10 Best Student Laptops for School and University

10 min read
10 Best Student Laptops for School and University

Got to Buy a Laptop for School or Uni and Don’t Know Where to Start?

Then start right here. Here are the Best Student Laptops for the Best Price!

Choosing a student laptop can be tricky and honestly, sometimes understanding the specs is like deciphering a secret code. If your child, teenager, university student or even yourself if you are a mature age student like me, is in need of a laptop for the new school year then you’re in luck because we have put together the ultimate student laptop buying guide for you.

Table of Contents:

  1. What to consider when buying a student laptop
  2. Best Basic Student Laptops
  3. Best Everyday Student Laptops Under $500
  4. Budget Tight? Look at Quality Refurbished Student Laptops
  5. 10 Best Student Laptops on the Market

10 Best Student Laptops for School and University | Stay at Home Mum

1. What to Consider When Buying a Student Laptop

A laptop is not a cheap purchase so it is important to do your research first, there is nothing worse than spending a fortune on a computer only to realise later that it is not capable of doing what you need it too. Back in the day of CD-ROMs, I bought a laptop for a course that I was doing, I only realised a few months into my studies that it didn’t have a disk drive so I couldn’t access any of the information that I needed, it was an expensive lesson but now I make sure I check everything before I make my choice.

Before you start shopping around there are a few things to consider:

What Is The Primary Use for the Laptop?

What does the laptop need to do? If it is for a university course what subjects will it be used for? For example, if it is for a design course you may require a touch screen with a stylus for drawing. What software will the laptop be using? A lot of engineering and design courses use AutoCad which comes with its own special requirements. If the laptop is for a primary school student then the laptop may only need to do the bare minimum, running Microsoft Word etc.

Your school or university should provide you with a spec sheet or similar for the computer requirements the student will need.

Your Budget:

How much do you actually want to spend on a laptop?  For primary school and early high school – there isn’t any point in purchasing an expensive laptop – no only can they get damaged, ruined or stolen (you know what kids are like) – but laptops really will have a life of about three years before they become obsolete.

You can purchase a perfectly good budget laptop for students for under $500.

If $500 is out of your budget – have a look at our section on refurbished laptops – a great way to get a great laptop at a fantastic price!

Does Your School Have Specific Requirments?

While laptop requirements for primary school students are generally pretty straight forward, highschool requirements maybe a little trickier to navigate. Check what software your teen will need to use for each subject and where the laptop will be stored, if it will be in their school bag being thrown around all day then you may need to look at more durable models.

Is The Software Compatible with What the School or University Uses?

For most students, Microsoft Windows is an essential program so it is important to make sure that the laptop you choose is compatible and has these programs installed. While a variety of laptops come with Microsoft Windows built-in, Apple products run on macOS however, you can add Windows to them as well. Chromebooks are generally not compatible with Microsoft Windows.

Core Processing Unit (CPU)

The Core Processor unit is essentially the brain of the laptop. A laptop with a powerful CPU will be able to do more complex tasks and run faster so it may suit university students more but children who are mainly using their laptop for Microsft Windows, and exploring the internet will be fine with a less powerful CPU.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

Not having enough RAM makes it hard to complete even the simplest tasks on a laptop. A decent laptop will run efficiently on 4GB of RAM but 8GB is even better and then for the more expensive models you should expect at least 166GB.


How will the files be stored? Will they be stored on the cloud, on a hard drive or on the laptop itself? If you are planning on storing all of your files on the laptop then you may want to consider a laptop with SSD (solid-state drive) storage, this will also help it run faster.


What size screen is required? If your university student is doing graphics or photo editing then they may require a larger screen. Also consider the weight and dimensions of the laptop you are purchasing, will it fit in your child’s backpack? Is it too heavy for them to carry around all day?

Battery Life

If your student needs to use their laptop all-day and does not have access to power in class to charge it then you may need to consider choosing one with greater battery life. Laptop batteries vary but after a complete charge, they should last between 1 to 10 hours, though some of the more expensive ones can last as long as 18 hours.

Other Things to Consider:

  • Is the laptop lightweight to carry around with them?
  • What operating systems are required?
  • Do you need accessories with the laptop?

