Chromebooks are fast becoming a staple of American education, especially during these pandemic times. With the system and learning leveraging technology, it's high time you invested in the best Chromebook for kids. But children have special needs as far as tech goes.
We all know how kids can be harsh on gadgets. The best Chromebooks for kids should be not only simple and user-friendly but also durable. You'll also want to invest in a fairly affordable Chromebook since you might have to replace parts from time to time; kids, right?
What Sets Chromebooks Apart?
Essentially, Chromebooks are less expensive laptops running on Google's Chrome OS than the typical Windows or macOS. Chrome OS is cloud and browser-based, which makes it significantly lighter and snappier. More so, it updates in the background automatically, which keeps the Chromebook running optimally and securely.
Chromebooks can only support Android apps. That shouldn't worry you, though; there are millions of them for whatever you need in the Google Play and Chrome Web stores. However, you shouldn't expect to run heavy computing processes, such as photo editing or hard-core gaming apps.
The biggest appeal to Chromebooks is their simplicity and ease of use, making them ideal for kids. It's a perfect solution for giving your kid their own device. Suffice it to say, Chromebooks blend the best of both worlds between a tablet and a laptop.
Here a 5 of the best Chromebooks for kids currently on the market:
1. Google Pixelbook Go
- Good to Go: Pixelbook Go lets you stay unplugged for up to 12 hours  so you don't need to carry a charger. And when you do need a charge get up to 2 hours of use in just 20 minutes so you can keep going. 
- Made to move Pixelbook Go is lightweight - Barely 2 pounds It's 13 millimeter thin with a grippable design making it easier to carry 
- Get it done Fast: Pixelbook Go starts up in seconds and makes working a breeze. The 8th Gen Intel Core Processor is quick and responsive powering everything you do. And Chrome OS doesn't slow down over time so it always feels like new. 
- Go without worry: Pixelbook Go is designed to prevent things from getting off track. The Titan C security chip and built-in anti-virus software help protect your data. And Chrome OS updates automatically with the latest features and security. 
- Built for comfort: A backlit keyboard and Hush Keys make using Pixelbook Go comfortable and quiet. The touchpad is spacious and accurate so you only need to use a light touch. The fan less design stays cool to let you comfortably use it on your lap.
All Chromebooks run on Google's OS. You'd therefore expect the tech giant to have its own hardware product. At that, Google has really gone to town with this Chromebook.
The Pixelbook Go comes with built-in antivirus software, plus easy access to all your child's favorite apps. It's incredibly snappy, thanks to 8GB of RAM. It also has a long battery life of up to 12 hours, sufficient to occupy the child for (most of) the day; besides, it supports fast-charging (2 hours after 20 minutes of charging), just in case they need a quick boost.
It features a 13.3" HD screen, with a 1080p camera and powerful dual speakers. This makes it ideal for online classes, video meetings and even a great viewing experience for movies and shows. The backlit and quiet keyboard and large touchpad are equally nifty, allowing your kid to use the Chromebook with relative ease.
It's remarkably light, weighing just 2 pounds, and folds to just 13mm thin. Furthermore, it sports an ergonomic grippable design. This makes it impressively portable and also excellent for small and/or clumsy hands.
2. Asus Chromebook Flip C434
- 14 inch Touchscreen FHD 1920x1080 4-way NanoEdge display featuring ultra-narrow bezels (5mm thin) around each side of the display that allows for a 14 inch screen to fit in the body of a 13inch laptop footprint.
- The FHD display has a durable 360 degree hinge that can be used to flip the touchscreen display to tent, stand, and tablet mode.
- Powered by the Intel Core m3-8100Y Processor (up to 3.4 GHz) for super-fast and snappy performance. If you use a ton of tabs or run lots of apps, this has the power to get it all done with ease.
- 4GB DDR3 RAM; 64GB eMMC storage and 2x USB Type-C (Gen 1) and 1s Type-A (Gen 1) ports plus a super bright backlit keyboard.
- The lightweight (3lbs) all-aluminum metal body makes the C434 both durable and beautiful for a timeless look that will never go out of style.
If you don't want your kid squinting at a tiny screen, then this 4 GB RAM Chromebook is worth your consideration. The Flip C434 features a 14" HD display with ultraslim bezels. It also has a 178-degree viewing angle, making it excellent as both a tablet or TV.
The body is made of lightweight aluminum metal for solid premium construction; the fit and finish are nothing short of brilliant. It also features a 360-degree hinge that lets you fold the Chromebook into several configurations. Moreover, it has up to 10-hour battery life.
