At the age you were staring, jaw agape, at Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing and sneaking in games of Oregon Trail, your 9-year-old is in coding classes, osmosing life hacks, and Facetiming with her besties. They are essentially born with a computer in their lap, except guess what? You have to buy them one. But where to start? Can you trust the little one who just flooded the upstairs bathroom while trying to fill up a water balloon with your portable workstation? Probably not. Here are some better ideas.
Most affordable: HP Chromebook 14-inch Laptop
A Safe Bet
The 11-hour battery life means you might even be able to watch Netflix without the power cord when the kid accidentally leaves it in the living room at night. Amazon
Chromebooks can get a bad rap but as long as your children haven’t already spent time on daddy’s super-charged gaming rig this HP offering should serve all their needs. With a lightweight frame, dual-core processing, and an AMD Radeon graphics card, this Chromebook will cover homework assignments, provide clear video streaming, and even offers some (cough, cough) educational games.
Look At That Form Factor
Sleek and powerful. Amazon
If you want to invest in a computer that will have the processing power and screen they’ll be looking for down the road, this is probably it. The sleek design and size make it extremely portable, and the 10th-generation Intel Core i3 processor means it will be able to handle the more taxing projects your kid will get up to in middle school and beyond. It comes with either 256GB or 512GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, and a 13-inch screen.
For Clumsier Kids
Bring on the spills. Amazon
Remember the kid I mentioned earlier who flooded the upstairs bathroom? Yeah, good, because this one is for him. Rubber guards and grips and a spill-resistant keyboard should keep this thing ticking even after your small fry has grown out of his PJ Masks phase. This laptop’s rugged construction should allow it to survive a drop from up to 3.9 feet. And you know it’s going to get dropped.
Great all-around, but also fantastic for creative children. Amazon
Have a young Da Vinci on your hands? The Surface Go and its Pixelsense display and accompanying stylus will empower your young one to doodle, practice their handwriting and maybe, hopefully, take notes in class. As a hybrid, the Surface Go has distinct versatility, and as a Microsoft product, it comes with the security programs and parental controls you’re probably already used to.