2. Best Basic Back to School Laptop:

Lenovo ThinkPad T450S Laptop Refurbished Grade A

Great Value at only $439 

Grab it here >

Lenovo ThinkPad T450S Laptop i5 5300U 2 3GHz Win 10 12GB RAM 500GB HDD Refurbished Grade A Catch com au | Stay at Home

3. Best Everyday Student Laptops Under $600:

These are the laptops that are designed for both primary school and high school – they have all the basic features, but no specific high-tech add-ons.  They aren’t particularly powerful but they are great for all the basic tasks and applications a student will need.  Best of all – all of them are under $600.00.

At a basic level – these laptops will:

  • Browse the internet
  • Send and receive emails
  • Have Microsoft pre-programmed
  • Video Streaming

Here are our picks!

  1. Lenovo 10.1″ IdeaPad Duet Chromebook Notebook $399

  2. Lenovo 15.6″ V145 81MTOO5CAU Notebook $498
  3. Asus ChromeBook Flip 11.6″ HD Ragged Touch Laptop $549

  4. Lenovo 11.6-Inch N21 Chromebook Laptop REFURB $249

  5. Lenovo 15.6″ V145 81MT006EAU (No DVD) $549

  6. HP 15.6″ 250 G7 2F1X8PA Notebook $579

On top of this – to get the best deals – look at:

  • The best online deal sites 
  • Take advantage of any student or school discounts offered
  • Retailers selling discontinued laptops
  • Consider a refurbished laptop (see the next paragraph for details!)

Where to Buy a Cheap Laptop | Stay at Home Mum

4. Consider a Refurbished Laptop For a Really Good Deal;

There are many companies that are now providing excellent refurbished laptops online that will be more than suitable for a student.  They do sell quickly though – we have listed where you can find the latest ones here:

What to look for in a refurbished laptop?

Make sure you look at a refurbished laptop that still has a warranty (at least 12 months).  Any imperfections or problems should be outlined in the description.  Look for an A-Grade Refurbished unit to get the very best laptop you can!

5. 10 Best Laptops On The Market Today 

  • 1. HP 250 G7 15.6″ Celeron 3867U 4GB RAM 128GB SSD Win 10 Home Laptop

    • Best for Primary School and Early High School Students

    The HP 250 G7 15.6″ Celeron 3867U 4GB RAM 128GB SSD Win 10 Home Laptop is a great option for students who are not completing onerous tasks. It has a 2 x USB ports and an HDMI port, making it great for presentations or sharing information. Plus it is under $500 – so pretty well priced for a laptop.

    • CPU: Intel Celeron 3867U processor
    • RAM: 4GB
    • Storage: 128GB SSD
    • Display: 15.6″
    • Size: 37.6 x 2.25 x 24.6cm
    • Weight: 1.78kg
    • Price: $699.00
    • Best Price: Kogan

    Best Student Laptop

    2. Acer Aspire 5 15.6″ FHD Win 10 Laptop (i5-1035G1, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Black) – Australian Model

    • Best for University Students

    The Acer Aspire 5 15.6″ FHD Win 10 Laptop (i5-1035G1, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Black) is a fantastic mid-range laptop. With 8GB RAM and 256GB, your student will be able to work at an efficient speed. This laptop has 1920— 1080 resolution and crisp sound so it is great for video editing.

    This is a bit more expensive at $899 – but it does have additional functions that are more suited to University Students.

    • CPU: Intel Core i5-1035G1 Processor
    • RAM: 8GB
    • Storage: 256GB SSD
    • Display: 15.6″
    • Size: 36.3 x 1.79 x 25cm
    • Weight: 1.8kg
    • Price: $899.00
    • Best Price: Kogan

    Best Student Laptops

    3. IdeaPad Flex 5i 15″ – 11th Gen Intel

    • Best for University Students

    The IdeaPad Felix 5i is so easy to operate and the Intel Core i3 4.1GHz Dual-Core Processor means that they will be able to have multiple tabs open at once. It features great 10.5 hours battery life so it will last a while for hard working students.

    Of course, being a Lenovo product – it is more expensive – but these things seriously rock – so if budget isn’t such a big deal – this is a fantastic choice!

