Pandemic guide to buying and using an Edu-PC

Those who complained about being parents should try being a parent during a global lockdown. Parenting is hard enough by itself, as you have to balance spending time with your child, with working and getting the resources necessary for survival.

On top of those standard worries, we now have pandemic-specific problems such as the need to disinfect everything, stay away from other people, and somehow manage to continue the child’s education.

Let’s face it, the school system is also a state-run daycare center. The economy relies on millions of people leaving their children to be watched over and kept busy by the education system.

Enter Covid-19, and even a year later, some areas of the world still are choosing to keep schools closed and daily life locked down.

Online classes to the rescue

Even the best online classes fall behind traditional in-person instruction. Still, they had to be adopted almost universally. Third-party education platforms also exploded, sources such as

Many students were destined to fall through the cracks, as their internet connections or electronic devices were outdated or absent. No amount of insightful writing and well-planned lessons could help you if your Wi-Fi does not work.

Over 30 million laptops and tablets were purchased both by the school system and private individuals. Even after these massive waves of purchases, there are still people who need to buy or replace a laptop.

Why laptop? Because it is portable, of course. Desktops are immobile, while Tablet-typing is very cumbersome for everyone aside from the most avid users.

With laptops, it is easier to change location if a room is getting noisy. And many children have divorced parents, creating the need to alternate between their homes.

Also, the device can be used even after the smoke from the pandemic clears.

Many classes and teaching methods have integrated e-Learning as being part of the process. The good parts of online teaching will never go away.

So, now that we’re established that you should get a laptop to further your child’s education, let’s discuss what are the characteristics of a good learning-oriented laptop.

Programs, programs, programs

This is one of the rare occasions when the government can be your friend. In many areas, legislators are aware of the plight to educate children during a pandemic. Given this fact, there are multiple programs designed to help the parent buy a laptop.

Some offer you the opportunity to turn in an older model in exchange for cash to buy a new one. Others, straight-out assign schools a budget to buy laptops. Regardless, if you happen to live in one of these areas and cannot afford to purchase your device, be sure to sign up for a government program.

Specs and price

If a free or partly subsidized laptop is not available, then you have to consider buying it yourself. However, which laptop is best suited for learning? What specifications are ideal, and how much should you spend?

It should be a source of relief to learn that you don’t need to break the bank while shopping for a laptop. Of course, it also depends if you want it to be just for education, or an all-around PC for your kid.

Most likely, he/she will want to run more resource intensive-programs or games if the laptop is multiple-use.

If you have no idea what model to buy, try to contact a school that has bought laptops recently. They will usually point you to the cheapest, yet a fully functional and adequate option.

Parents do tend to overspend on education laptops, assuming that the device is only needed for learning. Decide early if you want a more general use or learning-specific purchase, and stick to it.

You can get a decent model for somewhere around 300$ starting price, while the upper limit can reach thousands of dollars.

There is nothing wrong with getting a cheaper laptop, cheaper models indeed tend to be cheaply made, so be sure that you extend the warranty.

As an aside, try to avoid Chromebooks.

These are convenient and cheap laptops produced by Google. They are very online-oriented devices and are one of the most popular education-oriented notebooks on the market.

However, Google is slowly shedding its harmless and quirky tech persona. In truth, Google is an international corporation with unbelievable amounts of power. And we let them spy on us because they allow us to look up stuff.

Regardless, even by tech-company standards, their data harvesting is getting out of hand. Recent lawsuits attest to that.

Peripheral devices

Nobody can expect your entire household to freeze in place and not make a noise. Zoom classes have to be integrated into the daily activities of your home.

Noise-canceling headphones are essential for the student’s concentration. Especially during online classes, a medium infamous for its inability to retain the children’s attention.

Extra care should also be taken to purchase a proper webcam. Almost all laptops have decent webcams, but the positioning is fixed and awkward. Separate stand-alone models can be adjusted to any angle.


Parents have to understand that buying an education-oriented laptop is indeed a financial setback. Yet, it is not as bad as you may think.

Most models on the market will do the job, you don’t have to go overboard. If your kid already has a device dedicated to entertainment, the pressure to buy a high-performance model for school goes away.

Do not shy away from contacting your local school and asking them for advice and directions.