Is a Chromebook the best laptop for teen?
Also check out a review of the Toshiba Chromebook 2 (possibly the best all rounder chromebook currenty available in 2016).
It's super cheap. You won't be able to get another laptop that offers so much for the same price. Also, if it does get damaged or lost it's not going to cost the same to replace as a mac book air or other laptop. This makes it a good option for a laptop that a teen is going to take out of the house (perhaps to school or college).
It's lightweight and super portable
It has a full size keyboard
It take seconds to boot up and get online. It's Fast.
No Anti Virus Software
Chromebooks do need a wifi connection but it can be used offline too
With a bit of planning, it is also possible to read webpages offline. There are Chrome apps such as pocket which allows you to save entire web pages so that you can read them offline at a convenient time. This app also works across other devices, so if you see something on your tablet you can save it to your account and it will sync to your chromebook so you could read it there later too.
Also consider that other laptops can't access webpages, facebook, social media or check e-mail without a internet connection either.
The next size up is a 13.3 inch screen. This is better if you want to also use it to watch movies and videos. It sacrifices a little on portability because it is bigger but not much. It's still extremely lightweight.
There is now the Acer chromebook 15, which has a 15 inch screen. Obviously much better for watching videos too.
No Microsoft Office But You Can Use Google Drive Instead
However, there is Microsoft Office Online, which is a free cloud version of Office, and available as a series of apps for Chromebooks You can use google drive which can open and edit Microsoft documents (this is what I do and it's not been a problem) . Google drive will also enable you to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. You can also share any documents you create with google drive in a Microsoft office format so you can share them with Microsoft office users too.
If you're unsure as to whether you could swap Microsoft Office to Google Drive, just try it out before you buy the chromebook. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Consider The Teen You Are Buying It For
If he is heavily reliant on Microsoft office and has a lot of Microsoft office files they will need to convert, it may be worth looking for a windows laptop instead. Microsoft have released some low cost Windows 10 laptops to compete with the chromebook market and which may be worth considering. However, a chromebook is also a great second laptop if you have another main laptop in the home which does anything else you need to do. It's fantastic if you want a second, less expensive laptop to take out of the house. But if you do have another laptop, I bet the chromebook will be your teen's first choice.
What Else You May Need To Consider
If your teen is a photoshop user it may not be the machine he needs. There is currently no chrome app which can edit Adobe photoshop files.