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The best laptops for kids 2023: top tech for schoolwork, gaming and videos

Here's our guide to the best laptops for kids, whether it's for homework, gaming or fun, as recommended by parents.

By Gemma Wilcock | Last updated Nov 30, 2023


From homework to gaming, buying a laptop to suit your child’s needs requires careful consideration. Not only is online safety of paramount importance in today’s increasingly digital world, but with the cost of living crisis shrinking family budgets, many parents are looking to spend less where they can. Researching the best laptops for kids in your price range will ultimately ensure you get the most bang for your buck, whether you're looking to splash the cash for Christmas or simply looking to upgrade an older device.

From Chromebooks and 2-in-1 tablets to traditional laptops, there are plenty of child-friendly devices on the market, all offering a fast and reliable user experience. While the best laptops for kids may not necessarily need all the latest features, it should handle the tasks your child will use it for, be that homework, online tutoring, video streaming or gaming.

We scoured the Mumsnet Talk boards for recommendations from the UK's largest online network of parents. We also consulted tech experts and trusted tech publications, and analysed hundreds of customer reviews in our mission to find the best laptops for kids - from those ideal for younger kids to the best models with portability, good graphics, storage and battery life which make a great choice for older kids. Every single device on our list has been authenticated, checked and rechecked to ensure all our top picks live up to their hype.

If you're looking for more honest tech recommendations from real parents, check out our guides to the best tablets for kids, best kids' cameras, best school bags and best games consoles for kids.

Best Laptops for Kids: at a glance

Lenovo Ideapad Duet
Best overall laptop for kids

Lenovo IdeaPad
Duet Chromebook 10.1

Buy now from Amazon
Best laptop for kids under £200

ASUS Laptop
Vivobook 14" Full HD

Buy now from Amazon
Microsoft Surface Go 2
Best kids' laptop for school

Microsoft Surface Laptop
Go 2

Buy now from John Lewis

Read next: If you need some gift-giving inspiration, don't miss our guides to the best board games and best LEGO sets, as well as our bespoke toy guides: the best toys for four-year-olds, five-year-oldssix-year-oldsseven-year-oldseight-year-oldsnine-year-olds and 10-year-olds.

1. Best overall laptop for kids: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 10.1" 2-in-1 Chromebook

Price on writing: £304 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Processor (CPU): MediaTek P60T | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB eMCP | Screen resolution: Full HD 1,920 x 1,080p | Screen size: 10.1in | Weight: Tablet 450g, keyboard 250g and stand cover 220g

What we like

  • Popular brand among Mumsnet parents

  • 2-in-1 tablet and laptop

  • Lightweight and portable

  • Good battery life

  • Touchscreen

What we don’t like

  • Keyboard may be too small for older children

  • Better suited for basic tasks like browsing the internet, gaming and watching videos

What Mumsnet users say

"Check with the school definitely. I'm about to get a new laptop for my daughter and have been told no Apples, no Chromebooks. They've recommended Lenovo IdeaPads" PAFMO

"Our work uses Lenovo ThinkPads, and mine seems perfectly adequate. On the back of this, we bought my son a refurbished Lenovo IdeaPad (which are their home version) - again, this seems to do the job." rbe78

Our verdict

Lenovo is a brand whose products are trusted for their reliability and Mumsnet users agree that Lenovo's IdeaPad Duet is one of the best laptops for kids in terms of quality. Experts agree too, with Tech Radar calling the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet "one of the best Chromebooks we've ever used."

A tablet and laptop in one, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet is versatile, lightweight and very affordable, making it a great all-round option for children. Your child can easily switch the device from laptop to tablet by removing the detachable magnetic keyboard, transforming the Chromebook into a 10.1-inch tablet with a full HD screen.

It comes with decent storage capacity and weighs less than 1kg, so it’s ideal for popping in your child’s school bag. Reviewers claim the battery life lasts over 10 hours - the longest on our best buy list - which is certainly enough to get a full day at school or long car journey in a single charge. The operating system Chrome OS gives you access to apps like Google Docs and Gmail, which is great for basic tasks like online classes, checking emails and browsing the internet, as well as watching movies and gaming.

Read next: Discover their next best read with our guide to the best books for eight-year-olds.

