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Old 11-29-2014, 06:49 AM
 
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I am an IT professional so clearly my view of technology may be somewhat skewed when it comes to making a more technical and informed decision based on technological capabilities. However, when it comes to making a more practical decision when it comes to keeping my kids technology literate and savvy I am not as decisive . Therefore, I am seeking the views, especially of parents whom have either already purchased Laptops or about to purchase Laptops for their kid(s). I have a 12 1/2 year old and a 9 1/2 year old child and need to know the following:-

1) At what age is it appropriate to hand off a laptop to your child?

2) What is a drop dead price range that you would not exceed for one?


Whatever I purchase for them should be at least good enough to take them through high school. Oh, a Chrome Book is not a viable option as they will need to use MS-Word, eventually Excel, and PowerPoint etc. I have been looking at the following two but am opened to other choices ....

Lenovo G50-70 Laptop | Entry-Level Laptop with DVD Drive*| Lenovo US

Asus 15.6" Laptop Intel Core i5 4GB Memory 500GB Hard Drive X550LA-SI50402W - Best Buy
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Old 11-29-2014, 07:04 AM
 
Location: NC
6,875 posts, read 8,459,903 times
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Not a parent of young kids, so I would not know. But technology changes so fast that the idea of having the same unit take them through high school might not be workable. It's those darn chnges in OS!
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Old 11-29-2014, 07:06 AM
 
621 posts, read 841,842 times
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Don't think you can plan on having a laptop survive about seven years due to technological obsolescence and hardware wear and tear. Buy something cheap for now and get a better one in HS or whenever the capabilities of the cheaper model are exceeded by the kids' needs.
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Old 11-29-2014, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
3,655 posts, read 4,337,843 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by local2rtp View Post
Buy something cheap for now and get a better one in HS or whenever the capabilities of the cheaper model are exceeded by the kids' needs.
Also, don't forget the "drop factor", "left the bookbag in the rain", etc. More reason to buy something cheap.
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Old 11-29-2014, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,469 posts, read 19,683,749 times
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I agree with the others, but that second laptop - the Asus - is $429. How much cheaper than that are you really going to find for something that is still 'decent'?

(I'm planning on replacing Hubby's 7year old HP with that PITA Vista soon. He needs basic stuff, like word, excel, and mainly the ability to get his email and play online poker. So clearly, I'm not paying big bucks for that!)
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Old 11-29-2014, 08:26 AM
 
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I've let my kids as young as 5 use a laptop but I keep a cheap ($100 refurb) Chromebook around for them to do web surfing and to watch Netflix. For homework (for the older kids) they can use the Chromebook for some of their lessons (teachers post videos or they have worksheets to print out) and I have a desktop they can use for office.

I got a year out of the last Chromebefore the screen was cracked. I don't see any 9 year old keeping a laptop from now through the end of high school. Even if you got something that was upgradeable (I am assuming they are in 3rd grade) just keeping it operational for 9 years would be a feat.

I too have been thinking about a Windows laptop for them. The HP Stream is a low powered device but it does run Windows 8 and is enough power for running Office. There is a deal on them right now for $175 plus a $25 Windows app store gift card.
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Old 11-29-2014, 08:59 AM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
17,372 posts, read 26,699,600 times
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I have two 14 year olds and an 11 year old - no way are you making it through HS with a computer you buy now. And I don't think they each need one.
My elementary age child uses a computer for school for no more than half hour a day, and it's not even every day, but one of her teachers has started doing the "flipped classroom". In January, Study Island will start. But, it's not every day.
My middle schoolers don't even need one every day. In fact they only rarely need it for typing something. If you have one that likes to check assignments online you might find they need it for 5 minutes every day for that. But if they are telling that they each must have one now, they are taking you for a ride. If YOU think they each need one now, they don't. And if you're trying to "buy ahead" - not worth it.
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Old 11-29-2014, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,545 posts, read 5,681,436 times
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My kids are older, so this was all really before laptops become really price competitive, but they had a shared "kids computer" at about 6 and 10 and or so (to protect the main PC). This was in the same room as the "mom and dad" computer was, so always supervised.

By about 12 or 13 they each had their own tower.

I agree with others: they'll get beat up (even with kids that value and take care of things) and they'll become obsolescent long before high school.

Buy inexpensive (but within reason, you want the hardware to be usable), and plan on replacing in a few years. Also think about a tower if they don't need to take it out of the house (and you can build / buy it cheaper), and consider handing down mom or dads older machines and upgrading them.
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Old 11-29-2014, 01:36 PM
 
28,631 posts, read 40,609,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunk Workz View Post
My kids are older, so this was all really before laptops become really price competitive, but they had a shared "kids computer" at about 6 and 10 and or so (to protect the main PC). This was in the same room as the "mom and dad" computer was, so always supervised.

By about 12 or 13 they each had their own tower.

I agree with others: they'll get beat up (even with kids that value and take care of things) and they'll become obsolescent long before high school.

Buy inexpensive (but within reason, you want the hardware to be usable), and plan on replacing in a few years. Also think about a tower if they don't need to take it out of the house (and you can build / buy it cheaper), and consider handing down mom or dads older machines and upgrading them.
This. Unless the schools require they take a laptop with them for classes, get towers. You have control over their use (mostly) with them in the house. As soon as they walk out the door with a laptop your control diminishes.
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Old 11-29-2014, 03:13 PM
 
260 posts, read 269,074 times
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I don't have kids, but why a laptop v a PC ? PC with monitor could be cheaper. I got my fist computer at around 14-15 years old, but it was a different generation. A kid needs a computer to play video games and do homework. You can find out how many of the kids classmates have computers and how much of the school work demands a computer. They have laptops for 5 year olds these days as well.
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