Best Laptops for Kids

A reliable laptop can be a great tool for your child’s education.

As the number of jobs that relies on computers increases, it can be a great investment for your child future to learn essential computer skills. Not to mention, in today’s digital age many of your kid’s schoolwork is now done using a computer and the Internet.

mother and daughter using laptop

However, because kids, especially the younger ones, tend to damage things you don’t want to give them an expensive laptop right off the bat. Fortunately, many of the so-called educational laptops aimed for students use has very affordable prices.

The problem, though, is that the market is flooded with so many laptop models. The best laptops for kids can range from your typical 2-in-1 convertibles to the standard widescreen laptops.  Going over each of these laptops can be quite confusing especially if you have little knowledge about these portable gadgets. Hence, we have created this list to serve as a guide for parents and kids alike.

Top 8 Laptops for Kids of 2019

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Product

Specs

Availability

Feature 1

 

Acer Chromebook R 11

 

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1.6GHz Quad-core Intel Celeron N3150`
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Apple MacBook Air

 

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1.6 GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5
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Asus Transformer Mini T102HA

 

Feature 2

1.44 GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8350
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CTL NL61TX Educational Chromebook

 

Feature 2

1.6 GHz Quad-Core Intel Celeron
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Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1

 

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0.9 GHz Intel Core m3-6Y30
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HP Stream Laptop 11

 

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1.6 GHz Intel Celeron N3060
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Lenovo Ideapad 120S

 

Feature 2

1.1 GHz Intel Celeron N3350
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Microsoft Surface Go

 

Feature 2

1.66 GHz Dual-core Intel Pentium Gold
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1. Acer Chromebook R 11

Convertible laptops, often called 2-in-1s, are becoming increasingly popular especially to younger people. The Chromebook R 11 is one such machine which can transform from tablet to laptop and vice versa just by folding and unfolding the unit. Kids will surely love this laptop’s colorful display and comfortable keyboard. Meanwhile, parents will appreciate all the value it offers in exchange for an affordable price.

Clad in elegant white chassis, the Chromebook R 11 has a vibrant 11.6-inches HD IPS display with 1366 x 768 resolution. At its heart is a 1.6GHz Quad-core Intel Celeron N3150 paired with a standard Integrated Intel HD Graphics. It has 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB HDD storage space.

These specs are slightly better than its competitors in the budget educational laptop segment.

The biggest advantage that the Chrome R 11 has, aside from being a convertible laptop, is the minimalist design that makes it portable. Hence, your child can take it to school on his or her backpack. Like in other Chromebooks, parents can set parental controls on this laptop so that their children will avoid dangerous sites.

The laptop also has access to some helpful apps that promote learning, aside from the usual file sharing platform like Google Drive and online tools like Google Docs. Web browsing is also quite easy with this laptop; hence your kids can do online research and even do a bit of multitasking when required.

This device also has a number of ports like USB 3.0 and 2.0, HDMI with HDCP, an SD card slot and a headphone jack. For connectivity, you have a dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

However, this laptop also has a few hiccups of its own. The lid flexes, hence, it can easily be damaged when not handled carefully. The 9-hour battery life is good for an ultrathin but lags behind other Chromebooks which can last up to 12 hours. There’s also a noticeable noise when taking photos using the webcam.

Overall, the Acer Chromebook 11 is perfect for your grade-schooler who has more demanding schoolwork than just doing paperwork.

Display: 11.6-inches HD backlit IPS; 1366 x 768
Processor: 1.6GHz Quad-core Intel Celeron N3150
Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics
RAM: 4 GB DDR3
Storage: 32 GB HDD
Battery Life: 9 hours
Weight: 2.9 pounds

Pros:

  • Quality build
  • Minimalist and portable design
  • Mid-tier CPU performance
  • Responsive touchscreen

Cons:

  • Chrome OS doesn’t work optimally for touch
  • A bit more expensive

2. Apple MacBook Air

The MacBook Air is a laptop that can fit any lifestyle even that of grade school and high school students. If you have a more flexible budget, this affordable laptop offers great value in terms of performance and long battery life. If you are an Apple fan and you want to introduce your children to the brand’s digital culture, then the MacBook Air is the most inexpensive way to do so.

