Top 5 laptops for your new school year and for every budget

Top 5 laptops for your new school year and for every budget

Look no further than this handy guide to the best laptops for your consideration this year, no matter your budget.

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Need a laptop? Here are some recommendations for various price points.
Photo: K. Y. Cheng/SCMP

Looking to pick up a brand new laptop for the brand new term, but don’t have the time to pore over dozens of reviews online before making your choice? Look no further than this handy guide to the best laptops for your consideration this year, no matter your budget.

Low priced workhorse – Inspiron 14 3000

Price: HK$3,599

Dell has always been known to deliver great value for money, and this budget device is a great example. With a slow but steady 6th Generation Intel i3 processor and 1 terabyte traditional hard drive, this reliable machine will get you through most educational tasks with ease. Though it comes with only a paltry 4GB of RAM, you can upgrade it to 8GB for a few hundred dollars. An unexpected bonus at this price point is a discrete graphics card, an older model AMD Radeon R5 M430. You won’t be burning up the e-sports world with this card, but at least you’ll be able to do some light Photoshop editing.

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Midrange ace  – Lenovo Thinkpad T470

Price: HK$5,988

Though marketed to business users, this midrange laptop from the legendary Thinkpad line is a great deal for students who want a no-nonsense machine that performs reliably. Powered by an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB traditional hard drive, the T470 also has a great selection of ports for your connectivity needs. It also only weighs a reasonable 1.6kg and has up to 18 hours of battery life, so you can leave the charging brick at home.

Top-of-the-line – Dell XPS 13

Price: HK$11,999

If money is no object, look no further than the Dell XPS 13 ultrabook. With a beautiful bevel less display, a powerful 8th Generation Intel i5 processor and speedy 256GB Solid State Drive (SSD), this beast of a laptop will be able to handle any school task you throw at it. You’ll also be paying a premium for its lightweight 1.2kg frame, backlit keyboard and two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, but you’ll be the envy of the whole class.

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Best Apple laptop – MacBook core i5 version

Price: HK$11,988

You will always be paying more for the Apple brand name, but their customer service and reliability are among the best in the business. If you are tied into the macOS and Apple ecosystem, and love the simplicity of industrial design, the 12-inch MacBook core i5 version is the one to get. It comes equipped with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. Be sure to go into a store to try the keyboard first though, some users don’t enjoy the low-travel butterfly keyboard.

2-in-1 champ – Microsoft Surface Go

Price: HK$5,093 (with Type Cover)

Some computer programs just work better with a touchscreen, and the versatile Surface Go is a surprisingly affordable option for users who like to take notes on an electronic screen. It also functions as a passable laptop when you connect the Type Cover keyboard. However, for its lower price, you are stuck with a weaker Intel Pentium Gold processor and only 128GB of SSD storage. Additionally, because of its small and thin design, port selection is limited to one USB-C port and a MicroSD card reader.

Happy laptop hunting!

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