2. Best budget laptop for kids: ASUS Laptop Vivobook L410MA 14" HD

Price on writing: £193 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Processor (CPU): Celeron  | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64 GB | Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080p | Screen size: 14in | Weight: 1.3kg

What we like

  • Affordable

  • 12-hour battery life

  • Excellent HD screen

  • Has an inbuilt numberpad

What we don’t like

What Mumsnet users say

“My sons each have an ASUS [laptop] as part of a scheme at their school. Portable, reasonably priced, starts up quickly, good battery life, easy to use, very hard wearing (survives teenage boys who walk and cycle to school and whose bags get chucked around). They can't play games on them (I see this as a positive; they might not agree).” TheFirstOHN

Our verdict

If you’re looking for one of the best laptops for kids to use at school without breaking the bank, the ASUS Vivobook has been designed with a lightweight, stylish look, has an impressive 12-hour battery life and comes with a year's subscription to Microsoft Office.

Weighing just 1.3kg, this laptop has a 14" screen with excellent HD quality and is super slimline to easily slot into your child's schoolbag. It has a lay-flat hinge ideal for sharing content and an inbuilt numberpad to make maths homework that little bit easier.

Unlike the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet, it doesn’t have a touchscreen and the storage is quite a bit lower too, and because it's so lightweight, some users reported it felt a little flimsy.

Read next: The best kids’ headphones for learning, screen time and more.

3. Best 2-in-1 laptop for kids: Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Chromebook 14 inch

Price on writing: £318 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Processor (CPU): Pentium | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128 GB | Screen resolution: Full HD 1920 x 1080p | Screen size: 14in | Weight: 1.42kg

What we like

  • 2-in-1 laptop and tablet

  • Full HD touchscreen

  • 10 hours battery life

  • Decent storage

What we don’t like

  • Not as lightweight as similar devices

What Mumsnet users say

“With £500, you're looking at a pretty decent Chromebook - IdeaPad for example.”  FixTheBone

Our verdict

Like the IdeaPad Duet, the IdeaPad 5i is really versatile. A 2-in-1 device, it has a full HD touchscreen that can be flipped round 360 degrees, making it one of the best laptops for kids looking to switch between laptop and tablet mode. The IdeaPad also includes a USB Gen 1 Type A port as well as two USB Gen 1 Type-C ports for faster data transfer - great if they're wanting to upload images or files from their other devices.

Like other Chrome OS laptops, it has all the usual apps installed and your child can also add more, including Microsoft Word or Excel. It’s a bit heavier than the likes of the IdeaPad Duet but it has an ample 128GB-worth of storage for storing files photos and schoolwork (and a MicroSD card reader for extra storage capability), and the battery life is pretty good at 10 hours too.

Read next: The best online tutoring resources for kids

4. Best kids’ laptop for school: Microsoft Surface Go 2 12.4” Touchscreen Laptop

Price on writing: £569 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Processor (CPU): 11th Gen Intel Core i5 | RAM: Up to 8GB | Storage: Up to 256 GB SSD | Screen resolution: 1536 x 1024p | Screen size: 12.4in | Weight: 1.13 kg

What we like

  • Comes with Windows 11

  • Full-size keyboard

  • HD front and rear cameras

  • Portable for taking to school

What we don’t like

  • Could do with more ports

  • Pricey

What Mumsnet users say

“A Surface Go laptop is a nice computer - small to lightweight but big enough to be useful, [and has a] touchscreen etc… My daughter (off to uni) is happy with it." SkygardenTower

Our verdict

A sleek, lightweight and attractive laptop that comes with plenty of features for young students, the Microsoft Surface Go 2 is one of the best laptops for kids on the go. Unlike other popular devices like the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet, it has a full-size keyboard for comfort while doing long school projects or typing essays, and it comes with Windows 11 and Microsoft Teams which some schools require for homework. At 1.1kg, it’s relatively lightweight and portable enough for school too.

The battery can last up to 17.5 hours, which is very impressive, with other handy features including a HD camera, touchscreen display and One Touch sign-in. It is pricier than other kids' laptops on our list, but you get a good all-round laptop that will be suitable for the likes of schoolwork and gaming.

Related: Discover the best travel games for stress-free holidays this summer.

5. Best laptop alternative for kids: Apple iPad 10.2 (2021)

Price on writing: £316 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Processor (CPU): A13 Bionic chip | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 64GB (up to 256GB available) | Screen resolution: 2160 x 1620p | Screen size: 10.2 in | Weight: 487g

What we like

  • Lightweight and slimline

  • Easy for children to navigate

  • Access to Apple’s huge range of apps

  • Can be used with a keyboard and digital pen

  • Decent storage

  • Good value for money

What we don’t like

  • Screen isn’t as big as on a traditional laptop

  • May not be suitable for bigger school projects

What Mumsnet users say

“If you are going for a tablet, an iPad [...] would be my recommendation. Far and away the best range of really useful applications. The value of playing on an iPad very much depends on what application is being used. A compromise would be a laptop with a touch sensitive screen but, really, iPads all the way.” FinallyHere

Our verdict

If you’re looking for a tablet that can also double as one of the best laptops for kids when needed, then you can’t go wrong with the 2021 Apple iPad. A reliable device that can be easily navigated by children, there’s also the option to add a keyboard when it’s time to do homework. You’ll have to pay extra for the keyboard of course, which may be pricey, but there’s lots of reasons why iPads are really useful for children. They are super slim and lightweight for easy carrying, with around 10 hours of battery time which is plenty for long car journeys or full days at school.

