Teachers laptops need to be of high quality and reliable to function effectively with lesson planning, organizing, and marking. That’s why we’ve reviewed the best cheap laptop for teachers – those under $500.
Whether you are an experienced educator or just starting your first class this semester, you do not need to break the bank to find the performance you need in a laptop to perform well.
Table of Contents
What Do Teachers Need In A Laptop?
Beyond the necessary specifications one should look for in a quality laptop, such as processor speed, RAM, and screen size, teachers should look for other characteristics specific to their professional requirements.
These include a solid keyboard for writing and word-processing tasks and various adapter ports for presentation equipment and other accessories.
The weight of a laptop is also a factor if one is continuously commuting between school or university and home. Classes are also shifting to an online setup, and perhaps something that will constantly be adapted in the future. It’s also something you should consider.
Portability is essential for teachers. Battery life is also vital, as one needs to be sure that one’s laptop will not cut out in the middle of class or when one needs to finish marking a deadline.
Although it is not critical, teachers should also consider software compatibility with their laptops in case-specific educational programs requiring more familiar operating systems.
In other words, it might be wise to stick with Windows and Apple iOS as operating systems for a work computer. But most important for the present article is the overall cost of the laptop.
Teachers should not have to spend too much money on a laptop primarily for work-related functions. That’s why we wanted to scout out the best cheap laptop for teachers in 2023.
Best Cheap Laptop For Teachers In 2023
The learning objective of the following list is to provide guidance on quality laptops for teachers that fall under the $500 price point. Read on to discover some great deals that meet these criteria.
It is rated as “Amazon Choice” for many solid reasons. It is also at the top of this list because it represents outstanding value for the cost. At only 2.65 pounds, it is exceptionally lightweight and easy to carry around.
It is pretty rugged and durable and is advertised to withstand a drop of 3.9 feet.
This will be useful if one of your pupils knocks it off your desk! It has a 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron processor and the Chrome OS to operate high-speed educational software.
Its specifications are reasonable, with an 11.6-inch screen, 4 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of eMMC storage space. You should not have any problems running basic applications with integrated Intel HD graphics.
Pros Of The ASUS Chromebook
- Excellent price.
Cons Of The ASUS Chromebook
- We have limited gaming capability.
- No backlighting on the keyboard.
Acer Aspire E15
The Acer Aspire E15 is a reasonable choice for teachers on a budget. Its specifications are all solid and mid-range for its price point. These include an Intel i3 Core with a top processing speed of 2.2 GHz, 6 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of HDD storage capacity.
Its build is reasonably weighted at a durable 5.27 pounds. However, with up to 13.5 hours of battery life, you can make it through recess and lunch without recharging.
The 15.6″ HD screen and integrated graphics make for a sharp display. Overall, it represents a solid option for educators who do not want to overextend their resources.
Pros Of The Acer Aspire E15
- Long battery life.
- Many USB ports for increased accessory options.
Cons Of The Acer Aspire E15
- HDD storage rather than SDD storage.
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook
This setup also lands on Amazon’s Choice list for many reasons. First, for the price, it contains excellent specifications that can directly improve any teaching applications you might encounter.
The Intel Celeron 3855U processor is capable of 1.60 GHz, and with 4 GB of RAM and 16 GB of eMMC storage space, you should not encounter any problems while creating and saving your lesson plans.
It also has Chrome OS pre-installed, a speedy alternative to Windows. The 13.3-inch screen is compact but reasonable and displays up to 1366×768 pixels.
Overall, it represents a good choice for Amazon and teaching professionals who ultimately prefer the simplicity of Chrome over Windows or iOS.
Pros Of The Lenovo Thinkpad 13
- Good layout of the keyboard.
- Excellent build quality.
Cons Of The Lenovo Thinkpad 13
- Slightly heavy.
- The screen is lacking compared to similarly priced laptops.
Chromebooks of all types seem to be solid computers at reasonable prices, so it is not surprising that they populate this list. The HP Chromebook is no exception.
With an entry-level Intel Celeron N3060 1.6 GHz dual-core processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of eMMC storage space, with this setup, you find all of the essentials that you need for speed and efficiency in contemporary computing.
Again, this gem also finds itself on Amazon’s Choice list. However, its screen comes in at only 11.6 inches, which may be a sticking point for some who need more viewing space.
However, the display contains antiglare protection, improving viewing angles when mixing between sitting and standing while delivering a class.
As with all Chromebooks, it comes standard with the Chrome OS. It also includes many ports for optimizing accessory use.
Pros Of The HP Chromebook
- Long battery life – will last in a class all day.
- Great for speedy word processing and internet browsing tasks.
Cons Of The HP Chromebook
- Some compatibility issues with printers.
- The screen is comparatively small.
Acer Spin 1
The Acer Spin is a two-in-one laptop/tablet combination, and if you need to hold your setup in your hand while delivering a class, this might be the ideal choice.
