If you have a kid begging for a laptop—but all they really want to do is email and Facebook and online socializing—the obvious (read: cheap) solution is a Chromebook. Gone are the days when you couldn’t get a laptop for under about $500; now you can grab a machine that does 99% of what your teens want for just a couple hundred. Alternatively, it’s a great travel machine or “extra.”
Plus, y’know, on days like today you can snag a lowest-price-ever deal, like on this Acer 11.6″ Chromebook at Amazon today for just $159 shipped.
It averages a 4.5 star review and has never been cheaper. If you’re in the market, go and grab one.
Hey, Parents of Minecraft fans,
Check the reviews on this one; apparently and for reasons far, far above my non-tech head, this machine doesn’t support Minecraft play.
Great deal, though. I’ll keep hunting for a kid-appropriate laptop that can handle MC.
Mandy – I did a lot of research on exactly that in Dec. We found an Asus laptop for around $250 that seems to be meeting the needs of our two avid Minecrafters quite well.
You’re both correct. I probably should’ve pointed out that a machine that will work for schoolwork but not support Minecraft is actually something that appeals to me for obvious reasons…. 😉
Thanks, Barbara! He has asked for a laptop for his 8th bday. Off to search Asus on Amazon.
I’ve been stalking Chromebooks for my kids, and the Minecraft thing is a deal-breaker for us. If you are technically inclined enough to be comfortable using step-by-step instructions to install a partition running Linux, you can make Minecraft work on these.
Technical explanation, in case you’re interested: Minecraft is written in the programming language Java, which currently runs on DOS-based (read: Windows) and Unix-based (read: Linux and Mac) operating systems. But nobody has ported it (Java) to the Chrome OS that comes installed on Chromebooks, which means Java programs won’t run on them. (It turns out, though, that the Chrome OS is build on top of Linux, so you can reasonably easily set the laptop up to be able to boot directly to Linux and install and run Minecraft from there. I haven’t actually done this, but there are directions and people who successfully have, all over the web.)
Now I just have to decide if I am willing to take the smaller screen on this one to save the $80 or so over the 14″ ones I’ve been eyeing. Decisions!