Technology is an integral part of the educational process. Teachers enrich the online teaching and learning experience with the use of videos, ebooks, and interactive learning sites. To efficiently prepare and deliver lessons and assess learning. You need a convenient personal computer. Laptops are brilliant devices to use whether you are teaching in the classroom or online. They are portable but equipped with the same abilities as the traditional desktop computer.
Whether you are a teacher looking for a personal device or a school administrator thinking of getting a good quality machine for your faculty, a laptop is a great computer to consider. Purchasing a laptop can both be an exciting and confusing experience. With so many options to choose from, you would want to get one with the best features that suit your personal and teaching needs at the best value.
To avoid serious pitfalls in your purchase, it is essential to take into account the following factors.
Size matters when it comes to laptops for online teaching. Laptops come in various sizes from a small 10-inch screen to as wide as 17.3-inch. A bigger laptop might cut into its portability factor, but a bigger screen more naturally mimics what we see through our own eyes and peripheral vision. It also allows documents and websites to be displayed side by side and gives a better view of your students during online classes. The size of the screen also determines the size of the laptop’s keyboard and trackpad. You might feel cramped typing in a ten-inch device.
Recommended Minimum Technical Requirements
The speed and performance of your laptop can significantly affect the quality of your online lesson delivery. At the least, a good performing laptop for teachers should have the following minimum system requirement:
Operating System: Windows 8/ Mac OS X Mojave
Processor: Intel Core i3/ Ryzen 3/ Core m3
RAM: 4 GB
Storage: 256 GB SSD
Graphics: Integrated/ Inbuilt
It is very important to get an SSD laptop as compared to HDD. You’d want your laptop to be more responsive and snappy when you’re loading and saving programs. Although SSD means that you’d have to make do with much smaller storage space, you can always save more data in Cloud.
A good quality laptop shouldn’t always cost much. There are a lot of options that offer good specs at a reasonable price. You just have to consider your exact needs in choosing the best model for you. It’s always good to compare different models to get a laptop that gives you good value for your money. Given all these factors, it may still be tedious to compare different brands and models, so we’ve listed the top ten best laptops for online teaching.
Best Laptops For Online Teachers
1. Apple MacBook Pro
Apple really delivers a solid investment with the MacBook Pro. It is a lean, light-weight, sturdy, and well-built laptop. It uses a solid state drive, which is more durable than the standard disk drive in terms of mechanical damage. Its 16-inch full HD stunning retina display provides a comfortable viewing experience, especially if you have several hours of online classes and have to stare at the screen for long periods of time. This laptop also has a six-speaker system with force cancelling woofers that makes your video and media viewing experience better than most laptops in the market.
What we love most about this laptop is its 9th generation Intel core i7 processor and ultra fast SSD; so you can assure that it can quickly complete its tasks. It is also equipped with up to 64 GB DDR4 RAM, so even if you are editing heavy-pixel images, running multiple applications, and loading hundreds of audios, you can rely on its smooth performance. It has up to 512 GB storage and 8TB of SSD storage- perfect for teachers who have an extensive collection of instructional photos and videos. Its eleven-hour battery life makes it last an entire day of class without being interrupted because you’d need to charge your laptop.
This laptop is more expensive than the others, but its durability and excellent performance are worth its price. We highly recommend this laptop for online teaching.
2. Samsung Galaxy Book Ion
A competitive model from Samsung is the Galaxy Book Ion. This 15. 6 full HD nano edge laptop is one of the best laptops for online teachers. With the Samsung Galaxy Book Ion, you can open multiple windows and run several applications with the assurance of minimal lags with its 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor. One of its incomparable features is its QLED monitor that assures a virtually 100% color volume that stays vibrant even when you are working outdoors.
