What Laptop Do You Need to Teach Online?

A laptop is 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. But what laptop do you need to teach online? Does it have to be high-end?
An open laptop with a book on it

All current computers come equipped with a widescreen HD webcam, therefore having a high-quality webcam is not necessary for online education.A laptop is just as essential as a textbook, a personal library, and a research tool for taking notes, assigning homework, conducting lectures, and even video conferencing. The only thing left to accomplish is purchase a value-focused model that is ideal for your requirements.


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What Laptop Do You Need to Teach Online?

With so many options when it comes to laptops, 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. Although they may appear to be extremely pricey, you are actually obtaining a speedier computer for all of your data processing. However, you must ensure that it is compatible with the rest of your computer’s components before choosing one of the more economical ones. If you must, do your research.

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.

As a result, your computer will be able to complete various jobs for you, even those that call for short-term memory. You will definitely have more than one, two, or maybe three tabs or programs open during your presentations. So that the computer doesn’t stutter in the middle of a lesson, think about upgrading the RAM.

At least 8GB of RAM is now standard on more modern laptop models, which is sufficient for multi-window tasks like reporting, video chatting, and even frequent online meetings and courses. 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 typically smaller than a hard disk despite being your computer’s main memory, all it takes for the database to crash is one incident. You will immediately lose your documents if this occurs. Your secondary data storage option is your hard disk. Remember that secondary storage is crucial for online education.

For storing MS Word documents, presentations, projects, research, uploading, and downloading needs, a 160GB HDD drive will serve just fine. Invest in a laptop with extra storage. If you ever need more storage, you can always make an investment in it.

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 reduces productivity more than a machine that fails unexpectedly. You should be able to operate while traveling because your computer is not plugged into an outlet thanks to laptop batteries. You can do a lot if your battery can run constantly for between 4 and 7 hours on a single charge.

6) It should show the keyboard prints nice and clear

Don’t you simply hate it when the letters, numbers, and symbols on your keyboard are so little you can hardly see them? If you’re taking a class online, you need to be visible enough. Modern laptops already have semi-transparent keys, allowing the light below to shine through them plainly and attractively.

Purchase a laptop with a lighted keyboard so you can see the key print. This is especially useful while working at odd hours or in places with low lighting. Sometimes, you might have to stay up all night studying for a test or class. Maybe the coffee shop where you work has poor lighting. You must have an illuminated keyboard for your online course.

computer keyboard with back light

7) It should have the necessary ports for your needs

A webcam, microphone, document camera, USB flash drive, or external keyboard will all need to be plugged in. Thus, you require numerous ports. Even USB hubs are crucial, not to mention how useful they are as a Bluetooth speaker and smartphone charging stations.

You will also need to move files or data from your laptop to a printer, scanner, or other device in order to teach online. An audio port can also be used to attach headphones or a headset. You need to schedule time for a break and a chat when you spend the entire day in front of a laptop. Thus, one of the laptop features you require to set up the best workspace is ports.



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 not required. A high-end laptop already has a built-in web camera that can display HD images. An extra webcam might be required, though, if you need more angles or need to be mobile. Generally speaking, a webcam’s performance improves with a larger sensor, better picture, and more advanced feature.

Find a webcam here.

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

Yes. In this manner, the A/C adapter, not the battery, supplies power to your laptop. On the other hand, over time, this may also shorten the longevity of your battery. Before using your battery, make sure it is fully charged for its wellbeing. To extend the life of your power adapter, it is essential to unplug it as soon as the battery reaches 100%.

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.