According to studies by NCES, 34 percent of parents consider homeschooling their kids because they’re concerned about the school environment and 17 percent of parents consider it because of dissatisfaction with educational institutions.
Whether you’ve been homeschooling your kids for a while or you’re planning to start it, if you’re looking for a reliable laptop that can help you ease your teaching work, then this guide is going to be helpful.
We’ve closely worked with 54 parents who have been homeschooling their children to enlist the highly suitable options for the mentioned purpose. The models in this list are highly suitable for other school-going children too.
If you’re buying a device just for your kid, then avoid getting an expensive machine with high-end CPUs like Intel Core i9 because a 400-500 dollar laptop is more than enough. However, if you’re planning to use it for your work, too, then you shall consider getting a machine around $700 to $800 (or above depending on your computing needs).
While working with the parents, we found that most homeschooling tasks involved browsing the internet, using Microsoft Office, watching online lectures or educational videos, and reading eBooks. Since this was for their kid, they wanted a cheap laptop that could handle all the tasks. Since all of these can be done on a Chrome OS, our list also includes a few reliable Chromebooks.
Due to many reasons, 65% of the schools in the United States have also started offering online access to their lectures, course materials, tests, etc. Even if your child isn’t homeschooled, our list has laptops that’ll suit their needs. However, we’ve created a dedicated list for online schooling.
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- 10 Best Laptops for Homeschool in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: HP Pavilion 15
- 2. Best Runner Up: Dell XPS 13 9380
- 3. Best 2-in-1 Convertible: HP Spectre x360
- 4. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro
- 5. Best Under Budget: Acer Aspire 5
- 6. Best Touchscreen: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- 7. Best with Intel i3: ASUS VivoBook 15
- 8. Best Budget Lenovo Laptop: Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5
- 9. Best Budget-Friendly: Dell Inspiron 2-in-1
- 10. Cheapest Option: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5
- Windows OS vs Chrome OS: Which One?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|OS||Windows 10 / Chrome OS / macOS||Windows 10 / macOS|
|CPU||Intel Core i3||Intel Core i5 or i7|
|RAM||4GB||8GB or 16GB|
|Storage||128GB SSD||256GB SSD or higher|
|Display||12.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)||15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|GPU||Integrated Intel HD 615||Integrated Intel UHD 620 or better|
|Battery||Up to 4 hours||Up to 8 hours|
10 Best Laptops for Homeschool in 2021
|HP Pavilion 15|
|Dell XPS 13 9380|
|HP Spectre x360|
|Apple MacBook Pro|
|Acer Aspire 5|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 7|
|ASUS VivoBook 15|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5|
|Lenovo Flex 5|
The first 3 laptops in our list are highly powerful and should be considered only if both parent and kid are going to use the same machine. The machines listed between 4 to 7 are mid-end models that won’t lag while playing lightweight games, multi-tasking, browsing, etc. The models ranked between 8 to 11 are cheap yet reliable options.
1. Best Overall: HP Pavilion 15
The recent increase in the preference for homeschooling over institutional education has brought the necessity of laptops to most homes. The HP Pavilion 15 specializes in balancing the utility, performance, and price. Sporting the latest i7 processor, the Pavilion 15 brings in ample operating and storage memory to your home in a portable design.
The notebook brings a substantial processing power with an eleventh generation Quad-core processor, Intel Core i7-1165G7, that can clock up to speeds of 4.7GHz. Being integrated doesn’t curtail the capacity of the Intel Iris Xe Graphics processor. It shares the system memory to handle multiple software, programming IDE’s and HD videos. Some lightweight games are not beyond the purview of this laptop.
The 16GB DDR4 RAM operates at high speeds ensuring smooth operations. The 512GB SSD comes with fast read/write speeds offering a quickly responding storage for education and entertainment needs. Windows 10 Pro edition comes pre-installed in this version. It brings additional security features protecting the device and personal data.
Driven by IPS technology, the 15.6-inch Full HD screen can deliver visuals at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The micro-edge bezel brings a larger screen at your disposal to improve your viewing pleasure.
HP‘s ingenuity in design puts a standard full-sized keyboard and a dedicated numeric pad in this edition. The keys are flat, ideally spaced for typing comfort with optimum key-travel. The touch-pad brings more comfort and smoothness to operation with its response system for multi-touch gestures.
