Looking for a Chromebook for your kid? You’ve come to the right spot. If you think your kids are better with technology than you are, you’re probably right. With the prevalence of phones, tablets, and computers, kids have never not known life without screens, and navigating through your digital devices is second nature. With most schools — or remote learning — leveraging technology, it might be time to invest in a Chromebook for your kids.
What is a Chromebook?
Chromebooks are laptops, but they run on Google’s Chrome operating system vs. the typical Mac or Windows OS. Chrome is a lighter OS since it’s cloud and browser-based, which can lead to a faster laptop boot up times. The Chrome OS also automatically updates in the background, which keeps the Chromebook secure and running optimally (e.g., how many times have you dismissed the “your computer needs a software update” message on your Mac or Windows laptop?).
Chromebooks are only compatible with Android apps, but with millions of them in the Google Play or Chrome Web store, there is always an app for what you need. You can’t perform any heavy computer processing, like photo editing or hard core gaming, and you always need an internet connection, but the simplicity and ease of us of a Chromebook makes it perfect for kids. And best of all, Chromebooks are usually considerably less expensive than traditional laptops. They’re a great solution for giving your kid their own device, without having to worry about them borrowing and “accidentally” spilling something on your personal laptop or tablet.
Chromebooks combine the best of both worlds between a tablet and laptop. Many have HD touchscreen displays and hinges that let you use them as a laptop with keyboard or fold them back into a tablet. Because of the few software requirements, they also tend to have a thin design profile, weigh only a few pounds, have long battery life, and are easily transportable for kids. Read on to find nine of the best Chromebooks for kids.
Best Chromebooks for Kids
The Acer Chromebook is lightweight, weighing just 2.62 pounds with an 11.6-inch HD screen. It has a 360-degree hinge that gives four options for use depending on what activity they’re doing — use it in laptop mode for school or learning activities, display mode for watching videos, tablet mode for easy access on the couch, and tent mode when you want to prop it up in a smaller space. The touchscreen is made with sturdy Gorilla glass (read: kid-resistant). The Chromebook also has wireless and Bluetooth capabilities, multiple ports (two USB-C, two USB-A, and microSD), a wide-angle webcam, and up to 10 hours of battery life.
One reviewer said, “Got this for elementary school children. I’ve never owned a Chromebook so didn’t know what to expect, but so far it has impressed me. Easy to setup with a Google account. Also like how you can apply parental controls using Google Family. As far as the device itself— love the touchscreen. My kids don’t really use the flipped mode, but I like that it is an option. Very happy with my purchase. “
Is it a laptop or is it a tablet? The affordable Lenovo Chromebook Duet is both. It has a keyboard you can attach (via pin and magnets) when you need to type something more than a text message, and you can detach the keyboard when you only want to use the 10.1” HD touchscreen. It has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, front and rear integrated cameras, and up to a 10-hour battery life and boots up in under 10 seconds, so it’s ready to go whenever your kids are, even when they’re running behind schedule.
One reviewer said, “For my kids, this is by far the best value for the money and gives them everything they need for virtual school and beyond. Prior to having the Duet, our boys would use a mix of their Chromebooks and Amazon Fire Tablets for school/apps/media consumption. Now with the Duet, they are no longer interested in their Amazon Fire Tablets and use their Chromebooks for all school/apps/media consumption. The screen quality as well as the included keyboard and kickstand make this a great device for them and relatively easy to use. As a parent, having controls that are easy to set up and maintain over what they can access on the web through supervising their accounts with Google Family Link makes the experience of a Chromebook highly preferable to either pure Android/Apple devices (and I own and use both).”
All Chromebooks run on Google’s OS, and the tech giant also has its own hardware products that are speedy, have built-in antivirus software, and give you easy access to all your favorite apps. The Google Pixelbook Go has up to 12 hours of battery life, long enough to keep your kids occupied for (most of) the day, and charges quickly when you need a quick boost, providing two hours of use after 20 minutes of charging. It has a 13.3” HD screen, a 1080p camera, dual speakers, and a backlit and quiet keyboard. It weighs two pounds, folds to just 13 mm thin, and has a grippable design, ideal for small and/or clumsy hands.
One reviewer said, “The first thing I noticed about the Go was just how light it was, I had read some reviews and watched some videos but until I un-boxed it I didn’t realize how light it actually was. Even though it’s light it still feels solid in the hand and in no way feels cheap. I really like the design and feel that Google did a great job on this device. The keyboard feels great and it is very quiet when typing on it, I can barely hear it while I am typing this review. The key travel feels good and it’s a great size. The speakers get very loud and I am impressed at how good the sound is. Impressive for a device this small and light.”
