Best laptop for teachers of 2024

Best laptop for teachers: Quick Menu

The best laptop for teachers must strike the perfect balance between performance, form factor, and value. 

A reliable laptop is essential for educators, as it needs to withstand the daily demands of the school year, but fortunately teachers have more options than ever before thanks to a variety of capable and affordable models available in slim, easy-to-transport designs. However, identifying the best laptop involves considering several key features. Educators require a laptop with a powerful CPU, fast RAM, and ample storage space and ports to manage documents, homework, and presentations from various classes.

Beyond technical specifications, it should also offer comfort and usability. This includes a high-quality keyboard and trackpad, lightweight and thin design for portability, and a screen that minimizes eye fatigue and strain during prolonged use, much like our picks for the best student laptop.

With the vast array of options available, sorting through the best laptops for teachers can be a challenging task. Our guide includes a comprehensive comparison of laptops, evaluating aspects like performance, portability, connectivity, storage, design, security features, display quality, and battery life.

In addition to mainstream laptop models, we've also explored the best 2-in-1 laptop, the best Chromebook, and the best MacBook that caters to diverse teaching needs. Whether for online or in-person classes, our guide aims to help you find the best laptop for teachers, ensuring that you have the right tool to enhance your teaching experience and productivity.


The best laptop for teachers of 2024 in full:

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Below you'll find full write-ups for each of the entries on our best laptop for teachers list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

The best laptop for teachers overall

Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022) on a white desk in a studio

(Image credit: Future)
The best laptop for teachers overall

Specifications

CPU: Apple M2 chip with 8-core CPU
Graphics: Integrated 9-core – 10-core GPU
RAM: 8GB – 24GB unified memory
Screen: 13.6-inch (diagonal) 2560-by-1664 LED-backlit display with IPS technology
Storage: up to 2TB

Reasons to buy

+
Great new design
+
Very good performance
+
Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive than the previous model
-
New colors are a bit tame

While the MacBook Pros have the sheer performance suitable for power users and content creators, for teachers, there’s the MacBook Air (M2, 2022). That isn’t to say that it’s not powerful in its own right. On the contrary, we found its performance to be exceptional during testing, tackling 4K video editing and music production workflows fast and in silence (thanks to its fanless design), with a beautiful-to-type-on keyboard and outstanding battery life. In some benchmark tests, its single-core performance is even on par with the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022).

It isn’t just its specs that saw an upgrade over its predecessor. Its battery life got a 5-hour uptick, giving it 16 hours of use on a single charge, while its screen is bigger and its design is better. We may not have gotten those full colors that the iMac 24-inch is sporting, but you’re getting a far more modern design here. It’s even thinner and smaller while offering a bigger screen size.

Read the full Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022) review.

The best Windows laptop for teachers

A Dell XPS 15 2022

(Image credit: Future)
The best Windows laptop for teachers

Specifications

CPU: 12th Gen Intel i5 - i9
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics - NVIDIA GeForce TRX 3050 Ti, 4 GB GDDR6, 40W
RAM: 8GB - 64GB DDR5
Screen: 15.6", FHD+ (1920 x 1200) - 15.6", UHD+ (3840 x 2400)
Storage: 512 GB SSD - 8TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous design
+
Powerful performance across the board
+
Outstanding battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Starts expensive and price rises with better specs

We loved the Dell XPS 15 (2022) for a number of reasons when we tested it, giving it a perfect 5 out of 5. It’s not only gorgeous, but it blew us away with its long battery life, especially for a 15-inch computer. Plus, its performance is powerful enough to encroach on gaming laptop territory.

And, even though it’s a bit older and there’s a newer version of this laptop, this is still very capable and worth considering, especially since computers a generation back tend to see regular discounts and the XPS 15 line doesn’t quite fit the definition of affordable.

If you need a powerful Windows machine then, getting this slightly older model means you’re paying a little less for a notebook that still combines staggering power with a stylish thin and light chassis. This laptop doesn’t hold back when it comes to internals and features that improve your computing experience overall. It's ideal for just about every Windows user, from light grading to intensive photo editing (and everything in between). 

Read the full Dell XPS 15 (2022) review.

The best 2-in-1 laptop for teachers

Surface Laptop 4

(Image credit: Future)
The best 2-in-1 for teachers

Specifications

CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i5 - 11th Gen Intel core i7 Processor
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics - AMD Radeon Graphics
RAM: 8GB, 16GB or 32GB LPDDR4x
Screen: (2256 x 1504) - (2496 x 1664)
Storage: 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable keyboard
+
Beautiful screen
+
Lightweight and affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Not enough ports
-
Alcantara might get gross over time

If you think you’re seeing a theme here of getting slightly older models, you’re not wrong. In this case, there are two reasons for that. First, the Surface Laptop 4 is still not only a capable portable, but it’s regularly significantly discounted. Second, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 turned out to be a bit of a dud.

