Friday, October 4, 2013

Guide to buying your kid’s first laptop

With technology dominating today's society, it is only a matter of time before even your youngest child starts running rings around you when it comes to their digital know-how. While parents are right to be cautious about buying children their own laptop, computers are increasingly used in children’s education and having use of their own can benefit them in college and employment further down the line. 

However, purchasing the right one can be a difficult undertaking, with various considerations to bear in mind. So here is what you should think about before you buy your child their first laptop.

How old is your child?
The age of your child will make a huge difference in deciding what laptop to buy. Offerings from VTech and Fisher-Price for example are made specifically for babies and toddlers. These feature mainly educational games and can be purchased very cheaply.

However, kids grow up incredibly quickly and for any child starting school, a standard laptop made by a reputable manufacturer is recommended. If they find the larger 14’’ or 16’’ models too big, small options are available, such as the tiny 10’’ Netbook.

What will it be used for?

Again, a lot will depend on the age of your child, but the majority of kids will use a laptop for educational purposes, to play games and access the Internet.

When it comes to learning, there are a great deal of software programs and online resources available. Even though your child will be staring intently at a screen, the interactive nature of computers is far better than simply watching television.

But for the majority of parents, the biggest worry is your kids browsing the Internet. Thankfully, laptops running Microsoft Windows include parental controls so you can restrict what content can be accessed. This said, the best way to protect your child from online dangers is by discussing and talking about the issue with them.

What type of laptop should I buy?

Netbooks are an affordable, small and lightweight option that still feature great computing ability and commendable battery life. You can't go wrong with any netbook from well-known companies such as Asus, Samsung or Toshiba.

Due to their functionality and potential longevity, it is advisable to buy a laptop rather than a tablet. Even though the popularity of these handheld devices has dramatically increased in recent years, laptops are better designed for typing and schoolwork, as well as the fun stuff like gaming and browsing web pictures that tablets provide.