Best laptop for teachers

The pandemic has urged the need for online education. This emerging need compelled both students and teachers to go for a laptop for online study. Teachers can no longer manage daily ledgers, attendance records, check exam papers physically. All of the aforementioned needs have to be fulfilled digitally. While the software exists for these needs, all school teachers do not have access to a laptop dedicated to schoolwork. 

LaptopsImageLaptops NameView On Amazon
#1Mi Notebook 14

#2Lenovo Ideapad Slim 3i

#3Asus VivoBook 14

#4MSI Modern 14

#5Apple MacBook Air (M1 Chip)

I can easily suggest teachers go for a very low-end laptop that can fulfill the requirements of running documentation applications. There is a flaw in this approach as modern education demand a lot of computing power to run applications, browse the web, stream your teaching sessions, and conduct exams. All this cannot be done using a low-end budget laptop. Likewise, I cannot suggest to you the numero-uno laptops that are way overkill and overpriced for your needs. The pandemic has reduced the salary of every working professional including the teachers, so purchasing a mid-range laptop makes more sense than ever.

A best laptop for teachers 2021 predominantly, should be a fast worker with little to no jitters at all. To identify a laptop best suited for teachers, the following features have to present on a laptop.

Display

A teacher needs a big display to keep track of changes in documents and video conference sessions. That being said you don’t want to go for the biggest display you can find because at some point in time you will have to carry it to the school. I see no point in suggesting a 17-inch laptop unless it is an absolute necessity. Teachers are best suited to laptops that lie in the ballpark of 14 -16 inches. These display sizes are lightweight due to the reduced dimensions and can also easily fit in your backpack.

Resolution

High-Resolution makes the content look rich and non-grainy on a laptop display. It is necessary to opt for at least a Full HD display that has twice the pixels as a normal HD display. Also, the high resolution puts less strain on the user’s eye.

Webcam

It is a travesty that the laptop manufacturers still do not pay any attention to improving the webcam. If you can find a 1080 pixel webcam, go for it, but I would recommend an external webcam as the quality is very poor with the inbuilt ones.

Battery

The laptop should be able to last a few hours so that you can initiate a class or a session if required. 

Compute power

Compute power includes the processor and the RAM, which helps to run the applications and system faster. A two-core processor is not recommended, even if it is the latest-gen as the performance suffers in applications like Microsoft teams, zoom, etc. A four-core processor is adept at handling tasks better and provides you excellent speed while multitasking. Intel Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 5 are the processors that will help you. 4- 8 GB of RAM is well enough to handle any application, although I would advise going for the latter. If the budget restraints you from purchasing a four-core laptop, opt for one with upgradable memory slots, which can help you upgrade the RAM in the future.

Graphics processor

For teachers, an onboard graphics processor will suffice. Modern onboard graphics cards are powerful to run the laptop at maximum resolution and even play a few games if you like to.

Keyboard

The keyboard should be tactile and responsive. It should be LED-backlit if you want to work at night or in a dark room with low lights. 

Ports

The laptop should have a decent port layout to connect it to a projector for the physical classroom and a few USB ports to connect to different storage devices. Having a type c port is a plus as it can charge your laptop and provide many other great sets of features such as connectivity to an external display and a data transfer.

Storage

Anything less than 256 GB is not good news. Files and application data grow as you keep using them. Moreover, windows also expand after each update. So a laptop with 256 GB SSD or more should be preferred.

I have scouted the best laptops for teachers 2021, based on the above mentioned features and their price to performance ratio.

