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Before buying a laptop for your children, stop and think about the following aspects very carefully.
Your Child’s Age – It may seem silly at first, but age does factor into the equation when you’re buying a laptop for your child. As youngsters have smaller hands than adults, they require a laptop that has been scaled to their size. Lavish laptops like the Dell Inspiron 17 7000 and Dell Inspiron 11 3000 are bad laptops for children not because they have poor computational power (just the opposite, actually), but because they’re too large for kids to use, and are probably too expensive. Thus, youngsters need a laptop with a smaller screen (say 11-13 inches) which an older child wouldn’t enjoy using.
Younger children also tend to place fewer demands on a laptop. Most kids use their laptops for completing their homework and making their assignments, but some kids also use it for other purposes such as playing video games and other forms of recreation. One aspect a kid’s laptop should never compromise on is its durability. Parents with hyperactive children know better than most that no invention can be sturdy enough in the hands of a child. A kids’ laptop is bound to be treated roughly like being dropped from a considerable height. Thus, a child’s laptop must be robust enough to sustain this possible physical abuse.
That being said, young children also need their laptops to be lightweight. If a laptop is too heavy, a kid won’t be able to carry it from one place to another, which nullifies the main reason for getting a laptop i.e. its portability. Thus, keeping these factors in mind, it is important to shop for a laptop based on both your child’s age and the tasks that he or she hopes to complete using the laptop.
Your Child’s Needs – Before you buy your child a laptop, it is best to have a detailed conversation with him/her about what they intend to do with it. Ask your children questions like do they need a computer just to keep in touch with their friends via email, chat and instant messaging, or do they want to do school assignments and homework? It would also be wise of you to ask them: what kind of games (if any) do they plan to play on the machine, and what type of software do they intend to run? All these questions can change the laptop that you should ultimately opt for that best serves your child’s needs.
Recommendations – More often than not, some teachers in elementary schools will tell their students some general requirements for a laptop to assist parents in the tricky task of buying these portable machines. Once you know what your children’s teachers recommend, it’s imperative that you buy a machine that is equally or, if possible, more capable than the recommended one. Settling for a below par or a cheaper laptop can have dire consequences on your child’s academic performance if they fail to participate due to poor computing capabilities.
Important Laptop Specs
It’s a fair assumption that most parents don’t know what factors to consider when buying laptops for their children. Unless you’re an IT expert or are really passionate about computers, shopping for a laptop can be quite confusing because, for example, two laptops that appear to be identical can be opposites of each other. Just like with cars, what’s ‘under the hood’ is more important than what the eye sees. When buying your child a laptop, these are the things that you need to keep in mind:
Processor Chip – Simply put, a computer’s processor is the brain of the device. The processor carries out all the instructions and programs running on it. Most laptops designed for children can use a typical Core i3 processor, which is capable of running the basic programs that your child may use. Most programs that your children run on their laptops won’t strain the processor too much, so buying a laptop with a heavy-duty processor (such as a Core i7 or an Intel ATOM) would just be a waste of money.
Storage – Your kids need somewhere to store their assignments, research work, music, pictures, videos etc. The aspect of the computer that deals with its storage capabilities is referred to as ‘memory’. Typically, a common kids’ laptop offers from 320 GB to 500 GB of memory, which is more than sufficient for most kids. However, if your children need additional storage, we advise you to purchase a portable hard drive which can be used to copy files that aren’t used as frequently as others.
Durability – Everyone knows that children usually mishandle toys, bikes, clothes, etc. The same principle applies to laptops because youngsters can be extremely rough on them such as by stuffing them into their backpacks, slamming them on tables, and treating them like toys instead of computers. Thus, it would be wiser to select laptops that are durable. Investing in a sturdier machine now will result in less maintenance over the years.
