Laptop required for 11 year old - what's best?

    Hi wonder if you could help. I need to buy a laptop for my daughter (starts secondary school next year) and thought i would buy it for christmas.
    Can anyone advise me what i sould buy/look out for? How much memory do i need?
    I'm basically a technophobe and need pointing in the right direction.
    I would like to keep the cost down (obviously) but am really unaware of value for money when it comes to computers.
    We do have wi fi (if that helps)

    I look forward to being "enlightened"!!


    There are loads of requests on here for laptop deals so suggest you look back over the last couple of weeks to see what people have said.

    Just search for "laptop" or select the "Computers" topic from the menu bar above and scan through them..

    Some general suggestions:

    Cost for a low-end laptop is around £250, but £300 is more realistic to get a decent model.

    Avoid brands sold only through one shop, like PC World or Currys. These brands include Advent, Packard Bell and Ei Systems.

    Go for a "proper" brand like Toshiba, Acer, Fujitsu Siemens, HP and so on.

    Try to get 2Gb of memory as less may have problems coping with Vista.

    Try to get Vista Home Premium rather than Vista Home Basic.

    If the laptop is going to be moved around a lot go for a 15.4" screen, but if it is going to be on the same desk most of the time go for a 17" as this is more pleasing to work with (but heavier to lug around).

    Original Poster

    i'll get looking!

    All laptops come with wifi these days so don't worry about that, although bluetooth to connect wirelessly to smaller devices like mobile phones isn't always included.

    The first step is to decide which size you want, laptops screens range in size from around 9" to 17". While the size itself isn't that much of an issue, bigger laptops are also much heavier, with the large 15" and 17" laptops being a lot 2-5 times heavier than smaller ones.

    On the other hand, bigger ones also tend to be a lot easier to use and are also faster for the same money. So it's very much a decision on whether you want to get her something that she can carry about or whether you want to get her a computer that will only be taken round to a friends house occasionally. (If it's just going to stay in the same place all the time then a desktop is better value).
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