What type of new PC should you get for your kids?
MOST HELPFUL POSTS
Are you paying attention Billy? These women are taking a post SPONSORED by Windows...and suggesting a Dell...a Mac...
wow. Says a lot doesn't it!
I think if Windows were to design a computer FOR a child...the child's age should be taken into account. Toys and drinks are going to be death to this machine. There shouldn't be a port on the machine large enough for peanut butter sandwiches. Take the hole out of the CD ROM tray so it's not confused with a cup holder, PLEASE?
Administrative settings should be hidden and password protected...to keep the child from adjusting the parenting restrictions. I think the keyboard should be very simple..with no buttons on it that adjust the computer's settings. (My two year old turned my screen SIDEWAYS with the click of a button on my keyboard.) Many of those buttons do NOT belong on a child's machine. Maybe a volume button...a mute button...but after that...keep it simple.
I know today's big thing is wireless...but I think the mouse and the keyboard should be tethered. What good is an awesome new computer if you can't find the mouse?
I think it should have a strong video card...to support games and videos. I think it should have a good sound card too. What good is it to watch a great new movie on Netflix if your sound card sucks and you have to hug the machine to be able to HEAR the dang thing. Kids won't pay attention if they can't hear it.
I think it should have parental settings that require a parent to be involved in the installation of a new game.
I think internet access should be seriously limited...and under the total control of the parent.
A nice gps tracking device would be nice...to help with theft/loss/runaways.
Maybe a glorified keylogger to let parents actually WATCH what their children are doing. (Kids do NOT surf the internet the same way with their parents around as they do when they can hear you in the kitchen clanking dishes)
Maybe a timed shutoff...the machine will only run for an allotted amount of time, to prevent a child from sitting there for 16 hours playing a mindless game. (My issue was with a 15 year old boy on the computer ALL night.)
Some awesome software that could mimic adult programs...like a child's version of picture editing software, maybe something that mimics SAM broadcaster..(any little DJ's out there?) A primary 'game' that teaches them to type correctly, or even something as extravagant as letting the kids write tiny scripts of code...and then SEE their work come to life. (could encourage a programmer or coder) Maybe a video game about a 'sick' e-person...and the child's job is to determine what treatments work to heal the e-patient. (medical field)
Instead of all the video games being about shooting people and flipping their cars...maybe video games can tap a child's imagination and find a passion that could grow into a CAREER.
I seriously hope what I've said here is productive...I have been dealing with WINDOWS full-time since 98. I have raised two teenagers (now adults) and I have two 9 year old twin girls...and a two year old. I have seen my share of computer issues with five kids!
Laura - posted on 05/20/2011
My soon-to-be ex owns a computer repair shop and always recommends getting a low-end, basic computer for young kids. I agree with him on that suggestion. He has repaired computers that have had Jenga blocks shoved into the CD ROM drive and other odd finds on the inside of the tower case! If your child is 8 - 10 years old, then a new machine could be in order. Don't spend lots of money on a top of the line machine--get a basic machine that has the neccessary specs to run Windows 7. Hope this helps and good luck!
Anne - posted on 05/29/2011
We are a Mac family...They are very user friendly! My daughter (5 years old) knows how to get to all her games, netflix, and even skype with far off relatives. Plus, they don't get virus'. If you get the apple care anything that happens to it will be covered for them to fix. Otherwise, you can get a personal Articles insurance policy from you insurance company for 30-40 a YEAR and cover the computer, any cameras, anything of value. If it gets stolen, broken, etc. My daughter spilled a drink on my laptop and they replaced it for free. Apple actually started targeting kids in school back when computers were very complicated even for adults. Parents would be astonished when their kid came home saying they used a computer when the parent didn't know how to. Macs are amazing and well worth the money...
