Best laptops for teachers top notebooks for the classroom in 2021

Best laptops for teachers top notebooks for the classroom in 2021
RyDesk

Best laptops for teachers top notebooks for the classroom in 2021

The best laptop for teachers of 2021 needs to tick a few specific things off the list to be right for the job. After all, educators need the best tools for the job without breaking the bank. Luckily, there are plenty of solid options that are not only capable but also fit within a teacher’s budget, just in time as they prepare to head back to school.

These notebooks need to be able to run all the educational apps teachers use without any issues. This means that the best laptops for educators in 2021 have to come with fast RAM and a somewhat powerful CPU. Having enough storage space is also a must to keep all those presentations and documents on hand. On top of that, a decent amount of ports, a great keyboard and trackpad, the weight and size of an Ultrabook, and a great display that won’t strain the eyes are all important considerations.

Since there are so many options out there, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. To help, we’ve collected the best laptops for teachers, whether it’s for online classes or in-person ones just in time for back to school season.

The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is portable, powerful and comes with a long battery life.

(Image credit: Apple)

1. MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

Best Apple laptop for teachers on the budget

CPU: Apple M1 | Graphics: Integrated 7-core /8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Battery life is great
Silent in use
Keyboard very good
No new design
Fanless design could impact performance

The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) may have received a huge refresh with the new M1 chip, but the update thankfully did not come with a price increase. This impressive machine is still the cheapest of Apple’s laptop line, making it an ideal option for any teachers who want or need to stay in the Apple Ecosystem. And, while it doesn’t come with a radical redesign, that M1 chip offers an impressive performance boost, almost on par with the Intel-powered 13” Pros. Additionally, the battery life is phenomenal and the laptop’s fanless design means you won’t hear any annoying computer noise when using it. This is no doubt the best laptop for teachers 2021 has to offer.

Read the full review: MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) comes with a lot of heft in terms of power and a ton of premium features.

(Image credit: Dell)

2. Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020)

Best premium laptop for teachers

CPU: 10th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4k (3840 x 2160) | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Great display
Top-notch build quality
Excellent battery life
Less useful as a tablet
Expensive

Sadly, our beloved Dell XPS laptops have gotten more expensive over the years, almost to the level of Apple’s MacBook Pros. Not that these don’t deserve the price rise – these are among the best performing and most beautifully designed laptops today. Take the Dell XPS 13, for example. It boasts a lot of heft in terms of power and a ton of premium features that make your experience with it a divine one. Its display is gorgeous, its keyboard and trackpad a pleasure to use, its 2-in-1 design a nifty extra – so you can switch from productivity to entertainment without ever switching devices. Bring it to class, and your students will know you’ve got great taste. Of course, there is the matter of price – all that doesn’t come cheap.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020)

The HP Spectre x360 (2020) comes with a gorgeous, gem-cut chassis.

(Image credit: HP)

3. HP Spectre x360 (2020)

Best value laptop for teachers

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: up to 16GB | Screen: 13.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit multitouch – 13.3″ diagonal 4K (3840 x 2160) UWVA BrightView micro-edge AMOLED multitouch | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Stylish and high-quality finish
Great all-around performance
Built-in security features are useful
Battery life takes a hit
Can run hot at times

The HP Spectre x360 (2020) isn’t just among the best-looking laptops out there. It also boasts plenty of power under the hood while staying lightweight and compact. Of course, it’s also a pleasure to use. Thanks to its incredible keyboard and trackpad, as well as glorious display, this is the best laptop for teachers who value a seamless and comfortable experience above other things. And, the storage options, selection of ports (two Thunderbolt 3 ports and one USB-A port) and 2-in-1 design should offer a lot of flexibility as well. The best part here, however, is the price – the HP Spectre x360 remains one of the best laptops out there that doesn’t compromise on affordability, which is why we’re giving it our best value pick.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 (2020)

The small and portable Acer Swift 3 is a great value for teachers.

(Image credit: Acer)

4. Acer Swift 3

Best budget laptop for teachers

CPU: up to Intel Core i7-1065G7 | Graphics: up to Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) ComfyView IPS – 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD

Superb keyboard and trackpad
Excellent performance
Very reasonably priced
Looks a little plain

If looks aren’t a main concern, but budget is, then go for the Acer Swift 3. This is the best laptop for teachers on a budget, packing in excellent performance as well as great features like a comfortable keyboard, accurate trackpad and decent battery life in a thin and lightweight chassis. All without setting you back much. The display isn’t anything to write home about, but it isn’t bad either at 1080p resolution on an IPS panel. As far as ports, it’s got everything you need – USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI. Really, the only thing that’s holding this back is its subpar speakers and plain overall design. But hey, if you’re saving money, those barely matter.

Read the full review: Acer Swift 3

Looking for a premium yet affordable Chromebook? The Google Pixelbook Go is perfect.

(Image credit: Google)

5. Google Pixelbook Go

Best mid-range Chromebook for teachers

CPU: Intel Core m3 – Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) or 4K LCD touchscreen | Storage: 128GB – 256GB eMMC

Incredible battery life
Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard
Iffy pricing at mid- to- high-end
No biometric login

It’s widely known that Chromebooks are excellent for education. They’re not only straightforward and easy to use, as well as very secure, but also designed and streamlined for collaboration thanks to how its ChromeOS works. So what could be better for educators? For a mid-range choice, there’s the Google Pixelbook Go, one of the best Chromebooks on offer. Much like most Chromebooks, this has an astounding battery life so you can work through the whole school day, do your after class work and unwind with Netflix all on a single charge. It’s also got an amazing quiet keyboard, a rare 1080p webcam and a gorgeous design. The display and availability of ports could be better, but then again, if you’re looking for a laptop with a more lightweight structure, this isn’t surprising.

