Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

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unstoppable
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Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by unstoppable »

We certainly have some of the smartest and most responsible consumers on here, which is why I love asking any purchase related question here.

Looking to get a loved one, a new laptop for the holidays. She absolutely loves reading articles on the web, but always does it via her iPhone (although the largest newest one), I think she'd really love a laptop, especially when online shopping / browsing items online. She does have an iPad but does not use it as much, so still on the fence on the laptop, but I think once she got used to using it...it would be a daily used device.

Have Chromebooks improved to the level that they can be used a sole device? Main uses would be emailing, surfing/shopping, video chats via Skype/Google Meet, and printing out recipes, so pretty low performance use. The main thing I'd want to avoid is the ability for them to get slammed w/ malware / other non-sense that seems pretty avoidable via iPhone / iPad.

Has anyone recently got a budget Chromebook (w/ good screen quality) that an older family member really enjoys? Also, have they found new hobbies/daily activities on the device as well? I feel there's so many wonderful puzzles/sites to start the day off with, in addition to wonderful news resources that are much easier to read via the laptop.
quantAndHold
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by quantAndHold »

I go through this with my wife. She uses her phone for everything, no matter how ill advised. If I were answering your question, I would suggest the iPad, since it works exactly like the phone, except it has a bigger screen, and desktop web pages load instead of mobile pages. So she wouldn’t need to learn anything new.

So if she won’t use the iPad, the only answer I have is a question. if she won’t use the iPad, why would she use a laptop?
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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Kenkat
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by Kenkat »

Yeah, I was going to suggest an iPad also but if she doesn’t use that, I’m not sure she would use a laptop either. Maybe a few simple questions of “hey, I was wondering why you don’t use your iPad much” would give you some insight.
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KlingKlang
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by KlingKlang »

My non computer literate wife has been using a basic Lenovo Chromebook for about two years now with no issues whatsoever. She only web surfs and does not video chat or print. No problems with malware and excellent battery life.
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unstoppable
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by unstoppable »

quantAndHold wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:11 pm I go through this with my wife. She uses her phone for everything, no matter how ill advised. If I were answering your question, I would suggest the iPad, since it works exactly like the phone, except it has a bigger screen, and desktop web pages load instead of mobile pages. So she wouldn’t need to learn anything new.

So if she won’t use the iPad, the only answer I have is a question. if she won’t use the iPad, why would she use a laptop?
Sounds like the same scenario. She was looking at a dinner menu yesterday, and I said why not "try it on the iPad?", but maybe you're very right. Although the iPad / laptop would be a better experience, some people are just happy to what they are used to. The largest iPhone or any iPhone for that matter (I have the smallest, mini), are all capable of almost all web tasks, just sometimes can be slower/more annoying to use.
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unstoppable
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by unstoppable »

KlingKlang wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:22 pm My non computer literate wife has been using a basic Lenovo Chromebook for about two years now with no issues whatsoever. She only web surfs and does not video chat or print. No problems with malware and excellent battery life.
Thanks, I might just be aiming for something that I think is better, although the iPhone / iPad combo may suffice. I'll def look into Lenovo Chromebooks, may be ideal for my younger nephews as well. Appreciate the insight.
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heartwood
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by heartwood »

I used windows laptops forever, but switched to chromebooks 5+ yrs ago.

I bought this in mid-november https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09RNCN3YV?ps ... ct_details

It came and took about 5 minutes to transfer my google account and be up and running. No need for a windows machine unless you run a specialized app that has no chrome equivalent.

News, surfing, etc. It does it all for me. I'll never go back.

Tried Apple several years ago and could not figure out how to do the mouse! Guess I'm an android guy. Not to mention the apple pricing.
SeekingAPlan
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by SeekingAPlan »

I love my Chromebook. Your use case sounds like exactly what it was designed for.

Is this person a touch typist? If so, they may appreciate the keyboard on the Chromebook
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by Bayliss »

I use a chromebook and I would definitely vote for that option if you don't need to save a ton on your computer. And I absolutely love the google drive management system and google sheets.

The nice thing about them is they are relatively cheap and auto update a lot so you won't have to worry about them not being compatible.

