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Best Chromebooks for kids in 2022

Lenovo Chromebook Duet review
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The best Chromebooks for kids are the ones you can afford, which is why we've collected the top Chromebooks across multiple price ranges. Chromebooks are a natural fit for students and classrooms, as they've long been heralded for their kid-friendliness and simplicity.

But don't let the simplified interface fool you: The best Chromebooks can offer your child a full computing experience, with optional Linux integration as well as Android apps. 

All Chromebooks are not the same, so we've collected a variety of favorites below. Some are more rugged, while others convert from laptops to tablets. They don't all have touchscreens, either. Port selection for plugging in peripherals (like an additional keyboard and mouse) varies as well. 

These are the best Chromebooks for kids we've seen to date, based on our own hands-on testing as well as hundreds of professional and customer reviews.

What are the best Chromebooks for kids?

Right now we recommend the Lenovo Chromebook Duet as the best Chromebook for kids because its affordable (under $300), capable and durable. This Chrome tablet from 2020 features a touchscreen for interactive educational content (or for comfortably snuggling up to watch a video after class is over) as well as a detachable keyboard that turns it into a surprisingly decent machine for doing homework or writing papers. It's a great investment if you need a cheap Chrome tablet that comes with a detachable keyboard bundled in.

Kid-friendly Chromebooks tend to jump in price from there. The HP Chromebook 14A G5 is a primo pick for $350. The Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook is also available at this price point, and it proves you can get a worthy convertible computer for your child without breaking the bank. The Flex 5 Chromebook is available with different processor configurations, so you can go faster if your kid pushes their tech to the limit. If you want a more durable Chromebook in the $250 - $350 price range, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is a great choice.

Lenovo also offers the Duet 3 (starting at $359) in this price range, and its a solid investment if you like the 2-in-1 tablet w/ keyboard functionality of the original Duet but want a bigger, brighter screen and a bit more power under the hood. It also has a second USB-C port, which lets you do more with the same tablet.

Anything over $500 tends to steer further away from the category of "barebone basics" and into performance Chromebooks, with laptops running on Intel Core M3 and i5 processors and at least 8GB of RAM. Some laptops even have solid-state hard drives. They tend to have larger screens and mirror the look and feel of the best Windows laptops. These are a reliable choice if you're a parent in a bind looking for a school-approved computer that can grow with your child into their later years. 

The best Chromebooks for kids you can buy today

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

1. Lenovo Chromebook Duet

The best 2-in-1 Chromebook for kids

Specifications

CPU: 2.0GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P60T
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB eMMC, 128GB eMMC
Display: 10.1 inches, 1920 x 1200 pixels
Dimensions: 9.64 x 6.66 x 0.71 inches
Weight: 2 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent battery life
+
Sharp, colorful screen
+
Surprisingly affordable, especially with keyboard included
+
ChromeOS tablet optimizations

Reasons to avoid

-
Cramped keyboard
-
Hinge is a bit flimsy

If you're looking for a device that doubles as a tablet, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a solid choice for under $300. It comes with a detachable keyboard with a touch-sensitive trackpad, just like on traditional laptops. Plus, in tablet mode, the Chromebook Duet has a great optimized version of Chrome that makes it easy to see what's in your other tabs. Don't plan on co-opting this device when your child is done with it, though—the keys are most definitely kid-sized. 

The Duet's 10.1-inch display is impressively sharp for a tablet at this price, and the speakers are loud enough that your child can hear instructions without headphones. Coupled with nearly 13 hours of battery life, the Chromebook Duet is an affordable double-duty performer. The tablet mode is so capable that your kid can finally have their own and you won't need to share yours with them anymore.

Check out our full Lenovo Chromebook Duet review.

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 on a desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

2. Acer Chromebook Spin 311

The best Chromebook for kids who need a durable laptop

Specifications

CPU: 2.0Ghz octa-core MediaTek MT8183
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 32GB eMMC or 64GB eMMC
Display: 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768
Dimensions: 11.7 x 8.1 x 0.74 inches
Weight: 2.65 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Solid battery life
+
Exceptional keyboard
+
Tough Gorilla Glass screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Dim, low-resolution screen
-
No USB Type-A port

Acer’s Spin 311 is exactly what many people expect of a Chromebook: Small, inexpensive, and capable enough to handle work and light play every day. For students, children, or anyone looking for an extremely portable machine that gets the essentials right, the Spin 311 is a solid choice that can compete with some of the best Chromebooks of comparable price.

It’s a highly functional unit with one of the best laptop keyboards we've yet seen on a Chromebook. And while the dim, low-resolution screen isn't exactly a joy to watch movies on, that may not be a big problem when it's primarily intended for school use. However, the screen — built with tough, antimicrobial Gorilla Glass — should be durable enough to handle some heavy use, making it a great choice for kids. 

Read our full Acer Chromebook Spin 311 review.

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3 Chromebook open on desk showing home screen

(Image credit: Future)
A better 2-in-1 Chromebook for kids, if you can afford it

Specifications

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2
RAM: 4-8GB
Storage: 64-128GB eMMC
Display: 11 inches, 2,000 x 1,200 pixels
Dimensions: 10.16 x 6.48 x 0.31 inches
Weight: 1.2/2.1 lbs (tablet only/tablet + cover)

Reasons to buy

+
Bright, sharp display
+
10+ hours of battery life
+
Packed-in keyboard cover is decent
+
Surprisingly loud for a Chrome tablet

Reasons to avoid

-
Still no headphone jack
-
Lackluster cameras
-
Keyboard cover uncomfortable for sustained typing

The Lenovo Duet 3 (or Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3, depending on where you buy it) is a great Chrome tablet that can be yours for as low as $359. This is effectively a bigger, more expensive follow-up to the Chromebook Duet Lenovo released in 2020, which still crowns this list thanks to its versatility, durability and affordability.