  1. Mi Notebook 14

Specifications

Processor NameIntel Core i510210U (1.6 GHz with Turbo Boost Up to 4.2 GHz)
SSD Yes
SSD Capacity256 GB
RAM 8 GB DDR4
Graphics ProcessorIntel Integrated UHD
Memory Slots 2 Slots
Expandable Memory Up to 32 GB
RAM Frequency 2666 MHz

Port and Slot Features

Mic In Yes
RJ45 No
VGA Port No
USB Port1 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.1
HDMI Port 1 x HDMI Port
Multi Card Slot SD Card Reader
Hardware Interface SATA

Connectivity Features

Wireless LANIEEE 802.11ac
Bluetooth V5.0
EthernetNA

Operating System

OS Architecture 64 bit
Operating System Windows 10 Home

Display and Audio

Screen Size 35.56 cm (14 inch)
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080 Pixel
Screen TypeFull HD LED Backlit Anti-glare Display (16:9 Aspect Ratio)
Speakers Built-in Dual Speakers
Internal Mic Built-in Microphone

Mi Notebook 14 is a relatively new yet and economical offering from Xiaomi, which has stepped into almost every genre of electronic gadgets. The Mi Notebook 14 is an entry-level productivity laptop for a teacher that wants it to have some juice and raw power. The laptop is very sleek and stylish in a silver color combination. It adopts a new design scheme with slim bezels, new components, and a very compact body weighing just 1.5 kilograms. At that weight, it will never be a burden to carry anywhere.

Mi Notebook 14 is a head-turner from the design aspect. It has a Full-HD display and bears a resolution of 1920*1080 pixels. The screen size is capped at 14 inches but it has a massive display area due to the 81 percent screen to body ratio. The 5.7 mm bezels provide an immersive viewing experience in e-learning platforms as you can notice every single detail. The display has a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees and does not provide any reflections or blurred images due to the anti-glare panel. The top bezel houses a tiny 720 pixels webcam fit for video conferencing at low quality. An external webcam is suggested if you are working from home.

Mi Notebook 14 has a stringent port selection, which might deter a few of you, but I see it otherwise. The laptop has discarded the ethernet port and the SD card port, both of which are of little to no use to a teacher. All the essential ports such as an HDMI port for connecting to projectors and external displays. You get two USB ports, sadly only one of those is a USB 3.0 port. The laptop comes with the latest Wi-Fi 5 card that supports fast internet connectivity and is fit for uninterrupted online classes. You also get Bluetooth 5.0 for connecting to wireless devices. The laptop features a scissor-type keyboard, which is good for typing excessively but lacks a number pad. The keyboard also has a dust protection layer that prevents any damage to the internal machinery. It is also not LED-backlit, but that isn’t a major issue at all times. The laptop has two speakers which are powered by DTS stereo sound and can be helpful if you are in a closed room.

The internals is as impressive as the design. The Mi Notebook 14 comes with a tenth-generation core i5 processor which can run most applications with ease. The processor is more than enough for running Microsoft office, web apps, chrome, Microsoft Teams, and almost any compatible windows software. It comes with 8GB of DDR4 memory which is the faster you can get on a budget laptop like this one. You will never run short of memory in applications and will be able to run multiple browser sessions and applications easily. It comes with a 256 GB storage space which is SSD. An SSD drive will deliver fast response time whether you are copying something or running a file or application. Lastly, the laptop comes with an integrated graphics processor that can provide a seamless visual experience in the browser, video playback, and light games.

The laptop has a 42 WHr battery with an expected uptime of 10 hours. You won’t get 10 hours, that’s for sure but can expect 6-7 hours on battery saver mode. The battery supports fast charging and can fully charge in 100 minutes. It also comes with pre-installed software that allows you to unlock the laptop via a Xiaomi fitness band and copy data from your mobile to the laptop.

  1. Lenovo Ideapad Slim 3i

Specifications

Processor NameIntel Core i5 1035G1 (1 GHz with Turbo Boost Up to 3.6 GHz)
SSD Yes
SSD Capacity256 GB
RAM 8 GB DDR4
Graphics ProcessorIntel Integrated UHD
Memory Slots 2 Slots
Expandable Memory Up to 12 GB
RAM Frequency 2666 MHz

Port and Slot Features

Mic In Yes
RJ45 No
VGA Port No
USB Port1 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.2 (1st Gen)
HDMI Port 1 x HDMI Port
Multi Card Slot4-in-1 Media Reader (MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC)
Hardware Interface SATA

