Netbooks for kids

Discussion in 'Computers' started by tigerbob, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. tigerbob
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    tigerbob Increasingly jaded.

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    My 12 year old is bugging me for a netbook for Christmas. She's doing more and more school work on a computer so I'll probably get her one. I'm guessing this means Windows 7 (I hate the idea of giving money to Microsoft, but I'm not spending Mac money on a 12 year old). Two questions.

    1. If she's looking at it solely for the simple stuff (surfing, word, powerpoint, excel) is this a good option? Anyone have any experience? Would I be better off getting her a cheap desktop / laptop (if so, I'm leaning towards desktop - cheaper warranties, more reliable, a bit less fragile).

    2. Of course, I'm mindful about the fact that an unmonitored 12 year old can get herself into all kinds of trouble on the internet. Any parents out there have any recommendations for software that should hopefully help keep the bad stuff to a minimum? I'm sure the names I know (CyberSitter, NetNanny) must be years out of date by now.

    Thanks for any input.
     
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  2. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    Spoil her.

    Ever see the commercial where the little girl asks dad if she can go out wih her friends? When she grabs the car keys, she's suddenly a high-schooler. She'll be off to college before you know it. :D

    Speaking of which- if you get a good laptop/notebook it could carry her thru high school and beyond. You never know, she'll soon be writing term papers and constructing spreadsheets, etc.

    Go 4 it, dad.
     
  3. KittenKoder
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    KittenKoder Senior Member

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    Craigslist, just buy local and cash on delivery only, don't order through the mail. Sometimes you get some sweet deals that way.
     
  4. BasicGreatGuy
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    BasicGreatGuy Aut libertas aut mors

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    For what you pay for a Netbook, you can get a full notebook. You can get a nice notebook for her that will do all she needs, for under $400.00
     
  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I'd go for the pc, I don't think it's easy to add programs to the netbooks. You can get one of those extra filter thing.

    She's 6th or 7th grade? All their papers need to be typed. Homework is often online, like a Webquest. (I'd put up one of my own, but too much identifiable information at site.
     
  6. KittenKoder
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    KittenKoder Senior Member

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    Aah ... but netbook has a few things that a notebook doesn't. Netbooks can be connected through cell signals when there is no local wi-fi, notebooks you have to buy a card to do it. Netbooks are also smaller ... but a huge draw back is that they don't have a built in CD drive. So it all depends on needs and wants really, the two balance out in pros and cons.
     
  7. KittenKoder
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    KittenKoder Senior Member

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    Oh, for the "cyber filter" thing, your best bet there is to get rid of IE completely (if possible, Windoze 7 it's impossible now) and install Firefox. There are many blocking plug ins you can install. Personally it would be easier to set up Ubuntu for such, but meh, if you must use Windoze and don't want to (or can't afford) buy a Mac ... I think Windoze 7 recently added the features that Ubuntu has had to prevent surfing to certain "types" of websites.
     
  8. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    I have the Acer Aspire One and it is great for surfing the net, checking emails, but it is not a whole lot of fun to do editing of documents on. (BTW, if you choose to go with a netbook, the Acer uses Windows XP -- go look on Amazon) The screen is relatively small, so if I need to do research, take notes, write reports, stories, etc., I go to the more powerful desktop.

    Just beware of allowing her free reign on the internet. I am not a huge fan of filters because it blocks out too many things. In our home, we have desktops in public areas for the children's use. One homeschooler innocently googled "White House" and lots of unmentionable sites came up. While I do not claim to be as pure as the driven snow, I don't believe pornography is not for kids. Your 12 year old daughter may already be curious as to things related to sex and it is not healthy IMO for your daughter to wade through all the things that are out there in the internet. Also, if she is on Facebook or Myspace, she may get friendship requests from questionable people. I want to trust my daughter too, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
     
  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike VIP Member

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    How about the Crunchpad (assuming it comes out later this month)? $350-400 price tag puts it up above some netbooks, but it also has a coolness factor and people who have tested them say they run fast.
     
  10. tigerbob
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    tigerbob Increasingly jaded.

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    Never heard of it.

    Off to Google I go....
     

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