These days, having one of the best laptops is critically important, even for children. The best laptops for kids will usually be rugged and cheap tablets, but your children will eventually outgrow these, requiring something a bit more traditional. Whether it’s for school or for play, you’ll need to find the top laptop for kids.
You don’t have to be stuck with Windows, though – the best Chromebooks make for the top laptops for kids, as they have large, durable displays that are perfect for doing homework. Many Chromebooks can also install Android apps and games, for a bit of downtime, too. They’re also really cheap – a must for the best laptops for kids.
So, how do you decide which of the top laptops for kids is right for your little one? Well, we here at TechRadar have you covered – we went ahead and listed all the best laptops for kids.
So, we’ll help you find the top laptops for kids – from low prices to ruggedized frames and even rigid parental controls. We may not have tested or reviewed all the laptops here, but we’re laptop experts, expertise we’ve used to recommend exceptional laptops for kids.
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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
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
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
If you’re more accustomed to Windows 10, or even if your kid likes it, we find the Lenovo IdeaPad 120S to be among the best laptops for kids – especially at this bargain price. The laptop is mildly ruggedized to survive slips and drops, 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 distract your child. 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
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
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
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
5. Asus Transformer Mini T102HA
Tablet in disguise
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)
If your kid wants a tablet, but you want them to get familiar with the traditional computer as well, the Asus Transformer Mini is perfect, especially considering 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 jump to a traditional laptop, this is the best laptops for your kids, 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
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
There will come a time when your kids aren’t that little anymore, and they’ll need a laptop to match. However, we know parents aren’t made of money. That’s why the 2015 MacBook Air is one of the best laptops for kids in late primary, secondary or post-secondary school. It’s not the newest MacBook on the block, sure, but it’s the cheapest Apple laptop you can find today. Plus, it’s got great battery life, a smooth operating system and it’s thin and light. Plus, MacBooks are famous for outlasting most Windows laptops – and this one in particular should last your little ones for years to come.
Read the full review: MacBook Air
- Want more choices? Check out our list of the best laptop 2018