Best student laptop deals and sales February 2024: up to 40% off Apple, Microsoft, Dell and more

two laptops, one silver and one blue, against a blue background
(Image credit: Future)

Jumping back into study can be very expensive – especially if you want to be equipped with one of the best laptops for students. Thankfully, a lot of retailers offer back to school sales running at the start of the year to help reduce that cost, so you can find a suitable device at a reasonable price.

When shopping for a student laptop, you’ll need to consider what you plan to use the laptop for so you don’t overspend on features and performance you don’t need (laptops can get very expensive!), and for students it probably needs to be light enough to carry around all day.

If you’re taking notes, writing reports and using it for research, you can save a lot by opting for a machine with lower or older specs without compromising your work. But if you need it for video editing or graphic design, you might need to pay a little more for a more powerful device that can handle any software or tasks you throw at it.

There’s plenty of good laptop brands out there, including Apple, Microsoft, Lenovo, HP and Dell, so the TechRadar team has scoured the web to round up the 10 best student laptop deals to help you ace the upcoming school year.

Best student laptop deals

Under AU$1,000

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 ChromebookSnapdragon 7c / 4GB RAM / 128GB eMMCAU$869AU$599 on Amazon

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook | Snapdragon 7c / 4GB RAM / 128GB eMMC | AU$869 AU$599 on Amazon (save AU$270)

The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook comes loaded with ChromeOS and is packing the Snapdragon 7c Gen processor under the hood. At just under AU$600, this device is one of the more affordable student laptop options, plus it’s versatile too – you can detach the keyboard and use the 13.3-inch FHD touchscreen as a tablet, making it fantastic for typing up notes as well as holding in your hand when presenting to the class. Just be aware that Chromebooks won’t be able to run common Windows apps.

• You could save even more with these Amazon promo codes

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 (14-inch)i5 / 8GB RAM / 512GB SSDAU$1,299AU$959 on Amazon

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 (14-inch) | i5 / 8GB RAM / 512GB SSD | AU$1,299 AU$959 on Amazon (save AU$340)

With only 8GB of RAM, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 makes a small compromise on specs to land at this price, but it still has plenty of storage and a 12th-gen Intel Core i5 chip, which makes it a suitable device for day-to-day note-taking, report writing and research. You’ll need to be quick to snap up this deal though – at the time of writing, Amazon only has four units left in stock at this sub-AU$1,000 price. 

• Here’s some Lenovo coupon codes if you prefer to buy direct from the source

Dell Inspiron 15 (3520)i5 / 8GB RAM / 512GB SSDAU$987AU$698.50 on Dell

Dell Inspiron 15 (3520) | i5 / 8GB RAM / 512GB SSD | AU$987 AU$698.50 on Dell (save AU$288.50)

There’s some slightly ageing specs in this machine, but nevertheless it’s a great deal at this discounted price. It’s equipped with an 11th-gen Intel i5 processor, whereas you’ll find 13th generation chipsets in most new laptops. Still, the laptop should do just fine with browsing the web, using spreadsheets and the like. Dell no longer lists the RRP of this laptop on its own site, but PB Tech is selling it for more at AU$987.

• Here’s a few Dell coupon codes to find even more savings on-site

HP Laptop 15 (15-fc0173AU)Ryzen 5 / 8GB RAM / 256GB SSDAU$999AU$799 on HP

HP Laptop 15 (15-fc0173AU) | Ryzen 5 / 8GB RAM / 256GB SSD | AU$999 AU$799 on HP (save AU$200)

There’s no bells and whistles with this laptop, but you’re getting a 15.6-inch Full HD screen with slim bezels and a full-size keyboard with a numeric keypad. Under the hood is a Ryzen 5 7000 U series processor, which is fairly low power and geared toward extending battery life, though it’s perfectly adept at most tasks. We like that this laptop comes with a fingerprint reader for quick and easy access, along with a built-in camera shutter for another layer of privacy.

• Check our HP coupon codes page to see if you can get a further discount

Asus VivoBook 15.6-inchi5 / 16GB RAM / 1TB SSDAU$1,199AU$899 on JB Hi-Fi

Asus VivoBook 15.6-inch | i5 / 16GB RAM / 1TB SSD | AU$1,199 AU$899 on JB Hi-Fi (save AU$300)

If you need a lot of storage but don’t want to fork out a lot of cash, this Asus VivoBook deal will land you a massive 1TB’s worth for just under AU$900. Rocking 16GB of RAM and an Intel i5 1235U processor, you’ll have plenty of room for any documents, photos and software you need to make it through the school year. As a 15.6-inch laptop, it’s a little bit on the heavier side, weighing 1.72kg with this configuration, but you do get a 1920p x 1080p Full HD display, so you won’t miss a beat while you’re working away on assessments or projects.

