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The 5 Best Laptops For Teachers

Pretty much everyone needs a laptop or PC, in general, these days – and teachers are not an exception to that rule. So, if you’re going to get a laptop anyway, why not pick the one that fits you best? 

A 10-minute read is enough to help you pick something that’s going to serve much better over the next few years before you’ll have to replace it with something else. So, without any further ado, let’s get right into it!

Things to Consider

When checking out different laptops, you’ll come across a lot of terms that may seem alien, but the truth is that they make the difference between getting a good or bad laptop. Let’s check them out and see what they mean: 

 

  • OS: There are some professions where the operating system makes a world of difference. Probably not on this one, though. Most teachers prefer Windows since it’s the one that works with most programs – but macOS should do just fine as well while Linux is a bit more suitable for tech-savvy people
  • CPU: A dual-core processor will work just fine for most office programs – which is what a teacher will work with  90% of the time. But, we’d recommend getting at least a quad-core Intel Core i5 or Ryzen 5 chip for a snappy experience
  • GPU: This is the graphics card – nothing that you should worry about as a teacher. That’s unless you’re a gamer as well, which is pretty much the only case scenario where you’ll need one. Unless you happen to teach on anything that has to do with 3D rendering, in which case, we’d recommend getting at least a dedicated Nvidia GTX 10xx card
  • RAM: 8GB is the sweet spot for most people, 4 is the bare minimum, and 16 or more is only for demanding professionals (Editors, writers, etc)
  • Storage: Look for something that has a small SSD – chances are that this is all you need. If you need more than 128 or 250GB, consider spending more for either a bigger SSD or an SSD+HDD combo
  • Display and portability: Laptops with bigger screens are easier to use – but they are also heavier and bigger. So, find your own balance between size and portability. 14 to 15.6 inches is the sweet spot for most people
  • Battery life: Don’t look at the size of the battery – look at how long it lasts. Laptops are not smartphones. There are a ton of things that can make one laptop last much longer than another one with the same battery (Display, CPU, GPU, peripherals, lighting, etc)

Our 5 Best Laptops for Teachers

With all that being said, you should now be ready to check out some options and decide what fits you best. Here are our best options!

1: MacBook Air 13

Best Overall

If you need something that just works, or if you’re got a lot of Apple devices as well, the MacBook Air is quite possibly your best bet. 

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 (Dual-core)
  • GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 6000 
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Display: 13.3-inch LCD display at 900P
  • Battery: 10 to 12 hours on average
  • Weight: 2.96 pounds

Sure, it may be a bit outdated, but 8 gigs of RAM with an SSD and macOS are all you’ll need as a teacher. The build quality, keyboard, and battery life that it offers are almost unmatched at this price point. 

But, most importantly, macOS is one of the best operating systems for non-tech-savvy people and professionals alike since it just works. Unlike with the Windows counterparts, chances are that you won’t have to troubleshoot anything during the laptop’s lifespan. 

Speaking of which, that’s also why the dual-core processor doesn’t particularly bother us. The OS is so optimized that the laptop should feel pretty snappy – even with a sub-par CPU. 

Pros: 

  1. Works well with Apple’s ecosystem
  2. macOS “Just works”
  3. Very lightweight and portable
  4. Superb battery life
  5. Great keyboard and build quality

Cons: 

  1. Thick screen bezels
  2. The dual-core CPU could be a deal-breaker for some
  3. A bit overpriced for the specs that it offers
  4. Screen resolution is low for 2020 standards

2: Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Our 2 in 1 Pick

If portability takes priority for you, then the Surface Pro 6 is most likely your best bet. The tablet + laptop design along with its removable keyboard set it apart from the competition in terms of weight and overall portability!

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-7th gen
  • GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 12.3-inch LCD IPS display at 2K
  • Battery: 8 hours on average – up to 13
  • Weight: 1.7 pounds

The battery life that it offers can hardly be rivaled as well – especially for a Windows laptop. 

Now, with that being said, the only way to achieve this level of portability is by making a couple of sacrifices. One of them is the relatively small display at 12.3 inches. Other than that, the removable keyboard may not feel as good as a “traditional” one to some people – and that’s especially true for heavy writers. 

