Best Laptop For Online Classes & College 2020

Kenny Trinh Updated on August 7, 2020
Best Laptop For Online Classes

In today’s era where learning is feasible without physical interaction, online classes are a much-preferred medium in teaching. Students find it hard to choose what is the best laptop for them that’s why we made this guide for the best laptop for online classes & college to give you some insights as to what is the best laptop for you.

If you plan on getting an online class then you need a reliable laptop to work with, you might think that you just need a laptop with an active internet connection but that’s not completely right. The best laptop for online classes depends on many things and we’ve gathered the best laptops we think that may suffice your needs and preferences.

Recommendations for September 2020

Best Laptops For Online Classes Of 2020

Dell XPS 15 – Best For Online Schooling

Dell XPS 15
No matter what course you take or what other tasks you may need to do, Dell XPS 15 got your back! The best laptop for online schooling in terms of performance and build.

Dell XPS is one of the most popular laptops for online schooling if you need power, in terms of design it is compactly built and has tons of features you can use for schooling.

This laptop is powered by a 9th generation Core i7 processor that is backed by a 4GB NVIDIA GeForce graphics card, ensuring you that any heavy tasks are a piece of cake for this machine.

If you like to multitask, this laptop won’t disappoint as it is fitted with 16GB RAM, you can simultaneously open applications without any worry of lag.

The 4K touch display is a visual treat with an amazing resolution of 3840×2160, perfect for students who want to learn video editing or just love to watch films.

 In case you need to create content or play some games, the dedicated 4GB GPU is there to ensure you can do both without hassle. In terms of connectivity, Dell XPS has every necessary port you may need including Thunderbolt 3 port, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, and headphone jack.

This laptop is literally powerful and quite expensive, but if budget is not a problem then go for Dell XPS.

Recommended Configuration For Dell XPS 15

CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (4GB) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch 3850×2160 4K UHD InfinityEdge Touch display | Storage: 1TB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: up to 8 hours | Weight: 5.50 lbs

Asus ZenBook 15 – Best Productivity Laptop

Asus ZenBook 15
If you want a productivity machine that can boost your productivity when working on something, the Asus ZenBook 15 can be your all around online class buddy!

If you think Dell XPS is overkill and want something powerful but not too pricey, Asus ZenBook can offer power for half the price of Dell XPS.

Asus ZenBook 15 is powered by a powerful Core i7 processor that is backed by 16GB RAM, you have enough power for any heavy tasks and more memory for multitasking without any lags and freezes.

If you happen to do some graphical works in school then the 4GB graphics card could definitely help you render any graphical content without a problem.

What’s so nice about this laptop is that it has an App switcher screen pad, what does it do? It lets you easily move docked Windows between your main display and screen pad display. Giving you a fast and easy multitasking method.

 In terms of battery life, this laptop does not compromise,  fitted with 71Wh 8-cell lithium-polymer battery that could last for up to 14.9 hours in a single charge.

Portability, productivity, and power is what you’ll get with the Asus ZenBook 15, one of our productivity booster picks.

Recommended Configuration For Asus ZenBook 15

CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (4GB) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch 1920×1080 FHD NanoEdge Bezel display | Storage: 1TB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: up to 14 hours | Weight: 3.68 lbs

Lenovo Yoga C740 – Best Covertible Laptop

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Lenovo Yoga C740
If you want a convertible laptop that is packed with power for a very reasonable price then Lenovo Yoga C740 is one of the best in the list.

Online schooling is very flexible and to make the most out of it, you need a flexible laptop too. Lenovo Yoga C740 happens to offer that right package for you.

Yoga C740 is fitted with the latest 10th generation Core i5 processor together with 8GB of RAM, taking on heavy tasks and multitasking is never a problem with this laptop so you can rely on Yoga C740 on that.

One of the best features of Yoga C740 is the touchscreen that is stylus supported, drawing diagrams, making artwork, and note taking has never been so easy with the help of an active stylus pen. Though you need to purchase the pen separately for a few more dollars, it is worth the price.

The 256GB is perfect for those students who don’t need too much storage, while the 14-inch display has a decent resolution to satisfy your visual needs.

In terms of portability, this convertible laptop is truly lightweight that weighs only 3.09lbs, be it watching videos or taking notes the flexibility matters. On top of that, the battery life is pretty decent with 10 hours usage in a single charge.

