*always* business class laptops for university students. Avoid that consumer stuff (sold at big box retailers) like the plague. Dell Latitude, or Lenovo Thinkpad T480/490 is what I'd be looking at. If I was buying right now, I'd personally get a Dell E7470, an E-Dock (with the *blue* USB ports), and an external 4K display like the Dell U2718Q. Should be able to pick up the combo for USD$1000 or less if you shop through eBay or the refurbers (buy the display brand new, of course!). The dock will save the ports on the laptop. Throw in a 4G LTE card like a Sierra Wireless EM7355, and the laptop can be on a cell data plan for working "on the go". Should cost $40-$50 on eBay. As the others indicated, make sure you get a 1080p IPS screen. Avoid the Nvidia or ATI accelerators (they're not needed) -- just use the Intel embedded.