At 3.86 pounds, the HP packs a lightweight laptop in a classic silver design. The design accommodates three USB ports (one USB Type-C and two USB Type-A), an HDMI 2.0 port, a headphone/microphone combo jack, and an SD media card reader. The addition of Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 to the laptop gives it future proof wireless connectivity. With optimal usage, the three-cell 41Wh battery should last up to 8 hours.
The HP fast charge feature comes in handy for quick battery recharge. The HP Pavilion 15 puts the latest processor, adequate SSD storage in a compact design that keeps kids and parents engaged.
- 11th Gen processor
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- HP Fast charging
- Full HD, wide-angle screen
- 512GB SSD storage
- Ventilation issues
- No backlit keyboard
2. Best Runner Up: Dell XPS 13 9380
The Dell XPS series of laptops are known for offering thin and light, bezel-less display design without affecting the overall performance of the machine and the XPS 9380 follows the same rule. It is based on the 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U, a 15W efficient quad-core processor with a base clock speed of 1.8GHz and a boost clock speed of 4.6GHz.
This Windows laptop does not have a dedicated GPU; instead, it uses the integrated Intel UHD 620 GPU to use the device memory as the video memory. However, None of the homeschooling tasks would require a dedicated GPU.
As per the RAM, by default, it comes with 8GB RAM, and it is upgradable up to 32GB (but you won’t need that much for the mentioned task). Not just that, the laptop also comes with the fastest 256GB SSD storage based on NVMe technology. As the device has an SSD, it boots quickly and opens software in no time, making everyone a perfect machine.
The laptop comes with a 13.3-inch matte finish screen with a native screen resolution of 1920 x 1080p. The display is vivid, making it great for tasks like watching videos, and this computer can also be used for resource-intensive tasks such as spreadsheet management, photo editing, and more. As the computer uses an IPS LCD panel, it also offers a great viewing angle as well.
The Dell XPS 9380 definitely has a thin and light design, as it just weighs 2.67 pounds, making it easy to carry when traveling. It also uses some high-quality materials and the device is built in such a way that it can easily last for an extended period of time. As per the I/O, it has multiple options including full-sized USB ports, HDMI port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and it also has a microSD card slot as well.
Coming to the battery life, the Dell XPS 9380 can last for 8 hours with a single charge and it also supports fast charging. Even with the continuous usage, the laptop does not get heated up and there will be no performance differences even with the extended usage.
Overall, it is a great Windows laptop for homeschooling purpose provided that both parents and the child use it. If you (parent) aren’t going to use it, then consider going to the 4th option in the list, because the first 3 machines are highly suitable only if both, parents and children use it.
- Thin and light design
- Good battery life
- Almost bezel-less display
- Multiple connectivity options
- Good processing power
- No dedicated GPU
- Storage limited to 256GB
- Trackpad needs some improvements
3. Best 2-in-1 Convertible: HP Spectre x360
The HP Spectre x360 is a thin and light 2-in-1 notebook with an emphasis on design. It has a unique prism-like pattern across the device that makes it look unique and helps the device to differentiate from regular laptops. It uses the latest 10th Gen quad-core Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU based on 10nm fabrication.
This CPU operates at 1.3GHz and it can go up to 3.9GHz with Turbo Boost mode under heavy loads. The graphics requirements of the machine are handled by the Intel Iris Plus Graphics, which is capable of handling light gaming. However, you can’t play demanding titles such as Fortnite, PUBG, League of Legends, WOW, etc. on this laptop.
The computer packs in 8GB of DDR4 RAM, enabling faster processing and it also consumes less power when compared to a computer with DDR3 RAM. In terms of storage, it offers half a gig (512GB) of SSD + 32GB of Optane storage, ensuring best-in-class read and write speeds. This translates to a faster software and game opening in real-life.
The computer comes with a 13.3-inch IPS LCD panel with 1920 x 1080p resolution and it is protected by tempered glass. The laptop also has a touch screen support and comes with a stylus, allowing students to take notes directly on the computer screen.
Even though the HP Spectre x360 is a 2-in-1 laptop, it still has a great keyboard and the overall typing experience on the computer is very satisfactory and the touch trackpad is also very responsive.
Thanks to the 2-in-1 style design, the computer can be used as a tablet or a full-fledged laptop and the display is rotatable up to 360-degree. The device weighs 2.87-pounds, which is pretty light for a computer-based on the 10th gen Core i7 processor. However, it has a limited number of ports as it has opted for a thin and light design.
