Top laptops for kids in elementary school 2021
When choosing the best laptop for kids, it’s easy to pick out the cheapest laptop and hope it will get the job done. There’s more to choosing beyond looking at the price, however. The best laptops may be worth taking a look at, but you also want a machine powerful enough for school assignments and projects. You’d also want something that’s robust enough to withstand a fall or two and boast a long battery life so they can last a whole day on a single charge.
Included in this list is a variety of options as well, from 2-in-1 laptops and some of the best Chromebooks to a couple of affordable tablets.
Best laptops for kids 2021
1. Google Pixelbook Go The best mainstream Chromebook
REASONS TO BUY +Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard
+Rare 1080p webcam
REASONS TO AVOID -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.
2. Microsoft Surface Go 2 Premium design, more affordable price
REASONS TO BUY +Premium design
+Can run full Windows 10
REASONS TO AVOID -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.
3. Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook Everything that netbooks should have been
REASONS TO BUY +Lightweight and portable
+Long battery life
REASONS TO AVOID -Tiny keyboard and finicky trackpad
-Charger and headphones share a single port
Is it a Chromebook or is it a tablet? Well, luckily, you won’t have to decide. 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 in 2021.
4. Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Study hard, play hard
REASONS TO BUY +More capable AMD APU
+Fabulous flip design
REASONS TO AVOID -Dim screen
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.
5. HP Chromebook 14 Striking optimal balance between value and design
REASONS TO BUY +Excellent keyboard, trackpad
+Crisp, vivid screen
REASONS TO AVOID -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.
6. MacBook Air (M1, 2020) The best Apple laptop
REASONS TO BUY +macOS Big Sur is fast and responsive
+Battery life is great
+Silent in use
REASONS TO AVOID -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.
7. HP Pavilion 15 The quintessential learning laptop lives on
REASONS TO BUY +A few affordable configurations
REASONS TO AVOID -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.
8. Dell G5 15 SE (2020) A fantastic value gaming laptop
REASONS TO BUY +Excellent CPU performance
+Very affordable for a gaming laptop
+Quick and vibrant display
REASONS TO AVOID -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 an affordable gaming laptop that delivers staggering performance for the price, with 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.
With the best laptops for kids, they can sometimes be subjected to a bit more accidental damage, so it's always a good idea to get them insured.