Thanks to the release of Windows 11, it’s never been a better time to work, play and connect on a PC laptop. Here are four reasons to go for a laptop, and four top laptop picks.

Chances are your uni will provide you with a Microsoft 365 account, too, with its range of familiar apps like Word, Excel, Outlook and Team.

FOUR REASONS TO LAPTOP:
1. Get the most from Windows 11
If your desktop or laptop is getting long in the tooth, an upgrade to Windows 11 represents a great opportunity to upgrade your device. This way your laptop will have the performance to get the best out of the new operating system.
You can boost your workflow in Windows 11 with Desktop Groups. This new feature lets you switch between desktops for greater organisation of open windows. Plus, it’s never been easier to stay in touch on Windows thanks to Chat from Microsoft Teams, which lets you connect and collaborate in the way you want.
2. The best in specs
Demands on your device will vary depending on your course. Standard word processing, spreadsheets and browsing won’t test it out. But resource intensive programs are required for photo/video editing, 3D design, mathematics and science. In that case, a high-performance laptop is better suited than a Chromebook or tablet. Laptops typically have faster clock speeds than Chromebooks, as even small models have frame designs that can contain (and cool) the latest processors. Laptops also boast dedicated graphics card, plenty of storage, and larger displays. All this with the benefit of portability.
3. Advanced software
Virtually every software program — photo editors, spreadsheets, word processors, games — can be installed and run on a laptop, whereas some software makers have yet to release Chrome-compatible versions of their programs. Examples of these advanced software include the Adobe Creative Cloud set of applications, or music production software such as Pro Tools.
4. Offline time
As a laptop user with software installed, you can stay relatively productive even when beyond the range of your home or uni wireless. The Chromebook requires web access for optimal performance.

 

FOUR LAPTOP PICKS:

HP 50R82PA 15.6 HD Laptop (256GB) [AMD 3050U]

HP 50R82PA 15.6″ HD Laptop (256GB)
A budget-friendly model that still has a generous 15.6” display, Bang & Olufsen audio and 256GB SSD drive for quick boot ups. The AMD processor will reliably handle web browsing, emails, word processing and presentations. It comes with Windows 11 Home.
• 15.6″ HD (1366 x 768) BrightView SVA display • AMD Athlon Silver 3050U processor (2.3 – 3.2GHz) • 256GB SSD storage • 8GB RAM • AMD Radeon Graphics • 1x HDMI port • 2x USB-A 3.0 ports • 1x

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Dell Inspiron 3515 15.6 FHD Laptop (256GB) [Ryzen 5]

Dell Inspiron 3515 15.6″ FHD Laptop (256GB) [Ryzen 5]
The Inspiron 3515 has an anti-glare 15.6” LED display that’s Full HD (1920 x 1080), which delivers great value in this price range. The screen also employs Dell ComfortView technology that reduces blue light emissions, for browsing comfort. Inside, the 3515 has a Ryzen 5 3450U Mobile Processor, based on AMD’s Zen architecture, which is built for performance as well as energy efficiency – so it can handle multimedia tasks without draining the battery.
• 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) anti-glare LED display • AMD Ryzen 5-3450U processor (2.1 – 3.5GHz) • 256GB SSD storage • 8GB RAM • AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics • 1x HDMI port • 2x USB-A 3.0

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HP Pavilion x360 14″ HD 2-in-1 Laptop (128GB) [Intel i3]
This 2-in-1 combines the productivity of a laptop with the interactivity of a tablet. The 11th Gen Intel i3 together with SSD storage means fast boot up and minimal wait when programs are loaded. It comes with Windows 11, plus an optional HP pen adds further functionality. You also get Wi-Fi 6 with improved connectivity for online classes.
• 14″ HD (1366 x 768) multitouch-enabled display • Intel Core i3-1125G4 processor (3.4 – 3.7GHz) • 128GB SSD storage • 8GB RAM • Intel UHD graphics • 1x HDMI port • 2x USB-A 3.0 ports • 1x USB-C 3.1 port • Webcam • Bluetooth 5.2 • Wi-Fi 6 • Windows 11 operating system

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Dell XPS 13 EVO 13.3″ FHD Laptop (256GB) [Intel i5]
The Dell XPS 13 weighs just 1.16kg, but it packs plenty of features to get the best out of remote learning and collaboration. Intel’s Killer AX1650 Wi-Fi 6 chipset is nearly three times as fast as the previous generation Wi-Fi for lag free online classes. The XPS 13 webcam uses more elements than a typical webcam and advanced noise reduction, significantly improving video quality. And there are four built-in mics that can pick up your voice from more than four metres away.

Best of all, the XPS 13 is ready for serious workloads and multitasking.

The 11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 will easily handle video editing and ambitious content creation. Integrated with an Intel Iris Xe Graphics video card, you get performance and speed without compromising on battery life. You should be able to stream for up to 12 hours while unplugged. If you want a premium laptop that will handle heavy workloads in uni, and immerse you for game time, the XPS 13 is well worth checking out.
• 13.3″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) InfinityEdge display • Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor (8MB Cache, 2.4 – 4.2 GHz)• 256GB SSD storage • 8GB RAM • Intel Iris Xe Graphics • 2x Thunderbolt 4.0 Ports • USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C (DisplayPort/PowerDelivery) • Webcam • Micro SD • Bluetooth 5.1  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 ax)  • Windows 11 operating system

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