Back to school always means notebooks, supplies, the schoolbag for the youngest, but also the new laptop. In higher education, it is often recommended to have a laptop for note-taking and assignments, but choosing the right one is not always easy.
We’ve put together a top 9 of the Best Laptops For Note Taking to choose from for the start of the school year, for an average budget.
However, you will find there a nice variety of possible experiences, depending on what you need.
Best Laptop For Note Taking
Table of Contents
Taking notes, in the office or in class, requires a good pencil stroke… or a dedicated device! How to navigate among the solutions available on the market? Overview of mobile devices so you don’t miss anything in your future work sessions.
Best Laptop For Note Taking | Comparison Table 2021
|Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB)||Microsoft||Check Price|
|Lenovo Yoga 730 2-in-1 13.3" FHD Touchscreen Laptop, Intel Core i5 1.6GHz, 8GB DDR4, 256GB PCIe SSD, Webcam, Bluetooth, Fingerprint Reader, Thunderbolt, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10||Lenovo||Check Price|
|HP 2020 Newest Pavilion X360 2-in-1 Convertible 14" HD Touch-Screen Laptop, 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1, 8GB Ram, 128GB Ssd, Wifi, Webcam, Win 10 S||HP||Check Price|
|ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 2-In-1 Laptop- 12.5” Full HD Touchscreen, Intel Core M3, 4GB RAM, 64GB Flash Storage, All-Metal Body, USB Type C, Corning Gorilla Glass, Chrome OS- C302CA-DHM4 Silver||ASUS||Check Price|
|Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 2-in-1 Laptop- 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, 13MP Camera, Chrome OS, 12.2", 16:10 Aspect Ratio- XE520QAB-K03US Light Titan||SAMSUNG||Check Price|
|Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – 13.5" Touch-Screen – Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 128GB Solid State Drive (Latest Model) – Platinum with Alcantara||Microsoft||Check Price|
|2021 Newest HP Pavilion Laptop, 15.6" HD Display, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U Processor (Better Than i7-10510U), 16 GB DDR4 RAM, 256 GB PCIe SSD, WiFi 6, HDMI, Type-C, Windows 10 Home + Oydisen Cloth||HP||Check Price|
|2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works with iPhone/iPad; Space Gray||Apple||Check Price|
|HP Pavilion 15 Laptop, 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD Storage, Full HD IPS micro-edge Display, Windows 10 Pro, Compact Design, Long Battery Life (15-eg0021nr, 2020)||HP||Check Price|
Best Laptop For Note Taking | 2021 Products Overview
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is a versatile device that offers the functionality of both a laptop and a tablet, making it an ideal choice for users who need a device that can handle both personal and professional tasks. The device is equipped with an 8th Generation Intel Core processor, which provides more power and speed to handle even the most demanding applications.
At just 1.7 pounds, the Surface Pro 6 is ultra-slim and lightweight, making it easy to carry around wherever you go. The device comes with a 12.3-inch screen that offers a display resolution of 2736×1824 pixels, providing sharp and clear visuals. It also features sensors such as an ambient light sensor, accelerometer, and gyroscope.
One of the most significant advantages of the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is its impressive battery life. With up to 13.5 hours of video playback, you can use the device all day without having to worry about running out of power. Additionally, the device comes with the option to pair with a signature type cover in luxurious Alcantara material and rich colors for a full keyboard experience.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is an excellent choice for users who need a device that is both powerful and versatile. Its 8th Generation Intel Core processor, long battery life, and lightweight design offer the perfect balance between performance and portability. Additionally, its compatibility with the signature type cover ensures that users can type comfortably and efficiently, making it an ideal device for those who need to work on the go.
The Lenovo Yoga 730 is a 2-in-1 laptop that can transform into a tablet with a 360-degree hinge design, providing ultimate flexibility and convenience. The laptop is currently unavailable, and it is uncertain when it will be back in stock. This laptop features a 13.3-inch Full HD touchscreen display with a thin 5.9mm bezel that provides a clear, high-definition visual experience, making it an excellent choice for watching movies, video conferencing, and other multimedia applications.
