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What is the best student laptop?we ask students

Buying a laptop can be stressful – double the stress if you or your child is learning online for the first time. Kids of different ages have a range of different laptop use cases and different needs. As the selection of the best laptops and best Chromebooks continues to evolve, so do the needs of students. So I spoke with some experts on the subject: the students themselves.

My recommendations here are to accommodate a variety of preferences and price ranges. But they are a starting point, not an exhaustive list: every student is different. Before making a decision, you’ll want to make sure to read the reviews and try the device out for yourself if possible. I will do my best to keep this post up to date with the items in stock.

Best Laptops for Students

Google’s Pixelbook Go features solid battery life and an easy-to-grip corrugated base that’s ideal for kids.

Photography: Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Best Laptop for Elementary School

For younger students, touchscreen devices are easier to use than keyboards and touchpads, says Michelle Glogovac. Glogovac’s 5-year-old son uses an iPad for a Webex meeting with his kindergarten class. He’s got the hang of it; Glogovac says he’s learned how to mute and unmute himself, “a skill many adults aren’t familiar with.”

    That said, if you use a tablet, it might be worth investing in the keyboard case route. Glogovac has to enter her son’s meeting code and password for him, which can be cumbersome on the iPad’s flat screen.

    As kids get older, their best laptop choices will be based on their needs vary. As a parent, it’s important that you and your child are in sync with how they intend to use it and the size of the program they want.

    Kristen Wallace purchased for her daughter Bella A cheap HP laptop, but didn’t realize how quickly this 9-year-old would fill up 32GB of storage. “It’s really slow and there’s no room for gaming. I need a computer with more storage,” said Bella, who uses her laptop to Zoom with friends and take virtual guitar lessons and math-intensive classes. Wallace plans to buy better equipment for Bella in the next few weeks.

  • Audio quality is an important consideration for kids laptops factor. Lisa Mitchell, an elementary school library media expert, said her students use their devices to watch YouTube videos in addition to online classes. Battery life is also an advantage, even for distance learners not far from a wall outlet. Bella likes to use her laptop all over the house and doesn’t want to carry a power cord around.
      Durability is also worth the price, according to Mitchell . If you’re using a tablet, get a protective case. “If there is an affordable insurance or alternative policy, the extra cost is usually worth it.”

    • Check:
      • Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition ($199) : Colorful, fast tablet with kid-friendly content
      • Lenovo Chromebook Duet ($249): with detachable Small 10-inch Chromebook with keyboard
      • Apple 10.2-inch iPad ($329): An Apple Pencil Affordable Tablet PC

      • Microsoft Surface Go 2 ($274): with built-in kickstand Rugged Windows Tablet

      • Google Pixelbook Go ($649): A rugged touchscreen Chromebook A user types on the Acer Chromebook Spin 713.

        ) Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet is just $289, but it can run tons of tabs and apps without a problem.

        by Monica Chin / The Verge

Best Laptop for Middle School

The middle school students I talked to besides the Internet Laptops are not used outside of schoolwork and browsing. Don’t worry too much about the power source – prioritize comfort and easy-to-use machines for your child.

“We just got the most basic Chromebook, and it’s perfect,” said attorney and mother of three Gabrielle Hartley. “The most basic Chromebook has everything a junior high school student needs.”

A user types on the Acer Chromebook Spin 713.

A user types on the Acer Chromebook Spin 713.

Chromebooks, like this one from Acer, are a good choice for classmates who use Google classrooms.
Photography: Monica Chin / The Verge

  • Hart Leigh’s son Max, in eighth grade, agrees. “I really want a gaming PC or gaming laptop that I can plug into a monitor and run video games at 120fps, but I don’t really need it,” Max said. “Most eighth graders don’t run any video games or any software that requires a lot of power on their laptops.”

    Max uses the laptop primarily for Google Classroom applications, including Gmail, Slides, Google Docs and Google Sheets. They’re so easy to use on his device, which he describes as a “regular Samsung Chromebook.” That said, if your child is starting middle school this year, it might be worth checking with their teacher to see which operating system works best for their workflow. Caspian Fischer Odén, a ninth grader from Sweden, told me he had a problem with his Chromebook because his school had blocked app downloads from the Google Play store.

    Even kids with more demanding hobbies think budget equipment will get the job done. Sam Hickman, an eighth-year student from the UK who uses a laptop for photo and video editing, said: “For most secondary school students, any processor developed in the past two years will be able to handle any task they can handle.” So what is
  • is it worth the money? A comfortable keyboard, several students told me. Many middle school students are not used to typing for long periods of time. You should also look for a device that’s compact and easy to carry, especially if they’re preparing for in-person school. Shoot 11- to 13-inch models – certainly no larger than 15 inches. Check:

    HP Chromebook x360 ($459): Affordable Chromebook with long battery life

    Lenovo Flex 3 Chromebook ($164) : Small and sturdy laptop built for students

  • Lenovo 300e ($219): Durable 2-in-1 stylus

  • Acer Aspire 5 ($759): Portable option for kids in need 15-inch screen
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop Go ($644): An attractive lightweight Windows laptop

  • Surface Laptop 4 is a feature Powerful, no-nonsense laptop — what students want.

