Novel’s Top 7 Student Laptops

  |     |   Journal


Graphic design, history, business, whatever you’re studying, a reliable laptop is an essential purchase. To make life easier, we’ve done some legwork for you, whittling down our research to come up with the 7 top student laptops available today.

But before we get into the nitty gritty, there are a few factors to consider.

  • What you’ll be studying.
  • How you plan to use your laptop in your spare time.
  • If you’ll be using your laptop for note-taking
  • If you’ll be carrying your laptop between classes.
  • Budget


It’s important to take time to consider these factors. You don’t want to go making any rash decisions!


1. The All-Rounder: Dell XPS 15 (2020).

Starting at £1,419.00. The Dell XPS 15 is ideal for students of English, History and Journalism.

  • 6-inch laptop
  • Advanced Wi-Fi 6 technology
  • Up to 64GB DDR4-2933MHz, 2x32G
  • Available with Windows 10 Pro
  • Optional 4K Ultra HD+ (3840 X 2400) display offers pinpoint accuracy


You know how it goes: 11pm in the library, trying to get that essay just right. 5000 tabs open. Suddenly, your laptop crashes.

Now what?

With the Dell XPS 15, you won’t be running into basic functionality problems. This is a laptop that offers fast performance, a long battery life, and great storage. All the things you’ll need to stay on top of your work, as well as fitting in those long video calls to family and friends back home.


  1. The Sleek Design: MacBook Pro (2019)

£2,399.00. Ideal for students of Design and Web Development.

  • 16-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Magic Keyboard (an exclusive, UK-only feature)
  • 512GB SSD storage
  • 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory


Don’t just take our word for it. We’ve reached out beyond the Novel community for some insight and advice from people in the know.

Lizzie Snow is the artist and owner of @fortyonehundred. As a visual artist, computers are a huge part of her job, and she recommends the MacBook Pro, especially for anyone studying graphic design.

Lizzie says:

During both my degrees I had a MacBook Pro and I continue to use this as my main computer now that I’ve graduated as an independent contemporary visual artist.

The MacBook Pro is sleek, stylish, professional, and has all the power you need for high-capacity programs. It’s also practical – light, slim and fits in most bags. It’ll also take you beyond your studies into the real world too. If you also have an iPhone and/or iPad – having everything sync up is seamless and efficient. It’s an investment worth making!’

  1. The Convenient Two-in-One: HP ENVY Convertible Laptop (2019)

Starting from £799.99. Ideal for students completing degrees relating to PR, Science, and English.

  • Windows 10 Home 64
  • 512 GB PCIe SSD storage
  • Experience high performance with Radeon Graphics
  • 7/8 hours battery life
  • Full sized keyboard


HP’s ENVY Convertible is the best of both worlds. It’s high-tech but super convenient, and it folds easily, converting from a laptop to a tablet in seconds.

Ideal alternative to carrying a laptop around campus, along with all your books. Plus, it’s stylish, and when you combine this with its high-performance, you can keep up with your studies and look good at the same time.

  1. The Gaming Powerhouse: MSI GS66 Stealth (2020)

£1,549.00. Ideal for students of Technology, Design and Website Development.

  • Backlit Keyboard
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Full HD screen / 240 Hz
  • Battery life up to 9 hours


You might be looking for a laptop that you can use outside of study. After all, University isn’t just about working hard. It’s about exploring new cultures, finding out new things about yourself.

At Novel we create community spaces so that every student can socialise and make new friends. You could even try a gaming marathon in your space, as long as you have a laptop that can keep up.

  1. The Optimum Connector: Lenovo ThinkPad P53 (2020)

Starting at £4,999.99. Ideal for students of Art, Design, Graphics and Architecture.

  • The ThinkPad P53 features WiFi-6 certification, the fastest WiFi ever
  • Battery life up to 16.5 hours
  • Speakers on the P53 deliver premium sound with Dolby®Audio
  • 6” 4k OLED touch display (3840 x 2160), available with Dolby Vision™ high dynamic range (HDR) technology
  • And with the option of the NVIDIA®Quadro RTX™ 5000 GPU, it’s more than capable of rendering VR and handling data-intensive AI project


With this laptop, you will never need to worry about system lag time or running out of storage space. Plus, it’s designed to cope with working in crowded environments, so you’ll also never have to worry about the gamer next door hogging all the WiFi.

The benefits of the ThinkPad are endless and although it’s our most expensive choice, if you’re a tech wizard and require a durable, fast laptop with plenty of space. This is the one.

  1. The Epic Battery: Dell New XPS 17 (2020)

Starting at £2,899.00. Ideal for most degrees, even design and technology related.

  • Highlights that are up to 40 times brighter, and blacks that are up to 10 times darker
  • 7-inch screen in a 15-inch size form factor
  • The rendering of high-resolution graphics and videos accelerates with performance class NVIDIA®graphics
  • Massive flash storage provides plenty of room for videos, graphics, or designs
  • 23 hours battery life


Is there anything worse than being halfway through a lecture, and your laptop dies?

With the new Dell XPS 17, this will become a thing of the past. The XPS 17 boasts not only a beautiful design, but a superb battery life. It’s also extremely lightweight without comprising on screen size, meaning you can grab it and go with no fuss.

  1. The Affordable Option: HP Slim 15.6-inch laptop | Norton Security

£379.00. Ideal for most humanities degrees.

  • Up to 10.25 hours battery life.
  • 4GB RAM DDR4.
  • 6 inch screen.
  • 128GB SSD storage.
  • Microsoft Windows 10 S.


For students seeking an affordable laptop: an all-rounder for writing essays, doing research, and taking notes in lectures, the HP Slim represents a fantastic option. It offers long battery life, sleek portable design, an expansive display, and did we mention how affordable it is?



And there we have it.

With an abundance of laptop information out there, it can be hard to know where to start, let alone find the option that’s right for you. We hope this gives you a head start, and that you can narrow down your laptop choices ahead of beginning this exciting new chapter in your life!

Have a suggestion? We’d love hear it.

Feel free to leave a comment below.

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