6 Best Detachable Laptops: AKA Tablet-Laptop Hybrids. Best laptop tablet for students

Seamlessly switching between tablet and laptop never felt so good.

The rise of 2-in-1 laptops has been quick and rightfully so thanks to the versatility. One second, you’re holding a tablet in your hand, then the next second you can attach a keyboard and have a full-fledged laptop that doesn’t sacrifice power. Having all your movies, photos, files, and applications all on one device is one of the many advantages of owning a detachable device instead of a dedicated tablet and a laptop. Not only is it convenient, but there’s also something freeing about seamlessly switching between tablet and laptop without much effort. It’s a feeling that clearly resonates with users.

Without Microsoft, the 2-in-1 market may very well not exist, but we’re glad it does. But there are also more detachables out there than just Surface, as you can find devices perfectly suited for gaming to work and even affordable Chromebook options. We’ve rounded up the very best options on the market so you can fulfill your desires for both a tablet and a laptop while only needing to purchase one device – and click here to find them in the UK.

Surface Pro 9

Best Detachable Laptop

Display: 13-inch (2,880 x 1,920) PixelSense Flow Display | CPU: Microsoft SQ3| GPU: Adreno 8CX Gen 3 | RAM: 8GB LPDDR4x | Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD | Weight: 1.95 pounds | Size: 11.3″ x 8.2″ x 0.37″

Microsoft arguably created the 2-in-1 market with its Surface lineup, and the Surface Pro 9 continues to push the path forward regarding portability and power. There are several different builds, but we recommend the model offering up Microsoft’s ARM-based processor, the SQ 3. By going the SQ 3 route, you get 5G built-in and longer battery life—19 hours—along with handy AI features for video calls using Windows Studio effects, like automatic framing, background blur, noise-canceling, and automatic muting.

Designwise not much has changed on the Surface Pro 9 from the Pro 8, as it totes a similar lightweight, sturdy chassis with two USB-C ports. You also get a crisp and vibrant 13-inch PixelSense Flow display with a 2,880 x 1,920 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate for super smooth scrolling. The Pro 9 doesn’t include a keyboard, so you’ll need to pick up the 180 Surface Pro Signature Keyboard, which has a compartment to store (and charge!) the Surface Slim Pen 2.

Asus VivoBook 13 OLED

Best Budget Detachable Laptop

Display: 13.3-inch (1,920 x 1,080) OLED Display | CPU: Intel Pentium N6000 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X | Storage: 256GB SSD | Weight: 1.72 pounds | Size: 12.20″ x 7.48″ x 0.31″

The Asus VivoBook 13 OLED is a solid, budget-minded alternative to the pricey Microsoft Surface Pro 9. With a 13.3” OLED FHD touchscreen, you’re in for bolder, more vibrant colors and deeper blacks than the traditional LCD panels you see on many cheaper screens. The display turns into a full-fledged laptop using the detachable keyboard and trackpad that connect directly to the Vivobook without Bluetooth. An included stylus also lets the display work just as effectively as a digital canvas.

Our favorite Asus VivoBook 13 OLED model offers a whopping 8GB of memory along with 256GB NVMe PCIe SSD storage and is powered by an Intel Pentium N6000 quad-core processor. That’s plenty of oomph to breeze through your everyday routine tasks, but it’ll struggle if you’re using the device for gaming or editing. Also under the hood is a 50Whrs battery that should last over 9 hours, meaning you can take this machine along to work or on busy travel days. If you run low on juice, the 65W fast charging should come in handy.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

Best Ultracheap Detachable Laptop

Display: 10.9” (2,000 x 1,200) IPS Touchscreen Display | CPU: ‎Qualcomm Snapdragon SC7180 | RAM: 4GB LPDDR4x | Storage: 64GB | Weight: 1.14 pounds | Size: 10.16″ x 6.48″ x 0.31″

A 2-in-1 detachable laptop doesn’t have to run Windows. In fact, some of the best options are ChromeOS devices. Starting at a bit over 350, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is an excellent example — you not only get a 10.9-inch tablet for that price, but you also get a detachable keyboard. Chromebooks are often misconstrued as being nothing more than glorified devices providing access to Google’s Chrome browser. However, ChromeOS runs Android apps, and there is plenty of app variety offering the same productivity tools and functionality as you expect on Windows or macOS.

With the Duet 3, you’re getting a few upgrades to the Duet that previously held this spot. The screen is a bit bigger and brighter, and it’s packing a little more power under the hood. This device totes a Qualcomm Snapdragon SC7180 processor and 4GB of memory, and that equates to it being fast enough for your daily tasks with the occasional gaming or photo editing session. A 12-hour battery life also makes the Duet 3 a perfect companion for long travel days where you need to get a bit of work done — or marathon a show or two.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5

Best Detachable Chromebook

Display: 13.3” (1,920 x 1,800) OLED Full HD IPS Touchscreen Display | CPU: ‎Snapdragon SC7180 | GPU: Qualcomm Adreno | RAM: 4GB LPDDR4x | Storage: 64GB eMMC SSD | Weight: 4.09 pounds | Size: 12.05″ x 7.32″ x 0.27″

If you want more from a 2-in-1 Chromebook, Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet 5 is a bit bigger, has a nicer 13-inch OLED display and a beefier processor. At 429, you’re getting a tablet, 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage, plus an included keyboard so you won’t have a spend any extra cash on accessories.

Inside the tablet is a ‎2.55 GHz Snapdragon processor that will hum right along as you go about your normal workflow. In case Snapdragon sounds familiar, it’s the same brand of chip you find in most Android phones so it’s even better at running all of your favorite apps from the Play Store. Lenovo touts up to 15 hours of battery life you’re sure to have enough battery power to keep you going long into the night.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

Best Detachable Laptop for Work

Display: 13″ (2,880×1,920) | CPU: Intel Core i5- 1230U | GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics | RAM: 8GB LPDDR4x (4,267MHz) | Storage: 512GB SSD | Weight: 1.6 pounds (tablet); 1.23 pounds (keyboard) | Size: 11.50″ x 7.90″ x 0.29″ (tablet only)

Dell’s XPS 13 lineup has been a staple workhorse for a while, and Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 continues that tradition. This machine is packing a 12th gen Intel Core i5 processor along with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, so it should have no problem blasting through spreadsheets and documents while also perusing the web. However, if you do more creative work or think you might need additional oomph, there are upgrades available.

The XPS 13 2-in-1 is ready for portable productivity with its large and bright 13-inch display housed in a thin, lightweight chassis. It’s even got two Thunderbolt 4 ports, making it an ideal option to use as a second monitor when you’re home. If you plan on getting work done on the go, you should grab the configuration that includes the Folio and stylus, giving you more of a laptop experience with a keyboard that doubles as a stand and cover, while the pen is handy for note-taking.