On board, this laptop is a 1.6 GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5 which you can turbo boost up to 2.7 GHz. It also has Intel HD Graphics 6000 card and 8 GB RAM. These components allow the MacBook Air to handle even the most demanding applications. For storage, it has a portable 256 GB flash.

The main benefit of using the MacBook Air is its comfortable backlit keyboard which has very responsive keys with shallow travel which makes typing much easier even during nighttime. This Apple laptop also has a superb battery life of up to 10 hours, which is more than enough if your child takes it to class for the whole day.

Another great thing about the MacBook Air is it has a USB 3.0 port, meaning you don’t have to buy a dongle. This is a feature you won’t see in any other Apple laptops. Furthermore, it has an excellent cooling system that effectively disperses heat and keeps it within a comfortable threshold. The newest High Sierra update has also improved the most important apps particularly those used for productivity.

The MacBook Air has plenty of ports including Mag-Safe 2 power, SDXC card slot and a Thunderbolt 2. It can also connect via Wi-FI and Bluetooth.

Aside from the expensive price, this laptop has inferior 13.3-inch LED widescreen with only 1440 x 900 resolution. It also uses a 5th generation processor instead of the newest 7th generation. It also doesn’t have a touchscreen technology which you would expect from most laptops in this segment.

Overall, the Apple MacBook Air is perfect for kids that are about to start high school as it can better assist them on more rigorous school work. However, you have to spend more money compared to your regular educational laptop.

Display: 13.3-inch LED-backlit widescreen; 1440 x 900 resolution
Processor: 1.6 GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 6000
RAM: 8 GB DDR3
Storage: 256 GB flash storage
Battery Life: 10 hours
Weight: 2.96 pounds

Pros:

  • Most comfortable Apple keyboard
  • Stellar battery life
  • Very portable
  • No dongles required

Cons:

  • Poor screen quality
  • Hefty price

3. Asus Transformer Mini T102HA

If your child is in the early years of schooling, but you want them to get introduced on how computers work, then the Transformer Mini T102HA is a good starting point. It’s a lightweight 2-in-1 laptop that has a durable aluminum chassis and a brightly colored case. Much like other convertibles, it comes with a screen cover that also acts as a trackpad and keyboard at the same time.

On the center of it all is a 1.44 GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8350 which you can overclock up to 1.9 GHz. Compared to other laptops, this may feel a bit underpowered, but it does simple tasks quite well.  It also comes with the usual Integrated Intel HD Graphics, 4 GB RAM and a satisfactory 64 GB of storage.

The Transformer Mini T102HA is hands down one of the least expensive convertible laptops that run on Windows 10 instead of the Chrome OS. The keyboard cover and stylus are also part of the package so you won’t have to buy them separately. While it does have a smaller 10.1-inch screen, the display quality is still good.

This laptop is also made of sturdy materials which ensure it won’t break easily from the misuse of your kids. Another unique feature that this laptop has is a fingerprint reader that at the back of the unit which adds a layer of security.

Not to mention, this laptop has enough number of ports such as microSD card, micro HDMI, USB 3.0 and a COMBO audio jack. The 2-MegaPixel camera is also a good addition. For connection purposes, you have the usual Wi-FI and Bluetooth 4.0.

However, the Transformer Mini T102HA also has a number of flaws. Its lackluster performance only allows basic computing tasks such as surfing the web, doing presentations, writing and drawing. While the battery life is excellent, charging it takes a long time. Finally, the trackpad is a bit inaccurate.

Overall, this is the best affordable 2-in-1 convertible laptop that can handle creative tasks such as drawing and editing images.