We loved the original Duet for its great battery life, solid performance and decent packed-in keyboard cover, all of which could be had for roughly $250. Lenovo's new Duet 3 costs a bit more, but it also delivers a bigger, brighter display, more ports, and the added power of a beefier Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 chip. It's one of the best Chrome tablets you can buy, and the fact that Lenovo includes the keyboard cover at no extra cost helps it double as a surprisingly effective 2-in-1 Chromebook. While the original Duet further is a better buy if you're short on cash, those who can afford it will be well-served by this excellent Chromebook.

Read our full Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook review.

Asus Chromebook Flip C434

(Image credit: Future)

4. Asus Chromebook Flip C434

The best premium Chromebook for kids

Specifications

CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Core m3-8100Y
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 32GB eMMC|
Display: 14-inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels, touchscreen
Dimensions: 12.6 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 3.2 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek design with thin bezels
+
Vivid 1080p touchscreen
+
Good battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Finicky touchpad

For something with a little more power still in the Asus family, there’s the Chromebook Flip C434. People like this one for its premium design, featuring thin display bezels and a sleek aluminum exterior. The 14-inch touch screen is large and vivid and can last up to 10 hours on a full charge. 

Unfortunately, you’re not gaining anything in ports with the price uptick, since the slim design of the Chromebook Flip C434 takes precedence. There is a USB-A port and two USB-C ports, as well as a microSD card insert. You might consider budgeting for a compatible adapter for this particular Chromebook or an external mouse, as its touchpad is a bit too finicky to be precise. If you need more power, Asus offers this model with either a Core i5 or Core i7 processor with up to 8GB of RAM and up to 128GB of storage for $650 and $700. 

Acer Chromebook 714

(Image credit: Acer)

5. Acer Chromebook 714

The best Chromebook for kids with a lot of Chrome tabs open

Specifications

CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Core m3-8100Y
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 32GB eMMC
Display: 14-inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels, touchscreen
Dimensions: 12.6 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 3.2 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful aluminum chassis
+
Good touchpad
+
Powerful CPU options

Reasons to avoid

-
Display not terribly vibrant
-
Quiet speakers

If your child needs a big screen, a powerful processor, and 8GB of RAM, consider going all-in on the Acer Chromebook 714. This laptop comes in several configurations, including a latest-generation Intel Core i3 and Core i5. The one we suggest for older kids is priced at $650 for the Core i3 and 64GB of storage, though you can get the $500 variant with a  2.3GHz Intel Pentium 4417U and still get it bundled with 8GB of RAM. That’s plenty of memory for sifting through tabs in Chrome and launching multiple apps at a time. 

Whichever hardware configuration you choose, you’re getting the same all-aluminum, aesthetically-pleasing chassis on the Chromebook 714 along with a backlit keyboard and a responsive touchpad. The exterior is also fingerprint-resistant, so it stays looking smooth, and there’s a fingerprint scanner for locking up the device from the prying eyes of nosy parents. The only caveats to consider here is the Chromebook 714 doesn’t have the most vibrant display or boomy speakers. 

How to choose the best Chromebook for your kid

Kids don't need all the bells and whistles of a premium Chromebook. They need something functional enough to check them into class and help facilitate participation. Chromebooks running lesser-known processors such as the MediaTek Helio P60T and the Intel Celeron N4000 are undoubtedly able, but they're not workhorses akin to the Intel Core M3 and Core i5 processors. For something more powerful and capable of flying through several Chrome tabs at a time, plus Android apps where applicable, 8GB of memory is a minimum requirement.  At the very least, you won't have to worry about discrepancies in battery life between the models mentioned here because education-focused Chromebooks run on the least-taxing specifications.  

For a child who is mostly stuck at the desk doing schoolwork, a traditional laptop-type Chromebook will suffice, though you'll want to choose an exterior that's easy to wipe down when messes occur. If your child prefers a mouse to navigate, select one with a standard USB input. It simplifies the process of connecting a mouse, and you don't have to worry about buying a compatible USB-C dock. For squirmier tykes, a 2-in-1 Chromebook tablet has the same functionality as a desk-bound Chromebook, but with the flexibility of doing schoolwork in a beanbag chair or another extremely comfortable situation. 

When it comes to screen size, an 11-inch display is ample enough for younger kids. Older kids and middle-schoolers will benefit more from a larger display, or anything 13-inches and over. If you don't like the display of the Chromebook--perhaps it's a bit washed out, or you realize it's uncomfortable for your child--you can always invest in the USB hub mentioned above to tack on HDMI and connect to an external monitor. 

Lastly, since Chromebook models aren’t typically refreshed annually, be keen on whether or not the Chromebook model you choose will receive software and security updates down the line. Most of the Chromebooks featured here are set for updates until 2026. (Google offers a helpful support page if you want to look up a specific model.) This ensures compatibility with software and that your child’s laptop isn’t exposed to any major security vulnerabilities. You may have to perform some manual parenting maintenance to ensure the device stays up to date. 

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. He currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.