The 10.2-inch screen is smaller than all the laptops on our best buy list so probably won’t be ideal for students working on bigger projects, but it supports Apple’s True Tone colour-matching technology which adjusts the colour and intensity to make images appear more natural.

iPads are fast even with multiple browsers open and give access to Apple’s huge range of apps, so children can play games, watch films and TV series, read books, take photos and video call using the front and back wide cameras. Choose from 64GB or 256GB of storage for storing their creations and favourite apps.

Related: Find the best kids' camera as rated by Mumsnet families.

6. Best Apple laptop for kids: Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

Price on writing: £828 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Processor (CPU): Apple M1 chip | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256 or 512GB SSD | Screen resolution: 2560 x 1600p | Screen size: 13.3 in | Weight: 1.29 kg

What we like

  • Thin and lightweight

  • Powerful processor

  • Very impressive battery power

  • Good mic and speakers

  • Clear, vibrant display

  • Fast performance

What we don’t like

  • Expensive

What Mumsnet users say

“We just got a MacBook Air M2 for our son and apart from being a fingerprint magnet (he has the midnight colour) it is great. It is small, light, has great battery life, is really quiet and doesn’t get hot.” Jaxx

Our verdict

Some of the best laptops for kids (some of the best laptops full stop) are made by Apple so if you don’t mind the eye-watering price tag that comes with the MacBook Air, you’ll get a high-spec device with lots of brilliant features. To start, the Air looks super stylish - a sleek, lightweight laptop that any child would be proud to work on. The 13.3-inch Retina display is sharp, clear and vibrant, whether your child is watching - or editing - videos or designing on PowerPoint.

Powered by Apple’s M1 Chip, it’s three times faster than the previous model, with an impressive 18-hour battery life. It has 8GB of memory - bigger than the likes of the ASUS C202 Chromebook - so programmes run effortlessly, and your child can browse multiple tabs and work off different apps and files quickly and easily. It’s compatible with apps like Microsoft 365 and Google Drive, with loads more to download from the App store.

Compared to the likes of the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet and retailing at almost £1k, it’s a hefty investment, but this laptop is packed with useful features, has an impressive battery life and will cater for a variety of needs for years to come - making it one of the best laptops for kids in terms of long-term investment.

Read next: The best phones for kids and the top-ranking kids' smartwatch.

7. Best Chromebook laptop for kids: Acer Chromebook Spin 311

Price on writing: £285 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Processor (CPU): Intel Celeron N4000 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Screen resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels | Screen size: 11.6" | Weight: 1.05kg

What we like

  • 2-in-1 laptop and tablet

  • Good value for money

  • Fun flip design

  • Robust and durable

  • Decent size touchscreen

What we don’t like

  • Battery life could be better

  • Screen can be dull at times

  • Compact keyboard size

What Mumsnet users say

“I've got a Chromebook. It's perfect. You open it and it's ready to go, no stupid updates that were a permanent feature of my old Windows laptop.” ShesMadeATwatOfMePam

“My boys have a cheap Acer each from Currys and they are brilliant. Can watch Netflix, do homework, type up essays.” SouthWestmom

Our verdict

This affordable and hardwearing Chromebook comes well rated among Mumsnet parents and industry experts. With a reinforced 11.6-inch touchscreen display, it’s robust enough to cope with the school commute, whilst being one of the best laptops for kids to use for email, Netflix, or FaceTiming their friends. 

The Acer Spin 311 Chromebook laptop uses Google’s Chrome operating system which means your child can access all their favourite apps via the Google Play Store. With 4GB RAM, it can keep up with even the most extensive of school tasks, coping with a significant number of tabs open without causing lag or delay.

With around eight hours of runtime after a full charge, the battery life could be better, but given the more budget-friendly price tag, we feel it’s a small sacrifice to make.

Related: Keep little hands busy this summer with our pick of the best fidget toys.

