Every school has its own tech requirements, which makes it difficult to make specific PC recommendations. Be sure to check with your district to see what they recommend if they don’t already provide your child a device. We suggest buying a laptop with at least an 8th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage (preferably a solid-state drive, also called SSD), and at least a 13-inch display that’s close to HD.
The Acer linked here fits the bill without breaking the bank, though you can save some money by opting for a Chromebook like the Lenovo Duet ($300). The downside is that not all schools recommend Chromebooks, and there are fewer parental controls than you’ll find in Windows PCs.
Another way to save some money (and keep some electronics out of the landfill) is buying used. Our guide to buying on eBay will get you started, just remember to keep in mind the minimum specs above.
Read more: The Best Cheap Laptops and the Best Chromebooks we’ve tested