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Guide: The best notebooks for school or university

Many schools are now ready to use computers or laptops. While computers naturally make school work easier to a certain extent by correcting grammar and spelling, the use of the technical equipment is not unimportant for the students. In professional life, the ability to use IT has meanwhile become a basic requirement.

For this reason, many parents, schoolchildren and students are currently looking for a suitable notebook for school or university. In this guide we have summarized all the information you need to know about buying a notebook for school or university and of course we have shown the best models.

basic requirements

However, before we start our list of notebooks, a few things need to be clarified. This is primarily about things that we have seen from our own experience as pupils and students, but also as advisors to friends, families and readers. These are not things that should be avoided, but things that should not be bought under any circumstances.

Because of course the price always plays a central role with notebooks. Even notebooks praised as cheap for 300-500 euros can pose a financial challenge for one or the other. This is precisely why you should take a closer look when buying a notebook and clarify in advance which functions are actually needed and which are not.

First and foremost, a notebook for school and university must be compact, light and offer a long battery life. The performance is then of secondary importance and is based on the requirements of the school type or course of study. Don't buy the most powerful notebook straight away, because that often has more disadvantages than it has advantages.

Mobility is paramount and usually linked to lightweight components, which are often associated with low prices. Because currently it is still true that high performance also requires expensive and heavier notebook elements. But that's exactly what the typical student doesn't need during their studies.

But it is also a fact that a notebook can provide tremendous support when studying and is actually essential - be it for research on the Internet or for writing homework in the university library. Parents should therefore equip their children with a study-appropriate notebook. Students who cannot be financially supported by their parents have the option of taking out cheap student loans, for example from KfW Bank, to finance their basic equipment for the first semester.

If you follow our guide, you will definitely find an affordable notebook that also offers sufficient performance for students of all subjects.

Don't buy a 17 incher

Parents in particular tend to do this, so directly. Dear parents: If you haven't planned the career of an Olympic weightlifter for your child, then don't buy your child a 17-inch laptop.

A lot of power, a lot of display, a big battery. Are they just advantages? But then not if the student has to carry this colossus to school every day. This giant thing needs so much space on the already narrow school desks that nothing goes off next to it. But occasionally you still need pen and paper while the notebook lies open in front of it. If you buy a 15- or 17-inch device, that won't work.

The devices are incredibly impractical for schoolchildren and students and therefore you should definitely not buy them.

Don't buy a 15-inch device - with one exception

The same as described above also applies to all 15-inch notebooks. They are too big for most school bags, inconvenient and heavy. Except for a single notebook and that is the Dell XPS 15. This is because the XPS 15 has an incredibly small frame around the display and it is the only device that is actually noticeably smaller as a result.

If you don't buy the Dell XPS 15, however, stay away from 15-inchers.

Don't buy a gaming notebook

Basically, we should have expressed ourselves sufficiently clearly with the 15 and 17 incher, but some parents might believe that an exception can be made if the child enjoys playing on the computer so much.

In no case should one think that way. You buy a gaming notebook for a student when you can't decide between a career as a weightlifter or a professional DOTA, Counter Strike or League Of Legends player. If you want your child to become a doctor, physicist or lawyer, however, stay away from gaming notebooks.

If the child prefers to buy a mobile work notebook for school and a real gaming desktop PC for at home. On the one hand, there is a better separation between school and fun, on the other hand, the child will not have to lug this colossus with a battery life of 20 minutes including a power supply that professional boxers can use as dumbbells to school every day.

The all-rounder - Acer Asipre V3

It has been the best choice for schoolchildren and students for years because it is a really nice, compact and at the same time very well equipped notebook for its price. It's just a safe choice, in my opinion, at an incredibly good price.

It offers a beautiful, matte FullHD display, an Intel Core i5 processor and 8 gigabytes of RAM, which should offer plenty of performance for almost all tasks. Office software such as Office or surfing the Internet for research will run without any problems, but image editing with Photoshop is also possible and usually completely sufficient for the framework that you normally need in school or university. Basically, it also offers sufficient performance for budding developers.

The workmanship is on a good level, even if the case is made of polycarbonate. It still feels valuable and is a really good companion for schoolchildren and students that can last for a few years.

+ Intel Core processor
+ long battery life

~ Polycarbonate housing

- no SSD

Price / performance miracle - Lenovo 320S

The Lenovo 320S is not an obvious choice. Equipped with an Intel Pentium 4415U processor, it falls out of the shortlist for many pupils, students and parents. However, one should start with a comparison.

Some notebooks with an older Core i5 processor, but without SSD and only with an HD display, can be found for less than 500 euros. With a FullHD display, there are mainly notebooks with an outdated Intel Core i3-6006U and mostly without an SSD.

In fact, the Intel Pentium 4415U is a bit more powerful than the previously mentioned Core i3 processor and comes dangerously close to the Intel Core i5 processor in the MacBook Air in benchmarks. In contrast to Apple's 900 euro notebook, the Lenovo 320S has a FullHD display, thin frames, and HDMI and USB Type-C connection options. The cost point for the Lenovo 320S: 485 euros. Great price, great device and just worth every penny.

+ Price / performance
+ Connection options

The saver - Acer TravelMate B117

If you can spend 300 euros on a notebook, you should also spend 300 euros on a notebook. In the case of a pupil or student, these 300 euros are best invested in an Acer TravelMate B117. In most cases, no student loan is required for this.

For the money, the Acer TravelMate B117 offers everything you need from a simple notebook. It is sufficiently fast on the Internet and with office software thanks to the Intel Celeron quad-core processor, 4 gigabytes of RAM and a 128 gigabyte SSD. You won't do Photoshop marvels with it, but you can easily do all the work that the average student has to do with it.

For the price of 289 euros, the Acer TravelMate B117 is a solidly built, small notebook that still offers sufficient performance for tasks in school.

Even cheaper? ASUS EeeBook X206

If you are looking for a notebook for school that will also be used productively for a long time, you should be prepared to take money into your hand.

The ASUS EeeBook X206 is a good notebook, but it is simply too weak for some tasks in everyday school life. A maximum of two tasks at the same time, that's all the ASUS EeeBook X206 can do with its Intel Atom x5-Z8350 and 2 gigabytes of RAM. It is still sufficient for researching on the Internet and writing a Word document, but with too many browser tabs it will be a tight spot.

For a price of less than 250 euros, it is the best notebook for school or university that you can buy, but if you can invest more, you should take the money in hand. It just pays off. You can read everything in detail in our review of the ASUS EeeBook X206.

The notebook is currently available from Amazon for 199 euros, which makes it around 40 euros cheaper from all other providers.

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