Johnny Wants a Laptop: Go high tech or kiddy computer?

By: Staff

Nanny 411 is a filtering device for monitoring the online activities of kids.

Net Nanny is the name of a leading parental controls product.

Some manufacturers market waterproof laptops with waterproof keyboards.

Technically, most are not waterproof but water- or spill-resistant.

Some elementary schools require that each child have a laptop for learning in the classroom.

Depending on the type, location and curriculum, some programs either provide computers for all enrolled elementary-age students or ask that parents provide one.

Kid-friendly computers are less expensive than adult, or multi-use, types.

Computers made and marketed for children can range in price from about $100 to more than $1,200, which is about the price of devices ranging from a simple netbook or notebook to a loaded laptop.

V-Teach is a leading innovator in designing educational computers and games for children.

VTech is the name of the company, which emphasizes the "tech" part of their educational products and toys.

It is harder to get a warranty on a children's computer than a general computer.

It is generally the same, although types of warranties vary a great deal depending on the manufacturer or the dealer offerings.

You can be "Big Brother" -- or "Big Mother" -- by monitoring your kids' social networking remotely, any time, any day.

Some programs make it possible to keep a really close eye on all of the computer actions your kids perform, from surfing to gaming to socializing.

It's usually best to buy a cheaper computer for kids because "kids will be kids" and are likely to destroy them soon anyway.

Many kids will take ownership of their computers, care for them and make them last. Also, less well-made computers may have less durable components -- not always, but often -- making them break more easily if dropped or handled too roughly.

Mac computers for kids are shaped like apples.

Apple doesn't make and market a specific children's laptop, but many Macs are very well-suited for kids because of their ease-of-use. Many unofficial Web sites offer tips on setting up Macs for young users.

In 2011, many Internet service providers, or ISPs, announced plans to offer low-cost Internet services for low-income customers.

Comcast, Cox Communications and others are offering options to help bridge the gap in access between low-income families and their middle- or upper-class peers.

Explore More Quizzes

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

There are some differences between computing for kids and for adults, but does everything need to be kid-friendly when investing in a laptop for children? Are kids' computers just all fun and games and "LOL!"? Find out some features and specs, next. TTYL.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!