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Old Nov 1, 2010, 10:28 AM   #1
SponPlague
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Macbook or Pro for 10 year old?

My niece will be 10 this Christmas and getting a Macbook.

Will the standard Macbook be sufficient, or should the family go extra and get the pro, bearing in mind the casing and the fact that kids drop computers?

Also, any thoughts on whether she should get Office 11 or iWork installed?

All thoughts welcome...
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 10:31 AM   #2
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A used, or refurbished, MacBook will more than suffice. I don't know about the Office needs of your niece, thus I assume iWork can be okay for her school work.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 10:56 AM   #3
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Thanks! I am providing the office type software, but brother is a Windows man, so it will be probably end up being Office 11 so he can support her... She is in Hong Kong, and I am in Switzerland, so there ie quite a time difference!
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 10:57 AM   #4
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She could try both, Office and iWork and then decide. iWork is decent but if she has to deal with Windows computers (at school for instance), I would get Office as it's more compatible. I used to use iWork but now that Office 2011 is out, I haven't even touched iWork.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 11:02 AM   #5
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I'm still using Office 2004, but will be upgrading this week!

generous grandparatents are sorting out the h/w, the real question is whether to spend the extra on the metal cased Pro, as it is sturdier?
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 11:33 AM   #6
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I had the same dilema last Christmas but when I went and physically looked at them the Pro just feels and looks so much classier for not a lot more.

I use Oracle's free OpenOffice and had zero compatibility issues. If money is not a big factor then I'm sure MS Office is the one to go for.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 11:39 AM   #7
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Classier is good, but is the Macbook reasonably drop resistant? She has a younger brother (six)...
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 11:53 AM   #8
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I know this doesn't answer your drop resistant question, but she could always download the free 30 Day trial of iwork for free off apple.com and see what she likes and doesn't like.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 12:05 PM   #9
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Yes, she could - thanks - I think the trial also comes pre-installed?

Question is what her father is willing/ able to support...
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 12:18 PM   #10
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Macbook. Get it off craigslist or refurbed. MBP's AL body will dent every time it is dropped.

Office 11.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 02:54 PM   #11
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Macbook. Get it off craigslist or refurbed. MBP's AL body will dent every time it is dropped.

Office 11.
Yes but wouldn't the mb's case crack?

I guess it's crack or dent (pick your poison)
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 03:59 PM   #12
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I could imagine that a 10-year-old girl might possibly like the look of a regular white Macbook better than that of a Macbook Pro?! Just something to think about...I also wouldn't expect a Macbook Pro to handle drops much better than a regular Macbook. One will dent more easily thereby absorbing the shock a little bit, while the other might break more easily, but really only if a fairly high amount of force is applied.

I own a four-year-old Macbook and it's fallen on the floor a few times, has been bumped against the edges of tables etc. all without breaking.

I'd be more concerned about the Macbook developing cracks from simply normal usage, for example at the hinge. The old model was notorious for developing cracks at the front edge of the top case, even if it was handled very carefully
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 04:27 PM   #13
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Get her an 16GB non-3G iPad, and get her the MacBook next year as they will get updated soon with Sandy Bridges-CPUs. The iPad runs the iWork-suite, and with iOS 4.2, which hits the streets this month, it can even print. You can't play Angry Birds on a Mac, you know The App Store is fine for children, just don't register a credit card and buy her iTunes gift cards once as needed to recharge the credit. They hang around by the cashiers in every supermarket ranging from $5 to $200, at least here in Europe. I guess this applies to 90% of the world.

And don't screw up the youth with Microsoft Office, get her iWork.

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Old Nov 1, 2010, 04:40 PM   #14
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And don't let her use Microsoft Office. If you have nasty habits, that's OK. But don't screw up the youth. Get her iWork.
I'm not sure about in Hong Kong, but in the USA at least almost all schools use MS Word. It's not like they won't be exposed to it.

And if you don't mind me asking, what kind of 10-year-old needs a MacBook?
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 04:41 PM   #15
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Go entry-level MacBook Pro or entry 11-inch MacBook Air

The white plastic MacBooks crack like crazy.

Yes, the aluminum may dent slightly if dropped on a hard surface, and no laptop is totally drop-resistant; however, an aluminum body will take abuse better than plastic.

You may want to seriously consider the 11-inch MacBook Air. It's solidly constructed, very light, and $999. That'd be my recommendation for a 10-year-old. They can take it everywhere and get familiar with technology.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 04:50 PM   #16
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iPad

I say the iPad with a tough case for a 10-year old. let's face it, she's going to spend more time on youtube and facebook then writing papers for which she could either use the iWork apps on the iPad or use a computer in the house.

Personally I don't think kids need their own gadgets, an iMac in the house for everyone to use (and everyone can see) should be sufficient. Just my opinion though.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 04:58 PM   #17
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I say the iPad with a tough case for a 10-year old. let's face it, she's going to spend more time on youtube and facebook then writing papers for which she could either use the iWork apps on the iPad or use a computer in the house.

Personally I don't think kids need their own gadgets, an iMac in the house for everyone to use (and everyone can see) should be sufficient. Just my opinion though.
A shared computer also makes it easier to keep tabs on what the kid is doing on it and who she's talking to online...
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 05:11 PM   #18
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I say the iPad with a tough case for a 10-year old. let's face it, she's going to spend more time on youtube and facebook then writing papers for which she could either use the iWork apps on the iPad or use a computer in the house.
Wouldn't the Macbook, used as a tool for "work-like activities" as well as fun, be more versatile than an iPad?
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 05:18 PM   #19
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Wouldn't the Macbook, used as a tool for "work-like activities" as well as fun, be more versatile than an iPad?
I think the thing here is that at this point, no 10 year old needs a laptop. If it's likely that she will drop it, I recommend even more strongly against it. At the most I would spend $500 on a used model.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 05:19 PM   #20
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And if you don't mind me asking, what kind of 10-year-old needs a MacBook?
Ditto this. I don't know why a kid needs a laptop. If you have to get her a computer, why not a low-end iMac? I don't think you want her walking around with a computer. I've found it pretty easy to monitor my kids with a shared iMac.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 05:22 PM   #21
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I would say Macbook. Hopefully, they won't drop it, but if they do, the Macbook will have a lesser effect. I don't think the Macbook would crack easily (at least from the build quality I see) whereas the Macbook Pro would easily dent. (even if you drop a phone that is a few inches above the MBP).

You might just want to consider an el cheapo PC laptop but if it has to be a Mac, then you already have my opinions.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 05:24 PM   #22
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I'm surprised it took up to 15 posts before somebody mentioned that a 10 year old has no need for a laptop, and a MacBook at that.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 05:30 PM   #23
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I'm 13 (proud owner of a Mac all my life!!), and my family have owned 6 Macs in my life time. Recently I got my own MBP at 10. (Very low spec'd). I have to say I LOVE it but I am VERY careful with my gadj! I also do Photoshopping and had built my own website at 7 , so I can justify a Pro. My dad's also a film editor so I do some simple FCPing.

I would probably say go with a MacBook; these Pros don't look like they'll take a fall well.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 06:05 PM   #24
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I would be more worried about the hard drive than the casing itself. The 11" MacBook Air has a glossy screen (protect the LCD!) and a flash drive (no moving parts if when it gets dropped).
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 06:47 PM   #25
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I'm surprised it took up to 15 posts before somebody mentioned that a 10 year old has no need for a laptop, and a MacBook at that.
I was thinking that in the back of my mind the whole time haha
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