Today, you can’t survive school or college without a decent laptop. Be it reading, listening or creating, you’d use it for various needs. And, things ONLY get more important when you are online schooling. In the first look, things may be simple. You might think you just need the machine with an active internet connection. But, that is not completely right. The best ones for online schooling depends on many things, but there are a few factors you should look for.
Even as you narrow things down to laptops for internet schooling, you have so many options. So, how do you pick the best one to help you with learning things online? It should be portable, performance-friendly and last long, right? Now, that’s a very broad description. In this article, we have listed some of the best picks from the market, making the list as diverse as possible. We have also tried to include really portable machines so that, even if you are a regular student, you will love the choice.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
|Dell XPS 15|
CPU: 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ
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|ASUS ZenBook Pro 15|
CPU: 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ
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|Acer Aspire 5|
CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Core i7-8565U
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We are looking for a laptop with best-in-class performance, multitasking capabilities, and portability.
10 Best-Rated Laptops For Online Schooling
As said, the perfect laptop depends on the course you are studying, whether content creation is part of it. For instance, if you are learning film editing online, you definitely need something like a MacBook Pro. If you might want a high-performance machine that comes with high-end CPU+RAM+GPU if you are into machine learning, game development. However, if you are learning humanities, medical studies, business studies or management, then you are fine with the one that performs and multi-tasks well.
1. Best For Online Schooling: Dell XPS 15
The Dell XPS 15 is one of the most popular laptops for online schooling if you need performance. Thanks to the combination of an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor clocked at 2.8GHz and 16GB of RAM, you can easily open several Chrome tabs and do intense work. Coming to storage, the laptop offers plenty and full SSD means a wonderful speed as well.
The 4K touch-enabled display, with an amazing resolution of 3840×2160, is a visual treat to say the least. If you are learning video editing or love to watch films, the screen is the best in town. Just in case you want to create content or play some games in free time, you would love the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050, with a VRAM of 4GB. This would be enough for rendering your Adobe Premiere Pro clips or playing Fortnite.
The Dell XPS 15 does not compromise the connectivity side either. The wireless AC adaptor can offer you an amazing speed so that you can listen to those lectures without buffer. It also comes with a Thunderbolt 3 port and two USB 3.0 ports for extended connectivity. Some other noticeable features include MaxxAudio speakers and backlit keyboard. There is also an HDMI port in case you want a secondary display.
We wouldn’t say the Dell XPS 15 is a lightweight laptop. However, when compared to the performance it is offering, 4.41lbs sounds pretty fine. The manufacturer doesn’t make any claims regarding battery life, but reviews mention up to 7 hours with heavy usage. So, if you use this expensive laptop for listening to lectures and making PPT presentations, you can have all-day power.
2. Best For Learners: ASUS ZenBook Pro 15
If you think the Dell XPS 15 is an overkill for you, you should consider what ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 has to offer you. First things first, the laptop offers the same level of performance, thanks to the Intel Core i7 at 2.8GHz and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. However, you are getting half the storage space, but still SSD, which works great for performance. So, you can have hassle-free multitasking with this device.
When it comes to display, however, things have been downgraded to a 15.6-inch full HD panel with touch support. Still, with a good resolution of 1920×1080, watching movies and games would not be a tough task. It also packs the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with a VRAM of 4GB. This would come in handy if you are into graphics-intensive tasks as well.
Comprehensive connectivity is something we loved in the ASUS ZenBook Pro 15. You get 2 Thunderbolt 3-enabled USB Type C ports and two USB 3.0 Type A ports. The laptop also offers better speed in terms of Wi-Fi. Last but not least, you can have HDMI connectivity for extra needs. ASUS has also packed some extra features like a powerful keyboard, an elegant design and better heat management.
When things are said and done, the ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 can offer a maximum battery life of 14 hours on a single charge. The battery comes with fast charging tech that pushes the battery to 60% juice in 49 minutes. Of course, the battery would drain faster if you are watching full HD videos or streaming all day. Still, 14 is a great place to start. With a weight of 4lbs, the ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 isn’t light, but not so huge either.
