Updated: Oct 10, 2020
Which is the best laptop for school students? I'll explain what I know about how kids use their devices for learning and for school as well as doing a bit of research into what's available right now to help you decide which are the best laptops you can buy for kids.
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Best Laptops for Beginners
Children are often beginners at using laptops as prior to their first laptop, they may have only used tablets, and so it's a good idea to consider laptops that are well suited to beginners for them. Having said that children are excellent at adapting to new technology and so there's no reason to go way too basic otherwise you might be limiting what kids can actually do with their laptop. Kids are also likely to be using their new laptop for a good few years too and so it's a good idea to consider what they will be using it for not just now or this academic year but over the next few years.
Best Laptop Brands for Students
Asus, Acer, Lenovo, Microsoft, Apple, HP and Dell.
These are big-name brands of laptops that can be great for students to use. Across the brands, there are laptops of all shapes and sizes that can be brilliant for kids for all different reasons.
Chromebooks are laptops that run Google's ChromeOS operating system. Read more about them in my post on Chromebooks for kids.
Best Laptop for Kids Doing Homework
Word processing, working with spreadsheets, graphic design, photography, creating and delivering presentations, collaborating and communicating with others and even working remotely can be important for students depending on their age and their school. Working on documents, browsing the internet and using email does not require much memory whereas video editing, animation and game design would require a little more to work smoothly.
Best Laptop Size for Students
Lightweight and portable devices are great for kids because they won't struggle with carrying their laptop back and forth from home to school or with handling it each day. Having a laptop compared with a desktop computer also gives kids freedom as to where they can take their laptop and where they want to sit.
Are Touchscreen Laptops Worth it?
Touchscreen laptops are just like normal laptops but can be controlled by touching the screen as well as with the trackpad and keyboard. I am a big fan of touchscreen devices for kids and I think that they are well worth it, especially for younger children. Kids with touchscreen laptops can use the touchscreen instead of a mouse or trackpad which can be much easier and more enjoyable for them. They can draw or write with their fingers and tap and drag as they work on the computer.
There may be some extra cost or some compromise on other features to allow for having a touchscreen on a laptop, although it is becoming a much more common feature. Is a touchscreen laptop better? It depends on your child - what are their needs, how familiar they are with technology and what their learning needs are.
Best Laptop for Learning from Home
For learning from home, kids are going to need to be able to access online learning platforms, websites, games and use software and apps. Take into account the benefits and restrictions of the various operating systems available and which is best suited to your child. For example, kids using G Suite (Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Drive etc.) and Google Classroom might benefit from using GoogleOS on a Chromebook whereas those using Microsoft Teams and OneDrive may find using a Windows device or at least Windows operating systems easier.
Whilst this can make things simpler, it won't limit kids if you don't buy devices according to platforms or apps they want to use. For example, kids won't have any trouble accessing Google Classroom on Windows and Teams works just as well on Chromebooks and Apple products.
Best Laptop for Video Conferencing
Video calls and live meetings have been very important for kids to maintain contact with teachers and friends and so it may be a good idea to consider which laptops are best for video conferencing. Kids will need a laptop that is compatible with the online learning platform(s) that their school uses as well as a decent webcam and a decent operating speed (memory & processor) to be able to join in with their class's live sessions.
I have listed exactly which devices can be used to access each online learning platform here.
What is the Best Cheap Laptop for School Students?
Prices for new laptops that suit kids and students can start really low. Since students and young children are unlikely to need high spec devices for homework and online learning, these are perfectly good laptops for kids. Shop low cost laptops for kids here.