netbook, laptop, that is silly one or the other is not important. What I think is more important is the parental control and the ease of use. For these two reasons I would give a mac. Even if I had to buy a refurbished one to stay under the $1000. Parental control are fantastic and you don't have to worry about virus software and so on. Only the sites you allow can be reached by the child, without additional software. My 10 year old has been on a mac since she was two and I would not put her on anything else. Hers is quite old now and still doing everything she needs so you can look for an older model and save a bunch.