Best laptops for kids 2021

laptop
RyDesk
The best laptop for kids has to check a couple boxes. While you might be tempted to find the cheapest laptop on the market, you may end up regretting that purchase, especially if it can’t keep up with their needs, whether that’s online classes or some post-homework gaming. But, you can still get a decent portable with a limited budget. There are some excellent options under $500.It just needs to have enough power to handle whatever software your kids use for homework and school projects. And, it needs to come with the kind of battery life that will let them use it throughout the school day on a single charge. Additionally, it should be able to handle a couple of bumps and falls without issue.While there are a lot of options to choose from, we’ve gathered our top picks for the best portable for kids here, to help you find one to fit your child’s needs. You’ll find excellent 2-in-1 hybrids, solid Chromebooks, and some reasonably priced tablets as well. We’ve also included our price comparison tool so you can save some money when shopping.

While manufacturers stopped slashing prices on the best laptops for kids after students went back to school, the deals are starting back up again. That’s because Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not that far away, so there are plenty of Black Friday laptop deals popping up, including on the notebooks we’ve highlighted here.

 

Google Pixelbook Go against a white background

1. Google Pixelbook Go

The best mainstream Chromebook

CPU: Intel Core m3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD – 13.3-inch 4K Ultra HD Molecular Display | Storage: 64GB – 256GB

Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard
Rare 1080p webcam
No biometric login

The best laptop for kids must be secure, simple to use, and can outlast them past naptime. Google Pixelbook Go ticks off all those requirements and then some, with its astounding battery life and Chrome OS environment.

Google rounds those out with an incredible keyboard and a 1080p webcam. This is the Google Pixelbook of your dreams, minus that steep price tag. And, while the kids might enjoy watching their favorite cartoons and playing casual games on that sharp display, you’ll also love using this for that occasional work email you have to squeeze in between spending time with them.

 

The Microsoft Surface Go 2 against a white background

2. Microsoft Surface Go 2

Premium design, more affordable price

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core m3 – Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Storage: 64GB eMMC – 128GB SSD

Premium design
Affordable
Can run full Windows 10
No Touch Cover or stylus included
Base model’s specs are weak

The Surface Go line proves popular with the more budget-conscious crowd, and its follow-up, Surface Go 2, continues that tradition with its reasonable price and premium design. It also runs the full Windows 10 operating system, so it’s even more capable than other tablets out there as far as what applications you can use on it.

Finally, it offers a slight bump in performance over its predecessor, giving users a sensible reason to upgrade if they’ve got the money. All those features combined with its portability make the Microsoft Surface Go 2 one of the best laptops for kids for school and gaming.

 

The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook against a white background

3. Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

Everything that netbooks should have been

CPU: MediaTek Helio P60T Processor | Graphics: ARM G72 MP3 800GHz | RAM: 4GB LPDDR4X | Screen: 10.1″ FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS, glossy, touchscreen, 400 nits | Storage: 64GB eMMC

Lightweight and portable
Long battery life
Very affordable
Tiny keyboard and finicky trackpad
Charger and headphones share a single port

What is the best laptop to buy for a child? Something cheap yet versatile perhaps. True to its name, this Lenovo Chromebook delivers two form factors in one, while utilizing the versatility of the Chrome OS and setting you back much less than many of the top Windows tablets out there.

Of course, true to its Chromebook nature, its battery packs an incredibly long life of almost 22 hours – you could pull an all-nighter, use it through the day and mid-afternoon, and you’ll still pass out before it runs out of juice.

For this price, sacrifices have to be made, naturally – the keyboard is tiny, the trackpad isn’t as reliable, and the charger and headphones share one port. However, if budget is your top priority, this is definitely among the best laptops for kids, especially for online classes.

 

The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 against a white background

4. Acer Chromebook Spin 311

Study hard, play hard

CPU: Intel Celeron N4000 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 11.6″ HD (1366 x 768) 16:9 IPS touchscreen | Storage: 64GB Flash Memory

More capable AMD APU
Fabulous flip design
Dim screen
Average battery

The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 opts for an AMD APU, which utilizes the well-known Radeon graphics technology for better 3D capabilities – if you have time out of your studies to game!

