What are the best laptops for elderly parents and seniors? It is true that the requirements in a laptop that will be specifically used by the seniors and elderly parents will be much less as compared to those that will be used by students, engineers, gamers, and other professionals.
However, this does not mean choosing the right laptop for the older adults is just like a walk in the park.
In fact, you should look at it from a specific point of view because it will be much different from the specificity of the requirements of other users.
You should consider the display, the responsiveness of the keyboard and the trackpad, the CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage.
This may be just like choosing any other laptop but always keep in mind that it will be used by older people. They will not be very tech friendly and will also have some physical, mental and medical limitations.
Yes, it is true that buying an expensive laptop will save you a lot of time on research and it will come with some of the best hardware components and software.
However, there is no prudence or point in spending hundreds of dollars extra for those features and resources that will not be used at all, or seldom.
Therefore, your goal should be to find the right laptop for the older adults that will be helpful, useful and cost-effective.
Apart from the specs, the other things that you should consider are the level of computer literacy, the purpose and physical impairments of the user.
Taking all these things into consideration, it is really difficult to choose a laptop for the seniors and elderly parents. Here is a list of some of the best laptops that can be used by the elderly parents most easily and productively.
The use of laptops for elderly parents and seniors
Using a computer will not only keep the seniors busy but there are also several other benefits of it.
It will have significant health benefits as it will keep them active both physically as well as mentally. Science has proved that older adults who play only online games tend to have improved memory and maintain a better cognitive skill.
It will help them to stay connected with their loved ones and for that they do not need to leave their homes and travel a long distance. With video calls, social media and other platforms they can easily ward off their loneliness and depression.
It will also make their life very convenient because they can shop online and do not need to move out from their homes to visit the local stores.
They can get it all delivered at their doorstep even from a store far beyond their locality. It is a significant benefit for the older adults suffering with mobility issues.
Believe it or not, older adults are very keen to learn new things and the laptop will be their best companion to visit different online resources and take the full advantage of it. All these from the convenience of their homes.
Laptops for Elderly Parents and Seniors Price
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Elderly Parents and Seniors
The minimum system requirement may be different for each of them but for basic computing a laptop for elderly parents and seniors should have modern Intel i3 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of SSD, an integrated Intel UHD 600 graphics chip, up to 5 hours of battery life, and an 11.6-inch screen with HD resolution.
Depending on the particular use the device will be put to and also the physical constraints of the elderly parents and seniors, you may need a laptop with higher specs than above.
It is, therefore, better to go for a system with the recommended specs enumerated hereunder for a better performance and to have a solid laptop.
Minimum system requirements: 7th generation Intel Core i3 processor or higher | 4 GB of RAM | 128 GB SSD or 1 TB Hard Drive | Integrated Intel HD graphics or better | 12 inches screen or larger | 1280 x 720 pixels resolution
Recommended system requirements: 8th generation Intel Quad Core i5 or higher processor| 8 GB of RAM or higher | 256 GB SSD or larger | Intel UHD graphics 620 or higher | 15.6 inches screen | 1920 x 1080 pixels or higher screen resolution
5 Best Laptops for Elderly Parents and Seniors 2021:
1. HP Spectre X360 – Best Overall
Bottom Line: This lightweight and compact laptop comes with a good enough touchscreen, an 8th generation Intel i7 processor with four powerful cores, a good enough integrated graphics chip and a useful operating system that makes it the best overall laptop amongst other four for the elderly and seniors.
- Screen: 12 inches
- Storage: 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7 8550U
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
- The system is light in weight and compact in design.
- The touchscreen is good and very responsive.
- The keyboard is backlit to allow easy typing in darker settings.
- The system becomes hot.
- The fan noise is quite loud.
- The touchpad is too wide.
You will get everything that you want in a laptop when you use this machine.
Though it comes with a smaller screen, the features of it such as full HD, IPS micro-edge panel, WLED backlit, and touch screen with Corning Gorilla Glass NBT makes this a good screen to look at while working on the computer for a long time.
