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(Particularly if mom is a blogger.)
But it’s easy to be fobbed off with a cheap laptop that just doesn’t cut the mommy mustard or to pay through the nose for a higher spec.
There are though some great laptops out this year that are pretty nigh perfect for us moms, that come in for as little as $350 and should be even cheaper in the year end sales.
Having got through a few laptops recently … even great laptops don’t like water! … these are my tips on how to pick a budget laptop that will meet your needs as a mom …
Plus some suggestions for great spec laptops that cost less than $600.
1. What Moms Need from a Laptop
- Must do LOTS of different stuff at same time ….
- A decent budget laptop shouldn’t protest when you’re editing docs & spreadsheets at the same time as doing the grocery shop, organising family social life, editing photos, updating Facebook and if you’re a blogger posting, pinning, tweeting, party linking, analysing stats, monitoring sales and ripping up some HTML … 🙂
- Genuinely comfortable when used on my lap … which is most of the time
- Must be able to carry it around all day & in my luggage with ease
- Should be crammable in a medium sized tote and ideally my purse
- Must be able to carry under one arm with laundry, a small child & trash in the other
But Not Too Small!
- Big enough to see comfortably without squinting when I’m on the 2am mommy shift
Power Pack Free
- I’m a WAHM so this is less critical for me than for those moms who commute but I still don’t want to be dragging the power pack around everywhere I go
Sticky Finger Friendly!
- Realistically every mom shares her laptop with her kids … yep, it’s a pain but there are fab early years apps out there & the best are definitely touch screen
- And then of course there’s mom’s sticky fingers when she’s using the laptop as recipe book, DIY manual, first aid guide etc … touch screens are tops for all these
Lots of Photo Storage
- The laptop needs enough space for at least your basic photo collection
- Realistically any mom laptop is going to take a battering & not just from the kids!
- It needs to cope with being dropped & trodden on by small people
2. Mom Laptop Spec
- Go for a proper laptop WITH touch screen capabilities … that way you’ve got a keyboard for real work and a tablet for kids apps, recipes etc
- Windows 8 for touch screen … Apple is unfortunately way outside our $600 max budget and Chromebooks just not powerful enough
- Minimum 4GB RAM … it’s worth checking out whether you can get a cheap RAM upgrade, you can sometimes get an extra 4GB for as little as $30 …
- Minimum 1.6 GHz processor
- Mininum 500GB hard drive
- Almost all laptops in this range will state you’ll get 4 or 5 hours battery life … which should be fine even for commuters … but it’s worth checking out Amazon reviews to see if lots of people complain about poor battery life
- If you are going to carry it around aim for 41b or less
- Ideal screen size is a personal thing but you may find 11″ too small and 15″ too heavy to carry around so 14″ seems to be the mom friendly sweet spot
3. Great Budget Laptops
All these laptops have touchscreen capability and come with 4GB RAM and 500GB hard drive (except the HP Sleekbook which has 6GB RAM & a 750GB hard drive) …
The 14″ Sony Vaio Touch is a similar spec to these but is typically closer to $700.
I do hope this helps you pick the best laptop for you … and would love to hear your tips …