If you're primarily after an all-rounder for play as well as work, a 'desktop replacement' like the Dell XPS 17 would be a good choice. Dell's site allows you to configure this 17.3in laptop to your heart's content (and more importantly, to your budget). You don't need to buy more than you need, and for pure productivity the cheapest configuration should more than suffice. That aside you'll get a good-looking machine that's just about portable for taking into lectures, but also with a large enough screen that it can be used for watching movies and, with the optional Full HD resolution, will provide plenty of desktop real estate. Obviously though, due to its size and weight this is not the ideal choice for secondary school or students who have far to go.
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