Are you looking for a new laptop for the school year? This year will be particularly challenging given that most schools will be operating virtually so it is imperative that you have a great laptop for teaching from home. We can help you find a great new laptop. We have researched the best laptops for teachers and found ones that will make teaching virtually seem seamless. The laptops on this list are great for both in-person and online school so don’t worry if your school goes virtual this year. The following guide of best laptops for teachers is geared towards students who need lightweight, but powerful laptops for teaching from home.
Overall Best Laptops for Teachers 2020
|Laptop||Processor | RAM | Storage||Price|
|1. Lenovo IdeaPad S145||AMD | 8GB | 1TB||$519.00|
|2. MacBook Air||Intel® i5 | 8GB | 128GB SSD||$999.00|
|3. Dell Inspiron||Intel® i5 | 8GB | 1TB||$679.00|
|4. HP Spectre ×360||Intel® i7 | 8GB | 512 SSD||$1,249.00|
|5. Asus Chromebook Flip||Intel Core M5 | 4GB | 64B SSD||$570.00|
|6. MacBook Pro||Intel® i5 | 8GB | 256GB SSD||$1,249.99|
|7. Dell XPS 15||Intel® 8th Gen | 8GB | 64GB SSD||$1,655.68|
|8. Surface Laptop 2||Intel® i5 | 8GB | 128GB SSD||$809.99|
|9. ASUS ZenBook||Intel® i5 | 8GB | 256GB SSD||$999.99|
|10. Surface Pro 7||Intel® i5 | 8GB | 128GB SSD||$2,659.98|
What makes a great laptop for teachers?
A great teaching laptop should have great specs for several main features including battery life, storage, processor, and more. Below are our recommendations for great laptop features if your primary purpose for using the laptop is for teaching in-person or remote classes.
Recommended laptop features for teachers
Storage: At least 250GB is ideal. Preferably solid-state (SSD) if it’s within your budget.
Webcam: Historically webcams were not as much of a concern. Nowadays, a webcam is a must for all virtual classes. All of the laptops on this list have built-in webcams included.
Battery Life: Most laptops these days have plenty of battery life, but we recommend looking for one with at least 4 hours of battery life. This is especially important if you plan to take your laptop to class. Older classrooms don’t usually have enough outlets.
Keyboard: The most important factor for a keyboard is comfort. The amount of click is personal preference so you may want to try a few to see which ones make typing easiest.
Weight: We recommend getting one that is less than four pounds even if you won’t be bringing your laptop to school.
RAM: Buy at least 4GB, but more than 8GB is preferred.
Software: Buy Windows or Mac OSX. This really is whichever your prefer. Some software may not work on a Mac.
Processor: You should get an Intel i5 or better these days.
Graphics: Getting a discrete is recommended, but not necessary.
Best Laptops for Teachers
1. Lenovo IdeaPad S145
The Lenovo Ideapad received a major upgrade this year with the S145 model which makes it #1 on our list of laptops for teachers. The laptop now features 8GB of blazing-fast DDR4 Ram, a terabyte of storage, and a very comfortable keyboard.
Lenovo is known for making quality, lightweight laptops. The Ideapad has always been one of their most value-driven laptops available making it perfect for the budget-conscious teacher.
It comes with a 3.0GHz AMD Quad Core processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and 4 hours of battery life.
Even with all of these features, the Ideapad weighs a mere 4.08lbs and is only 0.8 inches thick, so your backpack won’t be weighed down by this laptop.
2. MacBook Air
The MacBook Air is the most portable laptop on this list. While it is one of the more expensive laptops, it weighs only 2.95 lbs, making it the lightest laptop on this list and a great choice for teachers on-the-go. It has everything a teacher needs and the Mac OS makes it extremely simple to use.
The MacBook Air features a 13.3-inch display, 8GB RAM, a 128GB SSD, and up to 12 hours of battery life. The MacBook Air doesn’t have a retina display so as to limit the amount of extra weight added from a bigger battery and graphics processor.
We recommend the MacBook Air if you want a lightweight laptop that features the Mac operating system. The asking price of ~$900 may be off-putting, but if you love the Apple ecosystem, this is the laptop for you.
