Any tips on a laptop for a 3 year old?

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jnyepu

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 5, 2007
95
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Dallas, TX
My son turns 3 in February, and we'd like to build on basic computer skills that he is learning in preschool (believe me, I'm still struggling with the fact that I have to even post this!).....I wonder if the next generation will start driving at 4, or something like that.....

Anyway, they use a Windows based machine at school, so I've been thinking about a Windows box for consistency sake, then getting him a Mac when he's a little older.

Alternatively, maybe I should just start him on a Mac -- would be looking at an older MacBook or something like that if I went the Mac route.

Any suggestions, or specific systems anyone might recommend? I'm willing to go up to $500-$750, prefer to stay lower - most bang for the buck, so to speak.....

Thanks!
 

cAPS lOCK

macrumors member
Nov 3, 2009
38
1
Laptop for a 3 year old!? I'd just let him learn at school and get him one when he's older and knows how to take care of an expensive piece of electronics. What's a 3 year old need to do on a computer anyway? Let him play with toys outside.
 

cherry su

macrumors 65816
Feb 28, 2008
1,217
1
Get a netbook. If you don't want your child to be able to throw it, get the Alienware m17x or a similar unit.
 

mgridgaway

macrumors 6502
Feb 25, 2006
452
1
3 years old? Get him a ninja turtle. He lacks the major motor skills to do any real constructive learning with ANY laptop. Let the school do what's in their curriculum but don't bother getting him anything for outisde of school learning for at least another 2 years. And then make sure it's cheap because kids are really good at breaking things.

Hell, I could barely play Super Mario Bros when I was 4. I didn't start "getting" it until 5.
 

Jason Beck

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2009
1,913
0
Cedar City, Utah
Let him progress at school.
Buy him a game system, like an older n64 or NES to infuse
some good ol' Mario values into him.
My kids, when I have em, are gonna be raised on Castlevania,
Zelda and the like.
Then in school, they will learn about computers. When they
get a little older, introduce them to computers.

I would crap myself to see a kid throw his laptop/netbook
at the wall.
Don't do it.
 

nullx86

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2009
884
0
Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
My little sister is 6, going on 7, and Shes using my Acer Aspire One wih Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Mainly she just uses the education stuff on it, and watches some movies. She would have been using it earlier, but before that she was using an old Dell with XP on it, and just using MS Paint. A good start...
 

SkyBell

macrumors 604
Sep 7, 2006
6,579
131
Texas, unfortunately.
iBook G3 clamshells are indestructible, cheap, and they run OS X. My first choice for a toddler.

But for a windows machine, maybe just an older one running 2000 or XP would be good, decent ones can be found for $50 or less.
 

revenuee

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2003
2,251
1
I feel like "bang" is exactly what's going to happen.

Do you really want your kid subject to MORE computer time at 3?

He'll most likely have a job that will require him to work on a computer all day anyway. Wouldn't you want to him maybe kick a ball around at 3?
 

Theclamshell

macrumors 68030
Mar 2, 2009
2,738
1
iBook G3 clamshells are indestructible, cheap, and they run OS X. My first choice for a toddler.

But for a windows machine, maybe just an older one running 2000 or XP would be good, decent ones can be found for $50 or less.
+1 for a clamshell. if not get one of those old dell's that are bricks and they are very cheap
 

galstaph

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2002
811
2
The Great White North Eh
I would hazard that a VTech learning Notebook like this

Nitro Web Notebook

would work at your son's age (recommended for 5-8 yr old)... but then again if you want a true laptop, I'd go for an older clamshell or even an iBook G4, mine has held up well (even with my year and a half year old beating it up regularly).


dang beaten on the vtech by a few minutes while writing this
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,654
122
I have a 2 year old im teaching to read. By 3 I want to have a mac to start teaching him bash and some basic unix command line. Now I'll get him on my lap, go to google and have him spell out Dora or Thomas. And play the flash games at the sites
 

Cboss

macrumors 6502
Dec 11, 2008
387
0
Colorado
I doubt that your son will spend huge amounts of time on any laptop you buy him. So, I would hold off buying him anything for a few years and just let him use your laptop for a few educational games. Then you'll be able to spend more on something better when he's ready for it.

(You might also suggest to his school that they invest in some blocks or get some cardboard boxes. He'll have even more fun and are just as educational at his age. Gotta love them motor skills. :) )
 

psingh01

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,362
346
:eek:

3 year olds don't need computers. Hell I didn't use one until I was almost out of high school and I managed to get a degree in computer engineering. so I think your kid would be fine without one...at least until he's 4 :D
 

JamesGorman

macrumors 65816
Dec 31, 2008
1,123
1
Winnipeg
I was thinking a fully loaded macbook pro 17". 8GB ram, ssd, anti glare screen so he can read all the spreadsheets and what not hell be doing, along with any sort of photo editing he may want to do. I also suggest this model so he can play his favorite games such as Crisis or Call of duty on high settings thanks to the 9600M GT.
 

MaxxTraxx

macrumors 6502
Jul 2, 2008
263
86
I was thinking a fully loaded macbook pro 17". 8GB ram, ssd, anti glare screen so he can read all the spreadsheets and what not hell be doing, along with any sort of photo editing he may want to do. I also suggest this model so he can play his favorite games such as Crisis or Call of duty on high settings thanks to the 9600M GT.

You think that will handle all the video editing the kid will be doing however? He will probably be working with some HD Video & a lot of pictures. I would suggest an 8 Core Mac Pro w/ maxed out ram.

You should also think about buying the '30 Cinema Display, that way the kid will be able to see anything.
 

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