What the best laptops for kids? What do you know about the Chromebooks?

We are considering buying the kids collectively a laptop for Christmas, and I am looking for suggestions for durable and fast models with lots of memory that won’t break the bank.

Our home computer that the kids use every day for homework and games is a desktop PC and is at least six years old. It has seen better days. It’s pretty slow bringing stuff up and random music will just cut on for some reason and we can’t figure out where it’s coming from.

Michael has a work computer and I have a work computer. On occasion, we let the kids on our work computers, but we try not to because we don’t want them downloading crazy things or spilling food or drinks on the keyboards.

The main computer I am interested in is the Google Chromebook laptop. It’s been running around $250 at Best Buy, which is the right price if it actually has enough memory, power and speed to do all things they want it to do. I don’t remember seeing a place for a CD/DVD so I’m not sure what is up with that. Walsh is a pretty intense computer user designing worlds on Minecaft and player multi-player games on there. He likes to play Civilization 5 on there and they all watch Netflix and You Tube cartoon and music videos off the Internet.  I would love to move him into designing websites with HTML and CSS but he really likes that Minecraft.

So this is what the Google site says about the two Samsung versions — note the different prices:

“Samsung Chromebook

Thin, light, portable

  • 11.6” display
  • 0.7 inches thin and 2.4 lbs
  • Over 6.5 hours of battery
  • Boots up in less than 10 seconds
  • 100 GB of Google Drive free for 2 years1
  • Samsung Exynos 5 Dual Processor
  • 100 GB Google Drive Cloud Storage2 with 16GB Solid State Drive
  • Built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • VGA Camera
  • 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
  • HDMI Port
  • Bluetooth 3.0™ Compatible

Now this one is the Chromebook 550

  • 12.1” display
  • Less than 1 inch thin and 3.3 pounds
  • Over 6 hours of battery
  • Boots up in less than 8 seconds
  • 100 GB of Google Drive free for 2 years1
  • Optional 3G
  • 12.1″ (1280×800) display
  • 3.3 lbs / 1.48 kg
  • Over 6 hours of battery 1
  • Intel® Core™ processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 100 GB Google Drive Cloud Storage2 with 16GB Solid State Drive
  • Built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Gigabit ethernet, and 3G modem (opt)3
  • HD Camera
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • 4-in-1 memory card slot
  • DisplayPort++ Output (compatible with HDMI, DVI, VGA)
  • Kensington™ key lock compatible

Starting at: $449 “

Does anyone have any experience with the Chromebooks Samsung or otherwise? Are they giving you Google Drive space because the computer can’t store very much or any on its own hard drive so then you’re always working off a cloud or is that just an added benefit?

What reasonably price laptops are you using at home for your kids? Or is it better to have a PC so it doesn’t end up in bed with them at night or dropped? (But then when they want to take a computer to a laptop Minecraft party they want your expensive laptop!)Ugg!

50 comments Add your comment

Greg

December 7th, 2012
6:21 am

A Chromebook is cloud storage only. It is also browser apps only. It doesn’t have a DVD drive because there’s no need for one. It also doesn’t run Windows. If you want some idea of what it is like from your work PC, download Google Chrome and use ONLY that on your PC. That is what a Chromebook is – a computer that only runs Chrome. It won’t play Civilization 5 or Minecraft. It can only play games that run in the Chrome browser. It can stream Netflix and YouTube since those are browser oriented tasks. I think you’ll be disappointed if you get one based on what the current PC does.

Jeff

December 7th, 2012
7:30 am

Thanks Greg.

Kat

December 7th, 2012
7:50 am

We got our kids the little Google pads for about $150 each back in August/September. Each kid has his/her own signature “color” so they don’t get them mixed up. Heaven when taken on an airplane!

catlady

December 7th, 2012
8:16 am

I would not have any computer except a Mac. Has been that way since 1986 for my family.

guy

December 7th, 2012
9:34 am

what’s the best laptop for writing coherent headlines? T needs that one.

motherjanegoose

December 7th, 2012
9:45 am

I know nothing about the best laptops and confer with my tech support, when they are here.
TWG ^^^ ARE

motherjanegoose

December 7th, 2012
9:47 am

A thought….why not ask the students at your college?

Raisin Toast Fanatic

December 7th, 2012
9:50 am

I would not have any computer except a Mac. Has been that way since 1986 for my family.

Not real sure what your point is. Clearly a Macintosh is not in the same price point or requirements level of a Chrome book.

