Recommend a laptop for my 8 yo

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
Tenesmus83
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:32 pm

Recommend a laptop for my 8 yo

Post by Tenesmus83 »

He's into gaming, but i'm not buying a gaming laptop. I'm thinking of something that will last him until maybe 18.
Something solid, for school work, programming, and maybe some games. Not planning to spend more than $800 on
this. I will probably look for a discount on black friday.
abracadabra11
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 2:09 pm

Re: Recommend a laptop for my 8 yo

Post by abracadabra11 »

A laptop to last 10 years? I recommend a cheap Chromebook now and then buy a proper laptop once he's in high school.
finite_difference
Posts: 2206
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:00 pm

Re: Recommend a laptop for my 8 yo

Post by finite_difference »

MacBook. Should last close to 10 years.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
02nz
Posts: 6053
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Recommend a laptop for my 8 yo

Post by 02nz »

Does he actually need a laptop? None is likely to last anywhere near 10 years if used by a child. (Go find a 2010-vintage MacBook Air and see how usable it is.) Best value for something that will actually last close to 10 years would be a corporate desktop like Dell OptiPlex or Lenovo ThinkCentre, maybe slightly used. Good refurbs available on eBay for <$300, add keyboard, mouse, monitor, maybe some upgrades and you're at maybe $600. That really will likely last at least 5-7 years, maybe 7-10.

If it must be a laptop, I would get this one: https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Display-Gra ... 07RF1XD36/. But will need to add at least 4GB of RAM to run well (easy and cheap). Don't expect it to last longer than 3 years or so, maybe 5 if he treats it very gently.

An alternative would be a new or gently-used ThinkPad from the X, X1 or T lines, these are probably the best-built Windows laptops available but new ones usually start around at least $1K, occasionally something will be on sale for a bit less.
Last edited by 02nz on Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
squirm
Posts: 3077
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Recommend a laptop for my 8 yo

Post by squirm »

I bought our kids cheap windows laptops. I wanted then to become very familiar with windows since that's what the majority of work places use.
There were rules with it too.
Broken Man 1999
Posts: 5589
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am
Location: West coast of Florida, inland on high ground!

Re: Recommend a laptop for my 8 yo

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

You might check to see what your son's school district uses.

When our grandkids were doing online learning, the district was lending Chrome books, so we purchased Chrome books for them. The District had shortages, and we preferred the units to go to the students who needed them.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go. " -Mark Twain
confusedinaz
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:01 pm

Re: Recommend a laptop for my 8 yo

Post by confusedinaz »

Why not a gaming laptop? I bought my kid a gaming laptop for under $800. Sure, it doesn't have the specs of what I'd buy for myself, but it's been plenty for his use. Gaming laptops are usually a better deal for the video card performance alone.

Here's a decent example that is in your budget:
https://www.costco.com/msi-gf75-thin-g ... 79310.html

You can also keep an eye out on slickdeals.net for decent bargains.

As others have mentioned, the chance of any laptop being relevant in 10 years is pretty low. However, a gaming laptop has a better chance than a low end productivity machine.
02nz
Posts: 6053
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Recommend a laptop for my 8 yo

Post by 02nz »

If you want to get something that's good for light to medium gaming but not a dedicated gaming laptop (which tend to be heavy and bulky), I would recommend looking for something with a Ryzen processor (4000 series preferred, but 3000 series is also ok, which the Acer I linked above has), as they have better integrated graphics than comparable Intel processors. Or an Intel 10th or 11th-gen processor would also work, but make sure it has Iris or Xe graphics (the latter is probably the best available integrated graphics). The Intel UHD Graphics that some Intel processors still come with is pretty terrible for even light gaming.
User avatar
cockersx3
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:55 pm

Re: Recommend a laptop for my 8 yo

Post by cockersx3 »

Will your son need (or want) to use it at school? If so, a Chromebook would be my first option. The batteries on these things easily last all day, which is important at school since the kids will likely not have the opportunity to charge it. Also, an elementary of middle school is a tough environment for a laptop. It's very easy for the thing to get damaged from kids horsing around (not your kid, but other kids nearby), and there is a higher risk of theft at school. A Chromebook would solve these concerns as well, since they're really not that expensive if you end up having to replace it.

In general, most public schools I know are fully integrated into the Google ecosystem. Kids nowadays don't even know how to use Microsoft Office, since they all use Google Docs / Sheets / Slides / etc for all their classwork. As a result I would think seriously about a Chromebook since all those tools seem to work well with Google apps. They should work with any web-based games, and you can also code with them using web-based IDE's.
Finridge
Posts: 794
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 7:27 pm

Re: Recommend a laptop for my 8 yo

Post by Finridge »

Get a chromebook at a fraction of the price of a Mac or Windows laptap.
Gadget
Posts: 457
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:38 pm

Re: Recommend a laptop for my 8 yo

Post by Gadget »

My 7 year old uses a Lenovo Chromebook duet. While the keyboard is a little small for me, and the screen is a little small, it suits a little kid's small hands and good eyesight.

And best of all, it's a super small and lightweight chromebook that can convert to a tablet with a detachable keyboard. Easy to fit in her backpack and haul around. Just $300, even if you can't find it on sale.

USI stylus can be hard to find, but the one I have works great with it for my 7 year old to do homework on.
Kookaburra
Posts: 486
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:14 pm

Re: Recommend a laptop for my 8 yo

Post by Kookaburra »

For an 8 yo, I’d recommend a good pair of sneakers, a baseball mitt and ball, and a loving push outdoors. They’ll have their whole life to live in screen world.
workoutexcite
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:27 pm

Re: Recommend a laptop for my 8 yo

Post by workoutexcite »

Raspberry PI 4.
Post Reply