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Hammie
Nov 2, 2012, 01:39 PM
My son is interested in getting a Mac laptop. I decided to go halves with him and this Christmas may be the time.

His needs, for an 11 year old, are pretty basic.

- Word processing and publishing for school
- Photo editing
- Web browsing
- Gaming -- Minecraft and Roblox
- Programming -- Lua

The MBA in question is the 13" 2.0GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD.



surfer17
Nov 2, 2012, 01:41 PM
First off, you're a GENEROUS dad!

Second, that's more than powerful a Mac needed for those tasks but it'll last longer too. Buy away!

oldtime
Nov 2, 2012, 02:42 PM
That should suit his needs for a good while.

cgk.emu
Nov 2, 2012, 03:02 PM
My son is interested in getting a Mac laptop. I decided to go halves with him and this Christmas may be the time.

His needs, for an 11 year old, are pretty basic.

- Word processing and publishing for school
- Photo editing
- Web browsing
- Gaming -- Minecraft and Roblox
- Programming -- Lua

The MBA in question is the 13" 2.0GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD.

Get a desktop unless you want that laptop destroyed.

orangezorki
Nov 2, 2012, 03:20 PM
First off, you're a GENEROUS dad!

Second, that's more than powerful a Mac needed for those tasks but it'll last longer too. Buy away!

What he said - but do consider what he wouldn't destroy. I don't know him, so he could be ultra careful, or he could be like many kids and have the potential to destroy a bomb shelter in short order. Only you know him, but the MBA, though well made and designed, is far to thin and delicate to survive for long if thrown around in a school bag. Though going halves is a really good idea - generous, but he has enough investment in it to be careful.

Have you considered either a 13" Macbook Pro or an iMac, or Mac Mini? - if he doesn't take it to school, any would be more robust and offer better value. Also, if he does need to carry it around, the 11" may seem much more portable, and is available with the same 'guts'. Of course, if he is 6 foot tall, like some toddlers seem to be these days, disregard that last suggestion.

If he does get the MBA, make sure you at least get to do the grumpy dad thing and tell him how lucky he is. I'm only 29, and when I was 11, I was rocking a 486 25Mhz desktop, so advanced that it was called the 'Multimedia' version, because it had a sound card and a 1x CD ROM drive.

David

DrumApple
Nov 2, 2012, 04:24 PM
Your 11 year old son is programming? What is he the next Bill gates!? :D

13" MBA is more than capable for those needs.

jrasero
Nov 2, 2012, 04:26 PM
Great computer. It's the same one I have!

For 11 year old I would go with the 11" though and you would save some money

Hammie
Nov 2, 2012, 06:47 PM
Thanks to everyone who commented. Following are some of my responses.

Get a desktop unless you want that laptop destroyed.

Portability is more important than a desktop. We had the desktop, but the way our house is laid out, it is not really conducive to accommodate a desktop station. The old Dell desktop that we had was stored in a closet and brought out to the kitchen table when needed to be used.

What he said - but do consider what he wouldn't destroy. I don't know him, so he could be ultra careful, or he could be like many kids and have the potential to destroy a bomb shelter in short order. Only you know him, but the MBA, though well made and designed, is far to thin and delicate to survive for long if thrown around in a school bag. Though going halves is a really good idea - generous, but he has enough investment in it to be careful.

Have you considered either a 13" Macbook Pro or an iMac, or Mac Mini? - if he doesn't take it to school, any would be more robust and offer better value. Also, if he does need to carry it around, the 11" may seem much more portable, and is available with the same 'guts'. Of course, if he is 6 foot tall, like some toddlers seem to be these days, disregard that last suggestion.

If he does get the MBA, make sure you at least get to do the grumpy dad thing and tell him how lucky he is. I'm only 29, and when I was 11, I was rocking a 486 25Mhz desktop, so advanced that it was called the 'Multimedia' version, because it had a sound card and a 1x CD ROM drive.

