Cheap laptops

  fazer 13:09 02 Feb 2006

I know this is probably a naive question but here goes anyway....

Am thinking of buying a cheap laptop for the kids and its only remit would be that they use Word or Excel to write their homework (it will the households second computer). There's no question that it will be used for games or internet access.

I've noticed that there lots of models around about the £350 mark but my only concern is that in this bracket, the RAM seems low at 250mb-ish. Considering the laptops intended use, is this amount of RAM acceptable?

  Forum Editor 13:21 02 Feb 2006

it's on the low end of acceptable.

You say that "There's no question that it will be used for games or internet access." and I hope that - father to father - you'll forgive me if I smile slightly at that. I have no idea how old your children are, but if they're the same as most others there will certainly come a time when you'll find a game being played, and Internet access is really an essential aid to homework at the secondary education stage.

For around £500 you would find a laptop that will have wireless networking built in, and it would also be games-friendly. If you have a broadband connection you could move to a wireless router later on, and the children would have the internet access that they will definitely need. Today's kids are growing up with the internet, it's going to be an integral part of their lives, and I see no reason to plan for anything else when buying hardware nowadays.

This computer will probably end up getting more use than you anticipate, and I believe it might be worth your while to consider hiking the budget a bit now, and saving yourself additional expenditure in the future.

  fazer 13:31 02 Feb 2006

Forum Editor,

Thank you for your response.

My two boys are 12 years old and already have access to my far-more-powerful desktop - photoediting and internet etc.

The issue I have is that the queues build up when they want to write bog-standard text and perhaps surprisingly, their get their "game-kicks" from their PSP and a play station (run through a 32" TV - hence the attraction!).

So is such a laptop adequate or do you think its false economy taking into account my confident statement regarding its proposed use?

  woodchip 13:42 02 Feb 2006

Take your pick click here

For your Needs this would be my choise click here

  humbug59 14:11 02 Feb 2006

I bought a cheap Patriot from PC World for the kids to free up my desktop. Guess what? It ended up gathering dust & I still can't get on my Desk top. It was just far too slow for the modern youth. Dont waste your cash. Get a gud one!

  dms05 14:18 02 Feb 2006

humbug59 does make a good point!

For a bit more you can get a 64 bit AMD laptop click here

and it has a wide aspect screen.

  Gongoozler 14:23 02 Feb 2006

I regularly use a laptop bought for under £400 for our Scout group to use. It has a 1G Via C3 processor and 256M memory. It's only used for Word, Excel and slide shows using Irfanview. For these applications it's fine. We don't use it at all for games, so a more powerful computer would have been a waste of money. The memory is expandable to 512M if we need it.

  fazer 16:06 02 Feb 2006

Thanks all for your responses. A lot for to consider.

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