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The best laptop for middle school students

Which laptop is best for middle school students?

Whether your middle school student is participating in classes remotely in an online class setting or taking notes and using the power of technology to improve their in-person engagement, the right laptop can provide an incredible set of tools and resources. 

The HP ENVY x360 Convertible Laptop is our top choice since it combines fast processor performance and quality graphics on a touchscreen so that the computer can adapt to different classroom situations and each child’s learning needs.

What to know before you buy a laptop for a middle school student

How will the laptop be used?

In addition to basic schoolwork functionality, a laptop is a good opportunity for middle schoolers to spend time expanding their mind or taking a break in a multitude of ways. Maybe they would like to listen to music, watch films or play games in their free time? Maybe they would even like to have a laptop capable of helping them to make their own music, learn to edit their own videos and learn how to design their own video games? 

Depending on a student’s interests, it could be worth investing in a computer that is capable of helping them learn useful technological and creative skills outside of your average classwork. Different people also learn in different ways and having a computer that is personally tailored to them could help facilitate a middle schooler’s everyday learning experience.

Is the laptop likely to sustain damage?

This depends on the individual user and how carefully they treat electronics. Sometimes middle school students are not careful, but accidents can happen to anyone, especially if you are using a computer pretty much every day. 

Consider that a durable laptop capable of withstanding an accidental drop might be worth extra money. Although, it might be better to use something cheaper and more easily repaired or replaced if taking damage would be a serious concern.

How long will you need the laptop?

It is important to determine how much of an investment this purchase will be for a student. Will the student be using a computer for schoolwork for years? Remember that a laptop is convenient, portable and excellent for school, but there is no room for growth or upgrades like a desktop. 

If you find that the laptop you purchased no longer has the specs needed to fulfill your needs, you might find yourself buying multiple laptops over several years. Investing in a high-quality computer now could prevent the need to upgrade later.

In addition, you may consider purchasing a cheap laptop that is purely for completing classwork on the go and separately purchasing a desktop for other computing needs that can be done at home. Dividing your budget across more than one device may or may not be the best plan, depending on the situation.

What to look for in a quality school laptop

Lightweight and easy to transport

Laptops for school need to be easy to carry to and from school, between classes and anywhere else that a student needs to work on their studies. It is important to strike a balance between quality components and a small profile that the middle school student can safely and easily carry. If you opt for a laptop that is too small, it might be easily portable but unable to fulfill a student’s needs.

Optimal size devices will differ, depending on the individual middle school student. Some may also prefer a laptop with a larger screen so they can have multiple windows open at a time and multi-task or take notes more efficiently. Be sure to find a laptop that is the best size for your needs.

Long battery life

A good laptop for schooling has a long battery life and charges up quickly. Minimizing downtime during school hours and study time is crucial. A computer is a powerful tool for learning, but it does no good if the battery drains too fast. While some laptops just have better batteries and other components than others, there are also other ways to improve your battery life. 

First, always recharge your battery before it completely dies. Try to store your laptop in a cool area and keep it from overheating whenever possible. Disable any software running on the computer that is nonessential and always close applications when you are finished using them. There is more to learn online, but taking good care of your laptop while using it can help it to keep functioning at its best when you need it most. 

Good security measures

In a school setting, it can be important to have security measures on laptops. Some laptops have fingerprint sensors that can be an added level of security, but be sure to set up the password or pin for the computer so that it is something the middle school student can remember. 

Security software is also important for protecting students during their online activities. If you do not use software that helps protect you and you fail to follow safe internet practices, it is easy for a young and inexperienced user’s security and safety to be violated.

How much you can expect to spend on a laptop for middle school

You can probably find functional laptops for very low prices now, but for a good quality schooling laptop, expect to spend $300-$700.

Laptops for middle school FAQ

Is it safe for a middle school student to have a laptop?

A. This generally depends upon the maturity and awareness of an individual child. Teaching young students about safe computer usage habits is the best way to protect them. Installing security software will also help to protect young computer users.

What software does a middle school laptop need to run?

A. For schoolwork, you will at least need a computer capable of running word processors and other file editing software. It should also be able to smoothly run classroom meeting programs like Zoom, Webex or other similar software. The software beyond that depends on the needs of an individual user.

What’s the best middle school laptop to buy?

Top laptop for middle schoolers

HP ENVY x360 Convertible Laptop

What you need to know: This folding touchscreen laptop is customizable to your individual needs and budget.
What you’ll love: This is a high-performance laptop that combines the power of the AMD Ryzen 5 processor with an adaptable convertible design that adapts to different tasks or activities. With a 13.3” display and a slim profile, this will easily slide into a backpack along with other school supplies. The battery can charge to half capacity in just 45 minutes to minimize downtime. 

What you should consider: Starting at about $700 for the baseline model, this is a serious investment. If you decide to customize the laptop components, it may take a few weeks for your computer to be prepared and shipped.

Where to buy: Sold by HP

Top laptop for middle schoolers for the money 

ASUS VivoBook 15 F515

What you need to know: The VivoBook is an affordable lightweight laptop perfect for basic word processing and web-based tasks for classes.

What you’ll love: It has a very slim profile, but still has a bunch of different ports and a bright 15.6” 1080p Full HD screen. It is not very heavy, so you can easily add it to a backpack with other school supplies without weighing a student down. For under $400, this computer allows a student to complete schoolwork on the computer without breaking the bank.

What you should consider: It only has 8 hours of battery life and runs a bit warm since it does not have the best processor or cooling system.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5

What you need to know: This touchscreen laptop provides a powerful computer system for less money.

What you’ll love: The computer can fold 360 degrees, into multiple configurations to suit different activities. It includes a digital pen to use with the touchscreen for taking handwritten notes on class document files or getting artistically creative. With an AMD Ryzen 5 processor, this is a powerful computer that will have no problem running any software for class and would even be able to smoothly run video games after school. The laptop also has a built-in webcam privacy shutter, perfect for helping to keep middle schoolers safe as they explore the internet.

What you should consider: It has 10 hours of battery life, but it has a quick charge function that lets users get it back up to at least 80% power in about an hour of downtime. You may want to purchase a separate USB mouse for ease of use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Elliott Rivette writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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