Display: 10.1-inch LED IPS touchscreen; 1280 x 800 resolution
Processor: 1.44 GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8350
Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics
RAM: 4GB SDRAM
Storage: 64 GB HDD
Battery Life:
Weight: 1.74 pounds

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Comes with stylus plus keyboard cover
  • Has a fingerprint biometrics
  • Decent build quality

Cons:

  • Inaccurate trackpad
  • Low-performing CPU

4. CTL NL61TX Educational Chromebook

A lot of parents are worried about giving their young kids a laptop because of the chance that their little ones would break it. After all, most kids don’t take care of gadgets quite well. If you are one of these parents looking for a durable laptop at an affordable price, then look no further than the NL61TX an educational Chromebook from CTL. The lid of this laptop can withstand a pressure of 365 pounds, while the whole unit can resist a fall from a height of 27 inches.

Running the whole show for this laptop is a 1.6 GHz Quad-Core Intel Celeron processor paired with an integrated Intel Graphics. It comes with a 4 GB DDR and has a 32 GB worth of storage in its eMMC flash. While that may be too low, it’s fortunate that like all other Chromebooks you get a 200 GB worth of online storage on your Google Drive for two years. Since it’s a budget laptop, you can’t fret about its 11.6-inches IPS touchscreen that has a 1366 x 768 resolution.

The CTL NL6TX also as a unique feature that is hard to find in any other laptop. Its back doubles as a whiteboard where your kids can draw or doodle using dry-erase markers. This allows them to personalize their laptop and spark their creativity. The device also has a hidden carrying handle which they can easily pull-out for better portability.

Because of its low price, you can expect a few compromises from this laptop. The CPU doesn’t have a fan; hence its performance slows down once it gets a bit hot. The audio’s volume is too low to hear clearly even at its highest configuration. You also have the limitations of a Chromebook including the low storage space.

Overall, the CTL NL61TX is a superb choice for parents who are looking for a laptop that is both durable and inexpensive.

Display: 11.6-inches IPS LCD touchscreen; 1366 x 768 resolution
Processor: 1.6 GHz Quad-Core Intel Celeron
Graphics: Integrated Intel Graphics
RAM: 4 GB DDR
Storage: 32 GB eMMC flash
Battery Life: 12 hours
Weight: 2.75 pounds

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Built to take on abuse
  • Easy to carry
  • Back doubles as a whiteboard

Cons:

  • CPU doesn’t have a fan
  • Poor audio quality

5. Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1

Convertible or 2-in-1 laptops are quite a popular choice for helping your children get acquainted with computers. Because they are first exposed to smaller devices like mobile and tablet, it makes sense that they easily get used to something close to its size. The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 is a great alternative to the underpowered Chromebook. The laptop’s case also has several vibrant colors to choose from such as Bali Blue and Tango Red.

Running the show is a 0.9 GHz Intel Core m3-6Y30, which may seem underpowered at first but upon turbo boosting it can reach up to 2.2 GHz. On board also is an Intel HD Graphics 515 and 4 GB of RAM.

The most compelling feature of the Inspiron 11 3000 series is, of course, its large storage capacity of 500 GB. It also has a comfortable keyboard with shallow keys that require only 69 grams of actuation force. Thus, allowing you to type fast and with great accuracy. The Audio quality is also solid and its volume loud enough to fill a small room.

While this laptop has a so-so webcam, it bounces back in terms of a number of ports. Among them are microSD slot, HDMI, USB 3.0 and 2.0, SD card slot, HDMI and headphone/ microphone jack.

Despite all these positive qualities, this laptop also has several shortcomings. The display is dim and dull as compared to many of its rivals. It also heats up faster and can reach above a comfortable threshold. Finally, it has a disappointing battery life of only 5 hours.

Overall, the Inspiron 11 3000 Series offers a lot of value for a budget 2-in-1 laptop that has a Windows 10 OS.

