Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

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Bob Sacamano
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Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Bob Sacamano »

they really just need a smooth experience for web browsing, email, YouTube, the basics.

they have a Costco membership but don't care where they get it from.

thanks in advance for any advice.
alex_686
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by alex_686 »

Why a desktop?

Why not a tablet or Chromebook? All in one item that is bulletproof. You can rig them with big screens and full keyboards if that is the issue.
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whodidntante
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by whodidntante »

Do they have a basic understanding of malware and computer security practices? Or can they learn the main threats and how to avoid them?

If not, then for the stated use cases and dropping the desktop requirement, I would go with a mid-range Chromebook, all day. They are fairly indestructible. The situation is better today than 10 years ago, but Windows PCs seem to be magnets for malware in the hands of non-savvy users. This won't protect them from phishing attempts or social engineering, but they probably won't infect their own machine with malware a week after buying it.

But if you insist on a desktop, an all in one Mac will do just fine for their use cases. Bring your high limit credit card.

A mid-range Windows desktop is also fine with a basic understanding of malware threats. It's really not hard.

Anything you buy at a major retailer is going to be mass produced crap with proprietary components. It's not worth much trouble to fix. Upon experiencing a significant hardware failure, my advice is to destroy the hard drive and dispose of the entire PC in a legal way. Costco has some high-end offerings sometimes that are an exception, but those are gaming PCs that wouldn't be worth the money.

I use a home-built PC that I periodically replace components in as they fail or become obsolete. It's worth fixing.
Cecelio
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Cecelio »

Windows computers have been coming out for the past year suggesting secure mode or something like that (S mode ?). It makes the Windows computer like a tablet or chromebook. They will only be able to add licensed Windows Store apps. Pretty safe. Take the 10 minutes to set it up for them. When it asks to link with a phone and all that jazz just say no. Say no to all advertising and such.
So you can only load apps. No traditional programs that have access to the core file system. Safer. Faster. Good for most folks. Pretty much the way I set up enterprise end devices where users are standard users. No power. I don't use antivirus and haven't had a virus ever. And I manage 1000's of users and machines.
Cecelio
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Cecelio »

As for a recommended model, just looking at the consumer side of computers makes me gag. They would need an i3 or basic 2 - 4 core CPU, 4 - 8GB Ram, and a 120 - 256GB SSD, unless they have tons of pics. Everything I see on the Costco site is 12+ GB RAM, huge HDD and SSD combos, i7 processors. Yikes.

I do like a 27" monitor for older folks. They really appreciate them. I doubt they could ever go back to 24".

I like this PC. You can get the SFF or mini tower for about the same price if you plan on adding HDDs or moding, but this small size is convenient and it has quality parts that will last a long time.
https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/de ... dfb5cf11c8

All in 1's are super convenient, too. This one is overpowered, but it will be cheaper than the above + a 27" monitor. Regular HDD, but if they never fully shut down, it doesn't matter.
https://www.costco.com/hp-pavilion-27%2 ... 01454.html
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GerryL
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by GerryL »

I'm 73 and liked my all-in-one enough to replace the 10-year-old AIO with a new one last year. Got the same size screen even. Stayed with HP. but AIOs are available from different companies.

Think about the features that are important (e.g., wireless mouse/keyboard or doesn't matter) and see which of the many available options check the most boxes.
squirm
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by squirm »

75, that's still pretty young. My parents do great in their mid 80's on a Dell all in one.
Windows is just fine for older people too, not sure why all of a sudden their suppose to switch to chromebooks after a certain age. my parents have been using Windows for decades.
DoubleComma
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by DoubleComma »

Just bought my folks a new M1 24” iMac….74 y/o and not particularly tech-savvy.


It’s perfect for exactly what you describe, although a 100x more capability than that.

The way Apple supports SW and pushes updates is a huge benefit for me….I don’t get calls every week + because some windows pop-up.

Reminding them to periodically charge the keyboard and mouse I thought would be an issue, but it’s been 3 months abs no issues yet.
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Mr. Maunder
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Mr. Maunder »

It depends on how tech savvy they are and what they need it for.

If they're really just looking for what can be done online (the list you mentioned), I would certainly consider a Chromebox.

