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I am become Middle Schooler, destroyer of Macs

I spent the morning dealing with the fact that my beloved daughter has killed yet another Hackintosh. It's not exactly her fault. For example, the drive outlived its years. The power connector on the device-side is broken, too. Neither one was worth fixing -- especially given the years of service we got out of the devices and our max investment of about US$300 (outside of OS and software purchases).

So here she is, a middle schooler, with the need to do research and writing, organize her homework, and perform light email duties.

I don't want to deal with the headaches of hackintoshing a new system -- much as I love our Hackintoshes, it's such a pain to do Sys Admin for them.

When considering a similarly-priced, used Apple laptop, we're looking at 2006-vintage MacBooks, bought over eBay or similar, from untrusted vendors. I really don't want to go there.

And so it occurred to me: how about an iPad? Could she do all her light computing, research, and writing (she's a terrible typist, so we're not talking about a big step down in efficiency) using a 1st or 2nd generation iPad? Over at Apple's refurb store, the 1st gen starts at $300, the 2nd at just $350.

So I pitch the idea to her. I asked her about possibly using an iPad in place of a laptop and suddenly she perked up -- SURE! As long as she can print. Can she print? And I am all "Yes, you can print." And here she is, not just a little enthusiastic, but basically over the moon with the idea.

I'm getting concerned here -- that level of enthusiasm seems out of line. What does she know that I don't? Is it that her Hackintosh doesn't have as many games as an iPad? That it doesn't offer as much engagement or fun?

So I'm turning this over to the TUAW braintrust. Am I being an insane mother considering providing my child with a full-time iPad in place of a laptop? You tell me.

I've added a poll here and the comments follow after. Please jump in and lend me the wisdom of the TUAW readership braintrust.

Should I get my child an iPad instead of laptop for schoolwork?
Absolutely. There's nothing that the iPad can't do in terms of a Middle Schooler's scholastic needs.2578 (57.6%)
Kids need access to proper computers. And the iPad, for all its merits, isn't one.856 (19.1%)
Get ready for her to spend all her time watching Dragon Ball Z on YouTube and playing all those games you review. You really want to trust a kid to handle this kind of responsibility?327 (7.3%)
Parental supervision, lady. Just because *you* think that public school and cable TV provide her with a proper "two parent" family doesn't mean that you shouldn't get up off the couch and make sure she's doing the homework.419 (9.4%)
e to the (i * pi) = -1193 (4.3%)
Something else. I'll tell you in the comments.106 (2.4%)

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