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Demian Suvorov
Demian Suvorov

Best Computer To Buy For Kids

Demand for kid-friendly laptops designed for home learning surged to an all-time high during the various national lockdowns and it remains prudent to invest in the best laptop for kids your budget allows for.

best computer to buy for kids

The original Microsoft Surface Laptop Go occupied this slot for two years, but now there's a new option for kids who need a bit more processing power: the Go 2. It isn't a gigantic update, but Microsoft has made just enough tweaks to make it the best budget Microsoft laptop.

In short, there's very little not to like about the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2. Yes, it could have more ports (you're only getting one USB-C and USB-A), but this is a beautifully made and affordable main machine for your kids that won't let them down.

The venerable Google Pixelbook Go has slipped down a few spots in our ranking this month, due in part to Google discontinuing production - though you can still buy one as of right now, and it remains one of the best Chromebooks ever made.

Taking the rightful top spot now is our previous number 2, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311. Truthfully, most of Acer's Chromebook Spin series are great laptops for kids, with a huge range of models to suit any needs and budget. The Spin 311 is our particular recommendation due to its sturdy chassis, which should hold up against the wear and tear generated by tiny, grubby hands.

Finding the best laptops for kids isn't always straightforward. Sure, some laptops are obviously not appropriate for children - many of the best laptops are expensive, high-performance devices that a kid simply doesn't need. But that doesn't mean we should throw the spec sheets away just because a laptop is meant for younger users.

To start off, a good laptop for kids doesn't need to be a performance powerhouse, but it should have enough power to handle all the daily tasks a child will use it for. We're talking schoolwork, web browsing, watching YouTube, and perhaps the occasional spot of after-school gaming.

They should also be sufficiently rugged to survive the rough-and-tumble any device used by kids will inevitably be subjected to, and pack long-lasting battery so your child isn't tethered to a wall outlet all day long. Many of the best Chromebooks fit the bill here - to be more specific, the best Chromebooks for students are excellent, especially for older kids.

Of course, you also don't want to spend too much money on a device that your kid might outgrow, so value is a key factor here. You can check out the best laptop deals available right now if you're looking to snap up a bargain, but we've been careful to stick to budget-friendly options as much as possible in the list below.

We've tested dozens (if not hundreds!) of laptops and Chromebooks to be able to recommend to you the best laptops for students. After hours of research and testing, we feel confident that our top picks will suit your kid's needs - and your budget.

The best laptop for kids must be secure, simple to use, and can outlast them past naptime. Google Pixelbook Go ticks off all those requirements and then some, with its astounding battery life and security-oriented ChromeOS environment. It's lightweight but relatively durable, making it a good pick for elementary school-age kids.

Bear in mind that these 'gaming Chromebooks' still use Chrome OS, so they can't directly run games from platforms such as Steam or the Epic Games Store. Instead, you can download and play games from the Google Play Store, and use cloud gaming services such as Xbox Game Pass and Nvidia GeForce Now. These require a subscription and good internet connection, but grant you access to a wide library of games to stream on-demand - great for indecisive kids who are always looking to play something new!

Computer shopping is not fun. Yup. I said it, and I fully mean it. There are so many options, configurations, jargon, and a constant stream of promotions. The shopping dynamic gets even muddier when you're looking for a computer for a kid who may or may not have a specific task in mind.

My daughter, for example, needs a computer for school work. My two sons are gamers who also aspire to stream on Twitch for a living. Two completely different use cases with two completely different needs.

Below I've rounded up a few of the more common requests from kids and why they'd need a computer, such as for gaming, school work or, even, becoming the next big YouTuber. I've also included several different options for varying budgets.

My anecdotal experience, courtesy of my own children, is that one of the most sought-after types of computers has to be a gaming PC. That means a computer that's powerful enough to play everything from Fall Guys or Minecraft to Fortnite and Call of Duty. Roblox is also on that list, but that's a game -- much like Minecraft -- that's built to run on pretty much anything you can remotely call a computer, modern or not.

