Best Affordable Laptops for Students

As someone who made their own way through university when completely broke, I understand what it’s like to need a reliable laptop to use. Although some uni’s will give their students a laptop to use, this seems like it’s only applicable to certain courses, whereas others get nothing (don’t ask me why, I don’t know!).

Not everyone has £1000+ to spend on a new laptop. Whilst everyone would love to have a new Macbook, for some of us this isn’t going to be a reality. This is especially true for students, who often need to find a cheaper alternative to the more expensive premium laptops out there.

The good news is that you don’t need to spend a ton of cash for you to get yourself a decent laptop. Nope, you can find yourself a competent laptop that will be able to do everything you need it to for a lot less than this. But where do you start looking for an affordable laptop? Well, here are some of the best options out there for students on a budget.

Best Affordable Laptops for Students

ProductImageScreen SizeSpecsGet More Info
Huawei MateBook D 15HUAWEI MateBook D 15 - 15.6 Inch Laptop with FullView 1080P FHD Ultrabook PC (AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 10 Home, Multi-screen Collaboration, Fingerprint Reader), Space Grey15.6 inch8GB RAMFind Best Price
Lenovo ThinkPad (Refurbished)Lenovo ThinkPad T450 14.1' i5-5300U 8GB 256GB SSD WebCam WiFi Bluetooth USB 3.0 Windows 10 Professional 64-bit PC Laptop (Renewed)14.1 inch8GB RAMFind Best Price
Acer Aspire 5 A515-55Acer Aspire 5 A515-55 15.6 inch Laptop - (Intel Core i5-1035G1, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Full HD Display, Windows 10, Black) – Amazon Exclusive15.6 inch8GB RAMFind Best Price
ASUS VivoBook S413FAASUS VivoBook with Microsoft Office 365 - S413FA 14 Inch Full HD Laptop (Intel i3-10110U, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, LED NumberPad, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10) Includes 1 copy of Microsoft 365 Personal14 Inch8GB RAMFind Best Price

Huawei MateBook D 15

HUAWEI MateBook D 15 - 15.6 Inch Laptop with FullView 1080P FHD Ultrabook PC (AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 10 Home, Multi-screen Collaboration, Fingerprint Reader), Space Grey

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 15.6 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 | Average Battery Life: 7.5 hours

Even if you’re a student without a ton of cash to spend, then you still need a competent laptop that you can rely on. One of the best ways to get this is to go for lesser brands that still have the same functionality as more premium laptops. A good example of this is the Huawei Matebook D, which has everything you could need in a laptop for half the price of the cheapest Macbook.

It comes with 8GB of RAM, ample storage space and a good processor too. It has a pretty strong battery life, and a large 15.6 inch screen that is perfect for sitting in lectures with. It uses the Windows OS, so for the majority of people, it’s probably going to be something that you’re familiar with.

This laptop has a few gimmicks, like the fingerprint reader, which aren’t really essentials for us looking for a low cost laptop. However, it does have everything that you could really need in a laptop, so if you’re looking for something to see you all the way through university, then I’d advise that you look at the Matebook series.

Lenovo ThinkPad (Refurbished)

Lenovo ThinkPad T450 14.1' i5-5300U 8GB 256GB SSD WebCam WiFi Bluetooth USB 3.0 Windows 10 Professional 64-bit PC Laptop (Renewed)

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 14.1 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Processor: Intel i5 | Average Battery Life: 7 hours

For those on a serious budget, then it might be worth looking at a used laptop instead of a brand new one. And if you are going to look for a refurbished option, then there’s none better than the Lenovo Thinkpad series.

There are a ton of refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad’s available online. This is because they’re largely used as the top choice for business use, but they’re also commonly used in educational institutions as well. And when the student uses the laptop for a few years then gives it back at the end of their course – well, they end up getting resold.

Which is good news if you’re looking for a bargain deal on a Thinkpad. They have all the criteria you need from a laptop – 8GB RAM and a decent processor being the most important factors. There’s a reason why they’re one of the best laptops for business use, so it would make sense to see if you can find a refurbished one if you’re a student.