Connectivity Features

Wireless LANIEEE 802.11ac (2×2)
Bluetooth V5.0
EthernetNA

Operating System

OS Architecture 64 bit
Operating System Windows 10 Home

Display and Audio

Screen Size 39.62 cm (15.6 inch)
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080 Pixel
Screen TypeFull HD LED Backlit Anti-glare TN Display (16:9 Aspect Ratio, 220 nits Brightness)
Speakers1.5 x 2 W Stereo Speakers with Dolby Audio
Internal Mic Built-in Microphone

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim3i is another great option for a productivity laptop. It is based on the newer design of Lenovo laptops, which uses the latest generation processors and a sleek design. The laptop is a storage mammoth and comes with the maximum storage in our list of best laptops for teachers 2021.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim3i features an all-metallic design and comes in a striking platinum grey color scheme. It adopts a two side slim bezel display that provides a more immersive and unobstructed experience than a normal IPS display. The top bezel houses a 720 webcam which is adequate for normal video calls on zoom and Google meet. The webcam also comes with a privacy shutter that can be used to block the webcam in case you want to keep things personal. It also adds an extra layer of privacy by embedding the fingerprint sensor in the power button.

You can easily unlock the device without having to manually enter the password again and again. A good laptop needs a good display, and the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim3i has that features. You get a full HD display with a peak brightness of 220 nits. Not the brightest display out there but is very practical to use indoors. A teacher has to seldom step outdoors with a laptop, so it fits in this use case scenario. The anti-glare property of the display reduces the reflections. You can also tilt the screen to 180 degrees for easy presentation to peers and colleagues.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim3i
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim3i
Editors Rating:

The laptop has a good port layout and connectivity options. The laptop comes with two fast USB 3.1 ports a slower USB 2.0 port, making it three ports in total. There is a full-size HDMI port for connecting to the projector and a Full-size SD card reader that supports all types of memory cards. The ethernet port is not provided on the laptop and can be added via a dongle. You also get a 3.5 mm headphone jack/ microphone combo port. For internet connectivity, the laptop comes with a dual-band Wi-Fi card that supports the Wi-Fi version 5. It also uses Bluetooth 5.0 to pair with your BlueTooth peripherals and transfer data. The keyboard on the laptop is the traditional chicklet-style keyboard you would find on a laptop with a separate numeric pad for crunching numbers. 

The speakers of the laptop support Dolby audio, so you can expect a decent sound output from them. The specifications of the laptop are the best in this price range. The laptop uses a 10th generation core i5 processor with 8 GB of DDR4 memory that can run all the documentation applications, Microsoft teams, zoom, and e-learning platforms with ease. Being a four-core processor, you can also multitask without encountering any lag in performance. The laptop comes with a whopping 1.25 TB storage option. It comes with a 1 TB SATA hard disk drive that is large enough to store your books, projects, student data, and files with ease. It also bundles a 256 GB solid-state drive that provides fast data transfer and boot time.

The laptop comes with an integrated Intel UHD graphics processor and can run web browsers, applications, and video files at native 1080 pixel resolution. The laptop also comes with a battery backup of 4-6 hours on light usage which is good for an entire workday. Lenovo IdeaPad Slim3i is a lightweight option for teachers that can be used indoors or carried to the institution without feeling a burden in your backpack. It a solid option for teachers that desire a large display and storage space.

  • Asus VivoBook 14

Specifications

Processor NameIntel Core i5 8265U (1.6 GHz with Turbo Boost Upto 3.9 GHz)
SSD Yes
SSD Capacity512 GB
RAM 8 GB DDR4
Graphics ProcessorIntel Integrated UHD 620
Memory Slots 2 Slots
Expandable Memory Up to 12 GB
RAM Frequency 2666 MHz

Port and Slot Features

Mic In Yes
RJ45 No
VGA Port No
USB Port1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.1, 1 x USB 3.1 Type C
HDMI Port 1 x HDMI Port
Multi Card Slot4-in-1 Media Reader (MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC)
Hardware Interface SATA