3. Best Value for Money: Acer Aspire 5
There are times when you need an affordable laptop with high performance. If you are on a tight budget but still want to run some heavy software as a part of syllabus, Acer Aspire 5 is an awesome choice. Powering it inside is an Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 1.6GHz and goes up to 4.6GHz. When coupled with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, this laptop will never stop you from multitasking.
Although it has the traditional amount of bezels, the 15.6-inch display is a visual treat indeed. While its native resolution of 1920×1080 is enough for enjoying full HD streams and other media consumption, the addition of an NVIDIA GeForce MX250 is amazing. This dedicated graphics card has a VRAM of 2GB, which is enough for low-key gaming and content creation.
The Acer Aspire 5 does not let us down in terms of connectivity either. It comes with a USB 3.1 Type C port and two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports. In addition, you get a full HDMI port and one USB 2.0. While we wish the USB 2.0 port could have been replaced by something, the rest is good. Some other features of the device include a backlit keyboard, Acer TrueHarmony sound and an elegant design.
With a weight of 3.97lbs, the Acer Aspire 5 is not particularly lightweight, but we can’t call it heavy either. It should be noted that the computer packs some of the best hardware combined with enough battery power. The fact that the laptop can last for up to 9.5 hours with standard performance is just awesome. Despite all these, the pricing isn’t that much either.
4. Best Convertible Laptop: Lenovo Yoga 920
One of the benefits of online schooling is the flexibility it offers. If you want to make the most out of it, it is best to use a convertible laptop. Lenovo Yoga 920 happens to offer the right package you have been looking for. It is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor with a clock speed of 1.8GHz, which is combined with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage.
What makes the 13.9-inch screen special is the touchscreen and stylus support. You will have a great time while drawing diagrams or making artwork on the full HD screen, thanks to the resolution of 1920×1080. In order to reduce weight and enable the convertibility, Lenovo has excluded a dedicated graphics card from the package, but that’s alright.
To make the best out of the flexible design, there is stylus support from Lenovo. The pen included with the package is of decent experience overall. On the connectivity side, the Lenovo Yoga 920 has a sufficient set of ports, including a full-sized USB 3.0 port. Because it runs on Windows 10 Home with support for Windows Ink, you will have an amazing experience there too.
Compared to the other products above, the Lenovo Yoga 920 is a truly lightweight convertible laptop. With a manageable weight of 3.02lbs, you can’t go wrong with this choice. Be it watching videos or going through your notes, the flexibility matters a lot. It comes as an icing on the cake that the laptop offers a maximum battery life of up to 15.5 hours.
5. Best ultra-light Laptop: Microsoft Surface
Coming straight from the capacity of Microsoft, this is a great choice when you need a balanced combination of performance, portability and elegance. Microsoft Surface might as well be one of the nicest looking laptops in the market right now. For an online schooling student, the laptop means flexibility and unparalleled performance.
Behind all the performance is the Intel Core i5, clocked at 3.1GHz and 8GB of RAM. At the same time, 256GB of SSD storage will contribute to speedy boot-up times.
There are two factors that make the display impressive: the 13.5-inch PixelSense panel with a resolution of 2256×1504 and the minimal bezels. It should be noted that it has a touchscreen and you will have an easy experience of handling windows. As you may have guessed, the Microsoft Surface Laptop has traded the dedicated graphics option for the sake of ultra-portable design and long battery life in the end.
Elegant is the word we’d use for describing the design of the Microsoft Surface Laptop. The exterior has been made of Aluminum casing and it works just flawlessly. Thanks to the dedicated card reader and one USB 3.0 port, you won’t have problems in connectivity. We should also mention that the keyboard is so good, and you would love to use the device for typing long essays. It’s a complete package from the exterior.
At the end of the day, even with this much balance in performance, the Microsoft Surface Laptop offers an amazing battery life of up to 14.5 hours. This means long lecture hours without charging, especially when considering the low weight of just 2.67lbs. Conclusively, you cannot go wrong with this laptop if you are looking for ultraportable design, balanced performance and the original Windows experience via Microsoft.