What makes this laptop great for online teaching is its exceptional battery life. You can use it for 9 to 10 hours straight and you'll still have about 50%- 60% of its battery left. It is also fantastically light and well-built- even lighter than any MacBook model. A drawback, however, is for an expensive laptop, it only has 8 GB RAM and does not include a discreet graphics card. This should not be a problem though if you're not a gamer. Its Intel UHD graphics allow for ease in video and Photoshop editing, if you need it.
Using the Samsung Galaxy Book Ion can assure you of a smooth and stress-free online teaching. This is one of the best laptops any teacher could have.
3. Huawei MateBook X
One of the best laptops for teachers is this fast performing 8th generation Intel Core i7 powered MateBook X Pro Signature Edition from Chinese tech giant Huawei. Comparable to the MacBook Pro in build, this laptop sports a slim, lightweight design and a fingerprint reader that easily logs you in. Its 13.9-inch screen displays superb image quality. What’s great about the Huawei Mate Book is its immersive touch screen feature, which can be very helpful for quick navigation during online classes. You simply tap on the window you need and it can quickly be displayed. It saves you the time and hassle of using the trackpad.
It is good to note however that the web camera of this laptop is recessed and sits directly at the keyboard, and must be popped up when needed. This doesn't seem to be a very friendly location for a webcam but for online classes, it is ideal to use an external web camera.
Compared to its competitions, the price of this laptop is a tad steep but it’s worth the asking price considering its stunning features and specs. Plus, it comes with a free 1 year Office 365 Personal.
4. Dell Inspiron
The Dell Inspiron is another touch screen laptop efficient to use for online teaching. With a 15.6-inch full HD screen and integrated Intel HD graphics, this laptop gives you outstanding streaming video quality. It also offers a full-size backlit keyboard with a numeric keypad which is very useful in answering chat inquiries from students during online class and encoding grades.
Powered by a robust 7th Gen Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, and a 256 solid state drive, the Dell Inspiron laptop assures a fast and quality performance whether you are preparing your instructional materials, uploading learning videos online, and running multiple windows. It has multiple ports for USB, VGA, and HDMI connections but has no DVD optical drive. This laptop also weighs about 5 pounds and may be quite heavy to carry on the go, however, with its specs, performance, and price, this laptop is worth the purchase for online teachers.
5. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
If you are looking for an ultra-slim, light surface laptop with the versatility of a tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is the right choice for you. With a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB DDR4 RAM, you can rely on a fast and powerful performance from this laptop. This is considered the best laptop/ tablet hybrid model that can run Windows apps efficiently. We highly recommend this laptop for art teachers and illustrators. If you are screencasting and showing illustration processes online, the Microsoft Surface Pro allows you to draw, write, touch, and type naturally. Its 12.3-inch screen displays HD resolution. Unfortunately, you’d have to purchase the surface pen separately as it does not come with the laptop. It does, however, come with a built-in kickstand allowing you to shift into laptop mode, studio mode or tablet mode at your convenience. Its battery life can last up to ten and a half hours with an ability to charge up to 80% full in an hour.
This is also the perfect laptop for teachers who need to take their work on the go. Its overall specs compete with most top-end laptops, which makes this a bit pricey, yet not as expensive as Apple products. Overall, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is the best windows tablet and a worthy laptop for online teaching.
6. Lenovo Flex 14 Convertible Laptop
One of the lightest and most flexible laptops around is the Lenovo Flex 14 Convertible Laptop. It is convenient to use and carry being a 2 in 1 convertible system with a pair of sturdy 300-degree hinges. This allows you to use the laptop in tablet mode or clamshell mode, although it doesn't fold up to 360 degrees like the Lenovo Yoga Idea Pad. This laptop is operated with the 2nd generation AMD Ryzen 5 processor that gives it a seamless performance. You can work, stream videos for hours, play games, and multi-task with efficiency. The Radeon Vega 8 software allows you to edit videos and photos at a speed.