The pros are that they're pretty inexpensive, they auto-update, and there's very little configuration. There's not much to go wrong. They aren't going to wind up stuck because there's a corrupted Windows registry entry, or because they accidentally installed malware on the machine; and even if it blows up, they aren't going to lose much because all the data's in Google's data centers, not on the device.

The cons are that they really can't install software on a Chromebox (certainly not Windows programs), it's not very useful without an Internet connection, and it does require them to have Gmail (well, Google) accounts to do anything of substance.

My folks are in their mid-80's and have been comfortable with computers for decades, so they're happy with Windows PCs, though when I go home to visit I usually wind up spending a few hours updating device drivers, double-checking the anti-virus software is still working, and dealing with various weird configuration issues that have crept in. They generally understand what I'm doing but aren't interested in doing it themselves.

That said, they have friends who are totally non-technical and aren't comfortable with some concepts (they don't really understand the difference between google.com, the Chrome web browser, and the Internet) and really only read web sites and Gmail. For them, a Chromebox or Chromebook is a great solution.

I would say a Mac is a midway solution; it's a full-fledged OS that can run real software, but is somewhat easier to maintain than a Windows device because there are far fewer hardware/customization options to deal with. They can be more expensive, though, and take a bit of getting used to coming from Windows. If you wanted to go that route, I'd check what software they actually want to buy and make sure there are Mac versions available.
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ClassII
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by ClassII »

If you go windows or Mac and parents are not tech savvy, I recommend setting yourself up as the Admin user and your parents as a standard, child or restricted access account. This way the computer is protected from them accidentally deleting critical files, installing malware or otherwise damaging the system inadvertently.

Also suggest using a password manager with family access. Make sure they know how to use it and have a plan to share important logins they’re ok with you having access to in a pinch. This will also help you so tech support for them if they can’t remember a password.
Makefile
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Makefile »

alex_686 wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:07 pm Why a desktop?

Why not a tablet or Chromebook? All in one item that is bulletproof. You can rig them with big screens and full keyboards if that is the issue.
There are also Chromeboxes if it's going to be used as a desktop anyway rather than as an anchored laptop...
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Metsfan91
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Metsfan91 »

Bob Sacamano wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:46 pm they really just need a smooth experience for web browsing, email, YouTube, the basics.

they have a Costco membership but don't care where they get it from.

thanks in advance for any advice.
Costco extends warranty for another year. If I were you, I'll buy something low cost. This one at costco looks good to me:

https://www.costco.com/.product.1494646.html

600 bucks for this PC. A 22-24 inch monitor should be sufficient. A quick search on Amazon shows these monitors are available for about 125... Monitors at costco appear to be expensive.
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TimeRunner
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by TimeRunner »

Chromebook or chromebox. You can even easily remote into it to provide remote support. If it works for junior high school kids, it will work fine for your parents.
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Metsfan91
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Metsfan91 »

TimeRunner wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:22 pm Chromebook or chromebox. You can even easily remote into it to provide remote support. If it works for junior high school kids, it will work fine for your parents.
Keypad might be a bit small on a chromebook. Display screen small as well.
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Luke Duke
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Luke Duke »

I bought something like this for my parents. If your parents are like mine, you definitely want to invest in some anti-malware software and make sure that the computer is updated when you visit.

https://www.amazon.com/Acer-C24-963-UA91-i3-1005G1-802-11ac-Wireless/dp/B088HFS3M5/
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Sheepdog
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Sheepdog »

squirm wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:46 pm 75, that's still pretty young. My parents do great in their mid 80's on a Dell all in one.
Windows is just fine for older people too, not sure why all of a sudden their suppose to switch to chromebooks after a certain age. my parents have been using Windows for decades.
At 88, me too.
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Bob Sacamano
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Bob Sacamano »

Cecelio wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:39 pm As for a recommended model, just looking at the consumer side of computers makes me gag. They would need an i3 or basic 2 - 4 core CPU, 4 - 8GB Ram, and a 120 - 256GB SSD, unless they have tons of pics. Everything I see on the Costco site is 12+ GB RAM, huge HDD and SSD combos, i7 processors. Yikes.

I do like a 27" monitor for older folks. They really appreciate them. I doubt they could ever go back to 24".

