Whether you’re looking to purchase a computer for your kids to do schoolwork, game, code, or chat with friends, a desktop computer is hard to beat. The number of models available for families to choose from, however, can be overwhelming.
We’ve sorted through the most popular options to give you the best children’s computers, including:
With a focus on stability, durability, and options for expansion, these models demonstrate why the number-one choice for households with kids is usually a desktop, as well as what you should look for when shopping in-store and online.
Why choose a desktop kids computer?
Stability and speed at the right price
When asking a kid what they will do with a computer, most are quick to answer, “play games.” Whether they’re playing online or running a program from a disc, the computer will need to handle the graphics and processes used by today’s top gaming titles.
While laptops are evolving to include these higher-level capabilities, they’re often behind their desktop counterparts in similarly-priced categories. For the amount you’d pay for a cutting-edge desktop, you typically won’t get near the same computing power on a laptop.
Durability for child’s play
Kids will be kids, and even if you’ve sworn off sodas in the family room, we all know that accidents happen. That’s why parents choose desktops for all the wear and tear the average child will place on a computer.
With detachable keyboards, monitors, and a mouse, one small mistake won’t ruin the whole product. Desktops are also stationary, which puts them out of harm’s way from being dropped or left behind somewhere.
Adaptability for the future
While some parents will choose to upgrade their laptops by purchasing a new one every other year or so, many full-sized desktops can simply be upgraded internally. You can install a new hard drive - or two - and swap out the existing monitor for a better, brighter model.
Even processing speed and graphics can be replaced with better technology down the road without having to replace the entire computer. As kids grow, their desktop can, too.
How to select a kid’s desktop computer
Now that you’ve settled on a desktop computer for your child, it’s time to figure out which model best meets your needs. Kids have a variety of hobbies and interests, but their computer requirements stay within a general range for speed, graphics, and display properties.
For a child’s first computer, it’s important not to go overboard. You want a PC that can do what it needs to while remaining within your budget. The HP Slimline desktop is perfect for this task and is a good option for the home study room, school classroom, or library.
It is adept at handling the various tasks that students will demand of their desktop, including top kids’ computer games like Minecraft and educational coding sites such as Scratch.
It also comes with a feature not commonly seen on laptops aimed at students: a DVD-writer. This helps kids make copies of their projects, burn music, watch movies, and play interactive games without having to install an external DVD drive.
Equipped with Windows 10 Home 64, it’s ready to create files in the formats schools use most, and the 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 processing speed has the agility to work in more than one program at once.
Kids can browse while typing, editing photos, and using social media, too while using the best monitors for editing. The Intel UHD Graphics 630 component will work well with your choice of monitor; just plug and play for easy setup.
An industry-recommended 8GB memory keeps kids working productively, while the 1TB HDD keeps everything they need stored safely. A slender tower case slides behind your monitor or can sit under the desk.
This desktop is designed for your student to do everything they need while still staying within your budget.
For the family who needs a bit more computing power, consider the proven HP Pavilion 590t desktop. It’s a favorite among households with kids of all ages.
The tower is slightly thicker than the HP Slimline model but packs a powerful punch with upgraded RAM at a full 12GB. The 1TB HDD is more than most kids will need to keep their school work and games safe. In fact, combined with the 128GB SSD, it’s a keeper for large families or multiple users to be able to store their files in one location.
The Windows 10 Home 64 operating system works with Windows account logins you already have and allows multiple users to toggle between profiles, so everyone can have their own files, software, and customized desktops.
Get school work done faster thanks to the 8th Generation Intel Core i5 processor and Intel UHD Graphics 630. It’s amazing to see what kids can create when given the tools to excel. The bootup time is incredible for this value-priced PC and gets kids to work in seconds.
Don’t overlook the compatibility this computer has with just about everything in your home, too. It comes with a 3-in-1 memory card reader, Bluetooth, and the latest in wireless tech.
Use the easily accessible front panel to plug into the headphone-microphone port so the kids can listen along with their games and videos. You can also connect to nine USB ports, and there’s plenty of expansion slots for an upgraded experience when the kids get older.