This screen is quite responsive to the HP Active Stylus. It comes with HP Image Pad technology that allows multi-touch gesture support.
The processor of the laptop belongs to the 8th generation. It operates at a base clock speed ranging between 1.8 GHz and up to 4 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost technology making the best of the 4 cores and its 8 MB cache.
You will be able to transfer data at a speed of 40 Gbps using any of the two Thunderbolt 3 ports included in the system. These ports will also support and act as power delivery, DisplayPort 1.2, sleep and charge.
In addition to that, there are USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports for sleep and charge and one headphone/microphone combo jack.
The PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage and the LPDDR3 SDRAM that operates at a speed of 2133 MHz will ensure that the system performs at its primal level and processes data and accesses stored files in quick time.
The HP TrueVision FHD IR camera of the system comes with a dual array digital microphone. The webcam supports Windows Hello which ensures a safe and fast login.
The system will produce incredible sound with its Bang & Olufsen quad speakers that comes with HP Audio Boost technology. Check out HP Spectre x360 Laptop Review.
2. Acer Aspire E15 – Runner Up
Bottom Line: The 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor and the dedicated Nvidia graphics card of this laptop offers a reliable performance. The long battery life, the decent audio system, the faster wi-fi connectivity and Bluetooth support, and the inclusion of the DVD drive makes it the Runner up in this list.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR SDRAM
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i5 8250U
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce MX150
- The keyboard design and build provide exceptional typing experience.
- The touchpad is responsive and has a nice feel.
- The system comes with a DVD double-layer drive RW.
- The system is quite heavy, weighing 5.27 pounds.
- The 200-nit screen brightness is below the average of 250 to 275 nit.
- The keyboard backlight timeout cannot be adjusted.
You will get a lot of value and power while using this laptop with the 8th generation Intel Core processor that operates at a high speed at 1.6 GHz that can go up to 3.4 GHz, the NVIDIA GeForce 2 GB GDDR5 VRAM dedicated graphics card, the dual channel memory and the SSD storage.
The large enough screen comes with full HD capability and widescreen feature to provide better and clearer viewing. This LED backlit IPS display will not cause any strain to the aging eyes.
The Windows 10 Home operating system will provide all the assistance required to operate it to the elders due to its useful features and the 15-hour capacity of the 6-cell lithium ion 2800 mAh battery will allow working for long hours on a single charge.
The good thing about this system is that it comes with an M-DISC enabled 8X DVD double-layer drive RW.
Additionally, you will also get a secure digital card reader, two stereo speakers built in, Acer True Harmony feature, faster 802.11ac wi-fi connectivity with dual band 2.4 GHZ and 2.0 GHz MU-MIMO technology, Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, Gigabit Ethernet, and a HD webcam that supports High Dynamic Range.
You will also get a lot of connectivity options that includes a USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 port that can transfer files at 5 Gbps signal rate, two USB 3.0 ports one of which can be used for charging when the system is turned off, one USB 2.0 port, and one HDMI port with HDCP support.
However, for the older adults, the 5.27-pound weight of the system can be an issue but they will usually not need to carry the laptop no longer a distance of one room to the other, if required that is. Check out Acer Aspire E15 Review.
3. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – Good Battery with Pretty Long Life
Bottom Line: Elderly parents and seniors will not have to worry about charging this system frequently due to its long enough battery life, letting them focus on their work in hand even better. Moreover, this battery is of quite good quality that can regain 80% of its total capacity in just an hour or so from empty.
- Screen: 12.3 inches
- Storage: 128 GB SSD
- RAM: 8 GB
- Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i5
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
- The laptop comes with a touchscreen.
- The battery life is quite good at 10.5 hours.
- The laptop is very light in weight weighing just 1.10 pounds.
- The size of the screen in this model is slightly small with a chunky bezel.