Asus ROG Flow Z13

Best Detachable Gaming Laptop

Display: 13.4-inch (1,920 x 1,200) | CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 RAM: 16GB LPDDR5 | Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD | Weight: 2.6 pounds (without keyboard) | Size: 11.89″ x 8.03″ x 0.47″

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more powerful 2-in-1 laptop than the Asus ROG Flow Z13. This beast of a machine is made to game with the latest 12th gen Intel Core i7 processor, and unlike most detachable options, it’s packing a separate NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 GPU. You also get 16GB LPDDR5 memory and 512GB of storage. With those internals, your favorite titles should have no issues booting up, and you’ll be cruising through games.

Though some gaming PCs and gaming laptops pack a bit more oomph under the hood than this tablet, it’s a whole lot more portable. The Asus ROG Flow Z13 weighs just over 2.5 pounds and offers up a 13.4-inch FHD display. Its bright touchscreen is capable of a 120Hz refresh rate with adaptive sync for ample motion fidelity in your games. This computer is also loaded with some convenient ports, including a Thunderbolt 4 to hook up a gaming monitor, hub, or other peripherals.

What to Look For in a Detachable Laptop

One of the most important factors to take into consideration when shopping for a device that pulls double duty as a laptop and a tablet is what you’re going to be using it for. For someone who only wants to check email, watch a few YouTube videos, stream Twitch, and shop on Amazon, you’re not going to need the latest Intel i-series processor and a ton of storage.

Something like the Surface Go 3 or a Chromebook Duet will be more than enough. Keep in mind you can always connect the smaller 2-in-1’s to an external monitor if you need more screen real estate.

That said, if you plan on using your 2-in-1 detachable to do more resource-intensive tasks like editing the occasional photo or video, then you’ll ideally want to look for an Intel Core i5 or i7 that comes with Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics.

When it comes to memory, the more the better, especially for Windows 11, but again, this is a factor that’s driven by how you intend to use your new laptop and tablet combo. For example, 8GB for a Windows 10 device is good enough for most casual use, but you’ll want to bump it up to 16GB when possible if you plan on doing more than just online shopping and social media — and even more so if you want to game.

Another thing to keep in mind when setting a budget is that most 2-in-1’s don’t come with a keyboard or stylus. Meaning, you’ll need to factor an extra 150 or so into the overall cost.

Jason Cipriani has covered technology full-time for the past 8 years. During that time he has freelanced for the likes of CNET, Fortune, Time, ZDNet, Macworld, Wired, and TechRadar.

Danielle Abraham is a freelance writer and unpaid music historian.

Best laptops for college students 2023

Heading back to school without a PC? Check out the best laptops for college right here.

A great laptop is the beating heart of the college environment. New and returning students need something that can keep up with heavy multitasking or specialized work, and they need something with a battery that can last through long lectures. Having a great display and speakers for watching TV and movies in the evening can’t hurt either, and in some cases a discrete GPU might be required for work or for play.

The right laptop for college will change based on the type of enrollment and the required workload, which is why we’ve included many different levels of performance and price; there are even some great laptops within the budget range that will still fare well at school. These are the best laptops for college students heading back this year.

Reasons to avoid

Lenovo’s 7th Gen Yoga 9i 14 refresh has solved a bunch of the issues that we had with the 6th Gen model, making it our top pick when it comes to the best Windows laptops. In his Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7) review, Executive Editor Daniel Rubino says “it showcases the best of what a Windows 11 laptop can be in 2022.”

First and foremost, the display has been bumped up to a taller 16:10 aspect ratio for more screen real estate. There are multiple display options available, including 1920×1200 (FHD) with 400 nits brightness, Dolby Vision, and 100% sRGB color. Stepping up to 3840×2400 (UHD), you get an OLED screen with 100% DCI-P3 color VESA DisplayHDR 500, and Dolby Vision. Last but not least is the 2880×1800 (2.8K) OLED screen with 100% DCI-P3 color, 400 nits brightness, VESA DisplayHDR 500, and Dolby Vision.

All of these displays are touch enabled, and the convertible design of the laptop makes it easy to spin the screen around for tablet mode. A Lenovo Precision Pen 2 with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt detection is included with each laptop. This only adds to the PC’s versatility; if you’d rather jot down notes by hand than type things out, this laptop can easily accommodate.

The touchpad is 45% larger than the previous generation, and the keyboard is still comfortable during long days of typing. There’s even a column of one-touch Function keys for easier shortcuts. The all-metal body is joined by a rotating soundbar hinge that is louder than ever. This keeps audio unmuffled no matter how you’re using the laptop. Dolby Atmos makes it ideal for watching TV and movies. The laptop’s 1080p camera means you can conference with confidence, and the IR sensor allows for secure logins through Windows Hello.

The Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7) isn’t all show. Processors got a bump up to 12th Gen Intel Core, RAM is now faster LPDDR5x-5200MHz, and the SSD uses PCIe 4.0 for incredible speeds. This laptop isn’t going to hold you back when it’s time to hit a deadline. Ports include dual Thunderbolt 4, two USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2), and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The inclusion of Wi-Fi 6E for use on the 6GHz Band with the best Wi-Fi 6E routers also makes this a fantastic laptop for online classes. Check out our collection of the best Lenovo laptops if you like this idea but want something just a bit different.

What about college laptops for specific areas of study?

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Lenovo’s Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7) has what it takes to get a new student through a general workload, and it has the chops to deliver quality video and sound during study downtimes in the dorm. It’s fairly pricey, but it should remain relevant through years of school as long as the student’s major doesn’t change and require something with more specialized hardware.

If you’re looking for something a bit different when a major does change, we’ve collected more of the best laptops for engineering students, best laptops for computer science and programming students, best laptops for students on a budget, and more.

Best laptop for engineering students

Engineering students can’t just sit down and use any old laptop while studying. There are specific programs (like 3D design software) used by engineering students that require quite a bit more horsepower than your usual Ultrabook can deliver. That’s why landing a PC with a discrete graphics card (GPU) and able processor (CPU) is so important.

With these performance demands in mind, you also want to be sure your engineering student isn’t lugging a massive workstation or gaming laptop back and forth across campus. Something fairly thin and sleek won’t take up as much room in a bag, and it will be much more convenient throughout the year.

Something like Dell’s XPS 15 (9520) checks all the boxes, and it’s also a great pick for art and design students who need to use software like Blender, Unity, or Adobe.

Best small laptops (11 and 10-inch mini laptops) in 2023

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These days, you’ll find a multitude of excellent thin, light, and fast ultraportable laptops in stores, but for those of you for whom the size and portability of your computer matter more than anything else, a mini laptop with an 11-inch, 10-inch, or even a smaller display size might be the ideal choice over everything else.

