Up next in How to Understand Computers (58 videos)
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You Will Need
- Age-appropriate content
- Compatibility with school computers
- Child-friendly features
- Parental controls
Consider a child's computer
If you're choosing a computer for a preschooler, consider getting a children's computer -- one preloaded with content geared to kids and containing a feature that blocks them from accessing inappropriate content.
Decide between a desktop and a laptop
Decide between a desktop and a laptop. Desktops are cheaper and easier to upgrade, while laptops are portable.
Make it school-compatible
If your child is school age, find out what kind of computers their school uses -- PCs or Macs -- so you can choose a kids' computer that's compatible.
Consider child-friendly features
Investigate child-friendly features and accessories like a water-resistant keyboard or keyboard cover and a scratch-resistant screen. If you go with a laptop, invest in a strong carrying case to protect the computer from bangs and falls.
Outfit your tweens
If you're choosing a computer for a tween or teen who plays video games, look for a desktop with a 512 MB or larger graphics card, and a high-resolution monitor that's at least 19 inches.
Ask about parental controls
Ask if any built-in parental controls come with the computer. If the machine you're considering doesn't have one of the parental-control features you'd like, ask if it can be purchased separately -- because making sure your children are safe online can be the most important factor in choosing a kids' computer.