Recommended Configuration For Lenovo Yoga C740

CPU: Intel Core i5-10210U | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 14-inch 1920×1080 FHD Touch display | Storage: 256GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: up to 10 hours | Weight: 3.09 lbs

Acer Swift 3 – Bang For The Buck

Acer Swift 3
If you're in need of a powerful laptop but on a budget, Acer Swift 3 offers power and portability is a budget friendly price tag.

There are times that you badly needed a capable laptop for your online class but the budget won’t permit those very expensive choices, good thing Acer Swift 3 got some power and decent price.

For a $680 price tag, Acer Swift 3 is laced with AMD Ryzen 7 processor that is backed by AMD Radeon Vega graphics, making sure you can do some intense computing without any problem.

The 8GB RAM in this laptop will never stop you from multitasking, while the 512GB SSD ensures you have room for everything. For a budget-friendly laptop, this hardware configuration is a real deal.

The 14-inch IPS display gives a decent visual and the backlit keyboard lets you keep going even in dim lights. There is also a fingerprint reader for your added security.

This laptop is a lifesaver for those on a budget and in need of a capable laptop for online classes.

Recommended Configuration For Acer Swift 3

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7-5700U | Graphics: AMD radeon Vega 8 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 14-inch 1920×1080 FHD Widescreen IPS LED-Backlit display | Storage: 512GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: up to 11.5 hours | Weight: 2.65 lbs

Dell Inspiron 15 – Best Under $750

Dell Inspiron 15
Doesn’t need too much power? Just want an everyday online class laptop that won’t compromise? Dell Inspiron 15 is the best pick under $750!

If you think Dell Inspiron 15 is just for easy tasks, then you are wrong. The Core 10th generation i3 processor can beat the 8th generation Core i5 processor in terms of computing power, so it is really a capable laptop in terms of power.

One good thing about this laptop is that it has dual storage, 128GB SSD as main storage for faster booting while the 1TB HDD is there to give you massive storage space for whatever you might need to store in this laptop.

To fully maximize the power of this laptop, the 8GB RAM can multitask without any lags and freezes. If you like touch screens then you’ll love the 15.6-inch touchscreen display on Dell Inspiron 15.

If you are into light gaming then you don’t need to worry as Dell Inspiron 15 can handle most of the light games there is like LOL, Dota 2, etc. A must-have laptop for online students that is on a budget.

Recommended Configuration For Dell Inspiron 15

CPU: Intel Core i3-1005G1 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6-inch 1355×768 HD Natural Finger Touch display | Storage: 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: up to 8 hours | Weight: 4.45 lbs

Acer Nitro 5 – For Multimedia Art Students

Acer Nitro 5
If you are a student which involves multimedia creation then this is your budget-friendly laptop, Acer Nitro 5 offers powerful hardware that can suffice content creation and more!

For multimedia arts students or involves game design, you really need a powerful laptop with a great hardware configuration which we usually see on gaming laptops. What if we tell you that you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a gaming laptop?

The Acer Nitro 5 is an affordable gaming laptop that is powered by Core i5 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 to give you the power in terms of multimedia creation and game development.

The 8GB RAM on this gaming laptop can suffice multitasking and other multiple computing tasks that you may do, the display does not disappoint too. With a 15-inch IPS display, this laptop renders quality visuals that give wonder to your eyes.

In terms of connectivity, this gaming laptop is equipped with all the necessary ports you may need. The backlit keyboard gives you the ability to continue working even in dim lights, and if you happen to work for hours the Acer CoolBoost Technology with Twin Fans and Dual Exhaust Ports keeps the laptop in a cool state.

Recommended Configuration For Acer Nitro 5

CPU: Intel Core i5-9300H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (4GB) | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6-inch 1920×1080 FHD IPS display | Storage: 256GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: up to 7 hours | Weight: 5.07 lbs

Apple MacBook Pro – Best For Multitasking

Apple MacBook Pro
For Mac lovers that need a clear blend of performance, smoothness and the productivity offered by macOS, Apple MacBook Pro could be your companion for online classes.

Apple’s operating system is known for its simplicity and efficiency, if you are willing to spend some money then MacBook Pro is one of the best choices on the list.

The new MacBook Pro is fitted with a Core i5 processor that is backed by 8GB of RAM, in terms of efficiency in computing a Core i5 Mac with 8GB of RAM can outperform similarly spec’d windows laptop. With that being said, multitasking is more efficient in MacBook Pro.

256GB is not much but if you don’t need too much storage capacity then you’ll be just fine, if you need more storage space there is a 512GB variant for a few more dollars.

MacBook Pro’s 13.3-inch Retina display is packed with 2560×1600 resolution that is more than enough for you to enjoy editing 2K or 4K video content, even though it doesn’t come with a dedicated graphics card the rendering speed on this laptop is commendable.