The laptop can easily last up to 9 hours on a single charge and it does support USB PD charging standard as well. Overall, this is a great machine if you’re homeschooling a high-school student who wants to own a device with touch screen support and a computer with high-end hardware.
There is also another product that has similar features the HP Pavilion 15. It does not support the touch screen but offers more amount of RAM along with double the storage space.
- Comes with a stylus
- Supports touch screen
- Unique design choice
- Great tactile keyboard
- Supports Thunderbolt 3
- No dedicated graphics card
- No dedicated HDMI port
- A bit expensive
4. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro
The new Apple MacBook Pro is a perfect laptop for Homeschoolers. It comes with a typical all-metal unibody design like every other MacBook launched in the last few years. The computer is powered by an Apple M1 8-Core processor with a base CPU clock speed of 3.2GHz.
There is no dedicated graphics card on the computer and it uses the Integrated 8-Core for all the graphics requirements.
The computer comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. Do note that neither RAM nor the storage on this machine is upgradable. So, if you think you need more storage and RAM, then you have to get a model that offers right at the beginning. The computer runs on macOS and allows the user to install Windows OS using the Bootcamp option.
Coming to the display, the device has a 13-inch retina screen with a native 2K or 2560 x 1600p resolution, offering a great viewing experience. This is an HDR10 and Dolby Vision certified display, offering a good movie and web series watching experience, especially on platforms like Prime Video and Netflix.
This latest model comes with a new Magic Keyboard, which feels great when compared to the butterfly mechanism keyboard and the large trackpad is one of the best in the industry.
The Apple MacBook Pro offers a premium design with a metal unibody finish and it is also light in weight, as it just weighs 3.0 pounds. It comes with 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports based on a USB Type-C interface along with a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack.
As per the battery life, the laptop can last up to 17 hours on a single charge and so you can easily use this machine for an entire day with just a single charge.
This the model to consider for those who want a MacBook with the right amount of performance and features. For those who want a little less power and performance, they can opt the new Apple MacBook Air, which is thinner and lighter than the MacBook Pro and is also slightly underpowered.
- Amazing Display
- Touch ID
- Fast SSD storage
- Dolby Vision support
- Fluid macOS
- Durable, unique and stylish design
- Longer lasting battery life with fast charging
- Only 2 USB ports
5. Best Under Budget: Acer Aspire 5
As the title suggests, the Acer Aspire 5 is a budget-centric notebook that could be a great companion for homeschool students. Even this model is based on the latest 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor with a base clock speed of 1GHz and a boost clock speed of up to 3.6GHz.
What stands out is the dedicated GPU support with NVIDIA GeForce MX350, offering 2GB of VRAM. It comes with a modern storage solution, i.e., 512GB SSD-based storage and 8GB RAM, ensuring a good multi-tasking experience. The computer does run on the full version of Windows 10 OS, allowing users to install various software on the computer.
The notebook has a regular 15.6-inch screen, offering FHD resolution (1920 x 1080p). Thanks to the thin bezel design, the computer’s overall form factor is similar to a laptop with a 14-inch display, making it easy to carry around.
The device has a full-sized keyboard layout along with a dedicated num pad, helping while solving complex maths, financial modeling, or accounting problems. It also has a big trackpad and there is a fingerprint sensor located on the top left corner, making this device more secure.
This is a thin and lightweight machine and design-wise, the Acer Aspire 5 looks much modern. It also offers almost every other port, including a USB-A port, HDMI port, and it also has a full-sized RJ-45 ethernet jack as well. The battery can last up to 6 hours without any issue and since it just weighs 3.97 pounds, and you or your child can easily travel with the laptop.
- Thin and light design
- Good battery life
- Dedicated num pad
- Discrete graphics card
- Supports Wi-Fi 6
- Slightly flexible body
- Low base clock speed
6. Best Touchscreen: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is the latest 2-in-1 laptop from the company that makes Windows OS. This is probably the best machine to get for Windows experience and it also supports features like Windows Hello face recognition, offering a safe and secure unlocking process.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is based on the 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, which is an efficient and powerful processor, capable of handling most of the software that a homeschooler might use.
It offers 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage and it uses an SSD. As this is a unibody metal design laptop, it does not get warm even with continuous usage. Do note that, you have to separately purchase the keyboard folio that comes with a built-in trackpad.
The touch-enabled display on the Surface Pro 7 measures 12.3-inch and offers a native resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels, and the entire display is protected by tempered glass, offering better protection to the device. The device runs on Windows 10 Home OS.