Apples and oranges comparison.

guy

December 7th, 2012
9:55 am

good call. get a macbook air for each kid.

Mayhem

December 7th, 2012
10:28 am

IPAD!!!!!!

I think I’m getting the Mini iPad for Christmas…..not sure, but I’ve got a feeling. We have one of the original iPads, and they are SO Heavy. I’m looking foward to the mini!!!!

Metro Coach

December 7th, 2012
10:48 am

That’s real smart, pay $350 for a mini iPad when you can get a 10 inch Samsung, Acer, or Asus tablet for nearly the same price. If you’re only going to get 1 laptop for all the kids, I’d suggest an Asus. I bought one this past Spring for about $500, with a 17 inch screen, and it runs everything you seem to need very well. It runs Windows 7, but anything you buy now will probably come with Windows 8. There are many good, mid-level price range laptops that are extremely capable of doing the things you want them to do. Don’t listen to the Apple lovers, you can get a Windows machine with a huge (17 to 19 inch) screen for half the price of a 13 inch MacBook Air or Pro. The OS and inner workings do not justify the price for those machines. Get a Dell, Acer, Asus, HP, or even Sony or Samsung. Don’t bother wasting $1300 on a tiny MacBook.

Glenn

December 7th, 2012
11:13 am

Go to slickdeals.net & search laptops . You will find something with less limitations , meaning with storage and a windows OS .

Glenn

December 7th, 2012
11:19 am

Our company computer guy says to go to microcenter & check out there refurbished units . They will be guaranteed for a period as well .

motherjanegoose

December 7th, 2012
12:09 pm

Checking in with my college daughter, who is now home. She is in Terry College of Business at UGA.

She says the following:
It is not financially efficent to buy your kids a cheaper laptop now whenever you will need a nicer one for each of them in HS and college. She recommends getting a tablet for them to share.
If you are getting a tablet, get a Kindle Fire so they can also read books on it.

Yes, the Apple computers are more expensive. She has had friends that had other computers that broke after a year or so. She still has the same Macbook that was purchased 3 years ago. In the long run, it is cheaper to buy one Macbook than multiple computers of other brands. Additionally, you do not have to buy virus protection, but you do have to buy Microsoft software if you want to Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. She also says there are exceptions for every case, so she is not claiming that a Mac cannot get a virus. If you ask the majority of Mac users,they will tell you that they are satisfied with their product.

Ian Ray

December 7th, 2012
12:12 pm

I have a Chromebook and have deployed some at work. For all the various questions, most of the limitations cited can be turned around and viewed as features.

Not playing Minecraft is due to the Chromebook not running Java because Google can’t get Oracle to play ball with a verified Java version like Adobe and verified Flash. Adobe cooperating also means that the verified Flash version running on Chromebook will always be updated to a secure version silently. Only being capable of running verified software is a security feature. (Besides… do you really need another computer for your kids to play video games on?)

The local storage on the Chromebook is not meant to permanently store files, it should be considered as scratch area for syncing files stored in the cloud. In fact, the Chromebook will delete old/rarely opened files automatically when it nears running out of space. The Google Drive integration is directly in the file manager, so permanent storage is as easy as dragging a file into Drive and allowing the upload to complete. Never running out of disk space and encouraging/enabling users to store their files in the cloud are features.

With a Chromebook purchase, you pay for the manufacturer’s markup on the hardware, not third-party software licensing. For instance, the Acer C7 and Acer AO756-2641 are identical except for the keyboard labels with the latter costing $130 more (or 65% more) because it includes the most basic version of Windows. Not paying for software bundled with a hardware purchase is a feature.

I have mostly tested the Chromebook on adults who don’t seem to have any aversion to it. I did test on a teenager yesterday who was almost irate that they could not install X, Y, or Z freeware applications. However, that didn’t stop them from using it for quite a while without once asking how to do something. So, having predefined software capabilities can be a feature even if it goes against what people are used to.

I am happy with these units as they gel with my sensibilities. As a developer who ended up in the role of IT admin, I like that these machines don’t have anything to fuss with and users haven’t had any issues that couldn’t be solved by turning the machine off and on (which takes 10 seconds). The web environment also allows me to focus on what I am good at: developing web-based software. I have read (error-filled) articles written by computer help guys and generic IT admins who describe the Chromebook experience as inherently bad. I think that the reason why people in for-hire computer fixit careers don’t like the Chromebook is because none of their tinker-toy skills apply to the Chromebook or cloud computing and never will.

