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As a teacher you need mobility and flexibility coupled with a moderate amount of power. The best laptops for online teachers will feel competent a few years down the road, but not cost a ridiculous amount of money today. Although you don’t need the latest in terms of parts, the reality is that if you want a computer that will be good for many years, you should probably get a mid-level laptop. Many cheaper laptops come with older parts, and they tend to go out of date in terms of performance much quicker. We will explore what is important in a laptop for a teacher and what is not.
Because you are teaching online, you should also purchase a separate video camera as well as an external microphone. This will make your recordings and presentations a lot better than what can be done with a laptop alone.
List of Best Laptops For Online Teachers
Below I have compiled a list of what I think are some of the best laptops for teachers who teach online. Keep the pointers that we discussed above in mind when you research your options.
The Dell Inspiron is one of the best laptops currently available for a reasonable price. It comes with a 9th generation i7 CPU which is very rare for this price range. The CPU is the brain of the computer and getting a good CPU is quite important. Also, the fact that it is an i7 means that you should be able to do any sort of resource consuming task. As a teacher this is probably a much better CPU that you need current, but because it is newer also means that it will last longer. If you want a laptop that will last a long time then this is a great option. Older parts go out of date faster, so getting something that has newer parts inside is smart for the long run.
The laptop comes with 8 GB of DDR4 RAM. DDR4 is the newest kind of ram and it is both faster and uses less power. That means that you get faster performance and longer battery life. As a teacher 8 GB should be more than enough. You are also able to put in more ram in the future if you so chose to. RAM and CPU is quite important in order for a laptop to feel fresh. 8 GB is the new minimum, but it should be enough for most things you would do. If you like to play resrouce heavy games you might want a little more, but you will be hard pressed to find a reasonable priced laptop with betters specs than the Inspiron.
The Inspiron also comes with a GPU. It has a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 3 GB of GDDR5 memory. Since it has a GPU this laptop is actually quite capable when it comes to playing video games and doing computation heavy tasks. You don’t need this good specs to run a few tabs of chrome and an excel sheet. But the fact is that programs are taking more and more resources as they become more complex, and having something that will be good not only today, but also in the future can be a real money saver.
The Dell Inspiron packs a lot of power. It comes with a 9th generation i7 CPU. It has 8GB of DDR4 RAM. It has a dedicated Nvidia GPU. The biggest drawback with this computer for a teacher is that it weighs 6.15 pounds. If the weight don’t bother you then this might be the best laptop for a professor. It also only has 256 GB of SSD, but as mentioned you could use cloud storage or an external hard drive. The screen is a 15-inch , 1920 x 1080, and has anti glare, which is great when you cant control the lighting to your liking. This laptop hits all the points and you should seriously consider this laptop.
- CPU: i7-9750h
- RAM: 8 GB
- SSD: 256 GB
- Display: 1920 x 1080
The screen on this laptop is a 15.6 inch Full HD, 1920 x 1080. There are also almost no bezels, making this a really nice laptop to look at. The body is made out of magnesium alloy. There is also a backlit keyboard which is can be convenient for use in dark.
As many other laptops these days, there is also fingerprint reader. This is very convenient when logging in. You can keep a strong password on your laptop, but you can log in with the touch of your finger.
There is a 256 GB SSD on board. It is not a lot, but it should be enough for most people. If you find that you need more storage then there is also external or cloud storage. On board storage is becoming less and less important as there are so many other alternatives around. Many people save their photos and files in the cloud these days, something that will become more and more prominent.
See the Dell Inspiron (#ad) on Amazon.
The Dell XPS is a sleek and good looking laptop that is easy to take places. One of the best features of this laptop is the screen. It has a 13.3 Ultra HD screen with a resolution of 3840×2160. There is almost no bezels which looks great. The high resolution and almost no bezel makes the laptop look really premium. The glass is also made up of Corning Gorilla glass 4, making it quite durable so you don’t have to be worried about scratching the screen. The brightness also goes up to 400-nits, which is quite high.
The inside of the laptop has a woven glass fiber material. This is a really comfortable to put your hands on and it does not leave a lot of fingerprints. The outside metal has a matte touch to it which is also fingerprint resistant. This combination is great for keeping the laptop looking clean. You don’t have to be too worried when bringing this laptop to public places that it will look dirty from smudge marks.
There is an 8th generation core i7 CPU in the laptop. This is not the newest CPU but it is a quite common one. For this price range it is a quite good option, and as a teacher you certainly don’t need more. There is no GPU so this is not the best laptop to play games on. This laptop will still be able to play games at a reasonable setting because of its CPU, but there are better options if playing video game or doing a lot of resource heavy tasks. Again, for any teaching related tasks this laptop should have more than enough power.
