High School Laptop - Budget $1500

Hey guys,

I'm after some recommendations for a reliable laptop for my son starting high school next year. Some requirements:
- Decent battery life
- Not too heavy (under 2kg)
- Can play some games like Valorant and Rocket League

I've been looking at machines with i7 and Intel Iris chip but there's too many brands and models out there. Hoping to get some help to narrow it down.



  • m1 MacBook Air?

    • i7 and Intel Iris chip are Intel based, not ARM based.

      • That's terrible !!!

    • +2

      Valorant is only available on windows.

  • +7

    If it is a private school, get what they recommend so it isn’t a hassle to support.
    If it is a public school, get what the other kids are getting.
    I’d hesitate giving a kid a $1500 laptop, better getting a $750 laptop now and another at the end of Year10 than have a 5yro laptop in senior years. Also limits the damage if they get lost/stolen/broken.

    To be honest, I’d just get them a cheap and cheerful sub-$500 machine until you know what they will be using it for.

    • My kids school had a list of 'approved' laptops as they imaged the machines before the year started.

    • Thanks, it's a public school. I agree with you and would prefer to spend the minimum (it's OzB after all!). However, we did promise to get him something capable of playing the the games I mentioned so that he can play with his friends.

  • I bagged a 2 year old i7 ACER 8gb 256gb SSD laptop off market place for $130.

    if my kid drops/breaks it then I'm not going to lose much sleep over $130. but upto $1500 laptop!!

    excellent machine.

    • A secondhand Acer? Are you sure that it's going to hold up?

      • +1

        being going fine 8 months so far.

  • +1

    Lenovo have been our go-to brand and their base model 13" Yoga laptop has survived relatively well for the past 3 years for my daughter. Just a chunk off the corner from when some kid knocked it off the desk. She's going into high school this year and is happily taking it - we've decided to wait until it either dies or she finds she needs something more in high school before buying a new one. They have a good range of options in the price-range you've mentioned and their website is great for filtering to specific specs.

    Given some of the horror stories I've read from enraged parents on school Facebook groups I personally stick to the $500-600 mark and have made sure my home insurance covers the laptop. It never seems to be the kid who owns the laptop that breaks it and there never appears to be any recourse.

    Just some general information for anyone who has a kid with a laptop or expensive instrument at school - if it's not included by default, a lot of home insurance policies have optional add-on cover for accidental damage on items up to a specified amount. You can also get stand-alone policies just for these items. I think the cost of these are quite low for the peace of mind they provide.

  • As others have said, you don't really need to spend ~$1500 on a laptop, especially for a kid entering Yr 7. Most Dell, HPs and Acers at around the $600-$900 price range will suit most needs and be able to run games just fine.

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