So you’ve decided to get your child a Windows laptop to help with their learning. Many parents ask us which model of laptop is best to help their child with reading, writing, homework, or to use at school. Here’s what we recommend
Is a laptop suitable for your child?
Before you buy a laptop, consider the following:
- Does the device meet your child's current and future needs (think 2-3 years down the line)?
- Is the technology easy to use and set up correctly—has it got Microsoft 365 installed?
- Is the size and weight of the device manageable for your child?
- Does your child need training to use the device?
- Will your child have support at school to use the device?
The benefits of a Windows laptop for learning:
- A large selection of software is available to help with reading, writing, maths, and organisational skills
- Many built-in accessibility features that can help to make reading and writing easier
- Commonly used in both primary and secondary schools
Which model of laptop should I buy for my child?
Laptops come in many different brands, sizes, and configurations and new models are released all the time, so we prefer to recommend the specifications you should look for, rather than a specific brand or model of laptop.
For most students, the following specifications work well and can easily be used for 2-3 years:
- 14-inch screen
- 8GB RAM (minimum)
- 256GB SSD storage
- Intel i3 or i5 processor (Quad-core)
- Windows 11 operating system
- Do not opt for “Windows 10 S” — you cannot install software to it and it’s a waste of money
If you’re going to shop in person, go ahead print the above list of specs out or jot them down and take them to the store with you. Choosing a laptop with higher specifications than this isn’t necessary for a student. Don’t let a salesperson talk you into buying anything you don’t need!
Here are a few current laptops that meet the above requirements:
HP 14s-dq2512na 14" Laptop (currently €599 - as of 15th of Nov)
ACER Aspire 5 A514-54 14" - 4GB RAM (currently €539 - as of 15th of Nov) - a very good laptop for this money
Other software and accessories to consider
Get a copy of Microsoft 365 Personal. It includes many of the programs students will likely need in school, such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, OneDrive, and Onenote. We recommend that you purchase it from Microsoft's online store where it costs €69 per year (single-user license installed on up to 6 devices). If you buy a laptop from Currys, use the code MS365IE to get €20 off the yearly fee.
Consider insuring your child’s laptop. If you buy from Currys or similar, you can get insurance via these high street companies. For 2 years of coverage on a laptop that costs €450 – €600, it should cost you €130 – €160 to insure. Third-party companies such as Gadgetinsurance also offer similar insurance. It may also be possible to add the device to your home insurance.
That’s a wrap!
Once you’ve got your laptop, check out our online course for parents, Getting Started with Technology. Inside the course, we teach you about all of the features and apps that can help make reading, writing, maths, and organisation skills easier for your child.