  • What is a mini laptop?
  • Affordable 11-inch small laptops 2-in-1 hybrids
  • Chromebooks – snappy and with excellent battery life
  • Acer Chromebook Spin 311 2-in-1 small laptop
  • Lenovo Chromebook Flex 11 2-in-1 mini laptop
  • Lenovo Chromebook Duet mini-tablet
  • Chuwi MiniBook X, OneMix 4 and GPD Win Max 2
  • Ultra-compact hand-held micro computers
  • What is the difference between a regular laptop and mini laptop?
  • What size (how small) is a mini laptop?
  • What makes a good mini laptop?
  • What are the advantages of a mini laptop?
  • What are the disadvantages of a mini laptop?

So, if you’re like me and don’t enjoy lugging around large and heavy computers during your travels or commute, and at the same time you don’t ask much from your portable companion in terms of performance, you’ll be happy with one of the small and compact mini laptops that we’ll cover in this article.

Our recommendations are based on our 15 years of experience in reviewing and testing this sort of portable lightweight 10/11 inch laptops.

In order to make it a little easier for you to single out the best small laptops that would suit your needs and your budget, I’ve split this article into several sections:

We’ll go over the important details in each class, with the strong points and the quirks that you need to be aware of for each of the recommended options; I’ve also added links to our detailed reviews and to our deals pages, and you can also get in touch with me in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section at the end of the article if you have any questions or need my help.

What is a mini laptop?

Before we jump into the core of the article, let’s quickly touch on what you should expect from this kind of small computers.

A mini laptop offers the same functionality and aspect as a regular device, but in a smaller format. Hence, this article goes over ultra-compact small-screen laptops, so I left out the laptops with a 12-inch, 13.3-inch, or larger display sizes (I’ve covered them in this Best Ultrabook buying guide instead, which goes over the Apple MacBook, Dell XPS 13, Microsoft Surface Laptop, HP Envy x360 13 and a multitude of other options built on Intel Core or AMD Ryzen hardware, with the latest traits that money can buy today).

With the small-size options that we’re discussing in this article (which are also known as netbooks on mini-laptops), you’re still getting most of the same features and abilities, but you will have to accept lower-power hardware mostly suitable for basic everyday use and less-so for demanding applications, as well as smaller displays, fewer ports, and more cramped keyboards. Of course, there are exceptions to consider, and at the same time, these computers are portable and easy to carry around, offer long battery life, and are generally quite affordable.

With that out of the way, let’s get to our selection of the best smallest laptops with sub-11-inch displays.

Affordable 11-inch small laptops 2-in-1 hybrids

The offer for budget 11-inch small laptops is diverse, especially in the 200 to 400 range of compact no-fuss daily computers, travel companions, or inexpensive small laptops for your kids (these are just some of the common use cases for small laptops).

Don’t expect premium features or materials in this class, but you will find here simple and compact computers that can handle basic everyday tasks (browsing, email, video streaming, text editing) and can run for quite a few hours on a charge.

Chromebooks – snappy and with excellent battery life

Chromebooks are by far your best bet in this segment at this point. As long as they meet your requirements, you’re not going to find better value for your money elsewhere.

You must however understand, and I can’t stress it enough, what a Chromebook is and what it can and especially what it cannot do for you. For that reason, I’ve put up a whole detailed article on Chromebooks over here, which you should go through.

In very few words, if you’re connected to the Internet most of the time and your activities mostly involve browsing, streaming content on YouTube or Netflix or Spotify, eMail, text-editing, and other everyday web-related tasks, a Chromebook is going to be a perfect match for you. On the other hand, if you mostly use your laptop offline, or if you want to run specialized software for your work or school, a Windows notebook might be the better choice for you, and we’ll discuss them further down in this article.

For those basic chores, though, Chromebooks are quicker than the Windows computers you’ll find for the same kind of money, especially in the sub 400 price segment, as well as safer and simpler to use.

They’re designed so you don’t have to deal with updates, they’re safer against viruses and harmful exploits, and easier to customize and set up to your needs. Much like with your phone, you install apps from a dedicated web store with pre-vetted applications, and most of the Chromebooks available today also support Android apps from the PlayStore, as well as Linux and even Windows apps to some extent.

Most of the available Chromebooks you can find for less than 400 are built on lower-power processors, with 4-8 GB of RAM memory, 16-64 GB of storage expandable through the included card reader, IPS screens with HD or Full HD resolution, an HDMI port for watching movies on an external display, as well as long battery life and fast charging abilities, in most cases. As a recommendation, stay away from older devices with Intel Atom processors and only 2 GB of RAM, those get sluggish with today’s requirements.

That aside, our condensed list of recommendations for affordable ultra-compact mini Chromebooks is down below:

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 2-in-1 small laptop

Starting at around 200 at the time of this update, the Chromebook Spin 311 is our favorite inexpensive compact 2-in-1 Chromebook. It offers an 11.6-inch touchscreen display with an HD IPS panel, it’s built on an Intel Celeron hardware platform with 4 GB of RAM and 32/64 GB of storage space, and gets a 38 Wh battery that delivers 6-10 hours of battery life on a charge.

You’ll have to settle for an all-plastic construction though, with fair, but not excellent build-quality, thicker bezels around the display, and a total weight of around 2.6 lbs, so overall this is not as portable as some of the other options we’ll discuss further down.

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 11 2-in-1 mini laptop

This is Lenovo’s alternative to the Spin 311 above, with nearly the same features, traits, and a similar price point of around 200.

This gets the same kind of 11.6-inch touchscreen display and the same convertible format, but slightly different hardware with a Mediatek processor, and a larger 42 Wh battery that allows it to last a little longer on each charge.

The downsides are normal for this price point, with unappealing bezels, a total weight of around 2.6 lbs, and rather tinny audio.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet mini-tablet

While the Duet is a smaller 10-inch laptop computer and I shouldn’t include it in this exact section, I just have to mention it as an excellent choice in the sub 300 segment, as long as you’re OK with its smaller display.

And that’s because the Chromebook Duet offers a superior-quality screen to any of the other alternatives in this class, with a brighter and richer FHD IPS panel and 16:10 aspect ratio. Furthermore, the build quality of the Duet is also second-to-none in its class, with a matte aluminum back and glass on the front.

The form factor is that of a tablet, but Lenovo bundles a keyboard folio for laptop use, and the two make up for around 2 lbs combined. Spec-wise, everything is motorized by a Mediatek platform, paired with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage space, which feels alright with daily use and proves to be highly efficient, squeezing 6-12 hours of battery life out of the 28 Wh battery inside.

All these add up to the Chromebook Duet being by far the best-value option in the sub 400 class of mini laptops. Just make sure you’re fine with a 10-inch device and its slightly cramped keyboard, expected at this size.

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Some of the best 11-inch Chromebook laptops available in stores

The best Windows-based 11-inch small notebooks

This section includes 11-inch laptops that run fully functional Windows environments, with either clamshell or 2-in-1 designs, selling for between 150 to 400.

