Any high school student can benefit from a reliable laptop with the right specs. The best laptops help students stay organized, complete assignments, and interact with classmates. With myriad options, choosing the right laptop for a high school student can be daunting.
Laptops have different specs, features, and price points. So, it’s important to research and figure out the best model for your student’s needs. When choosing a laptop for a high school student, think about price, portability, power, battery life, and software compatibility. Here are the top 5 best laptops for high school students.
- Best Overall: Dell XPS 13
- Best for Gaming: Razer Blade 15
- Best for Portability: Surface Laptop Go 2
- Best Budget Option: Acer Aspire 5
- Best for Durability: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Best Overall: Dell XPS 13
- Screen: 13.4 inches in size, touch enabled, FHD+ resolution
- Storage: 512GB SSD, RAM: 16GB LPDDR4X
- CPU: Intel's 11th generation core i7
- Warranty: On site, 2 years
The Dell XPS 13 is the top choice for high school students because it offers some of the best performance on the market in an incredibly sleek and lightweight design.
It’s powered by a powerful 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, which can handle anything from basic word processing to more intensive tasks like photo and video editing. The laptop also comes with 16GB of RAM, ensuring you can multitask smoothly.
The Dell XPS 13 has a stunning 13.4-inch Full HD display that produces vivid colors and sharp images. The laptop also offers great battery life; you can expect up to 12 hours of usage on a single charge. With various ports, including USB Type-C ports, Thunderbolt 3 ports, and an SD card reader, you’ll easily transfer data and connect peripherals like an external hard drive or monitor. Additionally, integrated Eyesafe display technology helps reduce harmful blue light, making it ideal for prolonged use and reducing the risk of eye fatigue.
Dell XPS 13 isn’t the cheapest laptop, but it’s worth the investment if you’re looking for the best performance and portability. With its slim profile and impressive power, the Dell XPS 13 is the perfect laptop for high school students who want to stay productive and have the best overall experience.
Check out the Dell XPS 13 on Amazon.
Best for Gaming: Razer Blade 15
- Perfect display for work or play: An edge-to-edge, 100% sRGB, factory-calibrated matte screen with a 240Hz refresh rate offers the best experience for intense gaming sessions or content creation.
- Zero compromise powerhouse: Built for gaming and creative work in a 0.7" thin CNC aluminum unibody with high-performance, vapor chamber cooling
- Futureproof design: Supports SSD and dual-channel memory upgradeability, Thunderbolt 3 enabled, compatible with Razer Core X external GPU enclosures for additional graphics power
- Biometric security: Supports Windows Hello instant facial unlock with integrated webcam and IR sensor
- Customizable RGB individual key lighting: Includes 16.8 million colors available with multiple preset profiles
Our topic pick for gaming is the Razer Blade 15 with powerful hardware, one of the best gaming laptops on the market.
Equipped with a 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card, this laptop can easily handle even the most demanding games.
Another feature of the Razer Blade 15 that makes it great for gaming is its 15.6-inch display. The laptop comes with a Full HD 1920 x 1080 display with a 240Hz refresh rate, which provides a smooth and seamless gaming experience. The display also has thin bezels, which makes it perfect for immersive gaming and streaming.
The Razer Blade 15 also has a sleek and lightweight design, making it easy to take. It weighs just 4.74 pounds, making it one of the lightest gaming laptops on the market. This makes it perfect for gamers who travel frequently and need a powerful laptop to handle gaming needs.
In terms of storage, the Razer Blade 15 comes with a 512GB SSD, which provides lightning-fast load times for games and other applications. It also has 16GB of RAM, ensuring the laptop can handle multiple applications and games simultaneously.
Overall, the Razer Blade 15 is an excellent gaming laptop with powerful hardware, a high-quality display, and a sleek design. It is perfect for gamers who want a powerful laptop to handle the most demanding games.
Check out the Razer Blade 15 on Amazon.
Best for Portability: Surface Laptop Go 2
- Light, portable Surface touchscreen Laptop with Windows 11  and 12.4” PixelSense Display.  Starting at just 2.48 pounds.
- Work, play, stream, and run day-to-day apps with 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor.
- Look and sound your best on video calls with improved HD camera and built-in Studio Mics, plus rich sound for music and shows.
- Long battery life 13.5. Plus, recharge quickly with Fast Charging – up to 80% in just over an hour.
- Convenient security. Fingerprint Power Button with Windows Hello and One Touch sign-in on select models.
