Mellow Mummy: Choosing your child's first laptop : Taking life as it comes...

Sunday 24 November 2013

Choosing your child's first laptop

This content from this post was provided as part of a guest post arrangement.  If you have specific questions about choosing a laptop for a child, as a tech geek and author, I'd be happy to offer my ideas.

In the past, getting a laptop for a child may have been seen as an unnecessary extravagance. However, if you have young children, you’ll know that things have changed. Now, products like these are almost a must-have among kids. As well as using the devices for entertainment, youngsters often rely on them to complete their homework and to communicate with their friends.
 Buying your child’s first laptop can be a daunting task. After all, you’ll be spending your hard-earned money on the products and so it’s important that you make the right choice. One issue you’ll need to think about when perusing the variety of laptops now available is durability. Children can be rough with their possessions, and so it’s important that the device you choose is robust. Also, there’s little point in spending a fortune on the products because, even if you choose a tough model, there is always the risk that it will get broken.
 It’s also important to talk to your child. Although we may not like to admit it, youngsters are often more clued up on technical matters than their parents these days, and they can have clear ideas about what they want and need. By the same token, it can pay off to chat to your child’s school to find out what sort of technology is used there. Once you have this information, you can try to find a laptop that complements this technology rather than clashes with it. 
 As long as your child doesn’t need a laptop for highly technical purposes, don’t worry too much about its specifications. Even the cheaper versions can suit. Roughly speaking, as a minimum standard you should look for an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of memory and 500GB of storage space. If you have to compromise in order to find items that fall within your budget, go for products with less hard disk space rather than reduced processors. After all, you can always add more storage at a later date.
 Portability is another major issue to consider. After all, your tot may struggle to lug a large, heavy laptop around. Unfortunately, cheaper laptops tend to be bulkier. Of course, if your child will mainly use the laptop at home, this may not be a problem. However, if he or she will be on the move with it a lot, it may be worth spending a little extra cash to make this a more comfortable experience.
 Battery life also tends to be correlated to cost. The cells provided with cheaper models may run out after three or four hours, whereas higher-end laptops can keep going without mains power for ten hours or more.
 Compromise is virtually inevitable when you’re buying a laptop for your child. The important thing is to focus on the right priorities.
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