This is one of the lightest 12.3-inch display laptops, as it just weighs 1.7-pounds, which is lighter than some of the 12-inch Android tablets. Even with a thin and light design, it still offers a full-sized USB-A port, and it also has a USB Type-C port for modern connectivity.
If you want a tablet with a full-fledged Windows OS powered machine, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a great value-adding product. If you are slightly short on budget, then you can also consider the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, which offers more of a tablet form factor and is much affordable than the Surface Pro 7.
In terms of battery life, the laptop can last for an entire day and offers a battery life of almost 10.5 hours on a single charge with support for fast charging.
- Laptop-class performance
- All-day battery life
- Full-sized USB-A port
- High-resolution touch display
- Very light and easy to carry
- Expensive accessories
- No dedicated GPU
7. Best with Intel i3: ASUS VivoBook 15
Asus is known for making some of the high-performance laptops with thin and light form factor, and the ASUS VivoBook 15 thin and the light machine is the latest from the series. The computer has a quad-core Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor with 2.1GHz along with the Intel Iris Plus graphics, which is more than sufficient for general tasks that a student might do.
The device comes with 8GB of RAM, which is the minimum amount a Windows laptop should have in 2021. As per the storage, it offers 128GB internal storage and the SSD can also be upgraded to get more storage. The machine runs on Windows 10 S OS, which does not allow you to install offline apps. However, you can activate the full version of Windows 10 with just a simple click.
The laptop has a big 15.6-inch display with good color accuracy and an ample amount of brightness with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080p. The keyboard on the Asus VivoBook 15 very tactile and the trackpad comes with a built-in fingerprint sensor, allowing the user to protect the computer using Windows Hello support.
The laptop weighs 3.75-pounds and is pretty light for a 15-inch device with multiple modern I/O options like USB-A port, full-sized HDMI port, and it also has modern connectivity options like USB Type-C port. Coming to the battery life, the computer can last for 9 hours on a single charge and it also supports fast charging.
- 8GB of RAM
- Bezel-less 15.6-inch screen
- Upgradable internal storage
- Good trackpad with a fingerprint sensor
- Above-average battery life
- 10th Gen Intel processor
- Plastic body design
- No dedicated graphics card
8. Best Budget Lenovo Laptop: Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5
The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is one of the most powerful budget laptops from Lenovo.
It comes with the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U, a quad-core processor with a base clock speed of 2GHz, and a boost clock speed of up to 4.1GHz, so all the web apps can run easily. There’s no dedicated GPU, the machine uses an Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics for graphic demanding tasks.
This model comes with 16GB of RAM, which should be more than enough for even the high-end users. It also offers 512GB storage and has a microSD card slot for additional storage expansion.
The laptop has a 14-inch display, offering FHD resolution, and is great for watching movies. This is a touch screen display, allowing users to interact with the contents on it directly.
Most of the laptops from Lenovo are known for offering a good keyboard experience and this model is no different and the same goes for the trackpad as well. However, it is best to use it with a mouse to get a better experience, especially while taking notes.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is a 2-in-1 laptop that gives an option to use this device like a laptop or a tablet. It does offer plenty of ports, including some of the most used I/O options like USB-C and a USB-A port. In terms of battery, the device can last up to 9 hours on a single charge (it also supports fast charging).
If you are looking for a high-performance budget laptop, then, this is the device to consider!
- 2-in-1 convertible design
- Good for portability
- Touch screen display
- All-day battery life
- USB Type-C port
- No HDMI port
9. Best Budget-Friendly: Dell Inspiron 2-in-1
The Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 is a thin and light Chromebook from one of the prominent PC makers. Just like most of the Chromebooks this Dell Inspiron model comes with a modern design that attracts the younger audience.
The device is powered by the 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U processor, a dual-core and a four threads CPU that comes with integrated Intel UHD graphics, capable of driving an external display with up to 4K resolution, allowing users to connect this machine to an external monitor or a projector.
The computer comes with 4GB RAM, which should be sufficient to run normal day-to-day tasks and the device also offers 128GB internal storage. As with most of the Chromebooks, the Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 also has a microSD card slot for additional storage expansion of up to 512GB.
If you want a laptop to run Android apps natively, then this is the device to get as Chrome OS natively supports Android apps and it also comes with the Google Play Store, allowing the users to download official games and apps, certified by Google.
Most of the Chromebooks supports touch input and this laptop is also no different. It has a big 14-inch screen with a native FHD (1920 x 1080p) resolution and the display also supports EMR pen support, allowing artists and students to take notes or make sketches directly on this device by using it under the tablet mode.