And their auto update expiration (AUE) is now upwards of 5-7 years. But if you do purchase one make sure you look up to see the AUE date because you don't wan to get a model that just has a couple of years left.
bondsr4me
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by bondsr4me »

if you don't want to spend a lot of money, a Surface GO might be a reasonable option.

she can use it with or without a keyboard; and a mouse and pencil are easy to set up and use.

it just depends on how much you want to spend.
joelly
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by joelly »

unstoppable wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:22 pm
quantAndHold wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:11 pm I go through this with my wife. She uses her phone for everything, no matter how ill advised. If I were answering your question, I would suggest the iPad, since it works exactly like the phone, except it has a bigger screen, and desktop web pages load instead of mobile pages. So she wouldn’t need to learn anything new.

So if she won’t use the iPad, the only answer I have is a question. if she won’t use the iPad, why would she use a laptop?
Sounds like the same scenario. She was looking at a dinner menu yesterday, and I said why not "try it on the iPad?", but maybe you're very right. Although the iPad / laptop would be a better experience, some people are just happy to what they are used to. The largest iPhone or any iPhone for that matter (I have the smallest, mini), are all capable of almost all web tasks, just sometimes can be slower/more annoying to use.
Sounds like a convo I had with hubby about 3 yrs ago. I suggested ipad and he basically insulted the idea. But I don’t know much about a good laptop to give him an advise. Stubbornly, I bought him an ipad pro with a cover that double as keyboard. That was his bday gift 3 yrs ago. He never complained since and actually surprised on how he enjoys it so much. Plus it has a pen that allows him to channel into his creative tendencies. He’s cheap toward himself so let’s not tell him that it’s the ipad pro :mrgreen:

His only complaint is that our DD will ask to share when her ipad runs out of battery :P

Funny now that I have a chance to think about this. Hubby has the most priciest ipad pro and DD has the most basic one. While I don’t have any :D and that’s okay with me.
student
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by student »

How much do you want to spend? $500 should get you a nice windows laptop with a good processor, 8GB RAM, 256-512 SSD right now. https://slickdeals.net/f/16198063-hp-vi ... rchV2Algo1
bondsr4me
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by bondsr4me »

student wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 2:05 pm How much do you want to spend? $500 should get you a nice windows laptop with a good processor, 8GB RAM, 256-512 SSD right now. https://slickdeals.net/f/16198063-hp-vi ... rchV2Algo1
+1...and BlackFriday sales are already starting...might be some real buys out there.
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StevieG72
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by StevieG72 »

Maybe a larger iphone if she is using a smaller screened model?

MacBook Air M1 is on sale for $800, since the new M2 model is out. Great capable, fast device.
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rockstar
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by rockstar »

I'd opt for a tablet if it's simply reading news and surfing the web. It's basically a phone with a bigger screen.
jcpct
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by jcpct »

Since she is already into the Apple operating system I'd suggest either an Apple MacBook Air or iPad. She can get a bigger screen by moving up to a MacBook Pro but that's probably more computer than she needs.
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iPad

Post by Bogle7 »

iPad Air
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Gadget
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by Gadget »

The answer to this is a chromebook. I don't feel that it's particularly close based on the info given.

Most people who hate chromebooks either tried one a decade ago, or tried the absolute cheapest one available and compared its performance to a $2000 Apple laptop. A $500-$700 premium chromebook will feel very fast for your use case. A $1k chromebook will feel like a premium laptop. A $300 chromebook is likely good enough for a senior that isn't tech savvy. Best of all, they are basically maintenance free for non tech savvy people.

I just setup my in laws with a $500ish chromebook that was on sale for $350. They love it more than their old WIndows laptop because all they do is surf the internet.
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by Circe »

I've had a few Chromebooks over the years -- Acers and HPs. I prefer a smaller one that's inexpensive (11-12" screen). I mostly read the WSJ and a few other sites. I've never even spent $300; Black Friday sales are good. Agreed that you should check the dates -- they won't be updated after a period of time. It used to be 6 years, not sure what it is now. They'd still be usable but not as secure. I have a Windows desktop that I still use and used to use a Windows laptop but when it became older, didn't get a new one in favor of the Chromebook. Battery life is good and you don't have to buy a bunch of software for it.
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by BrooklynInvest »

My 80 year old mother loves her iPad - e-mail her friends, FaceTime her grandson, surf the web, download photos and show ‘em to her friends. Piece ‘o cake.
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by KokomoLee »

Over 60 person here. I love my iPad, but it can get heavy to hold after a while. Highly recommend getting the Smart Keyboard Folio from Apple. Yes, it’s a keyboard, but I use it a lot just as a stand to keep the iPad upright while swiping.

