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Best Chromebooks for kids: education portables your children will love

Included in this guide:

Acer Chromebook Spin 311
(Image credit: Future)

Whether or not the best Chromebooks for kids is better for the budding young minds in your family than the best laptops for kids is you and your children’s decision. The important factors to consider when whittling down your choice to one device, however, stay mostly the same. Chromebooks are essentially laptops, after all; they simply run on a different – if more lightweight – operating system, the ChromeOS.

Much like when deciding on the best laptop for your mini-me, the most important factors to consider when picking the best Chromebooks for kids are price, ruggedness, reliability, and longevity. So, don’t just go for the cheapest one you can find. Instead, do your research and choose the most affordable one you can find that boasts a solid build, enough power to see the kids through their schoolwork, and battery life to last a whole school day, if not longer.

If that sounds like too many metrics for you – whether it’s because you don’t know much about laptops or because you are simply too busy as a parent juggling an endless list of responsibilities – don’t fret. You can count on us to share our computing wisdom, and that’s what we’re here to do. For your perusing pleasure, here are the best Chromebooks for kids in 2021. All you need to do is pick the right one for your youngster and hit buy.

Prefer a Windows laptop for students instead? Check out our top picks of the best laptop for college and the best laptops under $500.

Acer Chromebook Spin 311

(Image credit: Future)

1. Acer Chromebook Spin 311

Best all-rounder Chromebook for kids

Specifications
CPU: up to AMD A4-9120C
Graphics: up to AMD Radeon R4
RAM: 4 GB LPDDR4X
Screen: 11.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) 16:9 IPS touchscreen
Storage: 32GB – 64GB Flash Memory
Battery life: up to 15 hours
Reasons to buy
+Excellent touch screen and flip mechanism+Great design and build
Reasons to avoid
-Low screen resolution

There aren’t a lot of Chromebooks out there that can surpass the Acer Chromebook Spin 311’s price to performance ratio, let alone add a great feature set to the mix. This is not just among the best Chromebooks out there; it’s one of the best value ones as well, offering that coveted 2-in-1 design, excellent touchscreen functionality, a 720p HDR webcam, and a USB-C port for a price of entry that’s less than those of its rivals. That design is great too, as are its keyboard and touchpad, which are surprisingly satisfying to use and more than what you’d usually find in a laptop this cheap

Parents will appreciate the built-in malware protection of ChromeOS and this Chromebook’s 15-hour battery life while the kids will appreciate its light 2.31-pound weight because no child enjoys carrying a heavy backpack around. Finally, while Acer hasn’t shared any rugged ratings, this is a robust piece of kit, which everyone will appreciate.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook Spin 311

Google Pixelbook Go

(Image credit: Future)

2. Google Pixelbook Go

Best premium Chromebook for kids

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core m3 – i7
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: up to 4K Ultra HD Molecular Display
Storage: 64GB – 256GB
Battery life: up to 12 hours
Reasons to buy
+Incredible battery life+Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-No biometric login

One of the best looking Chromebooks is also among the most premium ones. The Google Pixelbook Go may be Google’s most affordably-priced offering, but as far as student Chromebooks go, it still costs a fortune. It’s perhaps not the best option for the younger kids. Middle and high school kids, however, will love that stylish chassis that they can show off to their friends and peers.

There’s more to it than its good looks, however. For a premium offering, there are some missing premium features here: a biometric login, perhaps. Yet there’s still plenty to love here.

You’re getting a premium Chromebook experience as well, its excellent performance only matched by its amazing keyboard that delivers a hushed operation and satisfying feedback. Since tweens and teens can’t help but stay in touch with friends, they’ll love that 1080p webcam – a feature that you’ll rarely find in most laptops these days. 