Connectivity Features

Wireless LANIEEE 802.11ac (2×2)
Bluetooth V4.2
EthernetNA

Operating System

OS Architecture 64 bit
Operating System Windows 10 Home

Display and Audio

Screen Size35.56 cm (14 inch))
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080 Pixel
Screen TypeFull HD LED Backlit Anti-glare NanoEdge Display
Speakers1.5 x 2 W Stereo Speakers with Dolby Audio
Internal Mic Built-in Microphone

Asus VivoBook 14 is the third laptop on our list for the best laptop for teachers 2021. It earns the third spot because it has a blend of great internal components and a feature-rich chassis. The laptop is among the lightest in this category, and weighs under 1.5 kilograms, despite the metal and plastic chassis. Asus VivoBook 14 has the design of a modern, elegant ultrabook. The first thing to notice is of course the extra slim bezels, due to which you get a screen to body ratio of 87 percent. It is way more than the above-mentioned laptops and the display is slightly tall, despite being fourteen-inch in size. Be rest assured of an immersive visual experience, whether you work on the laptop or use it to stream content, both of which are equally immersive. The top bezel houses an HD webcam that can be used to make calls and even supports Windows Hello face login. 

The laptop bears a fourteen-inch FHD display and comes with a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees. Even if you are standing or sitting at an angle, the display will look quite crisp and clear. It is an anti-glare display so no reflections in bright light. The laptop has increased security features as it comes with a fingerprint scanner along with the windows hello login with facial recognition. Both these features help you log in securely and protect your data from prying eyes.

Asus VivoBook 14
Asus VivoBook 14
Editors Rating:

The best part of the laptop is the LED-backlit keyboard that comes with three levels of brightness. The keyboard makes the laptop usable both day and night, and the brightness is also adjustable. It has key travel of 1.3 mm and typing on it feels like a breeze. Asus has introduced the ergo lift hinge technology that elevates the laptop at an angle of two degrees. It facilitates better typing and increases room for airflow. These features put the Asus VivoBook 14 on par with a high-end ultrabook and mid-range price. The trackpad supports Windows precision drivers and is a glass one so fingers slide easily without too much effort. The trackpad houses the fingerprint reader in the top right corner for easy login. It comes with two speakers that are power by a Sonic master and will appear louder.

Asus VivoBook 14 is the laptop with the most diverse connectivity options in our lineup. The laptop comes with three types of USB ports, two of which are newer generation ports. You also get a USB type C port that can be used to transfer data at high speed. The laptop comes with an HDMI port for external display connectivity and projector connection. It has a MicroSD card reader which is the least useful of all the I/O connections present on the laptop. For wireless connectivity, you get a Realtek Card with Wi-Fi 5 dual-band, which provides excellent speed as compared to the WiFi 4. There is no ethernet port for connecting to the internet via a LAN cable.

The laptop has a powerful processor. It is a four-core Intel i5 processor and is optimized to conserve battery while multitasking and normal use. It is paired with an 8 GB RAM module and is configurable to 20 GB, should the need arise. The laptop can run all the desired applications for teachers without any problem and can provide exceptional read and write speed due to the M.2 SSD. You get a 512 GB SSD that can be upgraded to 1 TB. The battery life is better on the Asus VivoBook 14 because it has an efficient low TDP processor. You can expect a modest battery life of 4-5 hours on a single charge. It charges faster than any normal laptop and can replenish 69 percent of its battery in 50 minutes. All in all, a great choice for a teacher looking for a lightweight, sleek laptop.