The dual-core AMD processor does offer Celeron beating abilities, by a little at least and so Chrome is going to remain more responsive.

More importantly, the Acer Spin 311 feels well made. It’s highly portable and, though the screen disappoints a little by being a touch dull, perfectly usable. At just over eight hours the battery isn’t that strong for a Chromebook, but balancing that against the great price is a strong choice.

 

The HP Chromebook 14 against a white background

5. HP Chromebook 14

Striking optimal balance between value and design

CPU: Intel Celeron N2840 – N2940 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 14-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) BrightView | Storage: 16GB – 32GB eMMC

Excellent keyboard, trackpad
Crisp, vivid screen
Slower than some rivals
Average battery life

The HP Chromebook 14 balances a bargain price and efficient use of Chrome OS. Complemented by a bright blue finish and a screen made to astound, the HP Chromebook 14 offers the best value of any Chromebook out there. Even if the battery life and performance are average, it’s easily one of the best Chromebooks for kids to date.

You’ll be particularly impressed with how slim and light this Chromebook is. And, unlike some other Chromebooks, the HP Chromebook 14 comes with plenty of ports, including HDMI-out, USB 3.0, and a microSD card slot, making this a brilliantly versatile Chromebook for the price.

 

The MacBook Air against a white background

The MacBook Air is still among the best laptop for kids who love the macOS environment. (Image credit: Apple)

6. MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

The best Apple laptop

CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU | Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory | Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina display | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

macOS Big Sur is fast and responsive
Battery life is great
Silent in use
The fanless design could impact performance

Apple topped last year off with a bang, rolling out their much-talked-about M1 silicon chip that’s so far been a real game-changer. And, the first laptop to receive it is the company’s thinnest and lightest, putting it on the list of the most exciting Apple laptops of recent years.

With this new chip, the MacBook Air is better than ever, touting excellent performance alongside its brilliant battery life – without raising the price to keep it (fairly) affordable still. This is the best MacBook for pretty much everyone, but especially kids and students.

 

The HP Pavilion 15 against a white background

7. HP Pavilion 15

The quintessential learning laptop lives on

CPU: up to 11th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: up to Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6″ diagonal, HD (1366 x 768), micro-edge BrightView 250 nits – 15.6″ diagonal, FHD (1920 x 1080) touch IPS micro-edge BrightView 250 nits | Storage: up to 1 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD

A few affordable configurations
Plenty capable
Design is nothing special

The HP Pavilion 15 might not stand out from the crowd in terms of features and design, especially next to the likes of the Spectre x360 line. However, it’s among the best laptops for kids, touting impressive specs you’d expect from mid-range laptops as well as features like speakers from B&O, HP Fast Charge, and the option of a touchscreen display.

It also keeps things affordable, at least in the low to mid-range configurations, making it even more appealing to parents.

The Dell G5 15 SE (2020) against a white background

8. Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

A fantastic value gaming laptop

CPU: : : : AMD Ryzen 5 4600H – 7 4800H | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5600M | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED Backlight Non-Touch Narrow Border WVA Display – 15.6 inch FHD(1920×1080) 300nits WVA Anti-Glare LED Backlit Display(non-touch), 144Hz refresh rate | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Excellent CPU performance
Very affordable for a gaming laptop
Quick and vibrant display
Gets pretty hot under strain
Plastic build feels flimsy

Though Dell has its premium lines, it’s also been very good at building excellent budget machines. The Dell G5 15 SE (2020) is a very good example of that, touting impressive AMD specs, especially in the CPU department, to keep costs down without compromising performance.

Here’s the best laptop for kids gaming, with its staggering performance for the price and a stunning display to boot. Of course, being a budget laptop, it’s great for young users who want a portable they can use for both studying and gaming.