If you are looking for a new laptop for your parents or elderly grandparents, there are some factors you should consider before clicking the purchase button. Everyone’s best laptops may not necessarily be optimal choices for a large person. First, you must ensure that the intended user is familiar with the operating system of the device you are purchasing. Secondly, you need to make sure you have a large screen (preferably a touch screen), a wide keyboard and trackpad, good battery life, and still portable after installation on all this. Finally, you also need to know the status of your usage, which will help you reduce systems based on performance capabilities. Based on these factors, we’ve coordinated this list of the oldest laptops you can get now.
Go this guide to the best laptops for the elderly:
Best overall: Apple MacBook Air
There is no doubt that Apple MacBook Air is the best choice of this group if the desired user already knows their way around macOS. It is also a great choice for those who have not used a computer in a while, it will start from scratch regardless of the operating system you choose. Although I’ve been a Windows user all my life, I can’t help but agree that macOS is much easier to use, provides a hassle-free experience, and rarely has to deal with issues like viruses or incorrect updates. In addition, macOS offers a range of useful access features that are really useful for people with special needs.
The new MacBook Air offers all that, and more. It has a decently sized screen, a tactile keyboard, an amazing trackpad, and superb battery life. Thanks to the new M1 chip, it’s also powerful enough to chew through almost anything that you can throw at it. The only drawback of getting the MacBook Air over any of the other laptops on this list is the price. But while it may be expensive, you can rest assured that it’s worth your hard-earned money. Do note that the 13.3-inch display may not be best suited for people with visual disabilities, and you might want to consider going with the 16-inch MacBook Pro instead. However, that will cost you a lot more and you won’t get the Apple M1 chip with that model.
The new MacBook Air offers all that and more. It has a decent size screen, touchpad, amazing trackpad, and excellent battery life. Thanks to the new M1 chip, it’s also strong enough to chew almost anything you can throw at it. The only drawback of getting a MacBook Air on any of the other laptops on this list is the price. But while it can be expensive, you can be sure it’s worth your money earned with so much money. Note that the 13.3-inch display may not be best suited for visually impaired people, and you may want to consider going with the 116-inch MacBook Pro instead. However, it will cost you a lot and you won’t get an Apple M1 chip with this model.
Best Windows alternative: ASUS ZenBook 14
While the MacBook Air may be our best pick, it’s not a great option for a Windows veteran even though macOS offers a better experience. For them, an ASUS ZenBook 14 will be a better buy. It features a slightly larger 14-inch display in a similarly thin and lightweight chassis. It’s powered by AMD’s Ryzen 5 4500U processor and an NVIDIA MX350 GPU, so you don’t have to worry about any performance issues. And it features a decent keyboard and large trackpad.
The ASUS ZenBook 14 is also much cheaper than the MacBook Air, starting at under $700 for the 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD variant. Despite the cheaper price tag, the ZenBook 14 can power through most day-to-day tasks with ease, and it also offers a much larger selection of ports that will let you connect a larger display, a better keyboard (like this one that has large legends), and a mouse. And while Windows 10 may not be as great as macOS, it also comes with a decent selection of accessibility features.
Affordable Windows option: Acer Aspire 5 Slim
If you’re looking for a basic Windows system and you don’t want to spend $700 on a laptop that will mostly be used for light tasks, then you can also consider getting the Acer Aspire 5 Slim. At a starting price of under $400, the laptop packs an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor, Vega 3 graphics, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SDD. While it may not be as thin and light as the options mentioned above, it does offer a larger 15.6-inch display and a full-sized keyboard to justify the added bulk. However, the trackpad on this model is a fair bit smaller than the other options, so you may want to consider getting a mouse with it.
Another cool thing about the Acer Aspire 5 Slim is that it runs Windows 10 in S mode, which means that the user won’t be able to install any third-party software from outside the Microsoft Store. This drastically decreases the chances of the user unwittingly installing a malicious program from the internet. Additionally, Windows 10 in S mode is a bit zippier than regular Windows 10 and offers better battery life. It’s worth noting that you can also switch out of Windows 10 in S mode if you find it to be restricting, but that’s a one-way street so you may want to weigh all options before taking that step.
Top Chrome OS Pick: Acer Chromebook Spin 713
Chrome OS-powered devices, like the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, are also a great pick for seniors who have a primarily browser-based workload. They’re fast, portable, and quite easy to use. And they also give you access to a whole bunch of Android apps, so you can do pretty much everything. The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a solid option that features a tall 3:2 aspect ratio display, Intel’s 10th Gen Core i5-10210U chip, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD.
With this kind of hardware coupled with Chrome OS, you can rest assured that the device will deliver great performance and handle most basic tasks with relative ease. Much like the Windows alternatives, it features a good selection of I/O ports, including two USB 3.2 Type-C ports, one USB 3.0 Type-A port, an HDMI port, and a microSD card slot. The inclusion of an HDMI port is especially great, as it will let you connect a larger display if the need arises. If you’re not entirely sold on the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, you can also check out our list of the best Chromebooks to pick another option.
Best pick for iPhone Users: iPad Air with keyboard cover
In case you’re getting the laptop for someone who hasn’t used a PC in a while, I would strongly recommend getting them a tablet instead. An iPad Air will be the best option for an iPhone user, as it will offer them a software experience that they’re already familiar with. And despite its slim form factor, the iPad Air is capable enough for most basic tasks. You’ll just need to get a keyboard cover along with it to get a more traditional laptop experience.
While you can go with Apple’s own Magic Keyboard, I would recommend that you buy the Logitech Folio Touch, as it offers extra protection and costs half as much. With this combo, you’ll be able to do pretty much everything that you can do with a traditional laptop with the added benefit of the combo being much more portable and lightweight. The only drawback of getting this over a laptop would be the small screen size, but you can always go for the larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro to solve that issue.
Best pick for Android users: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 with keyboard cover
Just like the iPad Air is a great option for iPhone users, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is a good pick for Android users. It will offer the same software experience as their smartphone, with a much larger display and physical keyboard to get some serious work done.
As with the iPad Air, the Galaxy Tab S7’s 11-inch display may not be ideal for those with visual impairments. So, you can pick the larger Galaxy Tab S7+, which comes with a 12.4-inch display. Both variants come with an S Pen in the box, which is a surprisingly handy tool for all kinds of users. Do note that the keyboard cover is sold separately and it’s essential to get that laptop-like experience.
That rounds up our list of the best laptops for seniors. Which one out of this lot are you going to pick? I recently bought the Galaxy Tab S7 with the keyboard cover for my grandfather, and he’s quite happy with it. Since he’s been an Android user for a while now, he didn’t face any issues getting a hang of the tablet. And since a vast majority of his work is browser-based, he’s quite pleased with the performance too. The tiny trackpad on the keyboard cover was my only concern with the Galaxy Tab S7, but my grandfather seems to be managing just fine with the touchscreen. I hope you’re able to get similar results with an option that best suits your senior’s needs.