I like this PC. You can get the SFF or mini tower for about the same price if you plan on adding HDDs or moding, but this small size is convenient and it has quality parts that will last a long time.
https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/de ... dfb5cf11c8

All in 1's are super convenient, too. This one is overpowered, but it will be cheaper than the above + a 27" monitor. Regular HDD, but if they never fully shut down, it doesn't matter.
https://www.costco.com/hp-pavilion-27%2 ... 01454.html
i was looking at the Optiplex line. a little pricey though. close to $1K with monitor?
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Peculiar_Investor »

Bob Sacamano wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:46 pm they really just need a smooth experience for web browsing, email, YouTube, the basics.
What are they currently using? Familiarity and ease of migration from their current device should most definitely be a consideration.
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iamblessed
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by iamblessed »

How about this https://www.dellrefurbished.com/item/de ... 000018&p=1
I am typing right now on something like this.
oldlongbeard
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by oldlongbeard »

A used PC with MX Linux. My 80+ YO parents have not protested once. I keep the OS on disk, and told them in an hour, I can reload the OS.....do whatever they want to it. They should be like kids on a computer. Not afraid. My experience. YMMV
michaelingp
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by michaelingp »

whodidntante wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:13 pm

Anything you buy at a major retailer is going to be mass produced crap with proprietary components.
Over the years I have bought many Dell computers from different major retailers, including Walmart and Costco as well as directly from Dell. I've also had experience with quite a few HP computers, both laptops and desktops. I have not experienced one that I would characterize as "mass produced crap". All have been easy to upgrade with standard disks and memory (about all you need to upgrade). In fact, all have lasted without malfunction for 10 years or more, long after most folks would want to upgrade. I have had the same experience with a smaller number of Apple laptops and all-in-ones. I type this on a 4 y.o. desktop I bought at Costco that has had its hard drive and memory upgraded (non-proprietary components). It's far from "crap" and is not a "gaming" computer.
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Colorado Guy »

Bob Sacamano wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:46 pm they really just need a smooth experience for web browsing, email, YouTube, the basics.
It depends upon how OLD they really are (not their chronological age). Only you know the answer to that question.

While you are seeking computer alternatives, you may want to seek improved functionality which go beyond the basics. While everyone has a different bias, a Windows desktop is a good choice, as you can get larger monitors which are good for those of us with older eyes. While I can function on a small laptop (Surface Pro 8), I prefer my two larger monitor desktop setup for a lot of functions, particularly if I have multiple windows open. Costco has a number of options to choose from.

Any (?) new Windows desktop should be Windows 11 compatible as well.

Not knowing what their TV is like or where it is located (near the computer?), an option to cast YouTube videos to the TV may be appreciated. Even viewing Zoom/Microsoft Teams type apps on the TV may be helpful as well. So, that would suggest a wireless feature would be a good option.

If they take photos with their phones, a way to access those photos from the phone to the PC would be helpful.

Actually, I think a combination of a lightweight laptop plus a desktop is the way to go.
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by whodidntante »

michaelingp wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:19 am
whodidntante wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:13 pm

Anything you buy at a major retailer is going to be mass produced crap with proprietary components.
Over the years I have bought many Dell computers from different major retailers, including Walmart and Costco as well as directly from Dell. I've also had experience with quite a few HP computers, both laptops and desktops. I have not experienced one that I would characterize as "mass produced crap". All have been easy to upgrade with standard disks and memory (about all you need to upgrade). In fact, all have lasted without malfunction for 10 years or more, long after most folks would want to upgrade. I have had the same experience with a smaller number of Apple laptops and all-in-ones. I type this on a 4 y.o. desktop I bought at Costco that has had its hard drive and memory upgraded (non-proprietary components). It's far from "crap" and is not a "gaming" computer.
Typically the case, main board, and PSU are proprietary and cost minimized in these mass produced crap computers. Also the airflow is typically poor. So upgrade potential is constrained and there are specialized parts that can't be replaced without going to the original manufacturer. That's what I meant. I understand you can sometimes add a stick of RAM or replace the hard drive. You're right about that.
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by prd1982 »

Bob Sacamano wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:17 am
i was looking at the Optiplex line. a little pricey though. close to $1K with monitor?
You don't want this. Optiplex is their business line. Stick with Inspiron.
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Alex Frakt »

prd1982 wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:58 am
Bob Sacamano wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:17 am
i was looking at the Optiplex line. a little pricey though. close to $1K with monitor?
You don't want this. Optiplex is their business line. Stick with Inspiron.
Yes, Optiplex is the business line. That's exactly why you want it in this situation. Consumers want Inspiron because they offer the maximum spec for the dollar. Businesses want Optiplex because they are designed for long life and easy serviceability.

