A few years ago, maybe, owning a laptop was something that younger people did, not senior citizens. Now, with the advances in technology, combined with communal dependence on online communication - senior citizens depend on laptops just as much as anyone else. Laptops are now used to pay bills and order medications. It’s also a great tool for senior citizens to be able to communicate with family, near and afar.
For our older generation, is important to know what features to look for when shopping for the best laptops for senior citizens. The easiest piece to shop for is a large screen that with high definition video - followed closely behind by a Bluetooth card that offers upgraded options for mouse, keyboard, and audio as well. With a great laptop fit with the features of the people who need it, senior citizens should no longer see technology as an obstacle, but a benefit.
The Top 5 Best Laptops for Senior Citizens
CPU: 3.1 GHz AMD A-Series, Memory: 8 GB DDR4, Graphics: Integrated, Screen: 17.3 inches, Storage: 1 TB SATA, Battery: 3 Cell (No advertised hours)
The HP Pavilion is an affordable option for senior citizens looking for a laptop. The 17.3-inch screen will help those with visual impairments, although the lack of full-HD resolution is a disappointment. There is plenty of storage space for senior citizens who are looking to save family photos and videos as well. Users will also have to overlook the lack of a video card and an 802.11ac wireless card.
- 8 GB of RAM
- Storage Space
- Not 802.11ac compliant
- No Bluetooth
- Non-Full HD resolution
CPU: 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7, Memory: 12 GB DDR4, Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050, Screen: 17.3 inches, Storage: 1 TB SATA + 16 GB Optane Drive, Battery: 5 Hours
The Lenovo IdeaPad's full HD 17.3-inch screen and dedicated NVIDIA card will give senior citizens a visual experience that they will love. With 12 GB of RAM and an i7 processor, this laptop won't cause any speed issues. This laptop is lacking a Bluetooth card and touchscreen operability, but will make users happy with all is the storage space available.
- 17. 3 inches Full HD Screen
- Dedicated NVIDIA Card
- Fast with i7 processor and 12 GB RAM
- Short Battery Life
- No true SSD Drive
- No Bluetooth or touchscreen
CPU: 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, Memory: 4 GB DDR4, Graphics: 500 GB SATA, Screen: 15.6 inches, Storage: Integrated, Battery: 4 Cell (Hours not advertised)
The Dell Inspiron has loads of features especially set for a senior citizen user. The touchscreen full HD display and Bluetooth card add some flexibility that its competition does not. Users will have to get used to the 15.6-inch screen and the lack of solid-state storage. Overall, this laptop is a good value and should keep senior citizens happy
- Touchscreen Full HD Display
- Bluetooth Card
- Good price point
- Integrated Graphics
- SATA Storage
- No 802.11ac compliant wireless card
CPU: Intel Core i7-8550U, Memory: 8 GB DDR4, Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Screen: 17.3 inches Full HD, Storage: 256 GB SSD and 1 TB HDDBattery: Specs not advertised
The ASUS VivoBook features storage options that many of its competition does not - both solid-state and SATA storage options. The i7 processor and 8 GBs of DDR4 RAM will make this laptop hard to slow down. There is no Bluetooth card and the battery specs aren't impressive enough to advertise, but the 17.3 inches full HD display will keep users happy.
- 17. 3 Full HD Display
- NVIDIA graphics card
- SSD and lots of SATA storage
- No Bluetooth card
- Battery specs not advertised
CPU: 3.6 GHz AMD A9-9420, Memory: 6 GB DDR4, Graphics: Integrated, Screen: 15.6 inches, Storage: 1 TB SATA, Battery: 5.5 Hours
The Acer Aspire is another laptop for senior citizens looking to save some money on their purchase. The Bluetooth card will give senior citizens the flexibility that they need, and the storage space will make them happy as well. There are sacrifices to be made for this low price point, however. Users will have to deal with the short battery life and lower screen resolution.
- Bluetooth card
- Good price point
- Storage space
- Short battery life
- No full-HD resolution
- No 802.11ac wireless card
4 Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Laptop for Senior Citizens
The accessibility features offered natively by operating systems go a long way in helping people who need it. To start, Windows offers a feature called Narrator, with the ability to read everything on the screen to the user. Windows also offers embedded closed captioning for all online videos for users who need it. The default, Windows web browser, Edge, has a Reading View that allows users to work simply with the words on the page and hides other distractions.
Apple laptops offer accessibility features as well. There is an in-screen magnifier, aptly called Zoom, that allows you to focus in on any part of your screen and make it larger using a simple click on the tracking pad. You are also now able to use Apple’s native home assistant - Siri - to ask for most tasks to be performed automatically, by the assistant. The VoiceOver feature, a lot like the Narrator feature with Windows, will read whatever is on the screen to the user.
Large Screen Size and High Resolution
Any user that has visual impairments should be looking for a larger screen with a high resolution. As far as screen size goes - the largest screen size that most laptops will have is 17.3 inches. This is about an inch and a half larger than the industry standard size for a laptop at 15.6. Anyone with visual impairments should be sure to be looking for a laptop at least 15.6 inches in diameter.
While a large screen is important, the laptop resolution can’t be forgotten about as well. The standard for HD resolution is 1920x1080 px (pixels per inch). Higher-resolution screens help users view with more detail, and see images in sharper tones. Most laptops today are at full HD resolution already, but users that are trying to save money on laptops will often find that one of the built-in sacrifices is lower resolution screens.
One feature that may go overlooked, but shouldn’t, is a Bluetooth card. There are a few different ways that senior citizens can take advantage of a Bluetooth card on a laptop. The first would be for third-party speakers. While different laptops may advertise better speakers than others - it’s really hard to put high-quality speakers into the thin casing of a laptop. Any users with impaired hearing would benefit from the use of good, high-quality external speakers or headphones.
Additionally, a Bluetooth card can be used to expand keyboard and mouse functionality as well. Keyboards can be made more functional if they are made larger, and different features, such as braille text, can help as well. Along with this, it is much easier to use a mouse over a trackpad and can help to more easily call on the accessibility features offered with the operating systems.
Finally, having a touchscreen will help senior citizens as well in a few different ways. In some cases, it’s just a little easier to be able to touch the screen to click on a web link or select what you need, rather than having to drag a mouse or use a touchpad to get your cursor on the exact spot to get what you want. Additionally, many touch screens have additional options for zooming in and zooming out with gestures, rather than having to change a setting.
Having a touchscreen laptop is another reason to use a laptop with at least a 15.6-inch screen or higher. Obviously - the larger the screen, the easier it is to find what you need to touch. Many laptops now offer a stylus as well for being able to offer more exact, clean screen touches. These will help keep fingerprints off of your screen and prevent users from clicking on more than one option at a time.
It's hard to learn new technology as a senior citizen. That being said - just because it's difficult, it doesn't mean it shouldn't be taken advantage of. Because of the struggles that users may have with new technology, it's important to find the best laptops for senior citizens.
These laptops must be made as accessible as possible. Users should take advantage of all of the accessibility features that are being offered by modern-day operating systems. In addition to this, setting senior citizens up for success with a few included features helps as well. The larger the screen - up to 17.3 inches - the better. On top of that, having a Bluetooth card to allow the possibility of the use of external speakers as well, helps a lot. There’s no reason why senior citizens shouldn’t be able to use tech for the better!