The Best Chromebook for Kids
Unlike Windows laptops and MacBooks, Chromebooks run on ChromeOS, and they’re becoming increasingly popular among younger students. A Chromebook is capable of using Android apps too, which can come in handy. For basic computing, these computers are up for the task.
Here’s our list of the best Chromebooks for kids. Whether it’s for homework and studying or playing a few games, these Chromebooks capable of it all. Some of them are even able to switch to tablet form.
One of the most powerful Chromebooks available, the Google Pixelbook Go is made by Google itself. It boasts impressive specs that are far beyond the cheapest Chromebooks. Moreover, with this power comes very little weight. The Pixelbook Go weighs barely two pounds and is 13mm thin; perfect for kids to carry around should they need help.
The battery is also capable of outlasting those of modern laptops for up to 12 hours. This means that your kid can leave it on standby, lid down, and still have battery life left after a few days. The powerful battery life is also coupled with quick charge time. 20 minutes of charging can yield about two hours of use. If you’re on the go a lot, this is a great feature.
There are a few customization models available with an increase in the processor, RAM, and storage. The basic Pixelbook Go has an Intel Core m3, 8 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of internal storage. The model with the highest specifications comes with an Intel Core i7, 16 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of internal storage. The best model also comes with 4K Ultra HD resolution. The other models go up to 1080p at most.
The screen is 13.3 inches wide. Kids may not need that much RAM, but sometimes storage space is scarce. As a result, you can consider a model with extra storage space. Processing power shouldn’t be an issue, as your kids are going to use the Pixelbook mostly for schoolwork. The m3 and i5 models should be sufficient. If you’re worried about security, you don’t have to be. The Pixelbook Go’s security consists of a Titan C security chip and built-in antivirus. These are sufficient to keep your kids’ data and most importantly, passwords safe from malicious hackers.
The Pixelbook Go also comes with Google’s Hush keyboard. These keys are very quiet and won’t click and clack. A keyboard backlight is also handy in dimmer environments. When it comes to virtual meetings or just calling Grandma to say hi, the Pixelbook Go has a 1080p Duo Cam at the front. The Pixelbook is quite expensive when you buy the best models, and it has no biometric login functionality. Its screen isn’t the highest quality either. However, if you want to best Chromebook in the market with premium features, the Google Pixelbook Go is the best choice, especially for schoolwork.
- Powerful processors available
- Lots of storage and RAM
- Quiet keyboard
- Expensive, especially the high-end models
- No biometric login
- Sub-standard screen quality
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet might only come with a 10-inch screen, but it’s capable of transforming into a tablet. The screen is also an IPS screen, preferred by gamers. In addition, the Chromebook Duet is rather affordable for kids. By detaching the screen from the keyboard, your kids can use it as a tablet. This will allow them to watch videos on the couch or in bed.
The Chromebook Duet screen is secured to the keyboard by a series of magnets and hardpoints. With around 10 hours of battery life, it only takes three hours to charge it fully. Using a USB-C PD charger allows you to fully charge it in two hours. The Chromebook Duet is also rather light at around two pounds. Carrying it shouldn’t be too difficult for them.
The screen or tablet is constructed with an aluminum alloy for lighter weight and style. Combined with the tablet stand, it has a modern look to it. The resolution is 1920 x 1200p, which is slightly higher than the usual 1080p. The 10-inch IPS screen allows your kids to enjoy enhanced visuals compared to other screen types. In addition, the screen is a 10-point multi-touch touchscreen that is compatible with USI pens. You’ll have to buy a USI pen, but drawing will be much more enjoyable.
You have 4 GB of RAM and a CPU speed of 2 GHz, perfect for moderate schoolwork. That’s also enough for some simple games from the Play Store. The extra processing power allows the Chromebook Duet to boot up in under 10 seconds and update automatically. You will also receive a free 12-month Google One membership on purchase. This grants you 100 GB of storage. 64 GB of storage space is fine for schoolwork, but over time files that aren’t deleted will take up space.
You can consider using cloud storage for unimportant files. The Chromebook Duet comes with two cameras. The front camera is a 2 MP fixed-focus design with an LED indicator. The rear camera has 8 MP and auto-focus. This makes the tablet ideal for taking videos and pictures. The keyboard also comes with a USB port if you want to add a mouse or USB drive. If that’s not enough, you can use extenders. For a two-in-one design, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a powerful contender for the best in this class. Its features are exemplary and well worth its price tag, especially the IPS screen and decent processing power.
- IPS screen
- Good processing power
- Two-in-one design
- Quick boot
- Not a true laptop or tablet
- WiFi can be spotty
If your kids are going to do a lot of web browsing and require some extra processing power, the Acer Chromebook 714 is your best choice. It’s capable of extensive browsing and the large 14-inch screen helps. It might be heavier than smaller Chromebooks but that’s not always an issue.
The two main features that stand out are the large screen and processing power. The matte 14-inch screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1080p; the standard for devices today. It might dull vibrant colors, but it reduces annoying reflections. Regardless, the larger screen size helps with reading and watching videos. The lower-end options come with i3 processors, but the upgrades come with i5 processors.
If your kids are older, the i5 option should be sufficient for their schoolwork demands. They need to open more tabs and apps in the background, after all. Even if you get the i3-8130U processor with 2.2 GHz, you can activate Turbo Boost to get 3.4 GHz. This will reduce battery life, so it’s better to have it plugged in while using Turbo Mode.
