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642 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 111415 2-Nov-2012 14:58 Send private message

I'm used to buying desktop replacement laptops so this request from a friend has me a little stumped.

She told me she was looking to buy two 'laptops' for her boys for Christmas. All they do is play Minecraft and log into Facebook so I asked why she was spending $2k on a pair of laptops. So she has challenged me to find an alternative for $500 each !

Their dad works offshore a lot so having a webcam to Skype with has become integral and as yet there is little need for a laptop to do their homework on. I asked her about future school work, what they may start to play in terms of games, but they are a couple of years away from serious homework, have a PS3 for games and just use her laptop for Minecraft and Facebook.

So what are the alternatives ? I have an Asus TF101 which I thought would work well, but I know nothing of Minecraft to know how well it would go. They like sitting on the couch to play and so a full sized laptop is too big. A couple of keyboard docks and away they go. Can they play Minecraft properly on a touch screen though ?

All I know of netbook's is whilst they are small and light they are often limited in the ram department. That's no problem for web use but if they think they are laptops they may expect them to perform like them later on and ask too much of them

Finally there are laptops. I have a couple of Dell D620's for my kids and they are fantastic. Probably overkill for what they do, but certainly future proof. However every laptop I find with a webcam adds $$$'s to those without....or am I looking in the wrong places ?

Second hand isn't a problem, neither is just walking into JBHifi or HN and buying a cheap laptop, but as I've never bought basic specs Id hope not to have to start now :)

Any thoughts ?








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7644 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 711600 4-Nov-2012 03:06 Send private message

A $500 Android tablet like the TF101 is only going to be able to play the pocket edition of Minecraft, that isn't quite the same as the full/original PC version of Minecraft.

System requirements for the PC version are here:

http://help.mojang.com/customer/portal/articles/325948-what-are-the-system-requirements

http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Hardware_performance

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 717651 15-Nov-2012 13:15 Send private message

If you just want something cheap for the kids then get a Chromebook:

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/content.asp?contentid=9860




Who I am: multi time Ironman finisher, University of Auckland graduate, Freelancer (mainly focused on website development, message me for work).

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642 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 717660 15-Nov-2012 13:24 Send private message

Ragnor, thanks for the heads up. I wasnt entirely sure if it would play or not, but the confirmation is great.

Dman, Ive been watching the Chromebook thread with interest. Im thinking of one of those for myself actually.

In the end Ive bought a pair of Dell D630's. They were cheap and will do more than they need right now which is probably a good thing seeing as they will be off to college next year.




X-Case Q-Box | Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H 780G with Onboard ATI HD3200 | AMD Phenom X4 9500 CPU | Corsair 2GB DDR2-800 x 2 | WD Caviar 1TB HDD x 2 | HVR-4000 with MCE Remote | Win 7 Home Premium | Mediaportal 1.4.0 | CoreAVC2.0 | Samsung UN32B6000 32" LED | Sony STR-K660P Receiver

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