    • CPU: 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 / i7 Processor
    • RAM: 8GB
    • Storage: 256GB of SSD storage
    • Display: 15.6″
    • Weight: 1.8kg
    • Price: $899
    • Best Price Lenovo 

    Flex 5i 15 11th i7 lenovo | Stay at Home 5i 15 11th i7 png 725×515 lenovo | Stay at Home 5i 15 11th i7 lenovo | Stay at Home 5i 15 11th i7 lenovo | Stay at Home

    4. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13.5″ (256GB, i5, 8GB RAM, Black) – AU/NZ Model

    • Best for University Students

    The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is perfect for running more sophisticated software. This computer would be great for students studying design or engineering.

    CPU: Intel Core i5-1035G7 Processor

    • RAM: 8GB
    • Storage: 256GB
    • Display: 13.5″
    • Weight: 1.28kg
    • Price: $1,609.00
    • Best Price: Kogan

    Best Student Laptops

    5. Dell XPS 15 Laptop

    • Best for Engineering and Graphics Students at University

    The Dell XPS 15 Laptop 10th Gen Intel is light yet powerful, the stylus and touchscreen allow you to draw freely whenever inspiration strikes making it the ideal laptop for students studying Art, graphics, engineering, even game design.

    • CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1005G1
    • RAM: 16GB
    • Storage: 512GB Solid State Drive 
    • Display: 15.6″
    • Weight: 1.83kg
    • Price: $2174.00
    • Stockist: Dell

    Dell laptop e1626409099443 | Stay at Home

    6. Lenovo 11.6″ 100E Chromebook Laptop + FREE Rapoo M10 Wireless Optical Mouse

    • Best for University Students

    The 100E Chromebook from Lenovo has been specifically designed to make learning easy! Perfect for student, the 100E seamlessly runs Chrome OS, offering the ability to download any and all of the educational apps you need. With plenty of storage, powerful N4020 Dual-Core processor and a range of connectivity options.

    • CPU: AMD A9 9425 3.1Ghz
    • RAM: 8GB
    • Storage: 512GB SDD
    • Display: 11.6″
    • Weight: 1.25kg
    • Price: $639.00
    • Available At: Catch

    Lenovo chromebook | Stay at Home

    7. Lenovo 13.3″ Yoga S730 Laptop 81U4001TAU

    The Lenovo 13.3″ Laptop is perfect for taking notes and writing up assignments. It is light and compact so would fit easily into your child’s backpack.

    • CPU: Intel Core i7
    • RAM: 16GB
    • Storage: 512GB
    • Display: 13.3″
    • Weight: 1.2kg
    • Price: $1499
    • Available At:  Catch

    Lenovo 13 3 Yoga S730 Laptop 81U4001TAU Catch com au | Stay at Home

    8. Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 2 14″ – AMD

    The Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 2 has been specifically designed for school students, it is durable 

    • CPU: AMD Ryzen™ 5 PRO 
    • RAM: 8GB
    • Storage: 256GB
    • Display: 14″
    • Price: $1,449.00
    • Available At: Lenovo 

Whether you choose a base model or a higher end laptop, it is a good idea to get at least a 1-year warranty just in case. It is also wise to invest in some good anti-virus protection software as kids often don’t know what they are clicking on. If you are unable to find a brand-new laptop within your price range, Kogan and Catch also offer refurbished computers with a grading system to help you understand the condition of the machine.



Here’s to a great school year with awesome new student laptops!

10 Best Student Laptops for School and University | Stay at Home Mum


About Author

Jody Allen

Jody is the founder and essence of Stay at Home Mum. An insatiable appetite for reading from a very young age had Jody harbouring dreams of being a pu...Read Moreblished author since primary school. That deep-seeded need to write found its way to the public eye in 2011 with the launch of SAHM. Fast forward 4 years and a few thousand articles Jody has fulfilled her dream of being published in print. With the 2014 launch of Once a Month Cooking and 2015's Live Well on Less, thanks to Penguin Random House, Jody shows no signs of slowing down. The master of true native content, Jody lives and experiences first hand every word of advertorial she pens. Mum to two magnificent boys and wife to her beloved Brendan; Jody's voice is a sure fire winner when you need to talk to Mums. Read Less

Close sidebar