- The package does not come with the Surface pen.
- There are no Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.1 ports in the system.
This is probably one of the best laptops for the retirees. It belongs to the next generation with its top in class features and components.
The laptop comes with more versatility allowing you to use it in different modes apart from a laptop.
When you open the kickstand of the system and add the Surface Type Cover, it will provide you with a full laptop experience.
You can also use it in the studio mode by lowering the same kickstand to 15-degree and draw and write effortlessly with the Surface Pen.
If you want to use it as a tablet, simply close the kickstand fully and type, draw, sketch, touch, work, write and play on it according to your wish in the most natural way.
The 10th generation Intel core processor makes this laptop quite fast in performing your computing tasks.
In spite of being a thin and extremely light computer, the system design will provide you with more ways to connect to several external devices.
You will have a USB Type C and USB Type A ports to connect displays, charging accessories, and docking stations.
The laptop also comes with wi-fi and Bluetooth 5.0 technology adding to your connectivity options.
The standout design, ultra-slim look, 1.70 pounds weight and an all-day long battery life of up to 10.5 hours with quick charging ability from zero to 80% in an hour, all enables this system to offer you more and adapt to your work style.
The Instant On feature and the quality graphics will enable you to enjoy clear and vivid pictures and easy usage of the system, irrespective of your age or physical impairments, if any, thanks to the pre production software installed in it.
The Windows 10 Home operating system comes with familiar features such as the password-free Windows Hello sign-in for a secure login, Office 365 which is free for a limited period, and integrated OneDrive that will allow storing the files and photos in the cloud safely. Check out Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Review.
4. Lenovo IdeaPad 320 – Value for Money
Bottom Line: It is the useful Windows 10 Home operating system with Cortana support that will make it simpler for the elderly parents and seniors to use this laptop, especially if they are suffering with any physical impairment. The larger screen and adequate storage add to the value for money and user experience.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 1 TB HDD
- RAM: 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM
- Processor: Intel Core i3 7100U
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics
- The system offers a huge internal storage space.
- The screen is quite big to see the images clearly with details.
- The wi-fi operates at a great speed.
- The battery life of the system is pretty low at just 5 hours.
- The HDD storage is slower in performance in comparison with an SSD storage.
- At 4.84 pounds the system is a bit heavier than other laptops.
Life of the elderlies will be much easier and enjoyable with this powerful laptop that is quite high on performance and functionality.
The Intel core i3-7100U processor will allow them to deal with their computing tasks, basic or advanced, most easily.
The integrated HD graphics will produce clear and sharper images smoothly and uninterruptedly for them to enjoy and the familiar Windows 10 Home operating system with its useful features will streamline their life and make them feel truly at ‘Home.’
The wi-fi connectivity of this system is pretty fast, strong and stable which will allow them to stay connected with their loved ones far away through Skype and other platforms.
However, the battery life of only 5 hours of the system is pretty low as compared to other laptops available on the market, but seniors and elderly parents seldom will use a laptop all day.
Therefore, this should not be a deal breaker, if a proper recharging schedule can be maintained.
The system comes preloaded with Windows 10 Home operating system which comes with personal assistance from Cortana.
This is an added benefit for the older adults who are suffering with some sort of physical impairment. They can open different apps through voice command and get answers to different questions.
Therefore, written or spoken, the streamlined design of the interface allows them to enjoy life as well as the features of this incredible laptop.
The system is responsive and you can count on its performance, DDR4 memory, the processor and storage, all of which will allow running several programs and apps simultaneously.
You can also count on this system while multitasking because the transition will be seamless between the web tabs.
The durability of the system is also very good in spite of its slim unibody chassis. It comes with an extra rubber detailing at the bottom cover of the chassis. This acts as a protective barrier to guard the finish against wear and tear.
The maximized ventilation allows the system to stay cool even while operating it for long hours. This extends the life of the system itself.
