If you’re a teacher, you’ll know that having a reliable laptop can be the difference between your lesson running smoothly or not so smooth.
Teachers need a reliable laptop that can accommodate a range of programs and software used for teaching.
They also need plenty of memory and storage space to ensure they can store files and teaching resources, and that the computer runs smoothly and efficiently.
It’s also a good idea if the laptop has plenty of connectivity options such as multiple USB and HDMI ports, as these allow the laptop to be hooked up to other classroom equipment.
Many teachers will also carry their laptops between home and school so they can use them to mark assignments or prepare lessons at home, too. With this in mind, lightness and portability are two other important features to look out for.
We’ve considered all the important elements that make a laptop suitable for teaching and have scoured the internet for the best laptops on the market.
Not only this, but we’ve also provided a handy Buyer’s Guide so you have everything you need to know in one convenient article.
First up, let’s take a look at the key characteristics that make a laptop ideal for teachers:
- RAM of ideally 8GB or more
- High-performing CPU
- Compact, portable design
- Extensive connectivity options
- 15.6-inch HD display
- HD camera for meetings/online teaching
- Good battery life
OUR TOP PICK
The HP 15 laptop is a great middle-ground computer that combines high performance with affordability.
Get things done fast with the 11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor, which delivers instant responsiveness, while the 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage provides 15x faster performance than a traditional hard drive.
You’ve also got 8GB of RAM to accommodate multitasking thanks to the higher bandwidth.
This laptop is equipped with a compact, lightweight design, yet it still offers a 15.6-inch full HD IPS anti-glare display with an 82% screen-to-body ratio.
With a ‘true vision’ HD camera and HD audio and stereo speakers, virtual meetings are crystal clear, ensuring professional standards at all times.
Another bonus is the HP fast charge which allows you to go from no battery to 50% in just 45 minutes.
- 11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor
- Superfast performance
- 256 GB SSD and 8GB RAM
- Full HD, IPS, anti-glare display
- HD camera and audio
- Lightweight, portable design
- HP fast charge
- HP only offers a 1-year warranty
The Amazon ratings for the Acer Aspire 5 speak for themselves - this laptop is 5-star quality, offering high performance, extensive connectivity, a full HD screen, and an affordable price.
Equipped with an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual-Core Processor, 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD, and 4GB RAM, the Acer Aspire 5 has a lot of power in a slim, lightweight design.
It has a 15.6-inch full HD widescreen with an LED-backlit IPS display and AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics - perfect for using your laptop in small group presentations.
The Aspire also stands out for its extensive connectivity - which all teachers can benefit from - offering a USB 3.1 port, two USB 2.0 ports, and an HDMI port with HDCP support.
It’s also Amazon Alexa-enabled, so you can use Alexa to help you set reminders, timers, and alarms, create to-do lists, and keep track of your calendar and appointments - ideal for any busy, multi-tasking teacher.
- Slim, lightweight design
- Extensive connectivity from a range of ports
- AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual-Core Processor
- 128 GB SSD and 4GB RAM
- Full HD, IPS display
- Alexa-enabled for increased organization
- Affordable price point
- Battery life could be better
The list wouldn’t be complete without Apple’s highly esteemed MacBook Air!
Equipped with the Apple-designed M1 chip, it takes CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance to a whole new level, while the 8-core CPU delivers up to 3.5x faster performance to tackle projects with unrivaled speed.
The 8GB of unified memory ensures that tasks are fast and fluid, while the superfast SSD storage launches apps and opens files in an instant.
One of the key features of the MacBook Air is the monster battery life, which lasts as long as 18 hours.
The fanless design enables silent operation, while a 13.3-inch Retina display with P3 wide color provides extensive detail and color.
There’s also the FaceTime HD camera with an advanced image signal processor, meaning all your meetings and video calls will be sharper and clearer.
- 8-core CPU delivers up to 3.5x faster performance
- 8GB of unified memory
- Up to 18 hours of battery life
- 16-core Neural Engine for advanced machine learning
- 8GB of unified memory so everything you do is fast and fluid
- Fanless design
- HD Camera
- 13.3-inch Retina display with P3 wide color
- Apple products come with a steep price tag!
