Even if your child has been using your smartphone or tablet for some time, we understand that giving them their own laptop is a big step. However, if the time has come to purchase a new computer so they can do schoolwork, communicate with friends, or play games, you’ll want a capable model that’s simple to use, powerful enough for daily tasks, and durable enough to withstand some rough handling.
For school, we believe that a computer is always superior to an iPad tablet or a smartphone because the large displays provide more space for viewing work and multitasking, the physical keyboard and touchpad are more comfortable to use for hours at a time, and they have a plethora of ports for connecting extras such as printers, power banks, TVs, or headphones. If you need more portability, consider a 2-in-1, which has foldable touchscreens and can function as both a tablet and a laptop.
Here are our recommendations for the best laptops for children in 2022:
Best laptop for kids overall
Acer Chromebook Spin 513
Best Windows laptop for kids
Acer Swift 1
Best kids laptop for durability
Best affordable all-rounder kids laptop
HP Chromebook 11
Best Chromebook laptop for kids
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i
When should a child get a laptop?
The jury is still out on the best age to buy your child a laptop (recent research suggests that age 12 is when UK ownership picks up), but whether your child is making a spreadsheet or playing Fortnite for an hour, you’ll want to enforce strict rules about staying safe online and turn on parental controls to filter search engine results, limit screen time, stop private browsing, and receive activity reports.
Yes, finding the right one is difficult, but luckily, when it comes to laptops for kids, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a high-end device with tons of computing power and an expensive processor – there are plenty of options that we love for under £500 – and we’ve chosen a range of models and price points in this roundup, plus there’s a buying guide below our list if you need more information before deciding.
How the GH tech team tests the laptops of children
We evaluate the best laptops for kids based on how they are used on a daily basis. We examine the build quality to ensure that the device can withstand bumps and minor drops, and we download software to test its speed and performance. We test the keyboard and trackpad to ensure they are responsive and comfortable to use, while also ensuring that the laptop has enough battery power to last at least a full day of school from a full charge. Most importantly, we scour the menus to see what parental controls you have access to. This list is based on extensive laptop testing and research