We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Back to school: student IT buyers' guide

Win 2007's university challenge

Four ideal PCs for students

Apple MacBook

  • £699 inc VAT
  • apple.com/uk
  • 13in MacBook with Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz processor; 1GB RAM; 80GB hard disk and optical drive
Apple MacBook

Apple MacBook

Apple supplies more than decent email, web browsing, text editing, photo-tagging and manipulation software with its new Macs – there's also the respected GarageBand application in Apple's iLife suite. See the Apple Store for Education for details of discounts on hardware and software to which you may be entitled, including a cut-price version of Office for Mac.

Sony Vaio vgn-n31mw

  • £551 inc VAT
  • www.sony.co.uk
  • 15.4in laptop; Vista Home Premium; 1.7GHz Intel Core 2 Duo dual-core; 1GB RAM; 120GB hard drive; multiformat dual-layer DVD writer
Sony Vaio vgn-n31mw

Sony Vaio vgn-n31mw

Just by typing in the word 'student' on the Dabs.com site we quickly found a 15.4in Sony Vaio that would more than meet our needs. As well as more than adequate specifications, it comes with a three-month subscription to Norton Antivirus, Roxio EasyMedia Creator 9.0, Microsoft Works 9.5 and Skype VoIP (voice over IP) software. Dabs was discounting it from £646, simply because it wasn't new.

Medion 6486 Tesco PC

Medion 6486 Tesco PC

Medion 6486 Tesco PC

Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Tesco… the supermarkets are all at it, selling PCs and laptops – not to mention DVD recorders and LCD TVs – for really low sums. Medion carved out a name for itself selling through Aldi and has since grown into a respected brand in its own right. This desktop PC isn't the cheapest going, but it's got a TV tuner (with freeview channels) as part of its media centre credentials, so you won't need a TV, DVD or CD player on top. You also get 2GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Such specs will easily see you through a three-year course and beyond. Sensibly, Medion has cut corners on the software side, bundling Ability Office-based apps we're happy to recommend.

EI SYSTEMS 3101

  • Free (with broadband deal)
  • www.pcworld.co.uk
  • 15.4in laptop; 1.73GHz Intel Celeron M430 processor; Windows XP Home; 256MB RAM; 40GB hard disk drive
EI SYSTEMS 3101

EI SYSTEMS 3101

PC World is offering a free laptop if you sign up for Orange Broadband. If you don't like the look of the XP Home EI Systems laptop on offer, there are several other models under the same scheme. The caveat is that you need to sign up for the £15-per-month Orange Broadband Starter service for two years. That said, the first three months are half-price. This deal may serve you better than choosing a bundle of services that involve you tying yourself into a relatively expensive mobile phone contract as well as a landline service to get 'free' broadband.

Quick links

Buying a new PC for a student

Protect yourself when buying student kit, printing solutions and phoning home

Student software, office apps and online tools

Free footage, getting broadband and PC security

Examples of suitable PCs for students


IDG UK Sites

Amazon Kindle Voyage release date, price and specs UK: a high-end eReader with Amazon’s best-ever...

IDG UK Sites

Why local multiplayer gaming is rapidly vanishing: we look at the demise of split-screen and LAN...

IDG UK Sites

How to successfully bridge the gap between clients and creatives

IDG UK Sites

How to update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 8: including how to install iOS 8 if you don't have room