Samone - posted on 05/29/2011
I find it odd that noone mentioned the computers they have for toddlers that mimic pc's but are better protected and less breakable. I agree that you should purchase a pc based on age. However, you should also purchase a pc based on what you want it to do, and if you can afford it, is the child responsible enough to take care of it, and is the child techno advanced. PC's are very easy to hack, if you child really knows what he/she is doing no amount of parental controls or keyloggers is going to work. However, Mac's require alot more effort, they are cleaner and faster running systems, have less problems and its harder to bypass the built in fail safes. So basically what i'm saying is to do your research first, and sit down and figure what it is that you want for child & if you and they are ready for the responsibility.
Anne - posted on 06/07/2011
I would get a laptop, not desktop. It takes up a lot less space and is easy to take away from your kids, or store in a desk drawer.
I agree that I wouldn't buy a new one. When we get new laptops, the old ones usually go to the kids.
My 7-year old has my husband's old Apple laptop. She navigates it like a pro.
Shawnn - posted on 06/06/2011
Marley, your link about the "experts" posting about screen time has nothing to do with computers. Computers are AIDS for kids with ADHD, and low manual dexterity, as the keyboard interaction helps with fine motor skills, and the variety of programs available can help contend with attention spans.
And. you forget that, in this day and age, children are NOT taught how to do things by hand, but on a computer, calculator or other stupid electronic device. Do I agree with that? Not at all, but that is the way the world is going.
Why would you assume that, because someone is asking advice about "what kind", they are automatically going to prop their child up in front of it for an extended period of time? That's just not using common sense. My kids have had computer access since they were old enough to comprehend how to use it. They are not sedentary kids, they are very active! They use the computers for what they need to, and for gaming on a limited basis, but we also set restrictions (not only on the computer itself) for time spent sitting in front of it, what is played/viewed, etc.
Marley - posted on 06/05/2011
None. At least not until reading what health practitioners have to say about screen time: http://www.limitv.org/health.htm Then we can make healthy choices and set realistic boundaries. I also recommend reading these books: http://www.ringingcedars.com/ The teach us a lot about raising children, the main character in this account, Anastasia, is the ultimate mother for many people all over the world. Good luck!
Jessica - posted on 06/04/2011
All my children actively use my IPad from everything to help spelling, working on math skills and reading when I cannot sit with them one on one. (I have four, can be a balancing act). But becuase they are touch screen and easy to figure out I'm all for tablets in general; escpecially apple's.
Shawnn - posted on 06/03/2011
If you are looking for a good PC, don't get the new one for the kiddo, unless they are helping pay. In our house, the new one goes to my disabled hubby, his old one goes to oldest son, and HIS old one goes to younger son.
That being said, my eldest saved for a laptop (HP), and I paid for 1/2, because it was "needed" according to the school district. He hasn't used it once at school, but after he had it for a bit, i bought my own laptop, because I like the portablility of it.
As far as parental controls, they are on EVERY computer, and as long as you set your child up with their own login that is controlled, you are set.
I wouldn't spend the money on a dell, gateway or mac, though, when you can get exactly the same warranty, customer service and programming for much less with HP. And, HP has a warranty that protects against "Kid damage" such as the proverbial peanut butter sandwich in the disc drive...
Crystal - posted on 06/01/2011
As for macs being more expensive, you have to take a detailed look at what you are getting. Mac does not make machines comparable to say an e-machine. A mac runs twice as fast on the same processor as a pc because the operating system is half the size. As far as investment goes, i used to throw twice as much into my pc's with antivirus and software, macs come with most of what you want to run it. The machine is also insanely more stable, my oldest Mac is 7 yrs old and runs as good as the day I bought it!! Not a single glitch, system error or anything! This is an article on the subject: http://m.computerworld.com/s/article/902...
Meg - posted on 05/31/2011
There are many good makes and models out there. An important consideration is what are they doing with a computer. If it is just for games, I would suggest limit time on it and encourage non screen activities. Whether they have there own or using the "house" computer, It should be in a place where it is public. There are too many spyware, viruses and bad actors out there. Our six year old gets a half hour a day for computer time. It is located in our room. I know what games he plays and sites he visits.
