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Best laptops for kids 2021: the top laptops for kids in elementary school and beyond

Best laptops for kids
(Image credit: Future)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

Buying the best laptop for your kids is now more important than ever, with many children now learning remotely while schools are closed. However, shopping for the best laptops for kids doesn’t mean finding the least expensive device you can. Of course, you don’t want to spring for something too pricey as your kids might lose or break it too quick for comfort, but you shouldn’t let just the price dictate which laptop is right for your kids.

Buying the best laptops for kids or teens requires you to keep a few other things top of mind when looking for one. It needs to be reliable enough so that no matter what kind of drops or bumps it experiences, it will keep working properly. It also needs to be powerful enough for school as well as for a little entertainment after the homework is done.

Battery life is vital as well, as with the best student laptops, because you want the laptop to make it through the school day on a full charge. Don’t forget to consider parental controls and security features as you’ll want to protect your children whenever they go online.

You have quite a bit of variety when choosing the best laptop for kids. Regardless of whether you’re on the market for an affordable tablet, the best Chromebook, or a 2-in-1 hybrid laptop, there’s something on this list for you. And, take a look at the best desks for kids so that they have the perfect place to study.

Google Pixelbook Go

Google Pixelbook Go ticks off all the requirements of the best laptop for kids and then some. (Image credit: Google)

1. Google Pixelbook Go

The best mainstream Chromebook

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
+Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard+Rare 1080p webcam
Reasons to avoid
-No biometric login

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 Chrome OS environment. Google rounds those out with an incredible keyboard and a 1080p webcam. This is the Google Pixelbook of your dreams, minus that 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

Acer Chromebook 15

The robust Acer Chromebook 15 will see your kids through more demanding projects. (Image credit: Acer)

2. Acer Chromebook 15

Perfect for when they hit double-digits

Specifications
CPU: Intel Pentium N4200
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505
RAM: 4GB
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS
Storage: 32GB
Reasons to buy
+Luxury feel+Amazing price
Reasons to avoid
-Hefty weight and dimensions

When your kids approach double-digit years, they’re going to need something a bit more robust to support them through more demanding projects, as well as sharper streaming. Acer’s latest 15-inch Chromebook is, therefore, the best laptop for kids – or yours, at least – bringing serious sophistication to your kids’ computing experience and needs, from its design to its great features like a full HD display, fast USB 3.0 connections and an HDR webcam. Keep in mind that this laptop is ideal for adolescents, as you’re swapping its lack of kid-proof features for a larger size, a more luxurious experience and a great price tag.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 15 

Microsoft Surface Go 2

(Image credit: Microsoft)

3. Microsoft Surface Go 2

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.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Go 2

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

(Image credit: Lenovo)

4. Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

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

Is it a Chromebook or is it a tablet? Well, luckily, you won’t have to decide. True to its name, this Lenovo Chromebook delivers two form factors in one, while utilizing the versatility of the Chrome OS 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 in 2021.

Read the full review: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook 

Acer Chromebook Spin 11

Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is the laptop to get the kids if you want something that won’t break the first time it gets dropped. (Image credit: Acer)

5. Acer Chromebook Spin 11

Work and play

Specifications
CPU: Intel Celeron N3350
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 500
Screen: 11.6-inch HDF (1,366 x 768) touch
Storage: 32GB eMMC
Reasons to buy
+ Inexpensive + Durable build 
Reasons to avoid
- Dim screen 

When your kids have finally graduated to a proper laptop for writing up papers for class, but you still want to get them something that won’t break the first time it gets dropped, then the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 might just be the laptop for you. It’s powerful enough to get through the kids’ daily schoolwork, and it’s a 2-in-1 so they can flip its comfortable keyboard around to turn it into tablet mode for playing Android games or watching their favorite shows in their downtime. The display is a bit dim, and it’s unlikely to blow you away as far as performance, but it’s cheap, solid and reliable. What more can you ask for from the best laptop for kids?

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook Spin 11 

  • 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 (2020)

The MacBook Air is still among the best laptop for kids who love the macOS environment. (Image credit: Apple)

6. MacBook Air (2020)

New and improved

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i3 – i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Storage: 256GB – 2TB PCIe-based SSD
Dimensions: 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61 cm
Reasons to buy
+Lower price of entry+New 10th generation processors+Improved keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-Screen colors a little muted-Battery life only OK-Webcam still just 720p

Apple’s thinnest and lightest MacBook is back with a vengeance. Not only has it fixed a lot of the complaints with its predecessors – namely, that problematic keyboard is now gone, replaced by a drastically improved keyboard. But it also comes with new and more powerful internal components, even more storage space options, and a lower price of entry. There are a couple of things we’d do better, like the muted screen and the average battery life, but this model of the MacBook Air is better than anything we’ve seen from the line to date.

Read the full review: MacBook Air (2020)

Lenovo Yoga C940

(Image credit: Lenovo)

7. Lenovo Yoga C940

The Lenovo Yoga is back and it means business

Specifications
CPU: up to 10th-generation Intel Core i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
RAM: up to 16GB
Screen: 14” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, touchscreen, glossy, 400 nits –14" UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS, touchscreen, glossy, HDR 400, 500 nits
Storage: up to 2TB SSD PCIe
Reasons to buy
+Excellent design+Great performance+Comfy keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Battery life

The Lenovo Yoga C940 is a stunning laptop. It’s clear Lenovo spared no expense in its design, making a gorgeous looking portable. But, it also comes with plenty of power under the hood. Rounding the experience is a comfortable keyboard, a rotating soundbar with 2 additional speakers, touch pen as well as a TrueBlock Privacy Shutter. While it’s not a perfect computer – the battery life is not quite up to par – it more than holds its own against the competition, with Lenovo offering a stylish and powerful Ultrabook that’s perfect for any digital nomad.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga C940