The 8 Best Laptops for Kids in 2020

Updated: May 26, 2020
Laptops have become a portal to the outside world for most children, and a tool that they depend on to fulfill many of their basic needs. Our team has reviewed the top laptops for kids to help you make the most-informed decision when purchasing.
The 8 best laptops for kids in 2020

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There has most likely never been a time in our lives when we have been more thankful for the power of technology as we make our way through this time of global pandemic. Laptops are being utilized by kids all over the world on a daily basis in various ways. Kids are using laptops for many reasons including schoolwork, Zoom meetings for academic classes as well as extracurricular activities, communication with friends and family, and gaming to name just a few.

More: The Best Tablets for Kids

Laptops have become a portal to the outside world for most children, and a tool that they depend on to fulfill many of their basic needs. This is an essential time for parents to understand the best laptops for kids and how children can utilize them.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Laptop for Kids

When purchasing a laptop for kids, parents should consider the following:

1.   The Kids' Age and Grade Level

Even younger kids are using laptops on a regular basis during this time, but the technological needs of younger kids versus college students are very different. For instance, small children primarily need ease of access, spill-resistant keyboards, and the ability to put the laptop into tablet mode. Teens and older students will be more concerned with having gaming laptops, bluetooth, and plenty of storage space.

2.  Purpose

Consider exactly how your children will be using the laptop. Is it primarily for online communication and internet access? Will the laptop be used heavily for gaming or coding? Do you want the laptop to be paired with other devices in the home? For instance, if you already have several Apple products in your home, you may want the devices to be connected. These are essential questions to ask yourself before determining the best laptop for kids in your household.

3.  Budget

There are many laptops for kids that are reasonably priced these days, but the more special features that are needed, the more it will cost. A laptop is an investment that will typically last around three years, but that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank - especially if you are purchasing multiple laptops to accommodate the needs of more than one child.

How We Chose Our Favorites

We have chosen our favorite laptops for kids in 2020 using various trusted resources. We’ve based these choices in the personal experience of real parents and kids, the voices of experts, and through scouring many reviews on our favorite websites. We’ve linked to some of the most helpful reviews of each kids’ laptop below.

1.  Acer Chromebook Spin 11 CP311-1H-C5PN Convertible Laptop

Who This is a Good Option For: The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is a good option for parents with elementary students who are primarily using a laptop for remote learning and communication.

This is a rugged laptop that can withstand the rough handling of younger kids. It’s got two cameras so your little one can easily utilize a webcam for Zooms and video chats. A stylus is included so your child can handwrite on the screen to draw, show their work for math problems, or to simply get creative with art and design. It has a snappy keyboard so your child can bend and display as needed. The Google Chrome operating system and selection of Google apps will feel familiar to most elementary students.

Reviews to consider:

PC Magazine: “The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is an 11.6-inch convertible that offers keyboard, touch, and stylus input, runs Chrome OS and Android apps, and shrugs off knocks, drops, and water spills. It's the best chromebook we've seen for kids.”

Amazon Reviewer: “Call me impressed, for education this 2 in 1 will be hard to beat!... If you have GSuite for Education and the Google Classroom app, wow...hand grade your Google Sheets, Slides and Doc assignments with handwriting notes inside of Google Classroom!!! Build on this unit is super solid, key press is great, touch screen is responsive, and track pad is great!. Double cameras make this a great choice for the science or math classroom. I can't wait to try the Gmath add on for students so they can handwrite math and science questions...the only con...no storage built in for the stylus…”

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2.  Microsoft Surface Go

Who This is a Good Option For: The Microsoft Surface Go is a good option for parents who have kids who are always on the go.

Microsoft’s Surface line is perfect for people who love tablets, and that probably includes most kids. This is the least expensive option in the line which is helpful to budget-conscious parents. Since this laptop is small and lightweight, it’s an easy laptop for your child to carry around with them. Even if it’s just to go from the kitchen where they were doing schoolwork to a hammock in the yard to watch Netflix, this device can easily be handled by small and busy hands.

Reviews to consider:

PC Magazine: “The well-built Surface Go is the least expensive route into Microsoft's superb Surface tablet line, and the most portable option. Just know that frequent travelers will like it best, and the core processing power is on the light side.”

Amazon Reviewer: “If you need a PC to do light work and can live with a 10 inch display, you'll love it. Or maybe you want a tablet that can be more than just that. I like the whole philosophy behind it, a device that you can take anywhere and use it in all your activities. After using it at work I can take the keyboard off and watch a movie or browse the web while listening some music or use a pen to do some digital painting as a hobby, It's just so versatile. I think this is the closest thing to what Microsoft wanted to achieve with the Surface line. Even closer than the already great Surface Pro.”

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3.  2020 ASUS VivoBook Flip 14" Thin and Light 2-in-1 FHD Touchscreen Laptop

Who This is a Good Option For: The ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 is a good option for parents who have kids using the laptop for constant entertainment.

This laptop has excellent speakers for kids who are using it for music, movies, and gaming. The 360° flip-and-fold convertible design is perfect for watching movies, reading e-books, and giving presentations. There’s enough storage to hold multimedia files, and the battery life is incredible for the student who will be using this for schoolwork followed by hours of entertainment. The screen is crisp and clear for those kids looking at the screen for many hours and the VGA Web Camera and Array Microphone are great for chatting with friends.

Reviews to consider:

Best Consumer Reports: “The ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 2-in-1 laptop takes multitasking and entertainment to the next level – it is beyond flexible. It can transform ordinary schoolwork into an enjoyable task. As a parent, this should be on the top of your “must-have” list. Your kid will enjoy transforming their stylish VivoBook laptop into a handy tablet. With Windows 10 in S Mode, you are assured that your child’s unit will be safe from any suspicious malware or apps on the internet. The operating system makes it compatible to run the Microsoft app-based operating system, which comprises most of the applications used at school. Plus the fingerprint scanner on the upper right corner of the touchpad adds another layer of security.”