Voice of Reason

December 7th, 2012
12:34 pm

Get a Dell Inspiron 15. They start at $399 and you can completely customize it to your own preferences. Here, I’ll even give you the link:

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=fndoj35h&model_id=inspiron-15-3520&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&

You’re welcome

Dawg 'n IT

December 7th, 2012
12:46 pm

motherjanegoose,

Your daughter had me until the Apple comments. Most of my Apple using friends spend way too much time visiting local Apple Stores after just about every iOS update because something tends to go wrong. Even after purchasing a new Apple product and trying to migrate or sync data, something tends to go wrong.

My goal is not to bash Apple products but rather to point out that Apple introduces a different set of problems that end up requiring a Genius to fix.

People have varying levels of computing comfort. iOS and Windows both accomplish the same tasks and that is especially true if you’re using a lot of cloud based services via a browser. I’ve been a PC user for 20 years but have supported Apple products and Unix/Linux environments my entire career. Every computer and operating system can have problems no matter what spin comes from the Apple user experience. People are paying a premium for AppleCare for a reason.

If T’s kids are comfortable with a Windows environment on their current desktop then it’s probably more practical to stick with a cheaper Windows based solution since Theresa has already stated she’s on a budget. Buying Apple at this point unnecessarily increases her cost for the desired return on investment. Now when your kids get old enough to get their own computer for high school or college level work, that is probably a better time to invest in a Macbook, if at all.

Theresa may want to elaborate on the purpose of this new purchase. The article suggests that she wants to replace the dinosaur desktop PC with something that performs better. Is it necessary for the new purchase to be a laptop? If not, buy another desktop which will be more powerful than any laptop of the same price. The kids can continue to use the desktop for homework (since they are sharing only 1 can use it at a time so does it really have to be mobile).

Probably the best solution is a multi-stage purchase plan. If you want to introduce your kids to mobile computing then maybe get the replacement desktop first and follow that up with a previous generation iPad, iPod Touch, or used Macbook in the next few months. If you don’t feel the need to go Apple then the Kindle Fire recommendation is valid. I do not know much about Microsoft Surface or Windows RT/8 but I do know an Apple user who fell in love with Windows RT/8 as a mobile platform so there might be sometime to going with a Windows 8 PC/laptop purchase now and a Surface tablet later.

Just remember to make the purchase to satisfy the need and not to “fit in” to a marketing strategy. Good luck!

HB

December 7th, 2012
1:45 pm

It doesn’t sound to me like a tablet would do everything T’s kids need (can the games Walsh plays run on any tablets currently on the market?). Like many have said, go with an inexpensive desktop or laptop with Windows. I love Apple products, but I don’t see any reason to spend that much.

Note: Despite what many believe, Macs are succeptible to viruses. Virus and malware protection software (Gatekeeper) is included in OS X Mountain Lion, so if you haven’t upgraded yet, you may want to consider doing so.

Kat

December 7th, 2012
1:53 pm

I’m always swayed more by the comments that are freely (and with appropriate disclosure) given, rather than the ones that imply a know-it-all attitude.

Atlanta Academic

December 7th, 2012
2:09 pm

Try The Dell Refurbished store on eBay. http://stores.ebay.com/dellfinancial
It is in stores.ebay.com/dellfinancial in case the link above is removed.

I bought the Latitude E6400 and am very happy with it. Very sturdy, long battery life, WIFi, bluetooth capable, 4 gigs of memory, and 250 gig harddrive were value to price purchase points. It comes with Office Starter and Vista Business OS. Shipping is free. Mine was about $200. Watch the bidding and get the best price.

Experience with my kids about sharing was they would not. You might be able to get two for the price of one of the other machines.

Best wishes and good luck.

rm

December 7th, 2012
2:10 pm

helicopter moms

Me

December 7th, 2012
2:11 pm

@Dawg ‘n IT — Really BIG difference in the iOS operating system running on Apple products such as the iPad, iPhone, etc. and the true Unix-based OS X (Lion or whatever) that runs on full-fledged Apple laptops and workstations. You really should not be making comparisions between iOS and Winodws when the better, and more accurate comparision, is between OS X and Windows.

