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A good first laptop for a child?

(11 Posts)
violetbloom Mon 29-Nov-10 14:27:10

Dd wants a laptop for Christmas. She's nine and uses mine all the time and she's had a tough year healthwise so I want to get her a treat.

The trouble is that I haven't got a clue where to start! she'll want to go on her youtube favourites, play various Barbie website type games, watch a DVD, play a CD and write the odd word document.

I don't have a huge budget.

Has anyone got any recommendations for me?

violetbloom Mon 29-Nov-10 14:47:30

Anyone out there?

Horton Mon 29-Nov-10 18:39:39

Anything cheap will do, I think. If that's all she wants, anything with a DVD drive will be absolutely fine. Word can cost a fair bit, though, so to save money think about OpenOffice. Toshiba are generally good and reliable laptops.

violetbloom Tue 30-Nov-10 01:01:37

I remember reading a review of a cheap computer that said that it wouldn't work with lots of websites.

So Office doesn't come free with the PC these days?

BigChiefOrganiser Tue 30-Nov-10 02:10:14

A netbook could work. they don;t have a huge amount of storage and are a bit slower than a laptop, have an external hard drive, but for someone that age, could be a good option. Cheaper than laptops.

Horton Tue 30-Nov-10 10:58:23

Some netbooks (the ones running Windows CE) don't support flash so wouldn't be compatible with a fair number of websites. But a netbook is a pretty good option - you can buy an external DVD drive to connect to it for about £50.

You might get a deal with free Office if you shop around. OpenOffice is just as good though, and totally free.

BendyBob Tue 30-Nov-10 11:09:40

Would you consider a refurbished one?

We bought dd one from here for her birthday in October. It's in immaculate condition and works beautifully. Could be a way of getting a decent one at an affordable price.

violetbloom Wed 01-Dec-10 15:29:44

Thanks! I think having the right system settings to work with websites using flash is quite essential to be honest as that's mostly what she does! Yes, I would consider refurbished, thanks, I'll look into that.

any other suggestions?

violetbloom Wed 01-Dec-10 15:32:29

BB - was it one of the thinkpad laptops you got for your dd? Could you tell me what features it has in terms of software / ability to use websites with Flash etc.?

Horton Wed 01-Dec-10 20:49:02

Anything running XP or later will be fine with Flash, violet. It's only Windows CE that you need to worry about (I've seen a fair number of cheap netbooks running this OS and they don't always make it clear that Flash won't work).

For a netbook I would highly recommend Asus or Samsung and an external DVD drive. You could do the lot for well under £350, I think.

BendyBob Thu 02-Dec-10 12:30:37

Hi violet. Just asked dh about this cos he was the one that sorted this out for dd. I'm far too illiterate when it comes to technologyblush

Yes it is a thinkpad. It came already loaded with AVG anti-virus software and windows xp. Dd has access to the internet but can't get into anything she shouldn't, not even a chatroom. We are also able to keep tabs on her browsing history through windows family safety which is part of windows xp <big brother emoticon>

Other than that it didn't come with any other software but dh downloaded a free version of word. He suggests as a good place to find available free software to download.

The laptop is in very good condition, not bashed about or worn looking at all. Obviously wasn't boxed and brand new and you don't get all the warranties that you would if you got one from Pc world for example so there is that element of risk to consider.

She's been using it with no problems since her birthday in Oct. It's def been a huge help to her for school work. She's just started senior school and it's been invaluable for that. But she also likes watching iplayer programmes etc.

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