How to Find a Great Student Laptop for Under £500
Times are tough for a lot of people right now and not everyone can afford to spend thousands of pounds on a laptop for school. However, you don’t necessarily have to pay that much more for a student laptop. There are so many great options in the budget section and you could find surprisingly powerful machines for a reasonable price. You do have to be ready to make sacrifices, however, and know which specs to concentrate on. Here’s how you can find a great laptop for under £500.
Forget Fancy Components
If you’re going for a budget laptop, then you can’t expect it to have the latest Radeon graphics cards and a 4K IPS display. If you want to play games on the machine, then you might have to settle for something with an RTX 1600 series card or even one with integrated graphics. Or you could buy a machine with an entry-level card and purchase an upgrade when you have the money. Just don’t think you’ll get a great multitasker at this price.
Look at Chromebooks
If you are looking for a cheap laptop for school, you should take a look at Chromebooks. Chromebooks are like regular laptops only with the exception that they run on ChromeOS and are optimised for Google’s suite of products. They also tend to be much more affordable than other laptops with the same specs.
Chromebooks are not always the most powerful, and they might be limited when it comes to other things like gaming, but if this is a machine for school and school only, then a middle-of-the-road Chromebook should have everything that you need.
Prioritise Storage over RAM
If you’re torn between picking a machine with bigger and better storage or high RAM, pick the storage. Upgrading RAM is much easier and less expensive than upgrading your storage. Your storage will also pick up some slack for your RAM, so you’ll still have a good experience even if you have great storage and slow RAM.
Consider Used or Refurbished Units
If you don’t mind not being the first one to own and use a laptop, then you can look for used or refurbished units. But one thing you should never do is buy a used laptop from someone off the street. You never know what could be wrong with a machine. It might look great at first glance only for you to find out back home that the battery only lasts about an hour or that it has charging issues. Or you may find out that one of the components is severely damaged, or that some keys on the keyboard don’t work.
If you’re going to buy anything used, make sure that it comes from a reliable source like a retailer that can offer warranties or a reliable eBay seller. And, if you’re going to buy refurbished units, buy them from the manufacturer directly if possible.
Finding a good student laptop on a budget is not that complicated. It’s all about knowing what to look for, prioritising the right things, and looking in the right places.