Under the hood, the Lenovo Yoga 730 is powered by an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U processor, with a base clock speed of 1.6GHz and a maximum turbo frequency of 3.4GHz. The laptop is equipped with 8GB of DDR4 memory, which provides lightning-fast boot-ups, transfer times, and ample storage capacity, thanks to the 256GB PCIe SSD. The laptop's advanced communication power makes it ideal for running multiple servers, daily backups, and other major gaming applications.
The Lenovo Yoga 730 boasts an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 coprocessor, which provides seamless visuals and smooth performance. Additionally, the laptop features the revolutionary connection technology of dual Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, which offer swift, versatile connections to high-resolution displays, high-performance data devices, and more. These ports also allow the laptop to charge at faster speeds.
The laptop is lightweight, weighing in at a mere 1.12kg/2.47 lbs, and is made of premium aluminum that adds to its sleek design. The Yoga 730 has a long battery life of up to 11.5 hours, and thanks to Rapid Charge technology, a quick 15-minute charge can give you up to two hours of use. Additionally, the laptop is equipped with a backlit keyboard, a fingerprint reader, and Bluetooth connectivity.
The HP 2020 Newest Pavilion X360 2-in-1 Convertible 14" HD Touch-Screen Laptop is a sleek and versatile device that offers the convenience of a laptop and a tablet in one. It has a 14-inch diagonal HD SVA anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit touch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels that provides a crisp and clear display with vibrant colors. The 360-degree flip-and-fold design allows you to use the device in multiple modes, including laptop, tablet, tent, and stand mode.
The laptop is powered by the latest 10th Generation Intel Dual-Core Core i3-1005G1 CPU with a base frequency of 1.2GHz that can go up to 3.4GHz with Intel Turbo Boost. It has 4MB caches that help in faster processing and smoother multitasking. The laptop comes with 8GB of system memory that enables advanced multitasking and a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD) that provides ample storage space for your files, documents, and media.
This laptop is equipped with an HDMI output that expands your viewing options by connecting to an external display. It also has a built-in media reader for simple photo transfer and wireless/wired connectivity (WiFi 5 - 802.11 ac) that allows you to connect to the internet from anywhere. The built-in HD webcam with dual array microphone makes video conferencing and online classes easier.
The laptop runs on Windows 10 Home in S mode which provides a streamlined and secure experience. However, it does not come with an optical drive, so you will need to purchase an external one if you require it.
Overall, the HP 2020 Newest Pavilion X360 2-in-1 Convertible 14" HD Touch-Screen Laptop is an excellent choice for students, professionals, and anyone who requires a versatile and reliable device for their computing needs. It is also lightweight and easy to carry, making it a great travel companion.
The ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 is a sleek and versatile 2-in-1 laptop that combines the functionality of a laptop and tablet in one device. It features a flexible 360-degree hinge and a 12.5-inch Full HD touchscreen display that can be rotated to use in either laptop or tablet mode.
The Chromebook Flip C302 is powered by an Intel Core M3 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of flash storage, providing fast and efficient performance for everyday tasks, such as web browsing, video streaming, and light productivity. It also has an integrated Intel HD Graphics 515 coprocessor, which can handle basic graphics tasks with ease.
The device has a sleek and lightweight all-metal body, weighing only 2.65 pounds, which makes it easy to carry around for on-the-go productivity. Additionally, it has a backlit illuminated keyboard, which makes it easier to type in low-light environments.
One of the most impressive features of the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 is its battery life, which can last up to 10 hours on a single charge. This is thanks to the power-efficient hardware and the Chrome OS, which is optimized for low-power devices.
The device runs on Chrome OS, a lightweight and fast operating system that is designed for web-based productivity. The operating system is easy to use and provides access to a wide range of apps through the Google Play Store.
