Written by Dino Strkljevic, Intel Australia
We all know the last couple of years have been unsettling for students and teachers nationwide, with parents hoping to never hear the words ‘home-schooling’ again. Yet this time has also instilled in us an understanding that a solid-performing laptop isn’t a nice-to-have but an absolute must.
Kids need a device that can cope with the tasks being asked of them – tasks which of course differ depending on what stage of schooling they are at. And it’s because of this that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach won’t make the grade when it comes to tech for school. As you research what to buy, it’s important to note that today’s laptops aren’t just defined by the individual components, but rather how they come together to deliver the kind of experience your child is looking for.
If your child only needs to access services like video conferencing, digital content and web apps, and isn’t undertaking multiple online activities at the same time, then a device featuring an Intel Celeron processor can be the way to go. These laptops are usually available at a lower price point.
However, if your child’s tech must be able to handle the demands of programming, coding, and multitasking you’ll want a system featuring more advanced processing technology such as an Intel Core i5 or i7. More memory and faster storage is important at this stage too. Ensure you have at least 8GB of memory and 256GB or more of storage.
Thankfully, there are plenty of devices available in the market across the board. Following is a guide on what you need to look out for when purchasing a laptop to ensure it’s the right device your child, as well as a few laptop suggestions to help steer you in the right direction.
Tip #1: Look for a laptop that will survive
Some kids – specifically in the younger years – may need a laptop that can withstand the knocks and bumps inflicted by lugging it around every day.
The Dynabook E10-S meets all the specifications of the Australian school BYOD (bring-your-own-device) guidelines. It can take the wear and tear of the average school day and can handle all the apps and workloads your kids will need thanks to its dual-core Intel Celeron processor.
The E10-S is military-standard graded for toughness. Meaning it comes with strengthened ports, a spill-resistant keyboard with anchored keycaps, rugged body with rubber bumpers for edge protection, and reinforced 180-degree hinges. Perfect for your little angels.
Tip #2: Give your child flexibility
Tablet devices give students the benefits of being able to use a pen or stylus when completing course work, but a laptop with the ability to flip into tablet mode offers the best of both worlds.
The ASUS BR1100F is one such device. Ideal for younger students, it’s a durable, touchscreen, 2-in-1 system. Its 360-degree hinge allows the 11.6-inch device to switch easily between its four modes: laptop, presentation, tent and tablet. So, depending on what your child is focusing on, the screen can be rotated easily. All-day battery life is another handy bonus.
With the choice of either an Intel Celeron or Intel Pentium CPU and a host of connectivity, storage and memory options, the ASUS BR1100F is sure to meet your child’s learning needs.
Tip #3: A tight budget can go a long way
Money talks, right? It practically yells when it comes to kitting the kids out with laptops. Do you focus on something with higher-end specs that’s pricey, or hope a tighter budget will deliver you a device that’ll last the distance?
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go answers that question with a resounding “why not both?”.
The Surface Laptop Go is a well-appointed yet sensibly priced offering. This model packs a 10th Generation Intel Core i5 processor, up to 8GB of RAM, 256GB storage, a brilliant 12.4” display and excellent build quality. Take into account its light weight, of only 1.11kg, and 13 hours of battery life, and your child has everything they need to get their schoolwork done – all for an affordable price.
Another reasonably priced option from one of the top laptop makers in the world, is the HP ProBook 440 G8 Notebook PC. Within its compact, slim design you’ll find an Intel 11th Generation Core i5 processor, and the storage and memory needed to ensure your child won’t lag behind all the work they need to do for school. Plus, it’s durable and comes with multi-layered security protection to put your mind at ease.
Tip #4: Lighten up the load
No one wants to lug several kilos of laptop around all day. Fortunately, sleek and high-performing devices are a reality. A hot tip is to look for the Intel Evo sticker on new laptops. This indicates you’re buying a premium, thin and light laptop that can perform all tasks required by students, especially those who need their devices to handle tasks like digital content creation, programming and multitasking.
The Acer Swift 3 is one of our many picks. It comes equipped with an 11th Generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt 4, more than nine hours of battery life and wakes in less than a second. All this, plus the 16GB of RAM option and a maximum of 1TB of storage, means it can handle anything your kids might need to do school wise and is super light at only 1.19kg. What’s not to love?
A further Intel Evo laptop that continues to impress is the Dell XPS 13. Featuring an 11th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, 512GB of storage and weighing in at 1.2kg, this is another thin, light, powerful device that is hard to look past.
The key thing to remember when embarking on your laptop purchasing journey is the age and learning stage of your child. Above are a range of laptops that are powerful enough to handle a variety of school-based workloads. Just remember to keep it simple by considering your child’s needs and your budget. You’re sure to find something that fits the bill.
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