12 Best Laptops for Teachers in 2017
Teaching can be an extremely rewarding experience or a total nightmare, depending on the grade. The days of brown bag lunches and the Trapper Keeper may be gone, but kids are still kids, and their little brains will soak up all the information you send their way. That said, the way the take in all the info has changed dramatically which means teachers today better have a great laptop.
Laptops serve many purposes in the scholastic world and allow you to lighten your load. You don’t need to tote around a bag full of books and papers when you go digital – all you need is an awesome laptop. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of the best laptops for teachers along with a few tips to make your buying decision a little easier.
While the subject you teach may have an impact on which laptop is right for you, we have put something on the list for everyone whether you are in the gym teaching PE or the lab dissecting frogs.
Table of Contents
Top 12 Laptops for Teachers Ultimate Table
|Design||Name||Display Size||Storage||Rating (1-5)|
|1. Apple MacBook Air MMGG2LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop||13.3”||256 GB||4.5|
|2. ASUS ZX53VW 15.6″ Gaming Laptop||15.6”||512 GB||4.4|
|3. Microsoft Surface Pro 4||12.3”||256 GB||4.4|
|4. VAIO S Laptop||13.3”||256 GB||4.3|
|5. Apple MacBook Pro MLW72LL/A 15.4-inch Laptop with Touch Bar||15.4”||256 GB||4.3|
|6. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E560 15.6″ HD Screen||15.6”||240 GB||4.2|
|7. ASUS F556UA-AS54 15.6-inch Full-HD Laptop||15.6”||256 GB||4.1|
|8. 2017 HP Pavilion 15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Laptop||15.6”||1 TB||4.1|
|9. ASUS ZenBook UX303UA 13.3-Inch FHD Touchscreen Laptop||13.3”||256 GB||4.1|
|10. 2017 HP Envy 15.6″ x360 2-in-1 Convertible Full HD IPS Touchscreen Laptop||15.6”||1 TB||4.1|
|11. HP 14-an013nr 14-Inch Notebook||14”||32 GB||4.0|
|12. LG gram 15Z970 i7 15.6″ Touchscreen Laptop||15.6”||512 GB||3.7|
Tips for Teachers
Keep these pointers in mind if you want to make a passing grade when it comes to your new laptop.
- What Do You Teach? If you are teaching programming or anything computer related, it goes without saying you will want a top-tier machine. You have to be able to run a wide array of programs (and run them well) and let’s face it: you don’t want your students to have a nicer laptop than you do.
If the grammar game is your area, you could easily get by with a Chromebook or something light and quick as storage and memory won’t be nearly as important.
- Your Needs. Whatever subject you teach, keep your needs in mind as well. If most of your class time is spend on the blackboard and not the PC or you deal with elementary school, you may want something that is light in your laptop bag and on your bank account.
It comes down to the Mac OS or Windows. While it may not matter for most teachers, the course you teach may have a direct impact on which operating system you should choose. There is no right or wrong OS, but Windows is usually more compatible than Mac although the latter is not far behind.
The best advice we can give you with software would be to take a look at any programs you may consider using throughout the year. If they are compatible with both platforms, you are good to go and can choose any laptop you would like. If not, you have a decision to make, and you will want to check any other programs you plan to use that platform as well.
- Digital Pens – While not always true, most modern touchscreen laptops allow you to use a digital pen or stylus. The quality and type you can use will vary depending on your display but is certainly something to keep in mind if you take a lot of notes or grade on the go.
Top 5 Best Laptops for Teachers Reviews
Apple does things differently, and their MacBook line of laptops is proof of that. Unlike most manufacturers that put out dozens of devices each year, they produce a handful but remain at the top of the charts. The MacBook Air is one of their more affordable options and a great choice for teachers that need plenty of power but want a stylish laptop with a think profile.
The MacBook Pro is known for its power while the Air is all about the waistline. It’s one of the thinnest laptops around at 0.68 inches but still has more than enough power to get the job done with an Intel i5 processor and 8GB of RAM. You will get a choice when it comes to storage at 128GB or 256GB although the display stays the same at 13.3-inches with a resolution of 1,440 x 900.