The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 is a 2-in-1 laptop that provides the versatility of a tablet and the productivity of a laptop in a sleek and lightweight design. With a weight of just under 3 pounds, it is effortless to carry around and can be easily transformed into a tablet mode for comfortable viewing and browsing. The 12.2-inch screen has a 16:10 aspect ratio, which is perfect for multitasking and provides a spacious display for work, entertainment, or web browsing.
One of the standout features of this device is the built-in pen, which is incredibly precise and never needs charging. It allows you to write, sketch, edit, magnify and even take screenshots. This feature is perfect for note-taking, drawing, or creative projects. Additionally, the Chromebook Plus V2 has a dual camera, which allows you to capture clear shots and even zoom in for a closer look with the revolutionary 13MP world-facing camera with autofocus.
The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 is powered by an Intel Celeron processor and comes with 4GB of RAM, which allows you to tackle most day-to-day tasks with ease. It has 64GB of built-in memory and can be expanded with a microSD card of up to 400GB. The Chrome OS and Google Play Store provide you with access to all the tools you use every day on a bigger screen, making it easy to create, explore, and browse. With the secure Chrome OS, you can be confident that your data is safe, and your privacy is protected.
This laptop also features Bluetooth v4.0 for wireless connectivity, and the battery life can last for a full day on a single charge. The Light Titan color gives it a sleek and professional look, making it perfect for both work and personal use. However, it's worth noting that this product is designed for use in the US, so if you're purchasing it for use internationally, you may need an adapter or converter. Overall, the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 is an excellent option for those who need a reliable and versatile device for work, play, or creative projects.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is a sleek and lightweight laptop designed for portability and performance. It features a 13.5-inch touch screen display, with a resolution of 2256 x 1504 pixels, providing vivid and clear visuals. The laptop comes in a Platinum color with Alcantara, a soft and luxurious fabric material, adding an elegant touch to its design.
The laptop is equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor, which offers improved speed and performance compared to its predecessor, the Surface Laptop 2. The processor is paired with 8GB of RAM, providing sufficient memory for multitasking and running applications smoothly. The Surface Laptop 3 also comes with a 128GB solid-state drive, allowing for fast boot-up times and quick access to stored data.
In terms of connectivity, the Surface Laptop 3 offers more ways to connect with its USB-C and USB-A ports. The USB-C port allows for faster data transfer and display connectivity, while the USB-A port offers backward compatibility with legacy devices. The laptop also features an integrated graphics coprocessor, the Intel Iris Plus, which delivers improved graphics performance for tasks such as video editing and gaming.
Battery life is essential for on-the-go computing, and the Surface Laptop 3 does not disappoint. It provides up to 11.5 hours of battery life on a single charge, which is enough to last through the day. The laptop also supports fast charging, allowing it to charge up to 80% in about one hour.
The HP Pavilion Laptop is a high-performance, versatile laptop designed for personal and professional use. It boasts a 15.6-inch diagonal HD BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 and an 82% screen-to-body ratio, which offers crisp and clear visuals while using it. The laptop is powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 3700U Quad-Core Processor with a base frequency of 2.30GHz, up to 4.00GHz at maximum boost clock, 4 cores, 4MB Cache, and 8 threads, which provides smooth and efficient performance.
The laptop comes with 16GB high-bandwidth RAM, which enables the smooth running of multiple applications and browser tabs simultaneously, without slowing down the system. It also features a 256GB PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive, which allows fast boot-up and data transfer. Additionally, the laptop has a dedicated AMD Radeon RX Vega 10 Graphics card, which enhances the visual experience and provides smooth and clear graphics for gaming, video editing, and other graphic-intensive tasks.
The HP Pavilion Laptop comes with a variety of connectivity options, including a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, an AC smart pin, an HDMI 1.4b port, and a headphone/microphone combo, providing multiple options to connect to various devices. It also includes a built-in webcam and Wi-Fi, enabling users to stay connected with family, friends, and colleagues.
The laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 10 Home 64-bit, providing access to the latest features and security updates. The package also includes a cloth for easy cleaning and maintenance. Please note that this laptop is designed for use in the US, and compatibility should be checked before purchasing for international use.
