If you have just promised your child a laptop for their birthday chances are that they are bouncing around the living room unable to contain their excitement. It can be tempting to give in to their demands and purchase the one your child considers to be incredible. But choosing a laptop for kids is a tricky task, and it is one that should not be taken lightly. So do not just buy the first laptop on sale. Try to comprehend the child’s need for the laptop and how they intend to use it.

How Does Your Child Intend to Use the Laptop?

The first step is to talk to your child and create a list of uses for the laptop. It is most probably going to be a mixture of watching videos, some school work, playing games, connecting with friends, and internet browsing. Although this is all the things your child will do on their laptop, don’t settle on anything just yet.

Since primarily the laptop is for educational purposes, it might be wise to talk to a school teacher to get their perspective on the idea. That said, don’t blindly follow their advice. After considering your child’s and the school’s needs, use your best judgment to make the right choice. Here are four things you should keep in mind while making the purchase.

Deciding on the Specifications

The internal specifications of a laptop are vital, but most laptops can handle the day to day tasks of a child. Unless your kid is a professional gamer or Youtuber, don’t waste your time with specifications. A moderate laptop with an Intel Core i5 processor with 4 GB of RAM and 500 GB of storage should suffice. Having said that, if your child needs more power, you will need an Intel Core i7 or i9 with 8 GB of RAM and upwards of 500 GB of storage. However, it is highly unlikely that they are ever going to use all that processing power.

Selecting an Operating System

Choosing the right operating system mainly depends on personal preference. That said, if you use Apple MacOS at home, and if your child already has an iPhone, it makes sense to purchase a MacBook to get seamless integration. However, keep in mind that Apple laptops are significantly more expensive than the ones running Windows platform. Also, Windows laptops are highly customizable and have more widely used productivity programs like Microsoft Office.

Build and Battery

After you have decided on the Platform and specifications, the next important aspect of choosing a laptop for kids should be build quality and battery life. If your child is always on the move, consider a relatively thin laptop, which has low weight and is durable enough to withstand regular wear and tear. Moreover, a laptop with a large battery and power optimization will help them out immensely.

On the other hand, if the laptop is going to be mostly stationary, settle for a cheaper option. Cheaper laptops generally have the same performance as an expensive laptop but are relatively heavier and not so comfortable to carry around. Cheap laptops also either compromise on performance or battery to justify their affordable price. The choice is yours to make.

Security

First and foremost, kids should only have access to the internet under strict adult supervision. Although the internet is a useful tool, their innocent minds are not aware of the inherent dangers that are involved and hence will most likely click the first shiny thing that pops up in their internet browser. This is a recipe for disaster, and it is the most common way viruses enter the computer.

Choosing a laptop with good anti-virus software and an inbuilt parental control program is of paramount importance. Most schools nowadays provide regulated internet access to children that reduce their exposure to harmful websites. Despite this, if your child finds unfiltered access to the internet, you will undoubtedly appreciate having parental control and site blockers on the laptop.

A laptop is an incredible tool to help children learn. Even though some negative aspects might make you skeptical about the idea of buying a laptop for your child, the benefits outweigh the risk. Just keep the above points in mind when choosing a laptop for kids and let the learning begin.

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