The 12 Best Laptops for Kids of 2022

The Lenovo Chromebook C330 is sleek and easy to use for any family member

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Commerce Photo Composite

Verywell Family / Lecia Landis

While pencil and paper are still important school supplies, these days, so is a laptop. Whether your kid is just starting school, learning virtually, or is a high schooler with tons of homework, there will come a time in their academic life when a laptop will be essential. They may also want one for streaming, playing video games, doing their own coding, and other fun online activities.

Reviewed & Approved

The Lenovo Chromebook C330 rotates 360 degrees, so your kiddo can use it in tent, tablet, stand, or laptop mode. For a netbook, we recommend the Lenovo 300e Flagship.

There are tons of different laptops to choose from, so consider the operating system, storage capacity, and processing power to ensure your child can work efficiently. “The key to selecting tech for kids is to remember that it’s for kids. I always recommend that people look for tech that reduces frustration and boosts learning,” says Madeleine Mortimore, MEd. “If you ask them, kids will often have specific things they want their tech to do. They may want to be able to annotate their digital assignments, type reports, or play on their friend’s Minecraft server.” We carefully considered design, processing power, ease of use, operating system, storage, and value when reviewing products.

Here are the best laptops for kids for any budget, needs, and family lifestyle.

Best Overall: Lenovo Chromebook C330

4
Lenovo Chromebook C330

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • 360-degree flexibility

  • Affordable

  • Long battery life

Cons
  • Not suitable for intense gaming use

  • Requires a Google email

Who else recommends it? The Strategist also picked the Lenovo Chromebook C330.

What do buyers say? 88% of 10,500+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

The Lenovo Chromebook earns our top spot because it's sleek, simple to use, and lightweight, making it a great choice for families. The Chromebook rotates 360 degrees, so your kiddo can use it in tent, tablet, stand, or laptop mode.

For younger kids who are used to tablets, this computer has a touchscreen, so there’s a smooth transition from one device to the next. The built-in webcam is perfect for Zoom calls or remote learning, and the Chrome operating system is easy to use with Google Classroom.

Operating System: Chrome OS | Screen Size: 11 inches | Touchscreen: Yes | Storage: 64GB

Best Budget: Tanoshi Scholar

Tanoshi Scholar

Amazon

Pros
  • Well-built and sturdy

  • Affordable

  • Made for kids

Cons
  • Limited storage capability

  • Two color options: purple and blue

Specifically made for children, this affordable laptop is perfect for schoolwork and academic enrichment. This pick has a detachable keyboard and touchscreen functionality. It arrives preloaded with apps such as Google Docs, learn-to-code apps, and other gaming apps.

With a focus on privacy, the Google Family Link app is also preloaded, and there’s a sliding webcam cover for additional safety. 

Operating System: Android | Screen Size: 10 inches | Touchscreen: Yes | Storage: 32GB

Best Netbook: Lenovo 300e Flagship

Lenovo 300e Flagship

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Different viewing modes 

  • Touchscreen

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Only 64GB of storage

The word “netbook” is often interchangeable with the term “notebook” or “laptop,” making for confusing terminology. Netbooks are usually lightweight and nimble, made for work on the go—and this choice fits the bill!

Ideal for homework or entertainment, the Lenovo 300e Flagship features an 11.6-inch touchscreen on which your kiddo will love watching their favorite streaming service. The laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 10 in S mode, so you’ll benefit from increased security and performance. However, you can switch to Windows 10 Professional via settings on the laptop if you change your mind. Plus, the lightweight netbook can be used in a variety of viewing modes, like tablet or laptop, on up to eight hours of battery life.

Operating System: Windows 10 S mode | Screen Size: 11.6 inches | Touchscreen: Yes | Storage: 64GB

Best for Tweens: ASUS L210 Laptop

ASUS L210 Laptop

Walmart

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • 12 hours of battery life

Cons
  • No touchscreen

  • Number pad can be hard to use

At less than one inch thick and a mere 2.3 pounds, this pick is easy for tweens to tote around. They’ll love the 180-degree lay-flat hinge feature, which is super helpful for group projects or working in collaborative settings.

