Starting university is an exciting time. Who here has always grown up dreaming of the day they become independent? I know I have! It’s the first step to adulting (Not going to disclose how incredibly tough adulting actually is). I mean you will eventually hate the child version of yourself forever saying you want to grow up quickly and start adulting but until then let’s stay excited about starting university and becoming independent shall we?

You know what the best part of starting university is? When your proud parents give you a generous allowance to knock yourself out with new stationery and books! Even if you aren’t the academic type, you gotta admit, there is just something so satisfying about buying new things. And when you finally open a brand new page and your brand new felt tip pen just glides across the lines… Ahh… Doesn’t it just make you feel smarter and more organised than you have ever been in your entire life?

Apart from getting your stationery organised for uni, you’ll most likely be looking to get yourself a laptop. Surviving uni without a laptop is nearly impossible, and even if you do manage, it is a real struggle street trying to get through your entire degree using only the university provided monitors. Lecturers and tutors barely ever ask if you come prepared with all your books. Now the question they ask is if you did your online readings and if everyone has a laptop for taking notes. This just ain’t the 90s anymore. In this highly digitised era, especially among the youth, almost all research and work is done online. Of course it is possible and completely acceptable to do your work on a university computer, however, you’d be lying if you said you didn’t want a personal laptop to sneakily check up on your social media updates between classes.   

Having your own personal laptop has many advantages for university students. These include:

  • The convenience of being able to carry your uni data and work with you as you swap between classes.
  • You have all your university research and work saved onto your laptop and not at different university work stations, helping you stay organised.
  • Laptops aren’t just an investment for uni work. If you maintain them well you will be able to use it for more than 5 years.
  • Allows you to use it for other work submissions. For example, if you are working part-time at a company where you are required to upload your work.


If you’re on the market for a new laptop, there are a couple of things you need to consider to help you decide which device is best. And by couple, we mean quite a few things. Such as, what kind of software programs will you be using throughout your degree? If you’re studying an IT based, or design based degree, you might be working with creative or computer programming software. This means, you’ll need a graphics card to help your computer run video and images smoothly. How much storage do you require? Is the weight of the laptop a considerably big factor that you may need to consider?

The ideal laptop you search for on the market will heavily depend on the type of course you are studying in uni. If you need a laptop mostly for research, essays and pretty much everything Microsoft applications based, then you have quite a few options to choose from. You should keep in mind though, while the main purpose of buying a laptop is for university work, it doesn’t hurt to try and find a laptop that would also be compatible to your favourite activities related to gaming or streaming movies and more.

Lastly, we know that the term ‘university student’ is pretty much synonymous with ‘broke’, so to help you, we’ve searched high and low for the laptops that are the best on the market in terms of the features and price. Thank us later.

Before we dive into the best laptops for you, let’s provide a little refresher on some of the important functions and features of a laptop you should look out for before investing in a laptop.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

Probably a terminology you have been familiar with since grade 6, but have forgotten what it actually means. Let’s explain this in layman terms. The more RAM your CPU has access to, the faster your laptop will process and deliver information to you. Without sufficient RAM, your laptop will need to work harder to find and move data around (cause you don’t have as much randomness going on). A lightweight system could perform well with 4GB RAM. 8GB is ideal for devices to process the types of applications used by devices and if you are doing high tech work such as working with graphic software or video and audio editing softwares, then 16GB is a good range to have. However, this is definitely at a higher price range, which is why it is generally recommended to go for the safe 8GB.

Storage Type and Capacity

Over the last couple of decades, there has been a number of storage devices that have emerged. You’ve got Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives, a hybrid version of the two and more! Different laptops carry different types. They also come with different storage capacities. With laptops the general range is from 64GB to 256GB. You would have to choose your laptop depending on the type of work you do and the capacity of the work. It is best to get advice from an IT professional in regards to this as they are well versed with everything storage related and would be able to suggest the best type for you.

Processor Type

These can heavily vary depending on the brand of laptop you buy. The two main processor brands is Intel Core processors and AMD processors. Both these processors have different ways of determining CPU performance. Most customers generally like to go for the latest processors, however depending on the type of work you’d be doing, this could vary.

Also…

Don’t forget to check the size and weight. After all, you’re the one that’ll be lugging out around all day. It should be as light as possible, and a good size to fit into your bag (and a protective case preferably).

