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Best back-to-school deals in the UK: Sales on laptops, backpacks, headphones and more

Back to school sales
(Image credit: Future)

Back-to-school sales are back, which means big savings on laptops, backpacks, headphones and more. Whether you’re off to university, going to college or heading into a new school year, this is the best time to stock up on all the essential supplies.

No, we’re not talking about school uniforms! We’re talking about cool stuff like laptops, tablets, headphones and more. Lucky for you, the big retailers like Argos, Currys PC World and Amazon have pulled out all the stops with some huge sales on these essential products.

Not only that, but you’ll find some interesting freebies that’ll give you everything you need to get stuff done. We’ve listed the best back-to-school sales below, but carry on further down, as we pick out the cream of the crop.

Best back to school sales

Back-to-school laptop deals

Not every student is the same. While some need a laptop for the essentials, others need more horsepower for their workloads.

That’s why we have a handy guide to the best back-to-school laptop deals in the U.K. for every use case. Below are the best overall.

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Asus Vivobook 14-inch: was £249.99 now £199.99 @ 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. There is also a colourful HD display, the touchpad doubles up as a numpad, and you get a full year of Microsoft Office for free!

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Lowest price!

Dell Inspiron 15 3000: was £329 now £269 @ Dell (opens in new tab)
This configuration of the 15-inch Dell Inspiron 3000 features an Intel Celeron 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.

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Microsoft Surface Go 2 Essentials Bundle: was £628.97 now £538.98 @ Microsoft (opens in new tab)
This bundle includes Surface Go 2, discounted Type Cover in the colour of your choice, 15-months of Microsoft 365 subscription for the price of 12. Also students can save 20% on optional accessories like pen, mice and headphones and up to 50% on a range of cases and sleeves.

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MacBook Air (M1/8GB/256GB): was £999 now £926 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
Here is the cheapest way to get a taste of Apple’s new silicon while on the go. 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 and runs so cool, it doesn’t need a fan.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop Go: was £758.99 now £688.99 @ 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.

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MacBook Pro (M1/8GB/256GB): was £1,299 now £1,159 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
Turning back to Apple, we fell head over heels for the M1 MacBook Pro (opens in new tab) for bringing stellar performance and bonkers battery life thanks to Apple’s ARM-based silicon. If you’re a creative pro in need of a machine that can do it all on the go, it’s hard to find much better than this (I use one myself).

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New Dell XPS 13: was £1,398 now £1,288 @ Dell (opens in new tab)
Take a look at our 5-star Dell XPS 13 review (opens in new tab) and you’ll see just how much we love this portable powerhouse for its top-shelf specs and stylish design. This one is no different, cramming an 11th gen Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB LPDDR4 RAM and a 256GB SSD into this masterfully crafted hardware with a bright and lovely FHD+ display on a 360-degree hinge.

Back to school software deals

Of course, buying a laptop is only half the battle. You need software to do your work. Here are some big savings on popular packages.

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Microsoft Office 365 Education: Free with an academic email address (opens in new tab)
Microsoft Office software isn’t the sexiest thing to talk about, but a good word processor and spreadsheet manager are essential to schoolwork. Microsoft makes some of the best and you can get the education version for free with your college/university email address.

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Adobe Creative Suite: 65% off for students and teachers (opens in new tab)
Are you doing a creative course? Adobe’s software suite is the option used by most professionals, which you can get for 65% off as a student or teacher!

Back to school backpack deals

The best rucksacks for college students need to be durable, offer plenty of space for your personal effects, give you padding to protect your laptop, and look good too — all while still being affordable.

It’s a tall order, but we’ve found a few great options. If you want more recommendations, check out our best backpacks and laptop bags list.

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Vans Disorder: was £37 now £25.90 @ Vans (opens in new tab)
With a generous amount of space, plenty of organisational pockets, a padded laptop sleeve, ergonomic shoulder straps and a sleek, stylish design, Vans’ Disorder backpack in black is great for all your school needs.

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Herschel Retreat: was £80 now £56 @ Herschel (opens in new tab)
The timeless mountaineering design of Herschel gets a sleek update with magnetic latches, padding for comfort and a standout design, along with a 15-inch laptop sleeve for even the biggest of devices.

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Eastpak Provider: was £85.95 now £64.47 @ All Outdoor (opens in new tab)
The Eastpak Provider provides plenty of space, comfort and durability. The padded straps and back make this a joy to carry around and the restrained visual style keeps this low-key, fitting in with whatever you’re wearing.

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AmazonBasics laptop bag: was £16.26 now £10.80 @ Amazon UK (opens in new tab)
The bargain basement option may not have the same space and style as the above options, but a laptop bag with pockets for other items for under a tenner is a steal!

Back to school headphone deals

Listening to music and podcasts helps you concentrate. My relentlessly replayed Lo-Fi playlist and addiction to D&D shows speaks volumes to its importance. So that is why you need a stylish, great-sounding, portable set of cans or true wireless earbuds.

Of course, for more discounts, check out our best headphone deals list.

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Apple AirPods: was £159 now £119 @ Appliances Direct (opens in new tab)
Packed with rich sound quality, all the smarts granted by Apple’s H1 chip, including seamless device switching and a rapid wireless connection, and easy-to-use touch controls, this entry point into the Apple wireless earbud ecosystem is ideal for those who want the seamless iPhone experience on the cheap.

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Anker Soundcore Life Q30: was £79.99 now £55.99 @ Soundcore (opens in new tab) with code WS7DJKSO72
The custom silk diaphragm drivers deliver impeccable sound alongside the hi-res audio certification for incredible detail and depth. Plus, the super long 40-hour battery life with ANC on is impressive.

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Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro: was £129.99 now £79.99 @ Soundcore (opens in new tab) with code WS24T3YM1J
Recommended by 10 Grammy Award-winning artists, I personally use a pair as my daily drivers and love them. The Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro offers a clear, deep sound quality, great noise cancellation, an awesome app with a fully customisable EQ and powerful mics for good call quality.

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Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus: was £159 now £81.99 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
The Editor's Choice Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus wireless earbuds are £40 off right now. They feature a 2-way speaker, rich AKG sound and adaptive 3-mic system for crystal clear calls. 

Jason England
Staff Writer

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.