Starting your high school is a new chapter of your life. But no matter how exciting it can be, if you aren’t equipped with the best laptop for high school students that can handle work and make your school easier – you will have to work twice as hard.
But instead of working twice as hard, there is a simple solution. Getting a new laptop can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you don’t know much about them. But it’s your lucky day because we have something special in this post.
Here, you’ll find a buying guide that is specially written for high school students but also the top laptops that students can benefit from. Stay tuned!
Recommendation for September 2020
Best Laptops For High School Students In 2020
Apple MacBook Air – Best Budget MacBook
MacBook Air isn’t very pricey, yet it’s probably the best option for a high school student who’s looking for the best laptop out there.
It’s not even that pricey, considering the value it offers and everything it features.
MacBook Air comes with the fifth generation of Intel Core processors which is more than enough to handle any type of task for the high school. Along with that, it features an SSD storage that makes things blazing fast.
But here comes the best.
The battery of MacBook Air can last up to 12 hours on a single charge. That’s perfect for students who need to use their laptop for hours.
Also, this laptop is 0.68″ thin which improves its portability. Even the WiFi is updated and it can perform up to three times faster at the same time.
Hardware Specifications for Apple MacBook Air
CPU: Core i5 1.8 GHz Dual-core| Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 6000| RAM: 8GB RAM | Screen: 13.3-Inch 1440×900 LED-backlit display| Storage: 128GB SSD| Operating System: macOS| Battery Life: up to 12 hours | Weight: 2.96 lbs
Acer Chromebook 15 – Best Budget Chromebook Laptop
Students are often on a budget, and most of them feel like there is no decent laptop for their budget. However, that’s not true.
Acer Chromebook 15 is a pure example of a decent laptop that performs well, can handle most of the student tasks, and yet it looks great.
This laptop is priced at just under $300.
But here’s the deal.
It features an IPS display, Intel HD graphics, Intel Celeron processor for the price it costs. It’s really surprising.
By the looks, it’s really similar to the MacBook Air. It’s thin, lightweight, and easily portable which is a great benefit for the high school students.
No matter its size, the laptop still features plenty of ports. The operating system is Chrome OS, which might not be suitable for everyone – but it’s running pretty flawlessly and can handle most of the tasks high school students are facing.
Hardware Specifications for Acer Chromebook 15
CPU: Intel Celeron N3350| Graphics: Intel HD Graphics| RAM: 4GB RAM | Screen: 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display| Storage: 32GB eMMC| Operating System: Chrome OS| Battery Life: up to 13 hours | Weight: 5.84 lbs
HP 14 – Bang For The Buck
This laptop comes with pretty powerful components by default, but what’s great about this laptop is that you can choose your own configuration at the point of purchase.
You get to choose between 4, 8, or 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB, 512 GB, or 1 TB of SSD drive.
Combine this with a pretty powerful processor and even a dedicated graphics card and you’ll have a laptop that will handle the most demanding tasks for any high school student.
It combines USB 2.0 port, two USB 3.1 ports, HDMI port, and even has ethernet and SD card reader ports.
You’ll have everything you need in one place so you never worry whether if you can connect your laptop to any other device at any given time.
HP 14 offers a decent 14-inch display that is an HD LED-backlit powered display, and not only it ensures you have the most vivid display that will never go hard on your eyes – but you’ll get a display that features an anti-glare feature.
You’ll be able to use this display even under the brightest sun in your local park or high schoolyard – and you’ll still be able to do your work efficiently.
Hardware Specifications for Acer Chromebook 15
CPU: AMD Athlon Silver 3050U| Graphics: AMD Radeon Graphics| RAM: 8GB RAM | Screen: 14-inch HD SVA Anti-glare W-LED Backlit display| Storage: 128GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10| Battery Life: up to 6 hours | Weight: 3.24 lbs
Dell XPS 13 – Best Ultrabook Option
Dell XPS ultrabook 13″ is the refreshed version of the usual Ultrabook which is probably one of the best 13″ laptops on the market right now.
