With the Covid-19 situation happening all over the world, educational institutions are looking for alternative schooling methods.
As we transition to the ‘new normal’, education should still be at the forefront of parents’ minds. That is why for their children to continue learning, getting a laptop should definitely be in consideration.
That being said, if you are looking for the best laptop for kids in 2020, you’ve come to the right article.
I will give my recommendations, as well as the reasons why you need to give your kid a laptop in this day and age.
Best Laptops for Kids
1.Acer Nitro 5
While kids would definitely want a device where they can learn from home, they would also like a gaming machine so that they can play in their spare time. That is why the Acer Nitro 5 is an appealing choice.
This is a budget gaming machine that is perfect for your kids. Its Intel Core i5-103800H processor coupled with Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650Ti GPU makes it a great portable gaming laptop for kids.
You also have the choice of getting a sole SSD or an SSD+HDD combo, but the former should suffice in most cases.
Kids can also bring this with them to school without worrying too much about battery life because it can easily squeeze a solid 10 hours of power on a single charge.
Its thick bezels might be unappealing for adults, but for kids, they wouldn’t mind that at all. And oh, the weight is also a bit on the heavy side.
But, for the specs, the price, and the performance, kids will definitely love the Acer Nitro 5.
2.Asus VivoBook S15
The Asus VivoBook S15 is a laptop that your kids can proudly show off at school. That is because they will be given the option to choose different vivid colors. There is the Indie Black, Resolute Red, Gaia Green, and Dreamy White. All of them are colorful and vibrant and kids will definitely get fixated on the design itself.
Its Intel Core i5-10210U CPU and integrated graphics should suffice when it comes to productivity tasks and school assignments. Its included 512GB SSD will also make sure that accessing files will be a breeze.
Despite this being a kid-friendly laptop, the Asus Vivobook S15 is actually a premium device. It’s mostly made of aluminum, has a big and vibrant 15.6-inch Full HD display, and its screen-to-body ratio is one of the better ones that I’ve seen at this price point.
Because of its more premium materials, this laptop can also take the beating; something that you’d want to consider if you intend to endow your kids with one that they can take with them to school without having to worry about durability.
3.Google PixelBook Go
Price: Starts at $649
Considered by many as one of the best Chromebooks on the market, the Google PixelBook Go is made by the company that created the Chromebook’s main operating system.
While there are parents that want their children to use Windows 10 S, there are those that want a simple solution that allows their kids to complete any tasks that are given in school.
The Google Pixelbook Go is a great option thanks to its premium build, crisp display, good specs, and an amazing keyboard.
Its keyboard is one that the company calls the ‘Hush’ keyboard and rightfully so. It is easy on the fingers and it doesn’t produce a lot of noise when typing; making it ideal for school.
Because of its vibrant display, your kids can watch their favorite shows while on the go. And, you can also choose between a 1080p screen or a 4K display (though the latter will cost a lot more).
Although the operating system may take your child some time getting used to, the Google Pixelbook Go is still a solid choice if you want to buy a laptop for them that they can proudly bring to school.
4.Acer Aspire 5 Slim
Another great option for your kids, the Acer Aspire 5 Slim is a compact laptop with an amazing screen and more than adequate performance.
It is powered by the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U CPU which has all of the cores and performance that your child would need to handle any school assignment.
The laptop also comes with a 15.6-inch, IPS display with Full HD resolution, allowing them to watch their favorite cartoons on a vibrant screen. The bezels are also thin so your kid has more screen real estate they can work with.
Despite this being a laptop intended for kids, the Acer Aspire 5 Slim has svelte looks, has a premium build quality, and the keyboard has backlighting to enable your child to type even in dimly lit environments.
You will also be happy to know that the laptop comes with Windows 10 Home by default and you can enable the Windows S mode if you want better security for your children.
With a slim and premium build quality and vivid display, the Acer Aspire 5 Slim is perfect for your little one.
5.Microsoft Surface Go 2
Price: Starts at $399
Although it is technically a Tablet PC, the Microsoft Surface Go 2 actually transforms into a capable laptop when you buy its accessories (especially the detachable keyboard).
What makes this appealing for kids is its tablet interface. I am pretty sure that your child has used a smartphone or a tablet before, so using this one should be quite familiar to them.
The second version of Microsoft’s popular tablet PC has much better performance across the board; not to mention that it is powered by Windows 10.
