Laptops are a necessity these days, even for kids. Whether it’s for online classes, doing homework, or having fun, laptops are useful learning tools. The best laptops for kids have comfortable keyboards, lots of storage, and plenty of RAM. You’ll also want to find something durable but inexpensive. In this article, we go over the best laptops for kids of all ages.
We’ve curated a list of different laptops at affordable prices perfect for kids of all ages. We considered various specs like the storage, graphics card, battery life, and RAM. To save you money, we’ve limited the list to the best laptops for kids under $1,000 and the majority of the laptops listed below are under $500.
How to Choose the Best Kids Laptop
There are multiple factors that you need to keep in mind before buying your child a laptop for school including its processor, memory, storage, size, and weight. Depending on what grade the child is in, you may want to get one with a spill-resistant keyboard or one that supports video gaming. You can use your kid’s interests to help determine what kind of laptop to get them.
For instance, if your child wants to learn software engineering or drawing, you should consider whether or not a laptop can help them develop those skills. A laptop for school needs to support researching for online assignments, writing notes, watching educational videos, and letting them play their favorite games. Here’s a list of common specifications you should consider before buying any laptop.
There are tons of options for durable laptops under $1,000 for middle school or elementary students. Buying a new budget laptop with the latest processor and operating system will help you keep the laptop for a longer time. Plus, cheap laptops tend to be quite lightweight.
Size and Weight
When deciding which laptop to buy for a kid, consider its screen size and weight. Laptops with an 11 to 13-inch screen are easy to carry. Kids under the age of 12 should go for a laptop under 12 inches. Laptops with a 15.6-inch screen, which allows multiple open tabs side by side, are great for pre-teens and teens who are going to be working on more complex projects.
Good Battery Life
Kids who have online classes will probably need to use their laptops throughout the entire day, meaning they’ll need a laptop with excellent battery life. A laptop with at least 10 hours of battery life would be best, even better if the laptop supports fast charging so that kids don’t have to charge it for very long.
Many assignments kids receive from their teachers involve creativity, which can require the use of heavy software such as Adobe’s Creative Cloud programs. We recommend investing in a laptop with at least 512GB of storage, whether on an HDD or SSD, so that your kid has ample room to save their projects.
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A large storage capacity will allow the laptop to store plenty of audio and visual media and let kids finish their assignments seamlessly. That said, you can also opt for laptops that come with cloud storage which can save you a significant amount of money.
How to Find Cheap Laptops for Kids
- Purchase Refurbished or Used Laptops. Refurbished or used laptops make a great alternative to brand new laptops. Since these have been used and can contain some wear and tear, their price is much lower than that of a new laptop. Major retailers will make sure that the used laptops they sell are in perfect working condition.
- Look for Student Discounts. Many brands offer special discounts for students throughout the year. You can easily take advantage of these discounts by providing basic details like your kid’s school email and grade level.
- Buy During Holiday Sale: Most brands offer huge discounts, sometimes as high as 50 percent, during the holidays. If you want to buy a more expensive laptop, try buying it around Black Friday, Boxing Day, or during back-to-school sales.
- Buy an older version: When a brand releases the latest laptop model, they usually reduce the price of existing models. Older models are cheaper and can be great for kids, who don’t need the most recent features. If you do buy an older model, try not to buy a model released more than four years ago as it’ll be more difficult to get it repaired if it breaks.
The Best Laptops for Kids in 2022
|Pavilion 15||HP||$1,000||Fast Charge, Touch Display, Fast Processor|
|MacBook Air||Apple||$899||Fast charging, High Storage Retina Display, Easy to Carry|
|Pixelbook Go||$649||Touchscreen, Dual Camera, Up to 12 hours of battery life|
|Modern 14||MSI||$424||Lightweight, High CPU Performance, Great Graphic Designer|
|Surface Go 3||Microsoft||$399||Detachable 2 in 1, High RAM, Fast Processor|
|Chromebook 314||Acer||$322||Durable, Inexpensive, Good Battery Life|
|Chromebook 11 (3100)||Dell||$249||Great Graphic Card, Tamper-resistant Keyboard, Durable|
|IdeaPad 3 (14”)||Lenovo||$245||Good Battery Life, 14 Inch Display, Budget Friendly|
|IdeaPad Duet Chromebook||Lenovo||$250||Easy to carry, Portable, Long Battery Life, Touch Screen|
Top Rated Laptops for Kids: In Detail
HP Pavilion 15
- Best for: Heavy applications, gaming, video editing
- Price: $1,000
The HP Pavilion 15 is an excellent laptop for kids who like to work on the go. They can browse the web, edit photos, or watch movies. It also doesn’t get hot when used continuously. However, it doesn’t have great battery life compared to laptops in the same price range. This laptop is the best for applications and games that require a higher graphics processor.
