advertisement
Forums

The Forum is sponsored by 
 

AAPL stock: Click Here

You are currently viewing the Tips and Deals forum
Buy a PC Laptop for my son?
Posted by: magicmikey
Date: July 12, 2009 09:18AM
My 11 year old has been really begging me for a laptop. He mostly plays online games and basic word processing. I've been holding off on it because I just can't justify the expense of a Mac laptop. We only have been using Macs in the house, although I'm reasonably familiar with PCs. I'm considering buying him a cheap PC for now and when he gets closer to high school buying him a MacBook (or whatever they are then.)

Here's my reasoning. I can't find a used MacBook for under $600. Even the iBooks still sell for more than I think they're worth. I don't want to buy him an iBook because the games he plays and videos he watches will struggle on the iBook. Plus, I just don't think it's worth buying any Mac that doesn't have an Intel processor in it.

On the PC side, I can buy a brand new Toshiba or Acer laptop for $300. Check out these two deals:
[www.bestbuy.com]

[www.bestbuy.com]

So, what do you guys think? I would prefer keeping him on a Mac but it just doesn't look like it's going to happen. (My older son has a MacBook, courtesy of his grandparents, my wife uses a G4 iMac and I'm on a MacBook.) Do you have a better idea?

If not, which of those two PC laptops look better. The Acer has an AMD Athlon 64 Processor running at 1.6 gHz, while the Toshiba has an Intel Celeron 585 processor running at 2.16 gHz. (I don't know enough about the difference between the Celeron and the AMD to know if there's much of a difference in their speed.) The Toshiba has an Express Card slot, which is a plus but he won't need it.

Anyway, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Michael



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/2009 09:25AM by magicmikey.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Buy a PC Laptop for my son?
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: July 12, 2009 09:29AM
Buying a child a PC instead of a Mac might be considered "child abuse" :-)

Sorry-I don't have any input on the PC....I have heard decent things about Acer
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Buy a PC Laptop for my son?
Posted by: magicmikey
Date: July 12, 2009 09:34AM
Quote
Ken Sp.
Buying a child a PC instead of a Mac might be considered "child abuse" :-)

I agree! :-) That's why this is so hard for me to do. His cousin, also 11, has had a PC laptop for 2 years and my son plays on it all the time. Since his games (and comics) are online, he's only using the Internet and there isn't much of a difference in using the PC vs. the Mac for that.

It's just hard for me to imagine buying a PC!
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Buy a PC Laptop for my son?
Posted by: JEBB
Date: July 12, 2009 10:08AM
I'd suggest trying to find one of the early G3 Clamshell iBooks but one that has Firewire. It should be able to stand the abuse a child would give it plus, being so colorful, it may make him very popular with his friends. They can be dual boot and there are a lot of games for Mac OS9.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Buy a PC Laptop for my son?
Posted by: magicmikey
Date: July 12, 2009 10:13AM
Quote
JEBB
I'd suggest trying to find one of the early G3 Clamshell iBooks but one that has Firewire. It should be able to stand the abuse a child would give it plus, being so colorful, it may make him very popular with his friends. They can be dual boot and there are a lot of games for Mac OS9.

Thanks but those will not handle the games he plays. He needs something with a much more robust video engine and a much more powerful processor. It would have to be something that can handle OS X easily.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Buy a PC Laptop for my son?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: July 12, 2009 10:34AM
Quote
magicmikey

Thanks but those will not handle the games he plays. He needs something with a much more robust video engine and a much more powerful processor. It would have to be something that can handle OS X easily.

i just asked my gamer 15 year old and he made the same point about needing a robust video engine. would those low end PCs really have the gaming power required?

does it have to be a laptop? my son has been thrilled with his iMac 20" which he recently set up to run windows. he probably plays different games than your son given the age diff but he's been pretty pleased with having the best of both worlds.



If you want to fix our country, work with us in the states. statesproject.org

"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Buy a PC Laptop for my son?
Posted by: dochocson
Date: July 12, 2009 11:55AM
Depending on what games he plays, be very wary of integrated graphics. We had a Dell Inspiron a couple of years ago that choked on World of Warcraft despite maxing out the RAM and dropping the video settings.