No matter the size of the screen, it features an InfinityEdge feature along with the touchscreen ability.
Inside such thin and lightweight body, the latest 8th generation of Intel i7 is hiding along with the 16 GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD. The performance is flawless and breathtaking.
There’s no task that Dell XPS Ultrabook can’t handle.
But that’s not everything.
Dell has even upgraded the security on their laptops, and therefore, you can see the fingerprint sensor along with the touchpad.
Hardware Specifications for Dell XPS 13
CPU: Intel Core i7-10710U| Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics| RAM: 16GB RAM | Screen: 13.3-inch 4K UHD InfinityEdge Touch display| Storage: 512GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10| Battery Life: up to 10 hours | Weight: 2.8 lbs
Lenovo Flex 15 – 2in1 Laptop For Students
Lenovo Flex didn’t get such a name without a reason. This laptop offers a flexible screen that can rotate 360 degrees thanks to the superb hinge that attaches the screen to the laptop’s body.
You can use this laptop in more than one way which introduces a new way laptop is being used, rather than using the laptop traditional way.
Therefore, you’ll enjoy flipping the laptop into a tablet mode or finding the perfect viewing angle no matter where you sit.
With such beautiful full HD IPS touchscreen display – you get to bring ideas to life, especially if you combine this laptop with a pen or Windows Ink.
Lenovo also features their own pen called Lenovo Active Pen which is the ideal choice if you’re into drawing or looking to find a faster way to finishing some of your school tasks.
Hardware Specifications for Lenovo Flex 15
CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U| Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX230 (2GB)| RAM: 8GB RAM | Screen: 15.6-inch Touchscreen LED-Backlit HD IPS display| Storage: 512GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10| Battery Life: up to 8.5 hours | Weight: 4.4 lbs
Microsoft Surface Pro X – Connectivity Anywhere
Microsoft Surface Pro X is packed with power in a very portable body while carrying a 2in1 feature.
Powered by Microsoft SQ1 ARM processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD, it is definitely a powerful machine that could take on any tasks. While the 13-inch HD display got you covered in any visual and entertainment.
No Wi-Fi? No problem! Microsoft Surface Pro X comes with 4G LTE that makes sure you’re always connected wherever you are!
The only drawback is that the ARM chip is confusing and there is no Intel CPU choice, Still, based on specs configuration, this portable laptop surely holds power that could suffice high school students computing needs.
The 13-hour battery life is very notable, especially for students who don’t like to always sit near a plug. You can do your work anywhere without the worry of getting low-battery.
Hardware Specifications for Microsoft Surface Pro X
CPU: Microsoft SQ1 Arm chip| Graphics: SQ1 Adreno 685| RAM: 8GB RAM | Screen: 13-inch 2880×1920 HD display| Storage: 128GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10| Battery Life: up to 13 hours | Weight: 1.7 lbs
Asus TUF – Gaming & School Laptop
If you belong in majors that need a powerful laptop to suffice your computing needs, worry no more! We got a less than $700 powerful gaming machine that could suit to your needs.
This machine is powered by Ryzen 5 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics card so taking on any heavy tasks is easy peasy, while the IPS display makes sure you get an immersive visual experience while working or playing.
It comes with 256GB SSD which is fair enough as storage, you can upgrade the storage it it comes to that. The backlit keyboard could come in handy in lowlight settings so its great feature as well.
While these specs seem overkill for a high schooler, there are majors that require a powerful laptop for CADs and other heavy software applications and Asus TUF is the best in this.
Hardware Specifications for Asus TUF
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 r5-3550H| Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650| RAM: 8GB RAM | Screen: 15.6-inch 1920×1080 Full HD IPS display| Storage: 256GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10| Battery Life: up to 4 hours | Weight: 4.85 lbs
Dell Inspiron 15 – Enormous Storage
Want something affordable and powerful at the same time? For less than $600 you get a powerful machine and massive storage space.
