In today’s electronics economy, there are tons of different options when it comes to laptops for teachers. Technology has become a critical part of the educational process and teachers need to have the best resources if they are going to deliver the best learning experience. Whether you are a teacher shopping for yourself or an administrator considering the best laptop for teachers in your school, you’ll find no shortage of options.
Choosing the right laptop, of course, comes down to things like features and specifications. Screen size is more of a preferential feature, but technical specs need to stand up to the work that teachers will be doing on the laptops.
It’s suggested that teachers have laptops with a minimum of:
- 4GB RAM
- Intel Core i3 or similar/better processor
- 256GB storage in an SSD (solid-state drive)
It’s also important to update to the latest and most effective operating system on both Windows and Mac devices and to consider the graphics that you need. As an educator, built-in or integrated graphics are usually sufficient. If you teach design or other computer-related courses, you may want to choose upgraded graphics for better presentations.
In this guide, we’ll help you look over the various laptop features of the leading models on the market today so that you can find the best laptops for your teaching needs.
Best Laptops for Teachers: Important Features
A quality laptop doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot of money. There are several affordable options out there today that will deliver all the tools and tech that you need without breaking the bank. Therefore, while you should keep your budget in mind, you shouldn’t focus too much on cost because other features need your attention.
We mentioned choosing an SSD (solid-state drive) instead of a traditional hard disk drive (HDD). While SSDs are typically smaller, they are more responsive and efficient. Plus, there are plenty of ways that teachers can save data to the Cloud to reduce the amount of local storage space that is needed.
Battery life is a feature that many people look at and we’ll cover that in its own section below. If you aren’t familiar with computer specifications, RAM refers to the memory that you have available. If you want a faster machine or a more responsive laptop, more RAM is always better.
What About Processors?
Another question people have when buying a new laptop for teachers is what kind of processor is best. The two main manufacturers are Intel and AMD, and while computer geeks will be able to tell you exactly which processor is best for which types of use, this isn’t as important to teachers. What matters is the actual speed of the processor, and ensuring that it can live up to the demands of the particular user.
You will see when you’re shopping that one HP laptop might have one type of processor, but another model will have a different chipset, for example. That’s where you need to look at the intended use of the laptop first because that will tell you the purpose of the processor that is used and help you better understand which will work for your needs.
Ultimately, you want to look at all the specs to find a laptop that offers:
- Solid performance
- Storage capacity to suit your needs
- Sturdy laptop design
- High definition storage
- HD webcam
You will need to ask yourself what the perfect laptop is for you. Is it a budget laptop with essential features? Perhaps you need a multi-purpose laptop that makes online teaching easier and HD resolution so that your video classes are delivered without interruption or buffering. Whatever you need, you can guarantee that you will find something at a reasonable price so that you don’t break the bank.
Best Laptop for Battery Life
For teachers who like to be free to roam, a laptop with premium battery life could be at the top of the list of priorities. Fortunately, advances in technology have created a market full of laptops with impressive battery life options. Some of the leading brands in the long battery life department include:
Many of the laptops available today come with up to ten hours of battery life or more, making the best battery life a lot more impressive than laptops of decades past. Teachers will love how long they can stay disconnected and carry out all of their lessons, grading, and other computer work on models from these brands.
Of course, it’s important to check the specs of the laptop that you are considering to ensure that it offers the best battery life for your needs. You should be able to find a reliable laptop at an affordable price that offers long battery life, no matter what you have in mind.
Apple Macbook Air: The Best Laptop for Teachers on a Budget
Apple has some of the best laptop options available today, but some people feel they are too cost-prohibitive for the teacher who is on a budget. That’s not the case with the MacBook Air. This has always been and continues to be, one of the most budget-friendly laptops for anyone, including teachers and educational professionals. Apple offers reliable performance and processing power with great battery life, essentially providing everything that you need.