Unlike the iPad Pro, the Surface 2 has a convenient kickstand that is durable. In fact, everything about this tablet PC is durable and that is one quality that parents should consider when buying their kids a tablet/laptop hybrid that they can use in school.
Though with the included accessories can make this product reach $500-$700, the Microsoft Surface Go 2 is still a really good option to take, especially for what it has to offer.
6.Lenovo Flex 11
Most kids nowadays are more accustomed to using a smartphone or a tablet rather than a full-fledged PC. So, if you want a hybrid, the Lenovo Flex 11 is definitely one of the best.
For the price of just $399.99, you will get a laptop that is powered by Intel’s Pentium Silver N5000 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of eMMc storage. It also comes with Windows 10S Home edition right off the bat for that added layer of security.
Its 11.6-inch HD resolution display can actually be flipped up to 360-degrees so that the keyboard can get out of the way and turn the laptop into a tablet (which is more familiar to kids).
The screen itself also has an anti-glare coating so that it protects your child’s delicate eyes, especially during prolonged use.
7.Acer Chromebook Spin 11
You’d want to choose durable laptops for your kids because you know how rowdy and careless they can be with their gadgets. For that reason, the Acer Chromebook Spin would really be a great choice.
Although its performance package is sufficient enough for school, where it shines is its durable build and inexpensive price.
This Chromebook allows your child to not only download apps that are intended for educational purposes but they can also play their favorite Android games as well.
Even if your kid drops this laptop accidentally, you can rest assured that it can take the beating. This device is also lightweight as well so your kids can bring it with them anywhere without any problems.
8.MSI GL65 9SC
Parents who have heard or known about MSI can tell that this is a gaming laptop. This kind of device might not be something that you want to give your kid, especially if you want them to focus on school. However, it is scientifically proven that your child should also be able to enjoy in their spare time, so getting this one wouldn’t hurt.
The MSI GL65 9SC is fitted with amazing specs that are not only great for any school tasks but also for some gaming as well.
It comes with an Intel Core i5- 9300H processor, an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 4GB DDR5 GPU, 8GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, Windows 10 Home S, and has red backlighting for its keyboard as well.
The 15.6-inch IPS Display with 1080p resolution should be adequate for any task given to it, although it does mean that this laptop has considerable heft to it.
If you want to give your kid a competitive gaming laptop that they can also use for school, the MSI GL65 9SC is a great option.
9.Dell Inspiron 13 5000
Who said that a kid’s laptop cannot look good? The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 is a pretty good looking laptop that your kids can proudly show to their friends.
It is predominantly made of aluminum and has a solid construction all throughout. It has a very comfortable keyboard that is ideal for students and has a combination of both USB-A and USB-C ports so that your kids can plug any USB-powered devices into the laptop.
While its display is somewhat dim for my tastes, it makes up for it with its thinner bezels (which means more screen real estate for your kids to work with).
My only gripe with this device is that it is a bit on the pricey side (for a kid’s laptop) and its storage is limited to only 256GB SSD.
But for what your kids are getting, they are going to be happy with this.
10.MacBook Air (2020)
Price: Starts at $999
Although this is definitely not something that most parents would consider getting for their kids, the MacBook Air 2020 deserves a mention on this list simply because of what it offers to both kids and parents alike.
For starters, it has a solid build that is always present in all of Apple’s devices. Second, it comes with really good specs and when coupled with Apple’s macOS, you get consistent performance across the board.
While its webcam is only 720p resolution at its maximum setting, kids will have no problem joining in on group video calls with their classmates.
The keyboard is also vastly improved (touted as the best among all MacBook Air versions) which allows your kids to type in whatever it is that they need for their school project.
Really, the only consideration here is its price but if you can afford it, this is a really great solution.
Why Do You Need to Give Your Kid a Laptop?
With the recent Covid-19 situation, educational systems across the globe are thinking about implementing a hybrid classroom setup where they mix both face-to-face and online classes together.
That being said, since your kid will most likely have online classes at the start of the school year, getting a laptop now is a good idea. So good, in fact, that laptops have become increasingly popular as a result.
If you are going to buy a laptop for your kid, you have to consider a number of things. First is the use-case. Do you intend to buy a laptop for your kid solely for school purposes or do you want them to play in their spare time?
Another consideration is durability. You know that kids are not really good at handling their stuff, so you want a device that can take a beating.
Third is the operating system. You can choose between Windows 10 or ChromeOS. For the uninitiated, read ahead.
