The best laptops for teachers: Best overall, best battery life, and more

If you’re a teacher, you’re likely preparing for the upcoming school year. While pencils and sanitizer are no doubt important, a proper laptop is an essential tool in today’s classroom. Of course, you’re going to want value for your purchase, with a focus on the right specs. You’ll need something that delivers powerful processing performance. Ample storage is important as well, so there’s no concern about storing a multitude of documents and media files. If you’re not sure where to begin your search, don’t worry. The team at PCWorld has done most of the heavy lifting for you. In this article, we’ll highlight the best laptops for teachers available right now.

[Are you looking for a laptop for your little one? If so, be sure to check out best laptops for kids roundup]

Updated 10/13/2022: Check out our latest review of the Lenovo Slim 9i. This premium ultraportable is pricey, but it comes with a gorgeous 4K OLED display, sleek design, and strong performance.

Also be sure to take a look at our recent Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 review. It impressed our reviewer with its long battery life and sturdy build, but it has a few hitches that keep it from being a truly great value.

Asus VivoBook Pro 16X OLED – Best overall

Pros

Beautiful 4K OLED display

Long battery life

Useful DialPad tool

Cons

Design lacks flair

Lackluster webcam

The Asus VivoBook Pro 16X OLED ticks a lot of boxes. For one, the 4K OLED display is superb, producing vibrant colors and deep blacks. The sharp picture should help prevent against eye strain and/or tension headaches, if that’s been a problem. But the VivoBook is more than just a pretty display. It’s also packing quite a bit of power under the hood. Let’s have a peek, shall we?

The VivoBook is rocking a Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage. That’s plenty for multitasking or running multiple applications simultaneously. Caveats: The webcam is nothing to write home about and the fingerprint reader is temperamental. Those aren’t major drawbacks, though. Overall, the Pro is a fantastic machine that satisfies most needs.

Read our full
Asus VivoBook Pro 16X OLEDreview

Acer Aspire 5 – Best budget

Pros

Affordable price

Rugged build

Great keyboard

Good selection of ports

Cons

Subpar webcam

Annoying bloatware comes pre-installed

Touchpad is a little hard to use


Best Prices Today:


$409.99 at Amazon

The Acer Aspire 5 is a great option for budget-conscious teachers out there. It’s reasonably priced and performance is fast enough for everyday tasks like writing e-mails, online research, and grading homework. The keyboard has loads of room, which is perfect for longer typing sessions. While that’s all well and good, the internal bits are really what makes this laptop a good value buy.

This laptop has an Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of PCIe SSD storage. The 14-inch display has a resolution of 1080p and a matte coating. The keyboard is a high point, with a spacious layout. Our tester found it to be “quick, accurate, and comfortable.” That said, the design is a little utilitarian and the touchpad takes some getting used to. All in all, the pros far outweigh the cons.

Read our full
Acer Aspire 5review

Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 – Most portable

Pros

Large, high-contrast OLED screen

Fantastic battery life

Top-notch 12th-gen Core performance

Cons

Average keyboard

Webcam doesn’t quite deliver as expected

Fingerprint reader needed re-authentication

Tons of additional apps

If you’re in the market for a machine that’s both lightweight and powerful, the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 surely fits the bill. Made of aluminum, the laptop weighs a little over three pounds. It’s thin and durable, a rare combination. Within its slim profile, the Pro 360 sports solid specs.

It’s running an Intel Core i7-1260P CPU, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. The 15.6-inch AMOLED display has a resolution of 1080p. According to our tester, the display “covered 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut, 94 percent of AdobeRGB, and 100 percent of the S3 color gamut at default settings.” The tradeoffs are a mediocre keyboard and finicky fingerprint reader. If you can live with those nitpicks, the Pro 360 is great choice for teachers who value portability.

Read our full
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360review

Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (2022) – Best 2-in-1

Pros

Sturdy and sleek all-metal chassis

Long battery life

Impressive audio output

Comfortable keyboard

Cons

16:9 screen feels cramped 

Included stylus is too skinny

Undersized touchpad

Limited ports all on left side


Best Prices Today:


Not Available at Best Buy

If it’s versatility you’re after, the Lenovo Yoga 9i delivers. It’s a 2-in-1, which means you can prop it up like a tent for tabletop sharing, or you can fold the screen all the way back and use the device like a tablet. The all-metal chassis is chic and durable, too.