Ended up getting a Dell Vostro (Dell Business Store) and it has been very good.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Buy a PC Laptop for my son?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: July 12, 2009 12:11PM
You probably already know this, but the main reason the PCs are cheaper is because they are much more low end than any MacBook. Both of those are single-core CPUs. I suspect the Toshiba would be a better performer than the Acer but neither are going to set the world on fire.

I would think if you watch for a while, an occasional MacBook would appear on Craigslist for less than $600.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Buy a PC Laptop for my son?
Posted by: Carm
Date: July 12, 2009 01:10PM
[configure.us.dell.com]

Starting at $389
My Components
Intel® Pentium® Dual Core T4200 (2.0GHz/800Mhz FSB/1MB cache)
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Basic Edition SP1
Microsoft® Works 9
Classic Protection: 1 yr Ltd Warranty and Mail-In Service
Bright, glossy widescreen 15.6 WLED display (1366x768)
2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 800MHz
160GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD
8X CD / DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
4-cell battery
Dell Wireless 1397 802.11g Half Mini-Card
No Webcam Option
High Definition Audio 2.0
Jet Black

You can upgrade the video for $100
Also the battery to 6 cell for $30

The machine is big. Bought a Inspiron 1525 for wife to work at home with last year. Similar footprint



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/2009 01:11PM by Carm.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Buy a PC Laptop for my son?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: July 12, 2009 03:03PM
Quote
magicmikey
My 11 year old has been really begging me for a laptop...I can buy a brand new Toshiba or Acer laptop for $300

Give him a competitive advantage and yourself peace of mind--get him a Mac.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Buy a PC Laptop for my son?
Posted by: DharmaDog
Date: July 12, 2009 03:03PM
Or this option from HP:

CQ60Z series @ $459
# Genuine Windows Vista Home Basic with Service Pack 1 (32-bit)
# • AMD Athlon(TM) X2 Dual-Core Processor for Notebook PCs QL-65 (2.1GHz, 1MB L2 Cache)
# • FREE Upgrade to 2GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm) from 1GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
# • 160GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
# • NVIDIA GeForce 8200M G
# • 15.6" diagonal High Definition HP Brightview Display (1366x768)
# • LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-RW with Double Layer Support
# • Microphone + Webcam
# • Wireless-G Card

It has dedicated graphics, webcam, and 6-cell battery for only $70 more than the above Dell without these things. The Dell would be at least $519 configured similarly. It's AMD vs. Intel, but at the low-end, I'm not sure there's a big difference.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Buy a PC Laptop for my son?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: July 12, 2009 03:15PM
The Intel integrated graphics are anemic compared to either ATI or Nvidia. It is fine for any game from two years ago.

Models with mid range graphics like the better 15" MacBook Pro can go on sale for about $800. These are couple of examples, outlet/refurb/open-box can be less.
$950 HP dv7-1275dx 2.1 GHz/4GB/500GB/512MB-9600M-GT [www.bestbuy.com]
$850 SONY VGN-NW130J/W 2.1GHz/4GB/320GB/512MB-Radeon-HD 4570 [www.newegg.com]
$999 ASUS N51Vf-X1 2.4GHz/4GB/320GB/1GB-GT130M [www.newegg.com]
$900 Dell Outlet, either home or business, select: laptop, 512MB-video [www.dell.com]



In tha 360. MRF User Map
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Buy a PC Laptop for my son?
Posted by: magicmikey
Date: July 12, 2009 03:25PM
Thanks for all the input. I don't think his games take nearly that much processing/video power. He's been able to run them on his cousin's inexpensive Toshiba. If I'm going to spend more than $600, I'll buy a MacBook for him. (That's what I would do if I had enough extra cash.)

The PC is just to buy some time until I do step him up to a MacBook.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 408
Record Number of Users: 186 on February 20, 2020
Record Number of Guests: 5122 on October 03, 2020