- CPU: i7-8550U
- RAM: 16 GB
- SSD: 1 TB
- Display: 3840 x 2160
The laptop comes with 16 GB of DDR3 RAM. This is not the newest kind of RAM but with 16 GB there should be more than good enough. Again, if you want to play video games then you should consider the DDR4 kind, but if that is not your cup of tea then this is a great option. Newer parts are of course faster, but they also cost more.
There is a 1 TB SSD in the laptop which is very large for an SSD on a laptop. With such a large SSD you should have more than enough storage for everything you need. Most laptops in this price range will have smaller SSDs than this.
You would get around 10 hours of battery life on this laptop when using simple apps such as Excel and Word. If you are doing more intensive tasks it would be less. 10 hours is pretty good for an ultra HD screen that gets very bright.
See the Dell XPS (#ad) on Amazon.
The Lenovo Thinkpad is a classic laptop. It is common among businesses and it good as a work machine. It is not the best looking laptop, so if elegance is a major concern then this might not be the one for you. The laptop has the weakest CPU on the list, but it does come with the most ram, and it is the DDR4 kind. It is also quite light at 3.9 pounds. The screen is 14-inches, 1920 x 1080, a quite common dimension. If you are looking for a sturdy laptop that will last you a long time then the Lenovo ThinkPad is a good option.
The Intel core 5 processor is more than good enough in a laptop for teachers. The ThinkPad is a common workhorse in business settings so you can be sure that this laptop will be good for extended use.
- CPU: i5-8265U
- RAM: 16GB Ram
- SSD / HDD: 512 GB SSD
- Display: 14 inch, 1920 x 1080.
There is plenty of disk space with a 512 GB SSD.
Another good thing about this laptop is that it has the DDR4 RAM. DDR4 is faster than DDR3 and it also uses less power. If possible, you want to pick a laptop that has this kind of RAM in it.
The laptop comes with Intel UHD Graphics 620 which is not as good as a dedicated graphics card, but as a teacher you really don’t need a GPU. If you do like to play video games or do music production then this is probably not the laptop for you.
See the Lenovo ThinkPad (#ad) on Amazon.
The ZenBook is a very lighweight laptop coming in at only 2.6 pounds. It has 16 GB of DDR3 RAM. It also has an 8th genertaion i7 CPU, which is okay for a teacher. The Hard Drive has sufficient space with a 512 GB SSD. The best feature of this laptop is that it has up to 14 hours of battery life. You will be able to bring this to your school and not worry about charging at all. If that is important for you then this might be the laptop for you.
The ASUS ZenBook has an interesting feature where when you open the lid, it tilts the laptop so that the keyboard has a slight incline. This is a more ergonomic position and it is better to type on for longer periods of time. There is also a backlit keyboard on this laptop which is quite nice for when it is dark.
- CPU: i7-8565U
- RAM: 16GB
- SSD / HDD: 512 GB
- Display: 14 inch, 1920 x 1080.
The computer has a decent amount of storage space with a 512 GB of solid state drive. This is big enough that you don’t need an external hard drive. Many laptops come with less storage space because more and more computers only come with SSD, and luckily so. SSDs are much faster than regular hard drives but they are also more expensive.
The Intel i7 core processor on this laptop is quite good for a teacher. You would honestly be just fine with a cheaper core i5 option, but the CPU is the brain of the computer and getting an i7 is never a bad option unless you are looking for a strict budget computer.
One downside of this laptop is that it has the DDR3 kind of RAM. You would preferably want DDR4 in a laptop that you buy in 2019. DDR4 is still a bit more expensive so this is an area where the laptop is cutting a corner. You will not be able to upgrade to DDR4 later because the chips are not the same size so it will not fit in the computer. That being said, they are giving you 16 GB which should be more than enough. Unless you do more intensive tasks such as music production or video editing then you do not need DDR4 really.
See the ASUS ZenBook (#ad) on Amazon.
As a teacher there are not many things that you specifically need. I would ultimately recommend a laptop that is portable but that has good enough parts to last you many years. Cheaper laptops tend to feel quite sluggish after only a few years, so a mid range option might be good. That being said, if you take good care of any laptop they will last a long time.
Ultimately you are probably going to be happy with most computers. We have reached a point where a many decent laptops are pretty much the same in terms of performance. The only questions is what is the best deal for your money. Not only in terms of performance for what you need, but also they are good deals.
Read our guide on best laptop for law school to learn more about computers.