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The 7 Best Chromebooks for Kids, from $186 to $450

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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.

The Best Chromebooks for Kids, at a Glance:

Scroll down for in-depth reviews of each.

What to Look for in a Chromebook for Your Kid:

  • At least 2 GB RAM (all featured here have 4 GB)
  • 8 hours+ battery life
  • Durable (look for features like Gorilla Glass screens and rubber bumpers)
  • Weighs less than 4 pounds (most of our picks weigh 3 pounds or less)
  • Bonus: solid speakers, webcam and microphone for video chatting

How Chromebooks Have Changed in 2022:

Google is constantly rolling out updates to its operating system, but some of the most impressive new features coming out this fall will make Chromebooks more competitive with traditional laptops, like a video editor within Google Photos and a PDF editor that lets you sign documents without having to print, scrawl and scan ‘em.

best chromebooks for kids acer 514
Acer

The Spin 513 was a 2021 Happy Kid Awards winner for its durability, versatility and budget-friendly price tag, and the latest iteration from Acer checks off those boxes and then some. It has a simplified interface that’s easy for kids of all ages to master, has two hours’ more battery life than its predecessor and its touchscreen display is practically poke-proof, since it’s made of Corning Gorilla Glass. Oh, and did we mention it can be folded to use tablet-style and was independently verified to have military-grade durability?

Pros:

  • 8 GB RAM
  • Has two upward-facing speakers and dual mics for premium video calls
  • 10-hour battery life

Cons:

  • Not ideal for gamers
  • AMD Ryzen 3 5000 Series processor isn’t as speedy as higher-end ones
best chromebooks for kids versatile

Most Portable

2. Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

If your kid will be hauling their computer from class to class (or really wants a tablet), it’s worth checking out the Duet 3. It converts to a tablet, thanks to its detachable keyboard, and it can be paired with a stylus for easy note-taking and drawing. The full HD screen is great for crisp, quality streaming, and it’s a speedy little device, considering its low price point.

Pros:

  • 4 GB RAM
  • 10.9-inch screen
  • 10-hour battery life

Cons:

  • Keyboard can be tricky to attach at times
  • Processor best for basic tasks (not gaming)

Best for Creative Types

3. Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook

Like the Acer Chromebook Spin 514, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5’s screen can bend 180 degrees, so you can use it as a tablet, a traditional clamshell or turn it into a stand while streaming Netflix or chatting on Zoom. The 13-inch screen makes it great for doing just that; any smaller and it can feel too close to a cell phone, any larger and it can be bulky and hard to stuff in a backpack. But where this Chromebook really shines is its combination of an Intel Pentium Gold processor and touchscreen, giving kids the power and flexibility to work on all kinds of creative projects, from sketches to video editing.

Pros:

  • 4 GB RAM
  • Built-in microSD reader to easily upload images
  • 10-hour battery life

Cons:

  • Hinges can break easily after months of repeated use
best chromebooks for kids hp chromebase
HP

Best Homework Hub

4. HP Chromebase

Some projects call for a bigger screen; some parents want a bigger screen—in a common area of the house—to keep tabs on what their kids are doing online. Whatever your reason, the HP Chromebase is the sleek alternative to a traditional computer. Its massive, 21.5-inch screen can pivot horizontally and vertically, which makes it great for reading long docs or articles with less scrolling. And its base doubles as speakers (with an easy volume control on the side), making video chats and streaming movies all the more enjoyable.

Pros:

  • 4 GB RAM (but expandable to 16 GB)
  • 21.5-inch HD touchscreen display
  • Includes wireless keyboard and mouse
  • Features two USB-A and USB-C ports on the base

Cons:

  • HP’s customer service can be hard to reach
  • Can be a little sluggish
best chromebooks for kids most durable
ASUS

Best for Elementary Schoolers

5. Asus Chromebook C403

When it comes to the 10-and-under set, you don’t need anything fancy; you need something that will help them research 20 fun facts about panda bears—or help you navigate common core—without breaking the first time it flings off the counter (which will, inevitably, happen). What this baby lacks in looks, it makes up for in durability, with its rubber bumpers, spill-resistant keyboard and extra-strong hinge. It even has a texturized finish, making it easier to hold onto—and harder to notice scratches and scrapes over time.

Pros:

  • 4 GB RAM
  • Can withstand 4-foot drops without breaking (passing MIL-STD-810G tests)
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • Weighs almost 4 pounds
  • Less storage than other models (32 GB vs. 64 GB)
best chromebooks for kids hp
HP

Best for Middle School and High Schoolers

6. HP Chromebook X360 14b

Increasingly complex school assignments mean you need a computer with serious power—and in a larger size that’s comfortable to type out that 10-page essay on. This 14-inch screen makes it easy to view multiple windows at once, and its Intel Pentium Silver processor is snappy enough to keep up without freezing. It also features a wide-vision HD camera and Bang & Olufsen speakers, so your kid—and anyone they’re chatting with—come through crystal clear on calls (provided your wifi isn’t acting up, of course).

Pros:

  • 4 GB RAM
  • Premium sound
  • Comfortable keyboard

Cons:

  • Less portable
  • Weighs about 3.5 pounds
  • Screen display didn’t seem as vibrant as other models
best chromebooks for kids samsung

Best for College Students

7. Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

If its candy apple hue didn’t get your attention, maybe this will: Its QLED screen is vibrant enough to rival MacBooks that cost twice as much, it has a 13-hour (!) battery life and the speakers’ Smart Amps are 178 percent louder than regular amps. While the Galaxy Chromebook 2 may not have all the bells and whistles of its predecessor, it makes up for it in its affordability. At $549 for a 4K UHD screen, 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of storage—as well as the aforementioned features—it’s a solid buy that can help students survive every all-nighter college (or um, procrastination) can spring on them.

Pros:

  • 4 GB RAM (can upgrade to 8 GB too)
  • 4K, ultra-vibrant screen for watching videos
  • Great audio

Cons:

  • Touchpad can be a bit finicky
  • Not powerful enough for hardcore gamers