When homework gets harder, there’s a backlit keyboard and an innovative 6-inch number pad. Reviewers praise this choice as affordable, easy to use, and able to handle whatever task a modern tween can throw at it. 

Operating System: Windows 10 | Screen Size: 11.6 inches | Touchscreen: No | Storage: 64GB

Best for Teens: Apple MacBook Air M2

Apple MacBook Air M2

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • 18 hours of battery life

  • Reliable and long lasting

  • High-speed processor

Cons
  • Expensive investment

  • Only runs macOS

The lightest, fastest MacBook available is expensive but worth it for older, more responsible teens, especially those that have art-inspired work or will be using the laptop for a few years to come. With up to 18 hours of battery life, this innovative powerhouse of a machine boasts a new M2 processor that’s super fast, and the lack of a fan makes this a silent computer.

Light and portable, the high resolution and bright display stand out among other options. Since MacBooks last a long time and tend to hold their value, this could be a wise investment for teens. 

Operating System: Mac OS | Screen Size: 13.6 inches | Touchscreen: No | Storage: 256GB

Best 2-in-1: ASUS VivoBook Flip

Asus VivoBook Flip

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Four viewing modes 

  • Free upgrade to Windows 11 

  • Full HD touch display

Cons
  • 4GB RAM can’t be upgraded

  • Battery life could be better 

Kids will “flip” over this laptop that doubles as a tablet and features four different viewing modes: tablet, stand, tent, and laptop. 

The ASUS VivoBook Flip also has a full 14-inch HD touchscreen and 128GB of storage, so there’s plenty of space for important documents and homework. While the laptop comes with Windows 10 in S mode, a free upgrade to Windows 11 is included, so you’ll get faster system performance, new designs, and more. And a fun bonus: The “enter” button on the keyboard is yellow for easier navigation.

Operating System: Windows 10 S | Screen Size: 14 inches | Touchscreen: Yes | Storage: 128GB

Most Versatile: Microsoft Surface Go 3

Microsoft Surface Go 3

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Sturdy, high-quality screen

  • Appropriate for casual tasks

  • Touchscreen

Cons
  • Type cover keyboard sold separately

  • Limited battery life

Perfectly portable, this versatile option can be used as either a laptop or a tablet. If you want the “type cover” keyboard, it’ll need to be purchased separately, but it’s a seamless connection. Additionally, this tablet works with a Surface Pen and mobile mouse, both sold separately.

This is a helpful option for families who may want the versatility of a tablet for streaming and the functionality of a laptop. 

Operating System: Windows 11 | Screen Size: 10.5 inches | Touchscreen: Yes | Storage: 128GB

Best for Little Kids: Lenovo Flex 3

Lenovo Flex 3

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Touchscreen

  • Simple interface

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Limited storage

  • 10 hours of battery life

An amazing machine for younger kids or adults with limited processing needs, this laptop is portable, affordable, speedy, and works well. It's also simple to use. Power this laptop on and it’s ready to go. The touchscreen makes it extra easy for young learners, especially if they’re tracing letters on the screen or more adept at touching rather than typing or clicking a mouse.

While it doesn't support high-tech computing needs, it is perfect for younger kids who don't need extra frills and features. 

Operating System: Chrome OS | Screen Size: 11.6 inches | Touchscreen: Yes | Storage: 128GB

What Our Expert Says

“We use a lot of Lenovo laptops across our programs and rarely have problems. While it may not satisfy serious gamers, most kids will find the touchscreen Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 ideal for education and it has a great price point for parents.”—Steve Coxon, PhD, professor of education, executive director, Center for Access and Achievement at Maryville University

Best for Family Use: Acer Swift 5

Acer Swift 5

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Sharp display

  • Embedded fingerprint reader

  • Only 2 pounds

Cons
  • Expensive

An award-winning option, this laptop is a high-functioning machine with a high price tag. It’s best as a family computer that’ll get a lot of use by everyone, which helps to balance out the high cost.