8. Best laptop for teens: HP ENVY x360 15.6" Laptop

Price on writing: From £840 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Processor (CPU): AMD Ryzen™ 7 5825U Processor | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB | Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080p | Screen size: 15.6 in | Weight: 1.66kg

What we like

  • Powerful processor

  • Good battery life

  • Touchscreen

  • Comes with Windows 11

  • Dual microphones

  • eCompass

  • Gyroscope

What we don’t like

  • Pricey

What Mumsnet users say

“HP x360 is the best laptop I have ever had and I work from it all day at home.” HairyFloppins

Our verdict

If your teen is looking for a laptop that can handle a bit of gaming, homework and tasks like video editing, the HP Envy x360 is one of the best laptops for kids you can choose. The powerful processor performs well when it comes to all of these activities, with an excellent battery life of up to 12 hours.

The 15.6-inch touchscreen is crisp with vibrant colours and a wide-viewing angle for watching content. The 360-degree hinge means the laptop can be positioned in a variety of ways for optimal viewing. It also comes with a digital pen for writing or sketching creations, and features a 'Glam Cam' with appearance filter, backlight adjustment and auto frame - perfect for all budding creators.

The Envy x360 does come at a steeper price than others on our list, but it provides plenty of tools that can help inspire creativity and aid learning, and should last into further education too - making it one of the best laptops for kids in terms of long-lasting versatility.

Read next: Discover what Mumsnetters ranked as the best Nintendo Switch games for kids.

9. Best Windows laptop for kids: Acer Swift 3 14" Laptop

Price on writing: £606 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Processor (CPU): Intel Core i5 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB  | Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080p | Screen size: 14 in | Weight: 1.2kg

What to like

  • Comes with Windows 11

  • Fingerprint reader security

  • Thin and lightweight

  • Decent-sized screen

  • Large storage

  • Good for gaming and schoolwork

What we don’t like

  • Pricey

What Mumsnet users say

“I bought myself an Acer Swift 3 about six months ago [...] and I love it.HilaryBriss

Our verdict

Some schools may require students to have Windows laptops and the Acer Swift 3 comes with apps like Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams preinstalled, making it one of the best laptops for kids using Windows. Lightweight and slimline, the Swift 3 is also ideal for a full day at school. The Intel Core i5 processor, large 8GB of RAM (there’s also a 16GB available should your child need more) and 512GB of storage ensures the laptop will perform well when browsing on multiple tabs and streaming a movie.

It has a large 14-inch full HD screen and the battery life is impressive, lasting well over a day at school, with a quick 30-minute charge allowing your child an extra four hours of work time. It also wakes up in less than a second too, so students can get straight to work without having to wait for it to warm up. We also like that it has an embedded fingerprint reader for helping them login to Windows quickly and securely.

Related: Discover the best toy cars and top-rated dinosaur toys according to Mumsnetters.

Related: Looking for a kids' tablet to boost learning as well as keep kids occupied this summer? Read our Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids and Kids Pro Review.

How do I choose a laptop for my child?

When selecting the best laptops for kids, here are some things to bear in mind:

  • Durability: Children aren’t always as careful as we’d like them to be, so the ideal laptop for kids should be robust and hardwearing for use at home and at school.

  • Ease of use: It should be easy to navigate, with simple instructions, an intuitive interface or touchscreen capabilities.

  • Battery life:  How long does the battery life last? Is this long enough to last a whole day at school without access to a charger? Most decent kids’ laptops have a battery life of at least 10 hours.

  • RAM: Does the laptop have enough RAM and storage to manage multiple school projects and uninterrupted streaming and browsing? In terms of RAM, 4GB should suffice for most kids, though 8GB would be better if your child plans to use it for gaming too.

  • Storage capacity: Your child probably won’t need to store lots on their laptop but look for one that has at least 64GB of storage if it comes with Windows 11 (others don’t need as much storage).

  • Operating system: Windows 11 is a useful operating system for child-friendly laptops, thanks to the S Mode function which prevents apps from being installed unless they’re available on the Microsoft store. This means you can block apps or games based on their safety score and ratings. It’s also simple to use, making it a good option for children.

  • Safety: Look for laptops with built-in parental controls and safety features such as anti-virus protection.

  • Laptop or Chromebook?: Apple makes some of the best laptops around, but they don’t come cheap so may not be the best option for children, however iPads are smaller and easy to navigate. As far as Chromebooks go, they’ve come a long way since their launch in 2011. Most are pre-installed with the ChromeOS operating system, which is cheaper to run than Windows and has lower hardware requirements so you can get away with as little as 16GB of storage. Chromebooks sync well with Google apps such as Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Sheets and Google Assistant, plus they’re compatible with Android apps and ChromeOS games and have parental control features.

