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Buying a fantastic laptop for school under £400

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Updated January 22, 2020

What laptop is the best for schoolwork and doesn't cost a fortune? We've got the answer!

Comparing is the key

After the school break, when school goes back in there are loads of great prices on laptops, but be prepared to compare prices before you buy so that you're completely sure that the price you get is truly worth it. Usually you can save up to 30% just buy purchasing a new laptop in a cheaper store rather than a more expensive one.

Keep the primary use of the laptop in mind

It's crucial to make a tally of all the bases your laptop is intended to cover, i.e. a great school computer that is well-suited to school stuff. If you know you're going to be gaming or perhaps editing videos and images, you'll likely need a different type of computer that costs more than £400. Therefore, if you're looking for something that can do most basic work-related tasks such as typing, searching the internet for research etc. then the £400 and under range is do-able for you.

One way to aim for some cheaper options is to look at getting a Chromebook. They are computers with Google's operating system, Chrome OS, which often comes with a lesser price-tag than a Windows computer. If you're just looking to write, type and explore the internet, one of these computers is great for school and studying. However, if you're hoping to do more advanced work or things that require specific software and programs (which are often exclusive to Windows), then a Chromebook might not be the best fit for you.

6 things to consider before buying

1. Compare

Take a look at offers from different stores and compare the prices amongst the stores.

2. Review Specs.

Pay closer attention to the product specs over the brand. If you're out for the "cheapest-available" option, say a laptop under £400, you can't be too picky with what's in your price range. However, if you're faced with a few key dealbreakers, go for the ones that have the the greatest RAM size and/or SSD storage, as these are undoubtedly the two parts that affect user experience the most.

3. Screen Size

Choose a screen that isn't too huge, 11-13" is more than enough and is smooth option for carrying and traveling.

4. Battery Life

In the lower price-ranges, it's really only Chromebooks that have a battery-life worthy of fanfare. Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to have an idea of what batter life your potential future laptop will have.

5. Storage

Don't get too caught up on the hard-drive's storage number, since nowadays you can save loads directly to the cloud. Everything is of course dependent on what you intend on using the computer for, but for word processing and searching the web, storage isn't a big worry factor.

6. Hard Drives

SSDs work the best and most quickly, which is why they're the standard for most types of computers. When it comes to the cheaper computers, you'll likely be looking at a small SSD-drive and will be more reliant on cloud storage, or opt for a much larger (and slower) mechanical hard-drive.

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