Best Laptop for Students of Every Age: K-12 and Beyond
Back-to-school season is drawing nearer, and it’s time to start thinking about those school supplies lists! As the pandemic led to an increased reliance on laptops and tablets for students of all grade levels, schools have also become more comfortable with expecting students to carry these personal devices with them as early as elementary school. There’s a lot to consider when deciding on the best laptop for you, but we’ve looked at portability, versatility, affordability, and display quality to determine the best laptops for students in New York! While NYC DOE’s Digital Learning Device program is no longer available, some brands still offer educational discounts for student and parent purchases.
Psst…in case you missed it, check out the NYC School Calendar 2022-2023: NYC DOE Calendar is now out!
Best Laptop for Students in Elementary School: Microsoft Surface Go 2
Best Buy, $399.99
For elementary students, you may want to consider a PC that will ease your child into working with their device, which is why a 2-in-1 tablet-laptop like the Surface Go 2 is perfect! Its large touchscreen display, detachable keyboard and optional stylus make the Surface Go 2 incredibly versatile. This portable device is great for students who are always on the go, and its tablet-level prices for laptop-level power make it a smart choice.
Best Portable Laptop For Students: Acer Swift 3
This model is incredibly lightweight: it weighs less than three pounds! Its sleek, slim design and long battery life make the Swift 3 great for travel, especially for students with longer commutes to and from school. It’s perfect for any basic gaming or content creation that your student may be doing in addition to their web-related schoolwork.
Best Laptop for Elementary to Middle School Transition: Google Pixelbook Go
Google, from $649.
This powerful Chromebook is great for the transition to more typing-based work from elementary to middle school, and teachers will certainly appreciate its extremely quiet keyboard! This model also boasts of up to ten/10 hours of battery life at high brightness.
Best Budget-Friendly Laptop: HP Chromebook 14
The HP Chromebook 14 is a great budget-conscious choice. It has everything your student needs: it’s compact, features a touchpad, and has a long battery life. Moreover, it’s perfect for any Internet browsing or light-duty program running your student may need to do.
Best Laptop for Middle to High School Transition: Lenovo IdeaPad Chromebook Duet 3 (11”)
Best Buy, $499.
Use Lenovo’s K-12 Student & Parent Discounts offer for your purchase!
Ideal for middle or high school, this is a good-sized laptop that’s not too small but will also fit easily into any backpack as your student moves from one classroom to another! The IdeaPad Chromebook Duet 3 model is also easily convertible, so your student can take notes on the tablet or computer as they like. $499.00 from Best Buy.
Best Laptop For Students with Price Flexibility: Acer Chromebook Spin 311 or 713
Looking for a high quality laptop with models that offer a range of affordable prices? The Chromebook Spin models are the perfect choice! The 311 model can easily rotate to convert into a notebook or tablet angle, while the 713 model outperforms many other Chromebooks at similar prices. Both models are also built to connect easily to Android products.
Best Gaming Laptop: Acer Aspire 5
Acer, from $479.99.
If your student likes to play video games, the Aspire 5 is a great option for a laptop that can also be used for light gaming after school! Though not as light as other laptops, this model has a 15-inch responsive touchscreen with great graphics and runs programs at fast speeds.
Best for Graphics and Video: Apple MacBook Pro 13”
Apple, from $1199.
With faster video editing performance and a quieter magic keyboard than ever before, the new MacBook Pro model is great for graphics and video students. With up to 2 TB of SSD storage, the laptop is also long-lasting and can accompany your student from high school to college.
Best NYC DOE Lenovo FAMIS Laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Yoga Gen 2
Lenovo, from $1229. Use Lenovo’s K-12 Student & Parent Discounts offer for your purchase!
Recommended through the NYC DOE’s Lenovo FAMIS list, this more expensive model is great for high school students to carry with them even after graduation. The X13 Gen 2 has a large capacity that can easily run many browser tabs at once, a sensitive trackpad and a built-in Smart Card reader.
Best Overall Laptop For Students: Apple MacBook Air M1 or M2
While Apple products tend to be more expensive, the MacBook Air is available to purchase through the ShopDOE website, making it easier than before to purchase this laptop. With a longer battery life (up to 18 hours!) and increased speed and power, either the 2020 or 2022 model is a great choice for your student. Extremely thin and lightweight, it is perfect for travel and very portable. It’s able to browse the perform Internet browsing for research or writing at top speeds for everyday use. As an Apple product, it is also easiest to sync with your DOE-loaned iPad or laptop.
Written by Campbell Schouten