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The best Chromebooks for kids in 2021

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best Chromebooks for kids
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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.

The ideal Chromebook can offer your child a full computing experience (even for older kids), with optional Linux integration as well as Android apps. 

Not all Chromebooks are the same. 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. Chromebook prices range from $150 to $1,000, going from the most basic models to laptops with all the trimmings of mom and dad's laptops.

And because they're all priced so differently, what you're paying for will ultimately determine what your child is capable of doing with the machine. 

Best Black Friday deals on Chromebooks for kids

The rush to find the best Black Friday deals always includes a hunt for the best deals on Chromebooks. These low-maintenance laptops are reat for kids, and getting more popular with all ages as Chromebook makers roll out models with larger screens and more capabilities. 

The best deals go in and out of stock, and won't always last long, so keep an eye on our Chromebook Black Friday deals page for the most up-to-date discounts.

We expect to see great deals on Chromebooks through Black Friday and into Cyber Monday, so make sure to bookmark our best Cyber Monday deals page and check back often to find the best sales.

What are the best Chromebooks for kids?

For classwork, your child can get by with a Chromebook as basic as the Samsung Chromebook 4, which hails an Intel Celeron N4000 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. There's a microSD slot if you need more storage space, or you can spend an extra $30 for the Lenovo Chromebook Duet, which also doubles as a tablet and features a touchscreen for interactive educational content (or for comfortably snuggling up to watch a video after class is over). The Lenovo Chromebook 100e is also a formidable choice if you're looking for something specifically made for online learning, and it's often priced as little as $100. 

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.

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 more traditional 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

Best Chromebooks for kids: Samsung Chromebook 4

(Image credit: Samsung)

1. Samsung Chromebook 4

The best Chromebook for kids overall

CPU: Intel Celeron N4000
Storage: 32GB
Display: 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel
Dimensions: 11.3 x 8 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 2.6 pounds
Reasons to buy
+10+ hour battery life+Thin, light design+Speedy processor
Reasons to avoid
-No touchscreen-Unimpressive audio

The Samsung Chromebook 4 is the best Chromebook for kids that's under $300. The Samsung Chromebook 4 offers up to 10.5 hours of battery, which makes it great for kids who don't want to sit at the table, with their laptop plugged into a power outlet, while trudging through their work. The Chromebook 4's aluminum build makes it premium-feeling, too, which could get your kid excited about using their laptop. Also, its snappy Intel Celeron N4000 processor and comfortable keyboard will help your kid get through their classwork.

The Chromebook 4 is much lighter and thinner than comparative 11.6-inch Chromebook models. However, it doesn't offer touchscreen support, which can limit the intended functionality of the Chromebook (but it's not a huge deal if you don't need Android apps). Its audio isn't impressive, so be sure to pair the Samsung Chromebook 4 with headphones, since online learning requires following along with audible instructions. 

Best Chromebooks for kids: Lenovo Chromebook Duet review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

2. Lenovo Chromebook Duet

The best 2-in-1 Chromebook for kids

CPU: 2.0GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P60T
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

Best Chromebooks for kids: Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook

(Image credit: Lenovo)

3. Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook

The best Chromebook for kids who want more speed

CPU: 2.1GHz Intel Core i3-10110U
Storage: 64GB eMMC
Display: 13.3 inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels, touchscreen
Dimensions: 12.2 x 8.42 x 0.66 inches
Weight: 2.97 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Touch-sensitive 1080p screen+Satisfying keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-Low RAM might be a problem in some configs

The Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook is flexible in its abilities and multitasking capabilities, especially if you opt for the 10th-generation Intel Core i3 configuration. This particular version pairs the processor with 4GB of RAM, which is enough for Google Docs, Google Chrome, and shuffling between YouTube videos. The more tabs you open, the slower the system goes, however—that’s why many budget PCs come with at least 8GB of RAM to manage this kind of usage. Regardless, that’s enough to get your child through their daily lessons and a bit of leisure screen time. 

The Flex 5 Chromebook’s display swivels backward to transform into a tablet-like device. The 13.3-inch 1080p screen is both touch-sensitive and stylus-friendly, and its keyboard offers a satisfying click for older kids tasked with writing essays. The Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook also comes flush with ports, featuring two USB-C ports, one USB-A port, and a combination audio jack. 

Best Chromebooks for kids: Asus Chromebook Flip C434

(Image credit: Future)

4. Asus Chromebook Flip C434

The best premium Chromebook for kids

CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Core m3-8100Y
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. 

Best Chromebooks for kids: Acer Chromebook 714

(Image credit: Acer)

5. Acer Chromebook 714

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

CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Core m3-8100Y
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. 

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

7. Acer Chromebook Spin 311

The best Chromebook for kids who need a durable laptop

CPU: 2.0Ghz octa-core MediaTek MT8183
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 here.

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. 

Be sure to check out all of our guides to get you ready to go back to school:

Best office chairs | Best desk lamps | Best pens | Best computer speakers | Best college laptop | Best laptop bags | Best webcams | Best all-in-one printers | Best Chromebooks for kids

Alex Wawro

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.