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Best laptops for kids 2019: the top laptops for kids in elementary school and beyond

best laptops for kids
Image Credit: TechRadar

Investing in your children by getting the best laptop for kids is not only a great idea. In some cases, it’s a necessity, especially if you’ve got teens at home whose schoolwork requires logging in a few hours on the computer.

Before you go out there to purchase the best laptop for kids, however, you might want to consider a few factors first. For one, the best laptop for kids will usually take the form of a rugged, cheap tablet… that is, if they’re to be used by young to school age kids. If you’re kid is in high school, you might want to go for a proper laptop, especially when it’s for school projects and homework.

If your kids don’t know their way around a Windows 10 or a macOS environment, on the other hand, the best Chromebooks are some of the best laptops for kids who need a simpler user interface. To make things better, these economical Chromebooks have large, durable displays that are great for getting schoolwork done.

We put together a list of the best laptops for kids, all of which we tested and reviewed ourselves. With this list, we’ll go through all the devices with rugged frames, rigid parental controls and budget-friendly price tags. On this, you should be able to find the best laptop for kids that your own kids will love.

What you need to know about Black Friday 2019
Buying a laptop for your kids is an expensive step, but luckily Black Friday and Cyber Monday are closer than you may think. From now until then, we're going to see all kinds of deals on the best laptops for kids, and we'll make sure you see them thanks to our exclusive price comparison tool. And, honestly, we think there will plenty of Black Friday laptop deals out there for you and your little ones.

Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11 3181 2-in-1

Image Credit: Dell

1. Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11 3181 2-in-1

The best laptop for kids

CPU: Intel Celeron N3060 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 400 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 11.6-inch, HD (1366 x 768) touchscreen | Storage: 32GB-64GB eMMC

Rugged design
Affordable
Not very powerful

A Chromebook make for the best laptop for kids because it’s practically mistake proof, and the Dell Chromebook 11 2-in-1 is a fine example of that. Drop it, and it’s fine. Download any malicious software? Well, you can’t! It’s one of the most secure environments for your kids to use a computer, made better by parental controls that you can set yourself. If your kid needs a very affordable laptop to get some schoolwork done, you won’t want to miss out on this excellent device. It even transforms into a tablet for a bit of light gaming post schoolwork.

Read the full review: Dell Chromebook Inspiron 11 3181 2-in-1

Lenovo IdeaPad 120S

Image Credit: Lenovo

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

Is your kid already used to Windows 10? If so, you’ll find the Lenovo IdeaPad 120S to be the best laptop for kids – especially with this bargain price. The laptop is mildly ruggedized to survive slips and drops, and touts a USB-C port for a bit of future-proofing. You can also trust that this device will be free of bloatware that may distract your child. That’s more than enough in our book to recommend this laptop to pretty much every parent – especially those who are Windows 10 fans.

Acer Chromebook Spin 11

Image Credit: Acer

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 

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 

Acer Chromebook 15

Image Credit: Acer

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 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 

Asus Transformer Mini T102HA

Image Credit: Asus

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)

Everything is included
Many form factors
Slightly underpowered

If your kid wants a tablet, but you want them to get used to a classic computer configuration, the Asus Transformer Mini is the perfect compromise. 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. That’s a lot of value for a budget price. Rounding it out is the 11 hours of battery life, so they can get through all their schoolwork and squeeze in some Netflix before bed. If your kids are just too used to tablets to unceremoniously jump to a traditional laptop, this is the one of the best Asus laptops for that transition.

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

Image Credit: Apple

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

The 2015 MacBook Air might not be the newest kid on the block, but it’s still among the best laptop for kids who love the macOS environment – unlike the 2018 model. We know that parents aren’t made of cash, but it’s the cheapest Apple laptop out there, and the 2015 MacBook Air is available at bargain prices, especially in third-party websites. It also has excellent battery life, an operating system that’s smooth and easy to navigate, and a form factor that’s light and thin. The best Macs are famous for outlasting Windows laptops – and this one might just last your kid throughout high school and possibly even college.

Read the full review: MacBook Air