Finding The Right Laptop For Your Kid
Are you looking at mini laptops for kids and a tad overwhelmed by the process, you are not alone. Technology seems to move at a breakneck speed these days, what is new and top of the line today is old hat tomorrow! Once upon a time, you were on the cutting edge of technology if you had a home computer and high- speed internet, but today’s modern family have laptops, desktops, internet capable cell phones and handheld tablet computers made popular by Apple’s line
of products. Add to this the fact that children as young as five years old are using computers in school and it is easy to get lost in the chaos.
Laptops For Kids – Consumers Guide
Before you hit the internet or local electronics department, you want to sit down and determine your computer criteria. Mini-laptops for kids come in a variety of brands with varying capabilities and price points. Consider the following:
- Age- how old is your child?
- What will be the primary use?
- What is your budget?
Netbooks or Mini-Laptops?
First, you should understand the differences between mini laptops for children and your basic full-scale laptop. The one obvious difference in the two devices is size, netbooks, notebooks or mini-laptops are much smaller and lighter than the traditional laptop. They were designed for internet usage on the go, and very little else! Most, if not all, lack a CD/DVD drive which means the only extra programs you will be able to install must come from the internet.
A big issue for some people is the screen resolution; remember everything is smaller with these units, which means the resolution is going to be much lower. If you are unsure of how this will affect your child, you can reset the resolution on your home computer to a typical netbook setting (800×480) and determine if this will be an issue.
What are the suggested age limits for a particular device? If you are looking for a great little machine that will introduce your pre kindergartner to the joys of computing, and will not break the bank, a simple teach and talk “toy” laptop will fit the bill. Many may not consider these true laptops for children, but they are a fantastic tool for teaching responsibility to young children while slowly introducing them to technology. This device is suggested by LaptopJudge for children around 6 years of age and runs less than $40 online.
One caveat, if your child is already computer friendly i.e. they use your iPhone or laptop computer, this device is going to leave them bored and frustrated! When you are dealing with children that are more sophisticated a toy like a laptop is not going to suffice, however, this does not mean they are ready for a full-size laptop either.
What is the primary usage for the device? Mini-laptops for kids are just that, miniature versions and as such, they are more limited in use. For example, most netbooks do not come with a CD/DVD ROM drive. Their small size pretty much prohibits the addition of this extra drive and though for most this is not a big issue, if you have children who want to load their favorite music or a movie they will be out of luck.
Is this a device that will be transported back and forth to school via the child’s backpack? While it is not mandatory in schools yet, bringing a laptop to school is not unheard of either, and again depending on your child’s age and maturity level this could be a huge factor in which mini laptops for kids you want to consider.
For this reason, some are built tougher than others are. Of course, they may come with a slightly larger price tag as well.
This brings us to budget, just how much do you want to spend for this computer? They range in price from less than $100 to over $500. If this is the first laptop, you may want to stick with the lower end of the spectrum, however, if you are packing a child off to college the cheaper versions may not hold up well or provide them with the capabilities they require. A sample budget:
$100 – first-time mini laptops for kids purchase $150-$250- Replacement for the original device (child showed responsibility) $275 and up- high school students and those bound for college
There are really no hard and fast rules for how much you should spend on laptops for children; these are generalized guidelines you may find useful.
Are mini laptops for kids simply a smaller version of a laptop? In a word, no! They are smaller and offer some of the same capabilities but as you can see from the guide above, they definitely have their limitations. These machines were created to be a lightweight alternative to the standard 15 pound and up the laptop, but in
shrinking the device there were some losses in operations. In order to get the best mini laptop for children, you really must research what your child needs and then decide accordingly. For young children, you may also want to consider netbooks or notebooks that allow parental controls!
What will be the primary use of the kid laptop?