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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by tallguy3891 »

unstoppable wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:01 pm We certainly have some of the smartest and most responsible consumers on here, which is why I love asking any purchase related question here.

Looking to get a loved one, a new laptop for the holidays. She absolutely loves reading articles on the web, but always does it via her iPhone (although the largest newest one), I think she'd really love a laptop, especially when online shopping / browsing items online. She does have an iPad but does not use it as much, so still on the fence on the laptop, but I think once she got used to using it...it would be a daily used device.

Have Chromebooks improved to the level that they can be used a sole device? Main uses would be emailing, surfing/shopping, video chats via Skype/Google Meet, and printing out recipes, so pretty low performance use. The main thing I'd want to avoid is the ability for them to get slammed w/ malware / other non-sense that seems pretty avoidable via iPhone / iPad.

Has anyone recently got a budget Chromebook (w/ good screen quality) that an older family member really enjoys? Also, have they found new hobbies/daily activities on the device as well? I feel there's so many wonderful puzzles/sites to start the day off with, in addition to wonderful news resources that are much easier to read via the laptop.
If you are not sure she will take to it you could try something cheaper at first. I bought my wife a 14" name brand laptop, she only uses it for basics, therefore it is only 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. Very lightweight, easy to prop in lap or put on tv tray, but the nicest thing for her since she is not tech knowledgeable is it came with Windows in "S Mode" so has a nice layer of added protection and no additional anti-malware needed. Has worked great so far and got it for about $150 new. One can always upgrade to something better from there.
Last edited by tallguy3891 on Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by Katietsu »

unstoppable wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:22 pm
quantAndHold wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:11 pm I go through this with my wife. She uses her phone for everything, no matter how ill advised. If I were answering your question, I would suggest the iPad, since it works exactly like the phone, except it has a bigger screen, and desktop web pages load instead of mobile pages. So she wouldn’t need to learn anything new.

So if she won’t use the iPad, the only answer I have is a question. if she won’t use the iPad, why would she use a laptop?
Sounds like the same scenario. She was looking at a dinner menu yesterday, and I said why not "try it on the iPad?", but maybe you're very right. Although the iPad / laptop would be a better experience, some people are just happy to what they are used to. The largest iPhone or any iPhone for that matter (I have the smallest, mini), are all capable of almost all web tasks, just sometimes can be slower/more annoying to use.
I love that you want a better experience for her. But, I am not sure your gift will be used. I do almost everything possible on my phone and I have a nice laptop. I will even do spreadsheets on the phone. I switched to a mini iPhone thinking that would force me to use the more appropriate laptop more often. Nope, just have hand cramping now.😀
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by Ervin »

The 2021 iPad Air is on sale in some places for about $350. It will nicely integrate with her iPhone and has a good screen. I am sure even the current iPad (which is very close in specs) is great at about $400.

If the weight/size is too much, consider an iPad Mini. If malware/money/ease of use are concerns, I would definitely go the tablet route.

If laptop, I would try to find a Macbook Air M1 for a good price ($799). Black Friday is just around the corner. As somebody who's been an exclusive PC user for 30 years, including some great business laptops, I still find my 4 month-old Macbook Air an incredible pleasure to use (coming from a Surface Pro with keyboard), and I think it would easier to use for an iPhone-owner senior than a PC. It's kind of the functional equivalent of a 12.9" iPad with a keyboard, just cheaper and more versatile.

The better Chromebooks were around $500, last time I looked. I doubt they are a better deal.

Take her to an Apple store.
Last edited by Ervin on Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by anoop »

unstoppable wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:22 pm
quantAndHold wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:11 pm I go through this with my wife. She uses her phone for everything, no matter how ill advised. If I were answering your question, I would suggest the iPad, since it works exactly like the phone, except it has a bigger screen, and desktop web pages load instead of mobile pages. So she wouldn’t need to learn anything new.