If you’re too pressed for time to shop around for a monitor in addition to a computer, consider the HP Pavilion options available that combine this powerful desktop with a reliable monitor from HP®. They come in an assortment of sizes and resolutions to help keep kids entertained and educated in a busy world.
For the family who is short on space, there’s probably no better pick than a “mini” computer, such as the HP Chromebox G2. These computers work the same as a traditional desktop computer with a tower but can fit in the palm of your hand. This makes it ideal for small spaces, like a closet office or the corner of a bedroom.
The HP Chromebox is made with the same technology as the popular HP Chromebook laptops that many kids are using in school these days, making it highly likely that your child is already familiar with the interface. Running on Chrome OS™, this computer is ready to go with the software suite offered by Google.
Watch videos on YouTube, create school writing reports in Google Docs, and use Gmail for sending and receiving emails. Share information from one Google profile to another on a separate device, too, thanks to the included cloud storage.
The HP Chromebox features a 7th Generation Intel Core i5 processor, which is equipped to handle almost any game or program today’s kids use regularly.
Multi-task with ease thanks to the 8GB memory, and store essential documents on the internal 32GB SSD storage. Then, feel confident that all those extra-large files can be easily backed-up online to your Google Drive.
Watch your favorite videos and design DIY 3D art projects in amazing color via the Intel HD Graphics 620, which is more than adequate for all of your colorful creations.
The PC monitor and accessories are sold separately, which leaves you to choose exactly what screen size and resolution you’ll like best.
Do you want to get started with a computer that’s ready to use right out of the box? Consider an all-in-one desktop and your kids will be browsing, creating, and gaming in minutes.
With the hard drive and processor built right into the super-responsive 23.8-inch touch screen display, there’s just one thing to do when you get it home: plug it in and turn it on.
Equipped with Windows 10 Home 64, your kids will have access to popular Windows-based programs, such a Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The 8th Generation Intel Core i5 processor is the newest version of what families use to perform multiple tasks at once, without delay, jitter, or lag.
The Intel UHD Graphics 630, paired with the breathtaking Full High Definition (FHD) touch display, sets up your children to play their favorite swipe and tap games, draw with a stylus, or edit photos and videos with ease.
This desktop also comes with 8GB of RAM and a whopping 1TB HDD storage. You can keep all of their important files right on the hard-drive without worrying about running out of space.
With no space-hogging tower to set up and a streamlined look that matches every home’s design theme, the HP 24-Inch All-in-One PC easily wins a top spot as the best computer for kids.
Finally, if you think you have a gamer-in-the-making in your home, you simply must check out the entry-level model of the HP OMEN gaming computer line.
This model sports many of the same impressive features used by pro gamers and eSports professional gaming teams when playing on the more robust desktops and laptops.
The HP OMEN Obelisk 875 gaming desktop, however, has a lower price point and is perfect for kids and students who want that same graphics capability for their gaming sessions and still need a suitable solution for homework.
High-tech features include NVIDIA® graphics and 8th Generation Intel i5 or i7 processors. The brilliant chassis has lighting the kids will flip over while keeping the desktop cool even under the most strenuous use.
Plus, the striking red and black color scheme lets the world know your young gamer is preparing for some serious play someday.
Even if you aren’t ready to commit to more expensive upgrades now, rest assured that the door is always open. The HP OMEN PC is designed to make upgrades a breeze.
HP® has been designing computers for the home and office long enough to know that kids like to have the features grownups use most.
That’s why it’s recommended to avoid computers that are branded specifically for children or those that try to manage all of your kids’ tech needs in a smaller device.
Making the switch to a desktop is a widely accepted way to transition your child to the good computing habits they’ll need to be happy, productive adults.
Whether your child is just starting to tap the keys or has already decided that a programming career is in the cards, you get to help them find the best tools to nurture their curiosity and equip them for the future.
Simply put, the best desktop computer for kids is the one that works well for your unique lifestyle and family. Fortunately, when it comes to what most kids want, the HP desktop is ready to meet your budget and expectations at any age or stage.
About the Author:Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.
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