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Thread: Laptop recommendations for college?

  1. #1
    Craftsman
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    Laptop recommendations for college?

    Hi all,
    My eldest is of to college in September so we have been discussing which laptop to get her.
    I don’t have a clue nowadays. I always used to be into the latest gadgets but as I’m getting older am not so interested and try and keep things as simple as possible.
    All I have nowadays myself, apart from work things (iPad/iPhone/windows 10 laptop) is an iPad Pro.
    My daughter, along with her sister have mainly Apple stuff at the moment, but are used to Windows 10 at school.
    Would anyone have any recommendations please?
    Maybe looking to spend up to a thousand if needed if it’s going to be something that will last her course and won’t slow down over time etc.
    Thanks in advance,
    Rob

  2. #2
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Honestly? Unless she needs some very specialist windows only software and if you have access to Education discounts - I'd get the new macbook air with the new M1 processor - it will fly around any similar priced windows laptop, have better battery life , will have decent resale value at the end of her time at college iand will work fine with o365 (whichly likely she will get for free).

    I say that as someone who has always had and used windows machines.

  3. #3
    Craftsman
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    A MacBook would be my ideal choice, if within my budget.
    My last 2 laptops were both MacBook airs and lasted for years before getting this IPad.
    I was assuming she’d need windows as that what school uses but maybe not then.
    Thanks for the reply,
    Rob

  4. #4
    Master thegoat's Avatar
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    Yup
    MacBook Air .
    I gave my daughter mine just before she went to Uni and it’s been flawless .

  5. #5
    Journeyman DONGinsler's Avatar
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    Agree on the Macbook Air. Has the current chip and based on the converted Canadian price. Should be about $741.00 not including VAT?

    Get one for your other daughter and maybe can get a discount for buying two

    DON

  6. #6
    What is she studying? Does she need to use specialist software that only runs on one platform?

  7. #7
    Master jukeboxs's Avatar
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    I have a 2015 Pro but I wouldn't choose the current models, 2 usb c ports and no separate power socket is piss poor for a £1k+ laptop (not everyone uses bluetooth). Hopefully Apple will rethink that next year.

    I bought my daughters Lenovos in the sale, c£500 each, and working fine after 3 years of Uni. I would have preferred Apple but not at 2-3 times the price.

  8. #8
    Master
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    Concur - apple would be a good purchase - sizeable discount for students ( as I recall uni students get a bigger discount than secondary school ). Youngsters have no problem picking up on the different platforms.

  9. #9
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jukeboxs View Post
    I have a 2015 Pro but I wouldn't choose the current models, 2 usb c ports and no separate power socket is piss poor for a £1k+ laptop (not everyone uses bluetooth). Hopefully Apple will rethink that next year.

    I bought my daughters Lenovos in the sale, c£500 each, and working fine after 3 years of Uni. I would have preferred Apple but not at 2-3 times the price.
    I have a Lenovo - one of their top models - it has 2 USB-C ports and no separate power socket... works absolutely fine - even if I wanted more ports, usb-c dongles are cheap and easy.

    I doubt anyone at college will need say a VGA socket?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by barbusg60 View Post
    Maybe looking to spend up to a thousand
    Maybe have a look at the ‘New MacBook’ thread, a forum member was offering to source new MacBooks, discounted through a work based scheme. One was around the £1,000 mark.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyCasper View Post
    Maybe have a look at the ‘New MacBook’ thread, a forum member was offering to source new MacBooks, discounted through a work based scheme. One was around the £1,000 mark.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    If that was for an Air that is pricey - if they have access to ed discount - you should looking at about £900 before any other discounts are applied.

  12. #12
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    I have a Lenovo - one of their top models - it has 2 USB-C ports and no separate power socket... works absolutely fine - even if I wanted more ports, usb-c dongles are cheap and easy.

    I doubt anyone at college will need say a VGA socket?
    My work laptop is a Lenovo, an X1 Yoga with, I think only 1 usb-c, but they also give us a multi port adaptor.
    Probably right about vga too.

    Thanks all, Im not sure what she will be studying yet as just trying to stay one step ahead and start looking around to get some ideas.
    The local laptop shop is obviously closed so am strugggling for local advice.

    I will also keep an eye on SC here as I did see a few nice ones pop up recently

    Cheers,

    Rob

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    If that was for an Air that is pricey - if they have access to ed discount - you should looking at about £900 before any other discounts are applied.
    I think it was the M1 Pro, 250GB that came in ~£1k. I was vaguely following as I have a 2013 Air with 125GB and toying with replacing.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of Mac, but for a student - a macbook would make sense, if only for the battery life.

    Buy a decent cladding protection for it, Office 365 student.

  15. #15
    What software do they need to run?

    The new macs are good, but useless if they have particular software requirements.

    I am a fan of the MS laptop range and just bought another to help with home schooling. The first surfacebook I bought 5 years ago and it is still amazing. There is years of life left, where as my mother's 2.3 year of cheap lenovo yoga is dead. I'm a fan of paying a little extra to get the quality. The other benefit of a Microsoft laptop is that it comes with 0 bloatware. So it runs far better out the box than any other windows laptop.

