Any tips on a laptop for a 3 year old?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jnyepu, Dec 5, 2009.

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  1. jnyepu macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2007
    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.....

  2. Baron58 macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2004
    Yeah. Don't.
  3. cAPS lOCK macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2009
    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.
  4. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    Get a netbook. If you don't want your child to be able to throw it, get the Alienware m17x or a similar unit.
  5. mgridgaway macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2006
    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.
  6. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Oct 19, 2009
    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.
  7. nullx86 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 26, 2009
    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...
  8. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    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.
  9. revenuee macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2003
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    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?
  10. Theclamshell macrumors 68030

    Mar 2, 2009
    +1 for a clamshell. if not get one of those old dell's that are bricks and they are very cheap
  11. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    yes, this
  12. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
  13. hndn macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2009

    Attached Files:

  14. galstaph macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2002
    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
  15. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    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
  16. Cboss macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2008
    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. :) )
  17. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2004

    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 least until he's 4 :D
  18. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
  19. MaxxTraxx macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2008
    A 3 Year - With a computer?

    Serious thread? No
  20. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    10:1 odds that this is your first child.

  21. JamesGorman macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    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.
  22. ricof macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2009
    The Garden of England
  23. MaxxTraxx macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2008

    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.
  24. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002

    Participation in the school program is enough.
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