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

best laptops for kids
Image Credit: TechRadar

Whether it’s for school or for play, you’ll need to invest in the best laptop for kids. After all, having a good laptop is completely necessary not only for grown-ups, but for the kids as well.

The best laptop for kids will usually take the form of a rugged, cheap tablet. Eventually though, there will come a time when your child will have to graduate to a proper laptop, especially since they need one for schoolwork.

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If your kids don’t know their way around a Windows 10 or a macOS environment just yet, the best Chromebooks are extremely easy to use, making them the ideal laptops for kids. They have large, durable displays that are great for getting schoolwork done. Many of them are also able to run Android apps and games, so the kids can squeeze in a bit of downtime between assignments. And, finally, they’re also affordable. 

So, what’s makes the best laptop for kids? How do you decide? Luckily, we’re here to help you answer those questions. 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 best laptops for kids – affordable devices with rugged frames and even rigid parental controls. On it, you should be able to find the best laptop for kids your budget can afford.

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
Not very powerful

Chromebooks make for some of the best laptops for kids because they’re virtually mistake proof, and the Dell Chromebook 11 2-in-1 is no different. Drop it, and it’s fine. Download any malicious software? Well, you can’t! It’s one of the safest environments for your kids to use a computer, made better by its parental controls. If your kid needs a cheap 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 after homework.

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

 Durable build 
 Dim screen 

If your kids have finally graduated to needing to write up papers for class, and you want to get them something that won’t break the first time it gets dropped, then you might just agree that the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is the best laptop for kids. It’s powerful enough to get through the kids’ daily schoolwork, and it’s also a 2-in-1 so they can flip its comfy keyboard around to turn it into tablet mode for playing some 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, durable and functional.

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 or enter double-digit years, they’re definitely going to require something a bit more robust to support them through more demanding projects (and 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 features like a full HD display, fast USB 3.0 connections and an HDR webcam. Bear in mind, however, that this laptop is ideal for adolescents, as you’re swapping its lack of kid-proof features for a larger size and a more luxury experience, which you will be paying a great price for. 

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 traditional computer setup, 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. Rounding it out is a whopping 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 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 

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 the best laptop for kids who love the macOS environment – unlike the 2018 model. We know that parents aren’t made of cash, but the 2015 MacBook Air has plenty of deals out there, not to mention, it’s the cheapest Apple laptop out there. It also has great 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 should last your kid for years.

Read the full review: MacBook Air