What Kind Of Laptop Do You Really Need For Online Teaching?

Laptops, in general, are the most preferred option in today’s online learning. Compared to a desktop or tablet, a laptop is basically equipped with an integrated webcam and microphone enough to let you handle a virtual class.

It’s quite daunting but you need to figure out what kind of laptop do you really need for online teaching. Does it have to be high-end?

An open laptop with a book on it

For taking notes, assigning homework, giving lectures, and even video chatting, a laptop is just as important as a textbook, a personal library, and a research tool. All that is left to do is get a value-focused model that perfectly suits your needs.


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What Kind Of Laptop Do You Really Need For Online Teaching?

You have a lot of options when it comes to laptops, but there are a few outstanding traits you should look for when buying a laptop for online teaching. Check out the following prerequisites:

1) It should allow you to work flexibly

Are you teaching home-based or do you travel every day to school? Are you looking for a portable computer for easy carrying? Here, you can determine between smaller-sized, thinner, and lighter laptop options. Identifying the main use of a laptop will help you find the perfect size that allows you to work with ease. 

How large a monitor display do you need? Most online teachers use at least 17 inches laptop, a 15-inch monitor is enough for you not to squint a lot while looking at the screen. This includes how webcam and audio are properly facilitated. A laptop that allows you to work flexibly should have conveniently built-in devices for the webcam’s or microphone’s quality, or in case you need to buy, it can accommodate these tools appropriately.

2) It should help you keep up with the demands of online teaching

This calls for a processor (also referred to as CPU or APU) with a good speed. It’s like the amount of energy playing through your computer’s brain. Speed matters so faster is better. 

Online teaching today basically uses Zoom meetings and emails. A computer with a 2.5GHz Dual-Core i5 would do a perfect job whether you’re handling elementary, high school, or college classes.  

Intel core i3, i5, and i7 are today’s top-of-the-line processors. It may sound like they are quite expensive, but what you are getting is a faster computer for all your data processing. There are more affordable options though, but you have to make sure that it is compatible with the rest of your computer parts. Check wisely if you must.

computer processor

3) It should provide a good capacity for saving data

Speaking of your computer’s memory – we call this RAM (Random-Access Memory), or your computer’s primary memory device.

Even if it entails short-term memory, this will allow your computer to multitask for you. Definitely, you will be having more than one, two, or even three tabs or programs open during your lectures. So think of a higher number of RAM so the computer will not bog down in the middle of a class.

Newer laptop models now come with at least 8GB of RAM which is sufficient for conducting regular online classes, online meetings, reporting, video chatting, and even tasks that require multiple windows in the background. However, if you’re performing a multitude of processes happening at the same time, then it may not be enough.

4) It should have enough storage space on its hard drive

A hard drive (hard disk drive or HDD) is self-contained or permanent storage where operating system files, installed software, and other data are saved. Like a bookshelf where you store and safe keep all your books and study materials, a hard drive similarly provides a very high memory that stores your data permanently until you move or uninstall them.

Although RAM is your computer’s primary memory, it is typically smaller than a hard drive, and it only takes one instance for the database to fail. You will immediately lose your documents if this occurs. Your secondary data storage system is your hard disk. Note that secondary storage is crucial for online teaching.

You will be happy with a 160GB HDD drive to house MS Word files, presentations, projects, research, upload, and download requirements. Go for a laptop with more storage space. You can invest in extra storage if you need more, any time.

Laptop showing battery power mode

5) It should allow you to work without shutting down anytime

I’m talking about battery life. Going back to how you will be using your laptop: think about conducting an online class in a place without an outlet nearby. Even when you’re at home, you’ll want a laptop that can last from 7:00 in the morning to at least after lunch without the charging cable.

Nothing ruins productivity like a computer that simply shuts down without a warning. Batteries for laptops should allow you to work on the go because your computer is not plugged into an outlet. If your battery works on a single charge of battery giving you anywhere between 4 to 7 hours straight, you can accomplish a lot.

6) It should show the keyboard prints nice and clear

Don’t you just hate it when you can hardly see the letters, numbers, and symbols on your keyboard? You need the right visibility when in an online class. Modern laptops are already designed with semi-transparent keys so the light underneath will shine through them nicely and clearly.

Purchase a laptop with a backlit keyboard to make the key print visible. This is especially useful while working at night or in dimly lit areas. On sometimes, you might have to stay up all night working on a lesson or your grades. Perhaps you’re working at a coffee shop with dim lighting. The absolute prerequisite for your online instruction is a lighted keyboard. This way, you are constantly equipped.

computer keyboard with back light

7) It should have the necessary ports for your needs

You’ll definitely need to plug in a webcam, a microphone, a document camera, a USB flash drive, or an external keyboard. So you need a lot of ports. Even USB hubs are extremely important, not to mention how it makes a good charging point for Bluetooth speakers and smartphones.

Additionally, you will have to move files or data from your laptop to a printer, scanner, or another device in order to teach online. You can also connect a headphone or headset to an audio port. You need to make room for a turn and conversation when you spend your entire day in front of a laptop. Ports are therefore one of the laptop features you need to set up the ideal workspace.



1) What laptop specs do I need for online classes?

Processor: Although the standard core i3 processors can get you by, core i5 processors have more cores so it has an all-out capacity to run different processes at the same time without pressuring the CPU.

RAM: Some people say 4GB RAM is good enough for teaching. But the 8GB has been the standard RAM favored by teachers for virtual activities.

Speed: 1.5 Mbps Internet speed is the minimum requirement. But for teaching, Fiber offers a simultaneous connection of 20 Mbps speed both for upload and download. Go for at least 50Mbps.

Screen: At least 13″ will do but if you can size up, all the better.

2) Which is better 4GB or 8GB RAM?

As I’ve mentioned earlier, 4GB RAM is recommended as a minimum. Teaching online requires higher virtual productivity as you might need more memory to run various programs at once. I suggest the 8GB RAM so you can open more than 2 or more browser tabs, use photo or video editing programs, handle meetings, stream content, and even play games.

3) If I have the best laptop, do I need a webcam for an online class?

A webcam is optional. A high-end laptop already comes with a built-in web camera capable of HD displays. However, for mobility purposes, or if you require more angles – an external webcam may be needed. Generally, the secret to a good webcam is “the larger the sensor, the better the picture, and the more advanced feature, the better it performs.

Find a webcam here.

4) Is it okay to use my laptop while it’s charging?

Yes. Your laptop this way is powered by the A/C adapter and not the battery. However, this can also reduce your battery lifespan in the long run. For your battery’s health, charge it to 100 percent before using it. The best thing is to unplug your power adapter once the battery hits 100% in order to maximize its life cycle.

5) How can I increase my laptop’s battery life? 

  1. Ensure it is between 40 and 80 percent charged and avoid getting to zero power.
  2. When working plugged in, allowing it to run excessively “hot” will cause the battery to deteriorate.
  3. Always store your battery in a well-ventilated area.

Looking for tips on how to take care of your laptop? Watch the video below.


You are now aware of the few unique specifications for the type of laptop you need for online instruction. Remember that each of the aforementioned elements will assist you in setting up your online classroom effectively. No matter what your teaching requirements are, a laptop that is highly ideal is outfitted with characteristics that can support you in successfully and efficiently teaching online.

You may want to obtain a dedicated webcam in addition to a laptop. Or wireless headphones?

Do you have anything to add to the list? It sure will help all of our online teachers. Share it with us in the comments.