三级成人视频To describe your university laptop as an important piece of kit is one heck of an understatement. For the next three years it’ll be your notepad in lectures, your library buddy, your essay-writing companion, a means of communicating with friends and family back home, and perhaps most importantly your television for binge-watching hours of Netflix when you’re supposed to be doing any one of the others things I’ve just mentioned.
It can be a difficult purchase to research, because every laptop manufacturer on the planet wants to convince you that their machine is perfect for university (and potentially recruit you to their eco-system for years to come). Having tested laptops for years, I can say with some certainty that there's more weight behind some makers' claims than others.
But before I get to that, it's useful to consider what you're looking for. Weight, I think, is important. Chances are your university laptop is going to be doing quite a bit of traveling back and forth between your home and your university, to the library, to your classes, maybe even on the odd field trip. You don’t want to be carrying an electronic brick around with you all day.
三级成人视频Then there's price. Given that you're going to be moving around with your laptop, it’s fair to say it's more at risk of being lost or stolen than at other times during adult life. Plus, let’s be honest, with the best will in the world university is a messy time; it's easy to knock over a bottle of Echo Falls and ruin your new piece of tech in one go. In short, you don’t want to pay a fortune.
And that's fine, because, honestly, paying a fortune for a university laptop really isn’t necessary. Most of what you need to accomplish, like browsing the internet, word-processing, and watching TV, can be accomplished just as easily on a budget notebook or Chromebook device as a top-of-the-range laptop.
Beyond that, it’s the little details you need to look for. Quick-charging will be important if you’ve got a 9am lecture and you’ve forgotten to plug it in overnight. A headphone jack is a must if you end up with a grouchy flatmate who demands silence at 8.30pm every night; and built-in Bluetooth or a decent set of speakers are must if you’re a party animal or even just fancy having friends clustered around your laptop for a movie night.
You might also consider a laptop with a webcam, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of seminars online due to Covid. (Though an external webcam might be safer.)
Some things I wouldn’t worry too much about are things like processors or storage capacity. Unless you’re planning on doing a lot of gaming or something power-sucking like video-editing, you won’t need a top-of-the-line processor. By the same merit, now that Netflix and Spotify are how most of us consume media, there’s no need for a huge amount of laptop storage simply because you won’t be downloading the big video and music files which would take up a lot of space anymore.
三级成人视频I would also be wary of the brands promising a ‘creative tool’. Unless you’re on a media arts course or something else that will require you to do a lot of heavy-duty photo and video editing, the benefits to you won’t surmount the cost.
Finally, don’t buy a tablet with a keyboard. They might be fine for watching Netflix and a bit of note-taking, but they’re never as comfortable to type on for long periods. Your wrists will hate you when dissertation time comes around.
Anyway, with that rubric in place, I’ve picked out five of my top picks of the best laptops for students out there, starting with my top pick…
1. Honor Magicbook 14
Why we like it: Apple-esque, at a fraction on the price
三级成人视频Huawei off-shoot Honor have made a statement in the world of technology by offering very, very high quality products at unbelievably low prices and this laptop is no different.
三级成人视频From the outside you can feel the quality and toughness. The chassis is a solid-feeling thing in nice dark grey with an electric blue trim, and despite being all-metal only weighs. 1.47kg. It's slim too: 15.8mm wide when closed.
The screen is positively massive at 14 inches with next to no bezels taking up space (the webcam is hidden in the keyboard). In terms of screen quality, it looks great to my eye. I’ll concede I have seen better, but not for this price.
三级成人视频The keyboard is big and comfortable to write on and the trackpad is helpfully huge. You won’t notice this stuff, but you would if they were too small.
Battery life is also very solid. Honor claims it can last 10 hours on normal settings which should get you through a day on campus with ease, but if you turn down the brightness a fair bit you can make it last quite a bit longer. It’s also a solid fast-charging option; 0-46pc in half an hour is nothing to sniff at.
On top of that, you’ve got plenty of bells and whistles at your disposal. The power button doubles as a fingerprint scanner so you don’t have to put in your password every time which means you can go from standby mode to working in literally two seconds. The charge port can just be a standard USB-C port, there’s two traditional USB ports, a HDMI port, and a headphone jack.
I was also seriously impressed with the speed of this thing. No matter what I did with it, the Magicbook never slowed down: streaming 4K movies, playing video-games, video-calling. There was no lag, no overheating. It's an impressive performance, and easily my best buy for a student laptop.
Read more: Best broadband 2020 deals
2. Google Pixelbook Go
Why we like it: It’s the best Chromebook out there
Slim, light, and effortlessly comfortable to work on for hours at a time, even if you are working from bed. How do I know? Well, because I’ve been working on a Pixelbook Go since lockdown started and basically regressed to my student work habits.
Unlike the Magicbook, the Pixelbook Go is a notebook, or, as Google would have it, a Chromebook. They generally have the bare minimum of storage (64GB here) and are designed to be worked on with an internet connection to save files to cloud storage instead of on the device itself. The idea is that you pick up your files whenever you need them rather than having them around all the time. But fear not, you can still work and access most files natively even when there’s no WiFi connection, they’ll just save to the Cloud when you get connected.
三级成人视频Google has been licensing out its ChromeOS operating system to other manufacturers to make hardware for it, but the Made By Google brand is always the best. It’s faster, sleeker, and better at surfacing your content than others.
三级成人视频With a 13.3inch touch screen molecular display, everything looks stunning. Whether you’re just typing up documents or watching something, it looks crystal clear and the colours are perfectly balanced.
