Finding the right type of laptop for elderly parents isn’t as difficult as you think. Considering an average elderly, their requirements are generally quite basic.
Therefore, an economical mainstream laptop or a desktop would do perfectly well for elderly parents.
In this article, we will have a look at some of the best computers for elderly parents in 2021. We will look at both desktops as well as laptops that we think can be quite sufficient for your old folks.
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases
Intel Core i3 8145u
128 GB SSD
Intel Core i5
128 GB SSD
Intel Core M3-8100Y
64 GB eMMC
Intel Core i3-8130U
1 TB HDD
Intel Core i3-9100
512 GB SSD
Features To Look For (Buying Guide)
Before we take a look at the selected products, it is important to first talk about how to choose the right set of features for your parents.
1. Balance Between Affordability and Functionality
We mentioned earlier that the set of features and hardware that an average elderly parent would need is quite basic.
After all, they won’t be expected to play hardcore games or to design professional grade graphics.
They are expected to perform simple work like word processing, writing emails, watching Youtube or Netflix, having face time with kids etc.
These activities do not require a robust top of the line hardware.
HOWEVER, we also know that an average senior folk has very little patience for things not moving smoothly on the computer. As such, you must make sure that the hardware must not lag when performing the aforementioned basic activities.
Basically, what we mean to say is that while you can look for an economical computer, AVOID going for a laptop or a desktop with an entry grade hardware especially those featuring Intel Atom or Intel Celeron processors.
2. Portability vs Stationary Use
So there are two types of people. Those who like to sit up straight on a dedicated desktop and then there are those who like to move around a lot.
Therefore, the choice here is quite obvious. If your elderly parent wants a portable solution then a laptop computer is the way to go, otherwise a desktop would suffice.
Desktop, while not portable, has the benefit of being affordable (given the same hardware), is more expandable and has a much better performance per dollar value.
3. Familiar Working Environment
When choosing the right computer for your elderly parent, it is wiser to go for what they are familiar with. The last thing that you want to give your elderly parent is a computer with an OS that they cannot make heads and tails off.
Windows is the most obvious choice for a computer since it is the most widespread. If your parents have a prior experience of working with Windows then this OS would be obvious choice to go for.
However, with Android OS so widespread on cellphones and tablets, your parents may actually benefit from Chrome OS found on Chromebooks.
Chrome OS functions similar to an Android Tablet, however, this is a double edged sword. Chromebooks do have a bit of a learning curve involved and they function quite differently as compared to an average computer.
4. Screen Size
Laptops and desktop monitors come in many different sizes.
If portability is your prime factor, then you need to find a screen size with a reasonably small size.
For laptops, we recommend 12.3″ to be the most ideal if portability is what you seek. Any smaller than this would be difficult for your elderly parent to work on comfortably.
The most ideal size for pure working purpose on a laptop is 15.6″, however, these laptops are somewhat bulkier as well.
For desktops, the sky is the limit as far as the screen size is concerned. The monitor sizes range from 19″ all the way to 40″ with 24″ being the most common and sought after screen size.
The benefit of having a large screen is obvious, it would put less strain on the eyes since the details would be easily decipherable on a large screen as compared to on a smaller screen.
List of Best Computers for Elderly Parents and Seniors
We have selected the following laptops and desktops as the best for seniors. We do not want to feature a large list here since that only confuses the reader. Instead, here we have a short and a succinct list.
Laptop Reviews For Seniors
If portability is what you seek for your old folks, then the following are the best computer for senior parents in our opinion.
1. Acer Aspire A515-54-30BQ – 15.6″ – Recommended Affordable Laptop with Large Comfortable Screen
- 8th Generation Intel Core i3 8145u Processor...
- 15.6 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen...
- 1 USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 port, 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1...
- 802.11AC WiFi ; Backlit keyboard; up to 9.5...
As far as the affordability as well as the value for money goes, we find that this Windows Based laptop is an exceptional machine to have.
If you want to gift your elderly parents a highly functional, smooth running and a rather comfortable laptop, then we highly recommend this.
Basically, this is a mainstream windows laptop that offers a large and a comfortable 15.6″ screen. As mentioned earlier, while a 15.6″ laptop is not as portable as a 12.3″ or a 13.3″ laptop, for a comfortable viewing experience, this is the screen size to go for.
Moreover, the screen is not only FHD but is also based on the IPS panel that ensures widest viewing angles and excellent color uniformity.
As far as the core hardware is concerned, the laptop offers an excellent Intel Core i3-8145U processor. This is an ultra low voltage processor that ensures both decent performance as well as a long battery life.
For a smooth working experience while multitasking, this processor should more than suffice.
Besides that, this laptop offers 4 GB of DDR 4 RAM as well as 128 GB of SSD. The 128 GB of SSD at such a low price is a highly welcome feature.
The 4GB, while sufficient for most scenarios, can show its limits when you have plenty of software and applications running at the same time. Fortunately, upgrading is also quite simple and fairly affordable.
In addition to all that, this laptop features premium looks with slim bezels on the screen as well as a very small form factor that measures at a mere 0.7 inches in thickness.
