power and effectively running off a microSD card bolted onto the motherboard. Fast forward a decade and even the cheapest i3 and Ryzen 3 laptops have 4+ cores with hyperthreading, and they come paired with proper SSDs which may not be market leaders for speed but are blisteringly fast in comparison to the old spinning disks they used to ship with and faster than the EMMC storage used in Chromebooks. This comes together with the now-ubiquity of cloud based services across all platforms and the fact that you can get Windows laptops of that spec for under £300 quite easily. Chromebooks would still be worth considering if you're budget doesn't stretch beyond around £200, but if you can stretch into the £250 territory you can find options from high street retailers costing this much with far more robust spec sheets and all the advantages a "proper" operating system provides. This Acer is a great example, with £250 getting you a decently built 14" laptop with 8 core i3 processor, a 1080p IPS display, an NVME SSD and charging over USB C for only £249. Your budget would have to be extremely tight to be able to justify not stretching this far.

https://www.argos.co.uk/product/3345023?clickPR=plp:2:25
Chromebooks have never been worth considering.

Because of the existence of ebay and used business laptops.
As well as the existence of IT Departments in large organisations that give used laptops away for free - especially to people that will do charitable work on it.

For under £200 you can buy very nice used business laptops from ebay. These will come with Windows 10 & 11 Pro licences built into the motherboard. And they can also run Linux like a dream.

Tell us your mobility profile and I'll tell you what sized laptop is best for you.
Will you be carrying it around campus a lot? Or on buses or trains or planes? Or will it sit at home almost all the time? Or be transported in your car boot with short walks where you carry the laptop to a desk?
Are you built like Dwayne Johnson? Or are you built like Ariana Grande?

Once we know what size is best for you, we can start looking at specific deals on used HP, Dell, Lenovo business laptops.
Something with a decent (for a laptop) keyboard on it - as you'll be doing a lot of typing...

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