So if she won’t use the iPad, the only answer I have is a question. if she won’t use the iPad, why would she use a laptop?
Sounds like the same scenario. She was looking at a dinner menu yesterday, and I said why not "try it on the iPad?", but maybe you're very right. Although the iPad / laptop would be a better experience, some people are just happy to what they are used to. The largest iPhone or any iPhone for that matter (I have the smallest, mini), are all capable of almost all web tasks, just sometimes can be slower/more annoying to use.
The phone is impossible to use with certain poorly designed websites that show content truncated and with no way to work around that truncation.
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enad
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Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

Post by enad »

A Chromebook is probably the easiest thing to get. Things to include:
    An NVMe PCIe SSD (not a SATA SSD)
      8GB or 16GB of RAM
        Biggest Screen size you can get, unless overall size of the laptop is an issue (since this will be for a senior)

        An alternative is a laptop that runs Linux Mint which makes updates easy and if there is ever a need to run any office like applications its included for free.

        Linux Mint can be downloaded and "burned" (like a CD/DVD) onto a USB drive (8GB or larger) and the laptop/PC can be booted from USB to see what it's like running Linux Mint w/o every modifying the underlying hard drive in the laptop/PC i.e. a true try before you commit).
        Last edited by enad on Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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        student
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        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by student »

        A couple of sub-400 deals on windows laptop. https://slickdeals.net/f/16204894-dell- ... d7ae637f7c and https://slickdeals.net/f/16182232-hp-15 ... rchV2Algo1

        There is also this $99 one but I am skeptical of the hardware. https://slickdeals.net/f/16182232-hp-15 ... rchV2Algo1
        quantAndHold
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        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by quantAndHold »

        anoop wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:10 pm
        unstoppable wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:22 pm
        quantAndHold wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:11 pm I go through this with my wife. She uses her phone for everything, no matter how ill advised. If I were answering your question, I would suggest the iPad, since it works exactly like the phone, except it has a bigger screen, and desktop web pages load instead of mobile pages. So she wouldn’t need to learn anything new.

        So if she won’t use the iPad, the only answer I have is a question. if she won’t use the iPad, why would she use a laptop?
        Sounds like the same scenario. She was looking at a dinner menu yesterday, and I said why not "try it on the iPad?", but maybe you're very right. Although the iPad / laptop would be a better experience, some people are just happy to what they are used to. The largest iPhone or any iPhone for that matter (I have the smallest, mini), are all capable of almost all web tasks, just sometimes can be slower/more annoying to use.
        The phone is impossible to use with certain poorly designed websites that show content truncated and with no way to work around that truncation.
        I agree, but my wife’s solution if she can’t get it to work is to talk me into doing whatever the task is for her. She has her own iPad, and access to my MacBook Pro, but she does everything on an iPhone X, and no amount of cajoling will convince her to do differently. It sounds like OP’s loved one was cast in the same mold.
        Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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        just frank
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        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by just frank »

        If you talk to her about the iPad, you might find that she hasn't found a way to 'hold it' when sitting in her favorite chair/location. They can be a little awkward and too heave to hand hold. The right stand/holder might be transformative.
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        JoeRetire
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        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by JoeRetire »

        unstoppable wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:01 pm Have Chromebooks improved to the level that they can be used a sole device? Main uses would be emailing, surfing/shopping, video chats via Skype/Google Meet, and printing out recipes, so pretty low performance use. The main thing I'd want to avoid is the ability for them to get slammed w/ malware / other non-sense that seems pretty avoidable via iPhone / iPad.
        A Chromebook seems like an ideal choice for your situation.
        Has anyone recently got a budget Chromebook (w/ good screen quality) that an older family member really enjoys? Also, have they found new hobbies/daily activities on the device as well? I feel there's so many wonderful puzzles/sites to start the day off with, in addition to wonderful news resources that are much easier to read via the laptop.
        My wife got this one two years ago and uses it every day. She is 67 and not at all computer literate. I set it up for her and pinned the sites she likes to use. Otherwise, she is mostly on her own and really enjoys it. She is far more comfortable with a keyboard than a touch screen.

        https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L52DDDQ/

        If not for a few Windows-native applications that I still use, I would use a Chromebook myself.
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        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by onourway »

        If she already has an iPhone and iPad, I would not go down the route of a Chromebook or Windows PC. Stay in the ecosystem she is familiar with.

