With the Covid-19 situation happening all over the world, educational institutions are looking for alternative schooling methods.
As we transition to the ‘new normal’, education should still be at the forefront of parents’ minds. That is why for their children to continue learning, getting a laptop should definitely be in consideration.
That being said, if you are looking for the best laptop for kids in 2020, you’ve come to the right article.
I will give my recommendations, as well as the reasons why you need to give your kid a laptop in this day and age.
Best Laptops for Kids
1.Acer Nitro 5
While kids would definitely want a device where they can learn from home, they would also like a gaming machine so that they can play in their spare time. That is why the Acer Nitro 5 is an appealing choice.
This is a budget gaming machine that is perfect for your kids. Its Intel Core i5-103800H processor coupled with Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650Ti GPU makes it a great portable gaming laptop for kids.
You also have the choice of getting a sole SSD or an SSD+HDD combo, but the former should suffice in most cases.
Kids can also bring this with them to school without worrying too much about battery life because it can easily squeeze a solid 10 hours of power on a single charge.
Its thick bezels might be unappealing for adults, but for kids, they wouldn’t mind that at all. And oh, the weight is also a bit on the heavy side.
But, for the specs, the price, and the performance, kids will definitely love the Acer Nitro 5.
2.Asus VivoBook S15
The Asus VivoBook S15 is a laptop that your kids can proudly show off at school. That is because they will be given the option to choose different vivid colors. There is the Indie Black, Resolute Red, Gaia Green, and Dreamy White. All of them are colorful and vibrant and kids will definitely get fixated on the design itself.
Its Intel Core i5-10210U CPU and integrated graphics should suffice when it comes to productivity tasks and school assignments. Its included 512GB SSD will also make sure that accessing files will be a breeze.
Despite this being a kid-friendly laptop, the Asus Vivobook S15 is actually a premium device. It’s mostly made of aluminum, has a big and vibrant 15.6-inch Full HD display, and its screen-to-body ratio is one of the better ones that I’ve seen at this price point.
Because of its more premium materials, this laptop can also take the beating; something that you’d want to consider if you intend to endow your kids with one that they can take with them to school without having to worry about durability.
3.Google PixelBook Go
Price: Starts at $649
Considered by many as one of the best Chromebooks on the market, the Google PixelBook Go is made by the company that created the Chromebook’s main operating system.
While there are parents that want their children to use Windows 10 S, there are those that want a simple solution that allows their kids to complete any tasks that are given in school.
The Google Pixelbook Go is a great option thanks to its premium build, crisp display, good specs, and an amazing keyboard.
Its keyboard is one that the company calls the ‘Hush’ keyboard and rightfully so. It is easy on the fingers and it doesn’t produce a lot of noise when typing; making it ideal for school.
Because of its vibrant display, your kids can watch their favorite shows while on the go. And, you can also choose between a 1080p screen or a 4K display (though the latter will cost a lot more).
Although the operating system may take your child some time getting used to, the Google Pixelbook Go is still a solid choice if you want to buy a laptop for them that they can proudly bring to school.
4.Acer Aspire 5 Slim
Another great option for your kids, the Acer Aspire 5 Slim is a compact laptop with an amazing screen and more than adequate performance.
It is powered by the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U CPU which has all of the cores and performance that your child would need to handle any school assignment.
The laptop also comes with a 15.6-inch, IPS display with Full HD resolution, allowing them to watch their favorite cartoons on a vibrant screen. The bezels are also thin so your kid has more screen real estate they can work with.
Despite this being a laptop intended for kids, the Acer Aspire 5 Slim has svelte looks, has a premium build quality, and the keyboard has backlighting to enable your child to type even in dimly lit environments.
You will also be happy to know that the laptop comes with Windows 10 Home by default and you can enable the Windows S mode if you want better security for your children.
With a slim and premium build quality and vivid display, the Acer Aspire 5 Slim is perfect for your little one.
5.Microsoft Surface Go 2
Price: Starts at $399
Although it is technically a Tablet PC, the Microsoft Surface Go 2 actually transforms into a capable laptop when you buy its accessories (especially the detachable keyboard).
What makes this appealing for kids is its tablet interface. I am pretty sure that your child has used a smartphone or a tablet before, so using this one should be quite familiar to them.
The second version of Microsoft’s popular tablet PC has much better performance across the board; not to mention that it is powered by Windows 10.
