My 11 y/o wants a Mac..??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Hube01, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. Hube01 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    #1
    My 11 y/o wants a Mac laptop. However, I am not sure which one to buy.

    Besides doing homework, facebook, she loves to write. I was thinking about the MBP 13" over the MBP Air. However, I am not sure. Maybe even the MacBook??

    I do not believe I need to buy a ton of upgrades, however, I would like to buy her one that she can keep for a few years!!

    In Addition, we will be buying an iMac after the updates come out...

    Any advice?

    Jay
     
  2. Alaerian Guest

    Alaerian

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    #2
    She's 11. Get on craigslist or eBay and pick up a used MacBook on the cheap. By the time she is actually going to need a computer of her own (think: college), she'll be able to buy her own.
     
  3. AFPoster macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Honestly, for an 11y/o the MacBook is sufficient enough. I had mine from Dec '07 till last week. Still runs strong with no issues, I just wanted a larger screen for my work so I upgraded. The 13" is perfect and I think they'll be more than satisfied for a few years with a MacBook.
     
  4. Alaerian Guest

    Alaerian

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    #4
    Hell, I'm still using my MacBook from several years ago. It's chugging along just fine, and I guarantee that I do a hell of a lot more than any child will. Yep, get a secondhand MacBook. Will do fine.
     
  5. marc11 macrumors 68000

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    #5
    I purchased a Macbook last year for myself, my wife had an older G4 that my son used a bit (he is 10 now). The G4 HD died and it wasn't worth fixing for a vareity of reasons so I picked up an ipad for my wife (she mainly surfs, emails and videos) and picked up a MBP for myself since I was maxing out the performance of the Macbook. (video and photo stuff)

    I set up an account on the Macbook for my son, locked down all the parental controls and gave it to him. He LOVES IT! I let him Skype me and a couple of friends, he emails (only people on his approved list) his friends, researches his homework (I have pretty good controls on his browser too) and I even lock down how long he can use the computer and the hours he can use it to prevent midnight use!

    It is a GREAT machine for his needs. My only reservation is the HDD since he tends to be a little rough with it, moving it, sliding it around, etc while on. I recently moved all of our media to a central NAS drive with home sharing, so he is only using about 30 gb on his hard drive. Considering his use, I will probably get him a 60 gb SSD for $120 and be done with the worry on his abuse. With the SSD he can bang it around all he wants and not break it.

    Considering you can get a refrub Macbook for $850, throw in a 60 or 120 gb SSD for another $100 to $200 you have a very solid machine, easily upgradable as he grows for about $1000.
     
  6. OneMike macrumors 601

    OneMike

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    #6
    I'd go regular macbook as it has an optical drive over the air. Some schools have CDs that are used for homework and such.

    Pros are nice, but for the use I think it's more than what is needed.

    Unless you're doing really intensive work, like heavy photo / video / graphic editing any mac will be fine for years to come.

    Even though a 17-inch pro is my main computer, right now I'm on a older 13-inch 2GHz MacBook and that can keep up with Photoshop / Dreamweaver, and a lot of other programs / tasks.
     
  7. Alaerian Guest

    Alaerian

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    #7
    Way overkill for an 11 year old. Disagree if you want - you're entitled to your opinion and I respect that. It's just wasteful to spend almost $1000 on a machine for a child who would get the same use out of something half as expensive without knowing any different.
     
  8. marc11 macrumors 68000

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    #8

    For me, I needed a higher end machine and my Macbook would have sat in a closet otherwise. I could have gotten him a Windows netbook for $300, and then dealt with the BS that goes with Windows I suppose, for me, it was a no brainer.
     
  9. xi mezmerize ix macrumors 6502a

    xi mezmerize ix

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    #9
    My parents would've laughed in my face if I asked for a Mac when I was 11...Put your damn foot down.
     
  10. Alaerian Guest

    Alaerian

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    #10
    No, that partially makes sense. I wasnt exactly referring to you - apologies if that came across badly. I can understand a hand me down. May as well get some good use out of it. But buying something specifically "new" for a child, that's where the $1000 doesn't seem appropriate to me.

