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The new school year hasn’t even started yet, but it’s never too early to get ready for the fall. One of the most important tools to set your student up for success is a good laptop. So to help you prepare, we’ve rounded up our recommendations for the best laptop for high school students. Of course you want a laptop that is dependable and has a long battery life. But it also needs to be able to fit into a standard backpack. The good news is that plenty of options meet these standards, and most of them are less than $1,000.
When shopping for a student laptop, my recommendation is to buy directly from the manufacturer or from a familiar, trusted retailer for the best prices and exchange or return policies. If you’re shopping on sites like Amazon or Walmart with third-party sellers, check to see if the laptop is being sold and shipped by the site. For more specific shopping help, check out our.
It’s worth noting, too, that if your school uses Google Classroom, it doesn’t mean you need a Chromebook. (.) And to make long homework sessions more comfortable, you may want to add on some peripherals such as a Or (most people get annoyed using only the trackpad pretty quickly) as well as an so your student is more comfortable and has a bigger display to see their work. Check out our picks below to find the best laptop for high school students in 2022.
The IdeaPad Flex 5 14 is a 14-inch two-in-one Windows laptop, letting you use it as a regular laptop as well as a tablet or tented for presentations. It also works well with the display in stand mode with the keyboard facing down on a desk or table so you can attach a keyboard and mouse to give you more of a desktop experience.
It was originally available with either AMD or Intel processors, but the former was discontinued. However, the Intel version is still available at a good price for a well-built machine that should last your student several years.
Apple recently released its new M2-powered MacBook Air, and it has a lot of new features — but the company also bumped up the price by $200. So if you’re a student, it’s hard to go wrong with the older 2020 M1 Apple MacBook Air, which still remains available for $999, and if you’re a student or teacher, you can shave off an additional $100, thanks to Apple’s educational discount. The base model features Apple’s M1 processor with an eight-core CPU, seven-core GPU and 16-core Neural Engine. It also has Touch ID, Apple’s Magic Keyboard, a Force Touch trackpad and a 13.3-inch Retina display.
Read our Apple MacBook Air M1 (Late 2020) review.
If you’re tired of using your school-issued Chromebook with its small 11.6-inch display, this HP Chromebook is the way to go. It’s roughly 0.75 inches wider than a premium 13.3-inch model, but that extra width makes it easier to work in two side-by-side windows. The two-in-one design means you can use it as a tablet (although it’s a bit heavy to use handheld). You can also tent it, connect an external keyboard and mouse and use it as a small all-in-one computer.
The Core i3 processor and 8GB RAM kept this HP Chromebook running smoothly even with a couple dozen tabs open and streaming video in the background. And this Chromebook laptop has a long battery life to boot, lasting 10 hours and 40 minutes in our tests.
A remarkable deal for simple tasks like email, word processing and much more, thanks to the new AMD Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 processors. This budget laptop has a backlit keyboard, a fingerprint reader and a USB Type-C port, too. The Acer Swift 3 is also an incredibly lightweight laptop — less than 3 pounds.
In addition to this Acer Swift, we’re also fans of the Acer Aspire 5, which has a larger 15.6-inch display but it’s been tough to find regularly since the start of the pandemic. The Acer Aspire 5 is available in a variety of configurations starting as low as $400, but can go up to $711 if you want entry-level discrete graphics for basic gaming and content creation.
Read our Acer Swift 3 (14-inch, 2020) review.
For those who care more about getting a student laptop with portability than screen size, the 13.3-inch Envy x360 hits the mark. HP shaved a lot of the body off this two-in-one laptop. That makes it more comfortable to use as a tablet and small enough to easily fit on a school desk. Its operating system also delivers good performance and battery life for its price. However, unless your student stores everything to the cloud, you may want to configure it with more storage than the base 128GB SSD storage.
The 13.3-inch version’s availability comes and goes, though. If you don’t mind a larger display (which could make getting your work done easier), you can get this HP laptop in a 15.6-inch size starting at $700.
Tired of trying to work on documents or spreadsheets on a small widescreen display? The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 uses one of Acer’s bright VertiView displays, a 13.5-inch 2,256×1,504-pixel touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio. As the name implies, it gives you more vertical room to work, but it still has the width of a typical 13.3-inch laptop with a 16:9 ratio. Between that and its battery life, which lasted nearly 13 hours in our tests, you’ll be able to get more work done in a day — and it’s still thin and light enough for an everyday carry.
The latest version of this Chromebook is the first to receive Intel’s Evo verification, which means you’ll be getting the best possible mobile experience with this model. It’s also the first with Thunderbolt 4 support, which lets you connect to multiple external displays as well as providing fast data speeds and networking. Read our Acer Chromebook Spin 713 review.
Want more graphics power for gaming or content creation? Dell streamlined its G-series gaming laptops, going from three models down to just one — and it’s all for the best. There’s just one chassis available with a variety of configurations with an 11th-gen Intel processor or AMD Ryzen 5000 H-series processor. All of the processors can be paired with up to a 6GB Nvidia RTX 3060, 8GB or 16GB of memory and up to 1TB of storage. They’re basically a more budget-friendly version of those from its Alienware division, but still capable of playing the latest AAA titles. Due to availability issues, the prices are unfortunately unstable but do normally start below $1,000.
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