Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

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LuigiLikesPizza
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Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by LuigiLikesPizza » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:12 pm

Black Friday or Cyber Monday (whatever) is coming up and I am hoping to score a very reasonably priced, easy to use laptop for my dad.

Any brand and/or retailer suggestions are very very appreciated.

Thank you.

Mudpuppy
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:17 pm

What does your dad want to do with the laptop?

michaeljc70
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:23 pm

I saw a couple good deals in the Costco Holiday flyer. I am sure many retailers will have Chromebooks on sale. I have an Acer Chromebook and am very happy with it. Costco has 2 Acers in the flyer. One is a 12" and one is a 14". They are both $200.

I have a Windows laptop as well, but the Chromebook is perfect for most people to do basic things and is cheaper and harder to mess up.

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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by hicabob » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:29 pm

Unless portability is a concern a chromebox might be preferable?
https://www.amazon.com/Asus-CHROMEBOX-M ... dpSrc=srch

You do need to add a generic display , keyboard and mouse so that adds perhaps $150.

The big screen is nice for older eyes. Chromebooks tend to have small screens.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by SrGrumpy » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:37 pm

I have a Samsung Chromebook 13, which is absurdly cheap at about $200 from Best Buy, and pretty good considering. It has 4GB RAM, 32 GB flash drive, and a spill-resistant keyboard. Assuming your dad is not making movies and playing games, something in this bracket might be appropriate. I wouldn't even wait until Black Friday. Mind you, he is your dad so spending a little bit more wouldn't be a terrible idea:

Per Wirecutter, the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA (DHM4 version) is the best Chromebook for most people, although it's a bit pricey at around $450. So Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping could be an option here. It has a bright and clear display with backlit keyboard/ PC Mag also called it "excellent."

michaeljc70
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:42 pm

If you get a Chromebook, I would get one that can use Android apps.

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heartwood
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by heartwood » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:50 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:42 pm
If you get a Chromebook, I would get one that can use Android apps.
+1 I have the Acer r13 from last year. I love that it can use most apps from the Play Store. (not the Sonos app).

I looked today at the Costco and Amazon chromebooks. I realized that most are not touchscreen; that's where a cost savings exists. The Acer I have is touchscreen. I'd never go back.

https://www.costco.com/Acer-R13-Touchsc ... 21190.html same price on amazon.

Think about what you use a laptop/tablet for. If all you use is a chrome or other browser, a chromebook that can use apps is ideal.

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JoMoney
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by JoMoney » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:54 pm

hicabob wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:29 pm
Unless portability is a concern a chromebox might be preferable?
https://www.amazon.com/Asus-CHROMEBOX-M ... dpSrc=srch

You do need to add a generic display , keyboard and mouse so that adds perhaps $150.

The big screen is nice for older eyes. Chromebooks tend to have small screens.
:thumbsup My introduction to 'Chromebooks' was actually a Chrome-box that I had hooked up to a large screen television with a wireless keyboard. I intended for it to be just a way to watch some online videos on the TV, but it turned into my primary computer for web browsing etc...
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham

LuigiLikesPizza
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by LuigiLikesPizza » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:37 pm

Thanks...

I tried to get him to use a iPad tablet - he hated it, claimed he really prefers a keyboard... but didn't like the iPad for other reasons as well.

He will use it to check Facebook & Instagram so he can see grandkid photos. Needs to be able to adjust font size due to his aging eyes.

He will want to carry it when he travels and use it for email, for online banking, for checking his stocks, for reading the news...no games, probably no watching movies...(?) probably should ask.

Might want to print from it....I guess I should ask him.

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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by hicabob » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:54 pm

LuigiLikesPizza wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:37 pm
Thanks...

I tried to get him to use a iPad tablet - he hated it, claimed he really prefers a keyboard... but didn't like the iPad for other reasons as well.

He will use it to check Facebook & Instagram so he can see grandkid photos. Needs to be able to adjust font size due to his aging eyes.

He will want to carry it when he travels and use it for email, for online banking, for checking his stocks, for reading the news...no games, probably no watching movies...(?) probably should ask.

Might want to print from it....I guess I should ask him.
You do need a networked and chrome compatible printer to print from a chromebook. They are cheap and readily available but most old printers won't work with chromebooks unless remotely from a windows box, which would defeat the simplicity requirement.

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Alexa9
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by Alexa9 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:03 pm

I would consider an Asus Chromebox Desktop + Large Monitor if he is mostly using it at home.

