Laptops are essential for students—in fact, many schools require them these days. From helping with lectures and in-class projects to studying and homework, a laptop is an essential tool for your high schooler. But the best come at a price. That’s why we’ve put together our picks for the best laptop for students.
We’ve covered options for all major operating systems and brands, including macOS, Windows, and ChromeOS. Sure, many laptops will work just fine for your students, but these recommendations were chosen for their reliability, ease of use, and performance. Each laptop we propose also has a long battery life and easily fits in a standard backpack. And the majority of them cost less than $1,000, which is becoming increasingly rare due to the sequel chip shortage, supply chain issues And inflation.
Best laptop for high school students
The Apple MacBook Air M1 is our pick for the best laptop for doing high school homework. It has excellent everyday performance, long battery life and is lightweight. The HP Pavilion Aero 13 is our most affordable choice, starting at $800, but regularly sells for far less. Like the M1 Air, the Aero has strong everyday performance and long battery life with a compact, backpack-friendly design.
Whichever student laptop you choose, I recommend buying directly from the manufacturer or a trusted, trusted retailer to get the best prices and exchange or return policies. When shopping from third-party sites like Amazon or Walmart, check to see if the site sells and ships the laptop. For more specific shopping aids, see our Buyer’s guide to get the best cheap laptops.
It’s also worth noting that if your school uses Google Classroom, that doesn’t mean you need a Chromebook. (Here are the differences between a laptop and a Chromebook.) And to make long homework sessions more comfortable, you might want to add some peripherals like a keyboard or wireless mouse — most people get annoyed pretty quickly just using the trackpad — as well as inexpensive external monitor So your student feels more comfortable and has a bigger display to see their work. Check out our picks below to find the best laptop for students in 2023.
Despite the availability of the new, bigger, and better M2 MacBook Air, the M1 MacBook Air (one of the first to move from Intel to Apple silicon) remains, and that’s a good thing. Apple’s entry-level laptop remains our top pick for a macOS laptop for basic everyday use. It has great performance and long battery life – up to 18 hours – making it a solid choice for school and entertainment anywhere. Read our MacBook Air M1 review.
Read our Apple MacBook Air M1 (Late 2020) review.
Getting Price Alerts for Apple MacBook Air M1 (256GB, Space Gray)
HP packed a lot of value into the Aero 13: an attractive magnesium-aluminum chassis, strong processing power, long battery life, a bright, colorful display, and a weight of just 2 pounds (0.94 kilograms). Amazingly, with everything it offers, it has a regular starting price of less than $800 but is regularly on sale for less than $700. Read our HP Pavilion Aero 13 review.
Acer’s Spin 513 is an update of sorts for one of the best Chromebooks of 2021, the Spin 713. It’s a convertible two-in-one Chromebook with a 13.5-inch display and a 3:2 aspect ratio. The extra vertical spacing means less scrolling while working. The screen size is also close to that of letter paper, making it easy to take notes with a USI pen in tablet mode. Compared to the 713, some non-critical functions such as an HDMI output are omitted in favor of a lower price. However, it has amazing battery life and a rugged, fanless design, making it quiet—perfect for quiet classrooms, lectures, or video calls. Also, make sure you get the latest version of the Spin 513, model CP513-2H, with a MediaTek Kompanio 1380 processor.
You will receive price alerts for Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (CP513-2H)
If you’re tired of using your school-age Chromebook with its small 11.6-inch display, this HP Chromebook is for you. It’s about 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 handheld). You can also tent it, connect an external keyboard and mouse, and use it as a small all-in-one computer.
It is available in two configurations. I tested a $699 version with a Core i3 processor and 8GB of RAM, which made this HP Chromebook run smoothly even with a few dozen tabs open and videos streaming in the background. And it has a long battery life of 10 hours and 40 minutes. The good news is that it regularly retails for hundreds less. However, if you can’t wait, there is a $419 version that offers plenty of power for your students to do their schoolwork.
You’ll receive price alerts for HP Chromebook x360 14c
Available with either AMD Ryzen or Intel Core processors, this 14-inch laptop gives you more screen to work with than 13-inch laptops, but is still incredibly light – less than 3 pounds. The larger display is nice too, covering 100% of the sRGB color space (better than you’d typically find at a starting price of under $700). It also has a backlit keyboard, fingerprint reader, and USB Type-C and HDMI ports. The 2022 version of the Swift 3 costs just under $1,000 with 12th Gen Intel Core i-series CPUs. But the 2021 models are still available for less than $600.
You will receive price alerts for Acer Swift 3