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Challenge: Kids and Technology

Choosing the Right Laptop for Your Child

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School isn’t what it used to be when we were kids, and neither is the way that today’s kids study. Nowadays, they need to have computers in order to be able to keep up with their studies, and with their classmates. But, until they are old enough to be able to handle an expensive piece of electronics, you will likely want to stick with something that is not overly expensive. For instance, you may want to buy used laptop to start your child off with their first computer. Let’s take a look at some of the things you need to consider when choosing a laptop for your child.

1. Talk to Their Teacher

One of the first things you should do is talk to someone at the school, such as your child’s teacher, to find out what they recommend. Ask them what type of laptops the school uses, and what other less expensive systems would be compatible with the school computers. Just keep in mind that the recommendations are not always what you really need, or what you can really afford. Just use these as recommendations to go by, but not as gospel.

2. Size Up Your Child

It is a good idea to talk with your child about what they want in a laptop, and then size up their needs. For example, if they are already used to surfing the net with an Apple device, it may be best to get them a MacBook instead of a Windows Laptop or PC. Kids are pretty smart these days when it comes to technology, and they will likely be able to let you know what they want and need.

3. Don’t Fret about Specs

You may think that your child’s laptop needs to have so many gigs of memory, a certain size processor, etc. While it is important to have lots of speed and memory, sometimes specs can be overwhelming, and not always worth worrying about. What you really need to remember is to look for a model with an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7, and 4GB memory.

4. Choose the Operating System

The laptop you buy needs to have an operating system that is easy to use. It is best to avoid computers that have Windows 8, as it is not popular and can be tricky to use. The newer Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 are much better options, and have an interface that is similar to the more popular Windows 7.

5. Forget the Touch Screen

While touch screen computers are easier to use, particularly for children, they are not always the best option. This is because a model without a touch screen has a much faster processor, and a lot more memory. The touch screen uses a lot of memory and speed that could be better used for other things.

6. Think about Size and Weight

Your child is going to be carrying their laptop back and forth to school with them, so you need to make sure that it isn’t going to be too heavy or cumbersome for them. It should be lightweight so they can carry it easily, and small enough to fit inside their backpack.

7. Consider Battery Life

Another thing to keep in mind is battery life. If you are opting for a used laptop, make sure that the battery works, and that there is plenty of life. Your child will be using this at school and at other locations, so you need to know that they aren’t going to lose power right in the middle of a project or study session.

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