Best Laptops for High School Students

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Best Laptops for High School Students

Shopping for a laptop that’ll get a high schooler’s job done? The positive news is that their computing demands are modest.  You don’t need more than a basic CPU for tasks such as note-taking, internet research, writing reports, and making easy presentations and graphics, but the faster, the better. Nobody can survive high school without a computer these days, and a laptop PC certainly can’t get the job done, since students are fundamentally mobile.

The opportunity to unplug a laptop and go mobile is important for high school students, whether it’s writing notes in class or going to a quiet place to get any homework done. You will find a set of laptops in this article that represents strong choices for a high school student with prices ranging from about $300 at the low end to about $1000 at the high end, with one costly outlier tossed in for good measure.

If you’re a high school student looking forward to buying a laptop, this list has the best laptops that are affordable, yet up to date. Good luck with your laptop purchase!

1. Acer Aspire 5

Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-35SE, 15.6" Full HD Display, 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 Processor, 4GB DDR4, 128GB NVMe SSD, Intel WiFi 6 AX201, Backlit KB, Fingerprint Reader, Windows 10 Home (S Mode)

Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-35SE, 15.6" Full HD Display, 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 Processor, 4GB DDR4, 128GB NVMe SSD, Intel WiFi 6 AX201, Backlit KB, Fingerprint Reader, Windows 10 Home (S Mode)

The Acer Aspire 5 is the right laptop for most high school students in several aspects. At a very fair price, it has just the right mix of components. The monitor measures 15.6 inches, which is also the sweet spot for a portable school-bound device. With several windows open, it’s wide enough to function effortlessly and even multi-task, but not so heavy that it’s difficult to tote around. In terms of portability, the Aspire 5 weighs 4.2 pounds at a very compact weight and you can expect to get almost eight hours of battery runtime. And the backlit keyboard makes it easy, even in dim lighting, to operate anywhere.

2. Acer Chromebook 15

Acer Chromebook 15 CB315-1HT-C4RY, Intel Celeron N3350, 15.6" Full HD Touch Display, 4GB LPDDR4, 32GB eMMC, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, Google Chrome

Acer Chromebook 15 CB315-1HT-C4RY, Intel Celeron N3350, 15.6" Full HD Touch Display, 4GB LPDDR4, 32GB eMMC, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, Google Chrome

You will save a small fortune by getting a Chromebook if you do not specifically need a Windows laptop or a Mac related to school requirements, such as the need to install a certain application or use Microsoft Office. As an additional advantage, more users, with more trouble-free computing overall, find the Chromebook experience to be easier anyway. Of course, the drawback of a Chromebook is that you are limited to accessing web resources such as Google Docs, Google Drive, and other applications that are based on the cloud.

The Acer Chromebook 15 is a superb option if you can deal with these limitations. Unfortunately, the 15.6-inch display has a less-than-HD display of 1366 x 768 pixels. However, the lower resolution screen helps to extend the battery life, and between charges, the Chromebook 15 can muster as much as 11 hours of runtime. It’s very lightweight as well, coming in at just 4.3 pounds.

3. Apple Macbook Air

New Apple MacBook Air with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Gold (Latest Model)

New Apple MacBook Air with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Gold (Latest Model)

If your school suggests a MacBook, it can help you work easier, or your family is already a “MacBook tribe” and it actually makes sense to have one, the MacBook Air is the high school students’ smart Apple laptop option, both for cost and portability. This MacBook Air is built with Apple’s own M1 chip, which, along with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD hard drive, offers remarkable performance.

You still get more than 12 hours of battery life even with these amazing specs, which is excellent. And the 13.3-inch screen, pushing 2560-1600 pixels, is a full Retina display. Touch ID and an HD camera for FaceTime and video conferencing are also on board to log in easily and securely.

4. Asus Zenbook 13

ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop 13.3” Full HD NanoEdge Bezel, Intel Core i7-10510U, 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD, Innovative Screenpad 2.0, Windows 10 Pro - UX334FLC-AH79, Royal Blue

ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop 13.3” Full HD NanoEdge Bezel, Intel Core i7-10510U, 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD, Innovative Screenpad 2.0, Windows 10 Pro - UX334FLC-AH79, Royal Blue

The ZenBook may be expensive, but to explain that, it has an abundance of strength and features. It has an Intel Core i7 processor and a generous 16 GB of RAM and has a 512 GB hard drive with a lot of onboard storage. The monitor of 13.3 inches makes the laptop small enough for lots of portability, and it weighs just 2.6 pounds. But since students are not considered to be the most careful about their things, it’s nice that this laptop is especially robust; it’s rated MIL-STD 810G.

