Buying used for kids...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Huma, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. Huma macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2011
    Hi all,
    I am thinking of buying a used ibook or imac for my kids. They are young and do not need the latest/greatest computer. I saw a G4 for under $250 or an imac G5 for roughly $500. I have 3 kids so I am leaning towards buying 2 or 3 of the ibook G4 for about the same price as one desk top. Just wanted to get some opinions on the best action to take.
    Thanks in advance
  2. rjbruce macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
    I have two iMac G3s that my kids play with. They use them for iTunes, movies, and a couple games. Kids range from 4 - 9. Software may be a bit more difficult to come up with although the G4 should support Leopard. It may be difficult to find software in the future.
  3. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    I would recommended trying to find an Intel mac. The PowerPC (G4, G5) macs can not run Snow Leopard or any future OSX, and would be much slower. If they are only going to be web browsing and running word, maybe its okay, but I would try to find an early Intel model to get the most life out of it you can. Maybe the first generation Intel iMac. That was a pretty good machine.

    EDIT: I am not positive but would imagine a g4 machine would have trouble running the newest version of iTunes well.
  4. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    I'd try to find used iPod Touch's. They really are computers and have great functionality for watching videos, playing educational and fun games, and even communication if necessary. How old are your kids, and what would they be doing?
  5. logandzwon macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2007
    Originally I got a g4 mini for my daughter (when she was 4.) It could not play the on-line age appropriate games as they were all flash heavy and it couldn't cut it. I got her a used 17" iMac mini DuoCore and it was been perfect for her. She is almost 7 now and it still does everything she needs for school AND all the on-line games she wants to do.

    I personally feel that until I can justify the NEED for a mobile computer she should have a stationary on in a public part of the house.

    Also, I recently tested out an iPad with a bunch of her kid's sites and also her school's sites. None them were usable; they all used flash.
  6. Tailpike1153, Jan 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011

    Tailpike1153 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 31, 2004
    Bellevue, WA
    In defense of old tech, if you don't mind doing the leg work there a bunkers and bunkers worth software out there at little to reduced cost. They don't get the benefit/worries of the modern internet. If you go to wayback machine and get a Beige mac, there sites like System 6 Heaven and System 7 Today for assistance on OS and software.
  7. kuebby macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    I'd say forget the G4s or even G5s as well. They're practically out-the-door already with Snow Leopard and will not be supported at all with Lion. Why not buy something that's gonna be about the same price you quoted but will actually be usable for a few more years, especially for the stuff kids use computers for?

    You said an iMac G5 for $500... for $500 you should be able to get a Core 2 Duo iMac, maybe even 2 Core Duo iMacs/MacBooks if you pony up $600. Try Craigslist, a quick search found me a 17" Core 2 Duo iMac for $400. That's already a fairly powerful computer, plenty fast enough for basic tasks, and if it's not in a year or 2 the RAM can be upgraded very cheaply, especially relative to the speed boost you'll see.
  8. Huma thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2011
    thanks all

    my kids are 11, 8 and 6. They basically do some research for school with the computers. My sons use it to watch videos on youtube.
    I am going through a divorce and if I bought an imac, there is an issue with sharing at times. I thought about going the ibook route because I would definetely get 2 and maybe be able to get 3 and make them all happy.
    Even if I got a year or so out of them, can you really beat the $200 price each
  9. logandzwon macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2007
    I feel you on the divorce thing. Going through that myself. However, anything pre-Intel is simply going to be of very little use to them.

    Also, just for reference, I got the 17 iMac DuoCore I mentioned for $600 2 years ago. You can get them cheaper now obviously.
  10. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    +1 for the desktop arrangement.

    My son has his own computer, but my wife and I chose a desktop for him. Kids, as I'm sure you know, are not the most careful with their "toys" - I've already had to replace one keyboard (crumbs and sticky fingers) and mouse (sticky fingers on the scroll wheel). If they mess up a laptop, the whole thing needs replacing.
  11. MacHamster68, Jan 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    there is only one computer i would recommend of the G4 G5 range , highly recommend really and its the eMac , but the 1.42 ghz model only , , even its only a G4 it is in reality not much slower then a iMac G5 1.8 and outperforms a mini g4 1.5 /ibook g4 1.42 due to better graphiccard and double the ram and faster harddrive ,

    and is usually cheaper then a mini G4 , so you could get 3 of them for far less then 500 , they can play flash games (i did play a couple games that are on facebook ) and i had no problem at all to play online video at youtube or others up to 320p some even up to 480p ,
    and if i look at the age of your kids , they wont need newest software at all within the next years anyway , i mean office 2004 still does the job and updates are still available today like the xml converter for the new file names with the x at the end like ppsx/docx which will enable to open files made by much newer office versions

    another important bit to consider is the reliability , i vouch for the eMac 1.42 ,

    but ibook's like to break down due to logicboard failures,dead or not charging batteries ,graphic card problems and people ask even with the defects double what a eMac would cost
    and the iMac G5's like to blow capacitors and later get stripes on display ,

    and with like i mean it is more likely to happen then not,
    so to both if you dont just want iBook or iMac g5 for display purpose as a collector or if you are not a good solderer then hands away and dont think about it in your wildest dreams, no rule without exeption if the previous owner did a good and quality refurbishment , then yes get one , but it will cost you a lot to find that example

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