The best laptops for kids, tested and selected by experts

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Acer

We live in a world in which some sort of computing device is necessary for nearly everyone, including kids. It can be particularly difficult to nail down the best laptops for kids, as the best laptops in general can seem like overkill but you still want to ensure you’re getting a laptop that helps your kids learn, share, play, and grow. This is why we’ve rounded up some of the best laptops for kids. Reading onward you’ll find selections that include laptops for kids that prefer a touchscreen and for kids that prefer a MacBook, as well as our favorite laptop for kids if you’re shopping on a budget.

The best laptops for kids

  • Best laptop for kids overall —

  • Best Chromebook for kids —

  • Best 2-in-1 laptop for kids —

  • Best Apple laptop for kids —

  • Best budget laptop for kids —

How to choose a laptop for kids

Nailing down the right laptop for kids might be a little easier than you think. Kids don’t necessarily have varying needs when it comes to a laptop, whereas adults often have specific hardware components necessary for specific use cases. Kids, however, mostly need something they can interact with that also holds up well during a drop or toss here and there. Things like durability and form factor are the most important things to think about when shopping for the best laptop for kids.

Durability

It’s no secret kids can have a tendency to play a little rough with tech. It’s a little more difficult to find rugged cases for a laptop like you can find for phones and tablets, so you’ll want to be sure to get a laptop with some decent build quality.

Price point

Price point may not be the most important thing to every shopper, but it should be a consideration when shopping for a laptop for kids. Remember kids do have a tendency to break things, and while you can find a laptop with good build quality and stick it in a protective case, there will always be some likelihood you’ll have to replace it.

Additionally, tech can outgrow itself as quickly as kids outgrow their clothes, with new generations of processors and other hardware always around the corner. So if you don’t plan on splurging on a well-spec’d laptop that has some future-proofing to it, it’s okay to dial down the budget and get something more affordable you plan to replace in a few years.

Form factor

Kids will be using a laptop for all sorts of things, from gaming to education to playing on social media. Something to consider here is what size laptop will be best. The touchscreen of a 2-in-1 tablet may be best for when your kids want to do something creative, while a smaller Chromebook may be good if they’re needing to lug it around school all day long.

How we chose these laptops for kids

After years of writing about, talking about, and researching tech, we’ve learned our way around the laptop aisle. We’ve taken that expertise and applied it to the things we think are most important when considering the best laptop for kids. There are virtually unlimited laptop options when it comes to performance, size, brands, and budget. But in this case the point of a laptop is to facilitate the digital day of a child. We’ve narrowed down the options with that in mind, and with a general effort to make things easy on parents’ wallets.

Acer Aspire 3

Best laptop for kids overall

The Acer Aspire 3's Steam Blue edition.
Acer
Pros Cons
Great value Large body
Windows 11 pre-installed
Full HD display
Slim and light

The Acer Aspire 3 is the best laptop for kids simply because it offers great across the board value. It comes in at a price point that competes with many of the best budget laptops yet still has some decent baseline specs. These include 8GB of RAM that will support all of your kids’ favorite apps, and 128GB of solid state storage that will store them. It comes with Windows 11 pre-installed, as well as a 15.6-inch Full HD display. This is a laptop that’s good for doing homework, watching movies, and even playing some games. It does have a wide body to house the display, but it’s also slim and lightweight, so it should remain easy to carry around in a backpack.

OS Windows 11
RAM 8GB, 16GB
Internal storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB solid state

Dell Chromebook 11

Best Chromebook for kids

A father and son use a Dell Chromebook 11.
Dell
Pros cons
Tough and durable Low resolution display
Super affordable
Long battery life

If you’re looking for simplicity, a Chromebook may just be the best laptop for your kids. A Chromebook intentionally brings some limitations to the table so you won’t have to pay for hardware and software you don’t necessarily need. This can come in handy when shopping for the best laptop for kids.

The Dell Chromebook 11 isn’t just the best Chromebook for kids, it’s also a Chromebook made with kids specifically in mind. It’s tough, durable, and incredibly affordable. It has minimal specs, but enough to power your kids through games, movies, and homework. And where it saves on specs it benefits in battery life, reaching up to 14 hours on a single charge. This alone makes the Dell Chromebook 11 a good companion when traveling or on boring summer days.

OS Chrome OS
Display 11.6-inch HD 720p
Battery life Up to 14 hours

Lenovo Yoga 6

Best 2-in-1 laptop for kids

A Lenovo Yoga 6 resting on a table in tablet mode.
Lenovo
Pros Cons
2-in-1 functionality Average battery life
Touchscreen display No stylus included
Ultimate portability

If you have a kid in the house who likes to get creative on the computer, a 2-in-1 laptop may be the best option for them. A 2-in-1 laptop offers the touchscreen functionality of a tablet, yet it can still take the form of a laptop for more traditional use. Lenovo is almost always considered one of the best laptop brands, and its Yoga lineup is one of the reasons why. The Lenovo Yoga 6 is our choice for the best 2-in-1laptop for kids because it comes in at a good size in 13-inches, offers all the performance capability a kid could need, and still manages a decent price point. You’ll get Windows 11 pre-installed with this 2-in-1 laptop, and a thin, light frame that makes the Yoga 6 super portable and easy to take anywhere.

OS Windows 11 Home 64
Display 13.3-inch Full HD 1080p touchscreen

Apple MacBook Air M1

Best Apple laptop for kids

Apple MacBook Air M1 open, on a table.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends
Pros Cons
Access to Apple software Aging design
Super powerful
Impressive battery life

There are newer MacBooks out there, including the Apple MacBook Air M2, but it may be difficult to send a kid out into the world with a laptop at its price point. But if your kid enjoys the Apple brand or makes good use of Apple’s fun and intuitive software, the Apple MacBook Air M1 is the laptop for them. It’s been around for a few years now, which works both against and for it. Its age brings its price down quite a bit, but it also has an aging design. The internals of the MacBook Air M1 will be plenty for any kid, however. It’s powered by Apple’s M1 processor, which still holds up well with today’s software. It also has a fanless design, and with fewer moving parts it can withstand some of the bumps that will come from a kid carrying it around.

OS Mac OS
Display 13.3-inch Retina
Battery life Up to 18 hours

HP 14-inch Chromebook

Best budget laptop for kids

14-inch HP Chromebook sitting on a table.
HP
Pros Cons
14-inch display Limited performance
HD webcam Limited storage
Super affordable

The most affordable laptop in our selections for the best laptops for kids is the HP 14-inch Chromebook. Like all of the best Chromebooks, it holds back a little when it comes to hardware and software so you don’t have to pay for anything you aren’t going to use. This can be especially beneficial if you’re looking to land a laptop for a younger child.

The base processor and RAM selections aren’t much to brag about, but they’ll get things done for most kids. Where the HP 14-inch Chromebook sets itself apart from other budget options is its display. It comes in at 14 inches, which is on the larger end for a Chromebook. It also has an HD webcam kids can use to chat with their friends. Storage is in short supply with this laptop, coming in at just 32GB. The operating system is going to eat up a little bit of that, so be sure your kid won’t need to load the HP 14-inch Chromebook up with apps if you decide to go the budget route.

OS Chrome OS
Display 14-inch HD 720p
Internal storage 32GB eMMC

This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.

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