Best laptops for students in Australia

We read hundreds of customer reviews to find the best laptops for students available to buy in Australia across a range of categories.

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The Best laptops for students in Australia

How did we pick this list?

Our editorial team has examined hundreds of customer reviews and ratings of Laptops for Students in Australia, ruling out those not readily available to consumers. The following represents our selection for the best Laptops for Students in Australia based on exhaustive research.

Read more detail on our methodology below.

Best Student Laptop Overall: Apple MacBook Air 2020

Pros

  • Great balance of price, functionality and looks.
  • Very light.

Cons

  • Some users lament the lack of ports.
  • Reviews say the webcam could be better.

Specs | OS - MacOS | Storage - 256GB | Battery life - 14 hours | Screen Size -13 inch

Price (RRP): $1439

Buy at Mwave Australia
Buy at Kogan
Buy at Apple

Why we chose it

With a whopping 4.8 out of 5 from more than 10,000 reviews on Google, and providing a great balance between price, functionality and sheer sexiness, the 2020 variant of the Apple MacBook Air with Apple's revolutionary M1 Chip is an easy pick for Best Student Laptop Overall in Australia.

The M1 Chip at its core provides more than enough power to turn the 2020 Air into a laptop that is just as good as its thicker contemporaries, while Apple's focus on sleek, thin design makes it one of the lightest laptops around.

People felt that the webcam wasn't as good as it could have been, a compromise made to keep the machine as thin as possible. That same focal point means the Air only has a couple of Thunderbolt ports, which may lead to issues for some people. Still, as long as your curriculum is Mac-friendly — and most courseloads are — this should be your first pick.

What users say

This does everything you need it to do, plenty of processing power, and so nice and lightweight, you'll use it all the time.


Best Budget Student Laptop: Microsoft Surface GO 2

Pros

  • Hybrid form factor lets it double as a tablet.
  • Packs a desktop-style package into a tiny form factor.

Cons

  • The 10-inch screen might be too small for some.
  • Less RAM makes some programs slower.

Specs | OS - Windows | Storage - 128GB | Battery life - 10 hours | Screen Size -10 inch

Price (RRP): $1050

Buy at Amazon
Buy at Mwave Australia
Buy at Catch
Buy at Microsoft

Why we chose it

Earning a score of 4.5 out of 5 from 896 reviews on Google and costing just over $1000, the Microsoft Surface GO 2 is our choice of Best Budget Student Laptop in Australia.

A few caveats come with this recommendation — do not make the mistake of grabbing the cheaper Pentium variant of the Surface GO 2, which suffers from heinous heat-based throttling and low usable memory. Get the Core M3 version we have linked here. And as always when buying a Surface, make sure it comes with a keyboard — more than a few versions do not (although we've directly linked to a version with it included).

With that aside, for just barely over $1000, the Surface GO 2 is a great pick for students on a budget. It runs a full-fledged version of Windows (once you switch away from the "S" default option), features a gorgeous (if a teeny bit small) screen and readily transforms into an easy to use tablet when it's time to take a break from study.

What users say

It's a wonderful machine that is ready to tackle whatever you throw at it and is so lightweight and portable, why wouldn't you want to take it everywhere you go.


Best student laptop for battery life: Apple MacBook Pro 13inch (2020)

Pros

  • Reviews rave about the speaker system onboard.
  • 16+ hours of active use can't be ignored.

Cons

  • Users wish it had more storage as a standard.
  • Only 2 Thunderbolt ports.

Specs | OS - MacOS | Storage - 256GB | Battery life - 16 hours | Screen Size -13 inch

Price (RRP): $1849

Buy at Amazon
Buy at Mwave Australia
Buy at eBay
Buy at Apple

Why we chose it

Sitting at 4.8 out of 5 from nearly 2400 reviews on Google, the Apple MacBook Pro 2020 also boasts an effective battery life of over 16 hours, which makes it our pick for Best Student Laptop for Battery Life in Australia.

The M1 chip in the Apple MacBook Pro (and its thinner sibling the Air) is spectacularly efficient, which allows it to provide oodles of power while using very little juice. It's got better speakers, a better webcam and a fantastic microphone array system which allows it to edge out the Air for those doing remote learning.

There are a few variants of the 13 inch Apple MacBook Pro, but if you're looking for battery life be sure to get the M1 chipset version. While the Intel chipset variants boast more ports and much more powerful processors, their effective battery time is nearly halved.

What users say

The new M1 soc [System on a chip] is a revolutionary advance in performance and long battery life.