Unlike the iPad Pro, the Surface 2 has a convenient kickstand that is durable. In fact, everything about this tablet PC is durable and that is one quality that parents should consider when buying their kids a tablet/laptop hybrid that they can use in school.
Though with the included accessories can make this product reach $500-$700, the Microsoft Surface Go 2 is still a really good option to take, especially for what it has to offer.
6.Lenovo Flex 11
Most kids nowadays are more accustomed to using a smartphone or a tablet rather than a full-fledged PC. So, if you want a hybrid, the Lenovo Flex 11 is definitely one of the best.
For the price of just $399.99, you will get a laptop that is powered by Intel’s Pentium Silver N5000 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of eMMc storage. It also comes with Windows 10S Home edition right off the bat for that added layer of security.
Its 11.6-inch HD resolution display can actually be flipped up to 360-degrees so that the keyboard can get out of the way and turn the laptop into a tablet (which is more familiar to kids).
The screen itself also has an anti-glare coating so that it protects your child’s delicate eyes, especially during prolonged use.
7.Acer Chromebook Spin 11
You’d want to choose durable laptops for your kids because you know how rowdy and careless they can be with their gadgets. For that reason, the Acer Chromebook Spin would really be a great choice.
Although its performance package is sufficient enough for school, where it shines is its durable build and inexpensive price.
This Chromebook allows your child to not only download apps that are intended for educational purposes but they can also play their favorite Android games as well.
Even if your kid drops this laptop accidentally, you can rest assured that it can take the beating. This device is also lightweight as well so your kids can bring it with them anywhere without any problems.
8.MSI GL65 9SC
Parents who have heard or known about MSI can tell that this is a gaming laptop. This kind of device might not be something that you want to give your kid, especially if you want them to focus on school. However, it is scientifically proven that your child should also be able to enjoy in their spare time, so getting this one wouldn’t hurt.
The MSI GL65 9SC is fitted with amazing specs that are not only great for any school tasks but also for some gaming as well.
It comes with an Intel Core i5- 9300H processor, an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 4GB DDR5 GPU, 8GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, Windows 10 Home S, and has red backlighting for its keyboard as well.
The 15.6-inch IPS Display with 1080p resolution should be adequate for any task given to it, although it does mean that this laptop has considerable heft to it.
If you want to give your kid a competitive gaming laptop that they can also use for school, the MSI GL65 9SC is a great option.
9.Dell Inspiron 13 5000
Who said that a kid’s laptop cannot look good? The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 is a pretty good looking laptop that your kids can proudly show to their friends.
It is predominantly made of aluminum and has a solid construction all throughout. It has a very comfortable keyboard that is ideal for students and has a combination of both USB-A and USB-C ports so that your kids can plug any USB-powered devices into the laptop.
While its display is somewhat dim for my tastes, it makes up for it with its thinner bezels (which means more screen real estate for your kids to work with).
My only gripe with this device is that it is a bit on the pricey side (for a kid’s laptop) and its storage is limited to only 256GB SSD.
But for what your kids are getting, they are going to be happy with this.
10.MacBook Air (2020)
Price: Starts at $999
Although this is definitely not something that most parents would consider getting for their kids, the MacBook Air 2020 deserves a mention on this list simply because of what it offers to both kids and parents alike.
For starters, it has a solid build that is always present in all of Apple’s devices. Second, it comes with really good specs and when coupled with Apple’s macOS, you get consistent performance across the board.
While its webcam is only 720p resolution at its maximum setting, kids will have no problem joining in on group video calls with their classmates.
The keyboard is also vastly improved (touted as the best among all MacBook Air versions) which allows your kids to type in whatever it is that they need for their school project.
Really, the only consideration here is its price but if you can afford it, this is a really great solution.
Why Do You Need to Give Your Kid a Laptop?
With the recent Covid-19 situation, educational systems across the globe are thinking about implementing a hybrid classroom setup where they mix both face-to-face and online classes together.
That being said, since your kid will most likely have online classes at the start of the school year, getting a laptop now is a good idea. So good, in fact, that laptops have become increasingly popular as a result.
If you are going to buy a laptop for your kid, you have to consider a number of things. First is the use-case. Do you intend to buy a laptop for your kid solely for school purposes or do you want them to play in their spare time?
Another consideration is durability. You know that kids are not really good at handling their stuff, so you want a device that can take a beating.
Third is the operating system. You can choose between Windows 10 or ChromeOS. For the uninitiated, read ahead.