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BL
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by BL » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:45 am

I have a new ASUS Chromebook 11.? that I like very much. It is similar to my Samsung that I had for 5+ years.
Portable
big enough screen 11.6? diagonal
easy to make larger (control + + key)
simple from the start
might need to get a cloud-ready printer
almost drop-proof
could connect it directly to tv
cheap
I like it better than Ipad, especially the keyboard
I have 16 tabs in use right now
no worries about viruses or updating
maybe 10 hour use on battery

aristotelian
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by aristotelian » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:09 am

I think Chromebook is ideal for elderly if they can get past the idea of all their data being in the cloud. I have never heard of one getting a virus and that would be my biggest concern setting an elderly person up with a Windows computer. It is simply inevitable that they will get a virus or fall victim to a phishing scam. Just the other day my FIL (age 67!) gave his bank account number to a guy who called him ostensibly from Norton offering to fix a problem with his computer!

My wife has a budget Acer. It has lasted 3 years with no problems at all, but it does feel kind of cheap (plastic body etc).

My son did a presentation recently using an HP Chromebook at school and I must say it looked real slick. I would have thought it was a Macbook Air looking from a distance. Not sure but I think it may have been this one:
http://store.hp.com/us/en/mdp/business- ... -373002--1

gd
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by gd » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:32 am

Been there, done that with great success, worked much better than a windows laptop. I suggest the largest screen he can fit on his work surface and, in this case, travel with. I went with the biggest I could find, 15.6" (probably Acer but it didn't matter to me) and a wireless mouse. Don't think I worried about memory, but probably had to buy more due to availability of low end products. Given the impact on lifestyle, +/-$100 was irrelevant. I also reversed the direction of touchpad scrolling for myself; my parent never uses the touchpad. No clue if the touchscreen would have been worth it if available for that product-- my guess is it would have confused him and he would not have used it, same as the touchpad. I vaguely recall I had to fuss a bit to set up the printing to a low-end HP 3-in-1, but worked fine once done.

Biggest problem was he must have asked me 5 times about getting his old Windows Hoyle card games CD installed on it, got real tired of saying "no, it doesn't work that way". Make very sure there are no indispensable Windows programs needed.

michaeljc70
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:31 am

Depending their eyesight, I don't think they necessarily need a bigger, separate monitor. There are many accessibility options for larger fonts, zooming in, etc. If their eyesight is marginal, I would just opt towards the larger size screen- like 14,15"- instead of 10-13". My eyesight isn't that great for reading, but that is what glasses are for.

If you get a separate monitor they will be tied to that...no using it on the sofa, in another room, etc.
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pochax
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by pochax » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:09 pm

i think your dad will be good with an Acer 14 or 15 (both are $200-300) and adjust the text size in the settings for chrome OS to his liking. the one issue you will need to think about is the printing. chromebooks aren't really plug-n-play like windows or macs. you will need to set up Google Cloud Print and your printer needs to be compatible (there is a support website Google has to see if your printer fits the bill). and even then, some printers (like my HP Envy) don't play well all the time (i'm troubleshooting it constantly).

SeekingAPlan
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by SeekingAPlan » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:17 pm

If you have a ChromeCast plugged into your TV you can click a button and your Chromebook display will appear on your large television screen.

likegarden
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by likegarden » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:11 pm

OP wrote that his dad would use it when traveling, do his banking. I have a laptop which uses our in-house Wifi. Using someone's Wifi when traveling for banking will expose his passwords to others. I just bought a plug-in device so I can use it on our cable modem.

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Hyperborea
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by Hyperborea » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:22 pm

I'm looking at a new Chromebook for my mum for XMas. I know she likes it because I gave her an old one of ours for her to use as a test drive to see if she likes it. She's got an iMac but the Chromebook gets a lot more use - watching Netflix or checking email or reading news in the kitchen or out on the deck in the good weather.

I don't think my mum wants tablet mode so the top 3 models in that budget but large-ish screen category are: Acer Chromebook 15, Asus Chromebook C301SA, HP Chromebook 14 (ak060nr or ak050nr - the ak040nr has a non-HD screen). There are some variants of those with smaller memory, fewer cores, etc. For the price differences I would suggest just getting the 4 core version that has 4GB of RAM. The HD screen has better resolution and is better for streaming Netflix.

