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
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
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.