David

My kids have grown up around electronics. They each have an iPad and have had iPod's in the past. I have high-end speakers in my media room and they just know not what are toys and what are not.

Even though they have been lucky to have these items, they still appreciate them. Early on, they have lost items for a long time to help them understand they need to take care of them.

Your 11 year old son is programming? What is he the next Bill gates!? :D

13" MBA is more than capable for those needs.

Yes, I couldn't believe it either when he asked me to download a Lua Programming book for him (it was through the Amazon Kindle app).

Actually, the largest age group for Lua programming are 8-14 year olds. Based on some research, it is a "gateway" language to others such as Java, C, etc.

My 9 year old is also programming and wants to be a software designer when he grows up. Once I told him everything that needs computer programming (which is almost everything now a days), he was super excited.

I'm a network engineer, so they have been exposed to various routers and switches and servers laying around the house over the years. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. :D

Great computer. It's the same one I have!

For 11 year old I would go with the 11" though and you would save some money

Thanks. I was hoping it would be for his needs.

The two reasons I chose the 13" MBA was because his current dying laptop is a 15" and the 13" MBA was only around $50 more than the 11" MBA.

I did a price comparison for each model with as close to the same configuration. Each one I chose the best processor and this was what I came up with:

- 11" MBA = $1927
- 13" MBA = $1977
- 13" MBP = $2177
- 13" rMBP = $2477
- 13" rMBP (maxed) = $3477
- 15" MBP = $3298
- 15" rMBP = $3427
- 15" rMBP (maxed) = $4127

TheRichboy247
Nov 2, 2012, 09:38 PM
I say you should go for the base MBA. The spec'd model might be a bit too much.

calvol
Nov 2, 2012, 11:15 PM
Get him a cheap Dell and put Linux on it. He'll learn a lot more that way.

Insilin1i
Nov 2, 2012, 11:34 PM
If that is going to be his main machine for a long while time I would go with it.

If that was only his portable machine I would recommend something like the base model instead.

Lukewarmwinner
Nov 3, 2012, 02:11 AM
Thanks to everyone who commented. Following are some of my responses.



Portability is more important than a desktop. We had the desktop, but the way our house is laid out, it is not really conducive to accommodate a desktop station. The old Dell desktop that we had was stored in a closet and brought out to the kitchen table when needed to be used.



My kids have grown up around electronics. They each have an iPad and have had iPod's in the past. I have high-end speakers in my media room and they just know not what are toys and what are not.

Even though they have been lucky to have these items, they still appreciate them. Early on, they have lost items for a long time to help them understand they need to take care of them.



Yes, I couldn't believe it either when he asked me to download a Lua Programming book for him (it was through the Amazon Kindle app).

Actually, the largest age group for Lua programming are 8-14 year olds. Based on some research, it is a "gateway" language to others such as Java, C, etc.

My 9 year old is also programming and wants to be a software designer when he grows up. Once I told him everything that needs computer programming (which is almost everything now a days), he was super excited.

I'm a network engineer, so they have been exposed to various routers and switches and servers laying around the house over the years. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. :D



Thanks. I was hoping it would be for his needs.

The two reasons I chose the 13" MBA was because his current dying laptop is a 15" and the 13" MBA was only around $50 more than the 11" MBA.

I did a price comparison for each model with as close to the same configuration. Each one I chose the best processor and this was what I came up with:

- 11" MBA = $1927
- 13" MBA = $1977
- 13" MBP = $2177
- 13" rMBP = $2477
- 13" rMBP (maxed) = $3477
- 15" MBP = $3298
- 15" rMBP = $3427
- 15" rMBP (maxed) = $4127

That really sounds like great parenting. I've seen kids toying round with their iPad and iPhone and drop them with worrying about consequences, and it brakes my heart every time. I work a lot to afford these products, and to see them just take it for granted makes me wanna yell at those parents.. Those parents want their kids to have the best products, not because they think it's a good idea, but their kids becomes a brand and won't get mocked or what not, for not having iOS-devices. That's sick!

