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Computers for teens

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by BurnsWhenIPee, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    Didn't want to threadjack the Christmas thread with this, but we have 2 kids - a freshman in high school and a seventh-grader, who are using computers more and more for their schoolwork. Not a requirement, but makes things run a whole lot easier. Since we have 1 "family" computer, not including the work laptops my wife and I lug around and try not to use for non-work purposes, it can be a pretty heated tug-of-war at times.

    We are thinking about how nice it would be if they each had a laptop they could use for school, etc., and how that may be worth it to make that their one Christmas present each this year.

    We're not going to spend $1,000 per kid for laptops, but looking for a laptop that is reasonable (<$500) in price, decent quality and performance. I'd want more than one of those "cloud" computers, like something with built-in storage, a little power, the ability to read and burn DVDs, do powerpoints on, etc.

    Anyone have recommendations?
  2. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

    My suggestion? Never let them have the machines in their rooms unless you're in there with them.

    That being said, I have found Samsung low-end machines to be pretty robust and reliable in the sub-$500 range, if you can find one.
  3. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    Thanks. And oh yeah, these would be for outside-the-bedroom use only.
  4. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    My sister has kids exactly the same age (9th and 7th grade, with 2nd-grade twins coming up behind). They have turned their spare bedroom into a 3-computer office with printer, scanner, etc etc. The bedroom door knob has been removed so the door can't be closed any more.

    They have also put a bunch of parental controls on surfing, etc.

    They're currently debating when or whether to allow the oldest to have a computer in his room (dad feels it's going to happen sooner or later, it's probably better to let him learn to cope with it for a year or so while he's still living in the house). They're leaning toward letting him have it after he turns 16. That'll give him about 1 1/2 years of high school with his own computer.

    My BIL is a fairly decent computer DIY guy so they bought refurbished desktops which seem to work pretty well.
  5. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    I would buy the cheapest ones available if they don't care about the cache of Apple. A lot of schools
    seen to be using Google Docs so you likely won't need MS Office which drives up price.

    If you think about it this years cheap computers were last years expensive computers.

    My sister got a good deal at HP On Line for Lap tops and printer. The good thing with going with
    something like HP is that the printer is easily networked because all the drivers are on the HP
  6. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    If you are going to allow it in their room, at least make them leave it on the table in the kitchen when you want them to go to sleep.
  7. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Buy them iPads with the rollaway keyboard pads.
  8. Iron_chet

    Iron_chet Well-Known Member

    We bought our teenage daughter a $400 dollar HP for school 2 years ago and it works great. I got a deal on the Office Suite through work and the machine came with everything she needed for burning CD, DVD etc although I don't think she ever used it for burning.

    We bought the exact same computer for our house computer and it has served us very well with the excetion of the batteries on both are toast.

    Keep in mid that the most complex things performed on it were Power Points and Word docs. Nobody is a heavy gamer or has the need for advanced image programs.

    Now that she is in grade 11 she wants a Mac as it is lighter and of course much cooler than lugging here big PC laptop to school so that is probably what she is going to get for Christmas.
  9. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Best Buy has the Chrome laptops on sale right now for $279.

    The HP Pavilion and t has a 14 inch screen with all the Google bells and whistles. For most functions you need to be on wifi but not for everything.

    I have one. I think it works great. It does everything need it to but I'm not a gamer.
  10. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    I think the Chrome ones and others where there is little storage on the laptop, but everything is stored on the Cloud, could work. The only thing that scares me is if we are in the car taking a trip, at a hotel for a weekend that charges a ridiculous fee for wi-fi and stuff like that.

    I'd rather them be able to store their stuff on the laptop and have access to it, no matter where we are.

    But maybe I'm overthinking it or am misinformed about these Chrome and similar units.
  11. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Seems like you are really married to Wifi with Chrome. You can always stop
    at McDonalds on the trip :)
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    The HP ones are durable as can be and if you watch the sales, you should be able to get a good one for $400-$500.

    Avoid Dell at all costs.

    I concur on not letting teenagers use the computers without some level of supervision.
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