Laptops for Education

The choice of laptops for education is pivotal in setting the stage for personalized learning via performance, connectivity, and security as a future-forward investment that expands with student needs and experiences over time.

Key Laptops for Education Takeaways

  • Laptops for education offer more choice in design than ever before, ready to be customized to student and educator usage and needs.

  • By understanding what to look for when selecting laptops for education, you can futureproof your investment.

  • Intel-powered laptops for education offer integrated hardware-based security capabilities for greater protection against cyber threats to protect student and teacher data and privacy.

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When students have the right laptop for education, they can engage with their coursework, their peers, and their teachers in a more dynamic and rewarding way. Laptops offer great portability alongside robust capabilities that make these devices a flexible, practical, and expandable investment.

Today’s education laptop devices offer more choice in design than ever before, ready to be configured to align with student usage needs. As a result, laptops for education are geared to grow with the student for a sustainable investment over time.

By making laptops a personalized part of the educational experience, students can:

  • Foster skills for innovation by getting hands-on experience with advanced tools, digital content, and other building blocks of critical fourth industrial revolution skill sets.
  • Gain experience through more possibilities, more-personalized learning, and more ways to engage with course material.
  • Participate in learning, interact with peers, and receive support from teachers in person and online with a portable and flexible device that can empower them to learn anywhere.

Intel is committed to furthering education technology that promotes student skills for the future. Ultimately, empowered students are the ones who have the freedom to explore their potential with devices, such as an Intel-powered laptop or Chromebook, that allow maximum flexibility for growth and discovery.

Plan for a Full Life Span of the Device

Today’s increasingly technology-driven society requires students to develop useful tech skills, which are often cultivated through personalized education. In a 1:1 scenario, where every student has their own device, learning can match specific student needs. Those needs will inevitably change over time, which is why it is important to enable future flexibility in device performance to extend the life of your laptop investment.

For example, today a student may be accessing content and tomorrow be creating it. Even in early education, students are multitasking with productivity, collaboration, videoconferencing, and web-based tools running simultaneously. As they progress in school, add to that content creation, coding, 2D/3D modeling, and more-advanced applications—all requiring greater computing power as the student experience grows over time. Considering only the minimum specifications (specs) for a laptop device today could shortchange the device’s usability in the future.

By thinking ahead and selecting a model upgrade beyond the basic recommended specs, you enable the device to grow with the student while making a future-forward device investment for the next several years.

Figure 1. To get the most out of your laptop purchase, consider the types of learning activities it will be used for over the life of the device.

To help you learn what to look for when selecting reliable, secure devices that can support a range of uses and learning environments, consider the following factors for education laptops and Chromebooks.

Rightsize Device Performance for Projected Use

Choosing the right device for education starts with assessing student needs and learning activities over time.

Intel offers a wide range of processors that provide outstanding options to students across academic levels. The chart below outlines performance recommendations based on projected learning needs to help you make an informed and efficient choice.

A significant key for success is to look for the processor that best fits your educational needs over time to help ensure you have adequate compute power so your technology investment can grow along with your students.

Figure 2. A rightsized device will provide the processing power to support student learning activities over time.

Features to Look For

In addition to performance needs, consider the following key features when it comes time to purchase a laptop for education:

  • Connectivity: Interruptions, slowdowns, or distractions caused when waiting for long load times keep students from getting the most out of their active learning time. Look for devices that have the right capabilities for reliable access to the internet and that can support new connection standards, like Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+). Some Intel-based Windows OS devices may be eligible for the Intel® Connectivity Performance Suite, which optimizes Wi-Fi performance with up to 30 percent faster speeds by dynamically switching to the best access point connection.1
  • Compatibility: The ideal student laptop is compatible with the devices it will be used alongside, meaning it has the right ports and options to support equipment and USB peripherals such as headphones, monitors, interactive flat panel displays, or other devices. Laptops with Thunderbolt™ 4 ports can help to simplify connectivity to external devices and provide high-bandwidth connections and charging capabilities. Aligning your laptop choice with other education technology investments will also help maximize results across the board.
  • Ruggedness: Being highly portable, laptops must endure rough handling while being moved between learning environments. Durability features like spillproof keys, scratch-resistant displays, heavy-duty hinges, and round edges can help extend the life of the device and reduce downtime due to accidental drops and heavy use. Screen size can also have an impact on ease of portability as it contributes to overall device weight.
  • Long battery life: Students today are using their devices to learn and “do”, including assignments, projects, and creative exercises, in a range of environments. Additionally, processing-intensive videoconferencing, streaming, and advanced data and content creation applications require more power to operate seamlessly. Look for laptops, like Intel-based PCs and Chromebooks, that support all-day battery life and fast charging so students have the freedom to move between learning areas and complete work without needing to be tethered to an electrical outlet.