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook Go

The Acer Chromebook 314 may be budget, but its features are hardly that.

(Image credit: Acer)

6. Acer Chromebook 314

Best budget Chromebook for teachers

CPU: Intel Celeron N4000 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 14-inch LED (1366 x 768) high definition | Storage: 32GB eMMC

Excellent battery life and performance
Bright, crisp screen
No touchscreen
No fingerprint reader

Now, if a budget Chromebook is more your (or your budget’s) speed, then you cannot go wrong with the Acer Chromebook 314. It has all the makings of the ultimate, albeit budget, Chromebook. It’ll last you up to 13 hours on a single charge. It delivers impressive performance that’s great for multitasking. And, it’s simple to use. But, Acer also takes all that and tosses in a few features teachers will appreciate – a bright and crisp screen, terrific trackpad, satisfying keyboard, a laptop-esque design, and a port selection that rivals that of many laptops which includes two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports and a MicroSD card slot. The storage could be better here, but then again, you’re supposed to be saving all your work on the cloud, so it hardly matters.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 314

The gorgeous Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 has a lot of power.

(Image credit: Asus)

7. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Best laptop for engineering professors

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS – 9 4900HS | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 14-inch Non-glare Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-level panel, 120Hz – 14-inch Non-glare WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS-level panel, 60Hz | Storage: 512GB / 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0

Best battery life in a gaming laptop
Excellent performance
Thin and light
No webcam
Loud fans

Engineering professors need a powerful laptop themselves. So, while the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is originally intended as a staggering gaming laptop, it does have that heft inside that people in the engineering field will certainly find useful, making it among the best laptops for those learning and teaching engineering. It owes that to its graphics card, which delivers impressive graphics performance, and its AMD processor. What’s more is that it’s thin and light, making it ideal for carrying around campus, has best-in-class battery life so you can last up to 9 hours without charging, and boasts a keyboard that’s comfortable to type on. As for the display, you have the option to get the 1080p one with a blazing-fast 120Hz refresh rate.

Read the full review: Asus Zephyrus G14

The MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) has plenty of power for teachers of graphics design and video editing.

(Image credit: Apple)

8. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

Best laptop for teachers of design and video editing

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M – Radeon Pro 5500M | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD

Stunning 16-inch screen
New and improved keyboard
Expensive
Limited to four Thunderbolt 3 ports

Is the MacBook Pro 16-inch the best MacBook Apple’s ever made? Yes. Yes, it is. This premium piece of kit is just as stunning as it is powerful and feature-rich, making it the ultimate portable tool for photo editing, video editing and design. Of course, it isn’t just for creators themselves. It’s also great for those who actually teach the craft, with plenty of CPU and GPU power, a few RAM and storage options, and a gorgeous display that now offers even more real estate. That’s not all; it’s also got a large trackpad, a brand new keyboard that’s among the best out there, and that signature thin and light design with which Apple revolutionized the laptop world. As if those aren’t enough, it’s also got the famous Touch Bar, which offers shortcuts for applications like Photoshop and Lightroom for a more seamless workflow.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

Lightweight and premium, the LG Gram 17 is the perfect portable for those who need large screens.

(Image credit: LG)

9. LG Gram 17

Best 17-inch laptop for teachers

CPU: Intel Core i7-1065G7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 17-inch (2560 x 1600) IPS Display | Storage: 1TB SSD

Incredibly slim and light for a 17-inch
Lots of power for productivity
Affordable price
Sound distorts slightly at highest volume

Portability takes center stage on the LG Gram 17, which has been lauded for its innovative thin and light design. For a 17-inch laptop, it’s breathtakingly light, certainly rivalring even the 13-inch portable out there. So, if your work calls for a 17-inch display, this one’s a shoo-in with its beautiful 17-inch 1600p IPS LCD display. Especially with its great processor and GPU, which LG has recently updated to the latest, plenty of memory, and more than enough storage. There’s definitely a lot of power here for productivity, as well as a number of ports that include an HDMI port, microSD, three USB 3.1s, USB-C and a USB 3.1 adapter for RJ45 Ethernet. It does fetch a price. However, with a reliable fingerprint sensor and a rugged body, you’re definitely getting a lot of value.

Read the full review: LG Gram 17

The Microsoft Surface Go 2's kickstand and keyboard is great for writing up reports.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

10. Microsoft Surface Go 2

Best tablet for teachers

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core m3 – Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 10.5” 1920 x 1280 (220 PPI) PixelSense Display | Storage: 64GB eMMC – 128GB SSD

Premium design
Affordable
Can run full Windows 10
No Touch Cover or stylus included
Base model’s specs are weak

The best Windows tablets make for excellent laptop alternatives, and the Microsoft Surface Go 2 is perhaps the most ideal example. If your work only calls for a laptop that’s lightweight inside and out, then this tablet is certainly worth considering. It’s not only extremely affordable at less than $500 at its base configuration, but it can run the full Windows 10 operating system as well. That means that you can download PC applications on it without fuss. Of course, its great battery life of up to 8 hours on a single charge is also worth mentioning here; as is its beautiful, premium design and good enough port selection. Sadly, you have to shell a bit more out if you want the cover or the stylus (or both), and that bumps up the price considerably. However, it’s still cheaper than most laptops out there.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Go