I only buy refurbished Optiplex (or Latitude laptops) for both my business and my family. None of us do anything cutting edge so anything built within the last 6 years with an SSD and 8GB RAM does fine. I will pay a little more for 16GB RAM if it's an option. I like the SFF (small form factor) boxes. The only traditional tower I've bought was for my son so we could add a video card.
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by iamblessed »

prd1982 wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:58 am
Bob Sacamano wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:17 am
i was looking at the Optiplex line. a little pricey though. close to $1K with monitor?
You don't want this. Optiplex is their business line. Stick with Inspiron.
A Optiplex will work great for what they do.
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

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prd1982
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by prd1982 »

Alex Frakt wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:33 pm
prd1982 wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:58 am
Bob Sacamano wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:17 am
i was looking at the Optiplex line. a little pricey though. close to $1K with monitor?
You don't want this. Optiplex is their business line. Stick with Inspiron.
Yes, Optiplex is the business line. That's exactly why you want it in this situation. Consumers want Inspiron because they offer the maximum spec for the dollar. Businesses want Optiplex because they are designed for long life and easy serviceability.

I only buy refurbished Optiplex (or Latitude laptops) for both my business and my family. None of us do anything cutting edge so anything built within the last 6 years with an SSD and 8GB RAM does fine. I will pay a little more for 16GB RAM if it's an option. I like the SFF (small form factor) boxes. The only traditional tower I've bought was for my son so we could add a video card.
I find that Optiplex costs more for the same specs as Inspiron, but adds no value to the consumer. Optiplex usually comes with management tools to support multi-machine deployments. Optiplex doesn’t switch components as frequently as Inspiron. Again, this is to support businesses that want to deploy many identical machines and manage remotely. But just my opinion, and understand that others disagree.
Tom_T
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Tom_T »

Honestly, if all they are going to do is browse the Web, check e-mail, and watch Netflix, I'd get them an iPad.
mary1492
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by mary1492 »

Chromebook is the way to go. You will get more bang for the buck and the interface will seem more intuitive. In general, the OS is much easier to work with, because it is slim - you don't have all of the Windows or Apple intricacies to deal with. Aside from that, the machines are fast because they don't have traditional OS overhead. Additionally, relative to the other OSes, they are rock solid - they don't crash.

For older folks, it does the simple things very well. What more do they really need besides email, internet browsing, and maybe a few apps?

We bought a Chromebook for my 80 year old mom about 6 months ago, and it does fine for her.
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Alex Frakt »

prd1982 wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:07 pm I find that Optiplex costs more for the same specs as Inspiron, but adds no value to the consumer. Optiplex usually comes with management tools to support multi-machine deployments. Optiplex doesn’t switch components as frequently as Inspiron. Again, this is to support businesses that want to deploy many identical machines and manage remotely. But just my opinion, and understand that others disagree.
The management tools are just software/firmware that doesn't add to the cost of the Optiplex. The price difference basically comes down to a more solid build. There's literally more steel in the case and once you open it, components are in easy to access subassemblies that do not require tools to open. They also use some higher quality components that don't figure into the spec but lead to greater long term reliability or lower noise levels like power supplies and fans.

IMO, the only reason to go for an Inspiron is if you're a high end gamer or doing video editing and you want the max specs for your dollar and long term reliability doesn't matter to you since you'll be upgrading every couple of years anyway.

Note, this is all assuming you want a traditional PC. For most people with light computing needs, a Chromebook is a much better option.
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My personal experience

Post by Bogle7 »

As a 73-year-old nerd I have been in this situation twice.
If you are the person with the most expertise, then you will become tech support.
I was for my aerospace engineer father from 1997 to 2018 when he died at age 95.
I am for my younger forestry expert brother now.

They should buy what you have.
If you have Windows 11, then they buy a windows 11 machine. I do believe a larger screen is better.
If you have MacOS, then they should buy an iMac.
If you have a Chromebook/box, then...
If you have an iPad, then...