Pros: 

  1. Very lightweight
  2. Superb battery life
  3. Can be used as both a laptop and a tablet
  4. By far the most portable option on this list
  5. 2K display can be seen as an advantage by some (Though it’s frankly overkill for a 12-inch display)
  6. Powerful for its size

Cons: 

  1. Small display
  2. The removable keyboard may not feel that good to some
  3. A bit of expensive for the specs that it offers

3: Dell Inspiron 13 7000

Our Budget Pick

Just like with the Surface Pro, this laptop brings a 2 in 1 design which means that you can use it as both a tablet and a laptop. However, the approach is a bit different. Instead of removing the keyboard, you just flip the screen over it!

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
  • GPU: Integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 13.3-inch LCD IPS display at 1080P
  • Battery: 4-5 hours on average
  • Weight: 3.84 pounds

If there’s one downside to it, then that’s probably the relatively short battery life. Cause other than that, this is as good as it can get at this price point. 

With near half the money that you’d spend on a Surface Pro, you get the same specs with a slightly bigger display as well. 

That said, there are sacrifices that need to be made for this to work. This is noticeably heavier, has bigger screen bezels, and generally feels cheaper as well. 

Pros: 

  1. Cheap
  2. Lightweight
  3. Great specs for the money
  4. Very portable 

Cons: 

  1. Mediocre battery life (At best)
  2. Thick screen bezels

4: Asus ZenBook 13

Our Mid-range Pick

If you’re willing to spend a bit more, you get something that looks and feels more premium and well-built. Other than that, the screen bezels are also thinner while a bigger SSD is included along with a fingerprint scanner. 

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8265U
  • GPU: Integrated Intel Graphics
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 13.3-inch LCD IPS display at 1080P
  • Battery: About 10 hours on average
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds

Does that mean that it’s worth the extra money? Well, that’s a question for you to answer. The truth is that not everyone needs extra storage and there are certainly a lot of us who are not particularly bothered by bezels or looks in general. 

At this point, let us not forget to mention that while this is a “Full-fledged” laptop, the screen is still considered somewhat small. If you need something bigger, check out the LG Gram down below!

Pros: 

  1. Big SSD out of the box
  2. Solid build quality
  3. Relatively small screen bezels
  4. The big touchpad and the fingerprint scanner are welcome additions
  5. Great battery life
  6. Lightweight
  7. Decent value
  8. Backlit keyboard

Cons: 

  1. Some complaints about the keyboard’s quality

5: LG Gram

Our High-end Pick

If you’re willing to spend a bit more than a grand, you get pretty much the whole package with the only downside being that it costs a lot. 

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U
  • GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch LCD IPS display at 1080P
  • Battery: 10+ hours on average
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds

With 16 gigs of RAM out of the box, a powerful, six-core processor, and more than 10 hours of battery life with average use, it’s hard to go wrong with this one. In fact, it probably packs more power than a teacher will ever need!

As we mentioned above, the only downside is that it asks for a lot of money. Other than that, we’re also slightly dissatisfied with the fact that it doesn’t offer at least half a terabyte of memory at this price point. 

Pros: 

  1. Powerful processor
  2. 16 gigs of RAM out of the box
  3. Big display 
  4. Great battery life – especially if you consider how large the screen is along with the powerful processor
  5. The backlit keyboard and touch-display are welcome additions
  6. Thin screen bezels
  7. Thin laptop in general
  8. Lightweight

Cons: 

  1. The 256GB SSD is a joke at this price point
  2. Expensive
  3. Big display (Makes the laptop bigger which is bad for portability – but it’s a pro for those who don’t mind this)

Wrapping Up

This may be a lot of information to take in at once, so, here’s everything that we talked about for each laptop as quickly as possible: 

  1. MacBook Air 13: Best overall choice since it offers a bit of everything and it just works without any need for troubleshooting stuff – but it’s also a bit expensive for what it offers while also coming with a dual-core processor and an outdated display
  2. Microsoft Surface Pro 6: Great 2 in 1 laptop and tablet that offers superb portability – but it also comes with a small display and is a bit expensive for the specs that it offers
  3. Dell Inspiron 13 7000: One of the cheapest offerings in this list. It offers everything that you’ll need as a teacher – but the thick bezels, small display, and bad battery life can definitely be a deal-breaker for some people
  4. Asus ZenBook 13: All around a decent mid-range pick without any major downsides
  5. LG Gram: A high-end laptop that offers a lot of RAM along with a bigger display and a powerful processor – but it also costs a lot and the big display makes it harder to carry around. Not to mention that 256 gigs of storage are bad for an expensive, high-end machine

That’s pretty much all we’ve got for now. Hopefully, this guide/list helped you out in picking a suitable machine for your needs. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to let us know about them in the comments down below!

About the author

Charlie Noon

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