Please see Choosing a Device for more information on devices to host assistive technology.
A laptop is a portable computing device that unfolds to reveal a large display screen and a full QWERTY keyboard. While computers and laptops are a ubiquitous apart of modern education, there are many key considerations to make when making a laptop purchase, especially if you are planning on running assistive technology on this device. Most AT programs are available for both Mac OS and Windows OS, however some programs are only available or optimized for one OS, this is important to consider when choosing a laptop.
Storage: Depending on the types of AT being used, the student may need differing levels of storage. Students should be more than satisfied with 256GB, most will need much less within a school year.
RAM: The amount of RAM a laptop has influences how many simultaneous tasks it can process and how fast it can complete these tasks. 4GB or more is recommended.
Battery Life: While most laptops have enough battery life to complete a school day (~8hrs), if you are running very comprehensive assistive technologies, one may want to consider computers with long lasting batteries.
Size: It is recommended that young students carry more compact devices, as larger computers may be heavy and cumbersome for primary students. For older students, larger and heavier devices can be appropriate, but if the student is carrying the laptop to and from school each day, weight should be considered.
Capable of running a wide variety of AT programs.
Can be costly
RAM, Storage, Size, and Operating System (OS).
For further relevant discussion, please visit our page on Chromebooks.
For a current breakdown of popular Laptops, visit: https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2369981,00.asp
Special Consideration: Workflow
Exact prices change frequently, which is why only approximate ranges are listed.
$ - Under $5
$$ - Between $6 and $50
$$$ - Between $51 and $250
$$$$ - Over $250