    Photo by Monica Chin / The Verge

    Best Laptop for High School

  • High school students’ laptop needs may vary by interest, but most don’t need powerful and bells and whistles — especially if they come with glitches or serious shortcomings that could interfere with their studies. Laguna Beach High School student Miles Riehle owns a high-end Surface Pro 7, but finds it overwhelming. “There are a lot of other things that I don’t use very often,” he said. “Simpler things may be more straightforward.”

    The best OS may depend on your child’s habits. Aryan Nambiar, a student at Barrington High School in Illinois, has an iMac at home and enjoys using the iPad for homework. Riehle said he prefers a Chromebook because he has an Android phone and uses Google services a lot.

    But almost every student I spoke with agreed that high school laptops are the most important The feature is portability. Children taking in-person classes likely spend most of the day with their devices and a bunch of other books. Look for 13- or 14-inch screens, or lighter 15- to 17-inch models. Students also recommend something sturdy. “Most high school students I’ve seen throw their laptops in their bags without hesitation,” said Moses Buckwalter, a student at Penn Manor High School. Backpacks can also be pushed around in the hallway. Children may also have trouble at home. “Anything can happen,” said Aadit Agrawal, a high school student from India. “My own brother scratched my laptop with a fingernail.”

  • Battery life is another key characteristic. “It’s really hard to find a place to recharge in the classroom,” says Cas Heemskerk, a second-year student from the Netherlands. Unlike college students, many high school students don’t have frequent breaks to refuel their devices, so try to find something that will last all day. s things. Many students recommend touchscreens with stylus support. Nambiar uses this feature in his biology class, where he does a lot of visual modeling. “The touchscreen is always an advantage for drawing diagrams, and if you’re using a laptop, submitting your diagrams is a complete process,” Nambiar said. Riehle uses Surface Pen to fill out school forms and annotate PDFs. Agrawal finds it useful to take notes on the same screen as his online courses.

    Depending on the broadband availability in your area, you may also need a laptop with multiple connectivity options computer. Agrawal’s online classes are sometimes interrupted by power outages, so he recommends the LTE model. Matej Plavevski, a junior at Yahya Kemal College in North Macedonia, recommends looking for an Ethernet port in case a slow connection can interrupt meetings. It’s hard to find on smaller laptops, but there are plenty of affordable dongles and docks to consider.


    • Acer Chromebook Spin 513 ($459): All-day-ready Convertible Chromebook
    • Best Laptop 2022: HP Envy x360 13 Apple iPad Air ($599): A powerful tablet with a large screen

    • Acer Chromebook Spin 713 ($524): A great Chromebook that’s not too expensive

    • Dell XPS 13 ($999): A solid clamshell Windows laptop

    • Surface Laptop 4 ($799) ): A great, lightweight laptop that will keep you comfortable

  • For college students looking for an affordable laptop, HP’s Envy x360 performs as well as some of its more expensive competitors.

    Photography by Monica Chin / The Verge

    Best Laptop for College

  • College students are j used to spending more money than other age groups . Some people (especially in STEM courses) can expect to do some pretty demanding jobs. Assad Abid, an electrical engineering undergraduate student from Pakistan, needs to run simulation software for his assignment. Aakash Chandra is a student at New Horizons Engineering College in India and has done a lot of coding in addition to creative work in Premiere Pro and Photoshop and games. Students also pointed out that it is worth buying a laptop that will last a few years after graduation. That means you don’t have to worry about finding and funding your next device until you (hopefully) land a job.
  • but in the powerful Among high-end devices, there are still many options. Students stress that college laptops should be light. Expect to carry it between classes, meals, meetings, the library and other locations on campus. “It’s a boon that I can carry my laptop and some laptops without feeling like I’m carrying too much stuff for six hours a day,” said Villanova University senior Haseeb Waseem.
  • The Dell XPS 13 is available in various configurations. Students with a light workload may prefer the base model, while gamers and creatives can add a GPU. Photographed by Monica Chin / The Verge Another well-regarded feature: battery life. Wasim, who uses the HP Spectre, said the juice throughout the day gave him “the flexibility to study in many different places, even outdoors.”
    Speakers and webcams are often overlooked, even in high-end devices. But students say it’s worth looking for good ones if you’re starting college this year. While many college students are now returning to in-person classes, some still meet with clubs and participate in online events. Waseem was dissatisfied with the audio and picture quality of his laptop, which he said made it difficult to concentrate and interact with other students in class. Many students need to invest more in areas that suit their interests and academic needs. Chandra’s dream laptop would include a stylus and touchscreen for his creative work, as well as a high-end GPU. Waseem uses the laptop for a variety of activities, including streaming, coding, social media, video chat, and Microsoft Office work, and he prefers to use the big screen as a priority to keep track of his multitasking. Check:

      Acer Swift 3 ($449): Performance Good Ultralight Laptop

    • HP Envy x360 13 ($1,049): Fast Fashion II Unity
    • Dell XPS 13 ($999): A solid clamshell Windows laptop computer
    • Surface Laptop 4 ($799): A great, lightweight and comfortable laptop

    HP Spectre x360 14 ($2,949): Premium convertible with excellent battery life



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