Lightweight with moderate battery life, the family-friendly machine has an embedded fingerprint reader for additional security. The laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 10, and holds up to eight hours of battery life.

Operating System: Windows 10 | Screen Size: 14 inches | Touchscreen: No | Storage: 256GB

Best for Toddlers: LeapFrog 2-in-1

LeapFrog 2-in-1

Amazon

Pros
  • Preloaded learning games

  • No internet required

Cons
  • Limited capabilities

  • Can only use preloaded apps

For toddlers that want to be like mom and dad, this affordable laptop toy is a great option. Made with a flippable screen, the laptop toy easily converts from a laptop with the keyboard to tablet mode. There are five learning modes so kiddos can focus on ABCs, numbers, games, music, and sending messages.

This product is customizable, allowing parents to program the LeapFrog with your child’s name so it’s easy to master spelling. Choose between two color options, green or pink, and your toddler will stay busy for hours. 

Operating System: N/A | Screen Size: 10.04 inches | Touchscreen: Yes | Storage: N/A

Best Slim Design: Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

Acer Aspire 5 Slim

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Backlit keyboard

  • Fingerprint reader

  • Up to eight hours of battery life

Cons
  • No touchscreen

Between textbooks and notebooks, a slim laptop is a must when it comes to saving space, whether it’s on a desk or in a backpack. The Aspire 5 from Acer is less than an inch thick with a 15.6-inch screen. It features a fingerprint reader, a full HD display, and a backlit keyboard for better visibility when typing. 

The laptop holds up to eight hours of battery life and has a generous storage capacity of 256GB. It even comes with Amazon Alexa and a microfiber cloth for cleaning. And if you need to hook it up to another device, you have a variety of ports to choose from: HDMI, two USBs, C-charger, and Ethernet.

Operating System: Windows 11 S mode | Screen Size: 15.6 inches | Touchscreen: No | Storage: 256GB

Best Mini: Geekplus Mini Laptop for Kids

Geekplus Mini Laptop

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Water-resistant to spills

  • Drop-resistant when closed 

  • Pre-installed Windows 11 

Cons
  • No touchscreen

This mini option from Geekplus is ideal for families and kids who aren’t ready for a standard-sized laptop. The mini is just under an inch thick and the screen measures 11.6 inches, so it won’t take up too much space on a desk. It also weighs just over 3 pounds—lightweight enough for kiddos to carry in their backpack. 

This mini laptop is as durable as they get: water-resistant to spills and dustproof. Plus, the laptop features an anti-drop material on the outside to help protect it from falls from heights of up to 27 inches. It comes pre-installed with Windows 11 and has 128GB of storage for homework and more. 

Operating System: Windows 11 | Screen Size: 11.6 inches | Touchscreen: No | Storage: 128GB

Final Verdict

The Lenovo Chromebook C330 is a versatile option that is lightweight, affordable, and able to keep up with your kiddo. For a premium laptop that will last for years to come, the MacBook Air M2 is really unbeatable. It features an incredibly fast processor, long battery life, and a sleek design.

How We Selected the Best Laptops for Kids 

We chose the best laptops for kids by researching reviews from customers and competitors, and studying the features of more than 30 products on the market. We considered operating systems, size, features, ease of use, design, and value when deciding our picks. We also reviewed guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on healthy screen time and eye health, and consulted with Madeleine Mortimore, MEd, education research and innovation lead at Logitech, and Steve Coxon, PhD, professor of education, executive director, Center for Access and Achievement at Maryville University, for considerations and product recommendations. 

What to Look for in Laptops for Kids 

Operating System 

The difference between a Chromebook and other laptops is the operating system. Chromebooks are laptops running on Google’s Chrome operating system. A Google email is preferred, but if your child doesn't have one, they can use any email to log in through Google. Chromebooks tend to be lightweight, less expensive, and easy to use but will need workarounds or web-based versions of Microsoft Office programs.

