6 Things to Consider When Buying a Homeschooling Laptop

Switching to homeschooling poses difficult challenges for many parents. One of them is to find a suitable work tool for the children. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON has 6 tips to help you buy. There are also a few recommendations for suitable devices.

TECHNOLOGY BUTTON recommends for homeschooling

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15ADA05

The IdeaPad 3 from Lenovo comes with decent equipment and a large 15.6-inch screen with sufficient brightness (250 nits). Above all, the laptop impresses with its low price, with the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U and 8 gigabytes of RAM practically no compromises in terms of performance. You are also well served with 256 gigabytes of built-in, fast SSD storage. Only the built-in camera with a resolution of only 0.3 megapixels is a downer. Your own picture arrives at the other person very pixelated. Still an all-round coherent package, the IdeaPad 3 is a clear budget recommendation from us.

model Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15.6 inch (15ADA05)
processor AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
Memory and RAM 256 GB SSD storage
operating system Windows 10 (Home)
screen Diagonal: 15.6 inches
Resolution: Full HD
Brightness: 250 nits
Webcam 0.3 megapixels
price From 444 euros


Honor MagicBook 14 53010WHU

The MagicBook from the Chinese manufacturer Honor reads on paper like the IdeaPad 3. Ryzen 5 3500U, 8 gigabytes of RAM, 256 gigabytes SSD. However, it differs in two crucial ways. The MagicBook has a smaller 14-inch screen, which makes the whole device a bit more portable. So if the laptop is to be transported outside of homeschooling, this is a practical solution. The display has a brightness of 250 nits, which is just okay. However, the resolution with Full HD is very suitable for this size. The built-in 720p webcam is also impressive. This ensures that you appear clearly visible to others in the video call.

model Honor MagicBook 14 53010WHU
processor AMD Ryzen 3 3500U
Memory and RAM 256 GB SSD storage
operating system Windows 10 (Home)
screen Diagonal: 14 inches
Resolution: Full HD
Brightness: 250 nits
Webcam 720p
price From 599 euros


HP 15s-fq2433ng

Another 15.6-inch laptop suitable for homeschooling comes from the traditional HP company. The device’s strengths are not only the keyboard, but also the good performance of the built-in Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor. As usual, 8 gigabytes of RAM are available, but with 512 gigabytes, there is twice as much SSD storage as the other two models in our list. A weak point of the laptop is the slightly too dark screen with 220-230 nits. After all, the display still has Full HD resolution. The HP can also collect points for video calls. The 720p webcam and two built-in microphones ensure that not only images but also voices are well received by others.

model HP 15s-fq2433ng
processor Intel Core i3-1115G4
Memory and RAM 512 GB SSD storage
operating system Windows 10 (Home)
screen Diagonal: 14 inches
Resolution: Full HD
Brightness: 220-230 nits
Webcam 720p
price From 589.99 euros

1. Size and portability

One of the most important decisions parents must make when buying a laptop for homeschooling is what size should the device be?

Laptops range from portable 2-in-1 devices with a 10-inch display diagonal to 17, 19 and even 21 inches. Of course, more screen space gives you more space to work. Having a document on one side and a web browser for research on the other is practically only possible from a diagonal of 15 inches. However, the larger the device, the heavier and more unwieldy its case. While a 10-inch 2-in-1 fits easily into any backpack, a 15-inch laptop is very difficult to carry, especially for children.

If the focus is on using the laptop mainly stationary at the desk, a larger screen is not a disadvantage. On the contrary, if it is little moved anyway, it should be as large as possible so as not to strain the eyes with small text even when working for longer periods. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON therefore recommends a display diagonal of 15 or 17 inches for homeschooling use.

2. Operating system

Especially in the price segment between 400 and 600 euros, there are actually only two operating systems to choose from: Windows 10 and ChromeOS. First of all, I can advise against parents who are flirting with a Chromebook due to the lower prices.

While ChromeOS is constantly being improved by Google and is now compatible with many more traditional programs, it does not come close to the flexibility of Windows 10. Why does it matter? Quite simply: there is a very high probability that one or more programs that your child’s school uses for homeschooling are only compatible with Windows. The printer, which is mandatory for homeschooling, also works best with a Windows laptop.

