Which Byod Laptop for Year 7 High School

My son is starting high school this year
He will need a laptop
My budget up to $500

Requirements are pretty basic: less than 2kg, 6 hr battery life
Windows 4gb/64gb or
Chrome 4gb/16gb or

I haven’t owned a laptop for ages and not sure which device config to choose
Windows vs chrome book
Intel vs AMD
Pentium vs Celeron vs i3
Ryzen vs Ax

I guess a low spec windows will be frustrating but not sure what is the min acceptable specs

Any suggestions highly appreciated. Please don’t tell me to google it or search forums coz I already have


  • +1 vote

    Next year?

    If 2021, just wait 11 months.

  • +1 vote

    I guess a low spec windows will be frustrating

    Just make sure the OS is on an SSD. I have a 9yo i5 laptop with W10 on an SSD and it is super fast.

    AMD Ryzen are kicking intels butt over the last few years. Stay clear of celeron/pentium if you can.

    Does the school allow ChromeBook? These are great if every student is on them. Being the odd kid out though will be restrictive when it comes to adding non Google programs

    With a budget of $500 Mac OS will only be an option in a very much second hand laptop.


      Chrome book is an option and my son is pretty keen to have one
      Will chrome OS work well on Celeron/ Pentium ?

      • +2 votes

        Chrome OS works ok on celeron/pentium. It is basically just a computer looking device with a chrome browser. Nothing else. Whatever you can do in Chrome is all this machine is capable of (bar some that allows Android apps). They do not get viruses. They are easy to update and refresh if required. If you spend $500 on a ChromeBook you will get a very nice device.

        I'm pretty sure scotty of ozbargain fame uses a ChromeBook.

  • +1 vote

    $800 - Any stretch to the budget?

    $719.20, good spec

    $600, and you'd want to upgrade the SSD to bigger

    If you can find the extra money to the budget, it will last them a lot longer


      Thanks Spackbace
      $800 for 700p is quite pricey
      The last option looks good but deal ends tonight so I will miss out on that


    Have look at MS Pro.

  • +1 vote

    A little over your budget but this is a good choice. SSD, 8GB RAM, 10th Gen Intel i3 and only 1.8kg.


    Don’t get a chrombook


    I'd suggest talking to the school and seeing if they have a recommended laptop. Most will have a portal with places like LWT, JB HiFI education or there own one etc or at minimal a list of recommendations. They have requirements also on how old the laptop can be, os, etc.

    If it is just one you want to buy to help with school then it would help to know what you are looking at doing with it. If used at school I'd recommend a windows device and not a Chromebook. Internet is ok at schools but it is so slow and lots of problems with having everything online. I've had schools where they went all Chromebook and it didn't work well and they went back (lots of factors can affect so i'm just going on these schools experiences)


    Dell outlet.


      Thanks, had a look
      Nothing that I had 8gb ram and fhd in price range
      Will keep an eye


        I've just sent them back a 5 series 2 in 1, i5, 8gb ram, fhd, 256gb ssd. Was perfect, I just ordered 2 in case they sent me one that was rubbish. They should have it back in a day or so, so keep an eye out. Was $520 or so I think.


    A quick search of the Dell outlet comes up with this as something which fits well within your budget ($429): https://www.dell.com/en-au/outlet/ProductDescription?cfID=96...

    The 2c/4t Pentium CPU (Whiskey Lake platform, so it's effectively just a lower clocked i3 and not a much lower performing Atom based Gemini Lake CPU) will be more than enough for school work, with the proper 8gb of RAM and NVMe SSD making the windows experience extremely quick. They'll be no frustrations here with performance, and will be an overall much better experience than trying to use a low-spec chromebook or windows laptop.

    However, the thing is a bit heavy (just on 2kg), has a mediocre 1366 x 768 screen (but expected at this price range) and a large footprint (being a 15.6" device). There is also no info as to whether the 42whr battery will be able to provide 6hrs per charge.

    Additionally, I note that the device is "refurbished" condition. I've bought quite a few such devices from the Dell Outlet over the years and they have all performed perfectly fine, but YMMV.


    I tried Renewd after someone else mentioned them in a similar thread a month or so back and was happy with what I got. They're refurbs and sound a bit beaten up, but are well specced for the price. Use code BAG for $200 off and a free Targus 13" notebook bag.



    It might be a good idea to see how ICT is used in learning in the junior years at the school your kid is going to. If all they do is take notes and view PDF textbooks, a snappy device mightn’t be needed for the junior years. If it’s an IB school or one that makes full use of technology in the classroom, a better device could be warranted.

    No matter the school, it’s important to get something that will withstand the rigours of school life. A shitty, flimsy device probably won’t last long in a school bag.


    if you can wait till feb, Ryzen 4000 laptops come out, and will force the price down on the intel laptops as they perform really well vs Intel counterparts, ie the 4800H equals to the desktop I7 9700k


    Public or Private school ?



      I ended up getting the Lenovo chromebook c340-11
      He loves it ($400 + $100 good guys gift card. Not as good as the Amazon deal but amazon credit no use to me)

      It meets the min standard for his school
      I decided not to get a more powerful device at this stage just in case it over distracts him. If he needs a better device in the future I will get him one

      BTW for all those who say in other threads the screen is ok for the size it is not, I’m not fussy when it comes to screen res but this screen res is so low I wouldn’t use it myself.

  • Top