Dell Inspiron 15 boasts a massive 1TB HDD with 128GB SSD to ensure fast boot while having enough storage space for your school files and more.
Powered by Core i3 processor and 8GB of RAM, multitasking and running heavy applications is easy for this machine. Though it lacks a dedicated graphics card, for price and specs this is one solid machine.
It offers 15.6-inch Full HD Touchscreen display for your convenience and visual needs,
While having an energy-efficient feature for longer battery life that could last for up to 5 hours which is long enough considering the power of this machine.
Truly, Dell Inspiron is one of the greatest laptops a high school student could ever have without breaking the bank.
Hardware Specifications for Dell Inspiron 15
CPU: Intel Core i3-1005G1| Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics| RAM: 8GB RAM | Screen: 15.6-inch 1366×768 Full HD Touchscreen display| Storage: 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD| Operating System: Windows 10| Battery Life: up to 5 hours | Weight: 4.45 lbs
Asus ZenBook 15 – HighSchool Laptop Below $400
This machine comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio, so its an apple to the eye.
Powered by the latest Intel Core i3 processor and 8GB of RAM, surely any school-related tasks is a piece of cake in this machine. The 128GB SSD storage ensures you get a fast booting laptop and basic file storage.
Asus managed to make a powerful, sleek, and compact machine under a $400 price tag, which is quite good for students who need powerful machines with a limited budget.
The Ergolift design on this laptop is great for students who need to type too much, as it improved all-around keyboard experience.
There are many ports available too, so this is an external hardware ready laptop in case you need external peripherals.
All in all, this is a great laptop find for students even working professionals.
Hardware Specifications for Asus ZenBook 15
CPU: Intel Core i3-1005G1| Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics| RAM: 8GB RAM | Screen: 15.6-inch 1920×1080 NanoEdge bezel display| Storage: 128GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10| Battery Life: up to 7 hours | Weight: 3.75 lbs
Acer Aspire 5 Slim – Ultrportable Budget Laptop
Every student wants a portable machine for school yet powerful to handle computing needs, this machine is very slim so you can bring it anywhere you want.
Inside a very slim machine, you get AMD Ryzen 3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD. these configuration is more than enough to take on you everyday school computing needs yet you can get this laptop for a very affordable price, surely a great laptop for a cheap price.
Boasts a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display, yes you get an IPS display with this laptop so you won’t hurt your eyes while working for hours in an essay or articles. The backlit keyboard helps you to work in low light environment so it’s pretty useful.
This 0.71-inches thick laptop has a 7.5-hour battery life, so you never get behind. You can work for hours without worrying.
The Acer Aspire 5 Slim is one of the greatest deals in terms of specs and price.
Hardware Specifications for Acer Aspire 5 Slim
CPU: AMD Ryzen 3-3200U| Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 3| RAM: 4GB RAM | Screen: 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display| Storage: 128GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10| Battery Life: up to 7.5 hours | Weight: 3.97 lbs
Picking The Best Laptops For High School Students In 2020
As a high-school student, it’s most likely parents who are making the purchase to help with the studies, and it’s very important to make sure that the laptop can put up some serious performance (and we don’t think gaming performance). Making sure that the laptop has a decent processor, enough of RAM, and plenty of storage is crucial.
Even an additional dedicated graphics card can be useful if it’s necessary – depending on the high school student requirements. Once you are pretty sure that the laptop can handle the necessary software, it’s never a bad idea to pay attention to the screen as well.
Making sure you get at least an LED screen is definitely going to pay off after hours and hours of studying and doing homework on the laptop.
Since you’ll be using a laptop mostly for studying, doing homework, and even occasional notes taking sessions – you’ll want the keyboard to be decently sized, comfortable, and most importantly – reliable.
If you’re doing a lot of mathematics, getting a full-sized keyboard that includes a numpad is going to help you significantly. On the other hand, simply make sure that the keyboard placement is okay and that you find it comfortable, that the keys are wide enough, and that they offer a balanced travel time.
