Buying a new laptop can be a daunting experience, especially when you are trying to get a decent model for a decent price. Many manufacturers offer student discounts on laptops, but who has the best deal and how do I get it?

Recently I was in the market for a new laptop (ultrabook) for Uni, so I researched a number of different discount options, which are outlined below.


Student Edge claims that students save “up to $500 on Apple [products]”, while UNiDAYS claims that students can receive a discount “up to 10% off”. In reality, however, the discounts are barely noteworthy.

From observing the laptops that other students are using, I believe that most students will gravitate towards the cheapest 13 inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar (dual-core i5 / 8GB RAM / 128GB SSD). The RRP for this model is $1899, while the student price is $1829, resulting in a saving of $70 or ~3.7%. The cheapest MacBook (dual-core m3 / 8GB RAM / 256GB SSD) shares the same RRP and student price.

JB Hi-Fi regularly have “10% off Mac” sales. This discount is significantly better than the student discount offered by Apple, so you may want to hold off buying a new Mac for a couple of weeks.


Students can save 15% on all (as far as I can tell) Dell and Alienware models bought on To do this, simply head to UNiDAYS and create an account to obtain a discount code. This deal does not appear to combine with any other promotional discounts.


Students can receive “up to 40% off” products from through UNiDAYS. The discounts wildly vary across models, but I am yet to locate a model with a 40% discount.

For example, the RRP of a Pavilion x360 ba103tu (quad-core i5 / 8GB RAM / 128GB SSD) is $1,169, whereas the student price is $1,019, resulting in a ~12.8% discount. Another example is the HP Envy ad141tu (quad-core i5 / 8GB RAM / 256GB SSD), which retails for $1,699.01. Students can obtain this model for $1,305, benefiting from a ~23.2% discount.


Like Apple, Lenovo does not explicitly state the percentage discount that students are eligible for. However, this can be calculated using basic mathematics.

The RRP for the base model ThinkPad X1 Carbon (quad-core i5 / 8GB RAM / 128GB SSD) is $2,199, while the student price is $2133.03, yielding a discount of 3%. Likewise, the base model Ideapad 720s (quad-core i5 / 8GB RAM / 256GB SSD) usually costs $1,699, while the student price is $1,648.03, yielding another discount of 3%. Therefore, Lenovo’s student discount percentage is 3%.

It should be noted, however, that Lenovo regularly run large promotional discounts. At the time of writing this, there is a $300 discount available for the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. These discounts work in combination with the 3% student discount. If you are interested in purchasing a Lenovo model, wait a few weeks. Lenovo’s student discount can be obtained through their online education store.


According to the Microsoft Student Store website, “students, parents, teachers and their families can save up to 10% on select products”.

Most Surface computers appear to be eligible for a 10% student discount. An example of this is the base model Surface Laptop (dual-core i5 / 4GB RAM / 128GB SSD). The retail price for this model is $1,499; the student price is $1,349.10, yielding a discount of exactly 10%.

It is worth noting that Microsoft sells a select few computer models from other manufacturers (Dell, HP, Razer etc.) as well, and students can obtain a discount on some of these models.

What should you look for?

If you are looking for a laptop that will last at least the next 3 – 4 years, you should look for a computer with at least these specifications:

  • CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i5/i7
    • Reason: the 8th generation is quad-core instead of dual-core, yielding significantly better performance (and minimal impact on battery life)
  • RAM: 8GB
    • Reason: as I’m typing this, I have 10 Google Chrome tabs open which is using 5GB of RAM; this will become worse as browser-based software evolves
      • The fact that Microsoft is selling a “premium” $1,500 laptop with 4GB RAM is a joke
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
    • Reason: even though hard drives offer greater storage capacity, avoid them; SSDs are several times faster and much less likely to die
    • Reason: videos and photos are continually increasing in file size
      • If you only want to store Word documents, 128GB may be enough, provided you don’t want to install too many programs
  • Battery life & weight
    • If you are a student, you likely take your computer to a lot of places; you should look for a computer that won’t require you to carry a charger all day

If you were already looking at buying a Dell or HP laptop, it’s definitely worth taking advantage of the generous student discounts on offer.

If you were looking to purchase a different brand, you will likely save more money by waiting for a retail store to have a sale.


  • I am not endorsing any of the previously mentioned models or brands, just highlighting popular models
  • Prices and models change all the time, so this article may not be accurate when you are reading it
  • I wanted to include a greater range of brands (e.g. Asus, Acer) but could not find student discounts for those brands
  • Many student discounts are also applicable to teachers
  • You will need to verify your student status – this is usually done with a email address
  • This article does not highlight budget offerings; in my defence many students appear to buy expensive devices and skip over the budget options anyway (e.g. iPhone X)
  • I bought a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon; currently waiting on delivery