Alrighty! Time to list down the best university based computers for all you little geniuses!

Apple Macbook Pro

Apple macbook pro

RAM: 8GB – 16GB

Storage type and Capacity: 128GB – 2TB PCIe 3.0 SSD

Processor Type: Quad-core Intel Core i5 – i7

Price: starting from $1899 AUD

The Apple MacBook Pro is the latest and smoothest laptop yet. It’s good RAM capacity ensures your data is processed quickly, which is a big advantage for procrastinators who always submit their work at the last minute. It consists of all the features you will need as a university student (unless your work is heavily IT or graphics based). Although, the Pro does have compatible softwares and features for IT based work. So if you decided to swap your degree in the middle of the semester to a more IT based course, you’d still be able to get by just fine.

Read more about the MacBook Pro and its features from the source company themselves! ——> https://www.apple.com/au/macbook-pro/

Lenovo Yoga 730

Lenovo Yoga 730

RAM: 8GB

Storage type and Capacity: M.2 SSD 256GB

Processor Type: 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 – i7

Price: $1699 AUD

Lenovo really has upped its game in order to meet the classic standards as provided with Apple, Microsoft and Dell products. At a cheaper price, you have the advantage of reaping the same benefits as those consistent with Apple. Apple does charge a little higher as their laptops are associated highly with the popularity of the brand, however it does not necessarily mean that these laptops are any less worthy.  Consisting of a full HD display and touchscreen interface, this laptop will get you through your day to day work with ease. Learn everything you need to know about the latest Lenovo series here.

Microsoft Surface Pro

microsoft surface pro

RAM: 8GB

Storage type and Capacity: Starting from 128GB

Processor Type: Intel Core i7-7660U dual core

Price: Starting from $1349AUD

The Microsoft Surface Pro has an incredible slick design, with a versatile design and a powerful processor. There is no way you could be disappointed with the design and features it comes with. Oh and if you are a movie/ music fanatic, then this will probably grab your attention – it comes with Dolby Audio Premium sound technology.

HP Envy

HP ENVY Laptop

The all encompassing, full performance laptop is an easy to use, lightweight laptop capable of carrying all your data with ease. The HP Envy series comes with a range of different top processors and storage types, making it easy to find one that fits your needs. With a reasonable price range, it will definitely produce results. Prices range from as cheap as $700AUD.

Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13 product

RAM: 8GB – 16GB

Storage type and Capacity: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Processor Type: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7

Price: $1519 AUD

 

One of the attractive features of this laptop is its nearly borderless display. The ‘InfinityEdge’ display makes the screen look larger, enhancing your Netflix viewing experience. Oh, and your studying, obviously. Though, not to tempt you further, but according to Dell, you can have 12 wonderful hours of continuous Netflix streaming with the battery life on the XPS, and up to 18 hours if you’re using Word or Excel (though you’ll most likely doing both, let’s be honest).

So how do you decide?

Finally, here is our main advice when going about buying a laptop. The top three things you should consider before getting into the nitty gritty specifics are:

Consider your budget

There is really no point looking at all the different laptops in the world if there is only a small range you can afford to choose from. Looking through laptops way above your price range may leave you unsatisfied with the laptop you finally do get. However, if you really are set on getting one of those beautiful fancy laptops, then perhaps a refurbished device would meet your needs. At TCM we provide top quality refurbished laptops, with a range of brands from Apple to Dell, at only a fraction of the original price. So hop on to our website to have a look at our range!

Consider the purpose of the laptop

If you are a graphics student, a regular Apple laptop isn’t really something you should be looking at. Microsoft and Dell have a good range of graphic design based laptops that would definitely be worth a look! However, if you are looking to get through general day to day work, a simple laptop such as the MacBook Air should easily suffice.

Read the reviews and YouTube demos

The more you know the better. It will not only help you make your decision easier, but it will help you become familiar with all the features of the laptop suited best for you!

Bottom Line

The last thing you should do is start your university life disheartened by the laptop choice you made. Sometimes compromising quality for price can really affect the way you work in the long run. So if you are looking for one of the top brands of laptops at a reasonable price range, visit TCM. Our selection of refurbished laptops are of the highest standard and come with a warranty too!

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