If you want better security, Windows 10 Home S edition should provide you with finer control because all of the programs that your kids can use come from the Microsoft Store (which has a considerably strict vetting process when it comes to app selection).
However, ChromeOS is not bad at all. Think about it as a glorified version of Android. If your kids are already using an Android smartphone, using a Chromebook should be up their alley.
The last (but definitely an important consideration) is the price. Most parents only have less than $500 to spend on a laptop but the good thing is that there are tons of options out there.
The laptops that are on this list are great for the price so you do not have to scour the internet for the same information.
All in all, giving a laptop to your kid, especially in this day and age, is considered a must.
Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router Review- The Gaming Router to Get in 2020
The gaming industry is one of the most popular niches now in that there are tons of products that you can buy that are great for gaming purposes.
The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is touted as a ‘gaming’ router, but does it have what it takes to help eliminate lag and provide a better overall experience than the other routers that you can find on the market?
When you look at the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router, you will probably think of a lost starship from the infamous Death Star from Star Wars as its design is quite similar to those ships.
It has two ‘wing’ antennas that actually house a total of four antennas on the inside. This will provide maximum performance and throughput and it also helps increase the router’s range as well.
Because this is a WiFi 6 router, you can enjoy all of the features that the new WiFi technology provides, most especially OFDMA for better reliability in terms of giving internet connectivity to multiple users at any time.
On the top and at the bottom sides of the router, you will find that this thing has plenty of air exhaust vents and they are quite useful, especially considering that this is one of the more power-hungry networking solutions on the market today.
At the back, you will find all of the ports that you need. What’s interesting here is that you will find that two of the four gigabit Ethernet ports can be combined (via the router’s software) for better throughput. This is what you’ll want to use on your gaming PC so that you can virtually eliminate lag while you play.
There are also two USB 3.2 ports so you can plug in your printer and other USB-powered devices, and you will also find a power button, as well as an LED on/off switch as well.
Since this is a ‘gaming’ router, how well does it perform in such scenarios? In my testing, I’ve used World of Warcraft, one of the best MMORPGs out there, and Overwatch as both of these games not only have a built-in latency indicator, but they are also quite challenging in terms of latency in some parts of the day.
Normally, I would get 120ms on World of Warcraft and about 100ms on Overwatch for most of the day using my usual router, but the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router performs really well as I am able to get 100ms on WoW and a little over 70ms on Overwatch.
It is worth noting that I’ve used the combined port (which should be indicated on the back of the unit) for better performance, though using the other ports yielded only a slight performance penalty of roughly 10-15ms.
Being a WiFi 6 router, it is also important to test its capabilities on this front. So, I’ve connected multiple devices at one time and each of them is connected to Youtube for continuous streaming.
All of them do not have any buffer issues at all and they all got consistent speeds. But, this was done within a 10-meter radius near the router.
So, to test its mettle in terms of how far the WiFi signals can go, I went to the second floor (the router is on the first floor) and I was still able to get about 70% of my network speed (my internet connection is 120mbps, so in this instance, I was able to get roughly 84mbps).
I went a step further and went inside my room (which is also on the second floor), albeit this time, I did it with the door closed. Although the speed dropped a bit, I was still able to get 68-75mbps for the most part which is pretty good overall.
How about the speed of the USB ports in terms of file sharing? The performance is quite impressive as well. This is so much so that I can say that you can use it as a NAS drive because it is that good.
I am surprised that the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router doesn’t use the DumaOS that can be found in the company’s other ‘Nighthawk’ line of networking equipment, but I am still pleased with the router’s GUI overall.
The menus are outlined neatly and you can get to the specific settings that you want quickly and easily. The GUI is so intuitive that a layperson could easily navigate through the different settings without any problems.
You get your usual options such as the ability to prioritize different applications via QoS, setting up your router’s username and password (to access the GUI and for the SSID), and you can even do some port forwarding for your other applications as well, among many others.
It is interesting to me that there is no option for packet prioritization which can be found in Netgear’s other routers, but this is usually not something that people would touch anyway, so I am okay with that.
Just a reminder: Once you fire up this thing for the first time, it is generally a good idea to update the router’s firmware. This is to ensure that you will get all of the latest improvements, as well as some security patches.
The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is a pretty good WiFi 6 router. Its performance is quite consistent across the board and you will have no issues when it comes to its WiFi connectivity.
