Apple MacBook Air vs Dell Inspiron vs Packard Bell

Best laptops for back to school

Image 1 of 6 Apple MacBook Air 11 inch
Apple MacBook Air (11-inch)
Image 2 of 6 Samsung RV511 S01UK
Samsung RV511-S01UK
Image 3 of 6 MSI CR640 020UK
MSI CR640-020UK
Image 4 of 6 Dell Inspiron 15r N5110
Dell Inspiron 15r N5110
Image 5 of 6 Packard Bell NS44
Packard Bell NS44
Image 6 of 6 Toshiba Satellite L755 13F
Toshiba Satellite L755-13F

Whether you're a cash-strapped college student or starting your degree, we've got your perfect portable right here.

With tuition fees rising faster than the average American’s blood pressure, students are more hard-off than ever before. Thankfully the cost of laptops is continually dropping, and these days you can pick up a portable pal for surprisingly little. You don’t have to resort to a chunky beast that can barely load a spreadsheet either. With the laptops we’ve gathered here, you can stream HD video, play games, edit your photos and movies - and of course belt out an essay at three in the morning.

As well as some great performers, we’ve picked out a couple of highly portable machines that are perfect for carrying to lectures. We’ve even highlighted some exclusive deals for students, so you don’t have to break into the beer fund for your new laptop.

Packard Bell NS44
Price: £399
Love: A highly usable, surprisingly powerful compact laptop with a bright and vibrant screen
Hate: No dedicated graphics means we can’t run our favourite shooters in high-res
Packard Bell NS44 review I Link: Packard Bell

Samsung RV511-S01UK
Price: £512
Love: A sturdy laptop that’s comfortable to use and features basic dedicated graphics
Hate: We weren’t exactly blown away by the design or the rather dim screen, while battery life is merely average
Samsung RV511-S01UK review I Link: Samsung

Apple MacBook Air (11-inch)
Price: £814
Love: Everything from the ridiculously slender body to the crisp and colourful screen just oozes beauty
Hate: Rather pricey, but at least Apple offers that student discount
Apple MacBook Air (11-inch) review I Link: Apple

Dell Inspiron 15r N5110
Price: £579
Love: Tons of power, but also decent battery life thanks to Optimus technology
Hate: Spongy typing action, due to flex in the centre of the keyboard
Dell Inspiron 15r N5110 review I Link: Dell

Toshiba Satellite L755-13F
Price: £580
Love: The colourful display is a great way to enjoy HD movies on the go
Hate: No dedicated graphics limits the multimedia potential
Toshiba Satellite L755-13F review I Link: Toshiba

MSI CR640-020UK
Price: £490
Love: Photos and films are beautifully reproduced by the colourful screen
Hate: No dedicated graphics means gamers are limited to older titles
MSI CR640-020UK review I Link: MSI