You can expect brilliant high definition resolution and visual clarity of the display that comes with anti-glare technology, a redesigned and highly responsive touchpad, exceptional audio clarity with minimum distortion at any volume, and more when you use this system.
5. Apple MacBook Pro – Brilliant Retina Display
Bottom Line: The Retina display of this laptop will surely be the high point to the elderly parents and seniors. Though it is small, it still offers a larger screen real estate for its relatively thin bezel. This IPS screen has 2560 x 1600 native resolution at 227 PPI and True Tone technology that support millions of colors.
- Screen: 13 inches
- Storage: 128 GB SSD
- RAM: 8 GB
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Quad Core i5
- OS: MacOS
- GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645
- The laptop is very small and lightweight yet sturdy.
- The Touch ID is good and allows easy login without a password.
- The Touch Bar is good and can be customized to change the setting quickly.
- The 128 GB SSD is small considering the price point.
- The keys of the keyboard have shorter travel time which does not feel nice.
- The two USB ports are pretty close to each other.
Just take a look at the specs of this computer and you will see why it is considered to be one of the best laptops for seniors and elderly parents.
It comes with the fast 8th generation Intel quad core i5 processor for faster processing, a pretty good Retina display with True Tone technology, an ultrafast SSD, Touch Bar, Touch ID, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645, two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a battery life of up to 10 hours.
The good things about this laptop apart from the specs are that the real estate of the screen is not compromised due to its small chassis.
The screen is of good quality and comes with a high enough resolution to display images that are brighter and with very deep colors.
It is light in weight but is still very sturdy to ensure the shocks and vibrations. It is the solid build of the metal chassis that makes this laptop free from any flexes due to pressure.
The Touch ID allows faster login and the Touch Bar allows a quick changing of the settings. Moreover, the trackpad is also very responsive to the gestures and provides a smooth and better user experience.
You can even make the best use of Siri, the voice assistant, to know about the weather. Check out Apple Macbook Pro Review.
Things to Look for Before Buying Laptops for Elderly Parents and Seniors
There is a specific checklist to follow while buying a laptop for the seniors and elderly parents. It is needless to say that even the older adults need the best laptops to use.
The need to follow specific checklists is due to their technological unfamiliarity, which is very common among them, but you should not make it obvious to them.
Well, a few of the older adults may be computer literate and know how to operate a new-age laptop, but this is a general checklist for those several seniors who know little or nothing about technology.
Moreover, even for the most tech savvy person, using a new-age laptop can be a bit difficult because the computing advancements and technological gadgets of today can still be overwhelming to them. It is natural and happens with age.
With that said, it is the right of the elderlies to get the best and all the necessary help when they use a laptop, even with their restrictions and other incapability.
To make the complicated selection process easier, here are the things that you should certainly consider while buying a laptop for the seniors and elderly parents, apart from the basic specs and price.
The first thing you should consider is the user interface of the laptop for elderly parents and seniors. It should be simple and minimalistic but provide a good enough user experience.
If you complicate things, then the laptop will be seldom used by them and will not be enjoyable to use as well, even if they do.
Therefore, the best laptop for elderly parents and seniors is the one that comes with the purest and simplest version of the operating system.
It can be a Windows 10 operating system, a macOS, or a Chrome OS, but make sure that the user is friendly and comfortable with it.
Ideally, it should not come with lots of unwanted bloatware or pre-installed software that they will seldom use.
Preferably, the interface should be device-centric and free from complex and tedious navigations, demanding apps and intricate pop-ups.
The laptop should come with better functionality, preferably with touch facility. This will save them from the pain of accessing the small keyboards of the laptops.
At this point, you should remember that the seniors usually have a much shorter attention span just like the kids and are also fickle minded and prefer a laptop that is fast and more functional.
There could be a natural problem with the vision of the seniors that come with age. Therefore, you should consider choosing a display that comes with an excellent resolution that will do away with the vision restrictive factor.