The keyboard experience on this model is similar to most of the mid-range dell laptops, and the computer also has a medium-sized trackpad with a good amount of tracking.
This notebook offers a thin and light design along with multiple I/O options, including a full-sized USB-A port, an USB Type-C port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, allowing users to connect wired headphones. Though the OEM claims to offer an all-day battery life, it usually lasts for 8 to 8.5 with normal usage, and the device weighs 4 pounds, making it easy to carry around.
- Amazing typing experience
- A good screen with thin bezels
- Supports for EMR pen
- Fast charging supported
- Native android app support
- No full-sized SD card slot
- Slightly less RAM
10. Cheapest Option: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5
Unlike Windows-powered laptops, Chrome OS-powered laptops do not require many resources to offer good performance, hence they are much more affordable.
The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 comes with the Intel Core i3-10110U 10th Gen quad-core processor, the same processor that powers the Apple MacBook Air. As this an ultrabook, it does not have a dedicated graphics card and it uses the Intel Iris Plus graphics for most of the GPU intensive tasks.
As this is an entry-level model, it just offers 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. Do note that the internal storage on this machine is expandable up to 1TB using a microSD card slot and it works in plug-and-play mode. It runs on Chrome OS and everything is built around a web browser, allowing users to install web apps and Android apps using a high-speed internet connection.
The device has a truly bezel-less 13-inch display and due to that, it feels like a 12-inch laptop. This is an FHD 1920 x 1080p resolution screen with a good amount of sRGB coverage, making this machine great for watching movies and web series.
The typing experience on the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is average but it should get the job done for most of the homeschoolers without any issue and the device also has a pretty big trackpad when compared to other Chromebooks.
The computer has a thin and light design and the thin bezel design makes it one of the most compact 13-inch laptops. Even with the compact form-factor, the company has managed to include two full-sized USB-A ports, allowing users to access their old storage devices such as a pen drive or a hard disk.
The laptop weighs 2.97 pounds and can last up to 10 hours on a single charge. Overall, this is an efficient thin, and light Chromebook for most homeschool students.
- Thin and light form factor
- Up to 10 hours of battery life
- Very responsive touch screen
- Full-sized USB port
- Very affordable
- Low-grade web camera
- Average build quality
Windows OS vs Chrome OS: Which One?
Compared to the Chrome OS, a Windows OS-powered laptop offers more options and great support. Do note that Windows machines can even run without the internet. However, on a Chromebook, most of the services and web apps need an active internet connection.
Not just that, all the Chrome OS features can be used on a Windows machine whereas the opposite is not possible. if your child goes to school, then the software provided by them won’t run on a Chromebook. Similarly, if you are learning courses like a photo or video editing, then you might have to get another Windows or macOS powered laptop to run those apps natively on your computer.
Considering all these factors, getting a Windows-powered laptop over a Chrome OS-powered laptop makes a lot of sense even though it could be a bit expensive. However, if you’re just looking for a machine to watch video lectures, attending video conferences, taking notes, surfing the web, etc, then a Chromebook can handle it without any issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should you spend on a laptop for Homeschooling?
There is no set answer to this question. On average, a homeschool student can get a laptop for around $500. However, if you want a machine that is a bit more powerful, then you might have to spend around $1,000 to get a laptop that can actually run AAA games and other professional software as well.
Can you play games on a Chromebook?
Though you might think that it is impossible to play games on a laptop powered by the Chrome OS, you can actually play games. Chromebooks support Google Play Store allowing users to download games like Fortnite, PUBG, and other trending games without any issue and most of these games are also available for free-of-cost.
What are the other things that you can do on laptops that are meant for homeschooling?
Homeschooling laptops are mostly either mid-range or entry-level laptops that could run on Windows, macOS, or even the Chrome OS. Depending on the hardware capabilities of the laptop, you can play a game, run software like Adobe Photoshop or AfterEffects to edit photos or videos without any issue. Similarly, these laptops can also be used for programming and to learn new skills using the online tool as well.
There are many parameters that one needs to look at while buying a laptop for homeschooling. We have carefully considered these options we have made this list of laptops that seem to suit homeschooling students with their workflow.
Besides learning, these laptops can also be used for watching movies or even watch videos without any issue. So, if you are in the market looking for a laptop for homeschooling, then these are some of the great options that are currently available in the market at various price points.