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Best laptops for kids 2022: the top laptops for kids in elementary school and beyond

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Two of the best laptops for kids on a pink surface against a pink background next to the words 'best laptop for kids'
(Image credit: Future)
EDITOR'S NOTE: September 2022

As we prepare for the return to school, parents and students everywhere are on the hunt for the best laptop for kids. Our number-one pick is still the awesome Google Pixelbook Go, the best Chromebook as well as the best laptop for kids, with its quiet keyboard and sturdy design.

We've shuffled the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 up to the second slot, since its incredibly low price and 2-in-1 hybrid touchscreen design make it great for kids of all ages, whether they're using it for homework or watching YouTube.

Whatever laptop you buy for your kid, remember that it's probably going to take a beating; more durable hardware is a must, especially for younger children. A laptop that can be dropped on the kitchen floor and walk away without anything worse than a dent is ideal.

Christian Guyton, Computing Editor

When looking for the best laptop for kids, don’t just go for the cheapest you can find. Kid-friendly laptops have to tick a few boxes, lest you end up regretting that purchase if it’s not up to par for your child's needs.

After all, laptops that are ideal for kids should have enough power to manage their daily demands, whether that means seeing them through their online classes, helping them with their school projects, or entertaining them with some post-homework gaming. The best laptops for kids should also be robust, even rugged, to survive any careless handling, and come with the kind of battery life that will last them throughout the day without needing to lug an AC adapter about.

Don’t worry; satisfying those parameters while keeping the cost wallet-friendly isn’t as challenging as you might think. There are a few options to choose from if you know where to look. You’ll find excellent 2-in-1 hybrids, solid Chromebooks, and some reasonably priced tablets as well, all of which we gathered right here alongside our price comparison tool so you can find the best laptop deals.

Best laptops for kids 2022 

Google Pixelbook Go against a white background

(Image credit: Google)
The best laptop for kids

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core m3 – i7
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD – 13.3-inch 4K Ultra HD Molecular Display
Storage: 64GB – 256GB

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible battery life
+
Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard
+
Rare 1080p webcam

Reasons to avoid

-
No biometric login
-
Higher-spec models are pricey

The best laptop for kids must be secure, simple to use, and can outlast them past naptime. Google Pixelbook Go ticks off all those requirements and then some, with its astounding battery life and security-oriented ChromeOS environment. It's lightweight but relatively durable, making it a good pick for elementary school-age kids.

Google rounds those out with an incredible keyboard and a 1080p webcam. This is the Chromebook of your dreams, minus that undeniably rather steep price tag. And while the kids might enjoy watching their favorite cartoons and playing casual games on that sharp display, you’ll also love using this for that occasional work email you have to squeeze in between spending time with them.

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook Go

The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 against a white background

(Image credit: Acer)
The best budget laptop for kids

Specifications

CPU: Intel Celeron N4000
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
RAM: 4GB
Screen: 11.6" HD (1366 x 768) 16:9 IPS touchscreen
Storage: 64GB Flash Memory

Reasons to buy

+
More capable AMD APU
+
Fabulous flip design

Reasons to avoid

-
Dim screen
-
Average battery

The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 opts for an AMD APU, which utilises the well-known Radeon graphics technology for better 3D capabilities - if you have time out of your studies to game! The dual-core AMD processor does offer Celeron beating abilities, by a little at least and so Chrome is going to remain more responsive. More importantly, the Acer Spin 311 feels well made. It’s highly portable and, though the screen disappoints a little by being a touch dull, perfectly usable. At just over eight hours the battery isn’t that strong for a Chromebook, but balancing that against the great price this is a strong choice. 

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook Spin 311 

The Microsoft Surface Go 2 against a white background

(Image credit: Microsoft)
Premium design, more affordable price

Specifications

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core m3 – Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615
RAM: 4GB – 8GB
Storage: 64GB eMMC – 128GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Premium design
+
Affordable
+
Can run full Windows 10

Reasons to avoid

-
No Touch Cover or stylus included
-
Base model's specs are weak

The Surface Go line proves popular with the more budget-conscious crowd, and its follow up, Surface Go 2, continues that tradition with its reasonable price and premium design. It also runs the full Windows 10 operating system, so it’s even more capable than other tablets out there as far as what applications you can use on it. Finally, it offers a slight bump in performance over its predecessor, giving users a sensible reason to upgrade if they’ve got the money. All those features combined with its portability make the Microsoft Surface Go 2 one of the best laptops for kids for school and gaming.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Go 2

The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook against a white background

(Image credit: Lenovo)
Everything that netbooks should have been

Specifications

CPU: MediaTek Helio P60T Processor
Graphics: ARM G72 MP3 800GHz
RAM: 4GB LPDDR4X
Screen: 10.1" FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS, glossy, touchscreen, 400 nits
Storage: 64GB eMMC

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and portable
+
Long battery life
+
Very affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Tiny keyboard and finicky trackpad
-
Charger and headphones share a single port

What is the best laptop to buy for a child? Something cheap yet versatile perhaps. True to its name, this Lenovo Chromebook delivers two form factors in one, while utilizing the versatility of the ChromeOS and setting you back much less than many of the top Windows tablets out there. Of course, true to its Chromebook nature, its battery packs an incredibly long life of almost 22 hours – you could pull an all-nighter, use it through the day and mid-afternoon, and you’ll still pass out before it runs out of juice. For this price, sacrifices have to be made, naturally – the keyboard is tiny, the trackpad isn’t as reliable, and the charger and headphones share one port. However, if budget is your top priority, this is definitely among the best laptops for kids, especially for online classes.

