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  • Laptop for a soon to be 13 year old, what's good / cheap?
  • Premier Icon vintagewino
    Free Member

    He has £160 saved up from birthdays / xmases etc, how much do I need to contribute to get him something reliable? He will use it for social stuff and word processing, there’s a PS4 in the house for gaming. Thanks in advance!

    Premier Icon CHB
    Full Member

    Probably about £300 total for something tolerable.

    Something like this would be OK:

    Currys laptop

    SSD is a faster drive than normal hard drive and makes more difference than a slightly faster processor.
    If you can spend a little more then higher screen resolutions and better battery life and more RAM (memory) become available. My laptop is an i3 processor with 4gb memory and SSD and runs really quickly (its a Microsoft Surface).

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Full Member

    The Lenovo 320 at Currys for £249 is a proper full PC with plenty of storage, will see him easily though A levels etc. Whatever he gets, get him a backup solution, real or cloud.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Full Member

    Rare I recommend the Chromebook route but unless Windows is particularly required for a young teenager that’s where I’d be looking.

    Otherwise whatever Lenovo you feel like buying.

    Premier Icon vintagewino
    Free Member

    I don’t have any experience of Chromebooks, I am a mac user at home and have a windows machine at work. He’s really into writing stuff at the moment and has been using a raspberry pi plugged into an old monitor of late so any laptop will feel like a big step up. Chromebooks are like a browser-based OS, is that right?

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Full Member

    yes. Its also a common platform in schools. Schools often issue google edu accounts to pupils which will go excellently with the chromebook. (All KS2 kids at Stoner Jr’s state primary have google education accounts and the PTA has supplied 20x chromebooks for the school)

    Id be inclined to encourage a child to develop their skills in a cloud environment. Heavy OS overhead approach to workstations and/or home computing is for dinosaurs. They’ll not be working in that environment when they grow up.

    Im an avowed Chromebook shill, but I run two companies wholly within google suite with users on chromebooks. I have 4x chromebooks at home as well as a chromebox as my main desktop. I would never go back to Windows.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    We went sale laptop for £300 plus I fitted SSD to them for all three of ours. They’re Windows with office.

    Personally I would have gone Chromebook, but mrs_oab didn’t want to relearn an OS/office, and at the time Stirling schools were on Windows. The school now has a couple of sets of Chromebooks…

    Premier Icon vintagewino
    Free Member

    Thanks all, will explore down the Chromebook route I think. Cheers.

    Premier Icon z1ppy
    Free Member

    IME chromebooks are well used in primary schools but not at all in secondary, the ones we support supply student with Microsoft account with free associated office downloads. I’d consult with your son about what they use in school, before buying a chromebook.
    If a windows laptop is on the cards, then an I3 as a minimum, and an SSD would be nice but can be upgraded to later.

    Premier Icon Murray
    Full Member

    The Curry’s one looks fine and is upgradeable – see Crucial. Personally, I’d max out the memory and fit a SSD but you could do that later.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Full Member

    a Microsoft account is so as to be able to use online versions of their software….which of course can be done on any hardware platform, even a Chromebook or heaven forfend a Fisher-Price My First Compooter Apple Mac! 😉

    The concept of needing an i3 or SSD as minimum is antediluvian.

    Premier Icon z1ppy
    Free Member

    I3 as a minimum so that it will last a good couple of years, and still be usable, instead of being sucked into the “pentium’s’ are fine” (aka atom/celerons) trap, yes fine for 6 months then a POS.
    SSD’s are not a minimum just a nice piece of technology that you can move up to later.
    TBH online version of office are dire IME, download it and get it’s full potential

    Damn, 20 years of PC support and I’m no longer required eh? Don’t be too smug, major industry still use Windows (& even Mac) PC’s and that won’t be changing any time soon no matter how you spin it. Better to be prepared for real life, instead of being niche.

    Premier Icon km79
    Free Member

    He will use it for going on a voyage of self-discovery, social stuff and word processing

    FTFY. Pay a wee bit extra and get an easy wipe/clean one.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    I doubt the “full potential” of Office or an ability to do his A’levels will be of much importance to a 13-year old.

    Premier Icon iainc
    Full Member

    11 and 15 yr old here, both using chromebooks for similar purposes. Eldest does a lot of incognito surfing…..

    Premier Icon wiggles
    Free Member

    Chromebook sounds ideal.

    I have a user set up for the kids (mine are much younger) that rather than filtering out “bad” websites only allows them on the ones I say they can so nothing slips through the net as it were, If they try to go on anything else I get an email asking me to give permission for them to access it.

    Which I imagine will be an interesting feature when they are older 😯

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    IME chromebooks are well used in primary schools but not at all in secondary

    Better tell Highland council who are 100% Chromebook, free loan to all pupils, upto secondary, and working with colleges to do similar…

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