It comes with a webcam, backlit keyboard and a large touchpad. The touchpad supports palm rejection and multi-touch gestures. Just as important, it also has one USB-A port, two USB-C ports, a MicroSD card reader and a headphone jack.
3. Samsung Chromebook 4+
- Touch Screen Type :Adaptive.Aspect Ratio:16:9
- Large and immersive 15.6” display in a compact frame
- Compact design - military-grade durability - Slim, under 3 pounds, and with military-grade durability, 1 it's made to handle Bumps and drops. Plus, it comes with a full-sized keyboard and trackpad.
- Ultra-fast connectivity with Gigabit Wi-Fi -with a Lightning fast Gigabit Wi-Fi connection, stream or download massive files rapidly.
- Advanced security with multiple layers of built-in virus protection. Microphone-Yes
If you want a durable, budget Chromebook that won't let your kid down, this might be it. The Chromebook 4+ costs even less than your average smartphone.
It has an impressive 15.6" HD display, plus a 720p camera. It also features an Intel Celeron n4000 processor, making it one of the best Chromebooks for kids for both learning and entertainment. Like all other Chromebooks, it comes with built-in anti-virus software and automatic updates.
The Samsung Chromebook has a sturdy, rugged frame that can withstand dropping on the floor in a backpack. It has a backlit, spill-resistant keyboard, meaning you worry less about your kid accidentally spilling drinks on it. It also includes two USB-C ports and a MicroSD card reader. Plus, it offers at least 10 hours of battery life.
4. Acer Chromebook Spin 11
- Chromebook runs on Chrome OS - an operating system by Google that is built for the way we live today. It comes with built-in virus protection, updates automatically, boots up in seconds and continues to stay fast over time. (Internet connection is required).
- All the Google apps you know and love come standard on every Chromebook, which means you can edit, download, and convert Microsoft Office files in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.
- Get access to more than 2 million Android apps from Google Play to learn and do more.
- Chromebooks come with built-in storage for offline access to your most important files and an additional 100GB of Google Drive space to ensure that all of your files are backed up automatically.
- CP311-1HN-C2DV comes with 11. 6” HD Touch IPS Display, Intel Celeron N3350, 4GB DDR4 Memory, 32GB eMMC, Google Chrome, Protective Sleeve, Wacom Pen and Up to 10-hours Battery Life.
If you're looking for the best touchscreen Chromebook, the Spin 11 is undoubtedly a formidable contender. In fact, it features a 360-degree flip design that allows you to use the Chromebook from anything between a tablet and a laptop.
It's weighing just 2.62 pounds. The 11.6" HD touchscreen is made of sturdy Gorilla glass to avoid any unnecessary scratches or breaks. This also means your kid can use a stylus to draw, write or edit their work. With up to 10 hours of battery life, there's plenty your kid can do with this Chromebook.
Despite what the plastic build might seem to let on, the Spin 11 is actually pretty durable, even with kids. It also comes with snappy wireless connections, featuring 802.11ac and 2x2 MIMO capabilities. Lastly, it has two USB-A, two USB-C ports and a MicroSD card reader.
5. Lenovo Chromebook Duet
- This ultraportable 2-in-1 Chromebook includes a fast and stable plug-and-play detachable keyboard enabled with 5-point pogo pin and magnet design
- Take it with you everywhere. Thin and lightweight the Chromebook Duet offers up to 10 hours of battery life (2)
- The unique dual-tone design with aluminum alloy on the tablet is a standout design with sophisticated fabric texture on the stand cover you'll be stylish productive and practical
- Fast secure and easy to use: This touchscreen Chromebook boots up quickly with just your Google login to give you access to all of your cloud-based documents email and more
- With the 10 1" FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS display and stunning colorful details you won't sacrifice for great visuals; The 10-point multi-touch touchscreen is also USI pen compatible (pen sold separately)
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet combines the best of both worlds to give your kid everything they need for virtual learning and more. Not to mention the Chromebook Duet is pretty snappy, thanks to the MediaTek Helio P60T processor, even booting up in just under 10 seconds.
It's quite light, weighing just 2.1 pounds. But this is not to say it's delicate; it'll work just fine after being dropped on the floor in a backpack. It comes with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, plus front and rear integrated cameras. You also get up to 10 hours of battery life. To cap it off, the battery charger connects via a pogo pin connector, making it less likely to be charged if your kid isn't too gentle.