What makes a gaming computer, well, a gaming computer? There's a lot that goes into it, but the gist of it is you'll ideally want some form of dedicated graphics card (GPU). A stand-alone GPU is what gives gaming computers better graphics and performance. The downside to adding a dedicated GPU to a computer also increases the price -- graphics cards aren't cheap.

If your child wants a gaming PC, but they don't play any resource-intensive games (like Call of Duty or Red Dead Redemption 2), you can get by with a computer that has integrated graphics (a graphics processor that's built into the CPU). Heck, I've had some success playing Fortnite on a PC I built that used the integrated graphics processor built into AMD's very affordable Ryzen 3 3200G processor.

Aegis RS 11TC-405US Gaming Desktop: MSI's Aegis line of desktop gaming PCs looks great and offers plenty of performance for the price. This particular option gets you a well-rounded build that includes Intel's 11th Gen. i5 11400F processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, 16GB of storage and 1TB of SSD storage. Better yet? It comes with all of the RGB lighting that makes a gaming computer look so cool.

Streaming Pro BLD Kit: The best part about a gaming PC is that you aren't stuck with whatever's inside it the day you bought it. At any time, assuming compatibility isn't an issue, you can upgrade the CPU, GPU, memory or add more storage. To learn what parts go where, it's a good idea to build your first gaming PC. But instead of sourcing the parts on your own, getting something like the NZXT Streaming Pro BLD Kit is a convenient and fun way to go.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet: A Chromebook is a reliable and easy way to start a kid's computer journey. They're relatively affordable, receive routine software updates and have a strong track record when it comes to security. And they're commonly used in an education setting, so the apps or websites kids use for lessons work on a Chromebook. Plus you'll get access to Google's suite of Docs, Sheets and Slides. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet has long been one of my favorite Chromebooks because it's a 2-in-1 that comes with a detachable keyboard for just under $300. And since everything on a Chromebook is stored in your Google Drive account, you don't need something with a ton of storage.

I have yet to meet a kid over the age of 5 who doesn't want to be some kind of a YouTube personality. Be it someone who unboxes toys and plays with them, does trick shots or plays video games -- YouTube is life for most kids. In order to be a YouTuber, though, you need to have a computer that's powerful enough to edit hours and hours of video.

What to look for: There's a lot of overlap between a gaming PC and a computer that's built to efficiently edit video. In fact, if you're using a Windows PC you'll want something with a dedicated GPU to speed up the editing process. But, unlike a gaming PC, editing videos affords you the flexibility to pick Windows or Mac. Apple's Mac lineup is commonly used to edit video, with the latest Apple Silicon processors having enough processing and graphical power to get the job done.

For example, all gaming PCs would are fully capable of editing video. For parents with a child who is learning 3D or CAD designing for video games or 3D printing, then you really have several options -- both Windows or Mac. Any of the MacBooks will get the job done, as will the gaming computers.

Cat Bowen has been writing about all things parenting for well over a decade. She spends her days researching, reviewing, and testing everything from strollers to breast pumps to changing tables. Her work has been featured in Romper, Bustle, and franchised across dozens of media outlets. In her spare time she loves volunteering at her kids' schools, reading everything she can get her hands on, running, and cooking for her family.

In the age of social media and YouTube, kids are spending more and more time in front of screens. Even in school, some kids use laptops during classes and for assignments. Computer glasses, commonly known as blue light blocking lenses, reduce artificial blue light exposure.

Computer glasses filter and block blue light emitted from digital devices. As noted, blue light affects children more than adults, so giving your child a pair of computer glasses for home or school can put your mind at ease.

Regardless of whether your child needs a prescription, computer glasses provide excellent protection. LED lights used in homes and other places also emit blue light. Wearing glasses that block blue light can reduce eye fatigue and other symptoms associated with blue light exposure.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), children under five should have one hour or less of screen time per day. Older children should only spend a few hours per day in front of digital screens. Aside from using computer glasses, here are a few ways to help you limit screen time for your kids. 041b061a72


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