It used to be that back-to-school shopping lists focused on pencils, highlighters, and Trapper Keepers. These days, a laptop is at the top of the list for kids of all ages. But you might not want to spend a fortune on a computer for an elementary schooler. Enter the Chromebook, a very popular, affordable option that runs on Google’s Chrome OS with cloud storage. These stripped-down computers are easy for little ones to set up and operate (and perfectly sized for travel). Here are five models that are less than $350 and hit all the important features kids will need for school and for fun this fall.
The Most Rugged Chromebook for Kids: ASUS Chromebook Flip C214
There’s a very good chance that a Chromebook for elementary schoolers will end up squashed at the bottom of a bookbag or even dropped down the stairs. Consider this ASUS Chromebook Flip C214, which reportedly passed military-grade tests in terms of durability. There’s rubber all over this model, including a rubber bumper around the edge to protect the computer from drops and rubber grips to help children hold on tight. The finish is scratch-resistant, and the keyboard is splash-resistant in case of minor spills while working.
The Cheapest Chromebook for Kids: Samsung Chromebook 4
Finding a Chromebook that hugs the $100 mark isn’t easy. Check out the Samsung Chromebook 4, which is priced as low as $129 at Walmart and $169 on Amazon. The circa-2020 laptop is less than three pounds, with features like long-lasting battery life, malware protection, an 11.6-inch screen, and a Gigabit Wi-Fi connection.
The Best Touchscreen Chromebook for Kids: HP Chromebook X360
Dragging and dropping is easy on the micro-edge 14-inch HD touchscreen on this HP Chromebook X360, which also features a touchpad with gesture capabilities. In addition, it supports a stylus to use on the touchscreen. The camera is good too (it boasts 720 pixels) and there’s a 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N4020 Dual-Core Processor to keep up with multitasking students. Find it on Amazon for right around $300.
The Best 2-in-1 Chromebook for Kids: Acer Chromebook Spin 311
The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is simultaneously a tablet and a laptop, and you can swivel the screen 360 degrees to either type on the keyboard, read, or watch videos. This super-thin touchscreen computer is plenty powerful, yet it weighs in at just 2.3 pounds. Snag this Acer model on Amazon for around $229.
The Chromebook for Kids With the Best Battery Life: Lenovo Flex 3 Chromebook
For another 2-in-1 option, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 is priced at just over $200 and flips around to become a tablet. Some Amazon users boast of getting up to 12 hours on a single charge with this Chromebook. A newer model, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3i, is just around $50 more.
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