If they want a tablet and a larger screen, then the two obvious choices are the Asus Flip C302 or the Samsung Chromebook Plus. Samsung has a pre-announced Black Friday Week deal of $100 off on the Plus and a bunch of other stuff. That makes the Plus only $350. https://www.samsung.com/us/shop/black-friday/

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Hyperborea
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by Hyperborea » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:24 pm

likegarden wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:11 pm
OP wrote that his dad would use it when traveling, do his banking. I have a laptop which uses our in-house Wifi. Using someone's Wifi when traveling for banking will expose his passwords to others. I just bought a plug-in device so I can use it on our cable modem.
Not if the bank site is using https. If the bank site is not doing that then you really want to pick a different bank.

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:05 am

I have been a happy Chromebook user for some years, older Acer model. Keyboard and screen don't match up to my Thinkpad but it works fine for almost all of my activities (exceptions are taxes and some spreadsheets).

One big disqualifier, likely not an issue for the OP. I am today just back from a two week trip to China where all Google products are firewalled. I thought I had prepared my Thinkpad for the trip but forgot Calendar. Had to have my wife get it to me in other forms.
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ThatGuy
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by ThatGuy » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:41 am

I've been through this. I recommend the ASUS C202SA. it's intended for small children, which is a good thing. For instance, the keyboard is resistant to spilled drinks, the edges are rubber coated to protect against falls, etc.

Normally I'm against laptops unless you need the portability. I'm also against Chromebooks for myself. However, for elderly parents you don't want to disrupt their routine too much. It helps if they can have one piece of physical hardware they identify as their computer, both at home and when they come to visit you. It also helps to have everything automatically in the web (I know, the security horror) when they insist they have a virus due to something not working.

It would be beneficial to purchase a larger external display, however.
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cjcerny
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by cjcerny » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:47 am

I would seriously consider an iPad rather than a Chromebook. Chromebook is great tool for folks who need to simple work like word processing, spreadsheets, surfing, etc. If you need something super simple, easy to use for someone that doesn't doesn't do hardly any typing and doesn't need to do "work", you want an iPad.

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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by pochax » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:57 am

cjcerny wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:47 am
I would seriously consider an iPad rather than a Chromebook. Chromebook is great tool for folks who need to simple work like word processing, spreadsheets, surfing, etc. If you need something super simple, easy to use for someone that doesn't doesn't do hardly any typing and doesn't need to do "work", you want an iPad.
OP already said his dad tried the iPad and hated it....preferred a real keyboard.

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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by dbr » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:34 am

pochax wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:57 am
cjcerny wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:47 am
I would seriously consider an iPad rather than a Chromebook. Chromebook is great tool for folks who need to simple work like word processing, spreadsheets, surfing, etc. If you need something super simple, easy to use for someone that doesn't doesn't do hardly any typing and doesn't need to do "work", you want an iPad.
OP already said his dad tried the iPad and hated it....preferred a real keyboard.
A bluetooth keyboard that also works as a stand is usually available for any iPad.

michaeljc70
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:50 am

An iPad has a small screen...unless you buy the iPad pro 12.9" which is still not that big of a screen and costs almost a $1000. Not ideal for an elderly person IMO.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by FrugalInvestor » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:02 am

I would recommend this one....

https://www.amazon.com/HP-Performance-C ... omebook+14

It is not particularly small or light but I'm assuming it would not be used for travel. It has a large 14" screen and a good sized keyboard. It's a nice, basic machine that I think is ideal for an older person. I purchased one for my (older) sister. You may want to set it up yourself with buttons on the bookmarks bar for often used websites which makes it easier to use.

I don't know about finding a Black Friday price. You'd need to look around, maybe on HP's site.

Edit: Looks like it's available now on hp.com for $229.
Last edited by FrugalInvestor on Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Hyperborea
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by Hyperborea » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:17 am

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:02 am
I would recommend this one....

https://www.amazon.com/HP-Performance-C ... omebook+14

It is not particularly small or light but I'm assuming it would not be used for travel. It has a large 14" screen and a good sized keyboard. It's a nice, basic machine that I think is ideal for an older person. I purchased one for my (older) sister. You may want to set it up yourself with buttons on the bookmarks bar for often used websites which makes it much easier to use.

I don't know about finding a Black Friday price. You'd need to look around, maybe on HP's site.

Edit: Looks like it's available now on hp.com for $229.
That looks to be the HP Chromebook 14 ak040nr sub-model which doesn't have an HD screen. For not any more the OP can get the ak060nr or ak050nr sub-models which have an HD screen (1920x1080). That will allow better viewing of streaming movies from places like Netflix. That's likely to be about 1/3 of what my mum will do with the Chromebook we are planning to get her. Probably similar for a lot of other older folks too.