If you’re sick of squinting into a tiny tablet screen, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 has a 14” inch HD display that’s nearly borderless. The body is made from a lightweight aluminum metal, and it has a 360-degree hinge that allows you to fold the Chromebook into multiple configurations. The keyboard is backlit, and there is a webcam, USB-A port, two USB-C ports, a MicroSD card reader, and an audio jack. Battery life is up to 10 hours.
One reviewer said, “Love: the fit and finish is beautiful. The chamfered shiny edges are a nice touch without being too flashy. The feel of the keys is just right — not too much or too little travel. The trackpad is larger than the original Flip, which I like. It tracks well. The touch screen is responsive to touch as well as the transition to tablet mode. I really like how the hinges have different tension so the feet on the bottom of the screen go down first when using it in laptop mode but it still converts fully to a flat tablet. I also like how the bottom part with the keyboard tapers towards the edge, gives you a more traditional keyboard slant. Running multiple tabs in up to 3 windows while also having at least two apps open I saw no slow down. I can confirm that you can charge the Chromebook with the same charger you use for newer Android phones (USB-C chargers) and you can even use a portable backup battery though both of these will charge slowly. Still, it’s a good option in a pinch.”
The Samsung Chromebook has an impressive 15.6” inch HD display, ideal for when your kid is taking Zoom lessons or watching their favorite movie, again. Like with all Chromebooks, automatic updates and built-in virus protection will keep it running optimally, and its durable frame will be able to withstand minor bumps. It has a 720p camera, a full-sized keyboard, up to 10 hours of battery life, a MicroSD card reader, and two USB-C ports.
One reviewer said, “Unless you’re comparing this to a thousand dollar Pixelbook, you won’t be disappointed with this Chromebook. Solid aluminum case, very lightweight, very beautiful, and responsive and precise touchscreen in my opinion, usb-C charging and ports, everything about it screams high quality build. Absolutely blows away cheaper Chromebooks for half the price. Extremely satisfied with it.”
The Lenovo Chromebook has a 13” HD inch screen, 10 hours of battery life, and a 360-degree convertible design that lets you use it in laptop, tent, or tablet mode. There are dual speakers, a built-in webcam, an audio jack, two USB-C ports, and a USB-A port. It’s also digital pen compatible (sold separately) if you like to write or drag things directly on the screen.
One reviewer said, “In general, this Chromebook is perfect for what I bought it for: work-related tasks on the web, surfing the web, using Google Docs to type up documents & write lyrics for songs, and organizing thoughts and ideas into productivity apps and jotting down tasks in my Microsoft To-Do list app. This Chromebook is lightning fast in powering up, connecting to WiFi & Bluetooth, and opening apps & browsers. The Screen size is non-jeopardizing; large enough for a functional workspace, but small enough to easily store away in a backpack.”
HP has been making reliable tech products for decades, and their computers are no exception. This HP Chromebook has a 14” HD touchscreen with anti-glare, great B&O speakers, and up to 13.5 hours of battery life. And for kids who always forget to charge their devices overnight, the HP Chromebook also has a fast charge, giving you up to 50 percent of a full charge in 45 minutes. Bonus: the Chromebook is environmentally conscious with mercury-free display backlights and is ENERGY STAR(R) certified. If you’re looking for just a HD screen (no touchscreen), there’s also a cheaper alternative.
One reviewer said, “Great for in-home learning laptop for kids. Easy to use. Lighted keyboard, has enough ports for USB connection, touchscreen display is a great plus, great battery life, about 10 hour continuous use, lightweight and thin casing. Chrome OS is very easy to use. Love it!”
The slim Samsung Galaxy Chromebook is made with lightweight sturdy aluminum metal and comes in two colors (red and gray). It has a 360-degree rotating display and a high-definition 4K AMOLED display to make all your videos bright and vibrant. There’s a built-in pen (makes it harder to lose when it’s actually attached to the Chromebook), USB-C ports, a uSD card reader, and fingerprint sensor for easy and secure unlocking of the device.
One reviewer said, “I highly recommend this Chromebook to anyone! it has great battery life, turns on and off super fast. I can create profiles for my kids. It turns into a tablet, tethers easily to my phone (one plus 7 pro). The display is beautiful and Chrome OS is very user friendly. I haven’t found one thing I dislike about it.”
If you’re looking for a non-black option, the Lenovo Chromebook 330 comes in blizzard white. A 360-degree hinge lets you flip the Chromebook into laptop or tablet mode, and there’s a 11.6” inch touchscreen. It has a battery life up to 10 hours and USB-C, SD, and USB 3.0 ports. In addition to WiFi, this Chromebook has Bluetooth 4.1, which allows you to connect two Bluetooth devices at the same time.
One reviewer said, “Absolutely love this laptop. I purchased this for my 8 yr old daughter. She loves Roblox and other games and is able to download them and play on it. Size is not too big, easy to use, and I bought the colored case and keyboard cover and it’s super cute. Excellent for the price point.”