Whether you’re a parent looking for the best laptop for your teen, or a teen looking for the best way to spend your summer job money, we’ve got you covered. Now, before deciding what to buy, you have to ask yourself – What do I need it for?
Well, let’s face it, gadgets like laptops and tablets have become indispensable in modern world, not least for socialising. So, spending prolonged periods of time online on social media seems like an obvious activity, meaning portability and longevity of the laptop’s battery are important things to consider.
Moreover, most teenagers spend a great deal of time gaming, so you’ll need a decent CPU and screen, as well as an all right graphic card. Additionally, you’ll probably need at least adequate sound quality for listening to music and watching movies, not to mention the capacity to store it.
Nobody wants to admit it, but size is important. While “the bigger the better” is the general rule of thumb, it’s not great if you want portability, so keep it under 13 inches.
Finally (though this should be your first consideration), before setting off to buy or order the goodies, decide on how much you’re actually willing to spend, and keep in mind that overpaying is just as bad as underpaying.
5 Best Laptop for Teens Reviews
1. Lenovo S21e 80M4002DUS
We’ll be kicking off this list with the most expensive item on it, but still well under three Benjamins. The Lenovo S21e 80M4002DUS 11.6-Inch Laptop is a great beastie that’s more than capable of handling homework assignments and an occasional PP presentation, not to mention five hours of otherwise productive usage (hey, whatever floats your boat).
The hub holds an Intel Celeron N2840 CPU clocked at 2.1GHz, which is adequate, to say the least. It comes with 2GB DDR3 RAM and 32GB SSD (Solid-State Drive) for storage. While SSDs are not perfect for enthusiastic multimedia users, they’re ideal for speed freaks who need instant boot up or app launches, as well as people on the go; besides, they’re pretty much standard for ultra-portables (like the Lenovo S21e).
The laptop has a fair-sized 11.6-inch LED-lit matte-finish screen, with decent resolution (1366 x 768), and great audio system (Dolby Advanced).
As far as connectivity goes, with 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth 4.0, it’d be an understatement to say it’s great. Plus, with two USB ports, a card reader, and a HDMI port, you have the option to use it on its own, or combined with a bigger screen.
- Excellent image quality
- Comes with a 30-day McAfee Free Trial
- Solid battery life.
- Not enough storage space
In a nutshell, while the Lenovo S21e is not the perfect device to store massive amounts of data on it, its incredible speed and excellent connectivity, coupled with decent battery life, make it an indispensable tool for any high-schooler or young adult needing help with assignments.
2. Acer Chromebook13 CB5-311-T9B0
If you’re in the market for a fast and portable computer, you might consider checking out the Acer Chromebook CB5-311-T980. This is probably the best chromebook for teens. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a Chromebook is a computer that runs on Google’s web-based Chrome OS, designed to be used with an internet connection, with most of its documents and apps existing in the cloud.
The heart and soul of this little puppy is the NVIDIA Tegra K1 Quad Core processor, with base frequency of 2.1GHz. As far as memory goes, it has 2GB DDR3L SDRAM and 16GB SDD.
The screen is of fair size and quality – 13.3 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080 res), and it’s aided by a dedicated NVIDIA Kepler GPU with 192 NVIDIA CUDA cores graphics card.
The best thing about this puppy is its astonishing battery life – up to eleven hours of productive usage.
- Excellent connectivity
- Amazing battery life
- Great screen
- Small storage capacity
- Requires connection to operate
In essence, if you’re certain you’ll have connection at all times, and the most you’ll need out of your laptop is to render HD movies and an occasional Plants vs. Zombies, this is the thing for you.
3. Toshiba NB505-N508BL
The advantage netbooks hold over laptops is their comparably light weight (about two pounds on average, while laptops weigh around three pounds and up), smaller size screen (up to ten inches), as well as the ostensibly greater battery life. The Toshiba NB505 fits the bill.
The quintessence of this little fella is the Intel Atom Processor with 1.66GHz base frequency. This is not great, but it’s more than enough for surfing and general purpose use. The 1GB DDR2 RAM is not top of the line, either, but 250GB 5400rpm HDD is decent, to say the least. We would say it is the best netbook for teens.
