The 10 Best Laptops for Teachers
|Preview||Title||Display||RAM / Storage||Operating System||Battery Life||Weight||More Info|
|Lenovo Yoga 730 2-in1 Convertible||15.6''||8GB / 256GB||Windows 10||8 hours||2.06 lbs||Buy Now|
|Top||Microsoft Surface Pro 6||12.3''||16GB / 512GB SSD||Windows 10||13.5 hours||1.7 lbs||Buy Now|
|HP Spectre x360||15.6''||16GB / 512GB||Windows 10||10 hours||4.78 lbs||Buy Now|
|ASUS Vivobook 17||17.3''||12GB / 512GB||Windows 10||5 hours||5.07 lbs||Buy Now|
Only the Top 4 Laptops are displayed here – check out our entire list for all the others!
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For the last few years, classes conducted through the digital medium have been on the rise. With the coronavirus pandemic forcing a shutdown of schools in most countries around the world, virtual education has suddenly become a necessity.
Even in traditional classes, the role of computers cannot be denied. Be it planning lessons or creating informative presentations, teachers need computers just as much as any other professional.
And unlike office workers who can rely upon the desktop computers outfitted in their workplace, teachers need laptops of their own to meet their needs.
But which laptop should you buy? The market is saturated with a wealth of options, ranging from the high-performance devices for hardcore gamers to the minimalistic models designed for casual users and everything in between.
The right laptop for a teacher needs a balance between affordability and performance, with enough specs to power through any application you might use it for.
So here are the 10 best laptops for teachers.
Best Overall: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Usually recommended to budding artists, the defining feature of this 2-in-1 laptop is the responsive Surface pen. Capable of everything between doodling to taking notes, the pen allows you to use this laptop as your personal notepad.
The benefit? Your notes are digitized, and with the right software, can be turned into text documents. It also helps in things like grading assignments or annotating documents, saving you from a long cycle of repeated scans and printouts to achieve the same thing.
Apart from this novelty, the Surface Pro is a laptop with top-end features. With a whopping 16GB of RAM meant to give a smooth experience for image editing and painting, your computer is going to work like a charm on any other application as well.
The processor too is nothing to scoff at. Most models in this category sport an Intel Core i5 at most, not the i7 like the Surface Pro.
Not only does this mean a greater processing power for everyday tasks, but also better-integrated graphics that help in playing videos.
While the screen size is a bit on the smaller side, the higher resolution (2736 x 1824 pixels) and the crispness of the display more than make up for it. It also makes the device quite portable, as you can just unhook the keyboard and slip it into a handbag when not in use.
The only drawback is that the laptop is rather expensive. But when cost is no bar, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is definitely the best laptop a teacher can buy.
And if you are an art teacher looking for a great drawing laptop, then check out or Best Laptops for Drawing review!
● Intel Core i7 8th Gen Processor
● Intel UHD 620 Graphics
● 12.3” (2736 x 1824) IPS Display
Best Non-Windows: Apple MacBook Pro
The Apple Macbook Pro competes with the Microsoft Surface Pro for the top spot. The only reason we have ranked this lower is the utility of the Surface pen and the fact that Windows generally has a wider selection of compatible software.
The most important reason to choose the Apple Macbook Pro over any other option has to be the keyboard.
Apple is known for its impeccable design, and it shows in the layout of the keyboard. Unlike in most other laptops of this size, the keyboard of the Macbook Pro is clutter-free and well-spaced out.
For a teacher expecting to spend hours typing on their laptop, the Macbook Pro is a godsend.
The other reason is the display. Like the Microsoft Surface Pro, the Macbook is also armed with a vivid high-resolution display of 2560 x 1600 pixels, which is way more than most other laptops in this category.
Taken together with the natural richness of the Apple UI, applications on the Macbook Pro look really good.
On the technical front too, the laptop scores well. 8GB of DDR4 RAM is sufficient for multitasking, and the 8th Gen Intel i5 processor is fast enough for smooth sailing through all common applications.
The only area where it falters is graphics; Apple is hardly the computing system of choice for gaming or video editing. For a teacher, however, the Macbook Pro is the perfect partner.
So if you can afford it, go for this Apple laptop without any reservations.
● Intel Core i5 Processor
● Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
● 13.3” (2560 x 1600) IPS Display
Best Convertible: Lenovo Yoga 730 2-in-1
The Lenovo Yoga series earns its name from its ability to contort to any kind of configuration. This 360-degree freedom of movement might seem like a small thing, but when you actually use the laptop in real-life situations, it turns out to be a lifesaver.
From checking mail on the bus to setting up a presentation in class, this Lenovo product can adapt to any scenario, taking the form of a tablet or a laptop as the situation demands.
