Macbook for 10 year old?

roxics

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 4, 2013
257
83
My 10 year old son has been asking my ex for a laptop for Christmas for the past year. She's considering getting him one but is turning to me for suggestions.
She inquired about Chromebooks and I'm not sure about those for a kid who is mostly going to look stuff up, watch youtube videos about minecraft and play games. I don't have any experience with Chromebooks and he already has a cheap off-brand Android tablet I got for him last year that cost me like $40 new. But it's really slow and not very responsive.

I'm considering suggesting a reconditioned 2009 white macbook, this model:
http://support.apple.com/kb/SP579?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

Which they sell at a Microcenter nearby for $399. A little steep in price, especially for a machine that is now 5 year old. But personally I'm typing this on a late 2008 aluminum macbook that I've ben usng for years and is still going strong. But mine can support up to 8GB of ram which I have in it, this one only has 2GB (althought can be upgraded to 4GB).

There are cheaper, newer PC laptops that can be had, but OS X doesn't get viruses and has decent parental controls. Plus if she has a problem with it, she can walk it into a local Apple store or bring it to me.

Not she she'll want to spent that much though. Possibly. What would you recommend?
 

AlexxRyzhkov

macrumors regular
May 17, 2014
133
3
Personally I would get a mid 2010 unibody Macbook off eBay for $300. Then upgrade the ram to 4gb and get a 128gb SSD for $100 and for under $400 you get a great laptop.

The 2009 is decent with the stock configuration, but it would lag on Mavericks or Yosemite unless you get an SSD
 

scandalouslime

macrumors newbie
Aug 16, 2014
6
0
Don't you think that's a bit overkill for a 10 year old? When I was 10, I had a P4 desktop, and that was plenty. I have this exact model with a 1TB hard drive and 4GB RAM and I use it with Logic Pro. I'm also running Yosemite with no problems at all. Get him a chromebook or a cheap PC off Craigslist.
 

MarvinHC

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2014
762
222
Belgium
I second the old unibody from Ebay etc. Even a late 2008 MBP works perfectly fine with Mavericks - just put a cheap SSD in.
 

TheBeastman13

macrumors regular
Mar 5, 2012
209
2
If I may suggest, get him a desktop instead. With the growing influence of technology and how schools integrate such resources, buying your son a desktop will be useful for him in middle school and high school. Think of this as an investment into your kid's education. Papers can be typed, research completed, as well as the usual correspondence via emails to teachers.

Upgrades can be made if your son becomes interested in subjects that require special programs, such as those for web development, video/photography editing, or the like.

If he has the resources to tinker with as he grows up, he will be ahead of the curve.

Don't skimp by purchasing a "cheap" computer, but invest in a good system that can last.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,171
479
Elkton, Maryland
My 10 year old son has been asking my ex for a laptop for Christmas for the past year. She's considering getting him one but is turning to me for suggestions.
She inquired about Chromebooks and I'm not sure about those for a kid who is mostly going to look stuff up, watch youtube videos about minecraft and play games. I don't have any experience with Chromebooks and he already has a cheap off-brand Android tablet I got for him last year that cost me like $40 new. But it's really slow and not very responsive.

I'm considering suggesting a reconditioned 2009 white macbook, this model:
http://support.apple.com/kb/SP579?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

Which they sell at a Microcenter nearby for $399. A little steep in price, especially for a machine that is now 5 year old. But personally I'm typing this on a late 2008 aluminum macbook that I've ben usng for years and is still going strong. But mine can support up to 8GB of ram which I have in it, this one only has 2GB (althought can be upgraded to 4GB).

There are cheaper, newer PC laptops that can be had, but OS X doesn't get viruses and has decent parental controls. Plus if she has a problem with it, she can walk it into a local Apple store or bring it to me.

Not she she'll want to spent that much though. Possibly. What would you recommend?
Chromebooks are not bad for basic web use and Google Docs. That being said, specs do matter even on machines with such a light OS and it is important to get one with at least a Bay Trail or preferably a Haswell processor. I have a HP Chromebook 11 and it is fine but it shows that the CPU is overwhelmed when opening 7 or more tabs.
 
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