Do not focus on low cost. Focus on reducing the tech support burden.
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by dbr »

My guess is that the biggest user difference that will matter to them is having a large screen. Probably notebooks are not as ergonomic in terms of seeing the screen and using the keyboard and mouse conveniently. If an iPAD a separate keypad is essential.

I'm that age and across a couple of iPhones, two sizes of iPADS, a couple of Kindles, a Dell PC (Win 10), and an iMAC the Dell PC is the most suited to wasting time on the computer and the Kindle Paperwhite to reading, though the Kindle app on the desktop is good. My wife uses the iMAC and could be ready for a new 24" iMAC.

Some people like to lie back in a chair with a notebook and other people (wife and I) much, much prefer to work at a desk. Where and in what physical posture one wants to work varies, as does the benefit of smaller or larger size. The parents probably need to try the options to decide. We have discovered that Zoom meetings are way better on larger screens and even port some Zoom events to the TV set. For that I actually connect on a phone or iPAD. Then again Facetime or Google Meets can benefit from a device that can be carried around.
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by tibbitts »

Regarding the business vs. consumer product lines in laptops or desktops, I've owned many of both varieties, and sometimes there are lower and higher end products in both categories. Of those many have been "refurb"s, some were nearly new from manufacturers directly, some had been through years of business use. So there is no standard to the "refurb" term. I wouldn't buy anything other than a new or essentially new (full warranty, direct from manufacturer, current or nearly-current model) computer for anyone not very familiar with computers.
Last edited by tibbitts on Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by 02nz »

Cecelio wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:39 pm All in 1's are super convenient, too. This one is overpowered, but it will be cheaper than the above + a 27" monitor. Regular HDD, but if they never fully shut down, it doesn't matter.
https://www.costco.com/hp-pavilion-27%2 ... 01454.html
Whoa, this advice is WAY off base. I agree all-in-one desktops can be convenient. But a PC that only has a spinning hard drive will feel dramatically slower and less responsive in normal use - even just browsing - than one with an solid state drive (SSD). The difference is absolutely huge and very noticeable even outside of starting Windows. (And there are definitely reasons to shut down the computer - e.g., for power savings, and Windows updates often require it.)
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by 02nz »

Alex Frakt wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:33 pm
prd1982 wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:58 am
Bob Sacamano wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:17 am
i was looking at the Optiplex line. a little pricey though. close to $1K with monitor?
You don't want this. Optiplex is their business line. Stick with Inspiron.
Yes, Optiplex is the business line. That's exactly why you want it in this situation. Consumers want Inspiron because they offer the maximum spec for the dollar. Businesses want Optiplex because they are designed for long life and easy serviceability.

I only buy refurbished Optiplex (or Latitude laptops) for both my business and my family. None of us do anything cutting edge so anything built within the last 6 years with an SSD and 8GB RAM does fine. I will pay a little more for 16GB RAM if it's an option. I like the SFF (small form factor) boxes. The only traditional tower I've bought was for my son so we could add a video card.
Basically I agree with this, however note that you need an 8th-gen or later Intel processor (or same-age AMD) to run Windows 11 without workarounds. That rules out anything from before about late 2017. No, there's no real "need" for Windows 11, but Windows 10 updates will end in 2025.
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Watty
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Watty »

It does not really matter if Windows/Mac/Chromebook is technically best for some reason if you do not know it well enough to try to help them with an problems.

Most likely the best choice is whatever you use everyday since you will be the most familiar with it.
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by roamingzebra »

I'd go with whatever your parents are used to, unless they are comfortable learning new things. In my case, my parents were familiar with XP and Vista on a laptop, so when Windows 10 came around, I knew they would dislike the new interface. So I set them up with a Linux distro, again on a laptop, that mimicked the old Windows.

I made desktop icons for their favorite websites. I made another desktop icon for Thunderbird Mail. Then I set up UBlock Origin in their Firefox browser in default mode, which provides protection but doesn't break websites.