The Lenovo Yoga 730 is not the best model in the lineup. It is beaten by the Lenovo Yoga 900 in almost every aspect. Why then have we chosen the 730 over 900?
Simple. It is more cost-efficient.
When cost is no bar, the Yoga 900 is obviously better. But for a teacher, the additional hardware capability might not be that useful.
With an Intel i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, the convertible can perform most computing tasks smoothly.
The display is quite large as well, with a moderate battery backup of about 8 hours. Thus, if you are looking for a flexible 2-in-1 laptop, the Lenovo Yoga 730 gives the best bang for the buck.
● Intel i5-8250U Processor
● Intel UHD 620 Graphics
● 15.6” (1920 x 1080) IPS Touchscreen Display
Best AMD: ASUS VivoBook 17
It is no secret that most laptops on the market are based on Intel processors. But contrary to what you might think, this is not because they are always better.
Especially in the low budget segment, where AMD processors are generally considered better. In fact, since the arrival of the Ryzen series of chips, AMD is wresting away Intel’s market dominance thanks to a superior integrated graphics capability at an improved cost factor.
The Asus Vivobook 17 is one of the few laptops that sport a Ryzen processor. The Ryzen 7 3700U is comparable to the Intel i5 processor, with the integrated Vega 10 graphics giving a much better performance.
But the most visible feature of this laptop is its screen size; at 17 inches, the Asus Vivobook 17 is one of the larger laptops out there.
And this size upgrade does not come at the cost of visual quality either. While the panel is not IPS, it boasts of a full HD resolution, giving you a very rich widescreen experience.
Backing up the cinematic screen is 12GB of RAM and 512GB of high-speed PCIe SSD storage, capable of running even the most strenuous applications with ease.
That said, the laptop is not without its drawbacks. Due to the larger screen and powerful hardware, the battery life is depleted quite quickly, giving you just 5 hours of backup.
Also, the larger size of the laptop makes it quite heavy and unwieldy, drastically reducing its mobility.
Thus if you are looking for a portable device to use throughout the day, then this laptop is not for you. But if your use case is for a high-performing computer that you use at school and your home, then the Asus Vivobook 17 is just the thing for you.
● AMD Ryzen 7 3700U Processor
● AMD Radeon RX Vega 10 Graphics
● 17.3” (1920 x 1080) HD Display
Best Premium: HP Spectre x360
If you just want the best Intel-powered, Windows-based laptop for teachers out there without any ‘special’ features, then this laptop is for you.
The HP Spectre x360 is an excellent laptop with above-average specs. It is one of the few laptops to boast the latest Intel 10th Gen processors, along with the new Iris Plus integrated graphics.
Complemented by the substantial RAM capacity (16GB), the laptop performs exceptionally well on all kinds of tasks, be it watching a video or creating a presentation.
The SSD storage gives blazing fast speeds, along with more than sufficient storage for a teacher. On top of that, the extremely high-resolution IPS display makes working on this laptop for long periods easy on your eyes.
The only problem is the battery life; the processor and the high-quality display tend to drain the battery power very quickly, giving you no more than 5 hours of backup.
This means that you should only consider buying this laptop if you intend to use it in places with a power supply; no typing documents in parks and subway rides.
● 10th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor
● NVIDIA GeForce MX250 Graphics
● 15.6” (3840 x 2160) IPS Touchscreen Display
Best Budget: Acer Aspire 5 Slim
Let’s face it. You are a teacher, not a Silicon Valley engineer. You don’t need fancy features or powerful specs; you are only looking for the cheapest laptop that can get the job done.
Well, you are in luck.
The Acer Aspire 5 Slim is the most budget-friendly laptop of our list. With the minimum features needed to support common applications, this laptop can be a good choice if you are strapped for cash at the moment.
And do not think that a cheaper price means poor performance. Because of its cost-efficient AMD Ryzen 3 processor, the Aspire E5 punches above its weight class, smoothly running common applications without any glitches or hangups.
While 4GB RAM is on the lower end of the spectrum, unless you try to multitask a lot (such as opening a dozen tabs in Google Chrome), you should be fine.
Similarly, the 128GB SSD, while not offering a lot of storage, works well if you are diligent about cleaning up your drive every now and then.
You will also be pleased to know that Acer has not skimped on the display; the screen is 15 inches of a full HD IPS panel, which gives amazing clarity, especially at this price range.
Battery life, however, has been sacrificed to save costs and gives only 7 hours of backup. Don’t expect this laptop to last you through a workday without having to recharge.
Also, the laptop comes with Windows 10 in S mode, limiting apps to only the Windows store.
While this does help in a smoother functioning with 4GB of RAM, you might want to switch to the standard version if you plan to use third-party applications.
● AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Processor
● AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics
● 15.6” (1920 x 1080) IPS Display
Best Chromebook: Google Pixelbook Go
Chromebooks have emerged as the best selling laptop category in recent years. This is hardly surprising considering the combination of decent performance, reasonable prices, and stellar battery life boasted of by most Chromebooks.
From Acer to Asus, Samsung to Lenovo, every manufacturer has come up with their own Chromebook models. Yet Google’s own offering, the Pixelbook Go, is undoubtedly the best Chromebook on offer.
The Google Pixelbook Go, like most Chromebooks, is ideal for students as well as teachers. Not only is the laptop rather easy to use, but the nature of the ChromeOS makes it very easy to collaborate with others.
As a teacher, a large part of your work with the laptop consists of typing long documents or taking virtual classes. The Pixelbook Go is armed with a 1080p webcam, ensuring impeccable picture quality for your students, and an amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard that is very comfortable to use, not to mention quiet.
Also, the Pixelbook probably has the best battery life we have seen so far, lasting 12 hours on a single charge. Other technical specs are quite decent too, with 8GB of RAM and an Intel Core m3 processor.
The only downside is that it is a Chromebook. The ChromeOS is severely limited in the applications it can run, which can be a big headache if you are already used to another OS.
But if you are looking for a Chromebook, it doesn’t get any better than the Google Pixelbook Go.
● Intel Core m3 Processor
● Intel UHD Graphics
● 13.3” (1920 x 1080) IPS Display
Best Rugged: ASUS Chromebook C202
If you are one of those people who can’t go five metres without bumping into something – or somebody – then this laptop is for you.
Encased in a plastic guard with reinforced rubber grips, the ASUS Chromebook C202 can survive most falls and bumps, without even cracking the screen.
It is waterproof as well (to a limit) protecting the keyboard when you spill your morning latte all over it. Just don’t make a habit of it.
But apart from this rugged design, there is not too much to write home about. With an entry level Intel Celeron processor and just 4GB of RAM, the hardware is admittedly low end.
The only reason these specs work smoothly is because of it being a Chromebook.
The stoarge capacity is so small (32GB) that you will need an external hard drive to store anything more than the core applications and a few documents.
On a more positive note, the display is quite good, with HD resolution and anti glare technology that helps your eyes soldier through all those late night research sessions. The battery life is decent as well, easily carrying you through a whole school day.
● Intel Celeron N3060 Processor
● Intel HD 400 Graphics
● 11.6” (1366 x 768) Anti-Glare HD Display
Best Graphics: Acer Predator Helios 300
What is a gaming laptop doing here? We were talking about laptops for teachers, right?
The thing is, gaming is not the only thing a graphics card is good for. Any applications that use 3D graphics need a strong graphics performance to run.
That is why teachers in disciplines like engineering and architecture need laptops that are a bit more powerful than your usual computer. If you teach this major, you may also want to check out our list for computer science students, as a lot of the needs are similar.
Acer Predator Helios 300 is one of the more reasonably priced gaming laptops out there. Powered by an Intel Core i7 processor and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 graphics card (with 6GB of dedicated graphics memory), the laptop can deal with the most complex 3D applications that you can throw at it.
For common tasks, the 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage are more than enough, allowing you to multitask smoothly.
As is standard in high-end gaming computers, the Full HD display has a refresh rate of 144Hz (against a default of 60Hz), which is a surprise at this price point. While not particularly pertinent to teaching, the more responsive screen is definitely a treat for the eyes.
The only things holding this laptop back from a much better overall position are the expense and the poor battery life. Thanks to the graphics card, not only is this laptop more expensive than other models with the same RAM and processor, but also drains the battery much faster.
Only get it if you have to deal a lot with 3D modelling applications (or programs like AutoCAD in which case check out our list of the best laptops for AutoCAD), or just love gaming in general. If you are indeed looking for more options for gaming laptops, check out our list of Gaming Laptops under $500.
● 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core Processor
● NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti Graphics
● 15.6” (1920 x 1080) IPS Display
Best Battery: LG Gram i7 Touchscreen
There are two ways of boosting the battery life of a laptop: reducing the power consumption (and hence the performance) of the components, or using a more powerful battery instead.
Chromebooks use the first method, sacrificing technical advantages and software compatibility to obtain a good battery backup. The LG Gram laptop, on the other hand, goes for the latter.
This laptop features a 60 Wh four-cell lithium-ion battery, giving it a backup of up to 14.5 hours, which is higher than most laptops on the market.
And the laptops which might come close to this mark are left behind by its specs; an Intel i7 processor and 8GB of RAM, along with Windows 10 instead of the handicapped ChromeOS.
The screen size is quite large too, with 14 inches of full HD IPS display. Taken together with its ergonomic backlit keyboard, working on this laptop is a wonderful experience.
The only drawback is its expense. Its specs, while better than most Chromebooks, do not really justify the increased price. The rather plain look of the laptop does not help either.