You don’t want a keyboard that will register even accidental gentle touch, but you also don’t want a laptop with hard keys that will waste a lot of your energy during typing.
We would recommend you not to judge the keyboard by its noise or even pay attention to the noise since it’s the last thing you should be paying attention to.
No matter how much will you use the laptop, where will you take it, and what the general purpose of use will be – but you’ll want to have at least a decent battery that will provide hours of power without having to be constantly recharged.
Most of the laptops nowadays come with a super-versatile and portable design, and it would be a shame to have to stick with the charger and power outlets for most of your using hours.
Instead, look for a decent battery that can offer a life of at least 5 to 6 hours. Some laptops even have such improved batteries that can last an all day (about 18 hours), and if you aren’t on a very tight budget – investing in a laptop with a great battery is something you’ll never regret.
Other than having a quick laptop with a powerful processing power – there’s one thing that most students forget about. It’s the storage. As you will be doing all your homework, working on a project and a lot of other stuff – you’ll want storage that is reliable and will be able to save all your data safely.
Investing in an SSD drive is a great idea, but it isn’t highly necessary. If you are looking to cut costs – going for an HDD with high RPM’s is still going to provide good use.
Lastly, you don’t want to forget about the entertainment since it’s most likely you’ll be using the same laptop for both high school and entertainment – and believe it or not, a hard disk can get filled up pretty quickly.
Most of the laptops produced and sold today don’t come with a CD/DVD drive because most manufacturers are trying to cut the weight and find a way to make their laptop even thinner and more portable than ever before.
Some laptops will at least include a slot for CD/DVD drive where you can purchase drive additionally and simply place it inside your laptop. On the other hand, some laptops won’t have such slot and you’ll have to find another way.
If you find a laptop that is very good and meets your expectations yet doesn’t have a CD/DVD drive, we still say you should go for it. You can always purchase an external CD/DVD drive and use it by connecting it to your laptop only at times you really need it.
This way, you’ll get the best of both worlds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do high school students need laptops?
Most of us from the older generations haven’t used laptops in high school and even though it can be hard to believe it, but anything from homework, reading, research, working on projects, and much more can be done on a laptop. In fact, high school students will 100% need a laptop for doing the research, creating presentations, and writing papers.
How much RAM does a high school student laptop need?
We highly recommend a laptop with about 8 GB of RAM. High school students could do well with even 4 GB of RAM, but for the sake of long-term goals – getting a laptop with at least 8 GB of RAM will accommodate every single student and you won’t have to worry anytime soon in the future.
Do high school students require high-end laptops?
We don’t think that high school students require high-end laptops unless they’re doing some heavy courses or work related to photography, film making, music production, and others – which require software that can get quite heavy on the laptop.Other than that, every high school student will do well with a decent laptop for the most common work.
What Is Good Starter Laptop?
For high school students, pretty much a basic laptop could suffice their computing needs, but others need more powerful laptop especially if their major involves CADs and other heavy software.
We recommend at least a Core i3 and 4GB RAM for basic usage, why? Because students need to multitask and often opens a lot of tabs and specs lower than that would be laggy.
While for heavy usage, at least Core i5 and 8GB of RAM and if you can opt for laptops that have dedicated graphics card if you need to render something.
Should I Get My Child A Chromebook Or Laptop For High school?
The very best thing to do is to double-check with the school to see is any of those two is either a requirement or preferred, there are softwares that won’t run on Chromebooks, and if the school uses that software then your child may need Windows-based laptop.
There’s no excuse for not being able to have a powerful laptop that will perform well when you need it the most.
In this post, you didn’t only have the opportunity to see the best laptops for high school students, but you also have the opportunity to choose any of them depending on your needs.
Even if you’re on a really tight budget, we have the right laptop for you.
Everyone deserves the equal chance to learn and handle their studies the easiest way possible.