PR Image Factory / Shutterstock

From Schoolwork To Streaming, These Cheap & Sturdy Laptops Are Perfect For Kids

by Tiana Crump

When it comes to choosing the best laptops for kids you're going to want one that is durable enough to resist damage from drops, bumps, and spills — or simply cheap enough that it's not too big of a deal if the worst does happen. Laptops for school-age kids and young teens should be loaded with essential features to help your child complete schoolwork, stream videos, and browse the internet, while younger kids may do best with a learning-oriented toy laptop.

If your child will be bringing their laptop to school, it should be lightweight enough to lug around in a backpack, but sturdy enough to withstand some serious wear and tear. Ideally, their laptop should be able to last through the entire school day without requiring a charge. A child's laptop won't need a particularly powerful processor or lots of memory if they'll primarily be using it for homework or basic web browsing, but those features might be more important for kids who like to stream lots of content, play games, or just open many apps at once.

For toddlers and younger children, a battery-powered, kid-specific learning laptop is a better choice, helping them learn some early computer literacy and stay entertained with pre-K-level lessons.

Whether you're shopping for an elementary school student or toddler, here are the best laptops for kids — and they're all less than $500.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.


The Best Laptop For Most Kids

For tweens and teens, the Asus Chromebook is ideal. At just 2.6 pounds, it's lightweight to carry, but it's rugged enough to handle being dropped from 3.9 feet without damage. It has rubber guards and a safety grip to make it easier to hold. And with up to 11 hours of battery life between charges, it should last through a full day of classes — plus some time for homework.

The 11.6-inch high-definition (HD) touchscreen is anti-glare, and 360-degree hinges mean the laptop can double as a tablet. A spill-resistant keyboard lends some peace of mind. With an Intel Celeron N4000 processor, 4 GB of memory, and 32 GB of internal storage, the laptop is really ideal for just the basics (homework, surfing the web, some basic streaming) but may lag if your child has too many tabs open or attempts some serious gaming.

Like most Chromebooks, it runs on Chrome OS and provides access to Google Play Store and popular apps like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides with the ability to convert Microsoft Office files easily. According to the manufacturer, it's developed to meet the daily rigors and intense usage by students both inside and outside of the classroom, so it's truly designed for school-aged kids. A one-year warranty protects your investment if your kid accidentally drops or breaks the computer.

According to a Fan: "My favorite thing about it is the rugged exterior. It just feels durable when you hold it. The weight is perfect, it’s an excellent balance of size and comfort, and the screen is bright and easy to read."


A More Powerful Laptop That's Still Kid-Friendly

With a 15.6-inch touchscreen and a weight of just under 4 pounds, the HP Chromebook 15 is entirely different than the lighter, ruggeder ASUS Flip. The heftier size means your child won't want to lug it to school, but for getting work done or streaming media at home, this is a far more powerful option. With an Intel Core i3-8130U processor, 4 GB of memory, and 128 GB of internal storage, it can handle running lots of apps, streaming video, and really anything your kiddo might want to do with it — and without any annoying lags. It comes with access to all the usual Chrome apps and should run for about 15 hours between charges, though its bigger size means your kid probably won't venture far from an outlet anyway.

That said, it's definitely not as durable (or spill-resistant) as the ASUS Flip, so it may not be a good pick for younger kids to use without supervision. But if bumps or spills do destroy the laptop, you'll be glad you went for an affordable model.

According to a Fan: "We bought this chromebook so that we could have a laptop for our kids to use for distance learning. We love that it has a keypad on the side (much easier than having to type with all of the number keys at the top) and that it has a touchscreen. It is a little more than the super cheap chromebooks you can buy, but I think it is worth it. It is super fast and overall has been great."


3.A Learning Laptop For Toddlers

The VTech Tote and Go Laptop is a portable electronic learning toy that younger kids will love. It features 20 different learning activities to teach your children over 60 words, spelling lessons, shapes, logic, and more. The lessons take a fun approach to teach with games, puzzles, and music melodies to challenge kids with pre-K learning. There’s an attached mouse to introduce kids to using a computer. Plus, there are lots of customization options, such as the ability to add their name, age, and a personal avatar. Since the laptop is designed for kids, it has a hard protective outer shell to handle occasional drops. This learning laptop is geared towards young toddlers, age three up to 6 years of age. It runs on two AA batteries (and comes with two), and is also available in pink.

Of course, the VTech isn't a real laptop, but it's a cheap way for your child to learn the basics (and feel like a big kid) until they're old enough to graduate to a durable Chromebook.

According to a fan: “My son is now 1y9m old, he has learned 17 letters of the alphabet, knows the numbers, has learned the shapes by names, animal sounds, musical instruments, and loves the shape matching game. Everybody is amazed by him. He now shows the letters he knows anywhere in the streets.”