Still, if you really need that extra battery life, then the LG Gram touchscreen laptop might be a good buy for you.
● Intel Core i7 Processor
● Intel HD 620 Graphics
● 14” (1920 x 1080) Touchscreen Display
Minimum Requirements for a Laptop for Teachers
Before you start shopping for any kind of computing device, you should first ask yourself this question: What am I going to use my laptop for?
Because depending on your answer, the kind of laptop you need is going to differ greatly. For example, someone who intends to edit videos on their laptop needs a machine with a very high RAM capacity and a very fast processor, preferably with a dedicated graphics card.
On the other hand, a student who just wants to watch the occasional movie requires much simpler hardware.
So what are the tasks a teacher would use their laptop for?
Surprisingly enough, a large part of teaching consists of learning new things. Teachers often spend hours (if not days) researching for their lectures, which of course involves crawling the internet for information.
You would think that this is the lightest possible activity you can perform on a computer, right? Wrong.
Modern web browsers like Google Chrome are extreme resource hogs, taking up gigabytes of memory. This is partly due to the multimedia nature of the web, and partly due to our browsing habits – having a dozen tabs open at the same time isn’t exactly easy on the computer.
As a result, it is recommended to have at least 8GB of memory. To be clear, you can surf the web on 4GB, it just isn’t going to be a very smooth experience.
As a teacher, the most common activity you would probably use your laptop for is working with documents. Whether it is creating assignments or crafting test papers, your laptop is going to be your trusty workstation.
What does this mean you should look for?
A good keyboard, for one. While you can (and probably should) buy a separate keyboard for heavy typing, you will find yourself defaulting to the built-in keyboard most of the time.
Some laptops have a very cramped keyboard layout, which can make typing long documents quite difficult.
Apart from an expansive keyboard, you do not need much in terms of hardware. A bigger screen is obviously easier on the eyes, but almost any processor or RAM will get the job done.
GIVING VIDEO LECTURES
If you are planning to use Zoom to conduct classes online, your laptop needs to be a little better. Basically, we are looking for a good quality HD display combined with a superior web-cam to keep the virtual interactions legible.
Also, make sure that your laptop has an ethernet port for hooking up to the broadband; you don’t want to end up being limited to just Wifi and suffer from a choppy connection.
On the audio side, most laptops come with built-in microphones, though the sound quality leaves much to be desired. Laptop speakers tend to sound rather tinny, so you should consider getting separate speakers (or a good headphone) if you intend to make Zoom calls a regular thing.
IS BATTERY BACKUP IMPORTANT?
You will find that laptops vary a lot on the amount of battery backup they provide. But how much backup do you really need?
That depends. If you like to use your laptop in the park or while traveling, you will rely on the battery to keep your laptop running. Pick a model with more than 10 hours of battery life in this scenario.
But if you mostly find yourself using your laptop in places with handy power outlets (your home, the school staff room, a coffee shop) then you can safely ignore this spec in favor of a lower price or other features that are more important to you.
HOW MUCH STORAGE DO YOU NEED?
Storage is always a tricky question. On one hand, you can never really have enough storage. On the other hand, unless you are doing something that really requires a lot of storage, all that extra space only fills up with clutter.
As a teacher, your laptop is going to be used mostly to hold documents and the occasional piece of software. Unless you want to build an offline library of educational videos, there is no real need for very large storage capacity.
What you want is to prioritize speed. Instead of choosing a laptop with a traditional HDD with a terabyte of storage, it is better to go with a 250GB SSD that operates many times faster than that.
WHAT ABOUT THE CPU?
Funnily enough, the core of any computer – the CPU – is the one thing you do not have to worry about. Unless you are going to game on your laptop, any recent processor can do the job.
That said, having a processor with decent integrated graphics can help in video playback. For this, the best processors are the Ryzen 3 processor from AMD or the Core i3 (i5 if you can get it) from Intel.
Paired with 8GB of memory, the processor can handle most day-to-day computing tasks with ease.
In this increasingly digital world, teachers need a good laptop just as much as any other professional. Perhaps even more, considering the advantages of using technological aids to complement teaching.
But not all teachers have the same needs. The best laptop for one person might not be a good fit for another.
This is why our list covers a diverse set of laptops, from rugged Chromebooks for accident prone individuals to ultraportable laptops for those always on the move. Whether you are an art teacher or an engineering instructor, we have an option that is made just for you.
Or if you don’t have any particular requirements, you can narrow down on your choice based on your budget.
And if all this consideration sounds too much to you, just pick any one from the list. All ten laptops we have covered are best in their own niches, and you cannot really go wrong with any of them.
Are you a teacher using a laptop other than the ones mentioned here on our list? If so, we’d love to hear from you!
Happy Laptop Shopping!