Choosing a device for your child? Help is at hand.

If your school has a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, choosing the right device may seem a bit daunting.

Microsoft and our technology partners have worked together with schools and Microsoft Expert Educators to bring you this short guide of things to look out for.

Always check with your school to see if they have a preferred device list, recommended specifications or a preferred specialist supplier before making your choice.

Figure out your child's learning style

It can make all the difference to have the right school device.

Figure out your child's learning style

It can make all the difference to the right school device.


Academics look for versatility and a variety of input options

2-in-1 devices work as a tablet and a laptop, so are a great investment for serious school work. Some have a digital pen to take notes and jot down maths and science equations or for handwriting in foreign languages. Plus there's a full keyboard for typing longer assignments.

Figure out your child's learning style

It can make all the difference to the right school device.


Creatives will love portable, sleek and versatile devices

A slim profile, lightweight laptop with a long battery life may be the right choice for creatives. These flexible devices are good for students who use creative software and want a really portable device to work where they work. Choose a 2-in-1 model with touch and a digital pen for the ultimate versatility.

Figure out your child's learning style

It can make all the difference to the right school device.


A technical student will want power, speed and lots of storage

Laptops with high performance features are ideal for more complex work, coding (or gaming). Technical students will also benefit from the features of a 2-in-1 with touch screen, and ideally, a digital pen- great for note-taking, in maths, science and languages.

There's a Windows device to suit everyone

Every age, every subject and every learning style.



Tablets have no physical keyboard and so are best for viewing content, using apps and playing games. Their smaller, lighter form factor means they are often used by very young students. Tablets are also a great ancillary device for older students who want to read content, conduct simple web research and play games on the move.

Shop Tablet



Laptops or Notebooks range from the ultra-lightweight devices to powerful rugged devices to suit the toughest of school environments. Powerful laptops can run the more demanding educational programs and are good for students who want to write code, edit videos and create games, as well as manage their schoolwork in a single device.

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Laptop with touch


Laptops with a touch screen as well as the keyboard are very versatile, making them ideal for diverse student learning styles and tasks. With plenty of power for running full programs and a touch screen for visualisation and kinaesthetic learning, they are great for multimedia and visual arts students. Some laptops have the option for a pen, increasing the potential of the device further.

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2-in-1 with touch and pen


2-in-1 devices are laptops where you can remove the keyboard, making them a great investment for school. With the addition of a digital pen, students can take handwritten notes, spontaneously capture and sketch out brainstorm ideas, write mathematically and input character based writing such as Chinese. The flexibility of this style of device gives students the option to study whilst lying on the floor or even in bed.

Shop 2-in-1s with touch and digital pen

1. Check with your school

Check if your school has a BYOD program with recommended devices, and preferred suppliers who may offer useful additional services and extended warranties.

2. Refer to the BYOD Checklist

To help you choose, print the Choosing a Device for School Checklist.

3. Make your choice

Check out a selection of School Ready Devices available online or visit your local retailer.

Features every parent should consider

Some of the most important things to look for in any device.


  • For students in primary school a minimum of 2GB of RAM and an Intel® Atom Quad Core or Intel® Core M processor or above will help keep battery life and internet performance on track
  • For older students in middle and secondary school, look for a minimum of 4GB of RAM and an Intel® Core M, Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 processors

Battery life to last a typical school day

  • Make sure it lasts a typical school day; 6 hours is usual.
  • Remember battery life will vary with usage, so go for a longer battery life if possible.

Dual Band Wi-Fi Access

  • Make sure it has dual band Wi-Fi (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz) to get the fastest access to the school network.


  • Aim for under 1.6 Kg.
  • Consider what your individual student is capable of carrying.

Runs both apps and programs

  • The latest Windows - apps and settings go with you across all devices.
  • Able to run programs such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop or AutoCad.

USB port

  • Needed to connect digital peripherals, such as a microscope, a printer, graphics tablet, a musical keyboard, thermometer, light meter, etc.

10” screen or larger (preferably touch), and keyboard

  • A minimum of a 10” screen — larger for creative or technical work
  • A touchscreen for browsing is preferable
  • A keyboard for typing assignments.

We also recommend

Other device features worth looking out for.


  • We recommend an active digital pen that supports precise handwriting input for note-taking, sketching and writing maths and science equations.


  • Go for at least 128GB of storage in laptops and 2-in-1s.
  • At least 32GB of storage in tablets is recommended.

Durable for everyday school use

  • Insist on a protective case.
  • Look for solid state drives (SSD).

Family safety software

  • Windows Defender and SmartScreen.
  • Windows Family Settings.

Important to note: Microsoft and Intel advise that purchasers always check that the detailed specification of a particular model is as expected and that it meets your desired criteria. Features and functions will vary within a manufacturer’s range. The Devices for School Parent Checklist has been created by Microsoft and Intel as a guide only. It is based on our experience of working with K-12 schools in Australia and has been built with assistance from device manufacturers. Please remember that device performance and battery life will vary by usage and user, and we recommend you seek advice from a specialist supplier.

Save 20% and give your child the Mathletics advantage.

Selecting the right device and resource for subjects like maths can be tricky.

Mathletics, working in concert with the right device for school, caters for the evolving learning styles and requirements of students and contains all the activities, tutorials and support students need to exceed their curriculum goals.

Just like the best devices for school – Mathletics can personalise the learning experience.

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Tech terms you'll want to know

To make sure you know as much about your child's devices as they do!

What's a processor?

The processor is the brain of your computer. It is responsible for speed, multitasking, and a smoother, more responsive experience. The more powerful your processor is, the more your device can do. Intel processors, from least to most powerful, are:

Download your device checklist

Intel® Atom

Fast web browsing and outstanding battery life

Intel Celeron®

Entry-level processor for basic computing

Intel Pentium®

Reliable multitasking

Intel® Core i3

Amazing multitasking and visuals

Intel® Core i5

Performance that adapts to suit the task in hand

Intel® Core i7

Top of the line for the most demanding software

What's RAM?

Short for Random Access Memory, having more RAM means your apps will run faster and multitasking is smoother.

What's a solid state drive?

Older laptops use hard drives with mechanical, spinning discs - you may have heard it whirring away when under intense usage. A Solid State Drive uses digital memory chips instead, meaning it can run faster, as well as being more resilient and less noisy.

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