Need a new laptop? Here’s how much it costs in these countries

where to buy laptop
Need a new laptop? Let's compare the prices of two student laptops: MacBook Air and Acer Chromebook 311 in the UK, US, Canada, India, and China. Source: Kena Betancur/Getty Images North America/Getty Images/AFP

When studying abroad, a good laptop can make all the difference. They help ease your working process at uni — making it simple for you to complete your assignments, study for exams, and more.

Knowing where to buy laptops for cheap, though, can be tricky for international students. According to a 2019 survey commissioned by Jamf, more than half (56%) of students in higher education prefer a PC due to its low price. 

Mac devices — including Apple MacBooks — are not only known for their premium features but high price tag as well. If the high cost of a Mac were not a consideration, 51% of students would prefer to use one. 

Are you curious to know whether it is cheaper to buy a laptop in a specific country? Let’s compare the price of a MacBook Air and Acer Chromebook Spin 311 in the UK, US, Canada, India, and China. 

Before that, let’s take a look at why these two models are consider the ideal laptop for students: 

where to buy laptop

With a light frame and easy-to-navigate system, the MacBook Air remains one of Apple’s top entry-level laptops for students. Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/Getty Images/AFP

Best student laptops for a smooth learning experience

MacBook Air

If you can afford to splurge a little, go for the best student laptop

With a light frame and easy-to-navigate system, the MacBook Air remains one of Apple’s top entry-level laptops. More than that, it has been proven to run intensive tasks without any major setbacks. 

It also has a long battery life — up to 18 hours, according to CNET — and silent running makes the MacBook Air an ideal laptop for an all-rounded student experience. 

Acer Chromebook Spin 311

For some of you, the MacBook Air is an expensive option. 

If you are on a budget, consider the Acer Chromebook Spin 311. What stands out is its versatility. It has a good battery life, solid usability, and many ports. This is perfect if you find yourself doing a lot of presentations. 

On top of this, it has a touchscreen display — giving it a tablet feel that distinguishes it from other laptops. 

The only drawbacks, according to TechRadar, are that the laptop has lesser battery life and it suffers from low screen brightness. 

where to buy laptop

It is cheaper for international students to buy a MacBook Air in the US. Source: Angela Weiss/AFP

Where to buy laptops:  Are they cheaper in the US, UK, or Canada?

We have checked the prices of both laptops on the Apple and Acer’s website. Let’s compare the prices to US dollars so you can the difference. We are using the exchange rate at the time of writing this article.


A MacBook Air with an MI chip costs US$999.

You can buy an Acer Chromebook Spin 311 on Amazon for US$192.88. Acer sells their products online on Amazon.


A MacBook Air with an MI chip costs 999 pounds (approximately US$1,231.57). This includes a value-add tax of 167 pounds.

An Acer Chromebook Spin 311 costs 299.99 pounds (approximately US$369.83).


A MacBook Air with an MI chip costs 1,299 Canadian dollars (approximately US$971.01).

At the time of writing, there are no stocks for the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 in Acer’s online Canada’s store. However, you can buy it on Amazon for CA$239.88 (approximately US$179.31).


A MacBook Air with an MI chip costs 99,900 Indian rupees (approximately US$1,227.30).

An Acer Chromebook Spin 311 costs 18,990 rupees (approximately US$233.29).


A MacBook Air with an MI chip costs 7,999 renminbi (approximately US$1,183.06).

At the time of writing, there is no information on how an Acer Chromebook Spin 311 costs in China.

where to buy laptop

Remember to check if you are eligible for a student discount when buying your laptop. Source: Aaron Tam/AFP

What else to look out for when buying a laptop

If you buy your devices overseas, you will not be able to use your warranty when you return to your home country. 

You might also be eligible for a VAT refund if you bought anything in the UK within the last three months.

You would have to confirm that you won’t enter the UK or European Union for the next 12 months on student visas, short-term visas, and tourist visas.

There is also a price difference if you don’t buy your laptop from the official store. What’s more, you will lose out on certain benefits. For example, if you did not buy an Apple product from an Apple store, you are not eligible for an Apple Care package. 

Lastly, Apple offers student discounts of up to 15% on its iPads and Macs, allowing you to save big money potentially. Your eligibility for a discount depends on whether UNiDAYS — the platform Apple uses to verify students — recognises your institution.