It also features other useful features like USB 3.1 Type C port along with Backlit Keyboard.
Overall, this is a mainstream affordable laptop. As such, if you want to strike the perfect balance between portability, affordability as well as functionality, then this is the best computer for elderly parents and seniors.
Also Read: Best Work Laptops
2. Microsoft Surface Pro 6 – 12.3″ – Highly Portable and Convenient Tablet / Laptop (2 in 1)
- A best in class laptop with the versatility...
- More power now with the new 8th Generation...
- Ultra slim and light, starting at just 1.7...
- All day battery life, with upto 13.5 hours of...
Microsoft Surface Pro laptops need no introduction at all. These are cream of the Windows laptop made by those who understand Windows OS the most i.e Microsoft.
Basically, this is a 2-in-1 convertible laptop. As such, you can use it both as a laptop as well as a tablet. In fact, the main hardware of this laptop is actually found underneath the screen and not underneath the keyboard as is the case with conventional laptops.
The device has a screen size of 12.3″. This is a perfect compromise between a laptop and a tablet. A large screen would make this very difficult to be used in tablet mode. On the flip side, a smaller screen would beat the purpose of it being a work laptop.
Whether your elderly parent like to move around a lot or whether he/she likes to type a lot, this an excellent machine to have.
In reality, this is a premium machine. Sure it costs more than our first option, but it wreaks of premium craftsmanship from all corners.
For starters, this is an ultra slim and lightweight device measuring at a mere 1.7 pounds. Secondly, it has a battery life that can last more than half a day i.e 13.5 hours. Thirdly it features colors and the screen that is worthy of a professional designer.
In fact, many designers and editors actually do use Microsoft Surface Pro for their creation. The Microsoft Surface Pen (bought separately) can not only add an other work dimension for your parents, it can also significantly enhance the ease of use.
Plus, the Microsoft Surface Pen is a highly recommended accessory if your elderly parent is remotely into designing and editing.
As far as the performance goes, this is the most powerful laptop in this list and a very respectable one overall in the market. It features an ultra low voltage Core i5 processor a long with 8 GB of DDR 4 RAM as well as 128 GB of SSD.
While this could have definitely benefited from a larger SSD drive, the processor and the RAM is far more capable for mere simple work expected from senior parents.
In the end, this is a premium machine. If you have the budget, then we cannot think of anything better. This the best computer for elderly parents and seniors who want a device to last for years.
3. ASUS C425 – 14″ – Recommended Chromebook
- 14 inch Full HD IPS 1920x1080 4-way NanoEdge...
- Powered by the Intel Core m3-8100Y Processor...
- 8GB LPDDR3 RAM; 64GB eMMC storage and 2x full...
- 180 degree hinge design for versatile viewing...
ASUS C425 is a Chromebook and therefore, you have to look at it from a completely different lens as compared to Windows or Mac based laptops.
Chrome OS by Google, for starters, does not function the same way as conventional laptops. It is heavily reliant on the internet since most of its application are cloud based.
Therefore, when getting this machine, it is important that you have a stable internet connection. It does not need to be robust, just stable.
Chromebooks make the most sense if you are heavily invested into the Google Ecosystem. For example, if your parents use Gmail as there primary inbox, Youtube for videos, Google Docs for word processing, Google Drive for storing docs etc, then a Chromebook makes the most sense.
Since most of the stuff that you would do on a Chromebook would be online, it will be retrievable any where and from any device so long as you have internet.
Another added bonus of Chromebooks is that they are very cheap. And while most Chromebooks out there are cheap, here we have selected a rather expensive one. This is because, we want to ensure that your parents have a very smooth experience.
Besides, you can consider this a premium option among the Chromebooks. It features a rather powerful Intel Core M3-8100Y processor along with a very large 8 GB of RAM.
The Intel Core M3-8100Y should not be confused with Core i3. The former is much weaker and is a specialized processor built for small form portable machine like this Chromebook.
Fortunately though, it is still quite more capable than Intel Celeron that we highly caution against.
You will notice, however, that this Chromebook only features a meager 64 GB of eMMC drive. Obviously this is not sufficient for storing multimedia. The reason for this simple, Chromebooks encourage you to invest in cloud storage
All Google account come with 15 GB of Free storage, but you can upgrade the storage as well by paying a small monthly or a yearly fee.
Along with this, there are many other excellent features that a Chromebook can offer. The aforementioned details are just barely scratching the surface. Chrome is also the most secure OS.
Overall, if you are not familiar with Chrome OS, we encourage you to read more about it. We are certain that you will be sold by the amazing prospect of a Chromebook.
Once you are convinced, then in our opinion, you will ASUS C425 to be the the best computer for elderly parents and seniors.
Desktops Reviews For Elderly Parents
If you are parents like to have a stationary work station, then we find the following to be the best computers for senior parents.
1. HP 22-c0030 – 22″ – Affordable All in One Desktop
- Processor: 8th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM)...
- Monitor: 10-point touch-enabled 21.5"...