“While many schools have gravitated toward Chromebooks due to their relatively low cost, I’ve found much more success with Windows PCs. A PC laptop will run just about any software, from educational and productivity applications to the most demanding games,” says Coxon. “It’s also a benefit that most PC laptops have headphone jacks, USB ports, and HDMI, allowing students to connect easily to just about anything. And trust me, you never want to be in charge of a class of 8-year-olds pairing wireless headphones!”

Other laptops run on a variety of operating systems, including the Microsoft Office Suite or Apple's OS (for MacBooks). These are typically costlier and have more memory and programming capability than Chromebooks. Programs must be downloaded from the internet or purchased separately.

“Apple also presents some great options, especially for students focused on video and graphic design; however, costly adaptors are needed to connect to many non-Apple devices such as projectors and robotics,” Coxon explains.

Processing Power

Most kids won’t need a ton of processing power to do their everyday work. So, nearly all new computers will be able to hold up to the demands of modern schoolkids. For a new laptop, look for processor speeds to be between 3.50 to 4.2 GHz. For older kids, gamers, or those with lots of demands, the higher end will be more desirable and suitable. 

“It’s vital to consider what your child will use the laptop for: using the internet or doing most school work requires a lot less power than gaming or video editing,” says Coxon. Keep in mind how their usage may evolve over the years, as well.

Battery Life

No matter how your child will be using the laptop, battery life is an important feature you’ll want to consider. Depending on the device, the battery life of a laptop lasts anywhere from a few hours to a full day. 

“A lot of the mobile benefits of a laptop go away when students need to plug into a socket,” Coxon says. “With a large number of free and low-cost cloud services and ever-improving Wi-Fi speeds, a large and battery-draining hard drive is becoming less necessary unless students are working with large video files or gaming (which I recommend is limited to zero to two hours per day). A 1-terabyte (1,000GB) solid state drive (SSD) is more than sufficient for most kids and teens.”

Storage

With so much of your kids' work in the cloud, laptop storage has become less of an issue. Typically, for most kids and families, 256GB of storage will be plenty, especially if you don’t have a ton of saved videos, photos, games, and music. Most of this material can be uploaded to the cloud or a backup drive if needed.

For a good gauge, check how much storage and usage your child has on their current laptop to guide your needs for a new one. 

Cost

Laptops are available at a variety of price points, but only you know your family’s budget. “Price is obviously a paramount consideration for most of us, and parents should consider that the laptop lifespan is likely only about three years,” explains Coxon. “Thus, I largely consider laptops that cost around $400 to $800. My experience suggests that you can get a quality laptop at this level, but at lower prices you are likely skimping on quality and speed that will lead to headaches later. Of course, the sky is the limit and you can easily spend around $4,000 on a top-of-the-line gaming laptop, but solid gaming laptops can be found for around $800.”

Features

From touchscreens to detachable keyboards, laptops are made with several useful features. While not every feature is a necessity, there are a few that can make using a laptop easier for kids. “At young ages, more than for older kids, a touchscreen is very handy on a laptop. Young children naturally want to touch and manipulate programs directly on the screen and most come to educational settings with experience with touchscreens,” Coxon tells Verywell Family. “However, it’s important for them to get some practice with trackpads and a mouse. Although a touchscreen remains a nice feature, it may be an unnecessary extra expense for students at about age 9 years and older.”

“For early childhood and elementary-age students, it’s key to provide children not only with a laptop or tablet that is easy to use, but tools that enhance their learning experience,” says Mortimore. “A finger on a touchscreen works fine for pre-K children, but it’s a rather blunt instrument with limitations for growth. A stylus can help young kids express themselves more easily and accurately, while also developing skills that set students up for future success. Everyone must learn to write as a lifelong skill, and providing a stylus can also help kids practice their handwriting skills. It’s helpful for kids in middle and high school, too. Research shows that when it comes to students retaining what they learn, the act of physically annotating during lessons can make a significant difference.”

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What age should a child have a laptop?