        A couple of questions.

        Is she signed into her account on her iPad with everything set up so that all of her settings are in sync through iCloud? This should include Messages, Facetime, passwords, bookmarks in Safari, photos, etc. This is one of the biggest strengths of the Apple ecosystem. Make sure she is taking advantage of it.

        Does she have a keyboard for the iPad? As noted, the iPad can be a bit more awkward to hold than the phone. Recent iPads have excellent keyboards with touchpads.

        I would consider the above, in combination of having a conversation as to why she isn't using the iPad before 'surprising' her with another piece of tech she may not want.
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        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by Circe »

        I wanted to add that I am a senior and have an iphone as well as the windows desktop that I use for analysis and things like taxes, etc. I use Chromebooks for reading WSJ etc because they are small, light and intuitive. I do use a smaller screen (11-12") and did not get the touch screen (didn't think I'd want it for what I do). I don't want to be in the apple environment any more than I have to be, but to each their own.
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        cockersx3
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        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by cockersx3 »

        quantAndHold wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:11 pm If I were answering your question, I would suggest the iPad, since it works exactly like the phone, except it has a bigger screen, and desktop web pages load instead of mobile pages. So she wouldn’t need to learn anything new.

        So if she won’t use the iPad, the only answer I have is a question. if she won’t use the iPad, why would she use a laptop?
        This +1000. For the senior citizens I know (assuming that is what you mean by "senior"?), ease of use is critically important. For example, I gave my mother-in-law an old (but still decent) touchscreen Chromebook that works very well for browsing the web, etc. But she doesn't really use it much as she is worried about "breaking" it by messing up the internal settings, so it sits mostly unused. She doesn't have that issue with her smartphone, at least not anymore.

        We are looking to get her a tablet for Christmas, with the same OS as her phone. We figure that if it works exactly the same as her phone does (but with a bigger and easier-to-read screen), she'll actually use it.
        anoop
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        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by anoop »

        BTW the surface laptop go 2 would probably fit her use case very nicely and is well built (among the best touchpad for windows), compact (12.4” screen but 3:2 aspect ratio optimized for productivity rather than watching movies), and very light (2.5lb). I’ve played with it in store but don’t own one. If you buy from Microsoft now you can return up to Jan 31, 2023 and if the price drops before Jan 2 you automatically get refunded the difference.
        https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/d/surfa ... verviewtab
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        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by four7s »

        just frank wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 6:56 am If you talk to her about the iPad, you might find that she hasn't found a way to 'hold it' when sitting in her favorite chair/location. They can be a little awkward and too heave to hand hold. The right stand/holder might be transformative.
        73 year old here…..I surf and send emails, google thoughts/ideas, check prices on Amazon, yada. I am always sitting on the couch or propped up in bed while I surf. Recently I bought an iPad apple gen 10 ($430)and the stand and use a hard sided placemat for a solid surface while surfing. I use the on screen keypad. Works like a charm! Hope this idea helps.
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        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by JDave »

        My mom is 87, and close to as little tech-savvy as it is possible to be, although she has used a desktop. She was given a used iPad 3 years ago and liked it so much she bought a new one one and a half years ago. She uses it for email, surfing the web, and watching the news.
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        racy
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        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by racy »

        My 2¢, make sure the laptop has a lighted keyboard.
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        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by Fletch »

        I use my older iPhone 11ProMax about 2/3 of the time for reading, messaging, email, surfing the internet, and a few other things. I use a 5 year old 15” MacBook Pro the other 1/3 if I need to type a lot or see big pictures, or work on a spreadsheet. I had an iPad for a while but rarely used it; the big “phone“ (iPad) wasn’t nearly as convenient to use as my iPhone or laptop.
        lws
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        Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:12 pm

        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by lws »

        Let her keep using the iPhone.
        Looks like she is comfortable as is.
        She may eventually try the iPad.
        gavinsiu
        Posts: 1061
        Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2021 12:42 pm

        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by gavinsiu »

        Device choices are heavily dependant on the user's preference and use case.

        People who use their smartphone alot prefer to have a all-in-one device that they can carry around. Many might actually prefer to do shopping on it since they can shop for stuff while waiting in line. As phone get bigger they double as tablet and media device.