6. Best under $800: Dell Inspiron 5000
If you want the convenience of a convertible laptop without spending too much, you should consider what Dell Inspiron 5000 has to offer. Bringing standard performance for your multitasking and browsing needs, it is powered by a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 processor, coupled with 8GB of RAM. This should be enough to keep all your Chrome tabs open without fail. The laptop, however, does not have SSD storage but packs 1TB HDD.
Comparatively a bigger laptop, the Dell Inspiron 5000 doesn’t compromise display quality either. You get a 15.6-inch full HD display with a clear resolution of 1920×1080. While this isn’t particularly extraordinary, you won’t have trouble in watching movies or reading your notes. As you could have guessed, there is no graphics card as such, apart from the integrated graphics from Intel.
As the title says, convertibility is the biggest factor with this affordable deal. You will be able to use the device at different angles, and the touchscreen display helps there a lot. Coming to the connectivity sector, you will not be disappointed, thanks to one USB Type C port, one USB 3.0 port and one USB 2.0 port. You are also getting HDMI connectivity and a headphone jack.
In the end, the Dell Inspiron 5000 is a perfect affordable package for online students. It does not compromise performance but still offers flexibility. However, we really wish the battery life could be better, since it offers only up to 6 hours, especially considering that the device weighs 4.54lbs in total. However, we can blame its extensive connectivity for the extra weight.
7. Best Budget-Friendly Schooling Laptop: Acer Nitro 5 (2020)
If you are studying filmmaking or game design online, you definitely need a gaming laptop for your schooling. But what if you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend? Well, that’s where Acer Nitro 5 comes in. It is an affordable gaming laptop that is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 2.3GHz and 8GB of DDR4 RAM for enhanced performance. We would have loved to see some SSD storage instead of 1TB HDD though.
Display section of this laptop is blessed with a 15.6-inch full HD panel, providing an immersive experience, thanks to a resolution of 1920×1080. To make heavy-quality gaming possible, the manufacturer has included dedicated graphics via NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, with a VRAM of 4GB. This should be enough when you are up for gaming or content creation.
Design-wise, however, the Acer Nitro 5 is quite heavy when compared to other products. But, that is what we have been expecting from a gaming laptop. You won’t have connectivity issues, thanks to the variety of ports such as USB 3.0, USB Type C, HDMI and RJ45 port for extra connectivity. Be it wired or wireless, this laptop can offer the best speeds and pings.
In case you were wondering, this is not a lightweight laptop. Of course, you can’t expect gaming hardware to be lightweight. A combined weight of 9.59lbs sounds quite huge, but the battery aspect is lower than we had expected. The device can offer you up to 5 hours of battery backup on a single charge, but we believe you will be using the laptop as a semi-portable workstation.
8. Best for Multi-Tasking: Apple MacBook Pro
Students love MacBook devices for their clear blend of performance, smoothness and the productivity that is offered by macOS platform. If you are willing to spend some money, the latest-generation Apple MacBook Pro would be a great companion for your day-to-day online schooling needs. Powered by an Intel Core i5 processor with a clock speed of 1.4GHz and 8GB of RAM, this MacBook Pro won’t let you down.
128GB of SSD storage gives you not only speed but instant turn on options. Coming to the display, you will be getting the 13.3-inch Retina Display, which packs a resolution of 2560×1600. This should be enough for enjoying your lectures and even when you have to edit 2K or 4K video content. While it does not come with dedicated graphics, the rendering speeds are always commendable.
Connectivity is where you have to learn several things if you are new to Apple laptops. The device packs two Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C ports, both of them having charging capability. However, if you want to use legacy USB products, you will have to purchase a dongle. Apart from this, the laptop has a wonderful speaker and backlit keyboard with the Butterfly mechanism. You also get the convenience of Touch Bar and Touch ID.
We should also mention that the MacBook Pro 13-inch looks extremely gorgeous and adds charm to your digital bundle. The device packs a battery that is powerful enough to provide up to 10 hours of working time. Despite all the bells and whistles, the device is pretty lightweight, with a tag of 3.02lbs. Altogether, if you’re aiming for portability and performance, you can’t go wrong with this laptop.