  • MSI Modern 14

Specifications

Processor NameIntel Core i5 10210U (1.6 GHz with Turbo Boost Upto 4.2 GHz)
SSD Yes
SSD Capacity512 GB
RAM 8 GB DDR4
Graphics ProcessorIntel Integrated UHD 620
Memory Slots 2 Slots
Expandable Memory Up to 12 GB
RAM Frequency 2666 MHz

Port and Slot Features

Mic In Yes
RJ45 No
VGA Port No
USB Port1 x USB 3.2 Type C (2nd Gen), 2 x USB 2.0 Type A
HDMI Port 1 x HDMI Port (4K at 30 Hz)
Multi Card SlotMicro SD Card Reader
Hardware InterfaceNVMe PCIe

Connectivity Features

Wireless LANIntel Wireless-AC 9560 (2×2 a/c)
Bluetooth V5.0
EthernetNA

Operating System

OS Architecture 64 bit
Operating System Windows 10 Home

Display and Audio

Screen Size35.56 cm (14 inch))
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080 Pixel
Screen TypeFull HD LED Backlit IPS Display (60 Hz Refresh Rate)
Speakers2 x 2 W Stereo Speakers with Hi-Res Audio
Internal Mic Built-in Microphone

MSI Modern 14 is the fourth on the list of best laptops for teachers in 2021. It is by far the lightest laptop in the category and weighs just 1.3 kilograms. It is hard to believe that MSI makes anything else than gaming products but it does and the Modern series is an example of that. The laptop is also super lightweight because of the absence of an optical drive, which makes no sense in the USB age. The laptop is a part of the standard laptops by Intel, a series that is focused on mid-range, budget, portable devices that can be used for business and home. Usually, it means that you can expect a reliable performance, battery life, and security.

The MSI Modern 14 comes with a design similar to the ergo lift technology by Asus. The hinge design lifts the bottom half at an angle that makes it easy to type and release heat to the surroundings. MSI modern 14 is a thin bezel laptop with negligible bezels on the side and a beefy one at the bottom. The laptop opens to 180 degrees if you need to present it to a group. The top bezel houses a 720 HD webcam fit for video conferencing and calls. There are two noise-canceling microphones on the top bezel that helps you transmit clear audio.

The MSI Modern 14 comes with a Full HD display. Since it is an IPS panel, the color output is guaranteed to be punchy and crisp. The display is fourteen inches in size and overall it is a compact gadget that can easily fit in a teacher’s backpack. One more appealing feature is the military-grade durability that the laptop offers in the price range. It is a feature only found in high-end ultrabooks.

MSI Modern 14
MSI Modern 14
Editors Rating:

The keyboard is also very spacious and tactile with a key travel of 1.5 mm. You can expect a decent typing experience and the ability to work at night using the LED-backlit keys. It has a medium-sized trackpad located in the center and supports windows precision touchpad gestures. The LED-backlit is non-configurable and comes only in white color. The laptop comes with modest connectivity options and lacks a fast USB type-A port. It comes with a USB type C port that can transfer data at high speed. It has an HDMI port that is capable of connecting to an external display with a 4K output at 30 Hz. It has an inbuilt Wi-Fi 5 card and Bluetooth version 5, both of which offer fast data transfer and internet connectivity. There is no ethernet port and a Full-size SD card reader. 

The laptop comes with a 10th generation Intel i5 processor which is fast and efficient. The U series processor is known for working at low TDP and consumes very little power. The processor can accelerate up to 4.2 GHz as the applications become demanding. It is paired with 8 GB RAM, which is DDR4 in single-channel and is capable of running most applications in the blink of an eye. The laptop comes with a 512 GHz SSD, based on the PCIe interface, which much faster than the traditional SATA SSD. 

It is powered by the onboard Intel UHD graphics which are capable of video output, streaming high-quality content and 1080 pixels resolution, and working with demanding software. The battery life of the MSI Modern 14 lies in a 5-7 hours range only because it uses a U series processor and integrated graphics. There are a few bundled software to tweak the laptop performance, but from a teacher’s use case, it is not necessary. All in all, another great laptop for teachers with good battery life and compact, ergonomic aesthetics.

