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School days: our top 5 laptops for students

Tech to help you power through next term and beyond.

laptops

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It'll soon be time for the new term. And if you’re keen on staying on top of your studies, it’s worth thinking about getting a new laptop. To start with, here are 5 questions to ask before buying a laptop for school and uni.

We know you’ll be wanting to work AND play on your laptop, so we’ve come up with five great choices for you below. Any one of these will help you study smarter, and keep you entertained when it’s time to kick back and relax.

HP Envy 13.3" laptop - Intel® Core™ i5, 512 GB SSD

Key features:

Windows 10

13.3-inch Full HD touchscreen

Intel® Core™ i5-1035G1 processor

8GB RAM

Storage: 512 GB SSD

This laptop packs plenty of power, so it’s perfect for work on large and complex study projects. With the 10th generation Intel® Core™ i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, you can easily switch from one task to the next without waiting for apps to load.

To protect your privacy, there’s a handy (and unhackable) webcam privacy shutter and microphone mute button. When you're done video chatting with family and friends, simply close the shutter for complete peace of mind.

Buy HP ENVY 13.3" laptop - Intel® Core™ i5, 512 GB SSD

Dell XPS 13 13.4" 2 in 1 Laptop - Intel® Core™ i7, 512 GB SSD

Key features:

Windows 10

13.4-inch Full HD touchscreen

Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7 processor

16GB RAM

Storage: 512 GB SSD

The Dell XPS 13 13.4" 2-in-1 laptop is the perfect portable workstation, with an 11th gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor giving you all the oomph you need to finish major projects. The 2-in-1 design that gives you the best of both worlds. Work and study hard in laptop mode, then switch to tablet mode when you’re in the mood to watch a movie or scroll through your socials.

This laptop runs on the Intel® Evo™ platform, which is all about bringing together premium tech to give you an amazing performance. So you can expect to be blown away by lightning fast responsiveness and connectivity, and a reliable battery life that lets you work anywhere. Fancy a study session sat in the park? Go for it!

Buy DELL XPS 13 13.4" 2 in 1 Laptop - Intel® Core™ i7, 512 GB SSD

Acer Swift 5 SF514-55T 14" Laptop - Intel® Core™ i5, 512 GB SSD

Key features:

Windows 10

14-inch Full HD touchscreen

Intel® Core™ i5-1135G7 processor

8GB RAM

Storage: 512 GB SSD

With a powerful 11th gen Intel® Core™ i5 processor, this laptop is a great choice if you want something capable of tackling serious computing tasks, from video editing to mammoth study projects.

You’ll love the large 14-inch Full HD touchscreen, great for browsing online and catching up on your latest Netflix binge-athon. And with Dolby Audio Premium, you’ll get great sound to match the onscreen action. This laptop also runs on the Intel® Evo™ platform, featuring a super-reliable Wi-Fi 6 connection. That means quicker streaming, and no more buffering circle!

Buy ACER Swift 5 SF514-55T 14" Laptop - Intel® Core™ i5, 512 GB SSD

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 13.3" 2 in 1 Chromebook - Intel® Core™ i3, 128 GB SSD

Key features:

ChromeOS operating system

13.3-inch Full HD touchscreen

Intel® Core™ i3-10110U processor

4GB RAM

Storage: 128GB SSD

Chromebooks are a new breed of laptop, with everything app-based and online for speed and convenience. Read more about why Chromebooks are great for students here.

The ChromeOS operating system has all your handy apps, like Docs, Maps and Gmail, preinstalled and ready to go. It’s fast, secure and virus free, so you can really focus on what’s important with no distractions.

With a slim and lightweight design that easily fits into your bag, the IdeaPad Flex 5 is great for working and browsing on the go. The battery lasts for up to 10 hours, so if you’re completing an assignment in a coffee shop or researching in the library, you won’t have to search for a plug socket halfway through the day.

Want to use a laptop? Tablet? Or something in between? It’s your choice - the touchscreen can flip round 360°, so you can type out essays in laptop mode, swipe through socials in tablet mode, and even use stand mode to catch a movie!

Buy Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 13.3" 2 in 1 Chromebook - Intel® Core™ i3, 128 GB SSD

Apple MacBook Air 13.3" (2020) - M1, 256 GB SSD

Key features:

macOS 11.0 Big Sur

13.3-inch Retina display

Apple M1 chip

9GB RAM

Storage: 256GB SSD

You can work anywhere with this light and speedy MacBook Air. The Apple M1 chip is incredibly powerful, letting you do everything from video-editing to epic gaming without draining the battery.

Apple’s famous Retina Display screen makes everything look amazing, with True Tone technology automatically adjusting the display to your environment – so things like webpages and emails look as natural as if they were printed out in front of you! Plus, you’ll always look your best on FaceTime calls. The Apple M1 chip works hard to give clearer, sharper images and natural-looking skin.

Buy Apple MacBook Air 13.3" (2020) - M1, 256 GB SSD

Need more info?

A lot of techy computing jargon can be difficult to understand, so let us help. If you don’t know your CPU from your RAM, read our jargon-busting guide.

Still not sure about which laptop is best for you? Our handy laptop buying guide will break down everything you need to think about.

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Our top 5 laptops for students