What is the Best Laptop for a Teacher Using a Projector?

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Introduction

The world of classrooms has evolved drastically. Classrooms have turned interactive and interesting with the advent of technology. Instead of chalks and textbooks teachers are now armed with a laptop which has all the teaching data. Plug in the laptop to the projector via the video port or the HDMI port and ta da classes have begun. This brings us to the topic of today, what is the best laptop for a teacher using a projector?

As a teacher it is important that your laptop evaluates tasks, handles multimedia presentations, plays videos to accompany a lesson and downloads files to read to your class. It should also be able to load heavy computer software for very specific courses, usesliders to teach, and even giving documented (or live lectures) online! To play a video or show a PowerPoint presentation you need to connect your laptop to a projector to screen it for the whole class.

Therefore, researching for the best laptops that can handle all your presentations becomes imperative.  We dug into the finest systems of the laptop arena to find the Best Laptop for a Teacher Using a Projector. And, we recommend the Asus ZenBook UX330UA to best suit your presentation needs. 

Asus ZenBook UX330UA

ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54
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Specifications table

 

                                  Display Size                                     13.30-inch
  • Display Resolution
  • Processor
  • RAM
  • SSD
  • Number of USB Ports
  • HDMI Port
  • OS
  • Battery Capacity (hours)
  • 1920×1080 pixels
  • Intel Core i5 7th Gen 7200U
  • 8GB
  • 256GB
  • 3
  • Micro
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 12

 

The Asus 13-inch ZenBook UX330UA offers premium features for well below $800. Sporting a bright 1080p display and a 256 GB solid-state drive the Zenbook is a great choice for teachers who need a lightweight Ultrabook at an affordable price.

Design

The Asus ZenBook UX330UA is not the same as its predecessor, the UX305UA. The mostly-metal chassis has the distinctive spun metal concentric circle finish that’s common to all ZenBooks. The newer version is a tenth of an inch thinner at only 0.53 inches, as per the specifications. It’s lighter at 2.6 pounds making it quite  portable  – a handy feature for a teacher who has to go  to  different classrooms every hour.

Looking at the external features of the laptop, its dual USB 3.0 ports are divided between its left and right sides. A non-charging USB Type-C port lies on the right side next to a micro HDMI port and the power jack.  An SD memory reader and headphone jack are positioned on the left side of the laptop.

Display

The 13.3-inch screen of ZenBook UX330UA produces a decent amount of color and brightness. We tried watching Doctor Strange on 1080p display. We noticed vivid hues when Stephen Strange was being chased by Kaecilius through a twisting, ever changing, Möbius strip of New York City.  We wouldn’t be wrong to say the  glowing magical spells and particle effects seemed to come to life.

Besides, the ZenBook UX330UA emits up to 302 nits, therefore, it gets plenty bright.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keys feature 1.6 millimeters of travel allowing you to type with speed. However, the touchpad is a little stiff to type comfortably. Also you might find your fingers slipping off because the keys are are placed too close to the surface of the laptop.

The touchpad of 4.1 x 2.9-inch glass is more of an obstacle than an enabler. Not only is it a little too sticky, but its rigid, spongy clicks make it feel as if under the surface there was a hard piece of plastic. Using an external mouse would give you better experience.

Audio

The Zenbook sports new speakers with larger chambers placed under the laptop towards the front. The sound can reach a maximum of 90dB. The music setting from the included Audio Wizard app makes the sound extra punchy. There were no distortions even at loud volumes. But, the placement of the speakers underneath the laptop obstructs the speaker’s volume. If you are using it on a pillow or bed there will be a noticeable drop in the volume.           

Performance

Equipped with an 8th-Gen Intel Core i5-8250U CPU and 8GB of RAM, the ZenBook UX330UA packs enough power for some serious multitasking. You will have no problem in opening multiple tabs, watching a 1080p video, scrolling down your tweet deck and switching between tabs all at the same time. So you know the 8 GB of DDR3 RAM is working perfect.

The RAM is affixed to the motherboard and not-upgradeable. The storage however is upgradeable. The 256GB of SSD performs well in daily use scenarios. It could duplicate a DVD’s worth of multimedia files in 28 seconds. Don’t try gaming on it though! The machine is not built with gamers in mind. Light games like Dirt 3 can be played with a mere 27 fps.

Talking about gaming, you wouldn’t need a very advanced cooling system because you are definitely not gaming with this laptop. However, the laptop has an aggressive cooling system as the fan is active most of the time. It spins slowly and the noise is barely audible.

Battery Life

The laptop features a 57 Wh battery which is enough for 5 to 7 hours of daily use. This is decent enough to load all your presentations and play 1080p videos on YouTube for at least 6 hours long. The high resolution display will eat into the battery life.