9. Best Affordable Laptop: ASUS VivoBook 15
If you are really short on budget and don’t want to spend more than $400 on a laptop, you should consider what ASUS VivoBook 15 has to offer. With some little compromises across the board, this laptop can offer you standard performance. Controlling all the performance is a 3.9GHz Intel Core i3 processor and 8GB of DDR4 RAM. To complement the speed, you also get 128GB of SSD storage as well.
You can’t expect any magic from the display at this cost. However, the 15.6-inch panel with a resolution of 1920×1080 will ensure good viewing angles and details. As you could have guessed, the device does not have dedicated graphics. Instead, some connectivity and convenience-oriented features have been added to the package in general.
Coming to connectivity, the ASUS VivoBook 15 is an all-rounder. In addition to the new-gen USB Type C port, there are USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports available for legacy connectivity. There is also HDMI connectivity and a well-built chiclet keyboard with backlit. So, when you consider the practicality of everything, the laptop will not let you down.
The compromises in terms of performance have helped in making a lightweight laptop. Weighing just 3.75lbs, the laptop is one of the lightweight options in the price bracket right now. Coming to the section of battery, ASUS does not make any estimate but mentions that it has fast-charging capacity. That is, you can charge the VivoBook 15 to up to 60% within just 49 minutes.
10. Best for Everyday Use: Microsoft Surface Go
One of the most lightweight laptops in the entire list, Microsoft Surface Go is an amazing choice if you value portable performance over everything else. The device is powered by a quite old Intel Pentium processor — with a clock speed of 1.6GHz. However, the addition of 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage would be an amazing way to ensure overall performance.
Coming to the display, it’s also one of the smallest in the list. The 10-inch PixelSense display has a resolution of 1800×1200, which means the details would be top-notch and noticeable at best. Of course, you shouldn’t be expecting a dedicated graphics card with a device of this slimness to begin with. However, the visual feel of the device is just awesome to say the least.
The best part about the Microsoft Surface Go is that you can use the device in various modes, including the Laptop mode, Tablet Mode and Studio mode. And, when you purchase the right accessories such as Surface Pen and Surface Go Signature Type Cover, the device gets unleashed performance. For connectivity, it has a USB Type C port as well.
Weighing just 1.15lbs, the Microsoft Surface Go is the best choice if you want lightweight performance. You cannot go wrong about the level of flexibility it offers. Coming to the battery department, the device offers an unplugged use of up to 9 hours. This should be enough to get an all-day performance, whether you are listening to lectures or watching something on Netflix.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the common questions you might have, answered.
How much should I invest on a laptop for online schooling?
You should invest according to the type and nature of the course you are taking up. For instance, if you are trying to learn Final Cut Pro and film editing, you should invest as much as to buy a MacBook. On the other hand, if you are learning some arts-based subjects, a common laptop with standard performance would do.
Is dedicated graphics necessary for a school laptop?
No, you can expect a good level of performance even if your laptop does not have a dedicated graphics card. However, if your course requires you to create content or play games, you should go for a device with dedicated graphics onboard.
What is the ideal weight of a student’s laptop?
Weight of your laptop would vary according to the performance you are expecting. You should, however, aim for something that lasts through your day-to-day activities. If you want to make the best of portability, you should go for something even lightweight.
What are the features required for online schooling?
You should always look for features that are related to the course you are studying. However, in general, it’s good to have a backlit keyboard with nice key travel. Fingerprint scanner and latest-generation Wi-Fi would help you keep everything on track as well.
Do I need a Full HD display for online schooling?
Being an online schooling student, you will have to listen to a lot of lectures and other learning materials. In that process, it is good to have a screen that does not compromise details. So, we would always recommend going for a laptop with at least a full HD display.
Are convertible laptops good for online schooling?
Convertible laptops with touchscreen and stylus support are really good if you are learning creative subjects. When it’s time to draw or photo edit, you can make the best out of a dedicated pen and gesture support. In addition, you get the benefits of portability.
As promised earlier, we have made the list of laptops for online schooling as diverse as possible. Even if you have extreme specification requirements or a very low price bracket, you can find a suitable device from this list. That having said, make sure that you are investing enough as the laptop can make or break your online schooling experience. It’s always good to spend some money and get high-performance than sitting idle in front of the laptop, doing nothing, as the web page loads very slowly.