What’s great about this laptop is its touch screen feature and it comes with an active pen allowing you to write notes using different apps on its 14-inch screen. This laptop works best for Math teachers. You can easily show how to solve equations as you share screen in real-time. This is also a perfect choice for English teachers. You can easily check essays and write the correction to drafts directly in your Lenovo Flex 14. The battery life is also amazing. It can last up to 10 hours and it can quickly charge up to 80% of the battery in an hour. You may want to store your files in Cloud or upgrade your RAM If you have an enormous amount of files since it only has 12 GB RAM. Priced at a little over 600 dollars, this is an excellent laptop for online teaching.
8. Asus VivoBook F510
If you are looking for a mid-priced laptop that does not fall behind in terms of efficiency and performance, the Asus Vivo Book F510 is a great option. Powered by an 8th generation Intel Core i5 fast processor, this laptop offers a compact performance and is at the core of every Asus VivoBook. It delivers ultra smooth visuals and an ultra fast dual band that lets you enjoy 6x faster Wi-Fi that keeps you connected through any congestion or interference. It gives you a wider view with its 15.6-inch nano edge laptop screen with an ultra narrow bezel. There is also a 17.3-inch screen variety offered at a higher price.
Your eyes are also protected with its anti-glare technology while giving a 1920 x 1080 full HD screen resolution. It has a chic keyboard with a fingerprint sensor. The Asus VivoBook F510UA is a standard non-convertible laptop that runs on Windows 10 home and isn’t a touchscreen. It is a good laptop choice for teachers with an enormous amount of files as it is built with 8GB DDR4 RAM system memory size and a 1TB hard disk drive, albeit slower than an SSD; but if you do not need to do a lot of photo and video editing for your online class, this should not be a problem. Another wonderful feature about this laptop is it comes with complete connectivity features. Equipped with USB 3.1, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, USB type C connector, and an HDMI port, it allows for hassle-free compatibility with a wide range of peripheral and display.
With all the specs mentioned, the Asus Vivo Book F510UA can accomplish lots of tasks and still ranks among the best laptops for online teaching.
9. Asus VivoBook 15
The Asus VivoBook 15 offers a great value for its feature set. Powered by a 10th Generation Intel Core i5 processor, it is competent for online teaching and it gets things done with a less amount of fuss. This laptop works fine for web browsing, word processing, and light gaming in Java, but not for extensive photo and video editing. It has a nifty, slim design; comprehensive connections including USB 3.2 types A and C; backlit keyboard; and a fingerprint sensor. It offers a large storage capacity at 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD. And runs on Windows 10. It features a built-in webcam and speaker but if you want high definition videos and sound, it is best to complement it with a good quality web camera and earphones, especially when you are teaching in the preschool and elementary levels. Its battery life is also not as good as the models in the same price range, lasting only for six hours, but it should not be a big problem if you are not the kind of online teacher who is always on the go.
Overall, it provides good specs for a basic laptop for online teaching tasks and is a good option for teachers looking for mid-range priced laptops.
10. Asus Chromebook Flip C434 2 in 1 Laptop
The Asus Chromebook Flip is another stunning mid-priced tablet/ laptop hybrid great to use for online teaching. Equipped with Intel Core M3, this touch screen laptop can handle most productivity tasks. You can browse the web, run other simple tasks on the side, and even stream a 1080p HD video in the background all at the same time. There might be some slight lagging when switching between tabs, but it gives a general good and fast performance. The Asus Chromebook Flip features a precision-engineered versatility with its 360-degree Ergolift hinge. It is touch screen and is designed to make visuals more immersive with its NanoEdge display. The ultraslim bezels give a near borderless experience. Multiple video frames can fit on screen during classes.
It sports a large backlit keyboard and touchpad, which works generally fine; but since it is plastic, it doesn’t run as smoothly as a glass would. An amazing feature though is its palm rejection and multi-touch support. It also comes with all your favorite Google apps. The battery life is spectacular and can last up to ten hours.
The Asus Chromebook Flip is a great blend of power and portability- a fine and budget-friendly laptop for teachers who do lectures and presentations without heavy video editing.