In this segment, my advice would be to aim for a configuration with at least 4 GB of RAM, at least 64 GB of storage, and one of the faster CPU options (newer generation Intel quad-core or later), otherwise the computer is going to struggle even with light multitasking, or you won’t have enough storage space for Windows and your software.

Here are some of the sub-300 clamshell units that I’d have on my radar:

  • Asus VivoBook Laptop L210 – the updated version of the popular Asus E203 and E12, the Asus Laptop L210 is a compact and lightweight laptop (2.2 lbs) with a clamshell form factor and plastic chassis. It’s lighter and smaller than many of the alternatives in the sub-250 price range, and bundles a fanless Intel Gemini Lake-R Celeron 4Core processor, 4 GB RAM, and 64 GB eMMC storage on the base model, as well as a 38 Wh battery.

The screen isn’t great, though, with an HD LED panel and no option for IPS. That’s the norm in this class with Windows laptops though, as the software license takes its toll, and the OEMs have to cut some corners in order to meet the low price point.

  • Dell Latitude 11 – rugged plastic construction, clamshell, 11-inch HD matte display, more powerful Intel Jasper Lake Pentium hardware and faster SSD storage, 40 Wh battery, weighs 1.33 kg / 3 lbs.
  • HP Stream 11 – plastic construction, clamshell, available in a few different colors, 11-inch HD LED TN matte display, Gemini Lake Celeron 4Core processor, 4 GB RAM, and 64 GB eMMC storage on base model, 38 Wh battery, weighs only 1.1 kg/ 2.4 lbs, around 220 for mid-level Gemini configurations, older Apollo Lake versions also available.
  • Lenovo 300e – plastic 2-in-1 format, 11-inch HD IPS touch display pen, Gemini Lake Celeron 4Core 4 GB 64 Gb eMMC, 47 Wh battery, weighs 1.3 kg /2.9 lbs, around 220.

Most of these options are similar in specs, with 11-inch HD screens and Gemini Lake-R hardware. On one hand, I lean towards the Asus L210 for the slightly nicer build, its reduced weight, and low price, but the newer Lenovo 300e is a worthy alternative if you value the nicer IPS panel with touch and the convertible format. Furthermore, the Dell Latitude 11 is an interesting option as well, with more powerful hardware specs than most other 11-inch notebooks available these days, and a good keyboard, making it a proper option for programming and engineering work on the go.

If the options above did not fully convince you, you’ll also find a larger selection of compact Windows mini-laptops via this link, with user reviews and updated prices.

best, detachable, laptops, tablet-laptop, hybrids, laptop

The HP Stream 11 and Asus L210 series are some of the better Windows small laptops you can have for around 200

There are a few other older options in this segment, such as the Acer Spin 1, or Asus VivoBook Flip 11, or the rugged Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e. They’re quite expensive, though, and overall not the same value as those recommendations above.

Premium 11-inch laptops

Most manufacturers migrated their premium ultraportables towards the 12 and 13-inch segments in recent years, as those formats can easier accommodate modern more powerful components, better displays, and a larger battery.

Hence, if you’re looking for 2023 specs with either Intel Core Iris Xe or AMD Ryzen Vega hardware, those are mostly available in the 12 inch models mentioned above. For what is worth, many of those models are actually compact and lightweight, as the OEMs were able to improve their designs in recent years, shrink up the bezels and optimize the designs for modern expectations. Not to mention those also get nicer displays and features not available with these smaller-screen models.

Thus, if a premium ultracompact laptop is what you’re after, there’s hardly any compelling option in this 11-inch segment anymore. Perhaps you can still find an HP ProBook x360 11 Education or perhaps a refurbished version of the popular MacBook Air 11, bith available with SSD storage and 8GB of RAM.

The HP Elitebook Revolve 810 is another very interesting older model and most likely difficult to source out, but remains even to this day one of the most complete 11-inch laptops ever made. It gets a sturdy and compact metallic chassis, an excellent backlit and spill-proof keyboard, a bright IPS convertible multi-touch touchscreen, Intel Core i5 U hardware, 8GB of RAM, 128/256 GB SSD storage, and a 44 Wh battery. Once more, this is a good option for university use, programming, light photo/video work, and other more demanding tasks that most other small computers in this niche won’t be able to properly deal with.

The EliteBook Revolve 810 offers almost anything one could want in an 11-incher, but its high price tag can be a deal-breaker for most

Overall, though, you are sacrificing a fair bit when going with one of these over the modern 12/13-inch ultrabooks available out there, or even some of the smaller options that we’ll cover down below. Even so, though, these premium 11-inchers still make sense if you’re buying used/refreshed in the 300 or lower price range.

Moving towards the other classic, with 12-inchers, you’re mostly getting Windows tablets with 3:2 and 16:10 touchscreens, premium designs, and different kinds of hardware specs, based on your budget. The Microsoft Surface Pros and HP Envy X12 lineups come to mind as recommendations, and all of these are covered in this detailed separate article.

With 13-inch and larger ultrabooks, this is where you’ll find the best-balanced small and lightweight laptops available these days, from popular models such as the Dell XPS 13, HP Spectre x360, Razer Book 13, or the Microsoft Surface Laptop, but also the newer ultra-compact launches of recent years, such as the M1/M2 MacBooks built on Apple silicon, highly-portable productivity and business laptops such as the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano or Asus ZenBook S 13, as well the powerful gaming-ultrabooks with dedicated graphics, such as the Asus ROG Flow X13 (AMD) and Flow Z13 (Intel), or the Razer Blade Stealth, all compact 13-inch laptops with dedicated Nvidia graphics.

Finally, if you absolutely have to go the ultra-compact route, I’d rather suggest one of the smallest 10-inch and sub-10-inch options in the next part of this article.

The best mini laptops (1o-inch or smaller)

With old-style clamshell netbooks no longer a reality, there aren’t many 10-inch or smaller laptop-format computers out there, with a few notable exceptions. There are, however, quite a few good 10-inch tablets to consider, paired with keyboard docks or folios for laptop use. And there are also a couple of pico-sized handheld gaming projects such as the GPD Win, Steam Deck, or AYA Neo, that we’ll get to in a bit.

Chuwi MiniBook X, OneMix 4 and GPD Win Max 2

These are the best compact laptops that you can get with fairly modern specs today.

The MiniBook X from Chuwi is a metal 2-in-1 design that weighs about 2 lbs (.92 kg) and offers a 10.8-inch 16:10 IPS touchscreen, a full-size keyboard (non-backlit), and competitive hardware specs. This is built on an Intel Jasper Lake N5000 Celeron processor with 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage. There’s only a small battery inside, though, at 26Wh, so don’t expect long runtimes.

The only way to get the MiniBook X right now is through Chuwi’s website, where it is listed at around 500 EUR/USD, but is currently out of stock. I’d like to give this a proper review – this seems very interesting, but I fear they went a bit too far trying to make it that lightweight and unnecessarily sacrificed battery life in the process.

