Quick guide for laptop purchase

Would you like to buy a laptop for your studies and are you still looking for information? Here are some tips on which laptops to choose and what to avoid.

The first tip, regardless of all other considerations, is this: the device should have at least 8 GB of RAM. Currently, most laptops already meet this need. AMD or Intel doesn’t matter at the moment. Next, you should ask yourself if you would like to do one or more of the following on the device: play games, do AI video/photo editing? Then a dedicated graphics card should be installed in the notebook. NVIDIA is particularly suitable due to better software support for AI and also partly for photo editing. For (more complex) programming, you should plan for a more powerful processor and more RAM (16+GB).

On the requirements: Do you want a versatile laptop, even to play computer games, or do you only require one that covers activities regarding your studies?

For versatile usage: Most general consumer oriented devices can be of interest (see list below), these are generally cheaper, but do not have particularly long support (e.g., firmware updates). They are also partly processed, a little worse than business models.

For studying only: Here we would rather recommend the business models, if affordable (see lists below). These are geared more towards business applications, e.g., with chip card readers etc. and receive firmware updates for much longer. The manufacturers also offer different ‘flavours’ here, for example ThinkPad T-Series are very sturdily built laptops, while the P-Series contains more high-performance laptops. If you only do “office” work, a laptop without a dedicated graphics unit as above is sufficient for you.


Last question: Windows, Linux, macOS, or something else?

Windows should be supported by almost all devices without any problems. Unfortunately, for Linux, you have to check whether the specific hardware of the devices will be supported. Fingerprint sensors or WLAN chipsets in particular can be affected. More info here (external link) and a list of hardware and how well it is supported here (external link). For macOS, you look for a price-matching MacBook.

List of general consumer oriented laptop series:

  • Lenovo: Yoga, Ideapad, Legion
  • Dell: Inspiron, XPS, Alienware
  • HP: ENVY, Pavillon, Laptop (heißen tatsächlich wörtlich so)
  • Acer: Duro, Swift, Spin


List of business model laptop series:

  • Lenovo: X, Thinkpad
  • Dell: Latitude, Precision
  • HP: Z, Elite, Pro, Essential
  • Acer: TravelMate, Enduro, Swift, Spin, Aspire