Depends on the kid I'd imagine. If they're responsible and well-mannered not to mention treating their other technological items with respect, then why not? I think in today's world, it's best to be exposed to technology and adapt to it at a young age. It's a huge advantage.
I dont mean to take anything away from my siblings, but its more than apparent I was more than capable of taking care of expensive electronics at a younger age than both of them. Heh, my sister now at 19 still cant keep a goldfish alive, she has no hope of keeping a functioning laptop :hah: My brother on the other hand would have dropped it in the toilet at the age of 12, he's much better now however at 14. But me since I was raised around expensive machinery I was taught how to respect that kind of equipment.
I can honestly say that a Laptop at any age could be appropriate if the child knows how to properly respect the equipment. I would say the best bet would be to ask "will this laptop live to see the kids 13th birthday?". That question there should provide you with the answer you need.
Yeah... ... ...
I was thinking of getting one for my Son, but only to be used in the same room as an adult, unless he needs peace for homework, but I know all about Parental controls etc, and I'd be monitoring everything he does anyway... and just to make sure, I'd remind him of that too.
I would say just let him have free run, forget parental blocks unless you feel them absolutely necessary.
But my thoughts are simple. The internet is full of disgusting horrible things... Things you cant block, things that get around blocks. Things that actually almost feel like they hunt you down just so you see them. I'm not a parent myself yet, but I think I've pretty much come to the conclusion that My parents did a good job with the way they did it for me. My mom sat me down and said
"listen, there are really bad bad things available to you on the internet. These things can break our computer and they just arent appropriate for kids your age. I'm going to trust you to avoid them at all costs".
and it worked for me, it wasnt 'till I was about 15-16 before I started avidly looking up porn and what not. :hah:
in today's world is not a big deal getting your 12 year old child a laptop.
if he manages it well then why not. just like ice said, you can't block every possible thing that goes around the net. Every child is curious but it depends. when i was his age i never thought about porn when navigating on the net because i had made my mind up that porn pages have viruses which harm the computer. so it was a strong point for me. even nowadays, i don't remember to have consciously clicked any porn site. [only when it popped up unexpectedly lol].
you gotta tell him that if a computer has strong viruses you'll know he's been through porn and that way you'll have to take the laptop away from him. lol.