11. HP 14 Inch HD Laptop
If you are looking for a reasonably priced laptop with good storage capacity, the HP 14 Inch HD laptop is a good option. It provides a 128gb SSD plus a 500 GB HDD storage capacity- an excellent feature if you have lots of files to store. With an Intel Core i3 8th generation processor, this laptop offers a solid performance. It can handle multiple tabs and windows, and photo/ video editing using basic apps but you may experience slight lagging when processing very heavy files. Though the screen display isn’t very bright or colorful, it provides a pleasant viewing experience compared to other budget laptops with its 1080p resolution. The embedded webcam also captures good quality and clear images, so it can offer you a trouble-free online class and video conference.
You’ll also enjoy typing in the HP 14-Inch HD laptop because of its clicky backlit keyboard. For all-day use, you may need to keep a charger nearby as its battery can only last for 6 hours- a bit shorter than competing models. It runs on Windows 10 Home in S mode but you can switch to the regular Windows 10. Generally, this laptop is efficient to use for online teaching and lesson preparations, and a good all-around laptop to use in accomplishing daily tasks.
12. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
The Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop is a budget-friendly, reliable laptop best for general use. It can decently tackle any task with its Ryzen 3 Dual Core Processor. It can navigate through web pages smoothly and can open Microsoft programs instantly. With 4GB RAM and 128 GB SSD, it can fairly handle online teaching tasks and basic computing needs. Despite only having the basic features, the Acer Aspire 5 can provide smooth video calls albeit its 720P screen resolution. The full HD webcam portrays decent images but it is worth considering having a ring light especially if you are in a low light environment. What’s great about the Acer Aspire 5 is its thin and light-weight build; it has a good over-all port assortment despite not having an SD card slot, and it has long battery life. It may not be a touch screen and not as powerful as high-end laptops, but it generally gives a good performance for something that cost under 500 dollars.
The recommended laptops are good enough for teachers. They are all trusted brands with great performance and capabilities. If you're unsure, always do additional research on your own. It's a big ticket item after all.
Some of the more powerful, high-performance laptops comes with a heftier price tag, but getting a laptop with seamless processing and multi-tasking capability is always a worthy investment. If you're on a tight budget, we got you covered too - there are few a models with less bells and whistles and it works just fine for online teaching. Nowadays online teaching has become the new norm, you'll definitely want to invest in a sturdy laptop that can last you for a while!
Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing the right computer for your needs can be confusing and complex. It really depends on your needs, if you're planning to use the machine for gaming, recreation, and entertainment. You might be better off with a desktop.
Still unsure what to purchase? We’ve listed down the pros and cons of each.
Desktop computers are powerful and with high specifications and outstanding features. They are easy to upgrade and you can enjoy customizability for future needs. You can also enhance its storage capacity easily. They are also relatively cheaper compared to a high specification laptop.
Although many desktop computers have become smaller and lighter over time, it still lacks portability. The monitor, CPU, keyboard, and mouse also takes a considerable amount of desk space.
Many laptops nowadays are built with top-end processors. Good models can perform as well as their desktop counterparts. Its best feature is its portability. You can easily bring it with you and allows you to use your computer almost anywhere. It also takes less desk space and uses a single cord as opposed to the desktop’s multiple cord use to connect devices together.
The storage capacity of a laptop is not as large as a desktop’s. However, you can always compensate for this by storing files in Cloud. You can upgrade its storage capacity but it is limited to a single hard drive or the SSD they come with. Laptops that match the performance of a desktop can be expensive.
The convenience of a laptop is undeniable, but a desktop is also great if you consider functionality and cost. Essentially, the crucial factor to take into account in deciding whether to get a desktop or a laptop is your lifestyle. Are you a teacher who works only at home or at the office? Do you need to take your work with you? Do you travel? Is the computer for personal or family use? These are important questions to think about.