三级成人视频Add to that a really good webcam, comfortable keyboard and touchpad, solid speakers, a headphone jack, magnesium-alloy chassis, and a decent battery which generally tends to last me about 7-8 hours (Google says you can get 12 hours out of it; I'm not so sure). The charger is very fast and can fully recharge in about two hours, or give two hours of power in about 20 minutes. It’s also blessedly light and skinny at just 1kg and half an inch tall when closed.
I have but two bugbears. One is that it’s so slim that there's no space for a USB port, opting instead for 2 USB-C ports. That’s potentially annoying since USB-C ports haven’t been massively adopted by everything yet (there’s also no HDMI port, but that’s less annoying.) The second issue is that it’s just a little bit too expensive. At £629 for the cheapest version, my eyes start to swivel to the Honor. Still, if you have the dosh to throw around, it comes highly recommended.
3. Acer Chromebook 514
Why we like it: A solid, wallet-friendly notebook
For all intents and purposes, the Acer Chromebook 514 operates in the exact same manner as the Pixelbook Go. It’s another Chromebook, like Google’s own effort, and yet it’s £400 cheaper than the web search giant’s version. What gives?
Well, it’s got about half as much RAM which, in layman’s terms, means it’s slower off the starting blocks and doesn’t deal well with having as many programmes open at once. It’s also got half the internal memory (32GB), although I’ve already highlighted above why that doesn’t really matter that much.
You’ve still got a lot of the elements that make the Pixelbook Go great. A handy 14inch screen which can be touch sensitive as an optional extra, an all-metal chassis, a decent camera, a headphone jack and a comparable battery life.
It also packs a few features that the Pixelbook Go doesn’t feature such as a USB port and a handy LED backlit keyboard for those times when you find yourself pulling an all-nighter to get that essay done.
Alright, so it’s a little bit chunkier, and a touch heavier at 1.5kg and, to my mind doesn’t have quite the same premium look, but did I mention it’s £400 cheaper than the top-of-the-line Chromebook model?
三级成人视频Plus, if you have the cash and want to split the difference, there’s a version of the Acer Chromebook 514 for which has more memory than the Pixelbook (128GB) as well as the touch screen and basically all the other cool features of Google’s version.
4. HP 15s-fq0017na
Why we like it: It’s a great laptop at this price
Don’t let the the horrendous string of letters and numbers that make up the name of this laptop put you off, it’s a great piece of kit for this price. As with any laptop, you’re getting more memory and a faster and better processor to help you do more things and have more programmes and tabs running at once.
三级成人视频There are three versions of this laptop, a £329.99 version, a £429.99 one, and a £550 one. They’re all basically exactly the same in terms of look with a lovely silver metal chassis, two USB ports, a USB C port, a headphone jack, and even a handy SD card slot which might be useful if you’re studying a subject like photography. The screen is pretty massive too at 15 inches with Full HD, which is nothing to scoff at. It’s 1.6kg but that’s not too shabby for a device like this. It also runs Windows operating software, so if you’re familiar with that, you might prefer it to ChromeOS or MacOS.
The big difference in terms of the three is the quality of the processor. If this isn’t something you’re familiar with then it almost certainly won’t affect you, but, in short, the better the processor, the faster the computer will go and the better it’ll be able to handle jobs which require a lot of power. If, for example, you want to stream content while browsing a lot of webpages, and running a game all at the same time, you want a decent processor.
I’m going to go out on a limb here though and say that if you aren’t doing a huge amount of gaming and you’re not one of those people who enjoys having 20+ tabs open at once, you can get away without the sheer processing power.
三级成人视频A few years ago a laptop like this would have been seriously something, but frankly, Chromebooks are catching up fast and a lot of the benefits of this one are already available on the aforementioned Acer device for less.
5. Apple Macbook Air
Why we like it: It’s perfect in all ways (except the price)
三级成人视频The fact is that a Macbook Air is several orders of magnitude better than anything you actually need at university.
三级成人视频This is an enviable piece of kit. It’s sleek, it’s sophisticated, it’s glamorous, especially in that fetching rose gold. The rounded corners around the 13.3inch full HD screen; that soft tippy-tappy keyboard which makes you feel like you’re a professional writer even as you enter your details to get tickets for the first SU night of the year.
三级成人视频When Apple say you can get 12 hours of battery life from one of these things, they really mean it. And you can add to that a 256GB hard drive, 8GB of RAM, a super speedy processor, and that beautifully flawless display.
Of course there are a few annoying things. Like the Pixelbook Go you won’t find any USB ports on here, while the backlit keyboard is weirdly sized and feels a bit crunched up.
But most of all, there's the price. There’s a level of conspicuous consumption which sits alongside Macbook ownership: they’re a status symbol which, rightly or wrongly, connote certain things about a person. Your academic achievement doesn’t rest on you owning a Macbook, so what message are you sending by getting one out in a lecture? I would gently suggest that these are things worth considering.
See also: Telegraph Recommended's review of the best power banks for charging on the go
Other kit you might want to consider
University tech doesn't end with laptops. If your halls are anything like mine were, WiFi signal might prove challenging, so at that point it might be worth considering a WiFi extender三级成人视频 (be warned that some university halls prohibit these).
Another thought is that if you do want the lightness and flexibility of a Chromebook but you're slightly suspicious about the Cloud and fancy some extra storage, you can't go wrong with a decent external hard-drive. These don't cost a fortune and are a handy way to boost your laptop or Chromebook's memory.
I would, in general, say that you probably don't need a keyboard or mouse三级成人视频 for your student laptop, but if you're more comfortable using these then I've done some little guides on picking the best ones which are linked in this very sentence.
As I've said before, I don't think any student really needs a tablet but as a former English Literature student I would very much recommend investing in an eBook reader, preferably one with audiobook playback as this will make your heavy reading load feel a lot lighter.