Truly a wonderful laptop for online classes, if money isn’t an issue then go for the best laptops like the MacBook Pro.

Recommended Configuration For Apple MacBook Pro

CPU: Intel Core i5-8th Gen | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch 2560×1600 Retina with True Tone display | Storage: 256GB SSD | Operating System: Mac OS | Battery Life: up to 10 hours | Weight: 3.1 lbs

Asus VivoBook 15 – Affordable Laptop Pick

Asus VivoBook 15
For those who are really tight on budget, there is a life-saver for you, the Asus VivoBook 15 that is fitted with the latest hardware configuration for a price tag that is less than $400!

The Asus VivoBook 15 offers standard performance that can suffice online classes without a problem, this one is surely the best choice for people on a budget.

Although you can’t expect magic from the display, the 15.6-inch panel with a resolution of 1920×1080 will ensure good viewing angles and details, this laptop does not come with a dedicated graphics card.

If you happen to type a lot which is generally true for every student, then you’ll love the Ergolift keyboard on this laptop that provides improved typing position. It tilts depending on your comfortable typing position to give you a more relaxed typing experience.

In terms of connectivity, this laptop has all the comprehensive connections you need including USB 3.2 Type-C, USB 3.2 Type-A, USB 2.0, and HDMI. so you can use any external peripherals you might need to use in the future.

Recommended Configuration For Asus VivoBook 15

CPU: Intel Core i3-1005G1 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6-inch 1920×1080 Full HD 4-way NanoEdge bezel display | Storage: 128GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: up to 10 hours | Weight: 3.75 lbs

Microsoft Surface Go – Ultraportable Choice

Microsoft Surface Go 2
For those who love to take their laptop with them anywhere you go, Microsoft Surface Go 2 is your best choice in terms of portability without compromising power.

Microsoft Surface Go 2 is the lightest laptop in our list that only weighs 1.2lbs, an amazing choice if you value portability. 

The Microsoft Surface Go 2 is powered by an Intel Pentium processor that has a clock speed of 1.6GHz, the addition of 8GB RAM, and 128GB SSD storage ensures you can have an amazing overall performance.

The display on this machine is top-notched, with only a 10.5-inch screen display it has 1920×1280 resolution which means you can see any details, and every one is noticeable as best.

The best thing about Surface Go 2 is that you can use it as a laptop, tablet, and studio mode. The Pen is also convenient for note-taking and creating digital arts if ever your online class involves digital art then you can definitely rely on Surface Go 2.

Surface Go 2 offers 9 hours of unplugged use that is more than enough to get an all-day performance, Surface Go 2 is the best choice if you want lightweight performance.

Recommended Configuration For Microsoft Surface Go

CPU: Intel Pentium Gold | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 10.5-inch 1920×1280 Full HD Touch display | Storage: 128GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: up to 10 hours | Weight: 1.2 lbs

HP Envy 17t – Enormous Storage

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HP Envy 17t
For those who need a large storage for their course, HP Envy 17t got you covered! This powerful laptop has an enormous storage capacity that can keep up with you!

The HP Envy 17t has an enormous storage laptop so if you happen to be taking up a course from home that deals with large files then this one is the best option.

In terms of power, this laptop is laced with the latest 10th gen Core i7 processor backed by 4GB NVIDIA GeForce MX330 graphics card that gives a powerful performance that can do any heavy tasks with ease.

The 16GB RAM makes sure you can make use of that power by enabling you to use multiple applications simultaneously without any compromise.

 The display also won’t disappoint as it has a large 17.3 inches IPS display that renders great image quality, also the bigger screen is perfect for online works that need detail precision.

Aside from the premium Windows 10 operating system, it has a three years McAfee subscription to further add security to your laptop against malware and viruses.

This powerful large laptop is perfect for online college students that demand power on their studies, also the price ain’t that high compared to similar spec Windows laptop.

Recommended Configuration For HP Envy 17t

CPU: Intel Core i7-1065G7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX330 (4GB) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 17.3-inch 1920×1080 Full HD IPS display | Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: up to 9 hours | Weight: 6.14 lbs

Picking The Best Laptop For Online Classes & College

Performance

As a student, each course you are taking requires a laptop with specific power and features. What you take as a student is a big deciding factor as to what kind of laptop you must buy, so to better choose between the plethora of laptops in the market, you need to first know your computing needs based on the course you’re taking.

