What Are the 5 Best Laptops for Seniors?
As newspapers and magazines shift to online content and more people share pictures online, seniors are connecting to technology more. With social media and video chatting, it’s a great way to stay connected to loved ones when in-person visits aren’t frequent. A laptop also allows seniors to play learning games that keep their cognitive skills sharp. It’s no longer shocking when grandma talks about finding a great knitting pattern on a blog. Some seniors have their own blogs while others enjoy podcasts. There are even online dating services dedicated to seniors.
If you want to connect a senior you love to the Internet, buying a laptop is a good option. There are many lightweight, compact laptops that are easy to use. This brief guide will help you find a senior-friendly laptop that fits your budget while fitting the needs of the senior.
Best Laptop for Screen Size
Lightweight, compact laptops are easy for most seniors to lift and carry. Unfortunately, the most compact models often have small screens that are difficult for those with failing eyesight to see clearly. If weight and portability are important, you might go with a compact laptop with a smaller screen. If easy viewing is essential, then look for a laptop with a 15- or 17-inch screen.
Touchscreens are also good options as they allow seniors to use the computer without relying entirely on the keyboard. Many seniors are already accustomed to using cell phones and tablets, so touchscreen laptops limit the learning curve when moving to a larger device.
Most seniors won’t play space-consuming games or download a lot of software, so they don’t require a lot of memory or advanced graphics. What matters most is that the computer connects to Wi-Fi easily and functions reasonably fast.
Our top recommendation for senior-friendly laptops in this category is the Dell Inspiron 15.6-inch touchscreen laptop, which starts at $588.99. It’s less than one inch thick and weighs approximately five pounds. The screen is large enough to see videos and text clearly, but it’s still easy for most users to lift and carry.
Best Laptop for Travel
Laptops are getting smaller and smaller, which makes them easier to pack, carry, and setup.
If your loved one enjoys traveling, we recommend the Apple MacBook Air that starts at $1,099. The screen is smaller at 13.3 inches, but it’s equipped with a Retina display that makes text easier to read.
Traveling often requires seniors to leave their laptops in hotel rooms. You never know when a laptop bag will end up missing or stolen. The advanced security features on the MacBook Air offer extensive protection for these unfortunate situations. Security starts with fingertip unlock. The owner’s finger is needed to access the computer, so thieves won’t get too far. It’s also equipped with the Apple T2 Security Chip and automatically encrypts all financial information for added protection.
Best Laptop for Keyboard Size
Even if you select a laptop with a touchscreen, the size of the keyboard is important. Some seniors can easily see the keys and fit their hands over smaller keyboards comfortably. Others need larger keys that are easier to see and push. In general, larger laptops will have larger keyboards. As long as you select a model that is 13 inches or larger, you can expect a decent sized keyboard. As such, any of the laptops featured in other sections of this guide should work for most seniors.
If you’re buying for a senior who enjoys their tablet but would like the functionality of an added keyboard, check out the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga for $779.99. It has a 12-inch screen and functions as a two-in-one. You can fold the keyboard back to just use the tablet or fold the keyboard forward to use as a laptop. It weighs approximately three pounds and is easy to lift and carry.
Best Laptop for Longevity
Many seniors have a limited budget or depend on electronics that are given as gifts — which makes durability and longevity important. It’s best to pay for a high-quality laptop with senior-friendly features and expect it to last for years. That’s always better than going with the cheapest laptop available and replacing it every two or three years.
The ASUS VivoBook S Ultra Thin and Portable Laptop ($819 MSRP) is our top pick for a senior-friendly laptop that is suitable for long-term use. The 15.6-inch wide-view screen makes it easy to read text, watch videos, and play games with vivid graphics. The keyboard is backlit, so seniors can see it clearly even in dim lighting. We suggest adding the optional accident protection plan to ensure it lasts for years.
Best Laptop for Ease of Use
If your primary concern is ease of use for a senior unfamiliar with modern electronics, consider the Telikin Freedom 15-inch touchscreen laptop, starting at $899. It’s the portable version of the Telikin home computer, which was designed specifically for seniors. Therefore, every feature is intended to make using a computer as simple as possible.
The simplified features of the Telikin computer come with some limitations. For instance, the laptop is only compatible with HP printers. It comes with some apps pre-installed but may not support all apps that you want to download. It’s truly intended for seniors who want to use simple features like video chat, online games, social media, and the Microsoft-compatible word processor that comes with the laptop.