The 10.1-inch screen, coupled with the eight-hour battery life makes this puppy an ideal travel-companion. Additionally, with the integrated Intel GMA 3150 GPU, you’re guaranteed to have a great time watching movies… erm, doing homework on the go.
If you’re determined to play some games, such as Minecraft, you can do so with a couple of cheap upgrades (e. g. upgrading your RAM to at least 2GB). The ergonomic keyboard and easy-to-read display will make the hours spend at it seem like minutes.
- Very lightweight and ultra-portable
- Great battery life
- Quality build
- Could have a better CPU
- Camera is subpar
All in all, this little fella’s upsides are definitely its portability, long-lived battery and general usefulness when it comes to taking in-class notes, doing homework, researching and preparing presentations, but watching movies and rendering HQ videos on YouTube is where it draws the line for CPU-heavy tasks.
Best Tablet for Teens
4. ASUS Chromebook Flip
If you’re looking for versatility in your laptop and at least 9 hours of battery life, then ASUS Chromebook Flip is the thing for you.
Let’s cover the basics first – the centerpiece of this little boy is its Rockchip processor with 1.8GHz of base frequency. When it comes to laptops, the Rockchip CPU is not the top of the line, but when it comes to tablets, it almost makes for a golden standard.
To counterbalance the relatively slow CPU, this puppy carries 4GB of DDR3 RAM. Being a Chromebook, it keeps most its files and apps in the cloud, so there’s not much storage capacity, merely 16GB SSD.
The best part of this product is its screen – the 10.1-inch LED-lit 1280 x 800 2-in-1 touchscreen. Its wide viewing angle and ASUS-exclusive touch sensor technology give you high response and multitude of usage scenarios. There are four different ways you can choose to set it as – a notebook, a tablet, a stand or a tent, depending on the space available.
- Very versatile
- Responsive touchscreen, no lag
- Great value for money
- Can’t share files cross-platform (yet)
- Tablet mode makes it much bulkier than actual tablets
5. Asus T100Chi-B1-BK(WX) Transformer Book
The last, but not least item on this list is yet another ASUS, this time the ASUS T100Chi-B1-BK(WX) Transformer Book. As you might’ve guessed from its name, the device as both a laptop (or, more precisely, a netbook, given its comparatively small size and light weight) and as a tablet.
The hood of this little fella hides the unassuming Intel Atom Z3775 Processor with base frequency of mere 1.46GHz, but also with Burst Technology to sup it up to 2.39GHz. It carries 2GB LPDDR3 1066MHz RAM for temporary, and 32GB eMMC (SSD) for permanent storage (or at least as long as you want it).
There’s no dedicated graphics card, but you do get the integrated Intel HD Graphics with shared graphics memory to aid your 10.1-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) Touchscreen.
This puppy combines the productivity of a laptop with fun of a tablet in one convenient package, for the price of Franklin hanging around with Grant and some entourage.
As for miscellaneous, the laptop has a 3-in-1 card-reader, two cameras (2MP front-facing webcam and 5MP back-facing), as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection. Best Value for Money Laptop for Teens.
- Great build quality
- Decent CPU
- Excellent bang for buck
- Lightweight, ultraportable
- Takes a bit of tinkering to pair Bluetooth keyboard paired with the tablet
- Could have a better battery life
On a balance, this is a great travel companion, great for multitasking, but also as a dedicated media platform. It’s not top of the line, but if you’re working on a tight budget, this fella is your best buddy.
Paying for bells and whistles is fine and dandy, but your primary concern should be the quality and value for money. With the items on this list, you’ll get both.
For those working on a budget, the Asus T100Chi-B1-BK(WX) Transformer Book gives the best bang for buck; its cousin, the ASUS Chromebook Flip, comes at a slightly higher price, but also with better quality; the Toshiba NB505-N508BL, on the other hand, does come with great mobility and battery life, while the Acer Chromebook13 CB5-311-T9B0 gives you everything you may wish out of a laptop, provided you have connection at all times; however, our absolute favorite, both quality and price-wise, is the Lenovo S21e 80M4002DUS, as long as you don’t mind carrying around 2.8 pounds of pure tech-delight.