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HomeGreat GiftsHigh Tech Toys

7 top computers for the holidays

Time to get your child a computer? Our tech expert shares her favorites for kids and teens.

By Christina Tynan-Wood

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Mac mini

Ages: Kindergarten and up

Young kids should really be supervised when using an Internet-connected computer, so a laptop they can squirrel away to a bedroom is not the best call. But who says an oversized home PC has to ugly up your family room? Enter the Mac mini, so tiny and cute you can tuck it just about anywhere — be it a corner of the kitchen so kids can surf while you cook, or the family room where it can serve as an entertainment system. Measuring a mere 7” x 7” x 1.4” and looking more like a trivet than a computer, don't let its small size and sweet looks fool you. This is a powerful machine with an Intel i5 processor, 2 GB of memory, and a 500 GB hard drive — tech perks to make the whole family happy.

Bottom line: A family computer dressy enough for your living room without wreaking havoc on the college fund.

Christina Tynan-Wood has written for Better Homes and Gardens, Popular Science, PC World, PC Magazine, InfoWorld, and many others. She currently writes the "Family Tech" column in Family Circle and blogs at GeekGirlfriends.com.

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

02/2/2012:
"Thats a good thing. But our politicians need to change things so young folks with computer knowledge can actually use that to get in the job field and earn a decent wage. "
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