Which MacBook Air model should you choose, though? That’s again going to come down to a matter of preference. Don’t rule out buying an older model that delivers all the features and performance that you need. Apple makes devices that are designed to last, so even if you can’t afford the latest MacBook Air, you can still find one to help streamline your teaching tasks and needs.
The Best Laptops for Teachers: The Full List
Now that we’ve discussed all the different features and elements in choosing a new computer, you’ll be more prepared to decide. In the list below, you’ll see some of the best-rated laptops for teachers available, from all different manufacturers.
|2022 Apple MacBook Pro Laptop with M2 chip: 13-inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Touch Bar, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera. Works with iPhone and iPad; Space Gray||Buy on Amazon|
|HP Spectre x360 Luxury 14T,13.5" 3:2 WUXGA+ Touch,Intel i7-1165G7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, Bang&Olufsen Quad Speakers, Fingerprint, HP Tilt Pen, Nightfall Black, Win 10 Pro, 64GB TechWarehouse Flash Drive||Buy on Amazon|
|2022 Apple MacBook Air Laptop with M2 chip: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, 1080p FaceTime HD Camera. Works with iPhone and iPad; Midnight||Buy on Amazon|
|Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13.5" Touch Screen - AMD Ryzen 5 Surface Edition - 16GB Memory - 256GB Solid State Drive with Windows 11 (Latest Model) - Platinum||Buy on Amazon|
|2022 Newest Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5406 2 in 1 Laptop 14" HD Touchscreen 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 Processor 8GB RAM 256GB SSD Webcam HDMI Backlit Keyboard Windows 10 S Silver||Buy on Amazon|
|Samsung Galaxy Book Ion 13.3” Laptop| QLED Display and Intel Core i7 Processor | 8GB Memory | 512GB SSD | Long Battery Life and Windows 10 Operating System | (NP930XCJ-K01US)||Buy on Amazon|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 2-in-1 Laptop 14" FHD+ IPS Touchscreen (400 nits) 11th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-1135G7 (Beats i7-10510U) 8GB RAM 512GB SSD Fingerprint Pen Win10Pro + HDMI Cable||Buy on Amazon|
|Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop | 14" Full HD IPS 100% sRGB Display | AMD Ryzen 7 5700U Octa-Core Processor | 8GB LPDDR4X | 512GB NVMe SSD | WiFi 6 | Backlit KB | FPR | Amazon Alexa | SF314-43-R2YY||Buy on Amazon|
|Acer Chromebook 314, Intel Celeron N4000, 14" Full HD Display, 4GB LPDDR4, 64GB eMMC, Gigabit WiFi, Google Chrome, CB314-1H-C884||Buy on Amazon|
|Google Pixelbook Go - Lightweight Chromebook Laptop - Up to 12 Hours Battery Life - Touch Screen Chromebook - Just Black||Buy on Amazon|
Apple MacBook Pro
The Apple MacBook Pro is a solid choice if you’ve got the money to spend, making it our best first choice as the best overall laptop for teachers. Unlike the Apple MacBook Air, the Pro features a slightly bulkier, but sturdier design. It also offers an impressive full-HD 16-inch display and a six-speaker sound system that includes noise-canceling woofers so video and media can be experienced in full clarity.
With an impressive SSD hard drive and a 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor and as much as 64GB of DDR4 RAM, you’ll ensure that the laptop always offers smooth performance and it has plenty of storage for teachers with huge libraries of content. Finally, it all rounds off with an agreeably impressive 11 hours of battery life, making it one of the best laptops for that feature, too.
HP Spectre x360
This is a great choice for teachers who want a versatile laptop. From its unique ability to transform into a tablet to the battery life, and everything in between, this model outranks many laptops that have similar features without dual-use capability. This is a big competitor of Microsoft Surface but it has its own features and specs that set it apart.
It comes with powerful security and the 4K display features high-resolution images so that you can create videos and media without losing quality. It offers a 10th gen Intel Core processor that boasts premium performance and comes with the Windows 10 operating system, and a handy stylus to make sure that its use as a tablet delivers every time.
