Choosing the best laptop for online teaching could be easy if you go through this post. Here I have written an in-depth guide for finding the best laptop suitable for online teaching with some recommendations.
While the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how vulnerable we are, it has also shown us that life does not stand still, even when everything is. With the lockdown, we have limited our movements and also how we move. However, that does not stop us from doing what we can- keep learning, working, and surviving.
As much as we may complain about work and studies, they give us something meaningful to fill our time with. Once we finish learning something new, we always find ourselves feeling better. While many teachers and students are taking courses online, there are certain students and teachers who just have no other choice.
For both kinds- trust me, being able to continue learning through the internet is a blessing. You cannot always be productive but having somewhere to go to feel normal is a blessing. And, you can do it in the comfort of your own home!
Now, if you are a teacher, you just found an excuse to buy a laptop. Because online teaching does require a laptop for its very necessities and also a stable internet connection. So, let us work on finding the best laptops for online teaching.
What do teachers do in online teaching?
Are you confused about whether you should invest in a laptop or not? Do you really need it? Does online teaching really require it? Yes, it does. And, your activities online as a teacher will show you why you need it.
1. Project-Based Learning
In this kind of learning, the students find a topic or project to work on. While working on the project, they learn to apply what they know and even learn more in the process. This is quite a good approach for teachers online as the students can learn deeply about the chosen project, topic, or question they want to cover. With some guidance from the course online, they learn to relate what they learn with real-life events.
2. Assignment and Online Assignments
While this may feel like homework you take home from school, assignments are much easier to take online. You do not have to worry about the student knowing or not knowing because you can always go back to the announcement you posted. Furthermore, some Learning Management Systems remind your student of an impending deadline.
3. Preparing Presentations
You may think that you are free from the stress of presentations but there may be topics that you cannot explain only through a presentation. The online teaching world lets you do that as well. So, you can prepare slides to present a topic or just record a video to get the point across.
4. Taking online tests and classes
If you want the online class to feel even more normal, you can set up a routine. In fact, some teachers conduct live classes at specific times to have their students present when he is teaching. As a result, the class takes an interactive turn.
5. Tracking Student Performance
This is one of the easiest things to do online. You can make quizzes easily using templates and then your LMS can calculate the score for you. So, you do not have to put in half the effort you put in when checking the results or making questions manually.
6. Maintaining a Calendar for Scheduling Priority Tasks
It is hard to keep track of your course schedule manually. But, you can do it very easily online. In fact, your students can access your schedule and have a more organized approach to learning from you.
7. Immediate Results with the Thesis
As mentioned earlier, the online teaching world makes it easier for you to check the answer scripts. You can provide your student with immediate results at your own convenient time.
What Technology do Teachers use in Online Teaching?
Still not convinced that you need a laptop? Then, these things you may have to use to teach online may make it clear for you.
1. Course Authoring Tools
When creating a course, you want your course and its contents to be organized. This will give your students a neat first impression of your course as well. So, many teachers use course authoring tools so that they create a course following a design that is appealing and neat.
2. Video Editing and Recording
You may not feel the need for live classes all the time. At times it may make you nervous as well. In these cases, you can record videos, edit them for the students to see. The videos will stay online as long as you want to keep it. So, your students get access to it easily as well. The best laptop will give you access to tools that make video editing easier.
3. Audio Editing
You may just want to make your students hear your lesson and not see your face. In this case, you can just add audios. Or, you can give a voice-over to slide. Thus, you may need to use the best audio editing tools.
4. Image Editing
You may just want to make an image look better or point out things that the students will find helpful. Therefore, you will be needing image editing tools.
5. Screen Recording
If you find a video very interesting or if you want to show your students something you are viewing on your phone, then screen recording will take you a long way.
6. Managing Live Class
There is nothing that gives a more traditional classroom feeling than a live class. So, you can use the going live feature to conduct a class.
7. Streaming Video
Videos really make things easier to understand. You may have to watch a video online or make your students watch one. This will require you to have a stable internet connection to stream videos.
8. Using Animation Software
Animating your content will make your course more interesting. Furthermore, it will make you feel better after you animate what you want to say.
Best Laptops for Online Teaching: Buying Guide
Buying a laptop should scare you if you do not know much about it. You are spending so much on something so you better find out well about what you need from it. Let’s check out some things you require from a laptop for online teaching.
1. The Technical Requirements
Here is a list of things that you just cannot do without when you are buying a laptop for teaching online. For each of these, I have stated recommended requirement also.
An HD Camera: Quite often the difference between a laptop and a personal computer is the presence and absence of a webcam. You want the laptop to have a High Definition camera so that you can record your lecture videos easily. Also, this will allow you to have video conferences easily.
Portability: Are you planning to work from home or will you be carrying your laptop around? If you plan to carry it around, a lightweight laptop in a smaller size will do better for you.