Thankfully, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is still a dream to write and work on, especially if the bulk of your workload is word processing. When we tested it, we were taken in especially by its comfortable keyboard. As you probably know, laptop keyboards usually fit in the “good enough” category.

On top of that, we appreciated its sturdy hinge as we didn’t have to adjust the display – which is gorgeous by the way – after using the touchscreen functionality. Battery life is fantastic as well. In essence, the Surface Laptop 4 is great for grading, editing, creating presentations, and research. It’s also incredibly portable and easy to throw in a bag or carry in and out of classrooms.

Read the full Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 review.

The best light & portable laptop for teachers

Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
The best "on the go" laptop for teachers

Specifications

CPU: 13th-Gen Intel Core i7-1355U
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 32 GB LPDDR5
Screen: 13.3-inch, 16:10, 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED
Storage: 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Surprisingly robust performance
+
Incredibly thin and fairly lightweight
+
Gorgeous looking screen
+
Surprising amount of ports

Reasons to avoid

-
Speakers are a bit underwhelming
-
Premium price tag
-
Trackpad a bit too sensitive

The Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED may not be expensive in the realm of Ultrabooks, but it’s still plenty pricey. But, there’s a reason for that. This diminutive portable packs a lot of surprises in its tiny chassis.

Sure, we were impressed by its slim build and relative light weight, though it’s not the lightest laptop at this size. But, we were more impressed by its striking performance, able to keep up with just any day-to-day tasks while powering a beautiful and relatively high resolution OLED display. In fact, you might have to peel yourself away from secretly streaming Netflix during class and actually teach. That’s how good the screen looks.

More importantly, there’s a good amount of ports including an HDMI for versatility and a good, long battery life that will make it all through a school day and then some. Of course, the trackpad could be a little better and the speakers are underwhelming. But, those are far from deal breakers on such a portable and powerful laptop.

Read the full Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED review.

The best Chromebook for teachers

Acer Chromebook 514 Vero

(Image credit: Future)
An eco-friendly Chromebook capable of keeping up in the classroom

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i3 - i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 8GB - 16GB
Screen: 14-Inch 1920 x 1080p display
Storage: 256GB - 512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Aesthetic design
+
The chassis can take a drop or two
+
Very nice keyboard/typing experience

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited to what's on the Google Play Store
-
Not the cheapest Chromebook out there

Considering that more and more students are getting Chromebooks to use in the classroom due to their price, it makes sense for the teacher to get one as well. That said, a lot of Chromebooks leave a lot to be desired in the performance department.

Luckily, that’s not the case with the Acer Chromebook Vero 514. When we tested it, we were smitten with not only its smooth typing experience, but the ease at which it kept up with our productivity work. It’s also durable and very eco-friendly, making this perfect for the idealist out there.

Even though it’s not the cheapest Chromebook out there, it’s pretty reasonably priced in the grand scheme of things. And, unlike those cheaper models, its Intel Core CPU and very long battery life give it the kind of performance that you can expect to keep up with your work for at least a few years.

Read our full Acer Chromebook Vero 514 review.


Best laptops for teachers FAQs

How to choose the best laptops for teachers for you?

When choosing the best laptop for teaching, start with considering your education requirements. If you primarily need the browser and apps like Excel, then a moderately powered laptop will work fine. But if you're in the engineering field or in design, you'll need a powerful laptop that'll offer a lag-free experience. 

You'll want to consider the laptop's battery life. An all-day battery means you won't have to lug around a charger with you everywhere you go. But if you're mostly going to have your setup in one place, then a lower battery capacity will be fine too. 

If you work with a lot of space-consuming files, make sure to opt for a laptop with high storage, otherwise you'll have to carry an external hard drive around with you. 

Lastly, look out for the connectivity ports, security features, display, and pricing.

How we test the best laptops for teachers

To test the best laptops for teachers, we've looked at various aspects, like their CPU, GPU, portability, storage, and design. 

We evaluated their overall performance and what kind of users they'd be best suited for. We analyzed their battery lives, security features, display, and checked if they included accessories like a stylus. 

We also considered their connectivity ports, weight, and pricing, among other things.

Get in touch

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Michelle Rae Uy
Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor

Michelle Rae Uy is the Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor here at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives. 

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