Notebooks for secondary school age kids: Mumsnet effort

I need to replace the notebooks that my kids use for school. My eldest is just about to enter year 11 at school, so I would like something that might last her through school and maybe the early years of her degree if she chooses to go to University. I’ll buy an identical machine for number 2 daughter who is in year 9 and hopefully she’ll get through A-levels before killing it.

Decent screen and keyboard, not too heavy, capable of surviving day-to-day use by kids (built out of kevlar might be good). Major usage will be essay writing, graphics, watching youtube and netflix. Budget to about £1200 for both with a preference for Windows machines as that is what I use. I don’t think Macs are in budget unless purchased used.

All advice welcome, particularly suggesting about SparcStations or BBC B type things…

VAX 11/750 obvs.

Might need to budget for a trolley and a very long mains cable.


Is that a vacuum cleaner?


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I’ve had recent laptops from Dell, HP and Lenovo. The Lenovo was best by miles for reliability. If an 11.6" screen is enough, the Thinkpad 11E is ruggedised (to Mil Spec) and costs £399.

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This is the notebook i had at secondary school…





Also FTFY.


Another vote for Lenovo here. Virtually indestructible and as well specced as any.

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I’d normally look at a 3 year old rugged Lenovo here, via a reconditioned seller on eBay

What about this kind of level?

I used to mend them in my yoof!

Find out what software the school uses then search for a deal with as many pre- installed licensed programs as possible on something that can run them.

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That is clearly not yours as there isn’t a half-chewed green crayon in the picture.


Since when did Jim ever eat anything green?


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Oh but I have to…

don’t forget…a salad a day keeps the farmers away!