Read the full review: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook 

The HP Chromebook 14 against a white background

(Image credit: HP)

5. HP Chromebook 14

Striking optimal balance between value and design

Specifications

CPU: Intel Celeron N2840 – N2940
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
RAM: 2GB – 4GB
Screen: 14-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) BrightView
Storage: 16GB – 32GB eMMC

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent keyboard, trackpad
+
Crisp, vivid screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Slower than some rivals
-
Average battery life

The HP Chromebook 14 balances a bargain price and efficient use of Chrome OS. Complemented by a bright blue finish and a screen made to astound, the HP Chromebook 14 offers the best value of any Chromebook out there. Even if the battery life and performance are average, it’s easily one of the best Chromebooks for kids to date. You’ll be particularly impressed with how slim and light this Chromebook is. And, unlike some other Chromebooks, the HP Chromebook 14 comes with plenty of ports, including HDMI-out, USB 3.0, and a microSD card slot, making this a brilliantly versatile Chromebook for the price.

Read the full review: HP Chromebook 14

The MacBook Air against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)
The best Apple laptop

Specifications

CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU
Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core GPU
RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory
Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina display
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
macOS Big Sur is fast and responsive
+
Battery life is great
+
Silent in use

Reasons to avoid

-
Fanless design could impact performance

Apple topped 2020 off with a bang, rolling out their much-talked-about M1 silicon chip that’s so far been a real game-changer. And, the first laptop to receive it is the company’s thinnest and lightest, putting it on the list of the most exciting Apple laptops of recent years. With this new chip, the MacBook Air is better than ever, touting excellent performance alongside its brilliant battery life – without raising the price to keep it (fairly) affordable still. This is the best MacBook for pretty much everyone, but especially kids and students.

Read the full review: MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

Promo HP

(Image credit: HP)
The quintessential learning laptop lives on

Specifications

CPU: up to 11th-generation Intel Core i7
Graphics: up to Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 15.6" diagonal, HD (1366 x 768), micro-edge BrightView 250 nits – 15.6" diagonal, FHD (1920 x 1080) touch IPS micro-edge BrightView 250 nits
Storage: up to 1 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD

Reasons to buy

+
A few affordable configurations
+
Plenty capable

Reasons to avoid

-
Design is nothing special

The HP Pavilion 15 might not stand out from the crowd in terms of features and design, especially next to the likes of the Spectre x360 line. However, it’s among the best laptops for kids, touting impressive specs you’d expect from mid-range laptops as well as features like speakers from B&O, HP Fast Charge, and the option of a touchscreen display. It also keeps things affordable, at least in the low to mid-range configurations, making it even more appealing to parents.

The Dell G5 15 SE (2020) against a white background

(Image credit: Dell)
A fantastic value gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: : : : AMD Ryzen 5 4600H – 7 4800H
Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5600M
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED Backlight Non-Touch Narrow Border WVA Display – 15.6 inch FHD(1920x1080) 300nits WVA Anti-Glare LED Backlit Display(non-touch), 144Hz refresh rate
Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent CPU performance
+
Very affordable for a gaming laptop
+
Quick and vibrant display

Reasons to avoid

-
Gets pretty hot under strain
-
Plastic build feels flimsy

Though Dell has its premium lines, it’s also been very good at building excellent budget machines. The Dell G5 15 SE (2020) is a very good example of that, touting impressive AMD specs, especially in the CPU department, to keep cost down without compromising performance. Here’s the best laptop for kids gaming, with its staggering performance for the price and a stunning display to boot. Of course, being a budget laptop, it’s great for young users who want a portable they can use for both studying and gaming.

Read the full review: Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

Editor, Computing

Christian is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing Editor. He came to us from Maximum PC magazine, where he fell in love with computer hardware and building PCs. He was a regular fixture amongst our freelance review team before making the jump to TechRadar, and can usually be found drooling over the latest high-end graphics card or gaming laptop before looking at his bank account balance and crying.


Christian is a keen campaigner for LGBTQ+ rights and the owner of a charming rescue dog named Lucy, having adopted her after he beat cancer in 2021. She keeps him fit and healthy through a combination of face-licking and long walks, and only occasionally barks at him to demand treats when he’s trying to work from home.

With contributions from