Laptop for secondary school?

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Kim_kimKim_kim Forumite
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My grandson starts secondary school in September.  
He’s probably going to need his own laptop for homework I guess.
Do kids take laptops to school now?

I was looking at this one 
https://www.johnlewis.com/acer-swift-1-sf114-34-laptop-intel-pentium-processor-4gb-ram-128gb-ssd-14-inch-full-hd/silver/p5860135?sku=240096355&srsltid=AWLEVJxZZ__dEtSEtzA31fT4bhoetc45se7ihLcvmWVMJgLEzEYoHLRliqk

I don’t know much about laptops but I’m thinking a good battery life means the charging lead doesn’t need to be carried as well.  

Any tips?  Is this good?  Is there a brand or type I should go for? 

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  • SpendlessSpendless Forumite
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    As far as I'm aware, the kids don't take them to school. My youngest finished in 2019. Definitely need something for homework though.

    Isn't there a 'getting to know us' type day or school prospectus that might give more detail 
  • sew_whatsew_what Forumite
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    No, they don't need a laptop for state school - some schools are "ipad schools" where they have a scheme to provide ipads to all the students for a monthly cost, but this will usually be in school prospectus or as Spendless mentioned above an intro day/meeting.  If they need a laptop in a particular class it will be provided by the school.

    For the first two or three years most homework will be written (schools don't assume that families have great IT) and by the time your grandson needs one, this could well be out of date.  Also have a think about whether a laptop is the best solution - a family desktop in a public area may be easier to supervise what he's up to & not watching inappropriate content in his room!  If he's interesting n playing games, he'll probably need a faster/more powerful machine.

  • rach_krach_k Forumite
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    Some schools do require (probably "strongly encourage", officially) particular devices for use at home and school, so I would carefully check the school website and any other information that's been sent home.

    At my daughters' school, 99% of homework is now done via MS Teams.  The school doesn't require particular devices and they never take them to school, but they do give a recommended minimum spec if parents are looking to buy something (it's quite basic).  It's expected that students will have internet access on a Windows 10 or later device that runs well enough to check email, browse websites and run things like Word and Powerpoint and that they will be able to use the device somewhere quiet enough to work.  The one you linked meets the recommended spec.

    We decided on a budget and then got the best we could for that, so the laptops should last throughout secondary school at least.  We found some nice deals on the Dell website - last year, there was a code that stacked on top of a discount and this year, we've bought a refurbed one with a discount code and cash back.  

    We have a family desktop too but felt that laptops are a better option for older children as family rooms can be distracting.  I certainly don't work my best on that computer!  Our girls know that we check their devices sometimes and we have their passwords.  They also know that they can be taken away.  The laptops have been useful - sometimes they take them to friends' homes to do group work.  
  • Kim_kimKim_kim Forumite
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    sew_what said:
    No, they don't need a laptop for state school - some schools are "ipad schools" where they have a scheme to provide ipads to all the students for a monthly cost, but this will usually be in school prospectus or as Spendless mentioned above an intro day/meeting.  If they need a laptop in a particular class it will be provided by the school.

    For the first two or three years most homework will be written (schools don't assume that families have great IT) and by the time your grandson needs one, this could well be out of date.  Also have a think about whether a laptop is the best solution - a family desktop in a public area may be easier to supervise what he's up to & not watching inappropriate content in his room!  If he's interesting n playing games, he'll probably need a faster/more powerful machine.

    He’s got an iPad & a PlayStation for browsing & gaming.  This was really just for homework. 
  • 400ixl400ixl Forumite
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    Kim_kim said:
    For slightly more money on the John Lewis website you will get better laptops. That one has a processor which is a bit in the weak side. You really want to be looking for something with an Intel i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 and 8gb RAM for it to be good enough for what they may do for school work. one example for an extra £30 https://www.johnlewis.com/hp-14s-dq2019na-laptop-intel-core-i3-8gb-ram-128ssd-14-inch-full-hd-natural-silver/p5871694
  • MadmelMadmel Forumite
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    Does the school provide a laptop? My state school does to all students, something we were hoping to do before Covid first struck but finally achieved in October 2020. It meant that during the 2nd lockdown, all lessons could be delivered live.  Whilst some subjects still have written work, it is a massive generalisation to say that everything is written in years 7-9 because it is not necessarily true. 

    As you have some time before your GS starts at the school, why not contact the head of year 7 or the head of Computer Science to ask what they recommend?
  • honeypophoneypop Forumite
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    At our local secondary, they require you to have a Chromebook to take into school each day (and for homework), and offer payment plans for each student to have one, so before buying a laptop, check the requirements of the school first. You don't want to pay out for a laptop only to find the child actually needs something different. 
  • bakisyn4421bakisyn4421 Forumite
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    i bought an HP envy Laptop for my son the other day. it's working perfectly for him. I think the model was Envy 17.
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