Originally Posted by Latinandgreek
While it is true that students are perpetually cash-strapped, a laptop is something that most of them will use daily and will often take with them to the library, classes, trips home, etc., so portability and battery life are often a priority. It is also something that isn't purchased very often (by students at least), so it stands to reason that they would want something that would last through their time at university, and thus they may want something with a bit beefier specs. I personally don't have a problem with spending more than the average laptop costs when purchasing one, seeing as I use it several hours a day.
My personal opinion is that it is better to buy a mid-range laptop now, and change it in 2-3 years, than spend twice now for a top of the range one, which would be obsolete anyway in 2 years. For a student, a mid-range would most certainly do; after all, searching the web and writing on a text editor doesn't need that much horse power. Of course, there will be exceptions for some specific students with subjects that require heavy computing.