No matter what grade your kid is in, today’s homework pretty much demands the use of a computer. And while you’re all about sharing, knowing all it takes is a hefty drop or an upturned glass of apple juice to destroy your $1,200 laptop can make you a little hesitant to put the gadget in your third grader’s hands.
That’s what makes Chromebooks so appealing: They’re lightweight, durable and affordable. And they’re different than a laptop in that they run on Google’s Chrome operating system, and most of what you create is stored in the cloud. That keeps costs down, but it also means that to get the most out of a device, you’ll need an internet connection. (Though you can stream movies, check your email and access many apps without it—more on that here.)
After researching tech recommendations from schools across the country and consulting Google’s in-house experts, we culled the top picks to uncover the best Chromebooks for kids today.