In today’s day and age, being computer literate isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity. Whether your kids are just starting school or are getting ready to take the SATs, a reliable laptop is a must. Fortunately, there are numerous options available that fit every budget.
Which Operating System Is Best?
When it comes to laptops, there are three main operating systems: Windows, macOS and Chrome OS. Which one is best for your child depends on a number of factors. For instance, if your child has an iPhone and everything in your home is part of the Apple ecosystem, it probably makes sense to opt for an Apple laptop. That being said, if the laptop is going to be mainly used for school, it might be a good idea to contact your child’s school to see what they recommend. Finally, you may also want to consult with your child to see what sort of software they’re planning to run, as it may dictate which OS you opt for.
1. Microsoft Surface Go
The Microsoft Surface Go is a 2-in-1 device that offers a great deal of flexibility for students. Combined with the keyboard cover, the Surface Go can be used like a traditional Windows laptop. However, the real draw here is the high-resolution “PixelSense” display. This 10-inch screen features 10-point multi-touch capability and Surface Pen functionality. The Surface Pen allows users to jot down notes, doodle and annotate virtually anything, including web pages.
That being said, there is one major caveat. The Surface Go is usually sold as a standalone tablet, with the keyboard cover sold separately. If you want the traditional laptop experience, you have to make sure that you buy one of the bundled varieties. This way you can make sure you get the best of both worlds straight out of the box on day one.
2. Acer Aspire 5
Many of the affordable laptops geared towards children tend to incorporate smaller screens. This is mainly a cost-saving measure; however, it can increase eye strain. If you’re looking for a laptop with a larger screen, the Acer Aspire 5 might be just what the doctor ordered. The Aspire 5 has a 15.6-inch full HD IPS screen, enabling it to produce crisp, bright visuals.
Under the hood, the Aspire 5 is powered by an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor with 4 GB of DDR4 RAM. This sort of power means the Aspire 5 will be able to handle most tasks your kids throw at it. Additionally, the Aspire 5 sports a respectable 128GB SDD. This gives your child the flexibility to store all of their files on the laptop without lugging around external storage.
3. Asus VivoBook L203MA
Weighing in at a super-light 2.2 pounds (1kg) and measuring only 0.7 inches (1.78 cm), the Asus VivoBook L203MA combines portability and affordability in an attractive package. The VivoBook packs an energy-efficient Intel Celeron N4000 processor to ensure that it can go the distance. Furthermore, it also boasts 4 GB of RAM, meaning that it can handle multitasking well. Unfortunately, it only has 64 GB of built-in storage, but it shouldn’t be much of a problem if your child primarily deals with small files like Word documents.
The Asus VivoBook is roughly the size of an A4 piece of paper. This makes it easy for even the youngest of students to manage without a problem. Furthermore, at the time of this writing, the Vivobook L203MA can be had for only $210, making it a steal.
4. Macbook Air
The Macbook Air is the most expensive model on this list, coming in at approximately $1,000. That being said, if you’re looking for a laptop that can handle virtually any task and has the grunt to grow with your child’s needs, look no further. The new Macbook Air boasts an upgraded Retina display, Touch ID and USB-C for faster transfer speeds and charging.
The Macbook Air is packing an Intel i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, making it a versatile device. While it only has a 128 GB SSD, it should be enough storage space for most school-related tasks. As the name suggests, the Macbook Air is very thin and super light, weighing in at only 2.75 pounds (1.25 kg). This makes it one of the most backpack-friendly machines on this list.
There are many laptops available that market themselves towards children and students. Many of these machines champion both portability and affordability. However, they are not all created equal. Which laptops do you think are best suited for kids? Let us know in the comments!