        People who use tablet often want a bigger media device to consume media. They might feel that the phone, even the largest one is too small. Many however can double as laptop type device if you get a keyboard. However, they don't really work that well as a laptop in my opinion. They are not that great for answering email or typing forum post for example.

        People who like Chromebook and Windows really want a device that they can type on. If they are a heavy user of email or forum posting, then a machine with keyboard is better. There are chrome OS device that double as tablets, but in general they essentially people who usually use a laptop that ocassionally want to use their device as tablets, where people who have ipads tend to be tablet users who might want to use a keyboard occassionally.

        You might want to go with something windows or mac if you want to run local applications or consume local media. ChromeOS devices are that great if you want to run local apps. Yes, you can install Android apps or run Linux ones. Android apps tend to be crap on a laptop. Linuix app tend to be clunky on Chrome OS. Chrome OS don't play local files very well either. If you plan to do video or audio editing, you are better off with Windows or Mac.

        So in summary
        * Smartphones are great for people who prefer portability and don't mind the tiny screen, which are not so tiny these days.
        * Tablet are for people who want something larger but still mostly to consume media or even use a pen type input who type ocassionally.
        * Chromebooks are great for people who do a lot of typing and do mostly online stuff. However, they are not in my opinon good for video calls, though that is getting better.
        * Window and Mac are better for people who do a lot of local processing.

        In my mom's case, she end up using all 3. Her primary use case for the phone is to make calls, whatsapp, and play music. The tablet is use for consuming visual media like reading articles and movies. The Chrome OS device she use for desktop related stuff that requires typing.
        cjcerny
        Posts: 434
        Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:47 pm

        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by cjcerny »

        Someone who already chooses to use their phone when they already have other options is not likely to be swayed. I would just consider getting this person a bigger phone, if anything.
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        enad
        Posts: 618
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        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by enad »

        Today only, there is a Chromebook at Costco for $135 delivered that should be just fine
        What Goes Up Must come down -- David Clayton-Thomas (1968), BST
        student
        Posts: 8051
        Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by student »

        gavinsiu wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 12:45 am So in summary
        * Smartphones are great for people who prefer portability and don't mind the tiny screen, which are not so tiny these days.
        * Tablet are for people who want something larger but still mostly to consume media or even use a pen type input who type ocassionally.
        * Chromebooks are great for people who do a lot of typing and do mostly online stuff. However, they are not in my opinon good for video calls, though that is getting better.
        * Window and Mac are better for people who do a lot of local processing.
        Excellent comment.
        BabaWawa
        Posts: 441
        Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:47 pm

        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by BabaWawa »

        Get her a $99 black Friday Chromebook to try. I do everything including taxes on mine. If she doesn't like it, no big loss. Although if she doesn't use iPad who knows.
        gavinsiu
        Posts: 1061
        Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2021 12:42 pm

        Re: Ideal Laptop for a Senior that loves surfing the web/reading the news?

        Post by gavinsiu »

        For chromebook, you actually have a choice of different form factors. There is the traditional laptop form factor where it's just like a regular laptop.

        A lot of the Chromebooks are what is term 2 in one. For those, you can fold the laptop into tablet mode. While in tablet mode the keyboard is disable so you don't accidentally trigger the keys while in tablet mode. As a tablet, this would be inferior to a real tablet, but it's a good compromise for people who use their chromebook as a laptop and occasionally want a tablet. My kids have actually use it to do art.

        Recently, my kids ask for a paint program, so I install the android program Krita. The software is surprisingly well written and support the tablet mode pretty well. It even support pen tip sensitivity, so the brushes vary based on your pressure. Most chromebook these day support a USI stylus.

        Finally, there are chromebooks with detachable keyboard like Lenovo Duet. In my opinion, Chrome OS is really gear toward a keyboard mode, so as a tablet it's not as good as an android or ipad.

        I would be careful to not cheap out too much when buying laptop. I find that Chromebook does require less resources. My mom's chromebox supports a 8th gen celeron with only 4 Gb and works pretty well for her use case. A 4 Gb celeron windows would not be pleasant to use. However, you can go too cheap on chrome os, too and get an unpleasant experience.
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