Chromebooks have taken the world by storm. These cheap portable laptops are perfect for the education market, and the Chromebook range is extensive. Manufacturers have realized, too, that parents don’t want to spend thousands on a laptop for their child. The potential for loss, damage, and theft is too high.
Looking for a new Chromebook for your child? Check out the five best Chromebooks for kids of all ages!
What Is a Kids Chromebook?
A kid’s Chromebook is a Chrome OS laptop with extra features. For instance, some Chromebook models come with a rugged case and waterproofing to protect against spills of each kind. Other’s come with additional security, tracking, and other integrated services to help you keep tabs on the small one in your life.
Even with the additional security features and protection, you still need to consider the specs under the hood. The hardware specs you need for your kid’s Chromebook depend on what they will use the device for.
If they’re note-taking, emailing, and writing essays, you don’t need to splash out for powerful hardware. However, if they’re using design programs or video editing, you can purchase a more powerful Chromebook.
1. Best Chromebook for Young Kids:
The ASUS C202SA-YS02 is a ruggedized water resistant 11.6-inch Chromebook. The combination of rugged design and water resistance makes the C202SA perfect for young kids who are likely to drop, knock, or spill something on their new Chromebook. In fact, the C202SA is one of the best performers in drop-testing, surviving falls up to 3.9 feet and aided by reinforced, rubber-wrapped edges.
Better still, weighing just 2.65 pounds, the ASUS C202SA is light enough that even small children can carry it in their rucksack. Under the hood, the ASUS C2020SA comes with a decent Intel Celeron N3060 CPU, 16GB or 32GB storage, 4GB DDR3 RAM, up to ten hours battery life, and a 1366×768 anti-glare screen.
The Amazon reviews for the ASUS C202SA are largely positive, too, with one reviewer stating, “This is a very solid feeling unit, unlike many inexpensive Chromebooks,” while another confirms “This ‘+ruggedized’ version looks like it’d be great for children.”
Please note that the C202SA is water-resistant, not waterproof. It will withstand a glass of water; it won’t survive bath time.
The ASUS Chromebook Flip C213SA continues the theme of ruggedization. Another ASUS 11.6-inch rugged and spill-proof Chromebook, but it does have several differences from the C202SA.
Namely, the Flip C213SA has a 360-degree zinc alloy hinge which allows you to twist the screen and keypad into tablet or laptop mode. You’ll need tablet mode because the Flip C213SA comes equipped with an anti-scratch and anti-fingerprint touchscreen, making it more versatile than the C202SA. Also, the Flip C213SA packs an Intel Celeron N3350 CPU, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 32GB storage, a massive 12-hour battery life, and a handy USB 3.1 Type-C port.
Ruggedization comes from the MIL-STD-810G (military spec) construction. The spec means it will survive most falls and bumps and is water-resistant too (again, not waterproof!). One thing to note is that the Flip C213SA comes in two flavors: one with a stylus, and one without. The model that comes with a stylus also has an additional layer of Gorilla Glass, whereas with non-stylus option does not.
3. Best All-Round Chromebook:
The Lenovo 300e is the best all-round Chromebook for kids on this list. Why? The powerful quad-core MediaTek 8173 System on a Chip (SoC) uses integrated ARM hardware to provide better performance and lower power consumption. That’s a big win-win for any student Chromebook.
The MediaTek 8173 CPU clocks in at 2.10 GHz. The supporting hardware includes 4GB DDR3 RAM, 32GB storage, a USB 3.0 port, a USB Type-C port, SD card reader (handy for expanding storage!), Bluetooth 4.0, and up to ten hours of battery life. It also weighs in just under three pounds, which is impressive because the Lenovo 300e is also MIL-STD-810G compliant. The military spec testing means the 300e will survive falls to nearly half a meter, and is water-resistant, too.
Two more plus points for the Lenovo 300e include the 360-degree hinges, and the anti-scratch and anti-glare touchscreen. The screen resolution is a bit of a let-down at 1366×768, but don’t let that detract from an otherwise excellent all-around Chromebook for kids and students of all ages.
The Dell 3100 Education 2-in-1 has the target audience right there in the name: students and educators. It should be no surprise then that the Dell 3100 comes with educational extras and tweaks. For instance, kids and their teachers can use the Chromebook G Suite for Education; a range of Google apps focusing on education.
Like other ruggedized Chromebooks, the Dell 3100 conforms to MIL-STD-810G testing, meaning it will withstand a short drop, extreme temperatures, and shocks or vibration. It is also water-resistant, the top lid is scratch-resistant, and it has rubber edging for protection and additional grip.
Powering the Dell 3100 is an Intel Celeron N4000 CPU, a choice of 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB storage, up to 8GB LPDDR4 RAM. There’s also two USB 3.1 ports, two USB Type-C ports, a 360-degree hinge, a 13-hour battery, and an 11.6-inch Gorilla Glass touchscreen. However, the screen color lacks sufficient depth for photography or other editing involving color.
The Dell Chromebook 3400 is a rugged Chromebook with a focus on education. It comes in several specifications. While there is a standard HD variant, it’s worth opting for the Full HD model instead. This comes with an anti-glare screen and much better depth of color.
Even with the bigger screen, the Dell Chromebook 3400 features the same ruggedization as the others on this list, also conforming to MIL-STD-810G standards. It packs two USB Type-C ports, two USB Type-A ports, an Intel Celeron N4000 processor, up to 64GB storage, and 4GB LPDDR4 RAM.
The Best Chromebooks for Kids in 2019
A rugged Chromebook is one of the best options for kids, for a whole host of situations. Back to school, homework, research, after school clubs, heading to a friend’s house, and everything in between. The range of Chromebook models available across the budget spectrum allows almost anyone to pick up a decent, extremely portable, and importantly, almost child-proof laptop.
Another plus for some Chromebook models is that you can upgrade individual parts, adding extra RAM, storage, or replacing an aging battery. The hardware you can change or update varies between models. However, keep in mind that removing the outer case and the protective sticker will invalidate your warranty.
Wondering what to install on your shiny new Chromebook? Here are the best Android apps you can install on your Chromebook right now!