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Whether they’re used to boost their grades at school, watch their favourite films, or safely explore they’re curious about the world, laptops for children are becoming increasingly common in many tech-savvy homes.
While many homes used to simply allow children to use the family computer, the rise of personal laptops, as well as online threats, has made sharing an unsecured device a risk most parents aren’t willing to take.
What you should look for when buying a kid-friendly laptop
When purchasing a laptop for your children to use, your first consideration should be for what the laptop will be mostly used for. Will it be mostly for homework? For games? Watching movies? Keeping in touch with friends? The answer to this will better help guide what you should purchase since different laptops outrival others based on this.
For example, if you want your kids to be able to watch videos on their laptop or use it for gaming, a laptop with a bigger screen will benefit them more. On the other hand, if you are looking to provide your much younger child with a computer, consider something like the Discovery Kids Teach ‘N’ Talk Exploration laptop. This laptop doesn’t provide the functionality of a traditional laptop but instead offers interactive teaching games.
You should ideally look for a model that is portable can fit easily in a school bag. Laptops weighing under 3.5 pounds will be better for your child’s growing body and will make it easier to transport.
Storage will also depend on what your child is using the laptop for. 32GB should be a safe amount for most children, but you can also err on the side of caution by getting a model that allows expanded storage through a multi-format SD media card reader.
Tablets vs. laptops
Some parents may consider buying a tablet as equivalent to buying a laptop, but that’s just not the case and may end up being a waste of money in the end.
Tablets are portable PCs, similar to laptops, except that they utilize a touchscreen instead and lack some other input/output capabilities that laptops have. While tablets will often have better battery life and portability, laptops will beat them hands down on performance and task abilities.
Laptops are much better suited to schoolwork than tablets, with their attached keyboards and greater storage and RAM. Kids laptops have also become much more affordable these days and will be the most efficient spend when considering productivity work, schoolwork and gaming.
Parental controls can be a very important feature for those shopping for a device for their children. These controls allow you to limit your child’s access to forbidden sites. It’s important to periodically check the passwords on these settings to make sure that your child hasn’t disabled them.
While many kids laptops come with security settings or can have programs easily installed, it’s also important to start the discussion early about boundaries and online security so that you build a good rapport with your children concerning what they do and see on the Internet.
What parental controls do you have in place for your tech savvy kids?
Are your laptops kid friendly?
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*This is a guest post