The 5 Best Chromebooks for Kids

When freelance writer Adele Chapin isn't tracking dining trends and fun things to do in her hometown of Washington, D.C. for work, she's planning out every meal possible for her next vacation. Her beats include food, travel, fashion, shopping, and event planning, and Adele's stories have appeared in the Washington Post, Eater, Condé Nast Traveler, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bravo, Racked, Refinery29, BizBash, and more.

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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.

Related: 11 Best Headphones for Kids for 2021, According to an Expert

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.

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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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