Wow, sorry for the out burst :)

Back to topic; I would also chose a base configuration. It'll handle everything just fine.

Hammie
Nov 3, 2012, 05:03 PM
That really sounds like great parenting. I've seen kids toying round with their iPad and iPhone and drop them with worrying about consequences, and it brakes my heart every time. I work a lot to afford these products, and to see them just take it for granted makes me wanna yell at those parents.. Those parents want their kids to have the best products, not because they think it's a good idea, but their kids becomes a brand and won't get mocked or what not, for not having iOS-devices. That's sick!

Wow, sorry for the out burst :)

Back to topic; I would also chose a base configuration. It'll handle everything just fine.

Not sure if your post is slamming me or commending me...

Anyway, I try not to purchase any computer with the base processor and memory. So, we will be looking at the 2.0 processor and the 8GB RAM. Based on his current HDD usage, the 256GB SSD should be more than fine.

Thanks to everyone who helped out.

yanksrock100
Nov 3, 2012, 05:36 PM
I think the $1199 base model will be more than fine for anyone, especially an 11 year old.

Lukewarmwinner
Nov 4, 2012, 01:08 AM
Not sure if your post is slamming me or commending me...

Anyway, I try not to purchase any computer with the base processor and memory. So, we will be looking at the 2.0 processor and the 8GB RAM. Based on his current HDD usage, the 256GB SSD should be more than fine.

Thanks to everyone who helped out.

Commending :)

Hammie
Nov 4, 2012, 07:01 AM
Commending :)

Thanks! :D

skaertus
Nov 4, 2012, 07:14 AM
Sorry to say that, but aren't you spoiling your kid?

I would just give him a cheap Windows laptop and tell him that if he wants an expensive Mac laptop, he would have to earn it. But that's just me...

NutsNGum
Nov 4, 2012, 07:17 AM
Sorry to say that, but aren't you spoiling your kid?

I would just give him a cheap Windows laptop and tell him that if he wants an expensive Mac laptop, he would have to earn it. But that's just me...

Did you read the OP? He's halfing-in with the kid.

skaertus
Nov 4, 2012, 07:49 AM
Did you read the OP? He's halfing-in with the kid.

Haven't seen that. Makes sense then.

Hammie
Nov 4, 2012, 08:01 AM
I say you should go for the base MBA. The spec'd model might be a bit too much.

I want to make sure it is as future proofed as possible.

Get him a cheap Dell and put Linux on it. He'll learn a lot more that way.

He currently has a $400 Dell now that I will convert to Linux. I also have a couple old laptops with various flavors of Linux loaded.

If that is going to be his main machine for a long while time I would go with it.

If that was only his portable machine I would recommend something like the base model instead.

This will be his main computer. I just donated our only desktop to Goodwill (minus the hard drive).

I think the $1199 base model will be more than fine for anyone, especially an 11 year old.

As I mentioned above, I would prefer something a bit beefier in order to be future proofed.

Again, thanks to all who offered up their opinions.

I've also looked in the refurb section and there is a fully maxed 13" MBA for about $150 more than a new one with only the 256 SSD. How reliable are the refurbs?

NutsNGum
Nov 4, 2012, 08:06 AM
I've also looked in the refurb section and there is a fully maxed 13" MBA for about $150 more than a new one with only the 256 SSD. How reliable are the refurbs?

Very reliable. Possibly even more so than brand new models, as they are all tested. I've bought quite a few and I've never been disappointed.

Hammie
Nov 4, 2012, 08:18 AM
Very reliable. Possibly even more so than brand new models, as they are all tested. I've bought quite a few and I've never been disappointed.

Thanks! Now we may have have another decision to make. :D

katewes
Nov 5, 2012, 07:18 AM
I strongly suggest you get a plastic protective case for the MacBook Air, such as http://www.speckproducts.com/macbook-cases/macbook-air.html

The Aluminum case scratches and dents very easily. From what I've seen pre-teens do with their Mac notebooks, e.g. dropping them, if you don't get a plastic protective case, don't say I didn't warn you.