If you want better security, Windows 10 Home S edition should provide you with finer control because all of the programs that your kids can use come from the Microsoft Store (which has a considerably strict vetting process when it comes to app selection).
However, ChromeOS is not bad at all. Think about it as a glorified version of Android. If your kids are already using an Android smartphone, using a Chromebook should be up their alley.
The last (but definitely an important consideration) is the price. Most parents only have less than $500 to spend on a laptop but the good thing is that there are tons of options out there.
The laptops that are on this list are great for the price so you do not have to scour the internet for the same information.
All in all, giving a laptop to your kid, especially in this day and age, is considered a must.
Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service
It seems that cloud gaming is the future as a lot of companies are pooling their resources just to make things happen.
Amazon Luna is Amazon’s foray into cloud gaming and it is going to be available soon. Read further to find out more information about this new experience.
Google has paved the way for cloud gaming to come to the fore with the release of the Stadia not too long ago. Although it was mired with a lot of different issues, it seems that the company has found a way to make things work.
Amazon also wants in on the action and although there are some similarities with Luna and Stadia, there are also some stark differences as well.
Before I begin, I just want to explain the concept of cloud gaming. Basically, instead of downloading games to your gaming PC or whatever platform you choose to install them, you will just stream those games using data centers that are scattered all over the world.
It should go without saying that you need to have a fast internet connection to make this happen and so that you will not experience high latency (which was a huge problem when Stadia launched).
That being said, the premise of Google Stadia is that you need to either purchase an individual game so that you can play it at any time (forever) or you could subscribe to the monthly plan and play the games that are on offer every month (and continue to play them so long as you’re subscribed).
With Amazon Luna, you will be presented with different channels that you can subscribe to. Each of these channels has different games on offer which makes this quite appealing for game developers to show their mettle.
Right now, the platform is still in beta and there are only two channels available at the moment- Amazon’s own Luna Plus and the Ubisoft Channel. The latter will have 50 games that you can play right away and more Ubisoft games will be added in the future.
Keep in mind that this channel-based system makes it so that developers can price their services accordingly. It remains to be seen how much Ubisoft will charge individual users, so stay tuned for that.
1080p and 4K Gaming
Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna will support both 1080p and 4K resolutions. Of course, the latter would be more taxing and you will need a fast internet connection to be able to enjoy high-fidelity gaming. I suggest that you get a WiFi 6 router and a compatible device to make the most out of your experience.
Unlike Stadia, Amazon Luna is more flexible in that it supports a lot of different devices. Not only can you play on your PC, but you can also choose to play it using your iOS devices, Android phones, and you can even utilize the company’s own FireTV devices as well.
Now, there has been this entire debacle about Apple’s 30% cut on every app in its App store but the good news is that Amazon can circumvent that.
You see, when you are going to play on your iOS devices, the application will actually be a PWA or a Progressive Web App. Basically, the game that you want to play will run in a contained web browser instead of it being an actual application that you install in your device. This bypasses the whole 30% cut issue which is a good thing.
NVIDIA Hardware Use
According to a recent Steam survey, the vast majority of PC users are all using NVIDIA graphics cards. This is a good thing for Amazon Luna because it means that it can support a lot more people.
That is because the company’s cloud gaming service will use NVIDIA GPUs instead of AMD cards (which Stadia uses for graphics processing).
Supposing that Amazon Luna will be more popular than any other cloud gaming service out there, NVIDIA will enjoy huge profits as a result.
Can Be Streamed to Popular Sites
Twitch is arguably the most popular streaming platform today and Amazon is looking to forge a partnership with the said service to allow you to stream your games to the popular website.
The said platform is widely used as a means of generating revenue- something that is quite popular today due to the recent pandemic.
This move also makes it appealing as well as more and more content creators can use Amazon Luna to reach a broader audience.
New Controller with Alexa Support
Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna also requires you to get a special controller. The good thing is that the control will have a microphone so that you can use Alexa for specific voice commands.
What’s interesting about the Luna’s controller is that it is completely connected to the Cloud, which means that you do not have to pair it with the specific device you are going to use to play games online.
According to Amazon’s website, it should have a grippy texture and will feature low-friction thumbsticks that provide maximum performance across the board. By using the controller’s microphone, you can actually tell Alexa to fire up the specific game that you want to play, so long as it is inside the channel that you’ve subscribed to.
