I'm looking for a laptop for light school work (light web browsing up to 20 tabs, word processing, rare photoshop, etc)

It should have

  • At least 8 GB of RAM, upgradable if possible
  • At least 1 TB of storage, 64 GB if SSD (edit: 128 GB SSD is preferable to either)
  • At least 6 hours of battery life while web browsing (edit: brightness should be visible outside without direct sunlight), with 8 hours being preferable
  • 802.11n WiFi, either 2.4 GHz or both 2.4 and 5 GHz

Nice to haves are

  • Dual storage (SSD + HDD)
  • Preinstalled OS (Windows or Linux) with no Secure Boot
  • An ODD
  • Ethernet port
  • GT3 graphics (Intel Iris/Intel Iris Pro)
  • Screen >15" and full HD (1080p) resolution
  • Should be portable

The newer the CPU is, the better. If it is not possible to find such a laptop within the budget I am willing to extend it up to 1400 AUD.

  • 64GB? That's not a lot, especially if you're looking for a 1TB drive if not SSD.
    – ArtOfCode
    Nov 23, 2015 at 8:49
  • 1
    @ArtOfCode If there's a SSD, I'm willing to use the school provided OneDrive space, and I'll probably get a external HD as well. I can probably squeeze a single OS install with some crucial apps. Don't need office, so I'd probably use about 20 GB for programs, max. 128 GB is better though. With the HDD, I'd forget all that.
    – timuzhti
    Nov 23, 2015 at 10:24

1 Answer 1


Dell Inspiron 15 5000

Price: 1200 AUD w/o discounts (-)

Score: 85.7% (B+)1

  • 8GB RAM +
  • 1TB 5400RPM HDD +
  • i7 5500U ++
  • Geforce 920M 4GB DDR3 +
  • Screen is 15.6" +
  • Screen is 768p -
  • 802.11ac WiFi ++
  • 100 Mbps RJ45 Ethernet Port +
  • "7 hours of battery life" -Dell +
  • 0.94 inches thick (IMO, that's portable) +
  • Disk Drive +

1 Score is calculated based on (number of pluses ÷ number of pluses & minuses combined)

  • Would the i7 and dedicated graphics be worth the extra $200? I won't exactly be doing anything too intensive, and it seems to me that the cheaper $999 model might have a (slightly) better battery life. It's not like I'd be playing any games / rendering 3D projects with reasonable performance with either card, so I'm wondering if the cheaper model will suffice for my purposes, and leave room for the purchase of an SSD for upgrades later on?
    – timuzhti
    Nov 28, 2015 at 8:06
  • @Alpha3031 Yea, the $999 might be better for you then. If you used Photoshop, or any type of video editing or 3D rendering program regularly though, the extra $200 for the i7 and dGPU would be worth it, definitely.
    – Rubydesic
    Nov 29, 2015 at 1:07
  • Try to take a laptop with an SSD. If it's too expensive, make sure at least the HDD is easily replaceable so you can change it in the near future. Having a 5.400RPM HDD really cripples the performance, and the cost of SSD's has dropped so much that it's almost a mandatory upgrade.
    – Leo Lozes
    Dec 2, 2015 at 10:22
  • 1
    @LeoLozes First of all - this was written a few months ago. Second of all - he asked for a laptop with a 5400rpm HDD. If OP asks for a laptop with a 5400rpm HDD or better, I give him what he asks, not what I think is good for him.
    – Rubydesic
    Jan 9, 2016 at 16:36

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