These days kids of all ages are naturals when it comes to technology. They use it at school, for homework, for playing games, and for communicating with friends. Chances are if you have an elementary, middle, or high school aged child, you will be looking to purchase them one of the best laptops for kids at some point in the near future.
Choosing the Best Laptops for Kids
Deciding which of the many brands and models of laptops to buy for your child can be a daunting task. The most important thing you will need to consider is the purpose of the laptop. Will your child be using one of the best laptops for kids primarily to play games or watch videos? Or will they be using it for word processing and Internet research for school assignments?
Once you have identified the purpose of the laptop, you can use the following considerations to narrow down your decision:
- Durability. If you are buying a laptop for a younger child or for a student who will transport the laptop to and from school, look for the best laptops for kids that can withstand some wear and tear. Some of the best laptops for kids are specifically designed to take a little more abuse than most.
- Cost. Price is always a consideration when purchasing a laptop. This is even more true when you are buying the best laptops for kids. Consider if you want to invest in a laptop for the long term or if you are looking for a lower-cost machine that you are willing to replace in a few years. Also, if you are thinking of upgrading down the line, see if replacement and or upgradable parts are available for reasonable prices.
- Processing Power and Memory. Unless your child will be using the laptop for heavy gaming, you will likely be okay bypassing the top of the line processors. Most of the best laptops for kids will have between 320 to 500 GB of memory. If that turns out to be insufficient, it is probably a better deal to purchase an external hard drive instead of investing in more memory initially. Keep in mind that Chromebooks are great laptops for kids, but they do not have a hard drive and instead rely on the cloud for storage.
- Screen Size. While laptops can come with 17” or larger screen sizes, many of the best laptops for kids are designed with 11” or 13” screens. The smaller size reduces cost and makes the laptop easier to transport. However, older kids or kids who use the computer for gaming or photo editing might do better with a larger size.
Top 10 Best Laptops for Kids Comparison Guide
Top 3 Best Laptops for Kids Reviews
The Acer Chromebook 11 is without a doubt one of the best and most reliable Chromebooks on the market. This best laptop for kids is an updated version of the Acer C720, and its upgrades in processing speed and battery life make it an ideal product for school aged kids.
The Chromebook 11 comes standard with 4 GB of memory and a 16 GB Solid State Drive to make powering on and multitasking effortless. Like any Chromebook, the laptop relies on wireless connectivity, as there are few applications that can run without an internet connection. The laptop has multiple ports including an HDMI, SD, and USB 3.0 port to allow you to connect multiple devices such as an external hard drive or easily transfer data. Kids will especially appreciate the long lasting battery. Even with multi-tabbed browsing and video playback, the Chromebook 11 has an average 9-hour battery life.
This Chromebook has a solid feel that will withstand normal wear and tear. The hinges and the lid are reinforced, yet the laptop is still very light and thin for easy transport. The laptop is not designed to withstand extreme drops, weight, or spills, so it may not be the best purchase for younger children. One area that could be improved on the Chromebook 11 is the screen resolution. While Acer claims that the 11.6-inch screen is an HD screen, its resolution can be grainy, and it can be difficult to view the screen from all angles.
If you are looking for low cost and one of the best laptops for kids that will primarily be used for internet browsing and word processing via Google Docs, the Acer Chromebook 11 is a great choice.
Another great option for best laptops for kids is the Asus Chromebook C202. This laptop is similar to Acer’s Chromebook 11 in components and battery life, but it is designed to withstand much more abuse.
The Asus Chromebook C202 has an Intel Celeron N3060 Processor and 4GB of RAM. The 16GB flash storage is powerful enough for the machine to run smoothly. The laptop also features USB, SD, and HDMI ports to allow your child to connect devices and transfer data. Based on lab testing of video playback, the battery has an average life of 10 hours, but it will last much longer with just Internet browsing. One feature that may be appealing for younger children is that the keys are placed closer together (2 millimeters rather than the normal 3 millimeters), which makes typing easier for smaller hands.
The selling feature of this Chromebook is its ability to withstand drops, spills, and everyday wear. A 180-degree hinge connects the screen and keyboard. Not only does this allow for easy viewing in group settings, it also prevents the screen from snapping if children pull too far back on it. The exterior edges are covered with reinforced rubber to lesson the impact of bumps and drops. Furthermore, the bottom of the device has two grips to make the device easier to hold and prevent drops in the first place. The keyboard is also spill-resistant and can withstand up to 66 cubic centimeters of liquid according to lab testing. Finally, the laptop is designed to be easy to disassemble and replace parts in case of damage.
While the Asus Chromebook C202 will not win awards for processing speed or screen resolution, it may be worth the slight sacrifice in quality to get a laptop that can hold up to drops, bumps, and spills.
When a Chromebook no longer has enough power, memory, and versatility for an older child, the Lenovo ThinkPad L450 is a great upgrade for a reasonable price.
The ThinkPad L450 is an entry level laptop that works well for students. It is also designed to be a good starter laptop for business and home use. This best laptop for kids has a 14” screen where most laptops geared towards children have between an 11” and 13” screen size. The larger size will allow for extended use with less eyestrain, which will be beneficial as your older child completes more and more school assignments digitally. The laptop has an Intel Core i5 processor and a mid-range processor which provides plenty of processing power for what older kids will need. Also, with 8 GB of Ram and a 256 GB Solid State Drive, the laptop has plenty of storage space and will quickly load webpages and perform other tasks.
The ThinkPad L450 is very versatile for more advanced students and kids. It has 3 USB 3.0 ports to easily transfer data. It is lightweight, weighing in at about 6.5 pounds, but still quite durable. Although it is not designed to withstand dropping, it will hold up against most accidental mistreatment. Under normal use, the battery will last about 10 hours, which rivals that of lower powered Chromebooks.