Back To School Edition: Which Laptop Or Tablet Is Best For Students?
Written by Jin May Soo, Proofread by Terry Bass 

Best Laptop Or Tablet For Students

  • Acer Swift 3
  • MSI Modern 14
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3
  • Lenovo V14 
  • Apple Macbook Air
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A7
  • Microsoft Surface Go 3
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 8
  • Apple iPad 9



With so many choices in the market today, ploughing through the options can be a daunting and miserable task. 

To lend a hand to parents out there, the below selections are cherry-picked by us after careful consideration to meet your budget and fulfil your kid’s needs. Not only are they powerful enough to run software required by the courses, they are also slim and light with sufficient battery life.

But before we jump into the recommendations, remember to check with your school’s BYOD specifications as every school has their own set of BYOD requirements! If you are new to buying devices for your kid’s education, have a look at our Back To School Edition : The Ultimate BYOD Guide specially curated to help you!

Acer Swift 3


They say life is full of compromises. That you can’t have elite performance and long battery life in a lightweight laptop. Well, that is where the Swift 3 will prove them wrong. This slim, stylish and lightweight laptop only weighs 1.19KG, making transportation a breeze.

Plus, it is a monster when it comes to battery life - lasting 14 hours and 31 minutes. Housing the Intel Core i5 with 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD, this laptop is a favourite when it comes to the most portable Windows option among students.

Why get the Swift 3? 
Pros
Cons
Ultra-lightweight
Average speakers
Outstanding battery life

14” FHD IPS screen

Backlit keyboard

Durable chassis

MSI Modern 14


The Intel Core i5 coupled with Intel UHD Graphics makes MSI Modern 14 an irresistible budgeted laptop that will get you to where you need. Its 8GB RAM plus 512GB SSD will give you plenty of storage to complete your research or design comfortably. Not only is it extremely portable, with an overall weight of just 1.3 KG, the sturdy MSI Modern 14 meets the military-grade durability and is capable of lasting up to 10 hours of productivity. 

Why get the Modern 14? 
Pros
Cons
Ultra-lightweight
Average speakers
Backlit keyboard

Good battery life

14” FHD IPS display

Durable chassis

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3


A knockout budget laptop with excellent performance, the IdeaPad Slim 3 by Lenovo proves that portability can be affordable. This compact and lightweight laptop of 1.65KG houses the powerful AMD Ryzen 5 5500U with integrated AMD Radeon Graphics. Its 8GB RAM plus 256GB SSD gives you capacity to run creative software at a steal price of less than $1000.

Why get the IdeaPad Slim 3? 
Pros
Cons
Quiet and fast
Pay extra for backlit keyboard
Sleek minimalist design
Easily gets scratches on the outside
Lightweight

Great performance

15.6″ FHD display

Lenovo V14


The sleek and slim Lenovo v14 is another great alternative to the IdeaPad Slim 3. Like the IdeaPad Slim 3, it also has 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD but is powered by an older version AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor.

Nevertheless, it has sufficient power and a decent battery life of 8 hours. What makes the Lenovo V14 a unique and tempting laptop is its spill resistant keyboard which makes it perfect for walking disasters like me. So you’ve butterfingers at home, this laptop would be your go to! 

Why get the V14? 
Pros
Cons
Decent battery life
No backlit keyboard
Features an SD card reader
Subpar camera quality
Great performance

Durable build

Spill resistant keyboard

Apple Macbook Air


When Steve Jobs first dramatically introduced the Macbook Air by sliding it out from an office envelope in 2008, its lightweight and slimness has been imprinted in our minds ever since.

While the Macbook Air no longer tops the market as the thinnest or lightest laptop, it remains a top favourite for students with its incredible performance, lightweight build and incredible battery life - the latest Macbook Air is tested to be able to last up to 18 hours. Featuring their own Apple M1 chip coupled with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, this laptop has what it takes to meet courses that require a little more power.

Why get the Macbook Air? 
Pros
Cons
Ultra-lightweight
Few ports
Outstanding battery life
Expensive
Slim aluminium chassis

Great performance

Stunning retina display

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is a brilliant budget tablet for those looking to travel lighter without costing a fortune. Its capability to multitask well is all thanks to its Octa-Core processor coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal memory. On top of its impressive battery life of 12 hours, this tablet includes the S Pen that makes writing and designing naturally effortless - an absolute must-have for students!

Why get the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite? 
Pros
Cons
Long battery life
No fingerprint sensor
Stereo speakers
No AMOLED screen
S Pen included

Lightweight

Affordable 

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7


Looking for an alternative to the Tab S6 Lite? Maybe something more suitable for younger kids? Here comes the sturdy Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 that is user-friendly even for 5 year olds! 

Unlike the S6, the A7 does not include a stylus pen which gives parents one missing item less to worry about (oh yeah, we've all been there). Similar to the S6 Lite, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 houses an Octa-Core processor with 64GB internal memory. The only difference is its smaller RAM of 3GB - which means it may not run as smoothly as the S6 Lite. Nevertheless, it is still sufficient if all you need from this tablet is watching videos, surfing the net and taking notes. 

Why get the Galaxy Tab A7? 
Pros
Cons
Durable metal chassis
No AMOLED screen
Long battery life
Underwhelming performance
Dolby Atmos Surround Sound
Screen is a little dim
Lightweight

Affordable 

Microsoft Surface Go 3 & Microsoft Surface Pro 8



Light and versatile, the Microsoft Surface Go 3 might not be the most powerful tablet out there but it sure is a great option for students. This 2-in-1 tablet converts into a laptop when you attach it to its add-on Surface Type Cover which features a keyboard and touchpad. Despite having 8GB of RAM and 128GB SSD, this tablet is not strong enough to run high performing software like Photoshop smoothly. 

If you are looking for a lightweight alternative with an excellent battery life (11 hours) to handle basic classroom tasks, the affordable Microsoft Surface Go 3 would be just fine. If what you need is a more powerful 2-in-1 tablet, then the Surface Pro 8 would be a better choice. Having said that, the Surface Pro 8 isn’t cheap, starting at $1,799. 

Why get the Surface Go 3? 
Pros
Cons
Lightweight
Underwhelming performance
Long battery life
Accessories sold separately
1080p webcam

Good speakers

Competitive pricing

Why get the Surface Pro 8? 
Pros
Cons
Sleek and slim design
Expensive
Great performance
Accessories sold separately
13” display with 120Hz refresh rate
Heavier than the average tablet
1080p webcam

Outstanding battery life

Apple iPad 9


The Apple iPad 9 has the capability to perform a variety of tasks wonderfully including demanding applications like video editing effortlessly, thanks to its A13 Bionic processor. The biggest difference between the Gen 8 vs. Gen 9 is the fact that there is now twice as much storage for more or less the same price - Apple now offers up to 256GB of storage instead of 128GB - which is a very welcome upgrade for creative courses. Coupled with its battery life of 8 hours and competitive pricing, what’s there not to like?

Why get the iPad 9? 
Pros
Cons
Lightweight
Accessories sold separately
Great performance
Outdated design
Decent battery life
Does not support Apple Pencil Gen 2
Bigger storage capacity

Competitive pricing

Like our laptop or tablet recommendations? Wait till you see our Back To School Wonderful Essentials For Your Little Ones!