It can be a wrench, but most parents nowadays probably accept that there will come a time when their little sprogs will need their own computer.
Whether that's because they're heading off to school and need one for homework, or because you want to encourage them to learn how to code, or any number of other reasons, you'll be on the lookout for an appropriate machine.
For most kids (and parents) a laptop will make the most sense. Letting them work or play whether they're at the kitchen table or at school means that they're able to use their computer to the full. So, we've taken a look at the laptops currently on the market to whittle them down to a list of the best ones for you to consider for your child.
Our priorities for this list are durability, affordability and performance — so you won't find any high-end Macbooks or ultrabooks here. These aren't intended as powerhouses, but rather as useful machines for their young users.
Our guide to the best kids' laptops to buy today
Asus Chromebook Flip
It took a while to get to this point, but Chromebooks are really viable options if you're looking for a simple laptop that might not be able to do everything you could hope for, but can get all the essentials done.
If your kid needs to be able to write homework up, watch YouTube and use the internet, an affordable Chromebook is a great shout that won't break the bank, and we're big fans of Asus' Chromebook Flip. It's got deceptively great build quality and is really portable on account of its meagre weight. It's even got the benefit of a touch-screen and fully adjustable positioning. That's a great package at a really great price.
HP Stream 11
Our top Windows 10 laptop for kids and also one of the best cheap laptops full stop. What would be a little slow for an adult using a laptop all day could be just about perfect for a kid learning the ropes. A child is unlikely to be using their laptop for more than a couple of hours at a time (unless you're letting them!). HP's Stream 11 is, therefore, a great bet for a kid that needs a small laptop to get started with. You don't get much storage or much power, but it's extremely affordable.
Acer Chromebook 11
Acer's also in the Chromebook game and its Chromebook 11 is a very solid rival to the Asus laptop above. Refreshed in 2018, it's got a blue coat of paint that looks really nice and distinctive without being shouty, and is priced perfectly.
It doesn't have a touchscreen by default, but those aren't exactly necessary for everyone. What it does have is a solid list of specs for the price, and equally decent ports and compatibility. You've even got USB-C ports, to make sure that you're not left behind as the plug slowly but surely takes over tech.
Asus VivoBook X420
Asus is a bit of a master when it comes to great budget laptops, as demonstrated by its second entry on this list. The VivoBook series is the cheaper cousin to the more premium ZenBook line, but still has a great feature-set. This model packs a Core i3 processor behind a Full HD display, and with a small but zippy SSD on board will feel nice and sprightly in use.
Asus Chromebook C202
Completing a hat-trick for Asus, it's another Chromebook, but this time an extremely dinky one. If your kid wants a bit of a smaller machine, this could be the answer. Despite its 11.6-inch size, it's still got a decent keyboard squeezed in, and being small makes it super portable.
It's not got much power under the hood, but it's also almost jaw-droppingly inexpensive, and in the computing world you do generally have to pay for performance. With Chrome's system prioritising cloud storage, if you've got a decent internet connection to work with, your kid should be able to do most things they'll need to on this tiny little number.