And if you watch videos  with increased brightness, it will take a toll on the battery life.

Energy consumedUsage Time [H]Functions possible

8.1 W

7

Balanced Mode,  Wi-Fi ON, screen at 40%, light browsing and text editing in Google Drive

7 W

8

Balanced Mode,  Wi-Fi ON, screen at 40%, 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Internet Explorer

5.6 W

10

Balanced Mode,  Wi-Fi ON, screen at 40%, 1080p full screen .mkv video in the Movie app

6 W

9

Balanced Mode,  Wi-Fi ON, screen at 40%,  4K full screen .mkv video in the Movie app,

13.2 W

4

Balanced Mode,  Wi-Fi ON, screen at 40%, heavy browsing in Edge

On the Weighing Scale: 

                           Pros                                                            Cons
Decent looking and well built
Backlit keyboard
Fast hardware and solid performance
Runs cool all the time
Long battery life
Decent speakers
Reasonable price
Screen can only lean back to about 110 degrees
Is not equipped with the best of display panels
The fan is a bit too aggressive
Lots of pre-installed bloatware which you will have to remove
1. What features should teachers look for in a laptop?
  • Battery life

Battery runtime is the most important factor to look for when you are buying a computer for teaching needs. You know the hassle of carrying a laptop charger everytime that you have to take a class, especially if it is a workshop that will leave your laptop in its active state for hours. Always look for a machine which has a 5 hour battery life but reaching a full 8-hour workday would be the most ideal. 

  • SSD

A good SSD trumps an expensive processor when it comes to general application performance. SSD storage has become the standard in the past 3 years. This kind of storage has fastened the startup and shutdown times drastically. It is also less prone to damage and consumes less power.

  • Mid-range processor

For most teachers, especially those in need for a strong battery life and high-end performance, we suggest looking for laptops with i7 U. “U” stands for Ultra-low power consumption. Usually, this means they consume up to 1.5 times less energy than the HQ and 2 times less than the unlocked HK models.

  • Lightweight

Teachers who need to walk to different classrooms for lessons, a lightweight laptop would be the way to go. Note that some lightweight laptops tend to compromise on features, but as a teacher this won’t hinder any of your tasks. 

  • Additional ports

Most classrooms still have old projectors. These operate via a VGA connection which is hard to find in smaller laptops. Having this VGA/D-Sub port would be necessary for projectors that do not support the new HDMI standard.

Having HDMI, DisplayPort or a ThunderBolt III via USB 3.1C port is absolutely necessary. You’ll need at least one of these ports to connect to any external display or classroom projector. Also, having 2-to-3 USB 3.0 ports should be enough to connect any external devices of needed.

2. What is the best laptop for online teaching?

We suggest that you pick up the HP Envy 15 for online teaching. With Envy 15 you get a computer compatible with classroom tools, a computer that can be turned into a tablet and a large screen to navigate easily.

The HP Envy 15 combines a sleek metal body with a flexible touchscreen. It is slightly bulky with a brushed-metal aluminum body. The 15.6-inch touchscreen supports full HD and is accompanied by an in-built Bang & Olufsen audio system. Operating with a 7th Generation Intel Core i5 processor, it is perfect to handle most of your tasks, making it an excellent choice for users who require a portable laptop-cum-tablet.

3. What is the best MacBook for teachers in 2019?

Though on the pricey side, the MacBook Air 2019 is the best MacBook for teachers. Featuring a 13-inch Retina display with True Tone and an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor it can handle all your requirements adeptly. It is also equipped with 128 GB SSD storage. Despite the processor and the SSD being slow considering today’s standards, this laptop is enough to handle your classroom needs.

Unless you are planning to be creative with the laptop mounting some intense photoshop work on it or gaming with it, the MacBook 2019 is a good laptop for teachers. This is specifically because of its excellent battery life which can last about 10 hours. It is capable to play a 1080p video on loop in 50% brightness and last up to 10 hours.

Conclusion

The Asus Zenbook UX330 is a solid option for those who want a reasonably priced compact laptop with a traditional form-factor and a matte screen. The SSD and the processor of the machine can skillfully handle all your classroom tasks without lagging. The performance is also commendable for tasks like heavy browsing, making presentations and watching 1080 p videos. To add more to the list, the laptop can last for up to 7 hours while playing 1080p videos.

Zenbook UX330 can improve on the display by adding contrast and brightness. Besides, the screen’s lean back feature is a bit annoying and as for the trackpad, it could do with some tweaking. Apart from these few shortcomings, the laptop is a great tool for teachers to make their jobs easier. With the gains of extra battery life this is a product you can get without breaking your piggybanks.

Last update on 2019-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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