Health & Medical Adolescent Health

Choosing a Computer for the Kids

Walk into any electronics retail store for a new laptop and you'll quickly come to realise that the computing world has completely transformed.
There are more brands, more models and so many types of portable notebooks to choose from - sometimes it's hard to know where to begin.
If you're looking for a computer for work, you'll usually have a fairly good idea of how you'll use the computer and how much space and power you'll need.
But when it comes to a laptop or computer for the kids - it could be a little bit more confusing.
No doubt your kids will have their own ideas about what they need.
While it is important that they have advanced capabilities to help them with schoolwork, you'll also want to make sure that they're computer experience is safe and productive.
Consider these points:
  1. Desktop vs laptop - if you have younger children in the household, you'll want to keep a close eye on their computing.
    One way to do this without infringing on their privacy is to get a desktop computer and keep it in one of the common areas of the house, such as the kitchen, rather than having the computer sitting in the kids' rooms.
    Meanwhile, a laptop that is more portable means older kids can take them to school to take notes and to complete assignments.
  2. Features vs Fluff - your kids will probably have their own ideas on what sort of features they'll want for their laptop; some models are boosted with additional power for gaming while others seem like they have been designed to be a fashion accessory more than a learning tool! Do your own research before you commit to any machine.
    Keep in mind that even though netbooks are more portable, they'll require an external DVD or CD-rom drive while laptops will usually be much more powerful and be compatible with the latest software.
  3. Software and accessories - if you're looking for a new computer, it's not just about the machine - most computers only come pre-loaded with the most basic software, and programs such as Microsoft Office will have to be purchased separately.
    You'll also want to look into accessories such as laptop bags, spare batteries, microphones or webcams depending on what you'll need.
Stay up to date Meanwhile, the latest developments in computing technology can make it harder to stay up to date.
Kids especially will have evolving needs as they move through their academic career.
Instead of buying a machine outright, laptop finance gives you the flexibility to upgrade your equipment at the end of your lease term - so your kids can get the exact computers they'll need to become a computer programmer, music producer, graphic designer, architect or engineer.

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