Although this model doesn’t offer the best battery, it’s a great laptop for what it does, helping keep agile teachers on pace when they’re trying to teach remotely or without being tethered to a desktop. For the money, it’s an excellent laptop with top-notch performance in both modes.
Apple MacBook Air
As discussed above, the Apple MacBook Air is one of the most popular and best-designed computers for on-the-go and budget-friendly use. It features a slightly smaller screen than the MacBook Pro, which also helps reduce the cost. It isn’t as powerful as the Pro, either, but the i3 processor and 256GB SSD ensure that the performance and graphics deliver as needed.
This is also not a touchscreen laptop, but the keyboard has been improved and the trackpad enlarged. The biggest selling point, of course, is that the laptop is light and sleek, easy to take with you from school to home and back again. The retina display provides a more comfortable viewing experience for long use and the sound system on newer models is impressive, as well.
Those who are always mobile and working with online teaching will find that the MacBook Air is worth every penny. Plus, there are several versions and variations on builds for the Air besides the one presented here, giving teachers the chance to get a system that works for them.
Microsoft Surface Laptop
The Microsoft Surface laptop is a laptop version of the popular Surface tablet from Microsoft. It still includes the surface pen for the touch screen display, but it has a laptop build that includes an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, the choice between AMD Radeon Vega 9 and 11 graphics, and up to 32GB of DDR4 memory.
Windows 10 is the operating system on the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, which also features a 13.5″ touch screen and up to 1TB of storage capacity in a solid-state drive, or SSD. That all adds up to impressive processing power and a great design, as well as an affordable machine. It also offers a durable aluminum shell so it’s not damaged in transport. The battery life isn’t the best on this laptop, but it will get you through the entire school day on a single charge, so it’s worth adding to the list.
Plus, for Microsoft power users, it’s a familiar device with familiar features. No matter what other future brands come along, Microsoft has serious staying power in the industry, thanks to devices like this Surface Laptop and other dual-use, high-performance devices.
If you’re looking for an upgrade to your Microsoft Surface tablet, this could be it.
Dell is a brand that’s been known for its use in education since the company debuted its first computer many years ago. They’ve continued to innovate and work hard to create the best laptops for teachers that cater to things like online teaching and virtual learning.
It includes a full-size backlit keyboard and a dedicated number pad, with an Intel Core i5 processor from the seventh generation, a 256GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM. It works great for multiple windows and lots of video or Zoom use and includes multiple USB ports, including USB-C, as well as HDMI and VGA hookups.
There is no optical disk drive on this laptop, but most are getting rid of that feature, anyway. It’s rare these days to need a disk to operate anything– even the best teaching tools and platforms are hosted in the cloud so that you can run and store everything virtually.
Perhaps the biggest drawback, as is usually the case with Dell laptops, is that it weighs about five pounds and isn’t as light or sleek as other models that are out there today. However, for a little extra weight, teachers get a high-performance laptop that’s affordable and stylish.
Samsung Galaxy Book Ion
If you’re a Samsung fan and you need a lightweight, agile laptop, the Samsung Galaxy Book Ion is a great choice. This model includes several similar laptop features that you see in most laptops, but it also comes with some premium upgrades. It starts with the 15.6″ full-HD nano-edge screen and follows up with an impressive 10th gen Intel Core i7 processor, 100% color volume from the QLED display, and more.
As for battery life, you’ll find that even with regular use, you’ll only use about 40-50% of your battery in 9 or 10 hours of working use. This one features Intel UHD graphics and a mere 8GB of RAM, so it’s not a power machine for gamers or teachers that are getting into augmented reality teaching.
The graphics do make video editing and online classes a breeze, and while it’s not the cheapest laptop out there, it’s a budget-friendly laptop that delivers performance in a small package.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
Lenovo makes a great business machine, which is why their ThinkPad makes the list of the best laptop for teachers. It features a 16:10 display and impressive battery life, and even comes with a stylus that’s cleverly housed to be readily available as needed.