3. Dell Inspiron
An i5 Intel processor, 8GB RAM, 14 inch display, a 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD, and Windows 10 operating system. This touchscreen is cheaper than the Asus ZenBook which makes it a great buy if you are looking for a touchscreen. The wide palm area is ideal for teachers who have to write a lot of emails.
4. HP Spectre ×360
While the exterior casing might be the first thing you notice about the HP Spectre, the insides are amazing as well. HP’s 2-in-1 flagship laptop got a major (and really needed) refresh this year offering superior power and capabilities to make it one of the best writing laptops out there.
First and foremost, the keyboard is extremely comfortable. It will let you write for hours without fatigue. Second, the Intel 10th generation processor will make sure you have plenty of computing power to handle any writing or content creation application.
The battery life did declined slightly this year, but the laptop should still last over 12 hours.
5. Asus Chromebook Flip
While it may not pack the same power as the other laptops on this list, the 2-in-1 ASUS Chromebook doesn’t need to since it makes up for it in portability. It has a 12.5-inch screen touchscreen that converts to a writing tablet, 4GB of RAM, and an Intel M5 processor.
It only has 64GB of flash storage which is plenty since you can store everything else in the cloud. The tablet runs on Chrome OS so you will need to be ok with using Google Docs. This may be an issue for some software you may need to run to teach class if it isn’t compatible with Chrome OS.
The battery lasts for up to 10 hours which should give you plenty of time to teach your classes without having to plug in.
6. MacBook Pro
While the older models of the MacBook Pro were bulkier, the new MacBook feel slimmer and is much more powerful than the previous model. The return of the magic keyboard, which has been completely redone and returns to the old butterfly-style keys, makes writing one MacBook once again an enjoyable experience.
The MacBook Pro 13.3-Inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, a 256GB SSD, and up to 12 hours of battery life. It is also one of the lightest laptops on this list. It has a backlit keyboard for writing in low light and a spacious palm rest.
We recommend the MacBook Pro if you prefer the Mac OSX operating system environment or prefer a really great screen resolution. The asking price may be off-putting, but if you love the Apple ecosystem, this is the laptop for you.
7. Dell XPS 15
The Dell XPS packs the power needed by teachers whether you’re crunching large amounts of data in Excel, running statistical models, or just trying to present notes. While the price may seem a little steep, the Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD will age well.
For a laptop of this caliber, the 5.51 lbs weight won’t weigh down your backpack and the 6-8 hours of battery life will get you through several classes.
8. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
This laptop features a 13.5-inch touchscreen, an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 128GB solid-state hard drive. It also only weighs 2.8 lbs so it won’t weigh down your backpack. Add to that 14.5 hours of battery life and you have a great laptop for teaching.
9. ASUS ZenBook
One of the higher-priced laptops on this list, the ASUS Zenbook laptop that comes in two models: a regular laptop and a 2-in-1 (the Zenbook Flip).
This laptop version features a 13.3-inch multi-touch (yes, you can tap it!) screen, an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. It even has a backlit keyboard and it is the lightest laptop on this list. Obviously, the main differentiator between this laptop and the others on this list is the touchscreen. This is a huge benefit for teachers who want to archive their work immediately in real-time on their laptops.
If you’re looking for a laptop on which you can handwrite notes, this is the laptop for you!
10. Microsoft Surface Book Pro 7
Microsoft really knocked it out of the park when the developed the Surface Book. It is a beautiful laptop that is perfect for teachers who love touchscreens. While a lot pricier than most of the laptops on this list, it definitely makes up for it with value. We do only recommend this laptop for serious teachers though due to the price.
Being a Microsoft laptop, the Surface Book comes preinstalled with Windows 10. The base model comes with a 12.3-inch touchscreen, an Intel i5 processor, 128 GB of solid-state storage, 8GB RAM, and up to 10.5 hours of battery life. The keyboard disconnects from the screen, allowing you to use it as a tablet as well.
The best part about this laptop is the screen. The included pen works seamlessly with the laptop, making this is the best touchscreen we have on this list. If you enjoy writing on laptops or tablets, this is the laptop for you.
The above laptops are our favorite recommendations for teachers. They will hopefully increase your productivity so that you can focus on teaching. Don’t forget to get laptop accessories.
Prices last updated on 2020-09-28