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Laptop for 12 yo, using at home

(21 Posts)
anonymousbird Thu 08-Sep-16 10:53:53

DS, Y7, is keen to have his own computer/laptop. Laptop seems best as it's easy to store, fits on his desk etc. We are Mac based in the house, but I see no need for him to have a Mac as a) expensive and b) his school work is now all windows based and c) chances are it would be upgraded in a couple of years.

I haven't had a laptop in ten years, and even then it was a work one so was super powerful and so on, so really not sure where to start.

Thinking £250-300 budget as he is chipping in birthday money and so on and we will add to it in lieu of his birthday present - does anyone have any recommendations please?

Doesn't need to be super-portable as it's not going to school with him, so size not crucial.


anonymousbird Fri 09-Sep-16 08:53:49


DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 09-Sep-16 08:56:01

Making place as was about to start a similar thread .

anonymousbird Fri 09-Sep-16 12:13:02

Since posting, I have had two friends recommend Chrome Books - seem good value and from what I can see they will provide the functions my DS needs. He is not a social networker, but he uses the internet quite a lot and does his work in Google to go to his school account.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 09-Sep-16 12:16:34

Is that like an iPad or does it have a key board? We need one for exams etc. I've not got a clue as we have Mac at home.

anonymousbird Fri 09-Sep-16 12:26:45

This is the link my friend sent me, so yes, they seem to have a keyboard. Compact, and not a lot of hard drive memory, works on the basis that you mostly keep your work on the cloud. Which is fine if you are generally working at home or school connected to the internet, but clearly less good if you might need to work "off line". Well, that's my initial understanding of this anyway!

IcedVanillaLatte Fri 09-Sep-16 12:34:37

DP got me a Chromebook for Christmas a few years ago - I was excited when I started unwrapping it and realised it was a laptop (I have a huge Steam library with games suitable for a wide range of laptops in terms of spec) and was pretty disappointed when it turned out it was a Chromebook as my games and other software don't work on it. I used it a bit anyway, and really didn't like it - I'm used to Windows and Linux (wasn't keen on Mac operating systems when I tried ones my family had but I'm sure I could have got used to it). Unless they've changed, they're a bit love/hate for someone who's used to Windows. If he's used to Windows for school, and needs compatible software, I wouldn't go for a Chromebook, personally.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 09-Sep-16 12:41:26

That link looks helpful thank you, it's really just for typing up course work etc.

anonymousbird Fri 09-Sep-16 13:24:17

iced - all valid, and yes, I had read that there are issues with gaming (which he doesn't yet do, so I would be pleased if his main device didn't have it!) and he has only really used our Mac at home and on that, mostly internet and google docs at his last school and which he will use again at his new school.

Assume a chrome book has an email app at least? Also, Android apps are due to come online very soon to newer models. So I am told.

IcedVanillaLatte Fri 09-Sep-16 13:38:08

Ah well, if lack of games is a positive that changes things a bit 😂

IcedVanillaLatte Fri 09-Sep-16 13:39:07

Yep email apps etc.

anonymousbird Fri 09-Sep-16 20:32:55

DS telling me that all Chrome Books are touch screen, which I don't think is the case. Have reiterated that a MacBook is NOT on the cards, whatever he says or does (!) but he just keeps saying he wants a "laptop" and in his mind a chrome book is not a laptop, but it looks like a laptop to me!

I am so out of date on these things. Feel like a dinosaur!

IcedVanillaLatte Fri 09-Sep-16 22:28:26

As well as the size/weight (which might not seem very important, and indeed might not be important, but which will affect how easy it is to move from room to room and how comfortable it is to use, and may end up mattering if he wants/needs to start taking it out and about, e.g. to the library, to relatives' houses, to school if his needs WRT that change), you should also pay some attention to battery life (will he want to use it unplugged or will he be happy to be tied to the mains), whether he'll need a DVD drive, and possibly to how powerful it is, although that's probably not super-important, as you said. Nevertheless, it'll speed up basic tasks like starting up a browser and running several tabs. It might also be worth thinking about whether or has a hard disk drive or solid state memory. Some of the smaller laptops i.e. netbooks (I know we're not supposed to call them that any more), and the Chromebooks have solid state storage, which is as far as I remember lighter, usually faster, and again can help with comfort.

I know this seems like a lot, but before you click "buy" just check briefly any of these things that matter to you.

Soozikinzi Fri 09-Sep-16 22:36:31

My son is going to uni this time and my older son is doing a Pgce so I have looked into this and got them both Hp laptops from e buyer for £199 .it's the 255 G4 model and seems very serviceable and there's free delivery and no I don't work for ebuyer!

Titsywoo Fri 09-Sep-16 22:43:18

We just got a Lenovo Ideapad for DD. DH works in IT and will only buy Lenovo as he says they are pretty indestructible. We got this although it was £299 then so you could get cheaper elsewhere I'm sure.

anonymousbird Sat 10-Sep-16 08:37:04

Thanks all. Some great advice and tips.

IcedVanillaLatte Sat 10-Sep-16 09:05:11

Ooh, also, I forgot to mention - you said size isn't important as he doesn't need to cart it around a lot - i think you're right and one of the nice things about bigger laptops is that they generally have full size keyboards, which are more comfortable to use, and often bigger trackpads too (though I suspect you've already considered this having been a laptop user yourself).

anonymousbird Sat 10-Sep-16 13:55:30

He won't be carting it around, they don't use them at school. It's to be his home based computer, just doesn't need to be a full sized one and laptop easier to stick in a drawer.

And yes, v good point about comfortable keyboard and decent size trackpad.

GinIsIn Sat 10-Sep-16 13:58:01

I got this one as a small, basic one that I can use for working on at home and shove in my handbag and it's been great!!3391!3!105916003459!!!g!46692366861!&device=m&istCompanyId=bec25c7e-cbcd-460d-81d5-a25372d2e3d7&istItemId=xtaxlaximx&istBid=tztx&PLA=1&ef_id=VySAgQAAAc8DDKD9:20160910125711:s

whywonthedgehogssharethehedge Sat 10-Sep-16 14:13:55

We got Hp laptops for ours. This is probably the closest equivalent.

They range from £250 - £650 approx depending on deals etc. As long as it's a laptop and not a netbook or chrome book you are good.

We used Hp laptops for years and they were super reliable and well built hence getting them for the kids.

The kids bring theirs downstairs to use at dining table, put them in and out of drawers so they can use the desk for other stuff etc. So far no issues and we've had them a year now.

altik Sun 11-Sep-16 10:28:12

My 12 year old daughter has a Toshiba laptop. She got hers last year in year 7, and it has been invaluable for homework (my maths, online searching, making powerpoints, word etc...)

I have a HP computer. I like my HP and the IT guys at work rate them too . I got a good deal (sale ) on DDs Toshiba, otherwise I'd recommend a HP.

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