Childs first Computer - iMac or Macbook?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by md63, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. md63 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 11, 2007
    #1
    Hopefully some of you who have kids can provide me with some advice. My daughter is 5 years old is using Macs at her pre-school. I am actually very impressed as to what she has been able to learn in navigating a computer. I see Microcenter has nice rebates on both the white Macbook as well as the base iMac. I was considering getting one of these as a "family PC" and was wondering what people with children prefer. I live in a small apartment so I was initially attracted to the Macbook, however, my gut tells me I would be better able to control her usage with an iMac and it would be less likely to be damaged from dropping or spills.

    Thanks for your advice.
     
  2. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

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    #2
    You would have to be crazy to get a $1000 portable computer for a five year old.

    Have you seen what the ruggedized laptops that they provide for kids older than your daughter through the OLPC program look like? They're built like little toy tanks.
     
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #3
    iMac. You don't want to tempt her into transporting it. Even I get a little nervous toting around my MacBook.
     
  4. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #4
    I don't have kids, but I'd go with the iMac, no question.
     
  5. Zisa macrumors member

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    Feb 10, 2009
    #5
    iMac (second hand, unless you want to use it too) or mac mini

    I had the dilema of Windows vs Macs as my kids (8 and 6) use Windows at school. I experimented with them on my PowerBook and they took to it like fish to water.

    Now, I bought them a second hand mac mini, as I already have spare keyboards, mice and monitors (apple junkie, I know)
     
  6. md63 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 11, 2007
    #6
    Thanks for your replies. I actually allow her to use my MBP now and she seems very responsible with it so I hadn't really considered the down side of the laptop.
     
  7. kurosov macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 3, 2009
    #7
    I'd look into getting a 20" previous gen imac myself. If you already have a mbp and only need the computer then a prev gen imac is ideal. You will even get one at a decent price.

    Also, a 24" screen may be too much for a young child.
     
  8. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

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    #8
    The Microcenter "deals" are for the previous generation machines.
     
  9. macwannabee macrumors newbie

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    Jul 15, 2008
    #9
    Is she using an iMac at pre-School ? Will she be using an iMac at "big school" ? If so stick with the iMac for home use - a Macbook may be too much of a temptation to move/drop/spill stuff on....

    Also what software/websites is she using @ school ? The content being used/accessed is probably more important than the computer...
     
  10. wfoster macrumors 6502a

    wfoster

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    Plymouth, UK
    #10
    iMac - It sits there, it can't move unless it is has some force exerted on the weak points or at the top. Can't really get the screen broken or dirty by touching it.

    MacBook - More liable to dropping it, damaging it, spilling sweets on or it getting hand prints over the screen.

    Go for an iMac.
     
  11. gasport macrumors 6502

    gasport

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    #11
    I agree and you might want to look at a refurbished model or used model.
     
  12. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #12
    iMac in the living room or a room that the family frequents. If you get the macbook, you run the risk of your child meeting a predator on the net.
     
  13. dmw2692004 macrumors member

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    Jun 12, 2008
    #13
    the child can still meet a predator on the net with an imac? :confused:
     
  14. Mark2000 macrumors regular

    Mark2000

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    Oct 18, 2007
    #14
    Don't just get an iMac. Get an old one. The g4 model comes loaded for only $200 and itll do everything a 5 year old could want.
     
  15. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

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    #15
    I think what he's saying is to put the iMac, which can't be readily moved, into a room in the house where everyone can keep an eye on the child's computer use.

    Versus getting a portable that can be taken out of eye sight and used.

    Personally I see absolutely no reason whatsoever for a child to have a computer in their bedroom OR to have internet access at age 5.

    Our desire to have kids grow up so quick is truly sickening.
     
  16. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #16
    I think the point is that if the iMac is placed in an area of the house where its visible, you can monitor the child's usage, whereas a MacBook can be taken to a more private place.

    I agree on getting a used machine for a child, although I would still go for an Intel model, maybe a white iMac. If you are using it as a family computer, than a refurb or fairly recent used model would probably be the best compromise.
     
  17. wfoster macrumors 6502a

    wfoster

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    #17
    I've had a computer ever since I were three (I'm fourteen). I had it in my room, always running the latest version of OS. No parental control or anything, my mother and father trusted me because it was back in the days where hardly any bad was occurring. Now you don't know what is out there. Get an iMac.
     
  18. techfreak85 macrumors 68040

    techfreak85

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    #18
    because we dont trust kids.

    because we dont want to teach kids to make good choices.

    because we want to make sure that she lives in fear of the parents who might crack down on any misbehavior and not listening to her conscience and doing whats right.

    the only thing that comes from not teaching her and trusting her is rebellion later on in life.
    /rant

    by wfoster
    exactly! same here! im 16.
     
  19. srl7741 macrumors 68020

    srl7741

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    #19
    iMac

    I have to agree with just about every other post. The iMac is the way to go for her first computer. It will be the perfect first computer. Remember no matter what never get rid of it. Save it for her so that in 30 years you can all look back and smile about the technology.
     
  20. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    Apr 8, 2004
    #20
    I have 4 and 6 year old daughters who can find their way around the family iMac pretty well. (My wife walked into the home office a few weeks ago to find both our daughters sitting watching My Little Ponies on YouTube. My wife asked the 6 year old if I'd set it up for her ... "No. I googled it" she said. I was so proud of my little geek.)

    As for "growing up too fast", I'd rather they were interacting with a computer than sitting in front of a TV for 2-3 hours, or more, a day, like my generation grew up doing. Internet connection is good for online games on NickJr or pbs.org. Each of my daughters has a managed account. They're not old enough to understand how to bypass that yet.

    I would go for an iMac if I were you, or if you're set on a portable, get a Dell Mini and put OS X on it - http://uneasysilence.com/archive/2008/10/13519/
     
  21. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #21
    I agree. I have 3 children (aged 10 to 15) and while I did monitor their usage for the first few years, they are all now happily interacting with others on the internet and i have no issues with it because I know they are capable. All three are now trusted to have computers in their own rooms. However, since the OPs child is only 5, I would be vigilant for a few more years. My youngest didn't get full, unsupervised internet access until she was 9 (I still check in occasionally).
     
  22. Veri macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 23, 2007
    #22
    Don't be afraid. Technology allows hysteria to travel at the speed of light. Humanity's just as good/bad as it's ever been.
     
  23. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    Canada, eh?
    #24
    Maybe not be afraid, but still be careful.

    There are some really sick people out there.

    Proof? Go to YouTube. Poke around the videos, especially those that feature kids. Read the comments.
     
  24. wfoster macrumors 6502a

    wfoster

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    Plymouth, UK
    #25
    Agreed. I'm not sure if any of you watched the Sex Education show VS Pornography the other night on ITV (for UK viewers) and this woman was finding out how easy it was to view porn and within minutes, she had videos (not purposely trying to view) of child pornography popping up on her screen. She was so sickened.
     

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