The ASUS VivoBook is ideal for both work and play thanks to its impressive, ultra-slim 5.7mm bezel, 88% screen-to-body ratio for supremely immersive visuals.
We love how ASUS has considered comfort with the ErgoLift hinge design which tilts the keyboard upwards for more ergonomic typing.
It’s powered by an AMD Quad-Core Ryzen 5 3500U Processor with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM to power through your daily tasks with ease.
It also offers an array of comprehensive connections including USB 3.2 Type-C, USB 3.2, USB 2.0, HDMI, and Wi-Fi 5 to ensure you can connect your laptop to any other classroom equipment.
Not only this, but the VivoBook offers a full HD 15.6-inch display but in a compact, lightweight design to ensure it’s fully portable.
- ErgoLift hinge design for more comfortable typing
- Comprehensive connectivity options
- 88% screen-to-body ratio
- Full HD 15.6-inch display
- AMD Quad-Core Ryzen 5 3500U Processor
- 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM
- Portable and lightweight design
- Poor battery life
If you’re looking for versatility, the Lenovo Flex won’t disappoint. With a thin, light, and stylish design, this 2-in-1 laptop weighs just 3.64 pounds and is only 0.82" thick, making it ideal for transporting between work and home.
The 360⁰ hinge lets you use your 2-in-1 touchscreen laptop in a range of modes: from 'Laptop' mode for regular computing, 'Tent' mode for sharing and presentations, 'Stand' mode for binge-watching, or 'Tablet' mode for intuitive interaction.
This makes this a great laptop for not only work but for play, too. It also comes with a digital pen for increased useability and convenience.
With the AMD Ryzen 4000 Series Mobile Processor and 16 GB RAM you can open apps in a flash, power through heavy tasks, and multitask with ease.
The Lenovo flex also offers up to 10 hours of battery life, plus you can quick-charge from 0 to 80% in just 1 hour.
- 360⁰ hinge and 2-in-1 design for versatility and flexibility
- AMD Ryzen 4000 Series Mobile Processor
- 16 GB RAM
- Superfast charging and 10-hour battery life
- Lightweight, portable design
- It’s pretty expensive
If you’re not familiar with computer jargon, it can be a little tricky to get your head around some of the terms when you’re researching laptops.
If you’re clued up on these, you can skip this part, but if not, to make it easier for you, we’ve explained the key terms below:
Short for ‘hard disk drives’, HDDs are the traditional form of computer storage and can be found in the vast majority of notebooks - particularly those that are cheaper in price.
HDDs are the slowest storage option in modern PCs.
SSD stands for ‘solid state drive’, and this is a newer alternative to HDD. SSDs have no moving parts and instead store data on flash, memory-based modules.
SSDs can vary in performance depending on the model, however, overall they’re significantly faster than any HDD.
Embedded Multimedia Card or eMMC storage is a more affordable and slower flash-based alternative to SSD.
It’s usually found in smartphones, but it’s also used in personal computers, particularly budget-class notebooks, tablet PCs, and 2-in-1 laptops.
RAM stands for ‘Random Access Memory’ and is the physical hardware inside a computer that stores data temporarily and acts as the computer’s working’ memory, dealing with short-term tasks.
The Central Processing Unit, sometimes just called the ‘processor’, is the main chip in a computer and is responsible for carrying out all tasks.
It basically tells all the other components what to do, according to the instructions it is given by the software installed on that computer.
Best Laptop For Teachers Buying Guide
In this section, we’ve put together a full Buyer’s Guide to help you identify the essential components that make a laptop well-suited to teachers.
The size of the display depends on what you intend to use the laptop for. The standard size is 15.6 inches, which will also be better-suited if you need to use the laptop to present information to a small group.
If it’s just you who will be using the laptop, you may wish to opt for a smaller display of 13.3 inches, as this will reduce the weight of the laptop and will make it more portable.
The operating system (OS) you choose is pretty important - as this oversees and manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common services for computer programs.
Windows 10 is the most popular operating system and the most widely available. It’s found in laptops at all price points in the market and is reliable and versatile.