Me

December 7th, 2012
2:14 pm

And, no, a tablet doesn’t even come close to accomplishing what TWG is wanting. And, as for Apple products, a number of the popular games won’t run on the Apple operating systems.
As it relates to the games, etc. most of these have mimimum system requirements such as RAM, Video Card capabilities, sound card capabailites, etc. so, if purchasing with this as a “requirement” best to check to see what “mimimum” laptop you will need and then go from there. It won’t be $250 though – it will be more in the $350-400+ range.

willyboy

December 7th, 2012
2:17 pm

I’m getting my kids a Dell Inspiron 15 for $250.00 from BestBuy. It comes with 2GB of memory so I will eventually add some more myself.

Mr. Geek

December 7th, 2012
2:27 pm

I highly recommend Asus, I just bought my 81 year-old Grandmother a 15.6 inch laptop, with a dual-core AMD processor, 500GB hard drive, multilayer DVD burner, and Windows 7 for under $300. Only draw back was that it only had 2GB of RAM. However, I got a another 2GB RAM card very cheap and it took about 3 minutes to pop it in, so upgraded to 4GB. I have four computers I use daily, two for work, one for school and one for personal use, two HP, a Dell and an Asus. The Asus has had by far the least problems. I’ve also had Gateways and Acer in the past, I definitely don’t recommend these brands.

As for Macs, they’re great if you’re an Apple person, if you have an iPhone, iPad, Mac book, Apple TV, but trying to use Macs with accessories designed for PCs is a pain. There’s less software available (so what there is tends to be pricier). And it’s a tough transition if you’re used to PCs. Plus, most businesses use PCs, so if you want your children to be computer savvy for their future careers learning PC is the way to go.

Actually, my parents bought me a lemon of a Gateway when I was in middle school and spending six years trying to get that to work taught me everything I know about computers. Which is largely the reason why I’m gainfully employed now, when most of my peers have moved back home. So, buy the kids a crappy PC and they won’t have to live with you until they’re 30.

Mr. Geek

December 7th, 2012
2:29 pm

Oh, and stay away from Chromebooks for goodness sake. It’s not a real computer, just an internet terminal. Really, it’s a cell phone with a big screen and a keyboard.

NewsReader4

December 7th, 2012
2:31 pm

Since Walsh is a big game player, you should look at machines that run on AMD processors instead of Intel. The graphics will be better, and the price point will be lower since AMD is the little guy trying to compete with giant Intel.

willyboy

December 7th, 2012
2:39 pm

My wife purchased a ASUS EEE PC that had the RAM soldered to the motherboard. Couldn’t upgrade it. From now own I buy the computers.

Rik Roberts

December 7th, 2012
2:40 pm

And why are UGA people commenting on this. I’ll go ask my daughter who is a CS major at Tech and get a real answer.

Dawg 'n IT

December 7th, 2012
2:50 pm

Me,

I was commenting on the range of options presented in earlier comments. Many people suggested tablets and Apple products in general. motherjane’s daughter recommended the Kindle Fire specifically. I apologize for not mentioning OS X by name but I did not feel the need to since my opinion is that a Macbook (which runs OS X) is not necessary for Theresa’s needs. If anything, I focused on what she already has (Windows) and said that she should get a Windows-based desktop replacement unless she needs a laptop for the kids. I tried to throw Apple some love by stating that if she wanted to expose her kids to Apple products then perhaps the iPod, iPad, or an older Macbook is best suited for them to dabble. OS X isn’t going to do anything that these kids cannot do in Windows which further supports my position to only go Apple if the desire is there in the first place.

Rik Roberts, no self respecting Tech CS Major would waste their time mastering comparing retail PC solutions. They have much bigger fish to fry. People do use computers outside of Georgia Tech you know.

Thanks for playing though.

Atlanta Mom

December 7th, 2012
3:59 pm

May I suggest you reconsider the entire laptop idea? I bought one for my first child and realized the error of my ways. To her room she went, and was never seen again. I had to impose a laptop curfew. Her laptop had to be on my bed by 11 pm.
My other two children had desktops in an area right off the kitchen. Although I never really looked at where they were, the mere fact that I was a few feet away kept them away from some sites (I think).
And finally, with a desktop, you can take the network adaptor out of the machine easily. That means you can cut off the internet at a reasonable hour, and they can still “do their homework”.

Atlanta Mom

December 7th, 2012
4:04 pm

But if you absolutely feel the need for a laptop, may I suggest a warranty from Squaretrade? I never buy warranties, but for a laptop, for a teenager (or younger), I’m guessing it would be money well spent.