Their system is virtually trouble-free. The things they care about -- specific websites, including YouTube, and email -- can all be accessed directly from the desktop.
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by joe8d »

79 yrs old and have a Lenovo all in one desktop with a 24 inch screen. Works for me.
All the Best, | Joe
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by UpperNwGuy »

My father used a Mac laptop up until his death at age 97. When his next to last laptop failed when he was about 94, my geeky sister set up his new laptop for him. She intentionally bought a refurbished laptop that was exactly the same as the one that failed, and she set up the software the exact same way. He didn't have to learn anything new.
dbr
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by dbr »

02nz wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:17 pm
Cecelio wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:39 pm All in 1's are super convenient, too. This one is overpowered, but it will be cheaper than the above + a 27" monitor. Regular HDD, but if they never fully shut down, it doesn't matter.
https://www.costco.com/hp-pavilion-27%2 ... 01454.html
Whoa, this advice is WAY off base. I agree all-in-one desktops can be convenient. But a PC that only has a spinning hard drive will feel dramatically slower and less responsive in normal use - even just browsing - than one with an solid state drive (SSD). The difference is absolutely huge and very noticeable even outside of starting Windows. (And there are definitely reasons to shut down the computer - e.g., for power savings, and Windows updates often require it.)
Without a doubt if spending money on a new machine go with SSD. You can also use an external SSD for backups such as TimeMachine or whatever you have for a Windows machine.
Lookingforanswers
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Re: My personal experience

Post by Lookingforanswers »

Bogle7 wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:15 pm
They should buy what you have.
If you have Windows 11, then they buy a windows 11 machine. I do believe a larger screen is better.
If you have MacOS, then they should buy an iMac.
If you have a Chromebook/box, then...
If you have an iPad, then...

Do not focus on low cost. Focus on reducing the tech support burden.
Great answer.

One thing I found in doing tech support for my parents is that I really needed to know how to tell them what part of the screen to click on or which command to use. It all seems intuitive and simple in your own head but your forget how many little icons, arrows, or widgets there are that aren't really explained for them ("Click on the little flat line in the upper right, not the thing that looks like a couple of squares"). If you don't have your own screen open that you can walk them through it's really hard.
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Peculiar_Investor
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Re: My personal experience

Post by Peculiar_Investor »

Bogle7 wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:15 pm They should buy what you have.
If you have Windows 11, then they buy a windows 11 machine. I do believe a larger screen is better.
If you have MacOS, then they should buy an iMac.
If you have a Chromebook/box, then...
If you have an iPad, then...

Do not focus on low cost. Focus on reducing the tech support burden.
I somewhat agree but having been through this before as the resident family geek, I would suggest
Peculiar_Investor wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:23 am What are they currently using? Familiarity and ease of migration from their current device should most definitely be a consideration.
Sometimes it is easier for the 'support tech' to learn a new system rather than the older family member.
Normal people… believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet. – Scott Adams
roamingzebra
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Re: My personal experience

Post by roamingzebra »

Lookingforanswers wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:03 am One thing I found in doing tech support for my parents is that I really needed to know how to tell them what part of the screen to click on or which command to use. It all seems intuitive and simple in your own head but your forget how many little icons, arrows, or widgets there are that aren't really explained for them ("Click on the little flat line in the upper right, not the thing that looks like a couple of squares"). If you don't have your own screen open that you can walk them through it's really hard.
Even on Windows, my parents rarely had tech support issues, the main one having to do with their bloated anti-virus software pushed by their ISP. I got rid of that. The main technical things were my Dad wanted the ability to customize his desktop icons and my Mom wanted to figure out how to use the browser most effectively.

They differed in ability: Dad would diligently write down instructions for where the Windows system icons were stored -- Win32somethingorrather - then refer to his notes whenever he wanted to change an icon. My Mom, on the other hand, could never adequately figure out browser bookmarks. I did a screen print of the Firefox interface annotating every part of it -- the navigation box, the bookmarks toolbar, etc. etc. She never fully got it. Then and now she just prefers clicking on a desktop icon, so that's the way I set it up on both Windows and Linux. Heaven forbid she learn about something like "hamburger menus". :D
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Bob Sacamano
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by Bob Sacamano »

thanks for all the responses. i'm still leaning Optiplex.

they will not (don't want) to learn any new OS so anything Chrome or Mac is out.
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jabberwockOG
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Re: Looking for a desktop PC for my 75 year old parents

Post by jabberwockOG »

ipad for the win with senior users...

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... gIVuvD_BwE
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