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Laptop for Junior High student??

This is a discussion on Laptop for Junior High student?? within the Tech Corner forums, part of the Everything But Cigars category; Hey guys and gals, i'm searching for a laptop for my daughter. She is going to start junior high this ...

  
  1. #1

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish Rookee's Avatar


     

    Laptop for Junior High student??

    Hey guys and gals, i'm searching for a laptop for my daughter. She is going to start junior high this week. I really don't know anything about this stuff, so if anyone can suggest a good starter laptop for a twelve year old please help.
    She is very computer savvy as far as using it (i'm sure all kids now a days are) just don't want to get something that isn't practical. Thanks

  2. #2

    Money Never Sleeps Habano's Avatar


     

    Re: Laptop for Junior High student??

    The first thing you really need to determine is what kind of money do you want to spend. You can buy a laptop for $300, but it won't be worth anything by the time she is a freshman in high school. Not only will it not be worth anything, half the programs she will need or load onto it for school will crash the system because it's not powerful enough. A good piece of advice is buy something that will last her long term, say all the way through high school. Granted her senior year the laptop might be a dinosaur, but it will still allow her to type reports, research on the internet, check email and etc. I would highly recommend spending something in the $750-1k range with a computer that has some quality parts. The system you buy now might be a little more than she will need, but will last until she graduates high school.

    So what kind of system should I buy? Well excellent question. There are a lot of brands out there to choose from. It's hard to go wrong with a Dell. If your worried about dollars, check out the Dell outlet section on their website. A lot of these laptops are brand new, even though they may say they are refurbished and in the outlet. What happens is people will order a laptop, cancel it the last minute, refuse shipment, send it back, or whatever and Dell will resell it. So they say its not "new" when it really isn't. So they sell it in the outlet area. Many times you can save 20-30% off on these laptops. If I get some time later this evening, I'll check it out and see if I can find a laptop that would be good for your daughter and post the specs. That way you can have a general idea what it is and what you can look for when shopping and comparing other brands/models.

  3. #3

    Money Never Sleeps Habano's Avatar


     

    Re: Laptop for Junior High student??

    Below is a perfect example of a laptop that would be ideal for your daughter. Another question you need to address, does she play games? Like high end graphical games? If so, you will need a system with a power video card. Most systems have just a basic integrated video card. If she is going to game, then she will need a powerful video card. If not, then the one below is capable of doing everything a kid in junior high will do on a laptop. I'm pretty sure she would like the built in web camera as well.

    System ID: EJEZCYJR
    Inspiron 15z - 1570
    Certified Refurbished - SA
    System Price: $679.00


    Base:
    Inspiron 15z - 1570 Laptop
    Processor:
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor SU7300 (1.3GHz, 800 MHz, 3 MB)\
    Operating System: Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium
    Hard Disk Drive
    : 320 GB SATA Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
    Memory
    : 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz (2 DIMMs)
    Media Bay
    : 8X DVD +/- RW w/dbl layer write capability
    Video:
    Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD
    System Color:
    Obsidian Black
    Laptop Screen: 15.6 inch High Definition LED Display with TrueLife
    Laptop Battery: 6 Cell Primary Battery, 60W
    Network Interface Card:
    Intel WiFi Link 5100 802.11a/g/n Draft Mini Card
    Web Camera: Integrated 1.3M Pixel Webcam
    Hardware Upgrade: 65W AC Adapter 125V Power Cord
    Software Upgrade:
    64BIT Operating System DVD
    Office Software:
    Microsoft Works 9.0
    Security Software: McAfee Security Center, 30 Day

  4. #4

    Alpha Puffer Fish Bunker's Avatar


     

    Re: Laptop for Junior High student??

    I would look into either Dell or Lenova refurbs.

    I just bought a nice little Lenova Ideapad with 3 gig of ram for less than $500 with Windows 7, it even has a and hdmi port which sealed the deal because I can plug it into my Flat screeen and watch on-demand movies and tv through Netflix and Hulu.

    The only suggestioned I would have is to get something with a decent amount of memory or at least room to upgrade later.

  5. #5

    Huge Puffer Fish packed with spikes mrsmitty's Avatar


     

    Re: Laptop for Junior High student??

