well, if he is going to need it for everything i say you should choose a laptop. netbooks are for people who travel a lot and only need it for e-mail, conferences, data carry etc. Your kid will probably want to do more: games, music, photoshop, IM and so on. A medium-level laptop is very cheap these days. i would recommend a dual-core cpu, minimum 2 gb of ram, generous hard drive and video card. Choose well!!