The Chromebook 714 also has integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620. This will make the gaming experience much better when you also activate Turbo Mode. Even if you’re not gaming, it can display the images on-screen while the CPU works hard. The better options also come with extra RAM, 8 GB of it. This will allow the Chromebook 714 to handle even more processes at once. For intensive schoolwork, it’s an attractive upgrade.
Due to its larger size, the Chromebook 714 is 3.53 pounds, about 50% heavier than the two competitors we’ve reviewed above. This can be heavier for younger kids, but with a backpack, it should be portable enough. For virtual meetings and calls, you have a webcam. It’s not the best one out there but can work well for non-professional situations and school. For kids who have demanding schoolwork, you can consider the Acer Chromebook 714. Its plentiful processing and graphical power combined with RAM will handle processes easily.
- Powerful processing power
- Large screen
- Built-in MicroSD reader
- Heavy for a Chromebook
- Accessories are sometimes subpar
Earlier, we covered a Chromebook that has a detachable screen that functions as a tablet, but some prefer convertible Chromebooks. These screens are undetachable but can rotate so you can use them as a large tablet. The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 is a great example of these types of Chromebooks.
Its 11.6-inch screen is fully touch-screen, and you can just flip the screen around to access tablet mode. Even in laptop mode, you can use touch screen actions combined with a mouse and keyboard. This design also allows for more ports. The screen is an IPS screen, so you get to enjoy better graphics.
The LED backlight is energy efficient so you can watch more videos before charging. Unfortunately, this screen has a resolution of only 1366 x 768, a little higher than the normal 720p. It’s sufficient for schoolwork, but your kids won’t be able to watch FHD videos with the Flex 3. The IPS screen does help with the graphics either way. The keyboard has a USB-A port, one USB-C port, and an HDMI port. These allow you to use your Chromebook much like a standard decked-out laptop.
You can use it for presentations in class without adapters. MediaTek processors aren’t as well-known as those from Intel, AMD, or NVIDIA, but they’re often used in thin laptops and Chromebooks. The Flex 3 comes with a MediaTek MT8173C processor with multicore processing. It can handle all the basic schoolwork tasks your kids need to complete. Added to the processor are PowerVR graphics and Dolby Audio. PowerVR graphics can be found in Android phones and handles 2D and 3D graphics. It’s energy-efficient and effective for such a package as the Flex 3.
Dolby Audio is a well-known product in computers that provides an enhanced listening experience. Other than giving the onboard speakers a boost in audio quality, it also works with headphones and earbuds. With 32 GB of internal storage and 4 GB RAM, the Flex 3 can let your kids do their homework. It might not be very fast or capable of a lot of tasks at once, but younger kids won’t need intensive processing capabilities. 32 GB of storage space isn’t a lot but you can use a form of cloud storage services like Google Drive or OneDrive. Use the internal storage space for important apps and files instead.
The Flex 3 weighs about 2.65 pounds. This isn’t particularly heavy as Chromebooks go, but it’s a little heavier than many of the lightweight models. Kids can still carry it with their hands without much effort. Even with this weight, the Flex 3 can last around 10 hours. That’s enough battery life to use it at school without charging. If you want a convertible Chromebook for your kids to take to school, the Lenovo Flex 3 is a solid choice. In both forms, you can use it for any task.
- IPS screen
- Unusual almond color
- Good processing power
- Multiple ports for functionality
- Not FHD
- Only 32 GB of storage space
- Low RAM
Bigger isn’t always better, but the Samsung Chromebook 4 Plus has the largest screen size on our list. It’s not only packed with enough features for school, but it won’t break your bank at all. You can even choose options with more storage and RAM.
At 15.6 inches, this Chromebook has an FHD screen, or 1920 x 1080p. This is of course good enough for schoolwork, and there’s no need to squint to read. Even with the large screen, it’s still not excessively heavy. To have a 15.6-inch Chromebook weighing 3.8 pounds is quite amazing. Granted, the larger a computer, there heavier it is.
However, Samsung managed to reduce a lot of weight for a Chromebook this large. The Intel Celeron N4000 processor in the Chromebook 4 Plus only goes up to 1.1 GHz. This is still suitable for younger kids, but it pales in comparison to all of our picks on the list. Even with low processing power, you can still increase the storage and RAM. The base model has 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. By paying a little bit more, you can choose between 6 GB RAM and 64 GB of eMMC storage or 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD storage. The former will be slower in terms of loading speed, but you have more RAM at your disposal.
It depends on your kids’ needs as to which one you might pick. If you’re scared of fragile computers, the Chromebook 4 Plus is built to military specifications. It’s much stronger than many other models. Some Chromebooks also suffer from poor WiFi connections, but this one has Gigabit Wi-Fi to fix the problem. No more slow YouTube videos! The 10.5 hours of battery life make it a great deal.
An unanticipated bonus is that you can activate Google Assistant. It makes operating the Chromebook 4 Plus more convenient. The Samsung Chromebook 4 Plus isn’t the best Chromebook in terms of processing power, but its other features make up for it to a degree. It’s sufficient for kids to do homework or surf the internet. It’s also one of the better, cheaper options out there.
- Google Assistant-enabled
- Tough build
- Good WiFi connections
- Large screen
- Poor processing power
- Heavier than most Chromebooks