Apart from selecting a screen that comes with anti-glare property, you must also consider the brightness factor, the viewing angles which should be more and sharper, and the resolution of it so that the images are delivered with more vibrant colors and reproduction.
The size of the laptop you choose for seniors and elderly parents should be more compact. This will save you from complex device management which will be a deal breaker in the truest sense.
The most useful guideline to follow while deciding the size of the laptop is to consider the importance of the laptop to the older adults, the portability factor, and the usage pattern.
The size of the laptop as well as the weight will depend on the size of the screen.
If mobility is what you require then go for a laptop that comes with a screen of 13 or 14 inches. However, for home-bound users, a bigger screen and size of a laptop may be good enough.
Go for a keyboard with more ergonomic design when you choose a laptop for older adults. It should come with decent key travel and feedback so that they do not have any difficulty in writing content or interacting through emails.
The key spacing should also be good enough so that they feel quite comfortable while typing and ensure accuracy.
If possible, a backlit keyboard will be better than a non-backlit variant as it will help them to see the keys even more clearly, a primary requisite for older adults with vision issues.
The laptop should also come with a fast and responsive, if not a powerful, processor. As said earlier, older adults are restless like the kids and will never appreciate a slow laptop.
Since they will have little understanding about the absence of technological cadence, it is always better to have a decent laptop with a i3 or i5 processor that has a faster clocking speed.
Since the seniors and elderly parents will also have a very little or no knowledge about RAM, SSD storage, graphics cards and processors, therefore, it is better not to focus on the processing terminologies but on the performance level of the laptop for seniors and elderly parents.
In order to ensure that the user experience is more productive and faster, choose a laptop with at least 8 GB of RAM, a fast processor and at least with a 128 GB SSD storage.
As for the graphics card, it can be either integrated or dedicated but should render exceptional graphics.
Always choose a laptop with at least 10 to 12 hours of battery life for the seniors and elderly parents.
This is because they will be forgetful, another major and common issue that develops due to age, and therefore may not remember to charge the system on a regular basis.
It will be a major dampener if a video call session with their kids and loved ones is suddenly interrupted due to battery discharge.
Longer battery life will save the older adults from remembering the battery schedule. This will be asking for a bit too much from them considering the fact that they are already bogged down with their medication schedule.
Usually, elderly parents and seniors will have a very specific and limited set of activities on their laptop.
It will usually involve basic things like emailing, watching movies or listening to music, and making video calls to other members of the family and their friends.
Therefore, you should also check for the additional utilities in the laptop you choose for the elderlies.
This includes a good quality webcam with dual microphones built in it and a set of quality speakers.
What kind of warranties should I look for in the laptops for elderly parents and seniors?
There are different types of warranties that the manufacturers of the laptops provide these days, not only for the laptops for seniors and elderly parents but also for all other laptops. It can be a limited warranty for a year to protect the device against damages due to shipping, issues with the battery, power supply, and general defects only. For user-caused damages, you should get insurance.
Is the troubleshooting process different for the laptops for elderly parents and seniors?
No. The troubleshooting process for any laptop is the same and does not change if it is used by the kids or elderly parents. You will need to first locate the source of the issue and then try to resolve it. If it is a simple issue with the battery or power supply, it can be fixed by you. Otherwise, you will need professional expertise.
Are tablets and iPads better than laptops for elderly parents and seniors?
Ideally, a lot will depend on the knowledge and comfort level of the users. It will also depend on how exactly they use the devices. Tablets and iPads are usually lighter than even the lightest laptop and is therefore easy to carry around. If mobility is not an issue and if you need more fundamental features, a laptop is much better to use for the daily or occasional computing needs.
Which is the right OS to install in the laptops for seniors and elderlies?
This again depends on the type of device you choose as well as the comfort level of the users. If you choose a Chromebook or a Mac computer, it will run on Chrome OS and Mac operating system respectively. All Windows laptops will run on Windows operating system. This OS, however, has more features and much better software compatibility.