Feeling overwhelmed with the upheaval and uncertainty of our school systems during Covid-19?  I’ve put together the top 3 best computers for online learning that will fit the bill whether your child is back in a classroom or at home learning remotely.

It’s a new world isn’t it?

Not one I’m terribly fond of – masks and distancing and minimal socializing – but what can you do?  We have to go along to protect the ones we love, so there’s nothing to be said except “suck it up sweetheart”.

Followed by “and this too shall pass”.   (I hope)

One of the biggest dilemmas we face as parents, is whether or not to send our kids back to school in a couple of weeks.

I’m so torn…

I want my kids safe and protected (like any good parent), but the last 6 months of keeping them cooped up and out of harm’s way hasn’t done anything for their psychological health.  I have the benefit of being an “essential worker” so I’ve been able to escape my home on a daily basis for work, but my girls have been stuck inside/near these four walls for too long.

They NEED to get out.  They NEED to socialize (in whatever limited capacity they can), they NEED structure to their days and they NEED a change of scenery.

With that in mind, and with the number of cases of Covid-19 pretty sparce in my neck of the woods, their father and I have decided to send them back to school…  for now.

No judgement on whatever you decide is best for your family – our plans could change at any moment should an outbreak come – but back-to-school 2020 looks a LOT different than it has in past years.

In an effort to give all of us a bit of direction on what we “need” for back-to-school this year, I asked my friend Chris – Director of IT – to tell me the best computers/laptops/tablets for online learning.

If you’re like me and don’t understand RAM, GB, operating systems and apps, then this will give you a good idea of what to get for your school-age kids to help them learn in this new world.  I think you’ll be surprised too – Chris did NOT recommend the top-of-the-line gadgets – but top performing computers within real world budgets.  (The red text was I added so you know why each “thingy” is important)

*This post contains affiliate links.  For full Amazon affiliate disclosure, please see sidebar or bottom of the page.

Best computers for online learning:

  1. *ASUS Chromebook C523 Laptop  (approximately $399 US).

Perks: *this is the type that kids use at school, won’t get viruses

Specs: (for those that understand computers)

  • CPU: Intel Dual-Core Celeron N3350 Processor (2M Cache, up to 2. 4 GHz).    = fast and snappy performance
  • Memory: DDR4 SDRAM.    = Fast kind of memory (this determines how much multi-tasking it can do)
  • Hard Drive: 4GB DDR3 RAM; 32GB eMMC storage.    = you want at least 4GB of RAM
  • Operating System: Chrome OS.    (Chromebooks don’t get viruses)
  • Display: 15.6 Inches, Intel HD Graphics 500
  • Touchscreen: Optional    = nice feature to have if they are used to tablets or phones.
  • Screen Resolution: 1366 x 768 Pixels.    = decent screen resolution, but not HD

ASUS Chromebook C523 Laptop, best computers for online learning

ASUS Chromebook C523 Lapto, best computers for online learning

2. 2020 HP Envy x360 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop. (~$768 US).

Perks:  *more useful for the entire family to use and the one that Mom & Dad are familiar with from their office.

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor at 2.375GHz
  • Memory: 8 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM memory.    = more memory for gaming etc
  • Hard Drive: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive.   = more storage because everything is saved to the computer
  • Operating System: Windows 10.    = System that more people are used to
  • Display: 15.6″ Touchscreen IPS Full HD WLED backlit (1920 x 1080) Display
  • Touchscreen: yes.    = nice feature to have if they are used to tablets or phones
  • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080.    = better image resolution than the ASUS

2020 HP Envy x360 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop, best computers for online learning

2020 HP Envy x360 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop, best computers for online learning

3.  Acer Aspire C24-963-UA91 AIO Desktop. (~$580 US).

Perks:  *desktop allows you to keep the kids in a common area, it’s what we parents are used to, and we old farts can see the screen.

  • CPU: 10th Generation Intel Core i3-1005G1 Processor (Up to 3. 4GHz).  = general purpose processor speed-wise
  • Memory: 8GB DDR4 Memory and 512GB NVMe M. 2 SSD.   = over 4 GB, so good
  • Hard Drive: 512GB NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home.    = system that more people are used to
  • Display: 23. 8″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen Edge-to-Edge LED Back-lit Display.  = much bigger screen for older eyes
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080.  = better image resolution than the ASUS

Acer Aspire C24-963-UA91 AIO Desktop, best computers for online learning

I asked Chris (again a Director of IT) which computer he would choose for his own child and he went with the least expensive ASUS Chromebook because it’s what kids were using in school prior to Covid-19.  It’s the least expensive and will be a familiar platform so that they can slide right back into studies without too much hacking or frustration.

My preference for the best computers for online learning?  I did like the idea of a desktop computer myself, partially for the larger screen and partially because it’s something that can be housed (without too much complaint) in a central location so I can keep an eye on schoolwork versus gaming time. The very expensive downside is you often have to buy the Microsoft Office Suite separately which adds to your bill.

Whether you send your child back-to-school or not, or whether they go and then schools are suddenly shut down again – any of these computers will make the  transition from online to classroom to home-based learning without skipping a beat.

As for the rest of your school supplies?

You know I can’t resist a little window-shopping-spree, so I’m including some of the cute items I found on Amazon to finish out your back-to-school kit/maybe-stay-home kit:


Have a great one!

 

 

 

 

Linked to:  Between Naps on the Porch