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Why a Traditional Laptop Is a Better Fit for High School Students
Heather Fudger /
/ Categories: Blog, Education, Laptops

Why a Traditional Laptop Is a Better Fit for High School Students

It’s back to school time!  Gone are the days of backpacks being weighed down with multiple, heavy textbooks and folders stuffed with numerous worksheets handed out to students.  Today, since most schoolwork is done online, one of the most important school supplies is a laptop.

When deciding on the best option for your students, their age and grade will help to narrow down the options.  For elementary school-aged children who are still in the learning stage on how computers work, a tablet or other popular, less-expensive brands may be the best bet. 

However, for students in middle school or high school, a laptop that runs on the Windows operating system is better equipped to answer all of their coursework needs. Laptops can do all the basics, like access their online learning service, message their teacher and submit classwork, but will also be better for writing papers and building presentations. While a laptop tends to be more expensive than a tablet, it has more storage space to save assignments and important documents. And they will need more than a glorified web-browser in college and beyond. Especially since in the workforce, nobody uses a Chrome-based operating system!

When it’s time for college, the knowledge gained on a laptop that runs on the Windows operating system will be beneficial.  Most professors will use and also require students to use Microsoft Office programs which can only be found on Windows operating systems.  Students may need specialized software, such as Adobe Photoshop, which isn’t available on Chrome-based operating systems.  So why not get high school students prepared early?

Below are some of the top priorities when considering purchasing a laptop for high school students. 

Screen size and weight:  Will the student be carrying their laptop around in their backpack all day?  If so, a smaller, lightweight laptop (around 13”) may be ideal. But for graphics, a larger screen (15” or higher) may be more beneficial.  Laptops are found in all sizes that fit your student’s needs.

Durability: Let’s face it, kids can get clumsy.  You will want something that is not going to easily crack and break.  That’s why it’s important to look for a laptop made of a more durable material, such as magnesium or carbon alloy with a polycarbonate shell.

Storage space:  Also known as the laptop's hard drive, internal storage space is an important attribute to consider. Will students need to save large presentations or edit large video files? Consider a laptop with at least 128GB of storage space. Also, most software programs demand an abundant system memory, so laptops should have at least 8GB of RAM.

Battery life:  You'll want a laptop that can last at least an entire day off the charging cable. The last thing the student wants to do when they get home from a full day of classwork is to charge their laptop before doing homework. Nothing ruins productivity like a dead laptop battery.

Good camera and clear audio: Speakers and webcams are often overlooked, however if we have learned anything in the past year, it is that good sound and cameras are a huge plus.  If students need to take some classes virtually, poor audio and picture quality make it difficult to stay engaged. Look for a laptop with a built-in webcam with microphone and DTS audio processing.

Budget: With so many options on the market today, it's possible to buy a decent laptop without spending a ton of money. However, if you have some wiggle room in your budget, buying a laptop with more high-end features will ensure it will be a piece of technology that will last throughout your student's high school years and beyond.

It’s fair to say that full-fledged laptops offer a more comprehensive experience than its less expensive alternatives.  With a broad range of designs, sizes and styles that can be configured with all kinds of components and available with prices going from a couple hundred dollars to thousands, a laptop offers greater variety in performance and use.  For technology with built-in quality, reliability and durability, check out Sharp’s Dynabook line of laptops.


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