The Surface Laptop Go 2 is an excellent option for students looking for a portable laptop. It has a lightweight design and long battery life, making it easy to carry around.
This laptop offers impressive performance with its 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor and fast Wi-Fi connection. Its thin profile and 2.48-pound weight make it easy to transport, while its 12.4-inch touchscreen display provides a comfortable viewing experience.
The Surface Laptop Go 2 also comes with Windows 11 Home preinstalled, so you can jump right into your studies. Additionally, this laptop offers up to 13 hours of battery life, giving you plenty of time to work on assignments or catch up with friends. Its low price point makes it the perfect option for high school students on a budget.
Check out the Surface Laptop Go 2 on Amazon.
Best Budget Option: Acer Aspire 5
- Powerful 11th Gen Intel Core i3 processor with Intel Turbo Boost Technology.
- Perfect home office laptop with impressive performance
- Upgradable 20GB RAM and 512GB solid-state drive storage
- Crisp, 15.6 Inch FHD Display with LED backlight and front-facing camera.
- Multiple connectivity options including HDMI 2,0, USB, Ethernet, and audio/speaker
For those looking for a laptop that won’t break the bank, the Acer Aspire 5 is an ideal choice.
This laptop owes its superb performance to an 11th-generation Intel Core i3 processor and 20 GB RAM, allowing it to easily handle multitasking and other day-to-day activities. With a 15.6-inch 1080p display, this laptop will also allow you to enjoy streaming services and other media content in high definition.
Aspire 5 has a 512GB solid-state drive, providing ample storage space for all your documents, photos, and videos. The laptop also features a long battery life, giving you up to ten hours of uninterrupted use on a single charge. On top of that, it weighs just 3.75 pounds, making it one of the lightest options available in its price range.
Overall, the Acer Aspire 5 offers an impressive combination of features, performance, and value at an affordable price. It’s perfect for high school students who need a reliable laptop without breaking the bank.
Check out the Acer Aspire 5 on Amazon.
Best for Durability: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
- Brand Lenovo, Model 20KH002JUS
- Product Type: Ultrabook, Processor Manufacturer: Intel, Processor Type: Core i7, Processor Generation: 8th Gen, Processor Model: i7-8650U, Processor Speed: 1.90 GHz, Processor Core: Quad-core (4...
- Display Screen Technology: In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology, Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080, Touchscreen: Yes, Graphics Controller Manufacturer: Intel, Graphics Controller Model: UHD Graphics 620,...
- Front Camera/Webcam: Yes, Finger Print Reader: Yes, HDMI: Yes, Total Number of USB Ports: 4, Number of USB 3.0 Ports: 2, USB Type-C: Yes, USB Type-C Detail: 2 USB Type C, Network (RJ-45): Yes,...
- Keyboard Localization: English (US), Number of Batteries: 1, Number of Cells: 3-cell, Input Voltage: 120 V AC, Input Voltage: 230 V AC, Color: Black, Height: 0.6", Width: 8.5", Depth: 12.7", Weight...
For those high schoolers looking for a laptop that will stand up to the daily wear and tear of carrying it around, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a great option. It’s made with a durable carbon fiber exterior and a magnesium alloy frame.
The sturdy construction will keep your device safe from bumps and scratches. This laptop also features a spill-resistant keyboard, so you don’t have to worry about liquids damaging your device.
The X1 Carbon also comes with a range of ports, including two USB 3.0 ports, one USB Type-C port, an HDMI port, and an Ethernet port for connecting to the internet. The laptop has the latest Wi-Fi technology, allowing fast connection speeds. The laptop’s 14-inch HD display is made of ultra-durable Corning Gorilla Glass, making it resistant to scratches and accidental drops. In addition, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon offers up to 15 hours of battery life, so it can easily last through the longest days at school.
The laptop also features an Intel Core i7 processor, perfect for multitasking and running demanding programs. It comes with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, so you’ll have plenty of room to store your files and photos. The laptop also comes with Windows 10 Pro preinstalled, so you won’t have to worry about finding software or getting updates.
Overall, ThinkPad X1 Carbon is an excellent choice for high school students who need a durable and powerful laptop.
Check out the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Laptop for High School Students: Step-By-Step
When choosing the best laptop for high school students, there are several factors to consider.
- Battery life
- Display size
- Processor speed
Now let’s explore each in more detail.