For more information on device considerations, Intel has put together tips for choosing a school computer as well as an extended K–12 technology planning guide for individuals in charge of purchasing devices for schools.

Education Laptop Device Security

Intel understands the importance of protecting students, faculty, and staff from cyber threats that can compromise their safety, security, and privacy. Cyberattacks today are increasing in sophistication, and schools are among the largest groups being targeted.2

Software-based security alone is no longer enough to combat threats, and a more comprehensive cybersecurity strategy in education that includes both hardware- and software-based security protection is required.

To provide the level of protection needed without making securing devices an arduous task, all Intel-based laptops come with a level of integrated hardware-based security technologies to help protect devices at and below the OS level.

Managing Education Laptops

For schools looking to support or currently supporting a 1:1 device model (one device per student or teacher), maintenance and management of devices becomes a time-consuming process for education IT teams. For large districts, rural districts with geographically dispersed locations, and schools supporting online learning—where students can participate in learning from a nonschool location—device management can become unmanageable, leading to delays in routine maintenance, troubleshooting, and issue resolution. These delays can hinder the teaching and learning experience and, ultimately, drive up IT costs as well as impact learning outcomes.

To address these challenges, schools can look for devices that support remote manageability, such as Intel vPro® platform-based devices that come with integrated, hardware-based manageability features. Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT) allows IT to remotely fix issues, repair corrupted drivers, and install software even when the operating system is down. Additionally, Intel® Endpoint Management Assistant (Intel® EMA) provides IT with a security-enabled, remote, hardware-based connection to manage devices inside and outside of a school’s firewall. This kind of robust remote management is also useful for interactive whiteboards, which are often used for active learning in classrooms.

Intel vPro® for Education

Finding a laptop to best meet student and school needs can seem daunting. Intel offers a range of laptops to fit student uses, performance needs, budgets, and operating system preferences. Beyond the selections already available, in 2022, Intel released Intel vPro® platform-based devices specifically for education.

The city of Frankfurt, Germany, is currently using Intel vPro® platform-based devices in its general education and vocational schools. The city selected the Intel vPro® platform not only to provide students and teachers with highly responsive devices, but also for the integrated Intel® Active Management Technology used by their IT team to significantly reduce device downtime.

Intel: Your Education Partner

Intel is a longtime education partner, working closely with educators and education policy makers to understand the needs of teachers, students, and schools.

Whether you are looking for a laptop that will support your students on their learning journey or seeking to outfit your schools—including devices for teachers, staff, and classrooms—Intel offers a breadth of technologies to meet your needs today and tomorrow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning today happens in a range of environments both within and outside school facilities. Students who have laptop devices can access the technologies and tools they need as they choose from any environment to learn, develop, and hone the skills and mindsets for personal and future professional development. Powerful laptops also empower teachers who move between the classroom, conference room, and home.

A key advantage that laptops have over desktops is portability, meaning that the device goes where the learning is happening, whether that’s a library, classroom, coffee shop, friend’s house, or trip away from home. Laptops take up less physical space and can be put away when not being used. And laptops make it possible to access licensed software even when there is not an internet connection. As long as the laptop has ruggedness for durability, fast and reliable connectivity, and a long battery life, the student is prepared to make the most of any environment for learning.

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1Workloads and configurations (connectivity). Results may vary.
2“Cybersecurity in Education and Research Institutions,” StealthLabs, accessed October 2021, https://www.stealthlabs.com/industries/education-research-institutions/.