The CPU: If you want the laptop to be able to deal with all kinds of files and the latest stuff then you should not go lower than Intel Core i5.
The RAM: This will determine the speed of your laptop. If you do not want the laptop to freeze then you should get a RAM of at least 8 GB.
SSD Storage: The greater the storage, the more you can save in your laptop. You should start at 128 GB.
The Operating System: It is best if you get the latest operating systems like Windows 10 or Mac OS X.
The Screen Size: This depends on what you are comfortable with. If you want a bigger screen, it will weigh and cost more.
Microphone: Since you may be recording videos or attending conferences through your laptop, the microphone should be of high quality.
2. The Price Range
Depending on the various factors, you can set your budget between 500 to 1000 dollars for a standard laptop.
3. Other Accessories
You can consider getting a USB Mouse to make things easier for you. Other than that, you can also buy Ethernet cables to make your internet connection faster and more efficient.
Best Laptops for Online Teaching: The Reviews
1. Acer Aspire 5 AMD (best according to user rating)
If you want a laptop that you can carry around with you easily, then this Slim laptop may be the one you are looking for. True to its name, this is slim and lightweight in its design. It provides you with an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual-Core Processor which is quite fast.
Design: Slim Laptop
Display: 15.6 inches Full HD IPS Display
CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 3
RAM: 4GB DDR4
Hard drive: 128 GB SSD
Other Features: Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 in S Mode
Although it has 4GB of RAM, you cannot get all of it which may be a bit of a bummer. However, the display, the camera, and the microphone work great.
- Quite portable and comes with a nice bag.
- Good display, camera quality, and microphone.
- The processor speed is good.
- Ample USB ports.
- It cuts out some space from the already scanty space of 4GB.
It is good for taking videos and recording content. However, it may have to upgrade it to get the best speed.
2. Apple MacBook Air (best if you like Apple)
If you are looking for a green solution to your technological needs then this Apple Macbook Air may be what you are looking for. The screen is not that large but it is portable and it has capabilities that much larger laptops do not have. With its 8 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD, it allows you to work on multiple apps together.
Screen Size: 13 inches Retina Display with True Tone
CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 8th Gen.
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 617
Hard drive: 256 GB SSD
Furthermore, the display is amazing with great resolution and text clarity. You will love the camera and audio quality as well.
- Portable and looks great.
- Quite fast at its job.
- Enough storage for online teaching.
- Quite secure to use.
- Expensive as you would expect Apple products to be.
- The charger cable may not be of the highest quality.
You can work relentlessly on this laptop to create various kinds of content. It is a great option for video conferencing as well.
3. Acer Predator Helios 300 (best for high-resolution video content)
The thing with gaming laptops is that they are solidly built. This means that they can handle loads well and thus they are good for using the authoring tools you plan to use for teaching online. The display has to be top-notch since it has to deal with high-quality games. Therefore, your teaching content is almost nothing to this laptop.
Screen Size: 15.6″ Full HD IPS
CPU: Intel core i7 CPU
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Hard drive: 256 GB SSD
Other Features: Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 Home, Up to 7-hours of battery life
Also, the processor is great with storage that encourages high speed. The camera and microphone work well too.
- Great display.
- Quite fast in its job.
- Good processor.
- The camera and microphone work great.
- Good price.
- It may overheat.
As long as you install a fan to help it not overheat, you will be able to enjoy making content on this laptop. It also lets you access the internet and enjoy live communication.
4. Acer Aspire 5 Intel (budget-friendly)
If you want to access the latest stuff easily then this 10th Gen laptop can help you with it. A budget-friendly laptop that will blow your mind with its performance and capabilities is what this Acer Aspire 5 Slim laptop is. It is different from our first pick in the sense that it has 8 GB of RAM space with more SSD space.
Screen Size: 15.6″ Full HD IPS Display
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U
Graphics: Intel UHD
RAM: 8GB DDR4
Hard drive: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Other Features: Fingerprint Reader, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 Home, Up to 5-hours of battery life
So, it is very fast. Furthermore, you will love the graphics, display, camera, and sound. What you may not like is the sensitivity of the touchpad and the placement of the vent.
- A budget-friendly option.
- Quite a good speed.
- Great display along with great camera and audio.
- More storage space.
- The Trackpad and the vent.
It will help you create content easily and it is quite portable. You just have to get used to the placement of the various parts.
5. Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop (best laptop for online work by design)
If you want to get really creative, you need flexibility. This Lenovo Flex 14 laptop actually has a touchscreen that you can easily use to edit images, videos and also design graphics easily. Furthermore, with its Radeon Vega 8 feature, you can do it all quite fast.
The RAM and storage capacity also allows you to store a lot of things and work super-fast. You will be able to conduct video conferences and live classes easily too. The screen recording will allow you to create a virtual whiteboard experience.
- The touchscreen allows for more flexibility.