This mil-spec means that a set of shock, vibration, and drop checks have been passed on the laptop. The lid flips up with the ErgoLift hinge from Asus, which lifts the back of the laptop for ergonomics while allowing air to flow underneath for extra ventilation and allowing the speakers to perform better. Add on an all-day charger, and if you can indulge in a laptop on the higher end of the price spectrum, this is a convincing option.

5. Dell XPS 13 9380

Dell XPS 13 9380, XPS9380-7011SLV-PUS, 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U, 13.3" 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160), 8GB 2133MHz, 512 SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 620

Dell XPS 13 9380, XPS9380-7011SLV-PUS, 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U, 13.3" 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160), 8GB 2133MHz, 512 SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 620

Dell is a dependable laptop manufacturer, and if you’re looking for a device that absolutely needs to be consistent day in and day out for the whole school year and then some, you can choose a system like the Dell XPS 13 9380. It’s fast enough for almost everything you might need, powered by a powerful Intel Core i5 CPU and supported by 8 GB of RAM. The 256GB hard drive allows you plenty of room for coursework, but it would not be able to handle much in the way of games.  And that’s all right; this laptop isn’t particularly made for games, and the chipset Intel UHD Graphics 620 is not up to the challenge. It weighs a middling 3.9 pounds to take the laptop on the go.

6. Dell Inspiron 14 3000

Dell Inspiron 14 3000 Series i3451-1001BLK Laptop (Windows 8, Intel Celeron N2840 2.16 GHz, 14" LED-lit Screen, Storage: 500 GB, RAM: 2 GB) Black

Dell Inspiron 14 3000 Series i3451-1001BLK Laptop (Windows 8, Intel Celeron N2840 2.16 GHz, 14" LED-lit Screen, Storage: 500 GB, RAM: 2 GB) Black

The Dell Inspiron 14 3000 is relatively well priced. This model is about $600, and depending on the configuration, you can pay a little more or less. The big takeaway here is that it is meant for low power, in other words, exactly the kind of thing a high school student wants a laptop for, for simple paper writing and web browsing. Dell combines the 2GB RAM CPU with a 500GB data storage SSD. The laptop has a lot of ports for connectivity: Ethernet and HDMI, along with three USB-A ports and a media card reader. You get a 14-inch monitor, a nice balance between a compact, ultra-portable 13-inch screen and a bigger, but harder-to-carry, 15-inch screen.

7. HP Envy X360

2020 Newest HP ENVY x360 2-in-1 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD Touchscreen, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor up to 4.0GHz, 8GB Memory, 256GB PCIe SSD, Backlit Keyboard, HDMI, Wi-Fi, Windows 10 Home, Nightfall Black

2020 Newest HP ENVY x360 2-in-1 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD Touchscreen, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor up to 4.0GHz, 8GB Memory, 256GB PCIe SSD, Backlit Keyboard, HDMI, Wi-Fi, Windows 10 Home, Nightfall Black

Don’t remain so focused on conventional laptops that any other excellent choices are not considered. The 2-in-1 convertible, for example. In many respects, maybe the best laptop under $1000 is the HP Envy x360. It’s a versatile device that can do double duty as a tablet. It is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor, which helps HP to pack at a lower sticker price in extra performance, as AMD CPUs are normally cheaper than Intel. It comes with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of spacious SSD.

The computer is a wide 15.6-inch monitor running at full HD. The computer is a touchscreen, and before the laptop tents, you can begin folding the screen down, you can stand it up with the laptop moulded into a “V,” which is perfect for presentation delivery. Or flip it back the entire way and you’ve got a tablet. A stylus is provided for the laptop, which you can use to control the device or draw and write.

8. HP Pavillion 14

HP Pavilion 14" HD Notebook , Intel Core i5-7200U Processor up to 3.10 GHz, 8GB DDR4, 1TB Hard Drive, No DVD, Webcam, Backlit Keyboard, Bluetooth, Win 10

HP Pavilion 14" HD Notebook , Intel Core i5-7200U Processor up to 3.10 GHz, 8GB DDR4, 1TB Hard Drive, No DVD, Webcam, Backlit Keyboard, Bluetooth, Win 10

This laptop comes with a mid-level CPU, the Intel Core i5-8250U, which helps to keep the cost in check, especially when 8 GB of RAM and a complete 1 TB SSD are included. Bear in mind that even close to a whole terabyte of data, most high school students would not require it. A 14-inch full HD display (1920 x 1080 pixels) is built around the laptop and comes with a decent set of ports. A pair of USB-A ports and a handy SD card slot can be found on the left side; the right side has USB-C as well as HDMI and Ethernet.

Thanks to the 14-inch screen and a total weight of just 3.7 pounds, it’s relatively compact, with small dimensions. Unfortunately, with perhaps six hours of runtime, the battery isn’t quite as strong as comparable versions. That may not be a concern if you don’t go anywhere with the laptop or don’t bother going with the power block, though.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.