    Mez, exactly why I suggested craigslist. Get something cheap, sub $400. Will do perfectly fine. Also if the child treats it poorly, you aren't out a ton of money.
     
  11. Cantisama macrumors member

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    Feb 27, 2011
    #11
    I don't think you need a laptop until college (maybe late high school depending on how mature your child is). I would invest in a family home computer instead.

    If you really want to give her something portable (i.e. private), I would go with a netbook for under $350, then put Ubuntu Netbook on it so that you don't have to worry about viruses or software expenses.
     
  12. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

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    #12
    Get a White MacBook or entry level iMac. It will last them into High school. Look for refurb's from the Apple store (still come with a 1Y factory warranty), and watch for deals at the mac mail order companies. I refer people to this price guide all the time:

    http://www.appleinsider.com/mac_price_guide/

    I have seen white MacBooks for $849 and iMac's for $1,049 if you find a good deal - especially around Thanksgiving time / Black Friday.

    My kids both had iMac's through middle school/High school, and graduated to MacBook Pro's when they went on to college.

    A laptop might be a bit risky for an 11 year old (6th grader?), but it really depends on the child. I always thought a desktop was a better solution at that age, since you didn't have to worry about them dropping it, or putting it in the wrong place.

    There are some really good deals on Mac Mini's (as low as $599) right now, but you would need a keyboard, mouse, and monitor. If you have to buy all of that, you might as well get an iMac.
     
  13. Alaerian Guest

    Alaerian

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    #13
    Even better! And no, you're exactly right. A child isn't going to need anything even remotely resembling a laptop until college. And, even then, it's a luxury - not a necessity.

    I change my vote to a family computer. The op had already stated interest in an iMac. That will be more than sufficient for the entire family. Plus, it allows parents much more control over what the children do - a child can't get away with inappropriate content if the computer is in the living room, in plain sight of mom and dad.

    If you absolutely must get the child something of her own, I maintain a secondhand MacBook. Give the child one warning - if they treat the device poorly, it is not your problem.
     
  14. marc11 macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Kids today need computers earlier and earlier than before, she may not need a laptop, but there is a lot to be said for portability. 11 years old isn't THAT young, you would be surprised (unless you are a parent) with the types of work kids have and how much a computer makes life easier for them.

    A family computer is great, until two kids and a parent fight over the use and more so, computers are personal more than ever, I do not want someone screwing up something on my computer, spilling something on it, eating over it, whatever.

    I agree, to just drop a grand on a new one is a lot, but then again, there is something to be said for having something with a warranty.
     
  15. Alaerian Guest

    Alaerian

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    #15
    This is why you enforce rules. It's very simple to teach a child that food and drink are not allowed near the family computer. It's also very simple to set up different user profiles for the children - then it's impossible for them to mess anything up. User profiles can be restricted from installing or deleting.
     
  16. brentsg macrumors 68030

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    #16
    I suggest allowing usage of a family computer in a supervised area of the home. Young kids don't need to have internet access unsupervised and that's going to eventually happen with the notebook.
     
  17. OneMike macrumors 601

    OneMike

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    #17
    I disagree completely. Children aren't dumb. I got an iPad 2 for my children who are 5 and under. Some would say that's too young. I think if possible it's great to provide your kids with the kind of tools that will prepare them for the future.

    Wasteful to me would be to let opportunities pass and put price over quality/capability when possible.
     
  18. lavrishevo macrumors 68000

    lavrishevo

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    #18
    Tell me about it. my 3.5 year old son loves the iPad and has his educational games and books that he reads / read to him and scrolls around and knows exactly what page they are on. It really is amazing how intuitive kids are. Technology is great but just like everything in life it must be allowed in moderation. Otherwise, social skills and imagination, among other things, suffer tremendously. I think used would be a great way to go considering she will probably drop it and spill something here and there on it considering her age.
     
  19. marc11 macrumors 68000

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    #19
    Take a look at the parental controls in OSX, they are pretty darn good. Sure, maybe there are some sites my son can get to that I didn't think of, but I can control his email, prevent him from getting to any HTTPS sites, prevent downloads, prevent adult content and even prevent him from using his computer between the hours of 8 PM and 9 AM as well as set a max number of hours he can stay on consecutively. Since we use Mobile Me, I can also go into his computer at anytime from mine and I can read any and all of his email. If he tries to send or receive an email from someone not on his approved list that email is sent to my personal account. Pretty good controls.

