When you are looking for the best laptop for a high school student, don’t just pick the cheapest laptop. Believe it or not, there are a few things to consider when buying your kids first or second laptop.
The best laptops for a teenager should certainly be affordable, because there is a high probability that the child will break or lose it in a few months. But budget options are not always the best choice. After all, kids need a reliable laptop that will survive a few bumps and drops. They also need one that is powerful enough for school and homework. And, especially for younger kids, a laptop with plenty of safety features and parental controls is also ideal.
We’ve picked for you the top 10 best laptops to buy a teenager in 2021, based on their combination of functionality, reliability and affordability.
The Best Laptops For Teenager Consumer Report 2021
1. Google Pixelbook
The best laptop for teens needs to be safe, easy to use, and provide all-day productivity. The Google Pixelbook meets all of these requirements with its amazing battery life and Chrome OS environment. Google complements them with a good keyboard and a 1080p webcam. It’s practically a dream laptop, except for that steep price tag. And while kids might enjoy watching their favorite cartoons and playing casual games on this crisp display, you’ll also love using it to monitor work email, or other everyday tasks.
- Enhanced security for Chrome OS
- Comfortable keyboard
- Great battery life
- High price
- Limited features – not much software for Chrome OS
2. Microsoft Surface Go
The Microsoft Surface Go is arguably Microsoft’s best new product of 2019, as it meets the demand for a budget Surface device and is one of the best Windows tablets for everyone. Like its more expensive relatives, it’s portable and sleek. At the same time, it has a price that is much more affordable for regular users. If you’re looking for the best laptop for your kid or just want to use multimedia while traveling, you can’t go wrong with the Microsoft Surface Go.
- 2-in-1 (tablet and laptop)
- Stylish Design
- You need to buy a keyboard
3. Apple MacBook Air 2017
This is Apple’s cheapest laptop if you want to be in the company’s ecosystem. It also has great battery life and will outlast most Windows laptops. Though the price is not insignificant, this laptop has a good chance of getting your kid through high school and even part of university. Macbooks are known for their special creative software, so this is a great option for your budding artist or musician.
- Operating system for creators
- Stylish design
- Will be relevant for a long time to come
- Price is a bit steep for a kids’ notebook with these specs
What other laptops for a teenager you should pay attention to
4. Acer Swift 3
If you’re looking for an ultrabook that delivers great performance at an affordable price, the Acer Swift 3 (2019) is for you. This 13-inch laptop from Acer is quite powerful in terms of performance, making it great for traveling and working at the same time. However, it can also do some gaming as well as photo editing, and is perfect for consuming content after work. It’s certainly far from perfect – the battery could be bigger, the keyboard not so much, and even the speakers could be louder. But you definitely get a great solution for a high school or college student.
- Not a bad balance of features and price
- The keyboard is far from perfect
- Not too sturdy
5. HP Envy 13
With a new design, powerful speakers and useful security features, the new HP Envy 13 is a good option for those who need a portable computer with plenty of power and long battery life (more than 11 hours). New for the 2019 version is a fingerprint scanner and a webcam switch that turns off camera power, so you don’t have to worry about being spied on. Combine those features with a sleek chassis, a bright 4K or 1080p display, and high performance from 8th-generation Core i5 and Core i7 processors, and it’s easy to see why the Envy 13 is the best laptop for teens and students.
- High performance
- High resolution display
- Flimsy chassis
- HP’s eternal cooling problem
6. Asus Chromebook Flip C434
Asus returns to the Chromebook market with the Chromebook Flip C434. The 14-inch device will be a great laptop for school thanks to its slim form factor and relatively affordable price. The first thing that catches your eye is the razor-thin front panels, which draw the eye to the bright 1080p display while keeping the body compact. Your teenager will have no problem moving the Flip C434 from one classroom to another. You can also save space in your child’s backpack by leaving the charger at home, because the Flip C434 can last a full day on a single charge.
- Lightweight and compact
- Reasonable price
- Can’t play serious games
7. Dell G5 15
The Dell G-Series provides a reasonable balance of build quality, battery life, and performance, as well as enough graphics card power for teens who like to play the latest “AAA” games when they’re not studying. The slim, compact design masks its gaming pedigree, and because it’s not that new-you get a ninth-generation Intel Core processor, not the latest, but still very powerful.
- Gaming notebook
- High performance
- Battery life
- Massive and heavy
How to choose a laptop for a teenager
There are several factors to consider before buying a laptop for a teenager. We turned to a young computer science teacher who told us exactly what criteria should be used to choose such laptops.
First, it’s mobility, which is closely related to screen size. 13-inch laptops are popular with students and teens because they offer a good balance between screen size and portability. The 15-inch model is most often bulkier and heavier, and does not fit into school backpacks along with textbooks.
Battery life is another key component of any good laptop for a teenager. If you plan to take your notebook to class or to the library, don’t count on there being an outlet! Choose a notebook that will last at least 9 hours of battery life, which should be enough to get you through the school day with enough study power.
In terms of specs, it’s recommended to buy a laptop with an Intel U-series or H-series Core i5 processor, at least 8GB of RAM (16GB is even better) and at least 256GB of disk space. AMD is keeping up with its 4000-series chips, so you can look out for those, too. For example, the 2019 MacBook Air doesn’t meet these requirements (it’s equipped with a low-voltage Y-series), but it’s still a good option if you prefer macOS.