Amazon Luna is quite enticing, at least, on paper. It is shaping up to be a better cloud gaming service compared to its competitors but the service is still in beta, so there are more things that need ironing out before its official release.
Right now, there are only two channels that are available and Ubisoft hasn’t imposed its pricing yet. The Amazon Luna channel is priced at $6.99
If you are interested in getting in on the action, you can be an early beta tester by subscribing to the service.
Amazon Luna will be out sometime in October.
Acer Nitro XV340CK Review- A Greatly Competitive Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500
Ultrawide monitors used to be a niche display in that the only people who work on productivity tasks and creative workloads usually buy them.
Fortunately, the display technology has evolved and gamers, too, can enjoy a much wider screen.
Today, I am going to review the Acer Nitro XV340CK which is a 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor that is priced competitively.
Even though this is marketed as a gaming monitor, the Acer Nitro XV340CK actually doesn’t look like it. It looks simple and I love the aesthetics, especially if you want to place this in your office.
The only thing that might make you think that this is a gaming display is that red accent that you can find on the base of the monitor but that’s about it.
Anyway, let’s start with the stand. Aside from the aforementioned red accent, the stand provides good ergonomics.
It gives you the ability to swivel the monitor a complete 360 degrees, you can tilt it to 35 degrees back and you can adjust the height up to 5.9 inches. Because this is an ultrawide monitor, you cannot put this thing in portrait mode.
I love the fact that this monitor has slim bezels. At only 0.4 inches, you can place another monitor right beside it and it wouldn’t really take a lot of screen real estate at all.
The overall build quality is good. Despite the fact that it doesn’t feel premium, at least when compared to the best gaming monitors out there, it still feels sturdy nevertheless.
For the ports, you get two Displayport 1.4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. Due to the wealth of ports on offer, you can use this for your PC or your game console.
The only thing that might be cumbersome for some users is that the OSD controls are situated at the back of the monitor- particularly on the bottom right side. The buttons are also a bit smaller than usual, so you may have a hard time pressing the right ones.
The Acer Nitro XV340CK has a 34-inch IPS display with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and an aspect ratio of 21:9. It is the same as other ultrawide gaming monitors that you can find on the market so there is no problem with that.
You do have the option to enable the picture-in-picture mode so that you can divide the display in two if you wish to fire up two different programs at the same time. This is why it is not only a handy gaming monitor, but it can also be used for office work as well.
Its contrast and brightness leave much to be desired. With a native contrast ratio of 1048:1 and peak SDR brightness of only 247 nits, it is not the best display when it comes to these things.
However, its redeeming quality is that its colors are accurate. After calibration, I got 95% sRGB, 82% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3. It is relatively color accurate and it would have been nice for creative workloads, but its peak brightness just falls short of making it an ideal display for such use-cases.
It is also worth noting that if you are in a well-lit room that the brightness could be a huge issue. The good thing is that the display’s matte finish can help reduce glare significantly, though you will still find that it is not bright enough in some situations.
I am surprised by the fact that there is literally no color bleed on the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This is unheard of, especially since ultrawide monitors are notorious for this.
Sure, its peak brightness and contrast could have improved, but gamers are not especially focused on those things. If anything, it is the performance of the display that usually takes the cake and I am happy to report that you won’t be disappointed with the Nitro XV340CK.
Normally, with IPS panels, they tend to not have a good response time, but that is actually not the case here. At just 5.3ms, it is definitely one of the best out there even when compared to other, more premium models.
How about input lag? This is a speed monitor and as expected, input lag is minimal. At just 4.2ms, I am really blown away by the performance of this thing. Every keypress on your gaming keyboard will register almost immediately and that is really great from a competitive standpoint.
It is also worth noting that its 144Hz refresh rate is ideal, especially since most gamers are clamoring for high refresh rate displays anyway.
This is a FreeSync gaming monitor and you can enable this variable refresh rate feature in both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.
To get a hold of the said features, it is important for you to know that you should use the DisplayPort cable that is included in the box. There is also an included HDMI cable if you want to use this display for your Xbox or Playstation consoles.
With all of those things being said, if I were to ask you how much this thing costs, what will be your guess? If you’ve guessed around $700, you’re wrong.
The Acer Nitro XV340CK is priced at just $450! At that price, you are getting a relatively color-accurate monitor, a really fast display with minimal input lag, and a vast number of ports that you can use for your PC or game consoles.
