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Finding the right laptop makes a huge difference to your experience teaching English. While you don’t want to neglect your internet connection, you will also need a high-performing laptop to complete tasks. There’s nothing more exciting than opening your new laptop set for another day of teaching. How can you proceed to find a laptop with all the specs and requirements to teach on an online platform?
What you Need to Look for in a Laptop when Teaching Online?
You don’t need to be tech-savvy to teach English online. Let’s break this down in a simple way by providing suitable technological devices and requirements you should look for in a laptop.
I outline some recommendations of what you should look for in a laptop:
- CPU Benchmark <1100
- 2GB RAM or above
- 1280×1024 minimum resolution screen resolution
- Built-in Webcam, 720p or higher resolution
- Built-in Microphone
- Windows 7 Service Pack/Mac OS 10.12 or above
Fast and Reliable Computer
If you are teaching on Skype, the minimum requirements are 1 Ghz processor and a minimum of 256 MB for Windows or 1 GB of RAM for Mac. However, if you are an online ESL teacher and you teach with an online ESL company, consider the processors above.
Check CPU Benchmark is no less than 1100. You can check your CPU Benchmark by searching it here. The CPU benchmark measures performance of the system. The higher the CPU mark, the better.
It is recommended to have at least 2GB RAM by some online teaching companies, such as iTutorgroup. I would at least go with 4GB to 8GB RAM, however. Why? The computer will run faster and smoother, and there will be fewer breaks in your connection. There will be a lot less heartache and missed classes due to tech issues.
If you buy a newer laptop model, you may be able to get an HD webcam. HD webcams are best as they look more professional for the student. If you don’t have HD, expect to have a minimum of 720p. You might want to consider buying an external webcam to connect to your device to improve quality.
The microphone that is built into your computer should be ok for regular tasks. Make sure to buy a headset with a microphone so students can hear you clearly.
Laptops to Consider
The Asus Vivobook is suitable for teachers who are looking for an affordable, lightweight laptop.
The Asus is powered for performance, with a 3.9GHz processor, 8GB Ram and 128GB of SSD storage. It has Windows 10s, switchable to Windows 10. The Asus Vivobook also has a HD Webcam, which is impeccable quality for online teaching.
This laptop is powered by an i3-8145U processor so that you can get to work and the backlit keyboard is life saver for late night usage.
This laptop is covered by one-year accidental damage protection so if you spill any liquids, or drop it, you are covered! If you are looking for an affordable laptop, this is your best bet!
I have an Asus Zenbook and I’m very happy with it! The Asus Zenbook is a compact size with a 13.3 inch screen, perfect for the teacher-traveller.
It has an i5 processor to help you get things done, along with a HD bezel display. It doesn’t compromise on performance and runs smoothly with a 8GB RAM.
This laptop boasts a superior 8 hour battery life. It is very fast and the Zenbook often compared to the Macbook, due to its similar design and functionality.
This laptop also comes with a one-year warranty, which covers any accidental damage.
The HP Pavilion is your all in one business desktop computer. It comes with a wireless mouse and keyboard so you can enjoy all the comforts of at-home teaching. It is a great value computer suitable for all the family.
The HP Pavillion has an i5 core processor with a 1.7GHz processor, 8GB Ram and 256GB of SSD storage. The screen can also operate as a touchscreen and has a built in HD webcam.
Its ultraslim design takes up minimal space and it’s perfect for teaching.
You can’t go wrong with the Apple Macbook Pro. This boasts a lightweight design and ultraslim fit to take with you on the go.
This revolutionary Apple Macbook has a 16-inch retina display, which is larger than most apple macbooks. It has a i9 core processor and up to 64GB of memory, so you can get work done with ease.
It offers true-to-life graphics and is said to perform 2x better than previous models.
The macbook has a long battery life of up to 11 hours which will aid your teaching and internet browsing. Make the most of your work with the Apply Macbook Pro.
Lenovo Flex is an all-rounded device at a reasonable price. It is extremely versatile and can convert into a full HD touchscreen.
The Lenovo is not too big or too small with its 14-inch display screen. The i5-8265U processor is fast and efficient for multi-tasking and completing your day of online teaching. You can also charge up within 1-2 hours.
It also physically closes your webcam when you are not using it, so you can be protected online.
This laptop also boasts a 128GB SSD storage and 8GB of memory, for great speed and efficiency.
That wraps up my recommendations on the best laptops for teaching online. The main goal is to find a laptop that performs well and can multitask, provided it meets the requirements I stated above.
This is why I’d recommend going for a laptop with 8GB RAM, which is well above the minimum requirements. You should try to get a laptop with an i5 processor or a higher CPU benchmark.
You will also have to consider getting a webcam, headset with mic and mouse.
Make sure to test all equipment before teaching and you are good to go!