Best laptops for students 2018: The 5 best laptops to take back to school

The most important part of every student’s life is their laptop. Not only is it how they’ll do most of their work, it’s the gateway to social activities, keeping in touch with friends and family, and as a way to relax with games or Netflix or other streaming services.

Best laptops for students 2018: The 5 best laptops to take back to school

However not all laptops, not even the best laptops you can buy, will fit a student’s requirements. For a student,laptops with all-day battery life are essential. Laptops that have enough power to run demanding, course-specific programs are key, factor in size and weight to make it easy to transport around, and you’ve got the holy grail of student laptops. As with everything student-related, though, the most important of all is a laptop with an affordable price tag.

Price and specifications: Wouldn’t any old laptop do?

While it’s tempting to simply buy the cheapest laptop your local John Lewis has in stock, there are several reasons you’ll want to avoid doing so. Discounted laptops are often reduced for a reason – perhaps they don’t have the required storage space for all the essays that’ll need to be done, are too large and clunky to be transported easily, or are fragile and won’t last very long.

Instead, it’s worth spending a little more to get a device that’ll last for your entire degree – if a degree is an investment, shouldn’t you also invest in a robust laptop?

While you can get some great laptops at relatively low prices, it’s worth remembering that students get useful discounts that’ll cut down larger prices. Apple, Dell, ASUS and other manufacturers offer discounts, on average 10% off, that help bring the price down on more expensive models.

One thing a student laptop doesn’t need much of, however is RAM and processing power. Searching the internet, streaming content or writing documents isn’t exactly taxing. That said, if your course requires demanding software –such as video or image editing programs – you need to make sure your laptop can run them smoothly.

The best laptops for students in 2018

1. Dell Inspiron 15 5000

Price: £553

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The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 has several features that make it a great student laptop — it’s affordable, meaning it doesn’t t break the bank; it has a high build quality, meaning it’ll take the rough-and-tumble of student life, and its 1TB hard drive will store as many half-written essays as the heart desires.

It’s a little large at 15.6”, but the high definition display and great sound system make it perfect for use as a personal cinema or loudspeaker.

2. Apple MacBook Air

Price: £949

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Another popular student laptop is the Apple MacBook Air — it’s rare to go into a lecture or seminar without seeing an ocean of glowing Apple logos. The MacBook Air isn’t the newest MacBook, but that means it’s comparatively affordable, while retaining all the great features that Apple’s laptops have.

Factor in its long battery life, smooth operating system, number of important art and design programs it’s compatible with, and the comfortable touchpad and keyboard it’s clear Apple’s device is one that any student would love. Apple’s  student discount also significantly brings down the price.

3. Linx 12X64

Price: £239

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The cheapest laptop on this list is also, naturally, the weakest. It’s likely not the best device if you’re going to be using all of the Adobe Creative Suite constantly, or if you’re wanting to play hefty games, but it has its perks.

Its small size makes it incredibly portable — it’ll fit in your bag nicely and, at less than a kilogram in weight, you’ll barely notice it at all. The battery life may prohibit hard workers, as it only runs for around 7 hours, but most won’t be using it away from the charger for this long anyway. The real draw , though, is its low price compared to competitors — for the amount you’ll be saving, you could easily buy a gaming console, mid-sized TV or capable smartphone as well. Or, you know, pay rent…

4. Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Price: £553

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The recently-released Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is the ideal all-rounder laptop. It’s light, well-built and powerful, with a comfortable keyboard and hugely long battery life. As a part-tablet part-laptop hybrid, it brings the best of both worlds to your fingertips — but you’re going to need to remember to buy the keyboard, as it doesn’t come included.

5. Dell XPS 13

Price: £1,199

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At such a high price tag, the Dell XPS 13 would hardly seem like a fitting laptop for a poor student. However, there’s no better laptop for university. It has everything a student needs and more: carbon fibre keeps it well protected, the sensitive keyboard makes typing a pleasure, it’s thinner than most books, can last nearly 20 hours on a single charge, and it’s incredibly powerful.

The Dell XPS 13 trumps its competitors in every aspect, which is why the price is so high. If the budget covers it or, more realistically, parents are willing to cover some costs, it’s a worthwhile purchase.

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