PC Magazine: “...Flip 14 can run all day and deliver enough oomph to power Windows 10 smoothly—and fanlessly.”

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4.  Apple MacBook Air

Who This is a Good Option For: The Macbook Air is a good option for parents who want to make a long-lasting investment.

This is the least-expensive Apple laptop out there if you want a fully Apple family. It also has excellent battery life and can outlive most Windows laptops if you’re looking for a laptop that has the best chance of getting your child through all of high school and even part of college. Macbooks are known for providing immersive experiences so this is a wonderful option for your artist or musician.

Reviews to consider:

Amazon Reviewer: “In my opinion, the 2020 MacBook Air is a perfect laptop. It has physical keys that are a pleasure to type on, a beautiful screen, an optimal size, good pricing, and a quad-core processor. The only "touch" button is the fingerprint sensor and the touch pad. The onboard graphics are as good as discrete graphics from a few years ago according to benchmarks, which is impressive. The speakers work well. Being an educator, I purchased it on the Apple Education Store for $1200, and it couldn't have come at a better time, given the transition to Zoom in the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you, Apple, for rediscovering yourself. I had been holding onto my 2012 MacBook Pro because I was unimpressed with the offerings the past few years.”

PC Magazine: “The prayers of these macOS-loyal students and freelancers who held onto ancient MacBook Airs in the hopes of riding out the keyboard fiasco have been answered. The same Magic Keyboard that made its debut on the 16-inch MacBook Pro is now on the MacBook Air, whose starting price is less than half that of the MacBook Pro's and an even lower $899 for students and educators.”

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5.  Lenovo Yoga Chromebook 15.6" Touchscreen Laptop

Who This is a Good Option For: The Lenovo Yoga Chromebook is a good option for parents who want their child to have the absolute easiest experience possible.

If you have an impatient child that needs things to work as quickly as possible, the laptop contains the operating system and app launcher that you need. Everything about this laptop is made to be easy and quick. The battery life can last up to ten hours, and G-suite is already installed so everything your child needs is already there. The Lenovo Yoga Chromebook also has incredible digital security so you can have peace of mind knowing your child is as safe as possible.

Reviews to consider:

Best Consumer Reports: “Chromebooks have become extremely popular because they boot faster than other operating systems, and apps launch wickedly fast. It is very easy to use, which your kid will surely appreciate. The unit also features the most advanced digital security which ensures that no paper will be lost to viruses or malware.”

CNET:  “Excellent 4K display that’s a joy to use in laptop and tablet mode. Durable all-aluminum chassis. Very solid performance and battery life.”
 
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6.  Samsung 11.6" Chromebook 3 Intel Atom x5 E8000

Who This is a Good Option For: The Samsung Chromebook 3 is a good option for parents who don’t need anything beyond a solid and reliable laptop option for younger kids.

This laptop has everything your little one needs. It has solid security and no setup or long load times. All your child needs to do is sign in with Google. With free automatic updates and a water-resistant keyboard, this laptop seems almost made for little kids to do remote learning or to use for watching movies while parents get some work done.

Reviews to consider:

Amazon Reviewer: “Great for kids and home use! I am very pleased so far with this product. I bought this for my daughter to use since I figured we were going to be out due to the shutdown. Best investment! She is used to using something similar at school. Easy to set up, log on, and get to work. She loves it. Easy for her to use and connect to websites and activities. Lightweight and sturdy at the same time.”
 
LaptopMag: “...Samsung Chromebook 3 is a great little laptop for both school and entertainment, especially for younger kids and frequent travelers. This 11.6-inch notebook not only boasts a fantastic screen and nearly 10 hours of battery life but also comes with 4GB of RAM, so you can expect solid performance.”
 
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7.  Google Pixelbook Go i5 Chromebook

Who This is a Good Option For: Google Pixelbook Go is a good option for parents who are trying to work from home with a child nearby.

This laptop has everything an elementary student needs while keeping things simple for the working parent nearby. The Hush Keys feature makes it much more bearable to be near your child as she bangs and stabs at the keys to type things out. The brilliant touchscreen display and speakers will keep your child entranced in a movie when you need to focus. The response time is quick and getting the laptop started is easy. It’s also easy for your child to carry around at barely 2 pounds.

Reviews to consider:

Amazon Reviewer: “Brilliant laptop! The build quality is top notch and everything from the keyboard and track pad to the full HD screen is a very pleasant and premium experience. I got the base model and I think for most people that's all you need unless you need more storage. Chrome OS is lightweight already, so the laptop has absolutely zero performance issues with it's configuration. The battery is stellar, I'm getting nearly 12 hours before having to charge, and it has fast-charging capabilities when you do have to.”
 
TechRadar: “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.”
 
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8.  ASUS Chromebook C202 Laptop

Who This is a Good Option For: The ASUS Chromebook is a good option for parents who want the cheapest, sturdiest option.

This laptop is rugged in every way a laptop needs to be if it’s used by a kid for hours every single day. It’s got a low price point at less than $300. It has a spill-resistant keyboard, rubberized grips for busy hands holding it, and construction that can withstand being dropped 3.9 feet. It was specifically made for young students and is as tough as it needs to be.

Reviews to consider:

LaptopMag: “The Asus Chromebook C202 is a good choice for students because of its durable design, comfortable keyboard and long battery life.”

Lifewire: “The Asus Chromebook C202SA is an ultraportable laptop with enough ruggedization to stand up to daily use in and out of the classroom. With a durable build, comfortable keyboard, and excellent battery life, it’s a great device for a child or adult alike, though performance won’t blow you away.”

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