    Doesn't replace watching your kids, but at the same time, having a laptop, if my son wants to use his computer I simply say "bring it down here in the family room and use it with us"....

    Pros and cons to everything, no one right way and nothing, not even a family computer in the middle of the house will replace good and smart parenting.
     
  20. marc11 macrumors 68000

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    #20

    I am blown away with how well our 4 year old daughter instinctively uses the ipad, just blown away. She watches all her educational videos on it, listens to her "kids bob" music and so on. She loves it.
     
  21. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #21
    get her a white MacBook ... when she is in HS ... upgrade to the MBP or MBA
     
  22. Alaerian Guest

    Alaerian

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    #22
    I'm not saying children are dumb. But do you think a child is going to sit and use a current MacBook pro to its full potential? I have sincere doubts that most children will sit and edit photos with photoshop, create professional video with final cut pro, work in aperture, etc. Granted, every parent wants to think their child is a genius, but it's not likely. Really, all your kids want to do is watch movies, play on Disney.com, and play whatever phineas and fern game you found.

    If you want to buy a MacBook pro for your rugrats, be my guest. It's your waste of money, not mine.
     
  23. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #23
    Now now ... when you were 11 things were likely very different. I know they were for me. We had a family machine, a top end commodore. It was useful for school and play, I was fortunate to be a kid with a family who had a home computer. Today, an 11 year old with a computer is not unheard of. I don't agree that one should spend thousands on a machine. I like the idea of a used MacBook on the cheap from Craigslist. Best if you can get it with Apple Care.

    OP: I vote MacBook, used. It will be enough for her and her 11 year old homework assignments. I like Macs if you have Macs around the house, you can really ensure easy network setup and such. Also, parental controls and such are key. She is 11 and doesn't likely look or act like the 11 year olds we remember as we grew up ...


    Your alternative is a nice PowerBook G4. A great great machine and built to last. It is not intel based so that may be the only thing that poses as an issue.



    @Alaerian, you may think all kids are dumb. You may even think none of them are capable of much but frankly, I think your way of thinking is inane and more importantly, not believing a child can do good things is your prerogative but children and can do great things. You may not be saying children are dumb, you're not exactly showing anyone that you don't really think that. But did you ever stop to think that children have made amazing things happen with their computers? I know that an 11 year old today is far more advanced than many 11 year olds in my time. I have an 11 year old nephew who blows me away quite often. Or a better example that you can see is what this 12 year old did ... http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1128178 . Go figure, right? :rolleyes:
     
  24. alex00100, Apr 4, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011

    alex00100 macrumors regular

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    #24
    id buy macbook air. it will last longer than this ugly(comparing to MBP and MBA) white one. i think she doesnt need pro. 13" MBA is just 300$ more than MB, while its much better. imho.
    kids are not dumb. in future kids will get computers even faster. the world is developing. we cant lag behind. :) having a computer is no strange. even for kids. also, in my opinion, 11 years is not small. they can already use computers. when i was in that age i have already started learning flash and photoshop.
     
  25. bri1212 macrumors 6502

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    #25
    To the OP: I would buy your 11 yr old, a macbook refurb. It will do everything he/she needs, and also will last him/her well into high school. I would not waste my money on a netbook laptop with windows. This is not because windows sucks, but because there are way too many virus' for windows software, and at this point few to no mac virus'. As an adult it is easy to say I don't click on questionable sights and get virus', but an eleven year old might, and sometimes does.
    I bought my 11 yr old a netbook last year, which he uses everyday for schoolwork and gaming. However, we have had to take it in two times in the last year due to virus'. I should have done what I am suggesting to you, spend the extra money now instead of later. In this case the so-called mactax, would have been less costly. Hindsight is 20/20
    BTW: Anybody who does not think a laptop would be useful for an 11 yr old, has not sat down with an 11 yr old and helped with homework.
     

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