Best laptops for kids: the top laptops for kids in elementary school and beyond

Best laptops for kids

In 2018, it’s becoming more and more critical for your children to have one of the best laptops. The best laptops for kids generally tend to be rugged and cheap tablets, but your child will eventually outgrow those, requiring something a bit more robust. Whether it’s for school or for play, you’re going to need one of the best laptops for kids.

The best Chromebooks are among the best laptops for kids – they’ll usually have large, durable screens that are great for writing up book reports and doing homework. Most of them can install Android apps and games, too, for a bit of downtime here and there. So how do you decide which of the best laptops for kids is right for your little one? Luckily, we here at TechRadar have you covered – we went ahead and listed all the best laptops for kids.

We’ll guide you through the best laptops for kids – from low prices to ruggedized frames and even rigid parental controls. We may not have tested or reviewed every product on this list, but we’re laptop experts, and these best laptops for kids are exceptional.

Dell Chromebook 11 3180

1. Dell Chromebook 11 3180

The best introductory laptop for kids

CPU: Intel Celeron N3060 | Graphics: Integrated (320MHz) | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 11.6-inch HDF (1,366 x 768) non-touch – HD (1,280 x 720) touch | Storage: 16GB – 32GB eMMC

Ruggedized frame
Great price
Low-res screen
Weak graphics

This entry-level Chromebook from Dell is, by our measure, the best laptop for kids you can buy today. This Chromebook’s 11-inch frame may be tiny, but so is your little one. What’s more impressive are its classroom tools, like an activity light that allows kids to digitally raise their hands. Plus, it has a ‘kid-proof’ sealed, spill-resistant keyboard and rubber sides. The excellent price is worth noting, too. Plus, Chrome OS is historically easy for parental controls as well as malware protection. 

Read the full review of a predecessor: Dell Chromebook 11 

Lenovo IdeaPad 120S

2. Lenovo IdeaPad 120S

The top Windows laptop for young kids

CPU: Intel Celeron N3350 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 500 | RAM: 2GB | Screen: 11.6-inch HD (1,366 x 768) | Storage: 64GB eMMC

Excellent price
Good amount of storage
Not quite as ruggedized
Low-res screen

If you’re more used to Windows 10, or even if your child prefers it, we find the Lenovo 120S to be among the most impressive at this bargain price range. The laptop is mildly ruggedized to survive slips and spills, and even features a USB-C port for a bit of future-proofing. You can also trust that this device will be free of bloatware that can be distracting for your kid. That’s enough in our book to recommend this laptop to pretty much every parent – especially for Windows 10 families. 

Read the full review of a predecessor: Lenovo IdeaPad 100S 

3. Acer Chromebook Spin 11

Work and play

CPU: Intel Celeron N3350 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 500 | Screen: 11.6-inch HDF (1,366 x 768) touch | Storage: 32GB eMMC

 Inexpensive 
 Durable build 
 Dim screen 

If you have kids that are just starting to have to write up papers for class, and you want to get them something that won’t break the first time it gets dropped, you might want to consider the Acer Chromebook Spin 11. Not only does it have competent specs and a surprisingly comfortable keyboard, it’s also a 2-in-1. This means it can be used to play some Android games when all the homework is done. The display is a bit dim, and it’s not going to blow you away with its performance, but it’s cheap, durable and it’ll last a while. 

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook Spin 11 

Acer Chromebook 15

4. Acer Chromebook 15

Perfect for when they hit double-digits

CPU: Intel Pentium N4200 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS | Storage: 32GB

Luxury feel
Amazing price
Hefty weight and dimensions

When your kids approach or enter double-digit years, they might end up needing something a bit more robust to support them through larger projects (and sharper streaming). Acer’s latest 15-inch Chromebook will bring serious sophistication to your kid’s computing experience, from its design to its features, like a full HD display, fast USB 3.0 connections and an HDR webcam. However, this laptop is ideal for adolescents on account of its larger size and lack of kid-proof features in exchange for a more luxury experience at a great price. 

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 15 

Asus Transformer Mini T102HA

5. Asus Transformer Mini T102HA

For the tablet-starved tike or teenager

CPU: Intel Atom x5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 10.1-inch HD (1,280 x 800) LED | Storage: 64GB (up to 192GB with micro SD)

Everything is included
Many form factors
Slightly underpowered

If your kid demands a tablet, but you’d like them to master the traditional computer as well, this Windows 10 tablet set is the most impressive we’ve seen in a minute, especially for the price. This tablet brings plenty of power and ports to the table – not to mention a fingerprint sensor, stylus and keyboard cover – all in the box. This is all topped off with a whopping 11 hours of battery life. If your kids are just too used to tablets to make the jump to a traditional laptop, then this here is the best option, especially for the price. 

Read the full review: Asus Transformer Mini T102HA

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Lenovo IdeaPad 120S 

MacBook Air

6. MacBook Air

Kid’s first secondary (or post-secondary) laptop

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 6000 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch WXGA+ (1,440 x 900) LED | Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD

Cheapest MacBook ever
Still holds up
Low-res screen
Not the latest parts inside

There will come a time when your little one isn’t so little anymore, and therefore needs a laptop to match. However, we know parents aren’t made of money. Keeping that in mind, the MacBook Air is a great choice for secondary, or post-secondary, school kids thanks to its fantastic battery life, smooth operating system and lightweight portability. Plus, MacBooks are famous for outlasting most Windows laptops – and this one in particular is usually discounted heavily. 

Read the full review: MacBook Air 

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