The X1 Yoga does have a higher price than other laptops, but it also has some impressive features, including a webcam privacy shutter and even a fingerprint reader so that you can use biometrics for security. This device comes with an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor from the 11th generation and onboard Intel Xe Plus graphics, as well as your choice of RAM and storage capacity.
The 14-inch touch screen allows you to switch between tablet and laptop mode with the stylus, making things like grading and video editing easier than ever. Plus, it’s portable and lightweight. For storage, you can choose between 256 or 512 GB on a solid state drive, and you’ll have your choice of 8GB or 16GB of RAM.
While it’s one of the most expensive options, it’s worth a look if you want to make a high-performance long-term investment.
Acer Swift 3
For the budget-minded, the Acer Swift 3 is one of the best laptops for teachers that won’t break the bank. It also offers an HDMI port and USB-C connections, along with a lightweight design. The trackpad and keyboard are nice, as well, and the display is a full-HD 15.6″ screen.
It’s portable enough for everyday use when you need something that you can take back and forth from the classroom, and it can handle just about anything that you need to do. If you’re not worried about the basic look or the lack of premium features, this could be the perfect model.
The only real disadvantage to this laptop, especially for those who want a lightweight, speedy choice, is that the look is a little “bland”– unless you’re buying a laptop for a style contest, though, that’s not even really a consideration in most cases. Of course, if you do have the budget and the desire to be picky about finding a “cool design,” go ahead by all means. It’s just not usually something that teachers have as a priority.
Acer Chromebook 314
This is the best budget laptop for teachers and it comes with an impressive 13 hours of battery life on a single charge. It also has a Celeron N4000 processor and a 14-inch HD LED screen with Intel UHD graphics. There is 4GB of RAM for memory and the onboard eMMC storage capacity is 32GB.
The display is bright and crisp, and the performance is more impressive than you might expect from a “budget” model. There’s also an improved trackpad and the keyboard makes getting things done a breeze. The port selection is what sets this model apart. You get two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, and the ever-useful MicroSD card slot.
The biggest drawback here is that there is no touchscreen and the storage is limited. Of course, Chromebooks are designed for cloud storage, so you’re not missing out on that end. If you want a touch screen, you can find another similar model, but probably costs a bit more. However, if you don’t mind missing out on these elements for the sake of the budget, this could be the best laptop for your teaching needs.
Google Pixelbook Go
A lot of teachers and schools rely on Google classroom and other Google workspace tools, which is why Chromebooks are popular as their preferred laptops. Some will want something a little more dynamic and that offers more features, but for those in need of a basic notebook to keep up with students, this could be just the laptop to do the job. It also comes with variations on the features and options, allowing users to customize their preferences.
This Chromebook is one of the most powerful on the market, offering an Intel i7 processor and Intel UHD graphics. There are options for 8GB and 16GB of RAM, as well as 128GB to 256GB of storage in an eMMC drive. A quiet keyboard and impressive battery life make add to the features and it has a sleek design that is sure to catch people’s attention.
Of course, this isn’t one of the cheapest laptops on the market, but it does have a lot of features that make it worth the cost. Biometric logins aren’t found on this model, either, but not everyone is worried about features like a fingerprint reader on a laptop.
As a final selling point, that “impressive” battery life we mentioned is up to 12 hours or longer, even with all-day use in the classroom. For those who do online teaching, this can also help reduce the amount of time they’re tethered to the desk.
The Bottom Line
This is just a sampling of some of the best laptops for teachers out there today. We decided to include a little bit of everything because we know that the right laptop for teachers will depend on the specific teacher and their needs.
Remember to consider the features that you get for the price, and not just the cost. Make sure that you look for the features that matter most to you first and foremost. Whether you decide that you like the MacBook Pro or the Asus Chromebook Flip, you’re sure to find exactly what you need.
If you need the best laptop for teachers, regardless of your budget specifications, this list has you covered. Check out all the amazing feature lists and choose your new laptop now.