Display: 1366 x 768 resolution
Processor: 0.9 GHz Intel Core m3-6Y30
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515
RAM: 4GB DDR3
Storage: 500 GB HDD
Battery Life: 5 hours
Weight: 2.8 pounds

Pros:

  • Low price
  • Decent performance for its price
  • Good audio quality
  • Has four colors to choose from

Cons:

  • Bottom heats up quite fast
  • Short battery life

6. HP Stream Laptop 11

Flaunting a candy-hued exterior, the HP Stream Laptop will likely catch the eyes of your child. Behind its cute look, though, is a portable laptop that has a solid computing power that is complimented with a long battery life. If its showy façade won’t charm you, its affordable price tag surely will.

At its core is a 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron N3060 with an onboard Intel HD Graphics. It also comes with a 4 GB RAM and has a 32 GB eMMC flash storage, which is a common feature on most budget laptops. The overall build quality of its plastic chassis is good and feels durable at certain areas especially around the hinge.

Surprisingly, the Steam Laptop 11 has an unbelievably high-quality audio quality which is quite rare for a device at this price point. The dynamic dual speakers are quite loud and produce accurate sounds despite being placed at the bottom of the laptop. The 3.6 x 2.1-inches touchpad is also quite pleasant to use and responsive giving you great accuracy in terms of highlighting text and dragging flies.

The ports are also what you would expect from a low-priced laptop. It has headphone/ mic jack, USB 3.0 and 2.0, and a microSD. The full-sized HDMI connector is also a great bonus since it allows you to bypass the horrible display.

The HP Stream’s small screen size is both a bane and a boon. True, it’s small and portable, but the relatively low resolution the pictures in the screen always seemed bland and unexciting to watch.  The 32 GB flash storage is also quite disappointing since it limits the number of files and applications you can store.

Overall, this laptop is a great first laptop for your grade school kids; think of it as a budget training wheels.

Display: 11.6-inch screen; 1366 x 768 resolution
Processor:  1.6 GHz Intel Celeron N3060
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
RAM: 4 GB
Storage: 32 GB eMMC flash
Battery Life: 8 hours
Weight: 2.5 pounds

Pros:

  • Excellent audio quality
  • Above-par performance
  • Cute design
  • Decent battery life

Cons:

  • Unimpressive display
  • Small storage space

7. Lenovo Ideapad 120S

Just because it is affordable, doesn’t always mean it will look cheap. The Ideapad 120S is one of those budget laptops that looks stunning enough to fool you that it’s an expensive gadget. The clean-looking gray chassis has a matte finish that can deceive you that it’s made of aluminum. Coupled with a long battery life and a pretty darn solid performance, this laptop is a good investment for your kid’s education.

Powering this laptop is a 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N3350 which can be turbo boosted up to 2.4 GHz. On board is an Intel HD Graphics 500 and 4 GB of RAM that gives the laptop its edge in performance against other laptops in the segment. The 64 GB eMMC storage is also double that of what you usually get from a budget laptop or Chromebook.

The best bit about this laptop is its ability to maintain its performance even in the midst of multitasking. You can open up to eight Google Chrome tabs, screen Youtube videos, and a Microsoft Word or Excel without experiencing lag or stuttering. Unexpectedly, this laptop also has a vivid audio quality which is loud enough to be heard across a small room. The built-in mic can also record sounds and your voice with great precision.

While it doesn’t have the same fancy ports that premium laptops have, this Lenovo laptop has the essential ones- two USB 3.0, USB type-C, an audio jack, a microSD, and an HDMI. The 0.3-megapixel webcam is also hardly decent, but even more expensive laptops also make compromises on this laptop component.

The IdeaPad 120’s 14.1 inches display is its biggest weakness. It has very poor color accuracy and with a resolution of only 1366 x768, the pixel density is too low that the display is a bit grainy. The flexy body is also prone to breaking and at the hands of kids the chances of becomes higher.

Overall, this PC is a great deal for parents who want to invest in a laptop that does more than a regular Chromebook, but at almost the same price range.

