Help choosing school BYO device for daughter next year

Have just been sent a link to buy a device for my daughter starting year 7 next year. As per any good ozbargainer I'd love some advice on what's best to go with. The link is for discounted devices through JB HiFi and seem to be pretty good prices

Lenovo L13 Gen 2 Yoga / 13.3 Touch / i5 / 8GB / 256GB / Pen / Windows 10 Edu / 3YR RTB warranty: $1179.00
Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ / 12.3 Touch / i5 / 8GB / 128GB / KB + Pen / Platinum / W10Pro / 2YR Advanced Replacement Warranty: $ 1523.01
HP Elitebook x360 830 G8 / 13.3 Touch / i5 Processor / 8GB RAM / 256GB SSD / Pen / Win 10 MSNA / 3YR Onsite Warranty: $1637.00
HP Elitebook x360 830 G8 / 13.3 Touch / i7 / 16GB / 256GB / Pen / Win 10 Pro / 3YR Onsite Warranty: $2051.01
Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ / 12.3 Touch / i7 / 16GB / 256GB / KB + Pen / Platinum / W10Pro / 2YR Advanced Replacement Warranty: $2142.00

Poll Options

  • 14
    Lenovo L13 Gen 2 Yoga
  • 1
    Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ / i5 / 8GB / 128GB / i5 / 8GB / 256GB /
  • 1
    HP Elitebook x360 830 G8 / 13.3 Touch / i5 Processor / 8GB RAM / 256GB SSD
  • 1
    HP Elitebook x360 830 G8 / 13.3 Touch / i7 / 16GB / 256GB
  • 7
    Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ / 12.3 Touch / i7 / 16GB / 256GB


  • +3

    They all seem to be way too powerful for a yr7 student based on what they actually do in yr7.

    IMHO you are better looking at the specs that the school require like:
    * needs 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz Wifi
    * needs to open word docs
    * needs to open Excel docs
    * needs browser for google class room
    * needs to have at least 5hrs of battery (cannot recharge at school).

    From the specs get a cheap laptop as it will get broken or damaged and save the money for a new laptop in Yr9, when a powerful laptop will be needed.

    • +1

      Hey, thank you for responding.

      This is what the school have said.

      All student devices must meet the following requirements as a minimum:

      Windows 10 operating system
      Touchscreen enabled (Hybrid laptop/tablet 2-in-1 device)
      Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor
      8 GB RAM
      128 GB solid-state (SSD) storage
      11.6" - 15" screen
      Keyboard and trackpad/mouse
      Pen (stylus) device
      USB/USB-C port
      8 hour battery life
      Protective case

      Note that as of 2022, all year 8 and incoming year 7 students will be required to have a pen for their device to enable digital inking.

      The choice of device is completely up to you. The better the specification you buy (Processor and RAM) the faster the device will be and the longer it should last. Investing in and looking after a good device in year 7 could see students through their whole school life.

      Would you know any others that would fit that bill?

    • Depends on the school. I've worked at one that does digital design, digital art or multimedia in year 7.
      Can't say if it's useful but it's been an issue with parents when their kid's laptop is totally fine except for two lessons a week.

  • +1

    Everyone I know with a Surface Pro says they're fantastic but you pay the premium for it. I was running an i5-8250 with 16GB RAM through late high school and uni and it was fine for just documents and browsing.

    Two things to consider:
    Is your daughter quite careful with electronics? If it's likely to get dropped or left somewhere like on the bus / stolen, I'd be going for the cheap and cheerful models.
    Are you planning for it to last the full 5 years of high school? Is it going to need to run heavy duty stuff like arts programs or will she be fine with just Microsoft Office and browsing.

    • Unfortunately, she is a bit clumsy. She's careful but clumsy :|

      And yes it would be good to last the full 6 years of high school but that might be a big ask.

      • +1

        It isn't impossible to run a laptop from the start to end of high school, my brother kept his $500 laptop in perfect working order throughout his high school years. Only thing that needed changing was an upgrade to an SSD and a change of battery after 3 or 4 years.

      • And yes it would be good to last the full 6 years of high school but that might be a big ask.

        I picked up a 2nd hand Surface Pro 6 for around $700. It's as good as new and included the surface pro keyboard that doesn't come with new devices, it is an extra.