    I just bought a hp nc2400 on eBay for $209 shipped. It has a 12 inch screen, weighs 3lbs has 2gb of ram, 60 GB HD, 1.2ghz dual core processor. I've lately seen these go for under $150 on eBay but with 1 GB less ram. I use it mainly for taking notes in class, but I've had 4 laptops some technically faster then this but this certainly gets the job done plus some. Oh and it has 4 1/2 hour battery life because it has a 6 cell standard battery, which would be good for your daughter seeing as though she may not always be by a outlet. Also it has a optical drive "CD-RW/DVD" that most laptops this size don't have, and it also has a finger print reader. I would highly recommend the HP NC2400 because of it small size, its speed, and the battery life.

    One con is the mouse is the old school style eraser looking thing in the middle of the keyboard, but I usually can't stand laptop mice anyways thus I just use a wireless USB optical mouse.

  6. #6

    Money Never Sleeps Habano's Avatar


     

    Re: Laptop for Junior High student??

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunker View Post
    I would look into either Dell or Lenova refurbs.

    I just bought a nice little Lenova Ideapad with 3 gig of ram for less than $500 with Windows 7, it even has a and hdmi port which sealed the deal because I can plug it into my Flat screeen and watch on-demand movies and tv through Netflix and Hulu.

    The only suggestioned I would have is to get something with a decent amount of memory or at least room to upgrade later.
    I'm surprised you bought the Lenova with only three gigs of ram. I wouldn't consider anything running Windows 7 with less than four gigs or ram. Almost one gig of ram will be used for shared memory, so really you are using about two gigs of memory to run Windows 7 which is the minimum requirements. If you have room to upgrade, I would highly suggest going to at least four, if not six within the next year.

  7. #7

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish Rookee's Avatar


     

    Re: Laptop for Junior High student??

    Thanks for the info guys, gonna check out the Dells.

  8. #8

    Money Never Sleeps Habano's Avatar


     

    Re: Laptop for Junior High student??

    Hey Rookee...hope the laptop buying is going and well and is not causing you too much pain. If you have any questions at all, feel free to post them here and I am sure many of us will be more than happy to help.

  9. #9

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish Brinson's Avatar


     

    Re: Laptop for Junior High student??

    I'd buy a Dell Vostro/Latitude. These lines are designed for small business and so is a bit more sturdy, and, well, cheaper, because they know businesses want to be more economical.

    I respect the opinion of the person who said to buy in the $750-$1,000 range, but I have to disagree. The average usable life on a PC, I think, is about 7-8 years for me, and I'm a pretty big nerd. Every year or so I will reinstall the Operating System and all programs to keep it fast, but in general, 7-8 years seems reasonable if you take care of it (software wise, moreso than physically). Taking care of it doesn't necessarily mean virus scanning software. It means not installing useless programs. Things no one really needs but you install on a whim. These programs stack, and the computer becomes useless.

    This will happen on a $1,000 i7 system as much as it will a slow netbook, it will just take a little longer on the i7, but...not much longer.

    Also, I have a vendetta on the Dell Inspiron laptops. They look fancy, and break easy. Poor hinges, thin plastic between the ports that tends to snap. The screen lock also has a tendency to break.

    Don't play into the RAM/Ghz hype. The average user will see no difference between any Athlon X2 CPU and another. Line is importan. A Core 2 will outperform a Celeron, and a Celeron will outperform an Atom, but the actual ghz within the line? You'd have to have a benchmark to notice the difference outside highend gaming, CAD, or graphics/video rendering.

    If I were buying a laptop right now it would without a doubt be the Vostro V13, but you probably won't want that, as its a laptop customized with a non-windows operating system for small businesses.

    I like laptops in the $400-$500 range personally. For this price you can get a good line processor (Core 2/i3/possibly i5), and more than 2gbs of ram. In a year or two, upgrade the ram for what will be abysmally cheap, and its no harder than loading an original NES game.

    My last tip...if you buy dell, look for coupon codes. They cary from 20% up to 50% or higher. All you have to do is google around enough with "Dell Coupon Codes" and you'll find tons of them. When I bought my last dell they brought an $800 computer down to under $500.


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