Best ultra-thin student laptop: Lenovo Yoga C740 Name

Pros

  • Folds nicely into a tablet-style screen.
  • Reviews say it 'feels' premium thanks to its aluminium case.

Cons

  • Screen can reflect a lot of light.
  • The cooling fan can get noisy after high-intensity use.

Specs | OS - Windows | Storage - 512GB | Battery life - 13 hours | Screen Size -14 inch

Price (RRP): $1439

Buy at Amazon
Buy at Bing Lee
Buy at The Good Guys

Why we chose it

At a mere 14mm thick and rocking a score of 4.7 out of 5 on Google, the Lenovo Yoga C470 is our selection for Best ultra-thin student laptop in Australia.

Gone are the days of compromising when it comes to ultra-thin laptops — now you can get a machine that is under 15mm thick and less than 1.8kg heavy that is also as good as many other machines. And the Yoga C470 is more than capable of keeping up with others.

It features more than 13 hours of battery life, a 14" screen and 512GB of storage, which puts it on par with the MacBook Air while running Windows instead — important for a small handful of course loads. The biggest drawback mentioned in user reviews is the glarey screen, which can be fixed with a suitable screen protector — which is recommended, as the C470 is a very competent 2-in-1 hybrid laptop/tablet to boot.

What users say

There is no other laptop that is on par with this one!


Best student laptop for gaming: MSI GE66 Raider

Pros

  • DLSS tech puts out more frames and saves battery.
  • The 15.6 inch, 300hz screen is gorgeous.

Cons

  • Users say the speakers aren't great.
  • The fans get loud.

Specs | OS - Windows | Storage - 512GB | Battery life - 10 hours | Screen Size -15.6 inch

Price (RRP): $2499

Buy at Amazon
Buy at eBay

Why we chose it

Taking full advantage of Nvidia's powerful RTX 2060 graphics card and holding steady at 4.8 out of 5 on Google from more than 800 reviews, the MSI GE66 Raider is our recommendation for Best Student Laptop for Gaming in Australia.

The Nvidia RTX 2060 at the core of the MSI GE66 Raider is what makes it superb for gaming. By utilising Nvidia's DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) technology, the Raider is able to get better framerates in games while using less power, saving on battery life and keeping the machine cooler.

Still, with that much power at its core, the MSI GE66 Raider is prone to getting loud — sometimes louder than the built-in speakers can overcome, though you'd be struggling to win many Victory Royale's using speakers anyway (better to get good headphones). And the premium performance demands a premium price, which is important to consider. Still, with a gorgeous 300-hertz screen and MSI's MysticLight RGB control software, it's both a show-er and a go-er.

What users say

This laptop hits the mark in almost every way. If you're a traveller or student who likes to game, this laptop is for you!


Best Macbook for students: Apple MacBook Air 2020

Pros

  • Gorgeous design.
  • Ergonomic keyboard for constant typers.

Cons

  • People expect better from an Apple camera than this.
  • The fan gets loud and hot under load.

Specs | OS - MacOS | Storage - 256GB | Battery life - 14 hours | Screen Size -13 inch

Price (RRP): $1439

Buy at Amazon
Buy at Mwave Australia
Buy at Kogan
Buy at Apple

Why we chose it

It was our choice for best laptop for students overall, thanks to a score of 4.8 out of 5 from more than 10,000 reviews on Google. And so it makes sense that the Apple MacBook Air would be our choice for Best MacBook for students in Australia!

With the M1 Chip at its core and decades of Apple design genius backing it up, the Apple MacBook Air is acclaimed far and wide for its good looks and fantastic performance. It's cheaper than the MacBook Pro while still boasting most of the same features, with just slightly shorter battery life. One thing people do miss on the MacBook Air is the Pro's highly customisable touch bar, but the trade-off, in this case, is a much lighter and thinner laptop.

People love the ergonomically designed slanted keyboard, the gorgeous 13-inch screen and the Dolby Atmos speaker system built-in. They're not crazy about the webcam, which takes low-quality video, and some reviews say they found the machine fan gets loud and hot under a lot of stress.

What users say

This MacBook Air is a perfect for those that mostly use a computer for everyday use, but need the occasional boost of power.


Methodology

15
Brands considered
27
Products compared
6
Best products chosen
  • Our editorial team compared student-friendly laptops from brands found in major retailers across Australia as well as online retailers.
  • We carefully examined hundreds of customer reviews and ratings.
  • The products on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not selected based on commercial relationships.

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