Crystal - posted on 05/29/2011
Seriously I have used both macs and pc's and I would never get my kids a pc... I would also never get them a new Mac. With how vulnerable pc's are to spyware, viruses etc it makes our kids more suceseptible to predators of all kinds, marketing, sexual, eyedroppers. Macs have much much more flexible parental controls, even for really little kids. You can restrict only a few programs to open, they can have their own special dock where their icons are big and centered and don't move on the desktop. You can restrict anything you can on a pc and more with the added safety of almost no viruses, spyware and added parental controls. Good luck too you with whatever you choose.
Amanda - posted on 05/29/2011
My daughter got a netbook for her 6th birthday from me & her father. It was fairly cheap, its small and easy to hold/use. Great parental controlls as well. Is a PC. I don't have to worry about her crashing my computer because she's has her own to play her games and watch vdeo, and all downloads are blocked without consent and my password. Its perfect and she loves it.
Ashley - posted on 05/27/2011
First of all, get a "PC". Mac hardware is soooo expensive. There isn't any reason to get a MAC unless you just want a computer that looks nice. Programs that run in OS 10 only can be run on a PC if you know someone that can build you a hackintosh. If you just want a computer that will be good for kids and is very resistant to malware/viruses, install EdUbuntu. It's a Linux based operating system. You can easily have logins for each kid, withold administrative privileges, avoid nearly all viruses (my linux box has never gotten a virus), put parental controls on, etc. Also, all Linu software (and even the operating system) is free. There is an archive of programs kids can acess and install/uninstall with the click of a button. Many of the games are educational. Anyway, check it out. EdUbuntu will save you tons of money and.... NO VIRUSES!!!!! :)
Bevely - posted on 05/25/2011
We recently got our kids ages 9 and 7 a refurbished gobook laptop from ebay. It was under $300, and it is almost unbreakable. My husband uses these at work, and his has fallen off the back of his work truck going down the highway and survived. They can surf the net, play games, and watch DVDs on it.
Christina - posted on 05/25/2011
Um I agree with most moms on this b/c my son who occasionally uses my computer has went through three ps2s. If you have a computer already give them the old one and get yourself a new one b/c no matter how "mature" a kid they are still a kid and not capable of takeing care of a computer like an adult so more than likely it will get messed up. So good luck with your issue and I hope this helps
Brittany - posted on 05/25/2011
I guess it depends on how old your "kid" is. There is a huge push for technology in this day and age, and children are not exempt from that push. For my little ones, I think I will allow them to use the family computer first to familiarize themselves with the equipment. When they are in their teenage years, I want to be able to help them earn MacBooks. My husband and I are into music, and we hope our children will be creative, too. We have been told that Macs are the best for sponsoring creativity. I would have them contribute to the cost to teach them responsibility, though
Christy - posted on 05/22/2011
I know Mac's are more expensive, but they're harder to break! My kids are currently using PC style laptops and they are constantly getting viruses and malware, which required constant maintenance and frustration. My current Mac is 5 years old and I have had next to no troubles with it compared to the ones my kids are using. If it helps any, I do let my kids use my Mac occasionally! Good luck!
Tammy - posted on 05/21/2011
My seven year old has started asking for a laptop. He wants it so that he can play games in his room. To be honest I can't argue much, a lap top that could run anything I allow him to play runs the same as a new gaming system. I'd look into a Dell or Gateway referb. They come with the same warranty as new and are a good bit cheaper.
My son wont be getting his for some time because we've laid out a few guidelines and made them his own responsibility to meet them. The two being that he keeps his DS picked up and learns to type. Laptops double for so much these days too. DvD player, TV (we have Netflix) research.
If you are looking for specs I'd go to sony or another game site and read the min. requirements for what ever their major game is atm and make sure it can meet those. Windows comes with parent controls that and a good anti virus is about all you need.
Michelle - posted on 05/20/2011
None, unless you have money. If I was to buy a new PC it won't be for my kids. It'll be for me. They can have the old one.
The questions to ask would be how old are the kids and what do they need it for? Then decide on what to get.
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