[...] seen on other Chromebooks. The keyboard, while still tweaked for Chrome, will take a little …What the best laptops for kids? What do you know about the Chromebooks?Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

tim

December 7th, 2012
4:10 pm

Author theresa……you said your computer is slow……

How often do you do maintenance on your computer

ot don’t you even know how to……..

jw

December 7th, 2012
5:53 pm

2 angles – this is the time of year to use all the box stores, Amazon, newegg, tiger direct and others to see what you can find – set a price range – sounds like 400 is your range. Look for this:

RAM – as much as possible – 4 to 6 is great right now.
Processor – Intel processors are at stage i3/i5/i7 for what you want – for those creating things for design, may want to focus on an i5 or i7 processor. The AMD versions are good to use, also.
Laptops generally don’t have great video cards – see if you can find one with a dedicated card instead of the on board graphics.
Next – get all the storage you can find – if you have to do it, when you retire that ‘box’ buy an enclosure and save that hard drive – great storage – every little bit counts.

The Mac argument will always occur – you can boot Windows on the Mac machine and basically have two computers in one – COST is the issue – but it will hold out for the long term.

Right now, speed isn’t the issue with computers – graphics and storage – most all computers in today’s market have at least dual processors – which is plenty of horsepower for most folks.

Hope I helped a little – I am a Mac user, but cost was my biggest issue when I purchased mine – when I moved from OS 9 to Mac OSX and the old Power PC processor to Intel – it took awhile to save up the cash for my MBP – but I have an HP laptop and build my own desktop – the desktop has about 400 invested and has run swell for nearly 5 years –

Good luck and don’t forget refurbs from the company websites – they tend to have the same warranty, but you can save a bunch of money.

jw

December 7th, 2012
5:57 pm

One last thing – not sure that Google deal can handle the online gaming your children do – take that into consideration. Also, most gamers recognize laptops and wireless connections, lag – that is why I suggested the dedicated video card – my HP and my box have dedicated cards and so does my MacBook Pro – with Windows 7 64 bit running on it.

Tiffany

December 7th, 2012
10:48 pm

I completely agree with Atlanta Mom…with a laptop, the kids do seem to disappear with it, and it is way harder to monitor what they are doing- should a problem arise. Also, the desk top would probably be better for the gaming. I don’t recommend anything expensive for young kids…you are just asking for trouble. Save the Apple laptops and ipads for when they are older. Didn’t Theresa write a while back about how much she hates the Apple store anyway?

Dum-Bass

December 7th, 2012
10:57 pm

No matter what you do, get your kids a computer that automatically, after each hour, shuts down and says on the screen, “go play outside” or “go have a conversation with one or both of your parents”, or “call your grandparents on the phone”. AND it won’t start back up for another 2 hrs. Kids nowdays spend too much time inside and way too much time on computers. There is another world out there and they need to discover it so they can live in it later. Just a little advice from a 65 yr. old male who has a laptop that I realized was taking too much of my time. I now limit myself to 3 hrs. per day. It doesn’t own me, I own it.

motherjanegoose

December 7th, 2012
11:46 pm

@ Rik…haha…point well taken. My daughter is speaking from a consumer standpoint. A Tech CS student would know more about computers. I PERSONALLY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT COMPUTERS, which is why I asked my daughter ( who happens to be at home).

@DawginIT… A large portion of UGA students have Macs and my daughter has never known anyone to have a problem with them but it is good information to know. She respects your input and it is good to have outside opinions.

[...] it offered more usable features for daily use …Acer C7 Chromebook (C710-2847)PC MagazineWhat the best laptops for kids? What do you know about the Chromebooks?Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

homeschooler

December 8th, 2012
8:48 am

I agree with those who say go with a desk top. I bought each of my kids an Acer netbook (? small lap top/no CD drive) last year for Christmas. They are SO slow and like others have said, the kids disappear with them, They drag the cords all over the house etc.. I wish I had spent the 500.00 on a desktop that they could share. It would stay put, charged and I could constantly know what they are doing. Plus my son has had a few things he couldn’t do on the laptop because of not being able to install with a disk. (A Microsoft fight simulator program comes to mind)

dawgfan

December 8th, 2012
1:22 pm

My recommendation is to scrap the laptop idea and buy them some freaking books so they don’t have the attention span of a 5th grader when they are 30 years old.

You’re welcome.