It is one of the most power-hungry routers on the market, though, but the good thing is that it has plenty of air vents to exhaust hot air effectively.
This gaming router costs $400 and although it is quite steep, getting a high-quality product is a worthwhile investment anyway, so I would still recommend this thing for people that want to get a pretty competitive WiFi AX router.
Intel Core i5-10600K Review- The Best Mainstream Gaming CPU in 2020
Ever since the launch of the Ryzen 3000 CPUs, more and more people are recommending the R5 3600 for people that want to build a budget gaming PC. It is pretty sad that Intel chips are not getting recognition, but that is going to change with the release of the Intel Core i5-10600K.
Today, I am going to review the said chip. Find out why I think it is the best mainstream gaming CPU in 2020 by reading the rest of the article.
Comet Lake Architecture
The 10th generation Intel Processors is part of the ‘Comet Lake’ family that uses a much-improved architecture than Skylake (where it’s derived from).
While the i9-10900K is definitely a beast of a chip, the Intel Core i5-10600K is surely something that most people are going to want to look at.
Competition is very important, especially to us consumers. When AMD released their Ryzen line of processors, Intel had to respond in kind to stay in the game.
Back then, you normally wouldn’t find i5 chips to have hyperthreading, which is essentially the same as the SMT or simultaneous multi-threading feature that is present in AMD’s CPUs. But now, the 10600K not only has one, but the core frequency is clocked higher as well.
Here is a rundown of the Intel Core i5-10600K’s specs:
- Cores: 6
- Threads: 12
- Lithography: 14nm
- Base clock: 4.1GHz
- Peak Turbo (single-core): 4.8GHz
- Peak Turbo (all-core): 4.5GHz
- L3 Cache: 12MB
- TDP: 125W
- PCIe Lanes: 16
As you can see, thanks to hyperthreading being enabled, you get to have two times more threads than an i5 chip of yesteryears. This means that you get considerably better performance across the board, especially for multi-core/multi-threaded workloads.
But, where the 10600K really shines is through its gaming performance and I will talk about this in the next section.
When you ask people what CPU you want to compare the 10600K to, it would be the AMD Ryzen R5 3600. That is because they have the same core and thread counts but there is a huge difference when it comes to their clock frequencies.
You see, the R5 3600 has a base frequency of 3.6GHz and a boost (all-core) frequency of only 4.2GHz. The 10600K, on the other hand, has a base frequency of 4.1GHz with an all-core boost of 4.6GHz.
Because Intel has added a new boost algorithm wherein the best core inside the CPU boosts higher than others, you get a clock frequency of 4.8GHz maximum on the said core, giving you even more performance.
Now, how does this translate into the real world? Well, in most multi-core benchmarks, the Intel Core i5-10600K performs so much better than the chip that it is compared to. Seriously, I would recommend this Intel chip for anyone who engages in productivity workloads on the side.
When it comes to gaming performance, there is no question that the 10600K beats the R5 3600 by a lot. That is due to the combination of the architecture, as well as the higher core frequencies of each core of the said chip.
What makes Intel chips appealing to the overclocking community than AMD Ryzen processors is the fact that you can eke out even more performance by setting the clock frequency of the cores higher than their rated specs. This is possible if you have a ‘K’ series chip (which the Intel Core i5-10600K is) and a compatible Z490 motherboard as well.
In most cases, people can set the frequency to 4.8GHz all-core with the single-core frequency (the best one) set to 5.1-5.3 GHz depending on the silicon of your particular chip. This provides even better performance across the board which is pretty nice.
I do have to caution you to not overclock the processor until you get one of the best CPU coolers on the market.
Because of the higher core frequency and because of the fact that you add more voltage to the chip just to make it stable, overclocking will result in higher heat production than usual. You will need a very competent cooler to keep things at relatively good temperatures.
The Intel Core i5-10600K is way better than its predecessors- both in terms of architecture and performance.
Its rival, the Ryzen 5 3600, doesn’t come close to its performance thanks to the Intel chip’s higher clock frequency and better boost algorithms.
This is not to say that the AMD CPU is bad because there are some cases where it is more warranted than the 10600K.
For instance, if you are really on a tight budget, the Ryzen 5 3600 makes sense because it already comes with a cooler out of the box and its performance is still quite good for the price (currently at $160 compared to the i5-10600K’s $280 price tag).
The money that you can save by getting the Ryzen chip could be budgeted towards a better graphics card or faster storage, so there is still value that can be had when you go this route.