There’s also Apple’s iOS, which is easy to use and is ideal for multitasking. It also has great overall performance and speed. More recently we’ve seen an increase in Chromebooks on the market, which use google’s Chrome OS to provide a web-based operating system.
The benefits of this are that storage is cloud-based and there’s built-in virus protection. Chromebooks are also generally cheaper to purchase than laptops with other operating systems.
How versatile do you want the laptop to be? For example, today the market is flooded by a choice of designs, from touchscreens to 2-in-1 laptops that offer multiple modes. How versatile you need your laptop to be largely depends on what you intend to use it for.
This is less important for everyday computing, but if you want to be able to use your laptop as a tablet or in presentations with small groups, then it’s a good idea to opt for a 2-in-1 design.
If you plan on hooking your laptop up to other classroom equipment you’ll also want to check the number of ports it has. Increased connectivity options are always useful, so ensure your laptop has multiple USB ports and HDMI, too.
The memory of the laptop will underpin how quickly your computer runs, open files, and responds to actions.
We’d recommend a RAM of 8GB or more, however, you may get away with less if you opt for a Chromebook, which uses cloud-based storage to store your files.
If you can afford to spend a little extra on RAM, it’s worth doing, as it’ll probably pay off in the long run, especially if your laptop isn’t easily upgradable.
We’re guessing that for most teachers, portability is going to be pretty important, as they’ll be transporting their laptop between home and school.
For this reason, pretty much all of the laptops listed above have a lightweight, portable design.
The only thing to bear in mind is that some of the thinner or more compact laptops may be more delicate, which might not work if you’re also prioritizing durability.
This is less of an issue for teachers compared with other professions, as they’ll mainly use their laptops from school or college, or from home.
However, everyone can benefit from an efficient battery life as nobody likes to be constantly charging up their laptop. It also reduces the risk of the power cutting out and losing unsaved work.
Ideally, you want a battery life of at least 8-10 hours, and a fast-charge option can also be useful.
Shopping for laptops can be overwhelming, however, the one good aspect of the amount of choice on offer is that there’s an option for every budget.
We’d recommend avoiding the laptops right at the bottom of the price range, as these are going to be less durable and perform to a lower standard.
If you’re looking to save money, you’re best off going for a Chromebook, as these are usually more affordable as they make use of cloud-based storage.
Otherwise, we’d say the middle price point is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck: around $500 to $1000. Don’t cut corners when it comes to storage and performance, as these will only come back to haunt you in the long run.
If you’re an online teacher, your laptop plays an even bigger role in your workload. In this case, we’d recommend prioritizing not only the performance and memory of your laptop but also the webcam and audio.
Look for a laptop with an HD camera and high-quality audio so that all your lessons are crystal clear.
You’ll also want to opt for a 15.6-inch display, preferably with HD and anti-glare to make your viewing experience as comfortable as possible. Any ergonomic features such as a keyboard lifter or blue light blocker will also be useful.
Frequently asked questions
Do teachers get discounts on laptops?
The majority of schools will supply their teachers with equipment such as laptops (or at least the budget to cover these), however, certain brands also offer discounts or promotions for teachers and other educators.
Apple has an education range that is priced for educators, while Lenovo also offers discounts. Check the brand website to see whether you’re eligible for a discounted laptop.
Is Chromebook good for teachers?
Chromebook is ideal for both teachers and students, mainly because they’re available at a more affordable price.
However, they’re also well-suited to the classroom as they work seamlessly with apps such as Google Classroom.
The cloud-based storage also provides plenty of space for storing resources, plans, and student results.
Chromebooks are usually extremely lightweight and compact too, so they’re easily portable - another reason why they’re ideal for teachers.
Which laptop is best for teachers?
There is no laptop that is best for teachers, however, all of the laptops featured in our list above are more than worthy. Laptops which have adequate RAM, quick responsiveness, and a range of connectivity options are well-suited to teachers.
We also identified features such as a portable, lightweight design and a quality webcam as being important for teachers.
Those who teach online will also need more RAM to smoothly run applications and apps for video calling such as Zoom.