The One-Netbook OneMix 4 is perhaps the more interesting product here, a 10-inch 2-in-1 with Intel Core U hardware, the same kind available in ultralight laptops such as the ThinkPad X1 Nano.

This is one of the smallest touch screen laptops available at this point, as it weighs 1.7 lbs (.77 grams) and measures roughly 17 mm in thickness. It’s also built well, with an aluminum chassis and a black minimalist design, and offers more ports than you’d expect from a computer of this size, with USB-A, 2x USB-C, a microSD card reader, and an audio jack.

The keyboard is backlit and occupies the entire length of this design, allowing it to compromise less than the older netbooks used to. As shown in Brad’s review over at Liliputing, the keycaps are nearly the same size as on an 11-inch laptop, but with still narrow spacing that makes it feel rather cramped. The clickpad is pretty short as well, but that’s surely no surprise on this sort of laptop.

The touchscreen is a nice touch here as well, alongside the convertible 2-in-1 form factor. There are small bezels around the panel, which is actually a pretty good IPS option with 16:10 aspect ratio, 2560 x 1600 px resolution, 300 nits of brightness, and 100% sRGB color coverage. This also supports an N-trig pen. There’s no webcam at the top, though.

The hardware inside this mini-laptop is an efficient Intel Core i7-1130G7 platform running at 7-15 W, paired with up to 16 GB of LPDDR4x memory and SSD storage. There’s room inside for an M.2 2280 drive, so the storage can be upgraded if you want to. There’s also a fan on this laptop, and a 38.5 Wh battery. That’s not bad for a 10-inch design, but don’t expect more than 4-6 hours of multitasking and 7 of video here.

Overall, this sure is a compelling 10-inch machine that can run Windows or Linux, and most of the applications you’d be able to run on an ultrabook. It’s not cheap, though, starting at 1200 and up, as shown via this link.

The GPD P2 Max is a slightly more affordable 8.9-inch laptop, but perhaps not as practical or as powerful as the two above, as it’s built on an Intel Jasper Lake Pentium platform (or Core m in the previous generation) and only offers a smaller keyboard with tiny keys, fewer ports, and a 35Wh battery.

This is also not a convertible, but at the same time, it is a lighter pico-laptop at only 1.43 lbs, it’s fanless and completely silent, and can still handle basic everyday tasks reasonably well, while allowing for longer runtimes than the One Mix 4 thanks to the more efficient hardware inside. If you can live with a laptop this small, this should be on your list.

You’ll find it on Amazon for around 900 or so at the time of this update. Not cheap, either!

And then there’s the newer GPD Win Max 2, a powerful 10-inch mini laptop dubbed a “handheld gaming PC”.

This is surprisingly powerful for its size, available in either Intel Core i7-1260P or AMD Ryzen 7 6800U variants, with up to 32 GB of LPPDR5 memory and fast SSD gen4 storage. Add in a metal chassis, a 1600p IPS display with pen support, a QWERTY keyboard, a 67 Wh battery, and a good selection of full-size ports, and there’s no surprise this catches a lot of attention in this niche.

Furthermore, what makes this a handheld gaming PC, on top of everything else, are the implemented joysticks and triggers that offer the functionality available with a game controller. You’ll want to go through some detailed reviews on how these feel with actual gameplay, though.

All these combined make the Win Max 2 a complete mini laptop, and the best such device available in a 10-inch format as of early 2023. It’s pricey, though, as expected given the offered specs and features…

Microsoft Surface Go 3 and Go 2

When it comes to 10-inch tablet laptops, the Microsoft Surface Go is still my go-to recommendation in this class as one of the few 10-inch Windows devices with modern specs and features. You’ll still find both the Go 2 and the newer Surface Go 3 in stores right now, and the two are identical, but with slightly faster specs on the Go 3 update, especially in the base-level configurations.

This is Microsoft’s smaller and less powerful alternative for their Surface Pro lineup, as well as their most inexpensive model. It’s not necessarily cheap, though, starting at 399 MSRP for the tablet alone, with the keyboard folio and the Surface pen coming as extras.

That’s for the base model with an Intel Pentium processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage, and higher-tier options go up to 700 for faster specs and LTE connectivity. I’d primarily consider those budget versions, though, and keep in mind that Microsoft offers discounts for students/parents/teachers/ military personnel all year long, as well as various bundles and periodical discounts for everyone else, so you should keep an eye on their site for updates.

Despite its price, the Surface Go is a worthy portable and affordable travel companion or computer for kids. Don’t expect to run demanding tasks or games on this thing, but it will handle basic everyday browsing, content streaming, text editing, and the likes just fine.

The Go is also built from a durable and lightweight magnesium alloy with Gorilla Glass on top of the screen, it’s extremely lightweight at only 1.15 lbs (for the tablet, and 1.7 lbs with the keyboard folio), gets an excellent-quality 10-inch IPS touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio and pen support, as well as two cameras, one of the front and another on the back.

All these are powered by Intel fanless hardware, paired with 4-8 GB of memory, 64-128 GB of eMMC or SSD storage, and a 27 Wh battery that offers 4-8 hours of tested daily-use battery life and 10 hours of video on a charge. The battery charges via USB-C and supports quick charging.

The Surface Go is usable as a stand-alone device, with the cleverly integrated stand on the back, but much more versatile when hooked up to its backlit keyboard cover. Given this is a 10-inch device, expect the keys to feel rather cramped for those of you with larger hands, but the layout should be fine for kids and users with smaller hands.

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The Surface Go is arguably the best 10-inch small laptop out there

Lenovo Chromebook Duet

What if you don’t necessarily have to run Windows on your compact laptop? What if you’re activities are mostly Internet-based and there’s no need to run any Windows-specific software?

In this case, an iPad or perhaps an Android tablet might be options to consider, especially since these are backed up by solid ecosystems and a wide range of compatible accessories such as stands, keyboards, or pens. At the same time, these could end up fairly expensive, but there’s one more option that sells for less: the Lenovo Chromebook Duet.

Yep, I started this article by suggesting a couple of Chromebooks and will finish it with another one. I’m not going to go over what a Chromebook can and cannot do all over again, I’ve explained it in this article, so let’s discuss the Duet.

Much like the Surface Go, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is made out of metal and feels premium and sturdy. It comes with a canvas back cover that includes a built-in kickstand, and a keyboard folio, both bundled with the tablet by default, and all these start at sub 300.

The screen is a 16:10 aspect ratio, FHD IPS, and touch, so a bit smaller than the 3:2 available on the Go. It’s bright and punchy and colorful though, which is awesome for a budget device that normally compromises at this level. Not this one, though.

As for the keyboard, it’s cramped, as you’d expect from a 10-inch implementation, it’s not backlit and can’t be angled like on the Surface Go, but it’s otherwise fine, and the same can be said about the integrated clickpad. A USB-C port handles the connectivity, and there’s a camera on the front, above the screen, but no 3.5 mm jack, so you’ll have to use wireless headphones with this one.

