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Best Laptops for Teachers 2020

Best laptops for teachers
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The best laptops for teachers can be the difference between teaching a class with ease and wasting time trying to deal with technical issues. Get the best laptop for teaching and a lesson in class, or remotely, can work well – without the focus on tech.

There's lots to think about in picking the best laptop for teachers, from battery life to durability to connectivity for working with smart whiteboards and beyond. Price and portability are also key factors, especially when buying at scale for a district or school. Needless to say security is also of great importance. 

So which are top? We've narrowed down some of the best laptops for teachers, each by special skill, to help you pick the ideal laptop for your education needs.

1. HP Spectre x360 (2020): The best laptop for teachers overall

HP Spectre x360 (2020)

(Image credit: HP)

HP Spectre x360 (2020)

Best laptop for teachers overall

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: Up to 16GB | Screen: 13.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit multitouch – 13.3" diagonal 4K (3840 x 2160) UWVA BrightView micro-edge AMOLED multitouch | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Tablet and laptop in one
Useful stylus
Gorgeous design and build quality
Powerful security
Battery life could be better

The HP Spectre x360 (2020) is the best laptop for teachers right now as it does everything, all in one beautifully designed and well-built form. From the 13.3-inch high resolution 4K display, which is touchscreen and works with a stylus, to the two-in-one design that lets you use this as a laptop or tablet – this is perfect for teaching in class or remotely.

The 10th Gen Intel Core processor offers plenty of power and lots of security too, built-in thanks to Windows 10. It also plays well with other devices with great connectivity options including two Thunderbolt 3 and one USB-A ports.

Battery life could be better, although with this much power it's understandable and plenty enough to get a teacher through a full day. It isn't the cheapest laptop out there but for something that does it all and is built to last, it is worth the cost.

2. Acer Swift 3 (2020): Best laptop for teachers on a budget

Acer Swift 3

(Image credit: Acer)

Acer Swift 3 (2020)

Best laptop for teachers on a budget

CPU: Up to Intel Core i7-1065G7 | Graphics: Up to Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) ComfyView IPS – 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD

Superb value
Great keyboard and trackpad
Decent performance
Bland look

The Acer Swift 3 is an affordable way to get a laptop that offers plenty of power and a great build from a big brand name, without paying too much. Despite the budget-friendly price, it offers a solidly built keyboard and trackpad that are responsive and durable. The display is large at 15.6-inches and clear at Full HD, yet everything remains compact and portable enough for daily use or when moving between classrooms.

The look might be a little basic for some tastes and the speakers aren't the best, but under that lightweight chassis is plenty of power to handle any teaching task. It is also decent for connectivity with USB 2, USB 3, Thunderbolt 3, and HDMI – covering pretty much everything that could be needed.

3. Google Pixelbook Go: Best powerful Chromebook

Google Pixelbook Go

(Image credit: Google)

Google Pixelbook Go

Best powerful Chromebook

CPU: Intel Core m3 - Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) or 4K LCD touchscreen | Storage: 128GB - 256GB eMMC

Superb battery life
Wonderful Hush keyboard
Gorgeous design
Lots of processing power
Not cheap
No biometric logins

The Google Pixelbook Go is a powerful Chromebook that might not be the cheapest but offers a lot for the price. It has a gorgeous design with a durable build quality. But it's the Hush keyboard that's worth shouting about as it offers a near silent typing experience that's ideal for teachers working while the class carries out a task.

The battery life on the Pixelbook Go is superb, easily lasting 12 hours -- more than a full school day! -- without needing a charge. That means teachers can carry this portable 13.3-inch Full HD screen laptop about all day without having to tote the extra weight of a charger. 

If your school is already using the Google G Suite for Education system, then a Chromebook makes sense and this is one of the best you can buy right now.

4. Microsoft Surface Go 2: Best laptop for teachers that use Windows

Microsoft Surface Go 2

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface Go 2

Best laptop for teachers that use Windows

CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 10-inch 1800 x 1200 touchscreen | Storage: 64GB eMMC – 128GB SSD | OS: Windows 10 Home in S mode

Stunning design and build quality
Decent price
Full Windows 10
No Touch Cover or stylus included

The Microsoft Surface Go 2 is technically a tablet with a Touch Cover keyboard case, but since it has full Windows 10 and plenty of power, it is also a full laptop. As such, it is light and portable with an impressive 1800 x 1200 10-inch touchscreen display. And even with all that, it manages to keep the price low.

The Surface Go 2 will carry out all teacher-related tasks with ease and can even run Minecraft well. The addition of a stylus makes it a really versatile tool that's ideal for taking around the classroom to work with students in small groups or one-on-one. 

This unit is also secure with Windows 10 protection, which is now rated as some of the best out there.

5. Apple MacBook Pro: Best laptop for teachers of graphics and video

Apple MacBook Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple MacBook Pro

Best laptop for teachers of graphics and video

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M – Radeon Pro 5500M | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD

Lots of graphical power
Stunning build and design
Great keyboard
Super display
Thunderbolt 3 ports only

The Apple MacBook Pro is an expensive laptop, there's no getting around that. But the reason is that it's an Apple product, which also means quality and performance are excellent. It is not needed for most teachers but, rather, is an ideal tool for those teaching tech-focused subjects such as graphics, video, engineering, and the like.

This is the video editor's laptop of choice, cramming lots of power into a portable frame. The 16-inch True Tone display is stunning and makes for a clear reproduction of any project in the works. The keyboard has been redesigned making it better than ever for long-term use and big project work. The Touch Bar, which offers shortcuts, also makes this a powerful tool that's time efficient.

Apple laptops are notoriously secure and have a battery life that's built to last the day. Of course, with lots of graphics processing planned, it always pays to keep a charger handy. The only downside to this laptop, other than price, is the limit to four Thunderbolt ports only – but with adapter available even this isn't a deal breaker. 

6. Acer Chromebook 314: Best affordable Chromebook

Acer Chromebook 314

(Image credit: Acer)

Acer Chromebook 314

Best affordable Chromebook

CPU: Intel Celeron N4000 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 14-inch LED (1366 x 768) high definition | Storage: 32GB eMMC

Very affordable
Brilliant battery life
Crisp, clear display
Plenty of power
No touchscreen

The Acer Chromebook 314 is another big brand name at a low price. It uses the Chromebook moniker so have an OS that gives you a long battery life and lives in a form factor that's light and portable. The fact it also resembles a MacBook Air is just a bonus.

The screen is bright, clear, and crisp as well as plenty big enough at 14 inches. Lots of power gets all the tasks Chrome OS offers done easily. Plus, it is well built with an impressive keyboard, trackpad, and selection of ports, including two USB-A, two USB-C and a MicroSD card slot.