- Quite fast in the photo and video editing.
- A great option for people who are experienced in online teaching.
- Good display.
- The camera and audio features are great and safe as well.
- The battery life may not be that great.
It is a great laptop for making great teaching content. In fact, it supports all kinds of content and lets you work quite fast.
6. Acer Spin 3 Convertible Laptop (Portable best laptops for online class)
If you are looking for a laptop that will give you the flexibility to work in any position you want then this Acer Spin 3 Convertible may be the one. In fact, it has a 360-degree hinge which makes it easy to use. You can edit images and videos with its touchscreen easily while laying in any position you want.
Furthermore, with its 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, it gives you features and speed. It has a good storage capacity which makes it work fast as well. This portable device connects to the internet easily as well.
- Very comfortable to use.
- The touchscreen also adds to the flexibility.
- Quite fast in its action.
- Connects to the internet easily.
- Great sound, display, and camera.
- No backlit keyboard.
It is great for working on comfortably. You can do any kind of task as well.
7. Apple MacBook Pro (for apple lover)
Apple has been quite famous in the image and video editing world. It gives you great features to work on. The display and sound of this laptop are top-notch. Furthermore, it offers you with great security with touch ID.
Furthermore, its SSD and RAM storage capacity is great enough to help you enjoy speedy editing. You will also enjoy editing on this because it makes everything fun to do. It won’t take long either.
- Excellent quality of the display, sound, and more.
- The storage capacity makes it very speedy.
- Easy to work on because of the placement and features.
- Looks great.
- Best for teaching online.
- The battery life is not great.
- Quite expensive.
If you watch movies on your laptop and enjoy really good graphics then this laptop will satisfy you when you are editing teaching content.
8. New Apple MacBook Pro (Portable and High Configuration laptops for online teaching)
Another one from Apple because Apple laptops are a great option for filmmakers also! So, being a teacher it sure will delight you. The colors you get along with the content and quality of the camera will be amazing. Moreover, this one comes with a RAM of 16 GB with 1 TB storage space.
Therefore, you will probably not experience much freezing. The Intel Core i9 also lets you enjoy the features in their best forms.
- Great quality images, camera, and audio.
- Quite a good speed for editing.
- Very portable.
- Great Graphics along with the 9th generation services.
- The touch bar and the design of the laptop make it easy to use.
- It heats up.
- Not much difference in feature with other versions but the price is very different.
It helps you create appealing content and quite easily too.
9. HP 2019 14″ Laptop (Best laptop for online teaching: Budget-Friendly option)
Do you not want to spend much on the laptop? Then, you sure will have to give up some features. In this case, you can try out HP and the Intel Core i3 processor. While it is old, you can create basic teaching content with it easily.
The 8GB RAM with 128GB SSD will keep it working fast. Also, the lack of the latest features will also keep the speed up and complexity away.
- A budget-friendly option.
- Good speed with storage.
- Good for beginners and simple teaching.
- The quality of the camera and the microphone is good enough.
- It lacks the latest technology.
If you are just going to create simple teaching content like documents and some image edits including video conferences, this shall do.
10. Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming Laptop (Portable and best for High Configuration)
We are back to gaming laptops because gaming laptops are great for editing content! Lenovo with its amazing IPS display, 8GB RAM, and 512 GB SSD, makes the Ideapad worth it for the teachers.
The Graphics in it is smooth making editing smooth for you as well. With it, you can be interactive through the camera and the microphone too. The speakers do well too.
- Great capacity for editing and creating content.
- Good choice for live interactions.
- Great display quality.
- Easy to use with great design.
- The design may not be the best with the trackpad and some unwanted lights.
You can work really fast on it to make the content and also conduct live classes.
11. ASUS VivoBook 15 (Best laptop for Large Display)
If you are looking for a laptop that is easy to carry but also has a large display then this might be the one. Apparently, it has a large display but a thin build which makes it lightweight. So, you can see the participants in a video conference easily.
With its Intel i3 processor, it’s not the latest but does the basic jobs well. It has 8GB of RAM which works well. In other words, the storage is enough to give you a good speed.
- Good portability.
- Large screen.
- Good speed.
- You can edit easily with the design it has.
- The sound quality is not the best.
It may not be the best option for watching a movie, but you can create content easily.
Best Pick according to System Requirement:
The New Apple MacBook Pro may be our best pick from this list according to configuration.
Best Pick according to Budget:
The HP 2019 14” laptop will be our best pick according to the budget.
How much RAM do I need for online teaching?
Which has a minimum of 8 GB RAM, that could be the best laptops for teachers. In the case of online teaching, teachers need to use some high-quality software such as graphics, video conferencing, video editing, etc.
There is much to consider but on top of that, you will have to consider your own preferences as well. The laptop, no matter how capable, will only be a great choice for you if it meets your needs. So, identify your needs first, and then you can find the laptop most suited to you.