Apple MacBook Air
- Best for: Design, long term use
- Price: $899
MacBook Air is Apple’s most affordable laptop. It is powered by an 8-core Apple M1 chip, which provides high-performance benchmarks. It has a long-lasting battery that lasts up to 14 hours. It also has a backlit keyboard and a Touch ID sensor and can easily run heavy software like those from the Adobe suite. Its 13.3-inch display is great for watching educational videos or documentaries.
Google Pixelbook Go
- Best for: Video calls and online classes
- Price: $649
Google Pixelbook Go has a great portable design, a solid display, and a very quiet keyboard as well as an impeccable 1080p webcam, making it great for kids taking online classes. It weighs less than two pounds and has a thickness of 12mm, making it ultra-lightweight. It runs on the Chrome OS and supports all of Google’s cloud-based software. The only downside is that it is pricier than other Chromebooks.
MSI Modern 14
- Best for: Designing and light gaming
- Price: $424
The MSI Modern runs on an Intel Core i3 processor and has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. With a 14-inch display, it has a nice and compact screen. The keyboard also features backlighting, making it best suited for kids who study at night. The only downside is that it doesn’t have that great a port selection.
HP Chromebook x360 12b
- Best for: Streaming and web browsing
- Price: $399
HP Chromebook x360 12b is a convertible laptop with a 12-inch touch screen and a flexible screen hinge, making it easy for kids to easily fit it into their backpack. They can even turn the x360 into a tablet when they need to stream entertainment. It consists of multiple ports, including USB-A, two USA-C ports, a micro SD slot. It also has a headphone jack.
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Best Laptops for Kids Under $1,000
Microsoft Surface Go 3
- Best for: Light work, travel
- Price: $399
With a 10.5-inch screen, the Surface Go 3 is Microsoft’s cheapest laptop designed for on-the-go tasks. It weighs only 1.2 pounds and is super easy to carry to school. It has an Intel Core i3-10100Y processor, which results in a solid overall performance. Further, its hardware consists of 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. Although it’s a fairly decent laptop for kids, they might struggle when multi-tasking.
Acer Chromebook 314
- Best for: Simple online tasks
- Price: $322
Acer Chromebook 314 runs on a fast CPU perfect for productivity on the go. It also has a long-lasting battery life of up to 13 hours. This means kids can easily use this laptop without charging to attend lectures throughout the day. It has multiple ports including a USB C-type. The Chromebook 314 lets kids do all their online tasks, like researching, watching videos, and attending class.
Dell Chromebook 11 (3100)
- Best for: Light homework, streaming videos
- Price: $249
The Dell Chromebook 11 (3100) is a compact laptop designed for education. It has a sleek design with many physical protection features such as rubber bumpers to minimize damage if the laptop falls. It only weighs 2.85 pounds, however, it has a substandard keyboard and doesn’t have a MicroSD card reader.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14”
- Best for: Writing, making slide presentations
- Price: $245
Lenovo’s IdeaPad 3 is a decent laptop with a basic processor. It is powered by MediaTek Processor and can seamlessly run for 10 hours without interruption. It runs on the Chrome OS and has built-in virus protection.
It’s a great everyday laptop for browsing the Internet, making powerpoints, and watching videos. The IdeaPad is an entry-level laptop with 64GB of storage. Kids won’t be able to run heavy software or games smoothly and this laptop isn’t suited for video editing or designing.
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook
- Best for: Writing and drawing
- Price: $239
IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is among Lenovo’s popular laptops for kids. It is also one of the cheapest laptops with high durability. The Duet is a convertible laptop that kids can use as a laptop and a tablet. It has a detachable keyboard and a touchpad. The Duet also supports USI active pens for taking notes. You can find two versions of the laptop, with the 64GB version starting at $239.
Should I Use a Laptop for Kids?
Yes, laptops can open the door to many learning opportunities for kids. They can sign up for a language learning course or fun machine learning courses. Most kids can use laptops for various purposes. However, parents should always supervise them until they learn how to browse the Internet safely.
Kids who are 12 or older can also benefit from laptops. A laptop can help them keep track of their assignments and follow the school calendar. Moreover, access to educational websites can improve their classroom performance.
Best Laptops for Kids FAQ
Chromebook are a good laptop for a 10-year-old. With the majority of kids having access to the Internet at home, a personal device can be helpful for families who don’t want to share a computer.
Asus, Lenovo, Apple, Google, and HP are some popular brands you can consider while buying laptops for a kid. Each brand has different specialties, so choosing a brand should depend on the purpose of the laptop. HP is the most common laptop brand, according to Statista.
Laptops and Chromebooks have different operating systems. The Chromebook runs on Chrome OS, which supports Google apps and websites. Laptops have Windows OS or macOS, depending on the brand. Laptops are generally more powerful than Chromebooks.
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Kids over 12 have more digital assignments such as making PowerPoint presentations or learning the basics of programming languages. This is probably the right age to buy kids their first laptop. If kids under the age of 12 need a laptop, make sure you get one with parental control features to support safe browsing.
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