Size – The last factor for parents to consider (and the one they often end up overlooking) when buying their kids a laptop is the size of the machine. The two primary measurements that parents need to look for are the weight of the laptop and its size. Youngsters need a laptop that has a smaller screen size (typically, this measures 11 to 13 inches) while older children can not only handle slightly heavier laptops and larger screen sizes, but they demand it.
Factoring in all these aspects into the equation, we have found four of the best laptops available on the market for kids. We have made sure that every entry on this list ticks all the boxes and is a sound computing investment for any child.
1. Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus Review
The first entry on the list is Samsung’s ATIV Book 9 Plus. No matter how old your children are, they will love this laptop. We can say this due to a variety of reasons, which include the fact that it has a much larger screen than the average laptop marketed to kids. The Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus houses a mighty touchscreen (which measures 13.3 inches diagonally) and has the Quad HD SuperBright technology.
The ATIV Book 9 Plus also has the powerful Intel Core i7 processor which speeds up processing and program execution. This is probably the only laptop on this list that could easily get away with running resource intensive applications that are often utilized in graphic design or music production tasks. This laptop also gives kids access to a wide variety of apps developed by Samsung Apps which include genres such as games, e-books, education, and entertainment.
The key selling point of the ATIV Book 9 Plus is its touchscreen. It has a matte, anti-glare finish which enables the user to look at the screen easily, even if the user is sitting under the sun. When the touchscreen is not connected, the laptop weighs 2.55 pounds which is amazing, even for an Ultrabook. However, when the touchscreen is connected to the laptop, it weighs a very respectable 3.06 pounds. This means that even the younger members of the family will find this laptop to be very portable.
What truly differentiates the ATIV Book 9 Plus from other members of the Series 9 family is its trackpad. It is more reliable than that of its predecessors, which is a remarkable feat by itself. The cursor is also very responsive and interprets the user’s commands very well. It goes exactly where you want it to go and moves with a fluidity not found in most kids’ laptops. Another noticeable feature of the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus is its screen resolution of 3,200 x 1,800 which results in crisper and sharper images and makes playing videogames on it a very memorable experience. Your children will not only enjoy playing games on this laptops but will also be left awestruck when watching HD videos on YouTube and other such video streaming platforms.
Granted that Samsung’s track record with audio output in Ultrabooks hasn’t exactly been the best in the market, that all changes with the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus as the sound produced by this machine is not just loud, but it is surprisingly rich as well. Listening to songs on loud is an extremely different experience than what most of us are used to. What’s even more incredible about the sound output is that the volume stays loud even if you place the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus on soft surfaces like a fluffy pillow, a spring mattress, or even a worn-out sofa. Even though the speakers of the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus are at the bottom of the machine, the sound quality is never lost regardless of where you put the laptop. The sound never gets muffled which enables kids to watch their cartoons on this laptop on their beds. We recommend parents to instruct their children to listen to audio on this laptop at the medium sound settings as the highest sound setting can be astonishingly high.
Simply put, the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus one of the best laptops you can buy for a child who loves to listen to music at higher volumes. Even though the sound quality is not lost at higher volumes, at lower volume settings, the sound is even better. Many users in the Samsung community have dubbed the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus as the best and most affordable Ultrabook available in the market today, and it would be very hard to disagree with them on this matter.
The Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus is currently available in the market in just one configuration. It houses the same components as other members of the Ultrabook family such as a dual-core processor i.e. Intel Core i5-4200U processor which clocks in at 1.6 GHz. The ATIV Book 9 Plus also has a RAM of 4 GB which ensures that programs are executed seamlessly.
2. HP Pavilion 11-k120nr x360 Review
The next laptop that we recommend to parents for their kids’ use is the HP Pavilion x360. This laptop is much better than other 2-in-1 laptops that it’s unfair to pit it against its competitors. The Pavilion x360 has a powerful Intel Core M processor and an incredible battery life. This means that the HP Pavilion x360 11-inch is a very fast, efficient, and reliable machine which can be used for whatever your child wants. While other budget laptops may be slowed down due to an inferior Pentium processor, the Pavilion x360 and its Intel Core M processor ensure that all programs are executed quickly and smoothly.