Under AU$1,500

HP Pavilion Aero 13 (13-be2122AU)Ryzen 7 / 16GB RAM / 512GB SSDAU$1,999AU$1,199 on HP

HP Pavilion Aero 13 (13-be2122AU) | Ryzen 7 / 16GB RAM / 512GB SSD | AU$1,999 AU$1,199 on HP (save AU$800)

HP has knocked a huge AU$800 off this Pavilion Aero laptop. It weighs under 1kg so it’s super-light and portable, making it an ideal choice if you’ve got to carry your laptop around campus. The 13.3-inch screen comes with 400 nit brightness, which should make it easier to use in bright sunlight. As for specs, you’re getting a Ryzen 7 7735U processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, all for AU$1,199.

• Check our HP coupon codes page to see if you can get a further discount

HP Envy x360 2-in-1 (15-ew0023TU)i5 / 16GB RAM / 512GB SSDAU$2,099AU$1,301 on HP

HP Envy x360 2-in-1 (15-ew0023TU) | i5 / 16GB RAM / 512GB SSD | AU$2,099 AU$1,301 on HP (save AU$798)

This laptop is a bit of a contortionist – the HP Envy x360 2-in-1 can fold backwards onto itself, so you can prop the screen up for easy viewing, or use its 15.6-inch touch display like a tablet whenever you don’t need the keyboard. This model packs in a 12th gen Intel Core i5 CPU, along with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, and has six ports in total, including two USB-C ports, so you can plug in a variety of peripherals all at once.

• Check our HP coupon codes page to see if you can get a further discount

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (2020)M1 / 8GB RAM / 256GB SSDAU$1,499AU$1,347 on Amazon

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (2020) | M1 / 8GB RAM / 256GB SSD | AU$1,499 AU$1,347 on Amazon (save AU$152)

This MacBook Air is on our list of the best student laptops, and it’s easily our top pick if you want a MacBook. It’s currently 10% off at Amazon, which is a standard discount for this MacBook, and we were hoping for something a bit better at back to school time. Still, if you’re shopping for a MacBook now, this model will be the cheapest you’ll find. Our review found battery life to be great, largely thanks to Apple’s-own M1 processor. 

• You could save even more with these Amazon promo codes

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3i5 / 8GB RAM / 256GB SSDAU$1,429AU$1,147 on JB Hi-Fi

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 | i5 / 8GB RAM / 256GB SSD | AU$1,429 AU$1,147 on JB Hi-Fi (save AU$282)

Microsoft delivers a sleek and day-long lasting laptop with the Microsoft Surface Go 3, offering up to 15 hours of use before you need to dig out the charger. This model comes loaded with an Intel i5 1235U CPU, along with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It weighs only a little over 1.1kg, so you’re still getting nice performance out of a lightweight machine. What’s even better is that it’s on sale in four different colourways, including Platinum, Ice Blue, Sage and Sandstone, with some colours offering 16GB of RAM for slightly more at AU$1,397.

• Want to buy directly from Microsoft? These Microsoft coupon codes could save you even more money

Under AU$2,000

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (2022)M2 / 8GB RAM / 256GB SSDAU$1,799AU$1,619 on JB Hi-Fi

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (2022) | M2 / 8GB RAM / 256GB SSD | AU$1,799 AU$1,619 on JB Hi-Fi (save AU$180)

For a newer MacBook Air, the 2022 model is currently available with a standard discount of 10% at JB Hi-Fi. It has a 13.6-inch display, which is slightly larger compared to the 2020 MacBook Air, plus it also has the higher performance Apple M2 CPU at its heart. This model is about AU$270 more expensive than 2020’s MacBook Air with the M1 chip, but you’re getting a little more power for the price along with a MagSafe charger. Discounts available in all colours at JB Hi-Fi.

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Petra Player
Writer, TechRadar Australia

Petra is new to the industry, but has had a long-time love of tech, gaming and entertainment, which she now gets to indulge by writing for TechRadar. She’s also keen on sharing news about deals and discounts in the APAC region – with a background in archaeology, she’ll dig deep to find the best deals and thanks to her long history in retail, knows what makes a good bargain. She also is a bit of a keyboard hobbyist, having found enjoyment with mechanical keyboards during 2020’s lockdown, and has big plans to build a fully custom matching keyboard and PC in the near future.

With contributions from