For many students, a used laptop reloaded with Ubuntu is good enough. UberStudent, an Ubuntu installation loaded with student-friendly tools and customisations, is a smart pick for getting your actual school work done.
UberStudent looks a lot like Ubuntu in form and function, but you'll see the differences as you poke around. Firefox has a look that's customised for reading the web and grabbing notes from it and also contains a host of bookmarks for textbooks, research and other academic matters. The reference-tracking note app Zotero is included, as are text editing, mind mapping and presentation tools beyond what a standard Ubuntu disk offers. All in all, it looks like a handy disk, especially for those trying to use their computer for actual work and save the fun stuff for the Xbox and smart phone.
UberStudent is a free download and should run on most Intel-based hardware.