Laptop for Uni


I posted here about 6 months ago about buying a new laptop, I held off and now Uni is coming so i want a new one.

After my results my parents agreed to put money towards it but they wont say how much so I'm just going to build it to what I need and pay the difference.

If we say £800 budget I can cope with that.

I currently play a few games none graphics intensive but when away at uni I may move to pc/laptop gaming as I don't want to spend money on a new xbox too.
Football manager
Empire total war series
Mirrors edge occasionally
Left for dead 2
CSS and Half life
Some racing sims

When I looked before the best value for money was custom build pc from places like PC Specialist, I have used them before so know it is safe, but now a lot of people recommending dell outlet but I don't think I can get the same value for money there!

Size wise, it's for uni so portable but I'm used to a pc so at least 15 inch screen.

I will be taking mechanical engineering so some design software may be used in the first year.

Any suggestions? Thanks


Distinguished Member
3D action games and laptops are not natural bed-fellows.

Graphically intensive games such as the ones you mention need lot's and lots of mathematical calculations and will eat up whatever CPU and GPU power you give them.

That all generates lots of heat in the chips which has to be dissipated somewhere. That's fine on desktop/tower PC full of fans and/or lovely big heatsinks. But in a laptop it's more of a challenging to cram that into the form factor using components (such fans) that do not eat through the battery when running on battery.

As course, it's not impossible to produce something that "works" but I'd expect something of a compromise. For example, lower spec GPU's leading to less impressive Gfx and frame rates. Thence, when gaming you might fine the tiny fans in the lappy start to squeal like a pig on it's honeymoon and still get so toasty it burns your legs.

Personally, I leave my gaming and siming to my "proper" PC and use laptop for the things it's good at, like typing up a document, some casual web surfing etc.


Standard Member
Dell definitely is a great value for money.Inspiron 15se with AMD Radeon HD 7730M should be enough for your gaming and uni needs and only costs £598 ,besides at uni you can always remote desktop to uni`s server to work on CAD and other intensive programs .I personally do this(sometimes even with my android phone).
I`ve had few dell laptops in past and they were not the most sturdy and gave me fair share of trouble (weak hinge, noisy fan..etc ). but those were previous generation of dell laptop so I cant comment on newer ones.


Novice Member
Hi, I'm also off to uni this september to study Pharmacy. I need a new laptop. I was thinking of going on the Sony website and getting a custom built Sony Vaio E Series with a 15.5 inch screen. Cant decide whether to get an i5 or an i7 processor. I'll just be using it for surfing and word processing and the occasional movie/TV. Any ideas?
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Distinguished Member
You don't even need an i5 for that, a pentium or i3 would be better (and would potentially extend battery life and cool the laptop down as well as saving you money).

What's the screen quality on the 15" one like? I know the premium screen on the 13" gets some excellent reviews.


Novice Member
I know, but i need a laptop thats going to last me the whole 4 years of uni. And still be a decent laptop in 4 years' time


Distinguished Member
I know, but i need a laptop thats going to last me the whole 4 years of uni. And still be a decent laptop in 4 years' time
Exponential growth means it's a choice between having 10% performance and 20% in a few years time - all laptops become slow.

Not all are well built though, if you want it to be decent in four years then avoid a cheap acer or samsung and go for something that's had a bit of money spent on the build quality (although at the upper end of your budget it's probably going to be less of a problem).
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