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook Go

Lenovo Duet Chromebook

(Image credit: Future)

3. Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

Best kids Chromebook with a removable keyboard

Specifications
CPU: MediaTek Helio P60T
Graphics: Integrated ARM G72 MP3 800GHz
RAM: 4GB LPDDR4X
Screen: 10.1-inch FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS touchscreen
Storage: 64 GB eMMC
Battery life: up to 10 hours
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight and portable+Long battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Tiny keyboard and finicky trackpad

The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook comes with many advantages for kids. It’s small and incredibly lightweight, making it an ideal addition to heavy backpacks full of books. It has a removable keyboard so that they can seamlessly switch to tablet mode when their homework is done. And, it has a breathtakingly long battery life, yielding a whopping 21-hour result during our testing. Since most laptops and Chromebooks top around 12 hours, this is pretty impressive.

Best of all, it’s cheap, which means you’re getting all that versatility for practically nothing. Some compromises have been made here and there, of course. Its trackpad and keyboard could be better. However, you’re already getting a lot for less – or at least, your kids are. That’s especially because they’re essentially getting two devices in one. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that this is among the best value 2-in-1 laptops out there.

Read the full review: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

HP Chromebook x360 12b

(Image credit: Future)

4. HP Chromebook x360

Best kids Chromebook with stylus support

Specifications
CPU: up to 10th Generation Intel Core i5
Graphics: up to Intel UHD Graphics
RAM: 4GB – 8GB
Screen: up to 14-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) multitouch-enabled IPS
Storage: 32GB – 128GB eMMC
Battery life: up to 8 hours
Reasons to buy
+Sturdy design+Excellent stylus support
Reasons to avoid
-Meager internals

The HP Chromebook x360 maxes out at more than $700, but that’s only if you want the works, internal-wise. While high school students might benefit from such higher configurations, they’re probably more than what the younger kids need. But, that’s exactly what makes this Chromebook from HP great – it comes in several configurations that tout various levels of power and three different screen sizes. That means that there are several options to choose from. Whatever grade your kid is in, there’s something in this line you’ll deem worthy.

As for the fun stuff, it has a great screen with touch and stylus support... if you want to give your creative child a little extra, that is. The stylus may not be included in the price of the Chromebook, but it’s an excellent addition if someone in your family dabbles in art or design (or really if they just want to be cool and take notes in class sans wasteful paper).

Read the full review: HP Chromebook x360

Asus Chromebook Flip C214

(Image credit: Asus)

5. Asus Chromebook Flip C214

Best rugged Chromebook for kids

Specifications
CPU: Intel Celeron N4000 – N4020
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
RAM: 4GB LPDDR4
Screen: 11.6-inch (1366 x 768) LCD touchscreen
Storage: 32G eMMC
Battery life: up to 12 hours
Reasons to buy
+USB-C ports+Rugged and spill resistant
Reasons to avoid
-Stylus not included

Young matriculating minds may be mostly focused on classroom duties when utilizing their Chromebook, but that doesn’t mean that accidents won’t happen. Drops, spills, and bumps are a kids’ laptop’s worst nightmare, and if you’re dealing with a particularly rowdy or accident-prone child, the Asus Chromebook Flip C214 is among the best Chromebooks for kids. This clamshell is designed to take a beating, with an all-round rubber bumper, a chassis that’s scratch-resistant, a keyboard that’s spill-resistant, and hinges that will probably outlive your kid’s childhood days.

The two USB-C ports, stylus support and touchscreen, 2-in-1 design, and long battery life are mere – though still much appreciated – icing on the cake. Need more? It even has two cameras – on above the screen and one below the keyboard that’s meant to be world-facing when it’s in tablet mode. That’s quite a feature set from a laptop that’s way under $500.

Michelle Rae Uy

Michelle Rae Uy is a Los Angeles-based editor, writer and photographer with a bad case of wanderlust. She is a regular contributor for Thrillist, TravelAge West, HuffPo Travel, Paste Magazine, and Travel Pulse. She has written for publications like Nylon, Fodor's and SmarterTravel, and is also the contributing editor for MiniTime.com.