Sure, its contrast and peak brightness could have been improved, but if you are talking about raw gaming performance, the Acer Nitro XV340CK blows other ultrawide gaming monitors out of the way.
Just make sure that you have a nice gaming PC for this thing to work nicely. Other than that, I highly recommend the Acer Nitro XV340CK for its price and performance.
HyperX Cloud Stinger S- A Comfortable 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
As an audiophile, I’ve always loved HyperX’s gaming audio solution. They are inexpensive and for the price, you are actually getting sound quality that you normally would only hear from expensive products.
In today’s article, I am going to review the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. This is a budget offering that aims to improve upon the original Cloud Stinger with the inclusion of a 7.1 surround sound option.
Do I recommend this headset? Find out later on in the article.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger S is actually quite similar to the original version. It has the same pleather ear cups that envelope your ears quite nicely and the clamping force of the headset itself is actually quite okay.
I’ve been receiving reports that there are some people that have problems with the tightness or, shall I say, how loose this thing can be. But that will probably be a result of the size of your head and not the actual product itself. For me, the fit was okay, but your mileage may vary.
Although this thing is predominantly made in plastic, the overall build quality is good, though I would advise you not to throw this headset when you lose a round in a MOBA game or first-person shooter.
There is a microphone on this headset and just like the original, it is not removable. It would have been nice if you could remove it when you are not using it because even if you fold the microphone (which also acts as a way of muting it), you will still see it which can be annoying at times.
This thing is quite simple and all you have for the controls is the volume slider that is located on the right ear cup.
While other HyperX gaming headsets come with a carrying pouch, I am sad to say that the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t have one.
All you get in the box aside from the headset is a USB dongle that is attached to a relatively long cable and some documentation. And, since you use this thing completely wired, it can also be used in your Playstation or other game consoles as well.
The 3.5mm analog cable should be inserted in the USB dongle if you wish to use its 7.1 surround sound implementation, but if you are just going to watch movies or play non-competitive games, I suggest that you do not use it.
There are two modes that you can utilize if you are going to use the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. You can use its 3.5mm headphone jack and enjoy stereo sound or you could insert that into the included USB dongle and use the 7.1 surround sound feature.
Keep in mind that if you are going to use the 7.1 output that it is only supported on the PC since you will need the NGENUITY software to enable it.
That being said, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S’ sound signature leans more toward being bright and with a little emphasis on the bass. This seems to be the preference of the majority of gamers since lower frequencies can make those in-game sounds pop-out more.
I also love the mid frequencies as it is quite balanced as well. I’ve had no problems listening to in-game dialog and when I am using the microphone, it just works really well.
Although the high frequencies are okay, I would say that it is the weakest of the bunch, though not so much as to diminish the overall sound quality. You will still hear the sibilance of the cymbals and lead guitars, but it is not as pronounced as the lower and mid frequencies.
As for the 7.1 surround sound, you should enable it in the companion software and it is only available when you are on the PC.
Anyway, its surround sound is okay but I say this because it is a budget gaming headset. If you compare it to the more premium ones, this is subpar at best. Still, you could enable it in your favorite games but I will advise against it if you are just listening to music or watching movies.
Despite a relatively good clamping force, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t do so well in terms of sound isolation. People around me can still hear what I was listening to, so this might not be ideal if you are playing at night and there are people sleeping.
There is usually this notion that budget headsets have horrible microphones but not the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. In fact, I would go on to say that it has one of the better ones on the market.
Instead of sounding tinny, the microphone quality of the Cloud Stinger S is full-bodied and my teammates can hear every word I said without any problems.
The volume of the microphone is also quite good as well. Normally, with budget offerings, you tend to sound a bit ‘too far’ but that is not the case here.
Overall, I am quite pleased with the microphone. The only thing that I do not like is that the flippable microphone may impede your vision sometimes, but I think that you can adjust to this.
For a budget headset, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is definitely one of the better sounding ones. I also love the fact that the microphone’s quality is top-notch and it can even go head-to-head against its more premium counterparts.
I am just a bit disappointed that you do not get a carrying pouch with this one because other HyperX gaming headsets have them. But, this is a minor inconvenience.
I did not feel the need to talk about the NGENUITY software mainly because it is pretty barebones and all you can do with it is to enable the 7.1 surround sound, adjust the volume and microphone, and that’s about it. There is no equalizer present which is quite odd.
Still, for what it is giving you, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is highly recommended. This thing costs $60.
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