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£300 max budget, looking for laptop for shared use with 8 yr old who is keen to learn more about laptops/computers

(27 Posts)
bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sat 18-May-13 15:31:28

I'm a complete technophobe so haven't a clue what's what. I've a dodgy old netbook I use for net surfing mumsnetting so this will mainly be needed for educational purposes etc. I'd prefer it to be fast, good clear large screen, and easy to use (for me and DD).

Any recommendations?

HKTekGuy Sat 18-May-13 17:44:05

£300 will get you a bottom of the range laptop OR a top of the range tablet.

Hulababy Sat 18-May-13 18:15:04

I would go for a laptop rather than a tablet so that DD can use it for homework - typing, presentations, etc.

HKTekGuy Sat 18-May-13 18:28:14

But the DD is 8 years old. A few years away from needing to master Powerpoint smile

My sister has an iPad that she 'shares' with her 7 year old. The app store has loads of free/69p apps that entertain and educate on the move and at home. She doesn't have one but some tablets can be docked to a keyboard.

OP - You may want to checkout a Raspberry Pi. Its a computer that is the size of a thick pack of playing cards. It can be had for about £35. I have one but its just to allow me to surf off my TV but friends tell me that its great for teaching young uns about computers.

Hulababy Sat 18-May-13 19:38:08

I teach PP from year 1. We regularly have children bringing in typed up things they have done at home based on their topic, done on Word or PowerPoint. I teach Y2 to do simple programming on Scratch - again many have a go at home on their computers.

My own DD is in Y6 and has been typing work up as homework throughout juniors (so y3, aged 7/8y) and uses Word, PP, Publisher and more.

An 8 year old is in juniors and will be using computers more and more in my experience.

Most schools also have licenses for Education City, Purple Mash, etc - all of which work better on a computer than a tablet.

Hulababy Sat 18-May-13 19:39:07

We also have iPads here but we sue them for apps or surfing the net. Rarely for school work.
I have a Raspberry Pi too, but we only use it for programming here so far.

Hulababy Sat 18-May-13 19:41:32

If you do go down the laptop route, have a look on ebuyer for laptops: They have more than 80 laptops at under £400

HKTekGuy Sat 18-May-13 20:44:05

I would have loved for my kids to have gone to your primary Hulababy envy

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sat 18-May-13 21:42:55

Thanks for the replies. I don't know anything about programming so I suspect the raspberry pi is a bit beyond my level of understanding. I'd love a tablet but want something I can easily hook up to a printer.

If anyone has any recommendations on makes/model etc. I'd appreciate it.

HotheadPaisan Sat 18-May-13 21:53:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NeverBeenToMe Sat 18-May-13 22:14:15

I've just bought an Acer Aspire from Cleverboxes (via tesco) for £315.

Think amazon were doing it for £303.

Check out pc world, some good reductions there too.

NetworkGuy Sun 19-May-13 09:50:04

Seen via e-mail from kgbdeals (like groupon but run by either TalkTalk or 118118 or somesuch). 120 left. You may need to sign up on kgbdeals for this.

Does not have latest processor, but can be plugged into TV with HDMI cable if screen considered too small. Windows 7 (Win 8 is out but designed for touch screen and Win 7 still popular with many users).

NetworkGuy Sun 19-May-13 09:52:37

» link «

NetworkGuy Sun 19-May-13 10:01:06

299 + approx 8 delivery via kgbdeals not 400+

NetworkGuy Sun 19-May-13 10:07:12

Hulababy - being curious, any idea what proportion of pupils are using Win 8 vs Win 7 (or XP, or something else such as OSX/linux) ?

HotheadPaisan Sun 19-May-13 10:15:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HotheadPaisan Sun 19-May-13 10:16:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hulababy Sun 19-May-13 11:09:29

Networkguy - no idea. They only send them in printed generally, though some PP comes in on memory stick. Not many on windows 8 yet I reckon as they all recognise the school desktop screens. Mind not got windows 8 myself yet. Some have macs I know that.

NetworkGuy Sun 19-May-13 11:14:49

when I did a search for
tesco laptop cleverboxes

there was a link for a 10 pounds off e-voucher for web purchases

Probably also worth mentioning John Lewis as they too do a 2 year warranty for peace of mind (2 years on the Asus)

NetworkGuy Sun 19-May-13 11:18:54

Thanks Hulababy. I'll probably buy a couple more machines with Win 7 on, before they get impossible to find (brand new). Win 8 starting to take over the major sources and also in places selling s/h like CEX {}, Grainger Games, CashGenerator etc

NetworkGuy Sun 19-May-13 11:24:07

sorry not and owned by same (Japanese?) group Rakuten

Hulababy Sun 19-May-13 22:24:21

HKTekGuy grin next term is genealogy using various census and BMD records based on Families linked to the schools history. I have the original school logs and registers to identify pupils and staff. Will be using various software to create a timeline.

NetworkGuy Mon 20-May-13 03:01:19

It may also be worth checking Asda and Tesco, and if you spot something in the 250-300 range, pop back and ask for comments. Over the years have seen Asda drop the price of various laptops by over 100 quid, just to clear their store room before a fresh set of machines comes in.

TariffHound Mon 20-May-13 10:28:22

Another option well worth considering is a Google Chromebook, which is a new type of laptop running Google's Chrome operating system rather than Microsoft Windows.
The great thing going for Chromebooks are:
- price: £230 (you save as you are not paying for Microsoft Windows or Office)
- weight: the laptops are very light, much like a Macbook Air. They weigh around 1.1kg compared to the standard 2.5kg of standard laptops
- quick startup, long battery life: the laptop starts very quickly, and lasts for 6 hours on each battery charge.
- low / no maintenance: Google updates the software automatically over the air, so there are no software to load or maintain. You also don't have to worry about anti virus software.

The key downside is that the laptops don't run Windows or Office. If you have any old pc computer programs you wanted to run like Word or Excel, this is not the laptop for you. However you can still make wordprocessing documents, spreadsheets etc using Google Docs, the Google alternative to Microsoft Office. Google also has an app store of free and paid for apps you can run on a Chromebook, including games and other apps similar to those found on tablet computers.

Chromebooks are sold through John Lewis and Amazon, and are getting great reviews from people who have bought them. I'd recommend you get one via John Lewis as they will offer a free 2 year warranty on the machine.

If you'd like some more information on why Chromebooks are a great family laptop, I've written a longer piece on them here:

Hope that helps!

HabbaDabba Mon 20-May-13 12:53:31

How about a "Home Media PC"?

Its small, quiet and designed to sit next to your TV. Its not powerful enough to play the latest games or to do video editing but that isn't what you want the PC for.

Mum and DC around the 40 inch TV is much more comfortable then mum and DC huddled around a 15 inch laptop screen smile

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