When choosing a laptop for high school students, battery life should be one of the primary considerations. Long battery lives allow students to use their laptops longer without being tethered to a power outlet and allow for more flexibility and mobility.
The best laptops for high school students should have a battery life lasting at least 8 hours. This will give students enough time to get through classes, complete assignments, and participate in activities without worrying about running out of power.
High school students often have to carry their laptops between classes and other activities. Having a laptop that is lightweight and easy to carry around is essential. Additionally, the laptop should have a long battery life so that students don’t have to worry about charging it all the time. With the right combination of portability, performance, and battery life, these laptops can help students stay productive wherever they go.
High school students typically have a lot of assignments, projects, and papers to work on, so their laptops must have enough storage to accommodate all of their files. Moreover, having enough storage can also be useful for students involved in creative activities, such as photography or video editing, as they will need space to store the large files that come with those activities.
A laptop with a solid-state drive (SSD) is generally considered a better option as it offers faster boot times and data transfer and is more reliable than a traditional hard drive. 256GB of storage is a good starting point for high school students, and if they are involved in creative activities, they will probably want a laptop with at least 512GB of storage or more.
If you’re looking for an all-purpose laptop, pick one with a large screen size to get work done without feeling cramped. High school students are often required to research, write papers, and work on projects, and having a laptop with an adequate display size will help them stay focused and organized.
A larger display size can make it easier for students to read the text and view images and videos, while a smaller display size may cause eye strain and make it difficult to see the content. Generally, laptop screens range from 11-15 inches in size, with 15 inches being the most common for high school students. Larger sizes are available for those who need them, but they will be heavier and more expensive.
A faster processor allows faster loading times, smoother multi-tasking, and better performance for resource-intensive applications such as video editing, gaming, and running large programs like Photoshop.
A laptop with a fast processor is ideal for high school students as it can handle the demands of school work and extracurricular activities. If they’re going to be playing games on the laptop, look for laptops with at least an Intel Core i5 processor or, better yet, an Intel Core i7 processor. This will ensure that the laptop can handle the most demanding games without lag or stuttering. If the student primarily uses their laptop for schoolwork, such as writing papers or researching, an Intel Core i3 processor should suffice.
A laptop can be a hefty investment, so choose one with enough features for your needs. Fortunately, some great options out there won’t break the bank.
For budget-minded buyers, Chromebooks are available in the $200 to $300 range. These devices offer good performance and can handle everyday tasks like checking email, browsing the web, and using basic productivity apps. Some models even feature touchscreen displays, which can be a great bonus. If you’re looking for a more powerful machine, you may consider a Dell Inspiron 14 5000 or Lenovo Yoga C930. These mid-range laptops come with plenty of features and start around the $500 range.
At the higher end of the price spectrum, premium laptops offer the most powerful hardware, long battery life, and top-of-the-line features. These machines usually start at around $1,000 or more and are designed for intensive tasks like gaming or video editing. Examples include the Apple MacBook Air, Microsoft Surface Go, and Dell XPS 13.
What to Know Before Buying a Laptop for High School Students
When purchasing a laptop for a high school student, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Firstly, it’s crucial to consider the student’s intended use for the laptop, whether for general use, gaming, or specific classes such as graphic design. This will help determine the necessary specifications, such as processing power and graphics capabilities.
Another thing to consider is the size and weight of the laptop. High school students often walk between classes and engage in extracurricular activities. Laptops that are lightweight and have long battery life will be the most convenient for students to carry around.
Lastly, consider the laptop’s durability and ability to withstand the wear and tear of daily use. A laptop with a sturdy design and good build quality will withstand the rough handling of a high school student.
Using a Laptop for High School Students: What It’s Like
Laptops offer an incredibly efficient way to complete assignments, research topics, and communicate with teachers and classmates. Working on a laptop allows you to quickly access information, type up notes, save documents and open multiple programs at once. It also provides a dedicated workspace for studying that you can take anywhere. This can be especially helpful when working on group projects or studying with friends.
In addition to increased efficiency, laptops offer helpful features specifically designed for students. Many laptops come with preloaded software such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat to help you keep track of your projects and essays. You can also access online applications such as Google Docs to store and share your work with others.
Finally, laptops are great for entertainment and relaxation after long days at school. From streaming music and movies to gaming, there’s so much you can do on your laptop. With its portability and convenience, a laptop is a perfect companion for your high schoolers.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Alim Yakubov/Shutterstock.com.