  • Apple MacBook Air (M1 Chip)

Specifications

Processor Name8-core CPU with 4 perform­ance cores and 4 efficiency cores 7-core GPU 16-core Neural Engine
SSD Yes
SSD Capacity512 GB
RAM8 GB DDR4
Graphics ProcessorM1 Integrated 7 core GPU
Memory Slots 2 Slots
Expandable Memory Up to 16 GB
RAM Frequency 2666 MHz

Port and Slot Features

Mic In Yes
RJ45 No
VGA Port No
USB Port2*USB Type C
HDMI PortNA
Multi Card SlotNA
Hardware InterfaceSATA

Connectivity Features

Wireless LAN802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking
Bluetooth V5.0
EthernetNA

Operating System

OS Architecture 64 bit
Operating SystemmacOS Big Sur

Display and Audio

Screen Size33.78 cm (13.3 inch))
Screen Resolution2560 * 1600 Pixel
Screen Type13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560×1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors Supported scaled resolutions: 1680×1050, 1440×900, 1024×640 400 nits brightness Wide colour (P3) True Tone technology
SpeakersStereo speakers Wide stereo sound Support for Dolby Atmos playback
Internal Mic Built-in Microphone

MacBook Air is the last on the list of the best laptop for teachers 2021 only because it is expensive. It seems fair to recommend it at the bottom for professionals that are willing to go over the budget or like to work with the Apple macOS. It is easy to find the applications for MacBook Air, as you get for windows, as more software companies are releasing the software for both platforms. Softwares such as Microsoft teams, Microsoft office, slack, etc are available now. So the MacBook Air is a great option for productivity laptops for teachers.

Another big reason to recommend the Apple MacBook Air is the launch of the new Apple M1 chips, a proprietary processor by the company. It is comparably faster than the Intel counterparts and will present almost no visible lag whatsoever. The Apple Macbook Air is equipped with a retina display that bears a 2K resolution. The display however feels more vibrant than it is and is fit for use in both indoor and outdoor environments. Teachers have work long hours glued to the system and the laptop has a true tone technology that adjusts the white balance to put less strain on the eyes.

Apple MacBook Air features a LED-backlit keyboard, like always, but with a more typing-centric keyboard equipped with a scissors key mechanism. It will provide you with the best in class typing experience as you prepare presentations, papers, or do extensive documentation work. The laptop also features a larger trackpad that takes up a lot of space on the laptop. It is constructed with a glass surface to provide easy maneuvering and with a large trackpad like this, you wouldn’t need an extra mouse.

Apple MacBook Air (M1 Chip)
Apple MacBook Air (M1 Chip)
Editors Rating:

The laptop is a disaster for connectivity options. You do not get a single USB type-A port and have to purchase a dongle for extending the port layout. It comes with two thunderbolt ports and that’s all. The laptop uses a touch ID for fingerprint login but fails to provide even a single USB type-A port, let alone ethernet, HDMI, or SD card reader. The new M1 chips are equipped with the latest connectivity options and it includes a Wi-Fi 6 card and Bluetooth version 5.0. 

As mentioned above, the new M1 chips are more than enough to run all the applications that you need. The default memory size is 8 GB and can be configured to 16 GB, but isn’t recommended for a teacher’s use case scenario unless you teach ML or advanced computing languages. The default storage space is 256 GB which is more than enough for local storage. You can always use an external hard disk which is cheaper than upgrading to a MacBook SSD of higher capacity. The laptop comes with a graphics processor embedded into the chip and is fully capable of running the display and the applications at the highest resolution. 

The M1 MacBook Air is optimized to work silently. It does not have an inbuilt fan so you don’t have to battle whirring noises while giving a webinar. The MacBook Air is an expensive affair but is a great option for non-windows users who want a laptop best at everything it does.

Conclusion

These were our best picks for the best laptop for teachers 2021. Each laptop has something unique that can apply to your use case. If you want a fourteen-inch laptop with maximum connectivity options, the MI or the Lenovo laptop mentioned above can get your job done. The Lenovo one can be chosen only if you need maximum possible storage space. The MSI Modern is a fairly lightweight laptop and is a portable option with a great processor and internals. Lastly, if you need to switch sides to the Apple ecosystem, the Macbook Air, is a great option, which comes with a hefty price tag.

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