Students need a computer to study since the very first grade. But in elementary, middle and high school, students have different curricula and different hobbies related to computers. And sometimes kids and parents use the same PCs. While students complete school projects, adults work or bet at 22 Bet. Accordingly, the requirements are different.
Let’s understand what it is better to buy – a desktop PC or a laptop, and what characteristics you need to look at when buying a computer for children of different ages.
Choosing the Type of Device
Usually for school children, a stationary computer or laptop is suitable, less often – a monoblock, in which the monitor and the system unit – one unit. Each of these devices has its own advantages and disadvantages.
It can be bought both as the main device for home use and as an additional device for a laptop.
- Reliability. System units break down less often than laptops and monoblocks.
- easy repair. In a stationary PC, the parts are located at a large distance from each other. You can quickly open the case of the system unit and replace the obsolete part with a new one. It can also be larger, if the size of the case allows.
Laptops and all-in-one PCs have tightly spaced and often soldered parts. Therefore, replacing parts in such devices is expensive, and if the new part is larger than the old one, you can’t replace it.
- PC size. It’s necessary to equip a separate workplace with a computer. In a small apartment, it’s difficult to do this.
- Lack of operating system. For most desktop PCs, you need to buy it separately.
It’s suitable for students who take tutors and additional classes, where you need to record the lectures or work on the computer. Usually such classes start in the eighth or ninth grade.
If you often need to carry a laptop, and you have a desktop PC at home, you can buy a laptop with a screen of 10-12 inches, which weighs less than a kilogram. Constantly working with such a computer is uncomfortable because of the small screen and a small keyboard. But it’s convenient to use it for lectures and distance learning.
It’s recommended to buy laptops in a metal case, not plastic. These models are more reliable.
- Mobility. You can take it with you to class.
- Compactness. A laptop can be stowed away in a desk when you don’t need it. There is no need to equip a permanent workplace.
- Independence from the power source. You don’t need to be near a power socket to work.
- An installed operating system. Most laptops are sold with it.
- Difficult repairs. Most of the parts in a laptop are difficult to replace. If the processor fails or the graphics card is obsolete, you will have to buy a new computer.
- The high weight of some models with a large screen.
- Fragility. The laptop is easy to break.
This is a compact version of a desktop computer, where the monitor and the system unit are one unit.
- You need fewer electrical outlet slots than a desktop PC.
- You don’t need to allocate space for it at your desk.
- Stationarity. To work at the monoblock you need to equip a permanent workplace;
- Cost. Monoblocks are 20-30% more expensive than desktop computers with similar characteristics.
- No powerful cooling system. The monoblock overheats and works slowly if you run programs that require a lot of power, such as Photoshop.
- Complicated repairs. As in a laptop, you can only replace some parts.
Comparison of Technical Characteristics
Regardless of the type of device, evaluate the amount of RAM, the characteristics of the processor and the volume of the hard drive. If your child edits videos, draws in Photoshop, works with 3D visualization or develops games, the performance of the video card is also important.
RAM stores information that then goes to the CPU. For example, if a user opens several programs at once, the information is stored in RAM. If the memory capacity is insufficient, the computer works slowly.
The processor is responsible for the computer’s operation: it receives data from the main memory, processes it and transmits the information to the monitor, printer, speakers and other external devices.
Processor is the most expensive part of the system unit, the more powerful it is, the more expensive it is. But you don’t need a powerful processor to study. To work with documents, for example, an Intel Core i3 processor will be enough.
If your child has to draw pictures on a tablet, design games and create 3D models, a processor with more power is required – for example, the Intel Core i5 family.
Hard Drive Size
If your child will work with text documents and presentations, and will not save audio and video on the computer, a 256 GB hard drive will suffice. But if you store games, video and audio files on the computer, the disc capacity should be 512 GB or more.
Video Card Performance
The graphics card processes information about graphic elements – photos, pictures, videos – and is responsible for their quality on the screen. If the video card is weak, it is difficult for the user to work with images: colors are not displayed correctly, videos are slowed down.
If your child works only with text documents, makes presentations, buzzes and watches videos on the Internet, a video card isn’t needed. The processor can cope with such tasks.
Number of USB Connectors
To the computer via USB-connectors connect a mouse, keyboard, printer, camcorder, flash drives. So the more USB ports you have, the better.
Laptops and PCs are usually sold with an operating system installed. If you order to assemble the computer, you will need to buy the operating system.
Choosing Additional Devices
If you buy a desktop computer, not a laptop, you need to choose a monitor and a keyboard. Any type of device will need a mouse, camera, speakers and printer.
When choosing a monitor, you need to pay attention to four characteristics:
- Diagonal. For a school student, it’s recommended to take monitors with a diagonal of 21-25 inches. It’s better not to buy a monitor smaller than 19 inches. If you take a computer with a small screen, the child will have to look closely at the image and his eyes will be strained.
- Flicker, that is, how often the monitor updates frames. If the monitor flickers a lot, eyes get tired quickly.
The image must remain clear even if you look at the monitor from the side or from above. If the image becomes dark or blurry, don’t take such a monitor.
Purchase a monitor which allows you to change the monitor’s tilt so your child can adjust the screen to his/her own preference.
You need a keyboard for a desktop or all-in-one PC. It’s better to take a gamer model – it’s more expensive, but more convenient. On such a keyboard, the buttons are located so that the hands are less strained, when you have to work for a long time.
Laptops have a touchpad – a built-in mouse, but it’s more convenient to use a separate mouse.
If the mouse lies on a light or glossy table, you need to buy a mouse pad, otherwise the cursor will jump on the monitor.
Speakers and a Video Camera or Headset
These devices are needed for participation in distance education. It’s better not to take cheap video cameras. Inexpensive models often have a bad microphone and poor image quality.
It’s better not to take a headset for primary school students , that is, headphones with a built-in microphone. Kids are distracted by the hanging wire, it prevents them from writing. Also often teachers and tutors ask for a parent to be present in class. In this case speakers are needed.