- Memory: 4 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (upgradable to...
- Hard drive: 1 TB 7200RPM SATA
HP 22-c0030 is an All in One desktop. Meaning it comes with everything under a single price tag and thus you do not have to spend on a separate screen, mouse or a keyboard.
The hardware on this desktop lies behind the screen. As such, it does not include a separate tower chassis. This technically makes this a lot cleaner and portable (relatively) as compared to a normal desktop.
For starters, this offers a decent sized 22 inch IPS screen with FHD resolution. On top that, it also includes a touchscreen. While a touchscreen on a desktop makes little sense, the added layer of navigation can certainly help your parents at times. Plus, you do get some bragging rights.
Note that the 22 inch screen offered on this is far bigger than any laptop can offer. As such, the work comfort factor on a desktop generally is unparalleled.
As far as the core hardware goes, this desktop offers a decent Intel Core i3-8130U processor along with 4 GB of DDR 4 RAM. This hardware configuration won’t win speed or performance contests, but for everyday use it is more than sufficient.
Remember that a Core i3 is NOT an entry level processor. That spot is reserved by Intel Celeron and then by Intel Pentium processors. As such, Core i3 is a fairly decent processor to have for elderly parents.
One great feature it also offers is the large 1 TB of storage space. This should be able to hold a large array of multimedia files that your parents may ever need. You must note that the HDD on this is much faster running at 7200 RPM as compared to conventional HDD running at 5400 RPM.
The device comes equipped with excellent stereo speakers, Bluetooth, Webcam, Mouse, Keyboard as well as WiFi.
All in all, if you want a neat, clean and a complete solution for your desktop, then this is the best computer for elderly parents and seniors.
Also Read: Best Desktop Computers for Home Use
2. Acer Aspire TC-885-UA91 – Recommended Performance Desktop for Elderly Parents
- 9th Generation Intel Core i3 9100 Processor...
- 8GB DDR4 Memory, 512GB SSD & 8x DVD Writer...
- 802. 11AC Wi Fi, Gigabit Ethernet LAN &...
- 1 USB 3. 1 Type C Gen 2 port (up to 10 Gaps),...
Finally, here we have a rather high performance standalone desktop.
The first thing that I will mention here is that you should not get put off by the fact that it only has a mere Intel Core i3 processor.
I know you must wondering why not go for the All in One desktop HP 22-c0030 above instead? Afterall, the one above too has an Intel Core i3 processor.
This is fairly common error to assume that all Intel Core i3 processors have the same performance. That is hardly the case. There are many factors that define the performance.
Generation of the processor is one, but the biggest defining factor is whether it is an Ultra Low Voltage or a high performance model.
The processor featured in this desktop is the high performance variant.
An Ultra Low Voltage model like the Intel Core i3-8145U processors as we have seen in the computers above, have a far lower clock speed and performance as compared to high performance model like the one featured in this desktop i.e the Intel Core i3-9100.
As you can see, the desktop based Intel Core i3-9100 is much faster.
Hence it is established that performance wise, this desktop is the most powerful in this list.
Furthermore, it also offers 8 GB of RAM and a whopping 512 GB of SSD. Even 128 GB of SSD is a welcome feature but to have 512 GB at this price tag is exceptional.
SSDs are multiple times faster than normal hard disks and thus ensure smoother and faster performance.
Besides that, it features all the essential features such as an array of USB ports including the Type C Gen 2 port (the fastest as of yet), optical drive, WiFi, the latest Bluetooth V5.0, as well as a Keyboard and a Mouse.
The only thing that it misses out is on a monitor. You will have to procure one separately. But the good news is that you can find excellent large 24 inch monitors at close to $100 range.
Therefore, the overall price of this desktop comes up to be highly economical.
All in all, if performance is what you seek, then we highly recommend this as the best computer for elderly parents and seniors.
Also Read: Best Desktop Computers for Students
As you can see, the best computers for elderly parents do not have to be complicated or too advanced.
All you need is a computer that is economical, but at the same not cheap enough to cause lags even on simplest tasks (i.e do not go for Celeron based computers).
In our opinion, Intel Core i3 and the AMD equivalent Ryzen 3 would offer the best performance as well as value for the computer you seek. These processors are excellent for low level work, yet cost fairly low.
You have to understand that while elderly parents do not use high-end or professional grade software, they do tend to multitask fairly well. Therefore, the computer should be capable of handling multiple apps or browser windows at the same time.
This in turn means that computer must have sufficient processing power as well as RAM to support activities, albeit low-key ones, without any lags that may cause frustration.
We hope that you at least found our list helpful in search for the right computer for senior parent.
Jake Redman is a UK-born-digital nomad & founder of Ultimate Quality Content, a collective of high-end copywriters formed to provide detailed insight into everything technology-related. Jake is the definition of a man-nerd. He gets excited over things like processor architecture, ray-tracing, & is an avid E-Sports fan, specifically League of Legends. When he isn’t writing detailed tech-related articles, Jake can be found performing fire-breathing shows & wields a dragon staff, or on the sofa playing Mario Kart.