While there may be a few programs you can’t run with this one, it will take care of 99% of the programs you may want to use as a teacher. It also offers up some specialty programs you will not find on Windows. There’s no real weak point on this laptop from a teaching standpoint, and it is also available in an 11.6-inch form factor as well.
The ASUS ZX53VW Gaming Laptop may seem like an oddball for our list of the best laptops for teachers. Unless you teach computer science, 3D modeling or graphic design you may pass this one over thinking it’s overkill but you would be sadly mistaken; this is a stylish and affordable laptop that can handle anything you throw its way and will definitely draw stares from your students.
When you see “gaming” in the description of a laptop, it usually means powerful. That is never a bad thing. In this case, you will get either the Intel i5-6300HQ or the i7-7700HQ depending on which model you choose. The former comes with 8GB of RAM and the GTX 960 and an optical disk drive while the latter skips the ODD but doubles the RAM and throws in the GTX 1060. As it runs Windows 10, you can use any app under the sun or high-quality games when you are on break in the teacher’s lounge or at home.
The ASUS ZX53VW won’t let you down when it comes to horsepower, and you won’t have to turn to the cloud thanks to a 512GB SSD drive. A full array of connectivity options are included as well with a USB Type-C port, Wi-Fi, HDMI, and an SD card reader.
When we discussed software and wanting to have the ability to run most apps, we mentioned Windows as a great choice. The company behind the OS is responsible for the Surface Pro 4 as well, and it comes with Windows 10 straight out of the box. It is the perfect fit for our list and an awesome alternative for teachers that want to stay portable and don’t need a full-sized laptop.
This hybrid can be used in full laptop mode or as a tablet and comes with a digital pen – a definite bonus for teachers. The touchscreen is small at only 12.3-inches but sharp with a resolution of 2,736 x 1,824. Despite its size, it is one of the most powerful laptops to make the cut with options ranging from the Intel Core M and 4GB of RAM all the way up to the powerful Core i7.
For our best laptops for teachers list, we opted for the Intel Core i5 with 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage courtesy of a solid state drive. It hits the sweet spot when it comes to performance and storage while still keeping things affordable.
Looking for a laptop that offers up plenty of options under the hood? You do not have to look hard to find one, but will be hard pressed to top the VAIO S laptop with the i7-6500U processor. The chip and Windows 10 are the only things these models have in common as the amount of power depends on how much you want to spend.
On the low end, there are two models with the i5-6200U processor and 128GB solid state drives. They have 8GB of RAM and solid 13.3” Full HD displays with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. They only difference is the OS as one runs Windows 10 Home while the other runs Pro. That trend continues with the top-tier laptops as they are the same as the i5 models, but have the i7-6500U and 256GB solid state drives. We won’t delve into the difference between Windows Home and Pro, but the latter is more for businesses web-based setups so you should be fine with Home.
We have already touched on the sleek and small MacBook Air now it’s time to take a look at its big brother. The latest version of the MacBook Pro is arguably the companies greatest to date with a sweet Retina display and the snazzy new Touch Bar. No matter which options you decide to go with, the processor is top of the line with the Intel i7 clocked at 2.6GHz with a “turbo boost” up to 3.5GHz. The RAM stays the same as well at 16GB of LPDDR3.
This MacBook still uses integrated graphics but is built to be a graphic designer or artists best friend. That means it is an amazing option if teach in the arts or sciences and the pixels will truly pop on the 15.4-inch display that sports a stunning resolution of 2,880 x 1,800. Need ports? It has plenty with a total of four Thunderbolt ports, otherwise known as USB Type-C.
As mentioned, this PC comes in a couple of different configurations with a 256GB or 512GB SSD. You can also choose between a 13.3-inch or 15.4-inch display or the new Touch Bar if you want to kick things up a notch. This one is not going to be what you want to tote around if you teach PE but is a great choice for teachers that need a beastly laptop for school use.