Even the design of this laptop is notable as it has rounded edges, which makes it safer for youngsters. What’s even more appreciable are the hinges that allow the x360 to switch between modes. Factoring in the robustness of the design, the HP Pavilion x360 11-inch is the perfect laptop to buy for your child. Parents don’t have to worry about their kids manhandling this machine as its robust design ensures that this laptop is safe even in the hands of a child who handles devices roughly. By investing in such a laptop, parents are saving money in the long run as they won’t have to cough up huge sums to fix the Pavilion x360.
Another notable feature of the Pavilion x360 is that it is available in many color contrasts. This makes it a popular choice among children as they can pick the color combination that speaks to them the most. Although the default color is Natural Silver, the Hybrid is also available in Sunset Red and Minty Green.
For a ‘budget 2-in-1,’ the x360 offers a plethora of different ports. It has three different USB jacks, one HDMI port, an Ethernet port, and a memory card port.
HP’s Pavilion x360 isn’t oblivious to the ever-growing field of laptops. Just like the Yoga series by Lenovo, this laptop uses two hinges that enable the machine to transform into four different forms within seconds. Users can fold the keyboard of the laptop backward, which puts you in the first form called the tablet mode. Upon folding the two ends of the laptop, users can see the Tent mode. To enter the Stand mode, users just need to push the keyboard keys down and slightly tilt the display back. Each form or mode has its own benefits, such as Tent, and is perfect for using the laptop in a confined space.
When switching from Tablet to Laptop mode (or vice versa) in Windows 10, the x360 will spawn a service message which will be checking to see if they want to enable or disable the default laptop mode. After you have made your choice, the laptop takes just 2 seconds to orientate itself in accordance with your selection.
The x360 might be a budget 2-in-1, but its audio capabilities are truly astounding. HP has benefited from its partnership with Band & Olufsen and introduced a new and improved Band & Olufsen Play software. The software optimizes the audio coming from the pair of speakers at the bottom of the machine. It also has a stunning graphic equalizer and different options for voice (audio), music, and movies. This enables the Pavilion x360 hybrid to easily fill up even a humongous room with its rich, crisp sound.
All these features aside, the best feature of the HP Pavilion x360 is undoubtedly its Intel Core M processor. This processor isn’t just faster than Pentium-powered portables; it is also more reliable and battery efficient. The laptop has a dual-core 1.9 GHz Intel M-Y510c processor which is supplemented by 4 GB of RAM, and 128 GB memory for storage of files and data. If your children intend to use their new laptop for gaming, the x360 runs 27 frames per second. For parents who have no clue what this means, we can tell them that in layman terms, it simply means that it is slightly below the 30 fps playability threshold, but it beats most laptops in the same price range with ease. Another added benefit of the Core M processor is that the laptop can run without a cooling mechanism such as a fan, which means that the device doesn’t heat up every thirty minutes and can, thus, be used for longer periods of time. Still, if you find it running hot you can always invest in a laptop cooler to prevent damage due to overheating.
HP is renowned for always looking after its clientele and the Pavilion x360 is no exception. The HP branded software includes various apps. One of these applications is Connected Drive, an online storage app that enables users to share files as large as 100 MB between 10 different devices. Another popular example is the Connected Music app, which lets you listen to music of all genres. Users can make use of the Connected Music app to listen to tracks online as well as the tracks stored on their PCs. By using HP’s Connected Photo app, now called the ‘Snapfish’ app, users can upload as well as access photos across various devices.