The Apple MacBook Air Laptop is a 2020 model that features the M1 chip, a 13.3-inch Retina display, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD storage. It comes in Space Gray and is designed to work seamlessly with other Apple products like iPhones and iPads. This laptop is built with sustainability in mind, using a 100% recycled aluminum enclosure and consuming less energy for a smaller carbon footprint.
One of the standout features of the MacBook Air is its battery life, with up to 18 hours of use on a single charge. This makes it a great option for those who need to work on the go without worrying about finding an outlet. The M1 chip with an 8-core CPU delivers up to 3.5x faster performance than the previous generation while using less power. This means it can handle demanding tasks like professional-quality editing and action-packed gaming with ease.
The MacBook Air is also equipped with 8GB of unified memory, making the entire system speedy and responsive. This allows it to support memory-intensive tasks like multitab browsing and opening large graphic files quickly and easily. The 13.3-inch Retina display brings images to life with new levels of realism. Text is sharp and clear, and colors are more vibrant.
The MacBook Air is designed to be easy to use, even for those who are new to Apple products. It comes with a variety of pre-installed apps that can be used right out of the box, and it is compatible with existing apps like Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft 365, and Google Drive. Plus, users can access their favorite iPhone and iPad apps directly on macOS. The MacBook Air also works seamlessly with other Apple devices, allowing users to extend their workspace using their iPad, answer texts and phone calls directly on their Mac, and more.
The HP Pavilion 15 Laptop, 15-eg0021nr model, is a high-performance laptop that offers a premium computing experience. Powered by the 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, this laptop delivers impressive graphics, fast performance, and seamless connectivity, making it an ideal choice for both personal and professional use.
This laptop comes with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage, offering up to 15x faster performance than traditional hard drives. It also features the Intel Iris Xe Graphics that delivers crisp and stunning visuals, allowing you to enjoy your favorite movies and games on the 15.6-inch Full HD micro-edged screen. With audio by B&O, this laptop offers an immersive entertainment experience that feels like bringing the theater home.
The HP Pavilion 15 Laptop is also designed for on-the-go use, with a long-lasting battery life of up to 8 hours, and HP Fast Charge that allows you to charge up to 50% in just 45 minutes. It also features Wi-Fi 6 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.0 combo, ensuring faster and smoother wireless connections for better productivity.
This laptop is equipped with a full-sized keyboard, integrated numeric pad, and a Precision Touchpad, making it comfortable and easy to use. It also features the Windows 10 Pro operating system, providing a seamless and intuitive user experience. Additionally, the HP Pavilion 15 Laptop is Energy Star certified, EPEAT Silver registered, and built with a low halogen display, making it a sustainable and environmentally friendly choice.
In summary, the HP Pavilion 15 Laptop is a versatile, high-performance laptop that offers fast, seamless, and immersive computing experience, making it an excellent choice for both personal and professional use.
How to choose the right laptop for Notes Taking At the start of the school year? follow the Guide
What will a laptop be used for at school?
If you are reading this comparison while being a high school student, there is no doubt that it will not be very useful to you; not that a laptop would be out of place in your work, but rather that high schools still struggle to accept these types of tools in their classrooms. It is rather the post-baccalaureate studies that we think of DUT, university, BTS and obviously licenses, masters, etc. In these cases, the computer is intended to be essential: lecture in the amphitheater with the speaker at a speech rate too high for a pen and a pencil, group work, work-study or internship reports, in short. The scenarios where a laptop PC turns out to be much more than useful are numerous and that is why it is advisable to get one for the start of the school year.
Isn’t that too bulky?
Yes and no. You just have to make the balance: is it better to transport a 1.5kg or even 2kg computer, or several notebooks, binders, blocks of sheets? Although it is always important to keep manual writing with you, the computer will allow you to reduce the space occupied in your bag and therefore the weight of it. And if the difference is not high enough for you, the argument of practicality remains: like an e-reader, the laptop allows you to have everything in one place.