The Yoga 9i features an Intel Core i7-1260P CPU, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. The 14-inch display has a resolution of 3840×2160 and HDR support. The 74 watt-hour battery is also quite large for such a relatively slim 2-in-1. When we put the machine through our intensive battery test, it lasted about 12 hours on a single charge.

Yes, the 16:9 aspect ratio makes the screen feel cramped and the touchpad is tinier than we like. Nevertheless, the Yoga 9i is a good buy.

Read our full
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (2022)review

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 – Best battery life

Pros

Strong performance

Good build quality

Nice selection of ports

Beautiful display

Solid battery life

Cons

No privacy shutter on the webcam

Boring design

Fan noise is a bit loud


Best Prices Today:


$799.00 at Amazon

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 has awesome battery life. When we ran our battery benchmark, which cycles through videos and everyday tasks, the machine kept kicking for 14 hours. Teachers don’t need to worry about plugging in during the school day, that’s for sure. The Spin is also a 2-in-1, which makes it versatile in its ability to assume a clamshell, tablet, or tent orientation. As for build quality, it’s pleasantly sturdy for a Chromebook. There’s no noticeable bend in the keyboard tray.

The Spin 714 is rocking an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of PCIe SSD storage. The port selection is pretty diverse, too. You’re getting USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, HDMI, a microSD card slot, and a headphone jack. While this Chromebook has a lot to offer, it has a few minor issues. Fan noise can be loud under heavier loads and there’s no physical privacy shutter on the webcam. But, all in all, a good laptop that offers outstanding battery life.

How we tested

The PCWorld team puts each and every Windows laptop through a series of benchmarks that test GPU and CPU performance, battery life, and so on. The idea is to push the laptop beyond its limits and then compare it against others we’ve tested. Chromebooks, on the other hand, go through a series of web-based tests. It wouldn’t be possible to run the same kinds of tests on a Chromebook, as they’re Chrome OS-based machines. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of each test.

Windows laptops

PCMark 10: The PCMark 10 benchmark is how we determine how well the laptop handles general use tasks like web browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, streaming, and so on. HandBrake: HandBrake is more intensive than PCMark 10. It measures how long a laptop’s CPU takes to encode a beefy 30GB file. Cinebench: Cinebench is a brief stress test of the CPU cores. It renders a 2D scene over a short period of time. 3DMark: 3DMark checks if 3D performance remains consistent over time by running graphic-intensive clips. This is how we test a gaming laptop’s GPU. Video rundown test: To gauge battery life, we loop a 4K video using Windows 10’s Movies & TV app until the laptop dies.

Chromebooks

CrXPRT 2: The CrXPRT 2 benchmark tests a Chromebook’s battery life.Speedometer 2.0: This test determines a Chromebook’s web browser performance. It simulates this by adding, completing, and removing a to-do list.Basemark Web 3.0: This benchmark gauges how well a Chromebook can handle web-based applications.Kraken 1.1: Kraken 1.1 is a JavaScript performance benchmark.Jetstream 2: Jetstream 2 is a combination of WebAssembly and JavaScript benchmarks. This is how we gauge how well a Chromebook runs advanced workloads.

FAQ

1.

How much processing power do I need?

You won’t need a ton of processing power when it comes to lightweight tasks like grading homework, researching topics, answering student e-mail’s, and so on. That’s why we recommend aiming for something with an Intel Core i5 processor. It’s zippy enough for everyday use while still being reasonably priced. If you need more power, shoot for an Intel Core i7.

2.

What about RAM?

To get the best performance out of your laptop, we recommend at least 8GB of DDR4 RAM. This will help your machine run smoother, especially if you’re using multiple programs at once. 16GB of RAM is obviously better, but it might be a little overkill depending on what you’re doing.

3.

How important is storage?

If you’re saving homework and other important files to your laptop, you’re going to want at least 512GB of SSD storage. Solid state drives are faster and quieter than hard disk drives. They’re also more durable and power efficient. If you’re using a Chromebook, you don’t need to worry much about storage, as you can save everything to the cloud.

4.

How much should my laptop weigh?

A portable laptop should weigh about three pounds or less. In terms of portability and value, we suggest getting a laptop with a 13- or 14-inch display.

5.

Does screen quality matter?

Teachers spend a great deal of time in front of a screen. If you suffer from eye strain or tension headaches, don’t settle for anything less than 1080p resolution. If you can stretch your budget a bit more, 4K should provide a very sharp picture, and OLED tends to be more color accurate.

Laptops

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