While the processor is on the lower end (Intel Celeron N3350 with 1.1 GHz), the 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage space are reasonable. The 11.6-inch screen is on the small side, but the trade-off is that it is highly portable and as durable as a tablet.
It does come with a stylus pen if you require more detailed work on your presentations or lesson plans. With up to 9 hours of battery life, you can get all of your work done on a single charge before the home bell rings.
Pros Of The Acer Spin
- It comes with a stylus pen.
- A two-in-one setup allows for flexibility.
- Lightweight at only 3.31 pounds.
Cons Of The Acer Spin
- Lower-end processor.
Acer Aspire E5
This quality offering from Acer features an upgraded version that breaks past the $500 price point, but the primary offering falls within the budget of this article and is of great value.
It comes complete with an Intel i3 processor with maximum speeds of up to 2.4 GHz, 8 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of storage space.
These are all excellent specifications for the price point, and no educator will be disappointed with the speed and efficiency it generates in running any applications you need.
With a 15.6″ display capable of Full HD and a quick 16:9 aspect ratio, any presenting you need to do with this setup will be sure to be precise. It also comes with a wide variety of ports and plugin possibilities for any accessories you might be required to use as didactic aids.
Pros Of The Acer Aspire E5
- Incredible specifications for the price point.
- Backlit keyboard for night owl teachers.
Cons Of The Acer Aspire E5
- HDD storage space rather than SDD.
- Slightly on the heavy side at 7 pounds.
Lenovo Ideapad 320
This brand-new masterpiece of a laptop is sure to please teachers who have great ideas that require an Ideapad to jot them down. Several variants are available for purchase, with the best one falling just over the $500 price point.
The version reviewed here has an entry-level Intel Celeron N3350 processor capable of 1.10 GHz, 4 GB of RAM, and a choice between 256 GB SSD or up to 1 TB of SSD storage capacity, depending on your budget.
The 15.6″ HD screen is sharp, and the integrated graphics can easily display various basic programs. It also comes complete with a USB port and HDMI port (excellent for presenting) and a combination headphone/microphone jack for any online teaching you might do.
Pros Of The Lenovo Ideapad 320
- Excellent performance and speedy boot-up for those who need to start their class immediately.
- High storage capacity for the price (with the possibility of upgrading even higher).
Cons Of The Lenovo Ideapad 320
- Bulky size.
- Lower-quality speakers.
The HP Stream is a good choice for those teachers who want quality performance without spending too much on a laptop, primarily for work tasks. All of the essential specifications are here.
It contains an Intel Celeron processor capable of 1.6 GHz, 4 GB RAM, and a decent 32 GB of storage space.
It has a clear 14-inch screen with a backlit display that is ideal for HD streaming. In addition, its bright and colorful design makes it appropriate for a teaching environment.
The textured groove patterning in the build makes it comfortable for typing out your next multiple-choice pop quiz.
It is highly portable at a mere 3.8 pounds. Consider this option if you want quality basics for a reasonable price.
Pros Of The HP Stream
- Comfortable keyboard for typing.
- Highly lightweight and portable.
Cons Of The HP Stream
- Battery life is in the low range at up to 7 hours.
If you can find a respectable seller of this incredibly efficient machine, choose to check out this offer from ASUS. It has primarily excellent specifications for the price.
It comes with 4 GB of RAM and 500 GB of hard drive storage space, making it a reasonable value for the price.
The battery life is on the lower end at approximately six hours per charge. However, it does have a variety of accessory ports, including a USB 2.0 port and two USB 3.0 ports.
The integrated Intel graphics are solid and reliable for teaching purposes. At 5.1 pounds, it is also light enough to be portable from classroom to classroom. One of the big pluses here is the 15.6-inch Full HD display.
The Intel i3 Core processor is also capable of 2.1 GHz, which is lightning fast for this price point.
Pros Of The ASUS F55LA-AB31
- The keyboard is comfortable for typing and ergonomically designed.
- Beyond the hard drive, the specifications are excellent for the price.
Cons Of The ASUS F55LA-AB31
- Lacks a Steady State Drive (SSD).
- Battery life is only estimated at 6 hours.
Dell Inspiron Flagship
This compact relative of the Dell Inspiron listed above is a high-performance laptop priced exceptionally well. The display is only 11.6 inches, but this might be just the small and durable setup you need depending on your requirements.
It has a speedy 2.5 GHz AMD A-Series processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of SSD storage space.
It even has a dedicated AMD graphics card if you need to make any high-performance applications for your lessons. At only 2.65 pounds, it is also highly lightweight. All in all, it is an incredible deal for a brand-new product.
Pros Of The Dell Inspiron Flagship
- Excellent specifications for the price.
- Many ports (USB, HDMI, etc.).
Cons Of The Dell Inspiron Flagship
- Small screen (though not necessarily a con depending on your requirements).
- Comparatively small storage capacity (consider investing in an external hard drive).
Teaching should be a labor of love; hopefully, this list of quality computers at a budget price point can help it be that way.
The above list represents the very best of those laptops under $500 and should be a good start for educators who like to research these things independently. See you in class!
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