    The right age to get a laptop for your child really depends on your child, their needs, and your personal preferences. Children and teens use laptops for schoolwork, movies, video games, surfing the internet, and more. “When choosing tech for kids, it is essential to consider their fine motor skill development, and how they are using technology to learn. Sixty percent of children between 10 and 17 years old actually report discomfort when using laptops without the use of companion tools such as an external keyboard, mouse, or stylus,” says Mortimore. 

  • Do kids need a laptop for school?

    Depending on their school, their age, and how much homework they have, your child may need a laptop for school. Some teachers focus more on using paper and books, while others have shifted to doing most schoolwork online. Check with your child’s school to see if a laptop is provided. If that is the case, you may save an additional cost upfront, but keep in mind the laptop is likely school property and will need to be returned at some point.

    If you do need to buy a laptop for your student, Mortimore recommends looking for a few features in the tech devices, such as USI (universal stylus initiative) technology. Laptops with USI allow for a stylus to work across multiple devices. “USI-enabled laptops ensure kids are able to interact with the device beyond only keyboarding and passive interaction,” she explains. “Similarly, tablets such as iPads can be enhanced with an additional keyboard to extend the capabilities of the device.”

    In addition, Mortimore says using an external mouse over a trackpad can enhance a student’s learning experience. “Students aged 12-14 have been found to make more errors with the trackpad than with a mouse. If you’re setting kids up to work at a desk, it’s critical to also provide a mouse rather than a trackpad. Our Ergonomics Lab found that adults are 50 percent more productive with a mouse—and we’re fully developed. Children under age 10 are still developing their fine motor control, so using a mouse can make the experience more comfortable and less frustrating for everyone.”

    To find a laptop your child loves, consider having them help pick it out. “Over half of parents in one of our recent research projects already have their kids help choose the tech they purchase. This can look like: letting kids explain what need the tech device [is] for and how they’ll be using it, allowing kids to choose the color/design, and getting their input on features and capabilities,” Mortimore says. “This process builds trust between parents and kids, and also helps kids have a sense of ownership over their tech and their learning.”

  • How long should my child be on a laptop?

    How long a child should be on a laptop depends on many factors, including your personal preferences, how they are using the laptop, their age, and their school needs. Generally, the younger the child, the less time they should spend, with around one to two hours a day the max for kids 5 and under. Parenting experts say less is more but that each family should create a limit that works for them.

Why Trust Verywell Family 

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She’s also the mom of an 11-year-old son, an 8-year-old son, and a 4-year old daughter. With two parents working from home and two out of three kids attending virtual school for most of the school year, Maya’s become an unofficial expert in computers, Zoom, Google Classroom, Seesaw, and more. Her two boys love their Chromebooks (although in an ordering snafu only one has a touchscreen—oops). She and her husband appreciate their MacBook computers for work. 

Additional reporting by Katrina Cossey

Katrina Cossey is a commerce writer for Verywell Family with nearly eight years of experience under her belt. Katrina’s background in journalism began at an Emmy Award-winning news station in Oklahoma before she obtained her BA in professional media. Her love for service journalism and helping others led to her commerce writing role, which allows her to research and recommend the best products for families, pregnant people, and kids of all ages. When she’s not writing and researching, you’ll likely find her outdoors with her husband and their thrill-seeking toddler son.     

6 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. The Best Laptops for Kids on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers. The Strategist. https://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-laptops-for-kids.html

  2. American Academy of Pediatrics. Give Your Child's Eyes a Screen-Time Break: Here's Why.

  3. Umejima K, Ibaraki T, Yamazaki T, Sakai KL. Paper notebooks vs. Mobile devices: brain activation differences during memory retrieval. Front Behav Neurosci. 2021;15:634158. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2021.634158

  4. Harris C, Straker L. Survey of physical ergonomics issues associated with school childrens' use of laptop computers. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. 2000;26(3):337-346. doi:10.1016/S0169-8141(00)00009-3

  5. Hertzum M, Hornbæk K. How age affects pointing with mouse and touchpad: a comparison of young, adult, and elderly users. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction. 2010;26(7):703-734. doi:10.1080/10447318.2010.487198

  6. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Screen time and children.