We recommend at least Pentium Gold for lightweight performance with at least 8GB of RAM to ensure overall quality performance, for those who are into social studies that deals mostly with articles this configuration are possibly the best in terms of power requirements and budget needs.

The recommended processor for those on multimedia or any course that deals with powerful applications is at least Core i5 with 8GB of RAM to maximize the overall performance of the processor and to take care of multitasking without lag.

We’ve gathered different laptops with different power so you can choose the best that can suffice your needs and complement you to your budget range. 

Screen Size & Display Quality

As an online student you will face the monitor of your laptop for quite some time every day, so when buying a laptop for homeschooling, pick the best screen size and display for you. Picking the appropriate size and display could lead to a more immersive viewing experience.

For those who needs larger screen sizes, a 15 to 17-inches is best as they have more space for display for you to see every details in a larger sizes. Most new models have 1080p resolution which is decent enough to get a vivid picture of what’s on your screen. But if you want some solid display or it is a requirement on your file of study, go for a 2K or 4K resolution laptop which we’ve included in our list.

If you prefer the Retina display, then picking a MacBook is best for you, Retina display is one of the most beautiful displays on a laptop but they don’t come cheap. Though a 1080p resolution is just fine.

If you love the portability, a 10 to 13-inches laptop is best for you. Those laptop sizes are much lighter and very easy to carry around, mostly laptops this size are 2-in-1 laptops that have 2 to 3 modes of use including tablet mode, laptop mode, and studio mode. Just make sure that it has at least 1080p resolution.

Keyboard

Since most online classes deal with long articles and unending note-taking, a keyboard is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a laptop for online classes. Typing in a comfortable keyboard boosts productivity compared to some clunky keyboards that tend to annoy us when working.

For you to get the best laptop for working from home it must go with all your preference and that includes the keyboard, there is an Ergolift keyboard that adjusts its tilt for you to be more comfortable when typing. There are Windows laptops that have ergonomic keyboards that reduce the strain in your body.

The latest models of MacBooks have Magic Keyboards that enhance key features, it has a scissor mechanism beneath each key that provides comfortable and precise typing. There are cases that repetitive stress injury like the carpal tunnel is linked to a poor keyboard design which is somehow true, picking a comfortable keyboard reduces the risk of having that injury.

As an online student, you mostly deal with articles and such, so picking the most comfortable keyboard is a must.

Portability

There are many types of online students, there are the ones who stay in one place and there are who’s always on the move. That’s where portability of the laptop comes in, in any case, portability gives you the ability to easily carry your laptop around. So in order to have the best laptop for an online class, you must know your stand in terms of portability.

For students who have a designated study place, a much larger laptop is feasible but not really recommended as you have the freedom to choose based on your preference, larger laptops have larger display screens so it is recommended for students who need to visually see bigger images on the screen. But you would sacrifice 50% of its portability as they tend to weigh more and others are bulky, especially gaming laptops.

For those who love to move around, smaller laptops such as 10 to 13-inches in size are best in terms of portability. They are much lighter, easy to carry around because of thin size. Don’t worry about sacrificing the power over portability as there are laptops included in this list that are very portable but still packed with power.

Connectivity

Make sure you know everything you need to know in terms of connectivity, based on the course you are taking — what external peripherals you may need to use to effectively execute your online classes?

If your course happens to involve digital arts and you need to use a drawing tablet, a laptop with more than 1 USB port is recommended, do you need Thunderbolt 3? HDMI? Whatever port you need, you need to know in advance so that you can pick it all along with the preferred power and features of the laptop.

Sure thing that you can buy any converter like USB to HDMI converter, but to save you from the trouble it is better if every essential port you need is already equipped in the laptop you are buying.

In terms of internet connectivity, all latest laptop models have Wi-Fi card that lets you connect wirelessly through Wi-Fi. But there are sometimes times that you may need an ethernet port for a much reliable physical connection between your laptop and the router.

Conclusion

We have made the list as diverse as possible so that you can pick your best laptop for online classes based on your requirements and preferences, we’ve gathered laptops from very low price bracket, mid-range to high-end laptops for you to choose from. Now, if you have already found your laptop choice, but still have some questions feel free to ask us in the comment section and we would gladly answer you.

Buying a laptop for an online class is not easy and it is not that hard either, we’ve made this guide to help you pick the best laptop for online classes & college, now it’s up for you to decide.

Kenny Trinh
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Building his first desktop at the age of 10, start coding at 14 years old, Kenny knows a thing or two when it comes to finding a good laptop and he aims to share everything he knows. Current go-to laptop: Apple Macbook Air 2019.

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