There is also a plethora of third-party applications and software available for the HP Pavilion x360. Some of these are Facebook, Netflix, Evernote, and Twitter. Just make sure you’re ready to keep an eye out when it comes to your children and social media. If the laptop’s 128 GB memory space isn’t enough for your storage needs, Microsoft has partnered with Dropbox to give users an additional 25 GB for storage for a duration of six months. The laptop also offers a month’s subscription of McAfee LiveSafe free of charge so that parents can rest easy knowing that their children won’t be wrecking their machine with viruses.
All in all, HP has made an inexpensive 2-in-1 that is so powerful and efficient that it can easily replace your first-choice computer. It houses the powerful Core M processor and offers remarkable audio capabilities and an impressive battery life. Your children will love this laptop as it is able to handle any tasks that they throw at it.
3. HP Stream Review
The HP Stream 13 Laptop is also another incredible choice for parents looking for the perfect laptop for their kids. The large screen of the Stream 13 is ideally suited for all media purposes such as playing videogames, surfing the web, streaming music, video calling, and watching movies – just don’t expect to be editing photos or videos at high speeds with this budget laptop. Another selling point of the Stream 13 laptop is that this machine is built to last and is robust enough for even the most hyperactive child in the family.
HP’s Stream 13 is a sleek laptop that is powered by the Windows 10 operating system. Housing the powerful Intel Celeron processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 32 GB for memory, this laptop is perfect for jotting down class lectures. Granted that the screen of the machine could be a little brighter and the battery life could be better, the Stream 13 still is a very potent laptop. It has a vibrant design, commendable features, and a high performance index which mean that is one of the best laptops for kids and students.
This laptop has a vivid blue plastic shell that separates it from other members of the HP family. Contrasting white keys helps enhance the visual impact of the machine. Not only is it visually appealing, but it also weighs just 3.42 pounds. This means that the HP Stream 13 laptop is light enough to be carried from one place to another and can be fit into any laptop bag with lots of space left over for charging cables and headphones.
With one charging jack, three USB slots, an HDMI port, an aux jack, and an SD card slot, the Stream 13 has all the features that your children need to stay connected. Users can add more memory by purchasing SD cards and inserting them into the SD card slot of the laptop. It has an almighty 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron N3050 processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 32 GB memory.
However, the biggest con of the Stream 13 is its poor battery life. When put through our battery test, this machine lasted only for 6 hours and 54 minutes. However, its battery life is still significantly better than all other laptops in this price range. Another point of worry can be its relatively low storage capacity of only 32 GB. To counter this problem, the Stream 13 includes 1 TB of OneDrive (online) storage which has not only exponentially increased its storage capacity, but HP’s partnership with Microsoft means that users now also have access to Office 365 for a full calendar year.
Despite its low price, the Stream 13 doesn’t compromise on features as it offers the flexibility offered by Windows 10 and the performance to handle basic and advanced computing needs. The HP Stream 13’s 13-inch screen offers a vivid and rich image, and its solid build quality means that HP has assembled a robust machine. Of all the items on this list, we recommend parents to get this laptop as it offers the best of both worlds (i.e. good performance coupled with incredible cost-effectiveness).
4. Goldengulf Mini Android Laptop Computer Review
The Goldengulf Mini Android Laptop NetBook is an unorthodox choice when it comes to buying a Laptop for your children. It has a tiny screen, which makes it convenient for children to interact. The Goldengulf is easily portable because it weighs only 1.6 lbs. Not only that, but it is also the perfect choice for media and functionality because it comes with all the features that your children could need for simple purposes such as watching cartoons and movies, streaming and listening to music, video calling, web browsing, and chatting with their friends.
What’s amazing about the Goldengulf is that it also provides a memory card slot for additional file storage. The biggest shortcoming of the Goldengulf is that its average battery life is roughly 2 hours after which it must be charged. However, thanks to advanced technology, it can be charged quickly and on the go.
All in all, the Goldengulf Mini Android Netbook is an affordable, attractive and efficient laptop that will provide entertainment to kids of all ages. It is a quality model that can withstand wear and tear, which makes it the perfect choice for parents shopping on a budget.