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

Best laptops for kids

These days, it’s almost necessary for kids to have access to computing devices. Usually, rugged and cheap tablets are enough, but there will come a time when that won’t cut it. Whether it’s for school or even play, you’re going to have to get one of the best laptops for kids.

Your kid is going to need one of the best laptops, usually one of the best Chromebooks, with a large screen that’s sturdy enough to write up book reports and research homework easily. Luckily, TechRadar has your back – we’ve done the heavy lifting to find the best laptops for kids.

With this list, we’ll guide you through the best laptops for kids – from low prices to ruggedized frames and even parental controls. We may not have tested or reviewed every product on this list, but we’re experts when it comes to laptops, and the best laptops for kids are no exception.

Dell Chromebook 11 3180

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

Ruggedized frame
Great price
Low-res screen
Weak graphics

The latest entry-level Chrome OS laptop from Dell is, by our measure, the current best option for a kid’s first laptop. This Chromebook’s 11-inch frame may be tiny, but so is your little one. What’s more important are its classroom tools, like an activity light that allows kids to digitally raise their hands, plus it’s got a ‘kid-proofed’ sealed, spill-resistant keyboard and rubberized sides.The amazing price is noteworthy, 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 

Lenovo IdeaPad 120S

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

If you’re more used to Windows 10 or your child prefers it, we find the Lenovo 120S to be among the most impressive at this rock-bottom price range. The laptop is mildly ruggedized to survive slips and spills, and even features a USB-C port for a bit of future-proofing. Finally, trust that this device will be free of bloatware that could otherwise distract your kid. That’s enough in our book to recommend this laptop to nearly every parent – especially for Windows 10 families.

Read the full review of a predecessor: Lenovo IdeaPad 100S 

Acer Chromebook 15

3. 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 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 

  • 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 Dell Chromebook 11 3180 
Dell Chromebook 11
$269

Asus Transformer Mini T102HA

4. Asus Transformer Mini T102HA

For the tablet-starved tike or teenager

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 basically demands a tablet, but you would like to see him or her master the traditional computer as well, this Windows 10 tablet set is the most impressive we’ve seen yet, especially for 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. Topping it off is a whopping 11 hours of promised battery life. If your kids are just too used to tablets to leap for a traditional laptop, then this here is the best option given 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

5. 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

There will come a time when your little one isn’t so little anymore, and therefore needs a laptop to match. However, we know parents aren’t made of money. Keeping that in mind, the MacBook Air is a great choice for secondary, or post-secondary, school kids thanks to its fantastic battery life, smooth operating system and lightweight portability. Plus, MacBooks are famous for outlasting most Windows laptops – and this one in particular is usually discounted heavily. 

Read the full review: MacBook Air