However, if you are okay with spending $280 and if you want a processor that can comfortably last at least 3 years competitively, then the Intel Core i5-10600K is indeed a much better option.
All in all, the Intel Core i5-10600K is definitely what I would consider to be the best mainstream gaming CPU in 2020.
Razer Blackshark V2 Review- A Comfortable and Great-Sounding Headset for $100
Back then, I never would recommend any of Razer’s gaming headsets because they often sound muddy due to the obvious preference towards the lower frequencies, but the company has changed its stance ever since.
The Razer Blackshark V2 is shaping up to be one of the best gaming headsets that are priced competitively in the market. Should you get one of these or look for something else? Read on to find out.
The ‘Blackshark’ line of headsets is nothing new because there is one that was released so many years ago. However, the Razer Blackshark V2 is a pretty polished iteration that I think would warrant the people’s attention.
Its design is quite similar to its predecessor, albeit there is a noticeable volume control dial located on the left ear cup.
Usually, Razer would put leatherette ear cups on its gaming headsets, but the Blackshark V2 actually comes with mesh foam ear cups instead.
In terms of comfort, I would prefer these over leather ear cups any day, but some people would want the feel of the leatherette material. So, to each his own.
The headset itself is quite simple-looking, although the aviation-style aesthetic might not appeal to some. I especially do not like the green wire that is exposed on each ear cup as you could potentially damage it if you are not careful.
Also situated on the left ear cup is the port for the removable boom microphone. I like the fact that you can completely remove it as it will not impede your vision when you are not using it.
Now, I’ve heard of some reports that the clamping force of the Razer Blackshark V2 makes this headset uncomfortable, but I beg to disagree.
If anything, the Razer Blackshark V2 is one of the most comfortable gaming headsets that you can find on the market.
I do have to point out that, being a large person myself, its clamping force is a bit on the stronger side, but it is still relatively comfortable for me to wear even during prolonged gaming sessions.
The Razer Blackshark V2 connects to your game console or PC either via 3.5mm headphone jack or with the use of its included USB soundcard (the latter is only usable on the PC, however).
The company has come a really long way when it comes to audio quality. Gone are the days where the soundstage gets muddied by the lower frequencies as everything sounds pretty balanced right from the get-go.
Razer has partnered with THX to provide you with a better surround sound gaming experience and if you use the included USB soundcard, its 7.1 surround sound implementation is so much better than what the company used to offer.
Once you plug this thing in using the said USB connector, its drivers will get installed on your PC and you can use it to your heart’s content.
You can use the Razer Synapse 3 software to tweak the EQ settings or choose from a variety of different presets.
Personally, the default sound quality is already pretty good as it is quite balanced overall. Of course, you could add more kick to the bass by tinkering with the necessary settings, but I find that the default soundstage is already good for most use-cases.
Whether you are playing MMORPGs, fast-paced games like Overwatch and CS:GO, or even just listening to your favorite tunes, I am blown away by the sound quality that the Razer Blackshark V2 provides.
It is worth noting, however, that because of the mesh foam material of the ear cups that you will experience some sound leakage as a result. This is important to keep in mind, especially if you want to play games as you do not want to disturb the people around you.
While I am impressed by the audio quality of the Razer Blackshark V2, I am disappointed with the boom microphone.
It just doesn’t sound well. My voice is tinny, it is not full-bodied, and for the most part, the volume could definitely be improved.
Even when using the USB soundcard, nothing changes for the betterment of the said gaming headset. You should be using its 3.5mm connector instead as I find it to be considerably better.
Because it is a cardioid microphone, it should be able to get your voice really nicely, right? Well, that is talking from a theoretical standpoint, but in reality, it can still pick up unwanted background noise so I am really disappointed with the microphone of the Blackshark V2.
So, what do I think about the Razer Blackshark V2? If we are talking purely from an audio standpoint, the Razer Blackshark V2 is one of the best out there. This is especially true if you are going to use the included USB soundcard and wire this to your PC.
However, I am really disappointed with the microphone quality. The output is not full-bodied at all and you are better off using a third-party standalone microphone instead.
Do I recommend the Razer Blackshark V2? Well, as I’ve said, if you are okay with its mediocre microphone quality, then this product is definitely one of the best out there. However, if you are looking for a complete package, you are better off finding something else.
The Razer Blackshark V2 costs $100.
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