Here's the HD screen model with a quad core processor for the same price as the one you linked to - https://www.amazon.com/HP-Chromebook-14 ... B015ZD71P8 Because it's a bit of an older model the prices between the variants seem to have compressed. The OPs dad is unlikely to see much difference between the quad vs dual core but it future proofs it for no extra cost (web pages will get more complex over time and a bit more processor grunt will mean the machine will still be useable for longer).

michaeljc70
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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:22 am

Hyperborea wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:17 am
FrugalInvestor wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:02 am
I would recommend this one....

https://www.amazon.com/HP-Performance-C ... omebook+14

It is not particularly small or light but I'm assuming it would not be used for travel. It has a large 14" screen and a good sized keyboard. It's a nice, basic machine that I think is ideal for an older person. I purchased one for my (older) sister. You may want to set it up yourself with buttons on the bookmarks bar for often used websites which makes it much easier to use.

I don't know about finding a Black Friday price. You'd need to look around, maybe on HP's site.

Edit: Looks like it's available now on hp.com for $229.
That looks to be the HP Chromebook 14 ak040nr sub-model which doesn't have an HD screen. For not any more the OP can get the ak060nr or ak050nr sub-models which have an HD screen (1920x1080). That will allow better viewing of streaming movies from places like Netflix. That's likely to be about 1/3 of what my mum will do with the Chromebook we are planning to get her. Probably similar for a lot of other older folks too.

Here's the HD screen model with a quad core processor for the same price as the one you linked to - https://www.amazon.com/HP-Chromebook-14 ... B015ZD71P8 Because it's a bit of an older model the prices between the variants seem to have compressed. The OPs dad is unlikely to see much difference between the quad vs dual core but it future proofs it for no extra cost (web pages will get more complex over time and a bit more processor grunt will mean the machine will still be useable for longer).
That HP does have an HD screen. Anything over 1,280x720 is HD. It doesn't have a 1080p screen. On such a small screen, I doubt watching Netflix or reading an email is going to make much of a difference between the resolutions. I work in IT and neither my Windows laptop or Chromebook have a 1080p screen.

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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by Hyperborea » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:00 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:22 am
Hyperborea wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:17 am
FrugalInvestor wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:02 am
I would recommend this one....

https://www.amazon.com/HP-Performance-C ... omebook+14

It is not particularly small or light but I'm assuming it would not be used for travel. It has a large 14" screen and a good sized keyboard. It's a nice, basic machine that I think is ideal for an older person. I purchased one for my (older) sister. You may want to set it up yourself with buttons on the bookmarks bar for often used websites which makes it much easier to use.

I don't know about finding a Black Friday price. You'd need to look around, maybe on HP's site.

Edit: Looks like it's available now on hp.com for $229.world similar for a lot of other older folks too.
That looks to be the HP Chromebook 14 ak040nr sub-model which doesn't have an HD screen. For not any more the OP can get the ak060nr or ak050nr sub-models which have an HD screen (1920x1080). That will allow better viewing of streaming movies from places like Netflix. That's likely to be about 1/3 of what my mum will do with the Chromebook we are planning to get her. Probably similar for a lot of other older folks too.

Here's the HD screen model with a quad core processor for the same price as the one you linked to - https://www.amazon.com/HP-Chromebook-14 ... B015ZD71P8 Because it's a bit of an older model the prices between the variants seem to have compressed. The OPs dad is unlikely to see much difference between the quad vs dual core but it future proofs it for no extra cost (web pages will get more complex over time and a bit more processor grunt will mean the machine will still be useable for longer).
That HP does have an HD screen. Anything over 1,280x720 is HD. It doesn't have a 1080p screen. On such a small screen, I doubt watching Netflix or reading an email is going to make much of a difference between the resolutions. I work in IT and neither my Windows laptop or Chromebook have a 1080p screen.
Ok, full HD. I will say that subjectively there is a difference for me. There's even more of a difference with my higher than 1080p screens but those aren't under consideration (unless the OP considers the Samsung Chromebook Plus for $350). Before I retired I worked in product development specifically working on text and layout. There were subjective differences for test subjects too during user studies that we did.

If you look at the specs on the two, the 1080p models have an IPS screen while the 720p model doesn't say so it's likely to be a TN screen. IPS screens have better colour, clearer images, faster response, better viewing angles. I think most 1080p laptop screens are IPS.

I'm not sure I see the point in buying a dual core 720p TN screen Chromebook when for the same or perhaps minimal dollars they can get a different model of the same device with a quad core 1080p IPS screen.

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Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Post by FRANK2009 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:21 pm

I have a 15" Acer that replaced an aging Macbook. No regrets at a much better price.

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