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We expect more from our computers, and the school laptop is no exception, as more learning resources become available online.
When choosing the right school laptop, it might be tempting to settle for the minimum system requirement. But if the last year has taught us anything, it’s how we rely on our portable computers and appreciate their flexibility.
So, taking into account your child’s lifestyle and how they might use it out-of-school could ensure they are more likely to cherish and look after their laptop.
Laptop screen size can stretch as far as 17-inch screens, but hanging around the 13-inch to 15-inch mark is a great midpoint between portability, price and plenty of screen real estate to see what’s going on. Not to mention battery life. It also helps that there’s a trend towards minimalist screen bezels, which means bigger screens in smaller chassis.
Screen resolution is an important consideration alongside screen size, too: the higher the resolution, the easier it is on your pupil’s pupils. Just be sure to get your kid to tweak default icon sizes and zoom levels in display settings if things are looking a wee bit too small on high-res screens. Another key consideration is screen brightness, which makes everything easier to see, as well as detail clearer in darker areas, but bear in mind that the brighter you make the screen, the more it drains the battery.
Much of school-based learning and homework will require reference to online material. There’s also the chance for remote learning opportunities over Zoom, Teams or Webex. Smooth constant connectivity is becoming a priority, so a laptop that’s Wi-Fi 6 capable is a worthwhile consideration.
Wi-Fi 6 became available in 2019, with devices shipping the protocol from 2020, so there should be plenty of devices to choose from now. Though Wi-Fi 6 has a higher theoretical download speed than Wi-Fi 5, most networks won’t be fast enough to take advantage of that. However, Wi-Fi 6 introduces new ways for a laptop to talk to a router, when there are many other devices on the network that might otherwise lead to congestion.
A budget-friendly model that still has a generous 15.6” display, Bang & Olufsen audio and 256GB SSD drive for quick boot ups.
The AMD processor is geared towards current office and home use, and will reliably handle web browsing, emails, word processing and presentations.
- 15.6" HD (1366 x 768) brightview SVA display
- AMD Athlon™ Silver 3050U processor (2.3 - 3.2GHz)
- 256GB SSD storage with 8GB RAM
A school laptop will most likely be used for other fun stuff – and that likely involves gaming. If that’s on your checklist, then take a look at the Yoga S7i from Lenovo. 11th Gen Intel with Evo benchmarking means this laptop meets or exceeds today’s standards for a great computing experience.
And the integrated Iris Xe graphics will deliver a rich experience on popular multiplayers. The Yoga S7i is a great looking machine. The 14” display boasts a 91% screen, and you enjoy more precise control with a 33% larger touchpad.
- 14" 2.2K (2240 x 1400) IPS display
- Intel Core i5-11300H processor (3.1 - 4.4GHz)
- 256GB SSD storage with 8GB RAM