Just a thought,

December 9th, 2012
8:39 am

But use your “work” laptop to take a class in writing. Pay close attention (turn itunes, celine dion down) during the part when they talk about how important it will be when you get a job writing blogs to be able to write a decent headline, let alone an actual article. Pay even closer attention towards the end of the course, right before they ask you to type your name on the printable certificate that says “writer school graduate”, when they tell you to read and edit your own work, especially if in the body of that same work you tell us that you own a “work” computer so that you can write blogs for a living. Or, you can continue. if its your preference, to embarrass yourself, and your family, week after drivel filled week, your call.

Alecia

December 9th, 2012
9:31 am

Tablets-eReaders…I have an IPad and it is used for taking pictures/videos, surfing the net, email, and Angry Birds. My PC is used for “real work” Office applications. We have never had a problem with the IPad. However it is not an all inclusive device. I have been looking for a new eReader for my kid (Nook fried after 1 1/2 yrs). Between the Kindle Fire, Nook Color, IPad mini, and Samsung Galaxy, the Samsung is the obvious winner. The Nook and Kindle have very limited capabilities for photos and music and is nowhere near an iPad. The Galaxy is on an Android platform and can compete with the IPad for the same price as the Nook. Both the iPad and the Galaxy have apps for Kindle and Nook. Then again…It is great for web research an eReading, not writing a paper.

Dawg 'n IT

December 10th, 2012
11:29 am

motherjanegoose,

Let your daughter know I wasn’t trying to bash her or Apple but I warn her and her classmates to be cautious in feeling invincible with Apple products. Cybercrime and 3rd party compatibility are the two big issues facing Apple users. Apple has historically been small potatoes with marketshare in various markets but is surely growing the past decade. As Apple grabs more laptop/desktop users, those users will become bigger targets to things that have caused Windows users problems over the years.

Apple provides a great product experience within its own world via superb interoperability with a range of Apple products. The tradeoff is that you typically must stay fairly close to “home” compared to Windows users who can buy anything under the sun and *try* to make it work (not always successfully which is when problems occur).

The cybercrime issue is more important than 3rd party compatibility though. A lot of people feel that Unix/Linux based operating systems are bullet proof but that is just not true. Big companies spend a lot of resources securing *nix based systems. Here’s how real the concern is for Apple security going forward. Apple knows that with its growing popularity that they and their users will become a bigger target.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/OS-X-Security-Windows-Vista-Kristin-Paget-Hacker,19640.html

The worst thing Apple users can do is let their guard down because they feel that their systems cannot be hacked or that their product will just work for anything and everything they’ll ever need.

Warrior Woman

December 10th, 2012
1:12 pm

@TWG – The Chromebooks are not particularly useful when you might really want to be able to entertain the kids – in the car, for example – as they are Cloud-based with no usable on-device storage. Cloud-based storage increases security risks.

@MJG – Even from a consumer standpoint, your daughter’s advice was bad. Having used iPad 2, iPad 3, Kindle Fire and Nook tablets, the Kindle Fire is subpar. Minimal on-device storage and restrictive in the publishing formats it reads. If not an iPad, go with an Android tablet and use a Nook or Kindle app for reading. You get more capabilities, more on-device storage, and a machine designed more for “real” computing.

@Rik – Ask a GT CS major and you *might* get a good answer regarding technical specifications and theoretical capabilities. You won’t, however, get any usable insights to consumer interactions or satisfaction or actual usability from the vast majority of GT students or grads.

cobbmom

December 10th, 2012
2:38 pm

We bit the bullet and got the new ipad for our daughter. She will be going to college in the fall and can use it for note taking in class now and in college. With the stylus she can write on it and it will wirelessly print. She has the desktop mac for the really heavy work but for carrying to class we felt the more lightweight ipad was the better choice. And with 64gb memory it should hold up for a while.

motherjanegoose

December 10th, 2012
3:21 pm

@ Warrior…there you have it. I know nothing about technology and thus listen to those who have more hands on experience. To me, this is kind of like someone moving to Atlanta and asking where to live. We just went to Midtown yesterday, at the FOX. I would never live there but LOTS of people do. You have to do what works for you!

motherjanegoose

December 10th, 2012
5:50 pm

My daughter is also used to a frugal Mother who would not spend a lot on electronics for a pre-teen.

Wayne

December 11th, 2012
1:15 pm

I’m late to this party but I’d look at the current computer and see what it might need to get it back into shape. Could be just a RAM upgrade and a re-install of the OS. Cheap, and for kids, they don’t need much more than a browser, a free word processing app (heck you can look for a product called Office Starter). Gaming wouldn’t be stellar, but it’d be okay.

Just my thoughts.