The Chromebook Duet features a 10.1" HD touchscreen and a detachable keyboard to deliver a full experience in both laptop and tablet modes. It also comes with a stand at the back of the screen, allowing you to use it upright.
What to Look for in The Best Chromebook for Kids
If you're not particularly tech-savvy, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which Chromebook suits your child best. The following factors should help you to find the best Chromebook for your kid:
1. Child's Age
The older your child is, the more they might require higher specs on their Chromebook. For instance, if your kid is junior high onwards, they'll probably need more storage on their device for school textbooks and projects since some files cannot be accessed online.
2. RAM & Storage
RAM determines the number of processes a computer can run simultaneously. Fortunately, Chromebooks primarily online, meaning you don't need too much RAM to get things going. The standard 4GB is more than adequate to suit your kid's needs.
Storage can be a bit murkier since it mostly depends on the number of apps your kid will be using. Android apps require a level of local storage on the machine. 16GB should suffice for a handful of apps, while 32GB might be more suited for heavier users. You can also find 64GB Chromebooks, although this seems to target users who'd like to use Linux apps in the future.
3. Screen Size
Normally, Chromebook screens range between 10.1 and 15.6 inches, depending on the intended use. The more common sizes are 11.6, 13.3 and 15.6 inches. A 13.3-inch is probably the most practical for its size and usability.
If you intend to connect the Chromebook to a peripheral, it's important to ensure you have the appropriate ports. If you want to connect to older peripherals, you'll need USB-A and USB-C ports. If you'd like to connect it to a monitor or larger screen, then you'll need an HDMI port on the Chromebook.
Like any other purchase, you'll need to consider how deep you're willing to dig into your pockets. Luckily, Chromebooks generally have very attractive price points. You'll almost certainly find a Chromebook that fits any reasonable budget.
Will your child carry the Chromebook for a distance to school? If that's the case, they're probably better of with a lighter option. A heavy Chromebook might be cumbersome for your kid, especially if they have to carry it around all day.
You'll also need to consider what your kid will be doing with their Chromebook. Is a touchscreen necessary? Will your child be watching shows and movies?
Generally, Chromebooks are built like traditional laptops. However, some can be flipped for use as a tablet or a viewing screen. Is this functionality important to your kid?
9. Battery Life
Ideally, you want battery life that will last your kid throughout the school day. You can also get an extra quick-charging battery in case your kid forgets to plug in their Chromebook overnight.
You certainly can't expect your kid to be as cautious with their Chromebook as you're with your laptop. Therefore, you'll want a device that can withstand most of the things thrown at it without permanent damage. However, you have to keep in mind that lighter builds result in slightly less durable Chromebooks.
Should You Buy Your Kid a Chromebook?
Before you buy your kid a Chromebook, particularly for schoolwork, it's important to find about the machines they use at school. This should help you to determine if they will have a seamless experience between school computers and their own.
If you can entrust your child with their own Chromebook, these are the key up and downsides to consider:
- Easier to carry since they are generally smaller and lighter.
- Files are always accessible via the web since Chromebooks are cloud and web-based.
- Google Docs and Google Drive update automatically, meaning your kid doesn't have to worry about losing their work prematurely.
- Chromebooks are generally affordable.
- They are also quick and easy to set up and customize, making them remarkably simple kid-friendly.
- Chromebooks offer more security, thanks to the sandboxing functionality. Each process runs within its own "sandbox", meaning viruses are unlikely to spread to other files, processes or the entire Operating System.
- In case of any damage, a Chromebook is far much easier to repair than a traditional laptop.
- Chromebooks come with parental control to help you protect your child from inappropriate content.
- The lighter, smaller build makes Chromebooks more prone to damage when dropped.
- Minimum onboard storage.
- You need an internet connection to access all your apps and files. That being said, a Chromebook can also be used offline.
Frequently Asked Questions about Best Chromebooks for Kids
1. What can my kid do on a Chromebook?
Chromebooks are superb for schoolwork, web-based apps, internet research, as well as watching shows and movies.
2. Which one is better: Chromebook or laptop?
If your kid simply wants a machine for school work and a bit of entertainment, they might be better off with a Chromebook. However, if they need to store large files or run programs that need to be stored locally, a traditional laptop is arguably the better option.
3. Can I put parent controls on a Chromebook?
Yes. First, you need to create a Google Family Link account. This should guide you to the 'Privacy and Security' tab from where you can determine the content you want your kid to consume.
In that effect, you can also childproof a Chromebook physically to prevent unwanted damages. You can buy a case or cover while also guiding your child on proper and responsible use.