It’s the digital age, and most schools don’t keep essential information (such as grades) in paper form anymore. With online Learning Management Systems like Canvas or Schoolloop creating an emphasis on digital learning, it’s important for instructors to keep up. Having their own laptop is a critical way to do that.
From connecting it to the projector to show slides or videos to designing their own worksheets and class materials, teachers need a laptop that can power through the whole day, work fast, and work without giving you a headache. The models listed in this guide do that and more.
- Google Pixelbook Go i5 Chromebook: This laptop is great for those who primarily use web resources, not ones you need to install, or if your school uses GSuite/Google classroom. It is light and portable as well.
- Lenovo Ideapad 330: This is the best option for teachers that need to install some programs, but who don’t plan on storing many files on their hard drive. It also provides great connectivity, meaning you will have no issues connecting to other classroom tech.
- 2020 HP 14 Laptop Compute: This has the best technical specifications, which makes it a good choice if you need an affordable machine with a decent amount of power and storage. It also includes modern features like a USB-C port.
Who Should Get This?
Teachers need specific laptops. You don’t necessarily need a top-of-the-line model with the latest graphics and CPU chip, but you do need the computer that will last a long time and stand up to daily use.
The type of class you teach affects your needs as well. For instance, an English or elementary teacher may only need a Chromebook that can run web programs, while a college physics instructor may require a Windows device that can run important simulations and perform demonstrations.
The recommendations in this article will show you what laptop is the best fit for various situations, and even non-teachers may find some of them beneficial!
Best Laptops for Teachers: What to Consider in 2022
The operating system is the quickest way to narrow down what laptop to get. Most teachers will want either ChromeOS or Windows unless your school is heavily reliant on Apple products. That is because those two systems are cheaper and generally serve your needs more effectively. While Mac makes gorgeous products, you’ll find most of the same specs in Windows computers at a much lower price point.
If words like CPU and RAM make you itch with anxiety, don’t worry! Most teachers don’t require a laptop with advanced tech specs. All you need are a few basic features. First, look for 8GB of RAM (lower is acceptable for Chromebooks). Second, most CPU chips that aren’t more than a few years old should give you enough memory and power to run the programs you need.
Size & Resolution
Lastly, pick a laptop that’s the right size for you. A 17” behemoth won’t be very portable, but a tiny 12” might be difficult to look at for extended periods of time. Additionally, make sure that the screen resolution is at least 1080p.
Best Laptop for Teachers 2022: Our Picks
1. Google Pixelbook Go i5 Chromebook 8GB/128GB Just Black
The Pixelbook Go is an absolute marvel of a laptop. Available in black and rose, it has a textured bottom so it doesn’t slip around, a sharp screen, and lightning fast response times. It’s light, coming at just under two pounds, and even has a touchscreen for maximum convenience. ChromeOS is quick and effective. It runs on 8GB of RAM and has an i5 Intel chip.
- Gorgeous, well-designed computer that combines style and functionality
- Runs ChromeOS, which is great for teachers that really only need to use web apps like Google Drive/Google Docs
- 8GB of RAM
- i5 CPU
- 128GB of SSD storage
- Storage is a bit small
- Only ports are two type-C plugs, which means you’ll need an adapter to use HDMI or USB-A
2. Lenovo Ideapad 330
The 15” Ideapad 330 is ready to take on your class with you every single day. Its unassuming frame hides 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage space, and an AMD CPU that won’t break a sweat even when you do multiple things at once. The HDMI port also supports a second display at up to 4k resolution. If you connect to a projector or to your desktop at work, the images will be clear. Additional ports include an SD card reader, disk drive, ethernet, and two USB-A 3.0 slots.
- Large screen is convenient to use and easy to see
- Tons of connectivity
- SSD hard drive boots much faster than a traditional hard drive
- Low battery life at only 5 hours
- Weighs nearly 5 pounds
3. 2020 HP 14 Laptop Compute
HP is known for reliable, time tested computers, and this model is definitely no different. Its uncommon 14” screen size offers a compromise between the standard 15.6” which might be too bulky for some and the compact 13” which is often too small. It’s running a 10th generation Intel CPU and comes with 8GB of RAM. Additionally, it has a 512GB SSD storage, the largest of all the laptops on this list.
- Medium sized design is a great compromise for those who can’t stand tiny screens
- 10th generation i5 chip will last for a long time without seeming slow or laggy
- Large amount of storage is great, especially if you’re storing videos or student projects on your hard drive
- Ports include USB-C, USB-A (2), HDMI, and SD reader
- It comes with Windows 10 in S mode, which prevents you from installing third-party apps. You can disable this for a regular Windows experience by following the instructions here.
Useful Tips & Tricks
No one likes worksheets, even teachers. Thankfully, there are tons of web resources out there to help you avoid falling into such a trap. Here are some of our favorites:
- Khan Academy is a website that provides free educational videos, practice content, and classroom management tools to instructors.
- Socrative allows you to create live quizzes or knowledge checks. That enables you to get real-time feedback on the day’s lessons without calling specific students out or wasting time hand grading.
- Codecademy brings programming into your classroom even if you have no experience. It also helps kids learn other essential skills like problem-solving and abstract thinking.
You can also check these Edtech resources for teachers.
As we move towards a more digital world, it’s important to keep up. Although embracing technology can be a struggle, the right laptop makes it smooth and painless rather than frustrating. We hope these suggestions can make your life just a little bit simpler by helping you narrow down the field and find a laptop that’s a great fit for you.
What laptop do you use in the classroom? What do you like about it? Let us know below!