Specs-wise, the Chromebook Duet runs on an ARM-based MediaTek 8Core platform with 4 GB of RAM and 64/128 GB of storage. That’s fine for a lightweight and optimized environment such as ChromeOS, and the everyday user experience is snappy and smooth in both tablet and laptop modes. Not as smooth as on an iPad or some of the higher-tier Chromebooks out there, but fine for daily use, and this can also run Android apps/games well since it’s an ARM platform. Finally, battery life is where this nails it, with 10 hours of real-life daily use and 12 hours of video on a charge. That’s better than on the Surface Go.

Bottom point, the Chromebook Duet is a game-changer and an excellent buy for under 300. Lenovo nailed it with this product, so if a ChromeOS device would work for you, this would be my budget go-to in this niche even over the Surface Go. As long as you can actually find it in stock, since this is in very high demand.

The Lenovo Tablet 10 could also be an alternative to consider if you’re after a 10-incher that can last for longer on each charge, offers more ports, and is overall more ergonomic in laptop mode, as this one gets a keyboard dock, not a keyboard folio.

It starts at around 400 as well, or 500 with the keyboard, but Lenovo offers occasional discounts for as low as 350. As the name suggests, this Tablet 10 gets a 16:10 10.1-inch IPS touchscreen with pen support, and Intel Gemini Lake hardware with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, so it’s not as speedy as the Surface Go. It will outlast it on a charge, though, thanks to the 39 Wh battery inside. You should also consider that the keyboard is not backlit.

All in all the Surface Go is still my favorite, but the Tablet 10 from Lenovo can be a good alternative if you’re on a tighter budget and can find it for cheap. Follow this link for a more detailed comparison between the two, and this one for updated and configurations at the time you’re reading this post.

Other affordable Windows tablets include the rather unique Lenovo Yoga Book or some of the older Asus Transformer Pad Minis and Acer Aspire Switch tablets, if you can still find them in stock.

Finally, you’ll also find some lesser-known products that sell for under 200, like the CHUWI Hi10 Air or the Fusion5 Tablet PC (more details via this link), but our first-hand experience with these is limited, and I’d only recommend them if none of the other models are within your budget, and if you can get these from stores that allow easy returns and replacements. Oh, and adjust your expectations according to their price, you’re getting what you’re paying for with these cheap small tablets.

Ultra-compact hand-held micro computers

We must also touch on this class of tiny personal computers represented by the GPD Win, Valve Steam Deck or the AYA Neo projects, all designed and marketed primarily as hand-held gaming devices.

The GPD Win (in its most recent 3rd generation) offers a 5.5-inch 720p display, which slides up to unveil a touch QWERTY keyboard tucked underneath. The screen is flanked by controllers and the whole thing weighs around.55 kg (1.2 lbs).

Inside, the Win 3 is powered by Intel Tiger Lake Core U hardware, with options for either an i5-1135G7 (with 80 EUs Iris XE graphics) or i7-1165G7 (with 96 EUs Iris XE graphics), 16 GB of LPDDR4x memory, 1 TB of SSD storage, and a 45 Wh battery, the kind of hardware you’d normally get in some of the most powerful 13 inch ultraportables. With the 720p screen and Iris Xe graphics, the Win 3 is designed to handle a multitude of games, including modern AAA titles.

The Aya Neo is different in a couple of crucial ways: it gets a 7-inch 800p multitouch screen, a slightly larger chassis (weighs.65 kg – 1.44 lbs), and AMD hardware. This also lacks a physical keyboard, so is more of a gaming handheld with a large screen and integrated gaming controllers, and less of a potential all-purpose mini laptop than the GPD model.

At the same time, with only a Ryzen 5 4500U platform and Vega graphics inside, this is not going to match the gaming performance of the Win 3 either, further impacted by the slightly increased resolution. The Neo does get 16 GB of memory and up to 1 TB of storage as well, plus a 47 Wh battery. You’ll find more about it from our detailed review.

Finally, the Steam Deck is probably the best-value option in this niche, that if you can get your hands on it. It’s the better polished of the three in terms of hardware and software combined, and also comes as the most affordable. You’ll find more about it from our detailed review.

All these ship now as of the first part of 2023.

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I’ll finish this up with some quick answers to some of the most asked questions about these sorts of mini laptops. Here we go.

What is the difference between a regular laptop and mini laptop?

Size, of course, as well as everything that derives out of trying to create a fully-functional computer in a tiny chassis: lower power hardware, smaller batteries, fewer ports, more cramped inputs, but also highly portable designs.

What size (how small) is a mini laptop?

Any laptop with a screen-size of 12-inch or less should be included in this segment.

What makes a good mini laptop?

You’ll have to compromise here and there with a mini laptop, but for the most part, you’ll want a good price, fair build quality, and a combo of specs/battery life that can handle your demands. It’s a balance game with these devices, and there are options for most expectations.

What are the advantages of a mini laptop?

You’ll want one of these for the compact portable format and lightweight construction. As a secondary, many of these options are also inexpensive, so excellent as no-fuss travel companions or laptops for your kids.

What are the disadvantages of a mini laptop?

Based on your budget, you’ll have to make do with plastic builds, rather cramped keyboards, potentially lackluster display quality, and not much in terms of performance or even battery life with some units.

Wrap up – 10-inch and smaller laptops

These are the 11.6-inch and 10-inch small laptops and mini tablets I’d look at right now if I’d be in the market for an ultra-compact computer, either Chromebooks, MacBooks, or Windows options.

Most of them cater to those of you on limited budgets, those looking for devices for primarily tablet use, or those looking for secondary travel notebooks or inexpensive notebooks for your kids. The options for high-end 11 and 10-inchers are limited nowadays when most OEMs have migrated their higher-tier options towards the 12-inch and 13-inch classes, which offer an increased screen area and more space inside for components and battery cells, as well as a multitude of modern features that you won’t get on these smaller computers.

Thus, if you do need more power in a small form factor, you should also check out our list of recommended 1 2 and 13-inch ultrabooks and thin-and-light laptops, where you’ll find marginally larger, but significantly more competent options.

With that in mind, we’ll wrap this up here. I’m constantly updating this list of the best mini laptops out there as new qualifying devices are launched, so do save the link and come back in the future. Furthermore, if you have any questions, spot any mistake, care to suggest a device that’s missing from the list or just want to add anything to the article, leave a comment below, I’m around to reply and help out.

Disclaimer: Our content is reader-supported. If you buy through some of the links on our site, we may earn a commission. Terms.

Article by: Andrei Girbea Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief. I’ve a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering and I’ve been covering mobile technology since the 2000s. You’ll mostly find reviews and thorough guides written by me here on the site, as well as some occasional first-impression articles.

Laptop tablets for children

The idea of the static home computer now sits alongside other computing options. The use of tablets is rising and the need for portable connectivity means that more homes now choose laptops.