Which operating system to choose?
While most college students swore by Windows laptops a few years ago , things have changed a lot since then. With macOS and Chrome OS (even Linux for the brave and courageous), new experiences have entered the field, bringing their positive points. Obviously, we are not going to list all the points of each system, but we offer a summary consistent with the theme of this buying guide:
- Chrome OS : Exclusive to Chromebook from Google, this OS is extremely lightweight and is based as the name suggests on the Chrome browser. The experience is therefore not completely new for those who already know the browser but remains different from Windows and macOS. No sophisticated and powerful software on the program, no extreme storage, and no 4K screen (or very rarely): the Chromebook is limited to what is necessary for note-taking, simple work (it is possible to take advantage of Android applications, useful for photo editing for example), even web or mobile development.
- Strengths: The autonomy always excellent / the ease of use / the omnipresent cloud / the Chromebooks are always very light / the price often interesting;
- Cons: Not suitable for students who need the Adobe suite, for example, / without internet connection, Chrome OS becomes very limited;
- Recommended for those who need very little for their lessons.
- Windows 10 / 10S: the OS is well known to everyone. Completely, compatible with almost all existing software, allowing you to take notes as well as video for solid models, Windows has a lot of advantages. But also has a lot of flaws, such as the autonomy or the heating of the computers that host it. Its “S” version, lighter, looks like what Google offers with Chrome OS.
- Strengths: Very great compatibility for software, the possibility of doing a lot of things / the most famous OS and therefore the easiest to use for ordinary people / very varied prices;
- Weak points: Some computers tend to heat up under Windows, the OS is quite heavy / autonomy is never really excellent and you must always have your charger with you / unfortunately tends to bug over the months. Better to prioritize the “S” version in this case;
- Recommended for those who are cautious and cautious about other operating systems, or who want a powerful computer at a lower price than elsewhere.
- macOS: Also exclusive to a brand, namely Apple, the OS of the apple company wants to be a direct competitor to Windows. Over the years, more and more software has been developed on this OS which no longer has to be ashamed at this level against its competitor, and which beats the same in terms of optimization. But Apple requires some limitations are still present, especially at the level of the closed ecosystem.
- Strengths: Computers running macOS are often durable and very well optimized, which makes them a real investment over the years / the design of the OS is clean and pleasant;
- Cons: The price of computers under macOS is always very high / the closed ecosystem prevents the use of any hard drive for example / some MacBooks prefer to heat to remain silent rather than to cool properly;
- Recommended for those who do not want (too much) daily worries or who simply love the Apple ecosystem.
How important is it to have a powerful computer and what to take into account?
It will depend on your studies. If you need to edit videos, create visuals, or do 3D modeling, it's clear that a Chromebook isn't for you. It will be necessary to move towards a MacBook or a computer under Windows rather powerful and obviously more expensive. But for the rest, it is not necessary. The important points to take into account are above all:
- Battery life: You are going to need to use your laptop for up to 8 or 10 hours a day. It is clear that if its autonomy is 3 hours, that will not suit you, especially as extension cords and multiple sockets are generally rare commodities in the classroom.
- RAM: Just because you plan to do office automation doesn't mean you have to skimp on RAM. Except for products that are well optimized or that will not be too abused, 4GB of RAM will be too little. We advise you to plan on at least 8GB for a MacBook or a computer running Windows 10 (not S), in order to avoid wasting time in the middle of seeing your computer crash by opening Chrome tabs ;
- Storage: If its size does not necessarily matter (unless you use the computer for personal use as well), it is better to bet on an SSD or eMMC (for small computers). The reason is simple: a computer using this type of storage will launch its applications faster, saving time;
- Weight: The last very important element is therefore the weight. In the end, it's relatively simple to understand: if the laptop is heavy, you will potentially have back or shoulder pain. Since it is designed to be carried all day long, taken out of the bag, put back in the bag, then re-taken out… etc., prioritize a computer below the 2 kg mark.