Updated: Sep 15, 2020
For older kids learning online or first-time computer users doing homework, Chromebooks can be incredibly cost-effective but child-friendly and durable devices that will meet your kids online learning needs. Let's find out what makes them such a great choice, how to choose a Chromebook for your kids and which ones are the best suited to children.
This page contains affiliate links which means that you can click to go directly to products that I talk about. If you end up making a purchase, a small commission goes to me.
How is a Chromebook different from a laptop?
I know I was a little confused about how exactly Chromebooks differ from normal laptops. The main difference between a Chromebook and a laptop is the operating system: Chromebooks run Google's ChromeOS whereas most other kinds of laptop run other operating systems like macOS, Windows or Linux.
But ChromeOS isn't just another operating system - unlike Mac or Windows computers, ChromeOS centres mainly around the web and doing things on the internet. This sounds limiting, but remember that most things you could want to do on a computer are possible to do on the web these days. You can add online and offline apps from the Google Play Store too but Chromebooks are designed to be used mainly for web-based services such as Gmail, Google Chrome and Google Docs.
Are Chromebooks good for kids?
Chromebooks are designed to be simple - almost like using a tablet or a mobile but with laptop type hardware - which means that they can be excellent for kids to use.
Uncomplicated and easy to use, kids who have never used a computer before can quickly adapt to Chromebooks and will soon be able to do much more with their device.
Why are Chromebooks good for students? Students have everything they need for basic school work, staying organised and for communication. Kids can even do simple video editing using web applications or GoogleOS/Android apps.
Many Chromebooks are light and very portable. I don't own one myself but I like to check out what's available when I'm in an electronics shop and I'm always impressed by how sturdy and durable Chromebooks seem to be in general.
Do Chromebooks have built-in virus protection?
Chromebooks are automatically safe, secure, protected and up to date. This can be EXTREMELY helpful for busy parents who may not even have the time to keep an eye on all the families devices to make sure they're maintained properly. Buying a Chromebook for your kids instead of a laptop computer also keeps costs down because you won't need to also purchase anti-virus software.
Do Chromebooks have cameras?
Chromebooks, like most laptops these days, have inbuilt webcams! Kids using Chromebooks for distance learning will have no problem connecting with their classmates and teachers via whichever platform they use (check out how to use your child's platform from any kind of device here).
Best Budget Chromebook
It's totally understandable that parents are reluctant to spend a fortune on new devices for kids only for them to be used heavily, transported all over the place and not handled with 100% care 100% of the time. This makes a Chromebook a brilliant choice to buy as a first device, for students and for kids to do homework and school projects on. Chromebook prices can be extremely low, meaning parents don't need to be quite so concerned about putting them into the hands of their kids. Click here to check current market prices for Chromebooks now.
Can I put parental controls on a Chromebook?
Parents can set parental controls on their kids' Chromebooks using the Google Family Link app. Within the app, parents can set which sites are accessible and which are blocked for each of their children.
What is a 2-in-1 Chromebook?
A 2-in-1 Chromebook is also known as a convertible device. The screen on a 2-in-1 Chromebook can be folded back all the way to meet the back of the keyboard so that the device is in tablet mode. In tablet mode, Chromebooks can be entirely operated using the touch screen and the keyboard is off. Shop 2-in-1 Chromebooks now.
With a 2-in-1 or convertible Chromebook, you can also fold the screen back more than 180 degrees (not quite all the way to the back of the keyboard as in tablet mode) to put the device into tent mode. Check it out:
Chromebook or iPad for children?
Deciding whether to buy your child an iPad or a Chromebook can be tough because of how good both can be and the advantages both types of device have for students. You can read my post where I compare each and every aspect of a Chromebook with an iPad and show which is best for kids to use.