Back to school laptop sales are here because retailers will even make a sales event around the one thing I hated as a kid.
Flashbacks to oversized uniforms, turkey twizzlers and too much Brylcreem are far in the past as education has changed considerably over the last 18 months. Owning a computer is now a necessity as we learn from home, and other accessories, like webcams, keyboards and mice are more important than ever.
This gets to the core of the reason why Laptop Mag exists — to help readers find the right tech for their ever-changing lives. Here, we assist you in finding the best laptop because you don’t want to be sitting in front of a desktop all day, do you? With a laptop, you can learn, create and work in every room of the house and beyond!
So, whether you got all the UCAS points you need to get to university, heading off to college, or you’re a parent looking for a good homework rig for your kids, these are great options for you!
What makes a good back to school laptop deal?
So what makes a good back-to-school laptop? The simple answer is the price-to-performance ratio along with durability, though every use case is different.
Rather than fleecing you with something that sounds good but isn’t actually right for your needs, we’re going to break down all of the potential use cases and reveal the best product for each.
Don’t forget your student discount
If you have a student ID, then you get access to a swath of extra discounts! These deals are good on their own, but you could make them even better with the likes of Unidays or Totum.
- Apple student offer: Education pricing + £120 Apple gift card (opens in new tab)
- Dell student offer: Up to 20% off (opens in new tab)
- HP student offer: Up to 40% off (opens in new tab)
- Currys PC World student offer: Up to £200 off laptops (opens in new tab)
- Huawei student offer: Additional 10% off
Just for school work
For essays, web browser research and binge-watching.
These options are ideal for students with a more traditional workload involving office apps and a web browser. Plus, if you’re taking them with you to uni, the displays are good enough for heading down YouTube wormholes.
Asus Vivobook 14-inch: was £199 now £159 @ Amazon UK (opens in new tab)
With this Vivobook, you get a durable, stylish shell that holds a respectable amount of power for the price. Specs include an Intel Celeron N4020, 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC memory. Alongside this and the colourful HD display, the touchpad doubles up as a numpad and you get a full year of Microsoft Office for free!
Lenovo V14: was £699 now £499 @ Laptops Direct (opens in new tab)
Lenovo brings some of its ThinkPad expertise to making this laptop thanks to the inclusion of Windows Hello for greater security and a comfortable keyboard. Moreover, you get a vivid touch screen up top, an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U CPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM and a 256GB SSD.
Dell Inspiron 15 3000: was £369 now £349 @ Dell (opens in new tab)
This configuration of the 15-inch Dell Inspiron 3000 features an Intel Pentium Silver CPU, 4GB DDR4 and 128GB SSD. All of this alongside an HD display and a sleek chassis make for a great option for quick day-to-day work.
Microsoft Surface Go 2: was £399 now £299 @ Microsoft (opens in new tab)
The Surface Go 2 is an ideal convertible for essays and binge watching with a 10.5-inch touchscreen, an Intel Gold Processor and keyboard cover compatibility.
For the family too
Laptops that are not only good for education, but optimal for whole family usage too.
One thing we learnt during the pandemic is how many families pick up a single laptop to share between everyone. If this is you, you need a little more power for multiple use cases and durability, too.
Apple MacBook Air M2: was £1,249 now £1,199 @ Amazon
(opens in new tab)You can get the new Apple MacBook Air M2 at Amazon for £50 off. It features an M2 8-core processor, 8-Core GPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. It packs a 13.6-inch (2560 x 1600) Liquid Retina display, Magic Keyboard, Touch Bar, and Touch ID.
Refurbished Apple MacBook Air (M1): was £999 now £730 @ Hoxton (opens in new tab)
As you can read in our MacBook Air with M1 review (opens in new tab), the switch to an ARM-based processor presents a groundbreaking transformation with blistering performance and super-long battery life. All of this is crammed into a seriously sleek chassis that runs so cool and doesn’t need a fan.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go: was £549 now £469 @ Microsoft (opens in new tab)
A sleek all-rounder for the whole family. This configuration of Microsoft's Surface Laptop Go features an Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM and a 128GB SSD. Not only that, but you can get 15 months of Microsoft 365 for the price of 12.
I’m doing something creative
So you picked to do a more creative subject? Congratulations! You’re going to need some horsepower in your laptop.
Software like Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite or Pro Tools requires some beefy specs to run effectively, and let’s be honest, nobody really wants to use the computers in the library. You make your own creative space in your dorm. Plus, you need ports/dongle compatibility, which these sport!
MacBook Pro (M2/8GB/256GB): was £1,349 now £1,255 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
The brand new M2 MacBook Pro is already getting a discount — even though it's literally just come out! Get all the powerful benefits of Apple's chip with an active cooling system for sustained performance.
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1: was £749 now £699 @ Dell (opens in new tab)
This Inspiron 15 is a creative beast — packing a gorgeous 1080p touchscreen display on a 360-degree hinge, 12th Gen Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD.
Apple M1 Pro MacBook Pro 14: was £1,899 now £1,763 @ John Lewis (opens in new tab)
John Lewis is slashing £136 off the 512GB model MacBook Pro 14. It features a 14.2-inch mini-LED backlit display and delivers up to 14 hours of battery life. The laptop is powered by Apple's M1 Pro 8-core chip coupled with 16GB of RAM and employs a 14-core GPU for graphics. In our M1 MacBook Pro 14 (opens in new tab) review, its elegant design, excellent performance, and stellar battery life earned it a 4 out of 5 star rating. It's the Editor's Choice best laptop for power-users.