  16. #16
    Master
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    My two both had MacBook airs. Think they are around 6/7 years old and my youngest is using his everyday at Uni. (Prior to that he had what I thought was a decent HP laptop which had a motherboard failure after less than 3 years.

  17. #17
    Craftsman smalleyboy1's Avatar
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    Have a look at a Chromebook. Google’s Pixelbook is good, has touch screen etc. The base model should be perfectly fine and as everything sits on the cloud, no issues of it is lost.

  18. #18
    Just bought a decent used MacBook Air with good spec (8GB RAM, 512GB SSD and i7 processor) with 1 year warranty from online reseller which I’m delighted with, for about half the price of current equivalent M1, this’ll be for my daughter as my son is still getting decent use from an upgraded 2012 MacBook Pro. Couldn’t stretch to M1 due to unforseeen job circumstances, so this may be a route worth investigating?

  19. #19
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    I'm not a fan of Mac, but for a student - a macbook would make sense, if only for the battery life.

    Buy a decent cladding protection for it, Office 365 student.
    They will likely get office for free via the college.

  20. #20
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by smalleyboy1 View Post
    Have a look at a Chromebook. Google’s Pixelbook is good, has touch screen etc. The base model should be perfectly fine and as everything sits on the cloud, no issues of it is lost.
    This ^^^

    However if specialist software is needed buy for that, otherwise if it's just for essays and course work, I'd certainly look at a Chromebook, cheap as chips and everything stored on the cloud.

  21. #21
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smalleyboy1 View Post
    Have a look at a Chromebook. Google’s Pixelbook is good, has touch screen etc. The base model should be perfectly fine and as everything sits on the cloud, no issues of it is lost.
    I would not recommend it for college or university - you would be limited to office online and office is the standard.

  22. #22

  23. #23
    Craftsman
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    Thanks everyone,
    Your input and ideas are much appreciated, even if I don’t follow your suggestions it does help.
    I’ll read those reviews and have a look at MacBook specs.
    There’s no rush, but at least if I know what’s a good buy, I can grab it if I see it, instead of dithering and missing out, which has been known lol.
    Have a good day all,
    Rob

  24. #24
    I have a MacBook and a Pro Touch but am considering one of these:

    https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/gaming...19687-pdt.html

    A powerful machine for the money.

  25. #25
    Master
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    I bought 2 of these recently for my kids..
    Seem good value

    ASUS ZenBook UX425JA 14" Laptop - Intel® Core™ i3, 256 GB SSD, Grey £549

    https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/comput...08138-pdt.html


  26. #26
    Master
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    I'd look at opposite ends of the spectrum. Either a Macbook of some sort, as has been said great battery life, quality, will do everything you want. In the unlikely event you need Windows software like Parallels will help.Great resale values as well.

    Alternatively go cheap with a Chromebook. She will likely be using it for internet research and word/powerpoint, all of which can be done through the browser based Chromebook set up.

  27. #27

    Laptop recommendations for college?

    A recommendation from a student who knows about computer stuff.

    My 19 yo son just went for a HP Envy X360 with Ryzen 5. Acts as a computer and tablet with touchscreen.

  28. #28
    Master
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    If she's doing any sort of art course then might be worth looking at the MS Surface Pro (whatever iteration it is now). My daughter uses one for her illustration degree and finds it great when used with the MS Pen.
    She tried my iPad Pro but didn't gel with it.

    If a decent touch digitiser for direct drawing or PC software isn;t necessary then I too would recommend a new Mac Book of some ilk. just make sure you budget for a decent USB-C 'dock' as well.

  29. #29
    Master
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    Both of mine shared (in a hand me down sense) a Macbook Air I got off here. I got a new Air for my son's Msc so the daughter could have the original Air. He's finished so she now has the new one so my wife is now using the older one. Lot of mileage in a Mac lol. One did an engineering course the other English so it worked for both. Uni students get Office 365 free anyway so they got the Mac versions. The newest Mac version is almost identical to the Windows version now
    Last edited by reecie; 25th January 2021 at 12:50.

  30. #30
    Journeyman
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    Three of my four children have used Mac book pro's to complete their degrees and I use one at home. I'm not a techy kind of person and nor are they. The Macs just seem to work and none of them had any problems at all. They are still using them now.

    Also, if you can hold off until they get a Uni ID number (or whatever it is called) they can usualy use https://www.myunidays.com/GB/en-GB
    for discounts which I believe Apple subscribe to.

    The only issue is that the students work starts to come in immediately the course starts so the timing of a Uni Days purchase/workload starting, may not work for you?

    Edit - Just re read the OP post - I'm not sure if 'college' that you mention is the same as 'Uni' for Uni days discounts but it's just a thought that might help.

  31. #31
    Craftsman
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    Well in the end I went for a Macbook Air with the new M1 CPU inside.
    Our neice got it for us with a Unidays discount for £900 and my daughter gets it tomorrow on her 16th ready to get used to OS for college in September.
    Thanks again all,
    Rob

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