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Best laptops for kids 2020: the top laptops for kids in elementary school and beyond

Best laptops for kids
(Image credit: Future)

When you’re looking for the best laptop for kids, don’t just go for the cheapest one and be done with it. Believe it or not, there are a few things to consider when buying your kids their first or next laptop beyond the price.

In fact, while best laptops for kids should certainly be affordable as you don’t want to get them something premium and pricey only to have it destroyed or stolen a few months later, the budget options out there aren’t always the best choice. Kids need a rugged laptop, after all, something that will survive its share of bumps and drops. They also need one that’s powerful enough for school and post-homework entertainment. And, especially for the younger kids, a laptop with more security features and parental control is also ideal.

From affordable tablets and the best Chromebooks to the most portable 2-in-1 hybrid laptops, we’ve found the best laptops for kids 2020 has to offer. Be sure to check out our price comparison tool to get the best price on the market.

Google Pixelbook Go

Google Pixelbook Go ticks off all the requirements of the best laptop for kids and then some. (Image credit: Google)

1. Google Pixelbook Go

The best mainstream Chromebook

CPU: Intel Core m3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD – 13.3-inch 4K Ultra HD Molecular Display | Storage: 64GB – 256GB

Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard
Rare 1080p webcam
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.

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook Go

Microsoft Surface Go

The Microsoft Surface Go is perhaps Microsoft’s best release of 2019. (Image credit: Microsoft)

2. Microsoft Surface Go

Small size, big value

CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 4GB - 8GB | Screen: 10.5-inch 1,800 x 1,200 PixelSense touch display | Storage: 64GB eMMC - 128GB SSD

Affordable
Light and easy to hold
Not as powerful as the iPad

The Microsoft Surface Go is perhaps Microsoft’s best release of 2019, as its meets that large demand for a budget Surface device, while also being among the best Windows tablets for anyone who wants to do a bit of work on the go. Much like its more expensive cousins, it’s portable and elegant. At the same time, it has a price tag that’s a bit more affordable for regular users. If you’re looking for the best laptop for kids, or you just want to consume some media while traveling, then you can’t go wrong with the Microsoft Surface Go. 

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Go

Acer Nitro 5

The Acer Nitro 5 rocks the latest and more powerful internals without burning a hole in your pocket. (Image credit: Acer)

3. Acer Nitro 5

A competent laptop for budget gamers

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2500U – Intel Core i5-10300H | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560X – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti | RAM: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM | Storage: 256GB – 1TB HDD, 128GB SSD

User controllable fans
Good battery life
Decent gaming performance for price
Too much travel on trackpad
Thick display bezel

If your teenager is begging for a powerful laptop for gaming or video editing, then you can’t go wrong with the Acer Nitro 5. Rocking the latest and more powerful internals without burning a hole in your pocket, it’s just the perfect portable to satisfy your kids graphically-intensive computing needs. And, even though it compromises on a couple of things to keep the cost down, it also has a few tricks of its own – including user controllable and customizable fans.

Read the full review: Acer Nitro 5

Acer Chromebook Spin 11

Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is the laptop to get the kids if you want something that won’t break the first time it gets dropped. (Image credit: Acer)

4. Acer Chromebook Spin 11

Work and play

CPU: Intel Celeron N3350 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 500 | Screen: 11.6-inch HDF (1,366 x 768) touch | Storage: 32GB eMMC

 Inexpensive 
 Durable build 
 Dim screen 

When your kids have finally graduated to a proper laptop for writing up papers for class, but you still want to get them something that won’t break the first time it gets dropped, then the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 might just be the laptop for you. It’s powerful enough to get through the kids’ daily schoolwork, and it’s a 2-in-1 so they can flip its comfortable keyboard around to turn it into tablet mode for playing Android games or watching their favorite shows in their downtime. The display is a bit dim, and it’s unlikely to blow you away as far as performance, but it’s cheap, solid and reliable. What more can you ask for from the best laptop for kids?

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook Spin 11 

Acer Chromebook 15

The robust Acer Chromebook 15 will see your kids through more demanding projects. (Image credit: Acer)

5. Acer Chromebook 15

Perfect for when they hit double-digits

CPU: Intel Pentium N4200 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS | Storage: 32GB

Luxury feel
Amazing price
Hefty weight and dimensions

When your kids approach double-digit years, they’re going to need something a bit more robust to support them through more demanding projects, as well as sharper streaming. Acer’s latest 15-inch Chromebook is, therefore, the best laptop for kids – or yours, at least – bringing serious sophistication to your kids’ computing experience and needs, from its design to its great features like a full HD display, fast USB 3.0 connections and an HDR webcam. Keep in mind that this laptop is ideal for adolescents, as you’re swapping its lack of kid-proof features for a larger size, a more luxurious experience and a great price tag.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 15 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Lenovo IdeaPad 120S 

MacBook Air (2020)

The MacBook Air is still among the best laptop for kids who love the macOS environment. (Image credit: Apple)

6. MacBook Air (2020)

New and improved for 2020

CPU: Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Storage: 256GB – 2TB PCIe-based SSD | Dimensions: 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61 cm

Lower price of entry
New 10th generation processors
Improved keyboard
Screen colors a little muted
Battery life only OK
Webcam still just 720p

Apple’s thinnest and lightest MacBook is back in 2020 with a vengeance. Not only has it fixed a lot of the complaints with its predecessors – namely, that problematic keyboard is now gone, replaced by a drastically improved keyboard. But it also comes with new and more powerful internal components, even more storage space options, and a lower price of entry. There are a couple of things we’d do better, like the muted screen and the average battery life, but this model of the MacBook Air is better than anything we’ve seen from the line to date.

Read the full review: MacBook Air (2020)