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The new school year is about to start and a good laptop is crucial to setting your student up for success. We’ve rounded up our recommendations for the best laptop for high school students covering options for MacOS, Windows 11 and ChromeOS. While there are a lot of laptops out there that’ll be fine for students, these top picks are ones we’ve found to offer dependable performance. All the laptops listed here have long battery life and will easily fit in a standard backpack. Plus, most of them are less than $1,000, which is increasingly rare due to, and .
The Apple MacBook Air M1 is our pick for the best laptop for high school students. The HP Pavilion Aero 13 is our best value pick with a starting price of $550. Regardless of which student laptop you choose, I recommend buying directly from the manufacturer or a familiar, trusted retailer for the best prices and exchange or return policies. If you’re shopping on sites like Amazon or Walmart with third-party sellers, check to see if the laptop is being sold and shipped by the site. For more specific shopping help, check out our.
It’s worth noting, too, that if your school uses Google Classroom, it doesn’t mean you need a Chromebook. (.) And to make long homework sessions more comfortable, you may want to add on some peripherals such as a or (most people get annoyed using only the trackpad pretty quickly) as well as an so your student is more comfortable and has a bigger display to see their work. Check out our picks below to find the best laptop for high school students in 2022.
Despite the availability of the new bigger and better M2 MacBook Air, the M1 MacBook Air (one of the first to switch from Intel to Apple silicon) is sticking around and that’s a good thing. Apple’s entry-level laptop is still our go-to recommendation for a MacOS laptop for basic everyday use. It has great performance and long battery life — up to 18 hours — and is a solid choice for school and entertainment anywhere. Read our MacBook Air M1 review.
HP packed a lot of value into the Aero 13: Eye-pleasing magnesium-aluminum chassis, strong processing performance, long battery life, a bright, colorful display and a weight of just 2 pounds (0.94 kilograms). Amazingly, considering all that it offers, it has a regular starting price of less than $700 but its base price is currently $550. Read our HP Pavilion Aero 13 review.
If you’re tired of using your school-issued Chromebook with its small 11.6-inch display, this HP Chromebook is the way to go. It’s roughly 0.75 inches wider than a premium 13.3-inch model, but that extra width makes it easier to work in two side-by-side windows. The two-in-one design means you can use it as a tablet (though it’s a bit heavy to use handheld). You can also tent it, connect an external keyboard and mouse and use it as a small all-in-one computer.
The Core i3 processor and 8GB RAM kept this HP Chromebook running smoothly even with a couple dozen tabs open and streaming video in the background. And this Chromebook laptop has a long battery life to boot, lasting 10 hours and 40 minutes in our tests.
Josh Goldman / CNET
Available with either AMD Ryzen or Intel Core processors, this 14-inch laptop gives you more screen to work on than 13-inch laptops, but is still incredibly lightweight — less than 3 pounds. The bigger display is nice, too, covering 100% sRGB color gamut (better than you typically find at its starting price under $700). It also has a backlit keyboard, a fingerprint reader and USB Type-C and HDMI ports, too. The 2022 version of the Swift 3 falls just under $1,000 with 12th-gen Intel Core i-series CPUs. But the 2021 models are still widely available for less than $600.
Tired of trying to work on documents or spreadsheets on a small widescreen display? The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 uses one of Acer’s bright VertiView displays, a 13.5-inch 2,256×1,504-pixel touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio. As the name implies, it gives you more vertical room to work, but it still has the width of a typical 13.3-inch laptop with a 16:9 ratio. Between that and its battery life, which lasted nearly 13 hours in our tests, you’ll be able to get more work done in a day — and it’s still thin and light enough for an everyday carry.
This model originally sold for $700, which is pricey for a Chromebook. It’s a 2021 Chromebook, so it’s currently discounted to $525. Read our Acer Chromebook Spin 713 review.
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