TheRichboy247
Nov 7, 2012, 01:25 AM
I want to make sure it is as future proofed as possible.



He currently has a $400 Dell now that I will convert to Linux. I also have a couple old laptops with various flavors of Linux loaded.



This will be his main computer. I just donated our only desktop to Goodwill (minus the hard drive).



As I mentioned above, I would prefer something a bit beefier in order to be future proofed.

Again, thanks to all who offered up their opinions.

I've also looked in the refurb section and there is a fully maxed 13" MBA for about $150 more than a new one with only the 256 SSD. How reliable are the refurbs?

If you want something future-proofed, get base model + 8GB's of RAM. He won't need the extra processing power.

Refurbs are reliable. Just like buying new except the fancy box.

Hammie
Nov 8, 2012, 09:19 AM
If you want something future-proofed, get base model + 8GB's of RAM. He won't need the extra processing power.

Refurbs are reliable. Just like buying new except the fancy box.

Thanks.

I'll take this into consideration as we get closer to the purchase timeframe.

Steve121178
Nov 8, 2012, 09:31 AM
My son is interested in getting a Mac laptop. I decided to go halves with him and this Christmas may be the time.

His needs, for an 11 year old, are pretty basic.

- Word processing and publishing for school
- Photo editing
- Web browsing
- Gaming -- Minecraft and Roblox
- Programming -- Lua

The MBA in question is the 13" 2.0GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD.

Bit overkill. Just get a cheap PC.

ka-spot
Nov 8, 2012, 09:56 AM
That is the exact model (Macbook Air 2.0Ghz, 8GB, 256GB) I want :) Maybe next month.. Amazing machine!

I hope You'r kid will enjoy it. And obviously deserve it.

wolfpuppies3
Nov 8, 2012, 10:08 AM
What you have specced out for him should be ideal and give him a bit of room to grow as well. 8GB memory, 13" screen, 256 GB SSD are all solid good thoughts for his current and possible future use.

Excellent choice.

Hammie
Nov 8, 2012, 03:09 PM
Bit overkill. Just get a cheap PC.

He has a cheap PC and it is on the verge of death after just over a year. Keeps overheating. Motherboard replaced twice. Fans and I believe the graphics cards have been replaced and it still overheats without a huge fan underneath it.

My MBP has never got so hot that it burns me. Warm on a couple occasions, but not like his gets.

His will overheat and shut down sitting idle on our stone countertops... :mad:

mrcheezit
Nov 8, 2012, 04:59 PM
That is more than capable for his needs. I'm thirteen years old and have the 13" base MBA and I use it for Minecraft, Python, Java, and BASIC. It handles things like that fine.

rMacBookPro
Nov 9, 2012, 04:47 AM
My son is interested in getting a Mac laptop. I decided to go halves with him and this Christmas may be the time.

His needs, for an 11 year old, are pretty basic.

- Word processing and publishing for school
- Photo editing
- Web browsing
- Gaming -- Minecraft and Roblox
- Programming -- Lua

The MBA in question is the 13" 2.0GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD.

When my son was little, he also played roblox and minecraft.
He probably wants to learn Lua for roblox because my son says "it can make some cool things in the game". My son never learned Lua, but now (12 year old) he knows how to code HTML, CSS, JAVASCRIPT, JAVA, and C#

Hammie
Nov 9, 2012, 03:50 PM
When my son was little, he also played roblox and minecraft.
He probably wants to learn Lua for roblox because my son says "it can make some cool things in the game". My son never learned Lua, but now (12 year old) he knows how to code HTML, CSS, JAVASCRIPT, JAVA, and C#

Yes, both Roblox and Minecraft can be programmed in Lua.

He has been doing a little on my MBP because his laptop keeps crashing... :(