The Student Room Group

Best device for life as a uni student

Hi, I’m (hopefully) starting uni in September. I’m doing vet med and will be using it for both schoolwork and streaming services such as Netflix etc.
I don’t need anything really fancy but good storage and a long battery life are preferable so it can last me the duration of the degree hopefully. I don’t know whether I’m better with a tablet/iPad with a keyboard attachment or a laptop of some sort. I’m not sure whether I’ll use it for notes as I normally prefer pen and paper for doing notes. My budget isn’t too strict, I’d rather buy something good quality that will last and do the job than something a bit cheaper that will slow down after a year or two. So am I better going tablet/iPad with keyboard or notebook/laptop and any recommendations? Thank you :smile:
Reply 1
Are there any course specific software requirements? E.g., software for viewing scans. That might dictate whether you need a laptop or could use an iPad if you wanted to.
What's your mobility profile? As in how physically strong are you (rugby prop forward vs ballerina type build). And will you carry the laptop on foot or public transport a lot? Or will it be transported in your car with short walks with it?

This will determine the right size laptop for you.

For "vet med and will be using it for both schoolwork and streaming services such as Netflix" you don't need anything fancy for the CPU etc on your laptop. Which is good as we can focus on the build quality and the battery life.
For storage, a laptop with a tiny SSD hard drive at the right price would be worth buying, as you could install a very fast 1 tb SSD for an additional £60 plus a few minutes of your time.

Get a laptop first. And then later, if you so wish, you can get a tablet too.
I agree on paper for notes. You could always get a scanner if you wanted to digitise your notes.
Reply 3
Original post by Dunnig Kruger
What's your mobility profile? As in how physically strong are you (rugby prop forward vs ballerina type build). And will you carry the laptop on foot or public transport a lot? Or will it be transported in your car with short walks with it?
This will determine the right size laptop for you.
For "vet med and will be using it for both schoolwork and streaming services such as Netflix" you don't need anything fancy for the CPU etc on your laptop. Which is good as we can focus on the build quality and the battery life.
For storage, a laptop with a tiny SSD hard drive at the right price would be worth buying, as you could install a very fast 1 tb SSD for an additional £60 plus a few minutes of your time.
Get a laptop first. And then later, if you so wish, you can get a tablet too.
I agree on paper for notes. You could always get a scanner if you wanted to digitise your notes.
I’m 6’1 and go to the gym so I should be able to carry a laptop okay 😂 probably a mix of public transport and walking but nothing more than a 30 minute walk. A laptop would probably be a better idea as I’m more used to working on computers than tablets
A 15" laptop would probably be the best sized laptop for you. With maybe a 16" or a 14" also being OK.

If you want a Rolls Royce laptop (with Rolls Royce weight) with excellent engineering and build quality, with very long battery life, thanks to the 95whr battery and great RAM and SSD expansion possibilities this Dell Precision 7560 would be a good option:
ebay Dell 7560
Put it in your watchlist and there's a reasonable chance the seller will offer it to you in the next few days at below £600.

Rather more affordable is this HP 850 G6 (offer £230 for it). It's still a nicely engineered premium business laptop. It's lighter than the Dell Precision, and you should get good battery life from it.
HP 850 G6

Here's another option. The attraction of this £170 Dell Latitude 5501 is that you can fit a 97whr battery in it (for £50 if it doesn't have one already).
Dell Latitude 5501
Reply 5
Original post by Dunnig Kruger
A 15" laptop would probably be the best sized laptop for you. With maybe a 16" or a 14" also being OK.
If you want a Rolls Royce laptop (with Rolls Royce weight) with excellent engineering and build quality, with very long battery life, thanks to the 95whr battery and great RAM and SSD expansion possibilities this Dell Precision 7560 would be a good option:
ebay Dell 7560
Put it in your watchlist and there's a reasonable chance the seller will offer it to you in the next few days at below £600.
Rather more affordable is this HP 850 G6 (offer £230 for it). It's still a nicely engineered premium business laptop. It's lighter than the Dell Precision, and you should get good battery life from it.
HP 850 G6
Here's another option. The attraction of this £170 Dell Latitude 5501 is that you can fit a 97whr battery in it (for £50 if it doesn't have one already).
Dell Latitude 5501

I am so sorry for the late reply, it’s been a bit hectic with exams atm. This was really helpful and informative so thank you, the latitude looks great! What’s Dell’s Inspiron like? My friend has one and seems happy with it but how does it compare the the Latitude?
Inspirons tend to be somewhat junky and plasticky in build and engineering quality. They're consumer grade laptops.
The Latitudes are Dell's business models. The 5xxx series can be plasticky, but they're not too tragically bad for how they're made. The 7xxx series are their premium business models that have really nice chassis and lids, made from materials like coated magnesium alloy or carbon fibre.

Avoid the Inspirons. Go for a Latitude. Or the right model Precision. Or for a HP premium business laptop, such as an 850 or 855.
Reply 7
Original post by Dunnig Kruger
Inspirons tend to be somewhat junky and plasticky in build and engineering quality. They're consumer grade laptops.
The Latitudes are Dell's business models. The 5xxx series can be plasticky, but they're not too tragically bad for how they're made. The 7xxx series are their premium business models that have really nice chassis and lids, made from materials like coated magnesium alloy or carbon fibre.
Avoid the Inspirons. Go for a Latitude. Or the right model Precision. Or for a HP premium business laptop, such as an 850 or 855.
Thank you so much for your help!

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