Display: 14.1-inches; 1366 x 768 resolution
Processor: 1.1 GHz Intel Celeron N3350
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 500
RAM: 4 GB DDR
Storage: 64 GB eMMC
Battery Life: 8 hours
Weight: 3.24 pounds

Pros:

  • Sleek design
  • Faster Type-C charger
  • Above average performance
  • Great audio quality

Cons:

  • Washed-out display
  • Vulnerable flexible body

8. Microsoft Surface Go

If your kid is familiar with using the tablet, but you want him or her to start learning how to use the laptop, then you can never go wrong with the Microsoft Surface Go. While it’s almost double the price as that of your regular budget ultrabook and so-called “educational laptop,” the Surface Go offers a lot of value such as a larger and faster SSD storage, better graphics card and more.

Not to be outdone in terms of performance, the Surface Go, hosts, a 1.66 GHz Dual-core Intel Pentium Gold matched with an Intel HD Graphics. This combination gives the laptop a silky-smooth performance and even allows it to multi-task with ease thanks to an 8 GB RAM. Finally, the 128 GB SSD is its bread and butter that allows the whole system to boot and operate faster. Moreover, the file transfer rate of the Surface Go easily blows away that of Chromebooks that uses eMMC flash storage.

The Microsoft Go also has a bright and vivid 10-inches PixelSense touchscreen display with 1`800 x 1200 resolution which gives it denser pixels. Thus it can also double as a portable cinematic player especially because of its enjoyable audio quality.

Despite its small frame, Microsoft was still able to slip in a few ports such as a headset jack, microSD card, and Surface Connect point. Much like other 2-in-1 convertible laptops, it has two cameras- a 5MP front camera and an 8mP rear camera with an autofocus function.

However, this laptop also has a lot of compromises. The USB-C is the only port for your transferring data as it does not have the standard USB ports. The screen also may be too small to run some applications. Lastly, the Pentium Gold CPU may be prone to some lag when you output to an external display.

Overall, the Surface Go is a tablet slash laptop that us parents would definitely wish exist when we were students. In other words, if it’s good enough for parents, then your kids would find no problem using it.

Display: 10-inches PixelSense Touchscreen; 1800 x 1200 resolution
Processor: 1.66 GHz Dual-core Intel Pentium Gold
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615
RAM: 8 GB DDR3
Storage: 128 GB SSD
Battery Life:
Weight: 1.15 pounds

Pros:

  • Has facial recognition software
  • Excellent typing experience despite the small keyboard
  • Very Portable
  • Bright and color accurate display

Cons:

  • No USB 3.0 port
  • Expensive

Laptop for Kids Buying Guide

Things to consider when buying your kid’s laptop:

1. Ease of Use

Since kids are primarily the ones who are going to use the laptop, you want something that they can use easily. Choose a laptop that has a simple user experience. Convertible laptops that turn to tablets are an excellent choice since they use touch commands to navigate.

2. Durability

Kid’s often don’t handle electronic devices quite as well as an adult does. The chances of the laptop being damage increases if your kid needs to carry it with him or her to school during school days. Hence, pick a laptop that can withstand drops, hits and other types of abuses.

3. Compatibility to do Schoolwork

Some laptops have very high specs that they can be used to play addictive games. As such, you want a laptop that can do all the schoolwork despite having some features that premium laptops have. Among the best choices out there are Chromebooks which also has parental controls so your child won’t be able to access some dangerous websites.

4. Performance

Just because you have a limited budget, does not mean you will have to settle with low performing laptops.  Choose one that has a good CPU, RAM and plenty of storage. Make sure that the laptop runs smoothly and doesn’t stutter so you can ensure that your child won’t be interrupted doing his or her schoolwork by technical issues.

5. Value for Money

Lastly, you want a laptop that offers something extra. Because of their low cost, laptop manufacturers tend to compromise on the quality of some of the device’s components. Pick a laptop that has the fewest disadvantages especially in terms of display and audio quality.

With our today’s modern world becoming more centered on computers and the Internet, owning a laptop makes a lot of sense. This statement is applicable not only to adults, but to kids as well. It’s never too early, nor too late in this portable devices that can give your children an edge in school and maybe even in life.