Buying the right devices for your family really depends on usage and whether they’re required purely for entertainment or for homework and projects too. Do you need to type up essays and homework or are you mainly interacting with touch-based websites? Understanding the different operating systems and the levels of built-in security can help you make the right decision.

Finding the right technology is more important than ever this year; chip shortages cause the between different products to vary, with some devices costing more than previous years.

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Expert Parent Tips For Buying a Device

Five things you should consider when buying a laptop or a tablet

The easiest way to decide which to buy is to consider how they will be used. Talk to your child about what they’d like to do on it. Also, talk to your child’s teacher about how this kind of technology can support their learning. Finally, ask other families with children of a similar age what technology has worked best for them.

If you only need to browse the internet, watch videos and access social media, then a tablet is your best bet. A laptop is recommended for those who need to sit at a keyboard for longer periods or require more complex software such as coding and design. You can also pair a tablet with a keyboard or case to offer a scenario that sits between these two options. It’s worth noting that although most school homework sites can be used on both tablets and laptops, the keyboard and higher resolution screen of the latter can make it easier to work.

All laptops and tablets can have a password, PIN or fingerprint lock specified during set-up. That means that nobody but you can unlock them to get to the ‘home screen’ or access any of your family’s personal details or files without your entry requirements.

In addition, to control access to the system in this way you need to consider how to guide your child’s time with the device. If you already have smartphones or other computer monitoring systems in the home, it’s worth checking that the new device is compatible. Either way, before letting your child loose on the new technology, have a conversation with them about safe behaviour online see our Internet Manners top tips for advice on this.

Some devices will come with virus protection built in, like those that use the Chrome operating system. It’s worth checking how long any free services will be available on new devices before you need to start paying a subscription.

If you don’t feel your child needs the connectivity offered by a tablet but would like to give them a tablet experience for reading and study, an eBook reader looks like a tablet but is technically different.

It’s like a digital book — specifically designed for downloading and reading books on. Their e-paper screens are not backlit in the same way as a tablet, monitor or TV screen, which makes them easier on the eyes over long periods.

The range of Amazon Kindle devices are the best-known eBook readers, with eBooks available from the Kindle Store, while Nook and Kobo also offer their own devices and stores. You can also use the Kindle app on tablets, smartphones and computers if you already have those set-up for your child, although they can be more unwieldy to carry and read from on the sofa.

However, just like in a bookstore with real books, eBooks don’t come with age ratings. Therefore, some mature content is available, but it’s possible to require that a password be entered prior to Kindle Store downloads as an added layer of parental control. Speak to your children about which books they would like to read or, for young children, FOCUS attention on the Children’s eBooks section.

If you have decided that a laptop is the best route for your child, you need to consider which operating system to get. There are three main systems: Windows, Mac OS X and Chrome OS, and can vary according to what you need the laptop to do.

If you’re web surfing and doing children’s homework, a budget laptop running Chrome OS will cost around £200. Those looking to do photo or video editing are likely to need something more powerful. A top of the range laptop running Windows or Mac OS X can cost £1,500 or more. Parents find that children learn fast on technology and become increasingly ambitious, so it’s good to get something more powerful if it’s within your budget.

Different tablets use different operating systems, of which Android and Apple are the most common. Google’s Android OS is found on a range of tablets from multiple manufacturers at a range of different prices, specifically at the budget end. Apple’s iPad is typically more expensive. However, it offers fantastic usability and built-in Screen Time controls that integrate with other Apple devices. Both have dedicated app stores to allow you to buy apps direct via the tablet.

Again, if you already have Apple or Google devices in the home, adding new technology from the same manufacturer is often the simplest route. This enables you to apply the same settings to the tablet as your smartphones.

Second-hand devices are a great alternative to buying new. See our guide to help make used devices safe for children.

Tablets and laptops to consider for your child

Samsung Tab A

High-end spec for children of all ages thanks to Kids Mode feature

The Samsung Tab A is a good choice for children, especially if paired with a robust carry case to protect it from knocks. It has a bright, super high-resolution screen with more pixels than standard HD screens. This makes it easy for children to read, and it looks great to watch video or pictures on.

It’s priced from £179 for a 10-inch device. An 8-inch version is available for £139

It has some clever features to make maintenance and use of the tablet easier for families. SideSync lets you check and reply to notifications and messages while using other applications. You can connect to Wi-Fi direct and stream content to your TV. Like other Samsung tech, it has the Kids Mode app to keep your child safe and healthy online.

It also has a great camera with autofocus that creates super photos and videos. This, the screen and processing power make it more than capable of a wide range of creative activities, whether that’s writing, drawing, learning to code or even editing videos.

Kurio Smart Tablet

All-in-one tablet that converts into a mini portable computer

Watch our parent blogger Adele and her son Jacob reviewing the Kurio Smart 2 in 1 tablet

The Kurio Smart Tablet is an Android 10-inch tablet that comes equipped with a detachable keyboard and a magnetic protective case to create a portable mini-computer for your tweens or teens to use, whether they’re doing homework or playing motions games like ‘Instant Tennis’.

It’s priced from £159.

Like other Kurio tablets, it comes equipped with Kurio Genius Parental Controls software, which allows you to set screen time controls on what they do and what apps they can use along with switching on a ‘blue light filter’ and managing when they can access the tablet.

The software also filters and monitors over 32 billion websites to ensure your child sees age-appropriate content. It comes preloaded with a word processor, presentation tool, spreadsheet and more, and is fully compatible with other Microsoft and Google Docs allowing for children to do all of their school tasks with ease.

Kurio Tab Connect

Great starter tablet with curated content and award-winning software

Watch our parent blogger Adele and her son Jacob reviewing the Kurio Tab Connect tablet

Kurio Tab Connect is a cheaper option and great first tablet for younger children who are just starting to explore the online world. The Kurio Genius parental software allows you to set time controls, choose the apps you’d like them to use and switch off the tablet remotely from your phone using the Kurio Connect App.

It’s priced from £119.

It also filters, categorises and updates 32 billion websites daily to ensure your child only sees age-appropriate content. You can create up to 8 personalised profiles on the device so the tablet can be used by the whole family and it’s built to withstand wear and tear with its protective shell and fingerprint-resistant coating.

It comes pre-loaded with a range of apps such as the motion game ‘Instant Tennis’ and as it is an Android tablet you can choose from an array of apps in the Google Apps store for your child to use.

Apple iPad mini 5

A small lightweight tablet that can grow with child’s needs

Apple has just updated it’s iPad mini with higher specs, a better camera and fast processor. This means that a cheaper option is the previous iPad mini 4, which still offers plenty of power for simple tasks.

Not only is it light to hold for long periods, but it also runs every app as well as the larger, more recent models in Apple’s line-up. It’s pricey, but there are few tablets out there as simple to pick up and use.