  • Extras: Other features you may want to consider are a wide keyboard and backlighting.

Internet Matters suggests doing the following before buying your child’s laptop:

  • First consider how the laptop will be used. For instance, does your child need to sit and type for long periods or is the laptop more for research purposes and watching videos?

  • Talk to your child about what they’d like to do on it.

  • Have a discussion with your child’s teacher about what your child needs to support their learning.

Is a 2-in-1 laptop good for kids?

A 2-in-1 laptop, also known as a hybrid laptop, is essentially a notebook (which is a lighter laptop) and a tablet in one. If you think your child currently needs a tablet and a laptop or might need both in future, a 2-in-1 may save you money in the long-run. We think the best 2-in-1 laptop for kids is the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i.

However, if a tablet is not an essential for your child, a more powerful standard notebook or heavy-duty laptop will be a better alternative.

Here are some features of a 2-in-1 laptop to keep in mind:

  • Some have detachable keyboards or ones that fold around the device.

  • Most have touchpads.

  • They’re lightweight, sleek and portable.

  • Some aren’t as powerful as regular laptops.

What is a good starter laptop for a 10-year-old?

It depends on your budget - if you're looking for one of the best laptops for kids coming in under £200, the ASUS C202 11.6" Chromebook is our top budget pick at just £169. It's lightweight, has ChromeOS which provides access to Google Drive and Gmail - a good, robust option for schoolwork. If you're looking for something a little fancier, we also like the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet and Flex 5i for 2-in-1 versatility.

How much should I spend on a kids’ laptop?

A laptop is a good investment for your child’s education, but since children mainly use laptops for online learning and schoolwork, as well as some entertainment (think gaming, watching movies and accessing approved social media), you don’t need to spend a lot of money on one. If you’re a Mac fan, expect to spend upwards of £1,000 on a laptop. All laptops on our list fall within the range of £200 to £900.

How can I make sure my child is safe online?

The internet can feel like a scary place to let your child explore, but there are steps you can take to ensure they remain as safe as possible online.

  • Set boundaries and rules as a family, such as keeping laptops in a family space and allowing access to all devices.

  • Talk to your child regularly about online safety and connecting with friends online.

  • Ask what they do online and check out the websites and games they use so you understand what they are seeing.

  • Show your child how to report abuse and how to block people on the websites they use.

  • Check their privacy settings. Adjust parental controls to suit your child’s age and maturity and supervise young children when they are using the internet. There are tools and apps you can use to monitor their usage and access, such as a VPN which restricts what they can do online.

What is the best laptop to buy for a kid?

A tablet and laptop in one, the affordable Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 10.1" 2-in-1 Chromebook is versatile, lightweight and one of the best laptops for kids. With a small keyboard and a full HD touchscreen, it can be used for browsing the internet, watching videos, accessing online classes and playing games - all the basic requirements for a good child-friendly laptop.

Read next: Amazon Fire 7 Kids vs Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids: Which is the best kids' tablet?

Is a Chromebook good for a child?

Sometimes the best laptops for kids aren't technically laptops at all: if your child just needs a laptop for basic word processing and internet access, you can't go wrong with a good Chromebook. However, if your child is looking for something they can use for gaming or more advanced school work they might be better off with a laptop.

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real parents

In our search for the best products to recommend to you, we always start by asking our Mumsnet users which one they love the most. Our forums have over 7 million users each month so we know that each product they suggest has been able to withstand the needs of a family, whilst also catering for a range of different needs, budgets and lifestyles.

Expert advice

Whatever the category, we want to end up with a list of tried-and-tested products that will cater for a range of different situations, so our trusted and experienced parenting journalists research each category thoroughly. This means checking with the experts to make sure that each one stands up to scrutiny.

We use a variety of sources when researching, including independent review sites, such as Which?, to help ensure we are bringing you the best products on the market right now.

Consumer feedback

Online reviews are so important when purchasing any product as it helps us work out which ones stand the test of family life, so we make sure to scour the internet to see which ones are well-rated when used by the consumer at home. We consult reviews on websites such as John Lewis, Amazon and Argos, to make sure the products are worth your hard-earned cash.

We don’t just look for positive feedback, the negative reviews are so important too for helping us work out which products perform well across the board.

Celebrated best products

Finally, we look out for any products that have received industry awards to help us recommend a variety of laptops for kids that will cater for a range of budgets and needs.

About the author

Gemma Wilcock is a freelance writer and copywriter. At Mumsnet, she creates content providing useful parenting advice, information and top products to make life easier – as a mother of two children herself, Gemma knows how important it is to get the right advice.

Why you should trust us

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