Acer Aspire 5 A515-55

Acer Aspire 5 A515-55 15.6 inch Laptop - (Intel Core i5-1035G1, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Full HD Display, Windows 10, Black) – Amazon Exclusive

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 15.6 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Processor: Intel i5 | Average Battery Life: 8 hours

The Acer Aspire series has been the friend of students for many years, as it provides a good balance of cost and quality. They make up some of the more expensive Acer laptop’s, but they’re still significantly cheaper than the other premium brands that are out there.

What’s to like about the Acer Aspire 5 A515-55? Well, the simple design is similar to that of the newer Thinkpad’s, with an attractive aluminium case and a slim bezel design that produces some awesome visuals. The high quality display is important for students, who are likely to use the laptop for more than just their studies.

The appearance of the laptop is matched by it’s functionality, as it has a long battery life that should see you through an entire day of lectures quite comfortably. It has good quality audio too, to match the impressive display of the laptop. So, this Acer Aspire laptop is another consideration for students looking for a laptop to see them all the way through their course.

ASUS VivoBook S413FA

ASUS VivoBook with Microsoft Office 365 - S413FA 14 Inch Full HD Laptop (Intel i3-10110U, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, LED NumberPad, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10) Includes 1 copy of Microsoft 365 Personal

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 14 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Processor: Intel i3 | Average Battery Life: 7 hours

As well as Acer offering some good laptop options for students, we can’t forget ASUS either. Whilst the Vivobook range isn’t quite as acclaimed as the Aspire series, it’s still a decent series of laptop. One laptop from this series is the S413FA, which is perfect for students looking for a cost effective laptop.

The most impressive part of this laptop is undoubtedly it’s display, with the full HD screen having a large and well finished appearance. As well as this, the keyboard of the laptop is good too – very responsive and easy to use. The laptop loads up quickly, and runs well using 8GB of RAM and sufficient storage space. The i2 processor may let the laptop down a little, but it isn’t a dealbreaker at this price.

This laptop provides another option for those looking for a reasonably priced laptop for their studies. Whilst it’s not the best laptop out there, it’s definitely a reliable option for the long term.

Questions about Finding a Student Laptop

How do I choose a laptop as a student?

If you’re not sure on how to decide which laptop to opt for, then there are a few things that you should be looking out for. Firstly the price, obviously, as we all need something that’s affordable. As well as this, you should also be looking at the specs of the laptop. Having 4GB or preferably 8GB of RAM is a much, as well as having enough storage, although students can generally use cloud storage, so this isn’t as important.

Which laptops are most used by students?

I’m not sure about other countries, but in the UK Macbook’s are undoubtedly the most used laptops by students. However, not all of us can afford these laptops, and they’re definitely not a necessity. A lot of student use Lenovo Thinkpad’s too, but this is likely because of them being given as part of their university course.

Can students get Microsoft Office for free?

Always asking the important questions about what free stuff you can get, it is actually possible for students to get Microsoft Office for free with your university. You can do this by heading over to the Microsoft website and signing up with your institution’s details.

How much should i spend on a laptop for my studies?

If you’re just about to embark on a course, then you’re likely going to need a laptop to help you along the way. However, it can be difficult to know exactly how much you should spend on a laptop. In my opinion, you should spend a minimum of £300 if you’re looking for a refurbished laptop, or £5-600 if you’re looking to purchase a new laptop. This isn’t a necessity, but if you want a laptop to last all the way through your course, then sometimes you might need to spend this kind of money.

Is MacBook Air or Pro better for students?

Although you might not want to splash out the cash for a Macbook, they are one of the most popular options for students. Most students would be fine with a Macbook Air, which runs at a cost of around £1000. However, this is definitely not an essential for your studies, so don’t spend money on a Macbook Air just for the sake of it!

Conclusion

All in all, there are many different laptops out there for you to choose from if you’re trying to find something cost effective. Even if a laptop is low cost, this doesn’t necessarily mean to say that it’s the best choice, because as a student you still need a certain level of functionality. This is just a few of the top options out there for students.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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