    • +1

      Everyone I know with a Surface Pro says they're fantastic but you pay the premium for it.

      Just get a second hand one with a warranty…

  • +1

    HP's are workhorses and Lenovo is good too. HP will send a tech to your house to repair faulty hardware. In my experience the techs they send out are pretty good. Lenovo want it sent back to base so you'll be without the machine for a while. If you're happy to be without the Lenovo for a week or two if it fails then buy that.

    Every single Surface our customers have had either get stuck in boot loops, get returned to Microsoft for replacement or the batteries fail, they're junk. Microsoft have never been great at making hardware.

    • Thank you for that, gives me something to think about

    • Microsoft have never been great at making hardware

      The RROD on the first gen Xbox 360's would agree, however the counterpoint is their controllers are excellently designed.

      I'd say that MS is inconsistent. Same with every 2nd Windows version, their hardware is about the same for reliability

  • +1

    Is your child attending a public school or prestige private? Most private schools will tell you what to buy.
    Probably best to get what the other kids have.
    In our family this has ranged from an ipad to a chrome book to a low end hp to an old Lenovo or hand me down MacBook Air.
    None of the kids ever had problems with functionality or performance, and saving $1000 now allows you to spend it on an upgrade later, if they do need something more.

    • Hi, the school gave those 5 options but just above I responded to someone else with what the school's requirements are. I guess that's the other thing to consider, what's going to help her fit in…

  • +1

    As a surface laptop user - the keyboard is nice, but the support is not. Many windows patches dont work well with it and you end up feeling with a less than premium device.

    A quick note on all the laptops you've chosen - they are NOT upgradeable - so you're stuck with the RAM and SSD once you buy.

    Personally, as someone who uses an x360 for work, I'd always try to get at least 16gb ram, but I'm not sure what yr7 people do that need power.

    I'd recommend the Yoga actually - its cheap, and easier to replace if broken or yr9. It's hard to compete with the price dif. The Yoga is a little chunkier/heavier however.
    I favour the Yoga because it uses the 11thgen CPU where as the others are still using 10th.

  • I don't realistically see why schools would need their students to have laptops with 8GB RAM, touchscreen and an i5 or Ryzen 5. All high school students that I know haven't had to use an over the top device, or an expensive one over $1200. I guess YMMV, if your daughter is into creative things then the touchscreen and stylus would be necessary. Also relatively high specs I guess if they need to use the Adobe suite like Premiere Pro or Photoshop.

    Other than that, an expensive device isn't really needed (a laptop under $1K wouldn't be a bad choice).

  • +2

    Get a business laptop, e.g. a Lenovo T14s, or X1 Carbon or the like.

    The consumer grade stuff is fine for use at home, but in a school where they'll be thrown around, knocked about, dropped, have water spilled on them or whatever, I just can't imagine they'll hold up.

    You can get a Lenovo T14s with a Ryzen 5650U and 16GB RAM for ~$1500 on the Lenovo website from memory. Super tough, will last for years.

    Definitely don't agree with cheaping out on a device, you'll just have to end up replacing it sooner so might as well get something that'll last and not having to worry about it.

    • It may be tougher but if it breaks there's gonna be deeper holes in OP's pockets than if they had gone with a cheaper consumer grade option.

      Then again refurbished Thinkpads can be had for pretty cheap on eBay and they meet every requirement (might need an SSD upgrade) except for the digital inking and USB-C. But the $500 saved say that half the features on that list are never gonna actually be used.

  • Acer screens are usually the cheapest to replace from experience. Hp and surface are generally the most expensive.

  • +1

    Definitely consider getting a business laptop. School is a tough environment and a stronger case and robust charge port is essential. Touchscreen is really helpful for the kids, SSD essential and pretty much standard for fast start up.
    Both my kids have refurbed Dells (Latitude) - you have to keep an eye out for more basic lower priced models to come up, but can be at significant discount:
    (full Dell warranty generally)

  • No idea why people are voting Lenovo, they are absolute trash especially the yoga. I work in this space and the amount of issues schools are having with them are terrible. Batteries are losing a 10-20% within 6 months, and just poor reliability all round, but I’m not surprised given they’re a Chinese company. Go with the surface or hp.

  • +1

    ask your daughter which one she would like the most. I'm sure she will have a preference based on appearance

Login or Join to leave a comment