The new iPad Mini also supports the Apple Pencil device, which enables notetaking with handwriting. Also (and more importantly) the pencil enables you to use the device for many creative activities including design and drawing.

It’s priced from £479.

Apple continues to be one of the safest options to ensure the phone is not compromised by viruses or external software. Apple keeps its platform locked down, with all apps first approved by the company before they become available.

The parental control settings in the latest version of the operating system, iOS 15, are easy to navigate and can restrict many of the features to age-specific barriers. In addition, a new Screen Time section in the settings provides a detailed breakdown of every aspect of the phone’s use. You can set bedtimes and limit access to certain applications.

If you pair the iPad Mini with a robust case it becomes a great tablet for youngsters. Add to this the new Screen Time feature and it’s easy to see how they are using it. It’s not the cheapest option but one that will grow with your child as they become more ambitions in their online activity.

Apple iPad 9th Generation

High-end tablet with dedicated education apps

Apple’s latest larger 10.2 inch iPad model has a refreshed processor, ensuring it is smooth and fast in operation, it also supports Pencil – Apple’s own stylus device that’s an optional extra.

This means that children can draw and interact with the iPad as they would a normal pad of paper. There are also dedicated education apps coming for the iPad, including some for teachers to help shape digital curriculum ideas and tasks.

Available from £319. You could also opt for the older iPads back to 5th generation that are still supported and compatible with iOS 15.

The parental control settings in the latest version of the operating system, iOS 15, are easy to navigate and can restrict many of the features to age-specific barriers. In addition, a new Screen Time section in the settings provides a detailed breakdown of every aspect of the phone’s use. You can set bedtimes and limit access to certain applications.

However, iOS is one of the simplest operating systems to use, and children will love the extra screen size afforded by the 10.2-inch display. It’s also cheaper than the smaller iPad mini.

Apple iPad Air

High-end tablet that functions like a laptop

This new iPad Air is larger than previous iPads with a 10.9-inch screen along with a faster processor. But it’s the functionality of a physical keyboard and integrated support for the Apple pencil that really makes the difference here.

This is a device that can be considered for older teenagers as they approach GCSE’s and A-Levels. Combined with the Apple Magic Keyboard it turns into a device that can equal a laptop so you get two devices in one.

The Apple Pencil has been around for a while but the latest version of the operating system integrates its use in many more aspects of the tablet. This makes it a great device for taking notes in lectures in tablet mode then, when back home, you can use the keyboard for more long-form writing.

Available from £579.

The parental control settings in the latest version of the operating system, iOS 15, are easy to navigate and can restrict many of the features to age-specific barriers. In addition, a new Screen Time section in the settings provides a detailed breakdown of every aspect of the phone’s use. You can set bedtimes and limit access to certain applications.

If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, then the standard iPad and iPad Mini are lower cost, although without the feel of a Laptop keyboard.

Asus Chromebook C202 SA

Child-friendly laptop to meet needs of older tweens

This is a great option for families who want a proper laptop for their child. This Asus model offers 180-degree hinge, spill-resistant keyboards and reinforced rubber wrapped frames that meet the daily rigours and intense usage by children.

It’s designed to be lightweight for children to use with two grips providing better holding points. It also has a good battery that will last up to 10 hours. A nice addition is the built-in HDMI output to send any content to a TV, as well as an SD card reader to import video and photos from a camera. The screen itself is 11.6 inches and anti-glare for easy viewing.

Google Family Link ensures that you can set up your Chromebook for your child to use safely and healthily. This not only shows you how they are using it but enables you to set up screen time limits for different days of the week.

Digital Wellbeing then extends this by uncovering a complete picture of how you use your phone. It offers a daily view of the time spent, how frequently you use apps, and how many notifications you get. This is a great tool to ensure your child (and your wider family) are developing healthy habits with technology.

It costs from £129 although stock can be hard to find.

If you are after a proper laptop for your child, this is a great option. Not only for the wide range of features, but because having a spill-proof full-size keyboard makes a really big difference to this device.

Amazon Fire 7

Offers value for money and access to AI assistant Amazon Fire 7 is not the most powerful tablet on the market, but it is one of the best value, that’s for sure. It gives you access to apps, your Kindle books, Amazon Video and other video services – such as Netflix – and much more.

All this for around £50. There is also Alexa voice assistant support, so not only can you ask Alexa questions and control Smart home devices, you can also call Echo devices around the home.

It is available for £49.99.

Amazon’s parental controls are generally excellent, with the ability to set different options for different profiles. That means each family member can have their own profile, which will only show the content that is appropriate to them.

A great way to get more control and access to lots more content is via the Kids Unlimited subscription. This offers over 5,000 child-friendly apps, books and much more, all without in-app purchases.

Amazon Fire HD 7 Kids Edition

Child-friendly tablet with one year’s access to curated kids media The Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition tablet is essentially the exact same device as the Fire 7 also reviewed. However, it comes with a bright blue, pink or yellow protective case that ensures it won’t smash when dropped by smaller hands.

And even if it does break, you get a two-year, no-quibble guarantee from Amazon. The online store will replace it free of charge within the first two years, no matter how it got damaged.

You can snag one for £99.99, though it’s always worth looking out for a bargain in the many Amazon sales.

Like the 7-inch Amazon Fire 7, you can set up a child’s profile with Kids Unlimited, with only appropriate games, books and videos available to play, read or view. The big difference is that you get a year’s free access to it with the Kids Edition. The parental controls are also similarly excellent and easy to implement.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

Small and mighty tablet with access to curated media and apps

Slightly more expensive but also more powerful, the Fire HD 8 has a larger 8-inch screen with a better HD resolution to ensure images and video are sharper. It also has more internal storage than the Fire 7 version, with 32GB on offer over the 16GB on the smaller device.

Both though can be upgraded further through a microSD card. The same protective bumper choices and no-quibble guarantee are available.

The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition costs £174.99.

As with all Amazon Fire tablets, the parental controls on the HD 8 Kids Edition are excellent. You can set different restrictions for each member of the family.

And as it is essentially the same as the Fire HD 8 also available, you can use it yourself for video watching, reading eBooks and the like. The Kids Unlimited subscription service comes free for a year on here too.

Amazon Kindle

Starter tablet to make reading more digital

If you’re not particularly after a tablet for your child, you might consider an eBook reader. And there are none with greater staying power and book choice than the Kindles.

The standard model is still an excellent choice if you want to encourage children to read. It’s cheap, light to hold and has a great 6-inch black and white screen. There are also hundreds of thousands of kids books to choose from. A recent update added a built-in front-light for easier reading, particularly in the dark.

The Amazon Kindle costs £79.99.

Not only do you get the ultimate choice of what your child reads through the Kindle with book downloads locked to your Amazon account, but there is also a Kindle for Kids feature installed.

That gives you the ability to create personalised profiles for children and set them reading goals, for which they receive achievement badges. You can also see the total time spent reading, number of words looked up and so much more.

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