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How to Choose a Kid-friendly Laptop Computer

        Tech | Tech for Kids

At what age you should buy a child his own laptop and how many bells and whistles does a young boy really need?
At what age you should buy a child his own laptop and how many bells and whistles does a young boy really need?
Photodisc/Thinkstock

Back in the day, computer classes were for college and high school students, and maybe, junior high kids. Now, pre-k and preschool tots are becoming fluent in technology before formal school even starts. This means we have to equip our kids -- very early -- so they'll be at ease with computers at home and in the classroom.

As the age of learning computers has become younger and younger, the size of the computers themselves has become smaller and smaller, too. Some of us still have a behemoth in the corner somewhere that works just fine, and we dabble in PDAs and tablets, but how can we choose the best computer for our children? How much hardware, software and memory do kids need to do whatever it is they do with computers? Do kids' computers need to be adaptable and long-lasting or are they bound to have a short life because, well, kids will be kids?

At some point in their education, it's likely that a laptop will just be par for the course at school. Netbooks and notebooks can be grouped with laptops, but some may not have enough features and memory to grow with the advancing needs of school-age children.

So let's look at some specifications: At what age you should buy a child his own laptop and how many bells and whistles does a young boy or girl really need to get started?