Even if there is no Windows requirement on the part of the school – for example because the applications all run via the browser – you should use a Windows laptop if in doubt. ChromeOS does have certain advantages such as the fast working speed on slow hardware and access to apps from the Play Store. Windows is recommended, especially for children. Not least because the operating system is also fully functional offline. Chromebooks require a constant internet connection and have limited usefulness without it.

3. Keyboard

When buying a laptop, many pay attention to the size, performance and features and possibly battery life. But especially for a device that is primarily purchased for homeschooling, the keyboard should not be neglected. Sure, it is always possible to buy an additional keyboard. But having a reliable keyboard right in the laptop when homeschooling doesn’t just take up less space. The PC is also easier to transport from one point to another – even if it’s just from the desk to the kitchen table for the occasional change of scenery.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell whether a keyboard is any good before buying it. Especially with cheap laptops, however, there is a great risk that the keys have an imprecise pressure point, are spongy and loose. It is therefore best to look to professional tests and user reviews before buying. If these are not available, it only helps to order several devices and compare them.

4. Camera and microphone

Another point that often received little attention in the past when buying a cheap laptop is the quality of the built-in camera and microphone. Since classrooms are now “remote”, access to video telephony is very important. As with the keyboard, it is difficult to determine how good the camera and microphone are before buying.

While you can at least use a guideline value for the resolution for the camera, this is more difficult, especially with the microphone. The camera should have a resolution of at least 720p (corresponds to 1280 x 720 pixels) or better 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels). Apart from test reports that may be available, there is hardly any information about built-in microphones. So here too it only helps to compare several models. Alternatively, and in any case better suited for video telephony, a headset can be used.

5.Screen (resolution + brightness)

In the point above, we already talked about the importance of screen size when buying a laptop. However, the display is more important than its size. Two points are also important for a usable homeschooling laptop: resolution and brightness.


Fortunately, even with inexpensive laptops these days, adequate resolution is almost standard. Even with smaller 2-in-1 devices, full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) is part of the range. The resolution is particularly important on larger laptops so that text is not too pixelated and therefore easier to read. We therefore recommend that you never buy a device with a lower resolution. Caution is advised if a manufacturer only states “HD resolution”, for example. This can also be a panel with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.


Screen brightness is unfortunately a complicated issue when buying a laptop. However, it is particularly difficult with laptops under the 1000 euro mark. In general, cheaper laptops tend to have weak displays, which manufacturers use to save costs. Nevertheless, a certain minimum level of brightness is also necessary for homeschooling. Dark displays make copywriters harder to read, and when rays of sunlight fall on them, it’s practically impossible to see anything. Even anti-glare (also referred to as “matt”) displays hardly make a difference.

Unfortunately, there is no uniform specification that makes the screen brightness comparable across different laptop manufacturers and models. In the meantime, more and more manufacturers are specifying the luminosity in nits (or candela per square meter / cd / m 2 ). However, there is no standardized basis on which values ​​can be compared with one another. Nevertheless, these details give a certain guide value. You should make sure that the value does not fall below 250 nits (cd / m 2 ). If you do not find this information, it is advisable to take a look at reviews. The Austrian colleagues and laptop experts at Notebookcheck.com test a large number of laptops and also measure the screen brightness themselves.

6. Equipment

Homeschooling doesn’t have to be a fast computer that can do complex game graphics or 3D model calculations. Most inexpensive laptops these days provide enough power for office and Internet applications – and thus also for homeschooling. But here, too, there are a few things to consider, because there are massive differences even in the low-budget segment. In addition, a certain basic level of performance is necessary so that work is not hindered by pauses in calculation.

TECHNOLOGY BUTTON therefore recommends at least the following for a Windows laptop for homeschooling:

processor 10th generation Intel (e.g. Intel Core i3-1005G1), AMD Ryzen 3000 or 4000 series (e.g. AMD Ryzen 5 3500U)
R.A.M. At least 8 gigabytes of RAM
Storage At least 128 gigabytes of memory; make sure that it is SSD and not slow HDD storage!


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