- Our choice for the #1 Best Overall Laptop for a senior is the Acer Aspire 5.
- It’s important to know that every laptop operating system has accessibility features to help with vision impairment or difficulty hearing.
- When choosing a laptop for a senior, you want to look at screen size as one of the most important factors.
Whether you are an older person who is looking to buy a new laptop or buying one for your parents/grandparents, there are laptops out there that will work great.
Today’s data points out that more than 75% of adults over the age of 65 use the internet at least once per day, which can make choosing the right laptop all the more important. To help make the right laptop choice for a senior, the focus should be more on a strong level of accessibility and not necessarily on the most modern features and processors.
Let’s take a look at the 6 best laptops for seniors you can buy today below.
- Best Overall: Acer Aspire 5
- Best Chromebook: ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5
- Best for Accessibility: MacBook Air
- Best Large Screen: HP Laptop 17
- Best Value: Dell Inspiron 15
- Best 2-in-1: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook
Compatibility Requirements for Senior Laptops
The first step in finding the right laptop for seniors is to understand what requirements are going to work best for this age group.
Here are some of the most important considerations to think about before making any purchase decision.
|Weight||3-4 pounds (max)|
|Battery Life||At least 6 hours on a single charge|
|Software Compatibility||Access to a web browser, video chat, word documents, and a printer|
|Storage||At least 128GB|
|Display||13-inches or larger|
|Touchscreen||Yes, can help with dexterity issues|
|Speakers||Look for quality built-in speakers|
#1 Best Overall: Acer Aspire 5
When it comes to the best overall laptop for a senior, the Acer Aspire 5 is a great combination of screen size and performance.
Ideally priced at right around $500, the Acer’s performance is backed up by a desktop-class AMD Ryzen 3 3350U processor, paired with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. There is every reason to think this computer will be able to handle any software needs a senior could ask for. Any task will take place on its Full HD 15.6-inch backlit IPS display. With plenty of screen space available, it’s easy to bump up the text size on the Acer Aspire 5 for easy reading on the screen.
The Acer also shines with its 7.5 hours of battery life, which should be more than enough to use for a full day. Along with solid battery life, Acer also added plenty of future-proofed features like Wi-Fi 6 for the fastest possible internet speeds.
Running on Windows 11, the Acer Aspire 5 can also take advantage of Windows Accessibility features like Narrator, the built-in screen reader. Additionally, Windows allows live captions on screen for anyone who may have difficulty hearing.
Check out the Acer Aspire 5 and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.
|Excellent overall laptop||The keyboard is a little mushy|
|Windows offers strong accessibility features|
Best Chromebook: ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5
As the browser continues to be the primary focal point of any computer these days, the Flip CX5 puts Chrome front and center. Because of this, any senior looking for an easy-to-use laptop that makes accessing the browser its primary focus will be an instantly attractive option. Not only does the CX5 focus on Chrome, but it does so with plenty of power to keep as many tabs open as you need.
Inside the CX5 hardware is an Intel Core i3 processor paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. This means you have all of the necessary horsepower to run Chrome any way you want and plenty of storage to download hundreds (thousands!) of photos of grandchildren.
ChromeOS also offers a bevy of accessibility options to help any senior who might need to magnify certain areas of the screen for easier reading or enlarge all of the on-screen text permanently.
Check out the ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.
|ChromeOS is an easy-to-understand operating system||Does not include a number pad on the keyboard|
|Makes it very easy to use the browser||Somewhat pricey for a Chromebook|
Best Accessibility: MacBook Air
If you are looking for the ideal senior laptop that offers a strong selection of features, the MacBook Air is the best of the bunch.
Apple is famously supportive of accessibility features and this is what makes the MacBook Air such a strong recommendation. The MacBook Air and macOS will include everything from voice control to help dictate text and speech, or navigating the UI by using different keys on a keyboard in place of a mouse if dexterity is an issue for a senior.
Knowing how well-suited the MacBook Air is for seniors with any sort of hearing or eyesight issues, it’s good to know it’s backed by plenty of power to ensure all of these accessibility features work. This includes Apple’s powerful M1 chip, which means plenty of power for any computing task you can think of. Plus, with up to 18 hours of battery life, you can pretty much do anything on the computer during the day without worrying about charging.
Finally, Apple’s 13.3-inch Retina display is incredibly crisp, which means colors look true-to-life and it pairs well with the surprisingly powerful speakers built into the Air.
Check out the MacBook Air and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.
|macOS offers best-in-class accessibility features||Pricey for a senior laptop|
|Terrific Retina display for easy-to-read text||Switching from Windows has a learning curve|
Best Large Screen: HP Laptop 17
For any senior, having a larger screen can only be helpful, which is why the HP Laptop 17 is such an easy recommendation.
Between the size of the 17-inch screen and the full-size keyboard with a number pad, the HP Laptop 17 is a great laptop for seniors. Whether it’s for browsing the web, working on Word documents, typing letters, or video chatting with family and friends, this laptop has many excellent features.
To power the large screen, HP stuck an Intel i3 processor inside the hardware and paired it with 12GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. With Windows 11 onboard, you also have all of the benefits of Windows Accessibility, including quickly adjusting font size for easy reading on the large 17-inch display.
However, the HP Laptop 17 is more than just a big screen. HP also added a single USB-C port alongside dual USB-A ports for adding laptop accessories like an external mouse, which might help with any dexterity issues over the built-in touchpad.
Check out the HP Laptop 17 and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.
|Fantastic big display for on-screen text||So-so battery life|
|Plenty of ports for an external mouse||The larger screen means slightly more weight|
Best Value: Dell Inspiron 15
An overall great value, the Dell Inspiron 15 is a solid choice for anyone needing a laptop with plenty of power and storage.
Pairing an Intel Core i5 processor with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, the Dell Inspiron 15 provides any senior with all of the screen space and power needed to perform daily tasks. The 15.6-inch Full HD display even offers an anti-glare LED feature, which makes it really easy to see colors and text on the screen no matter how you are seated.
As a touchscreen, the display also offers another way to easily access features on the screen, which can be perfect for anyone with dexterity issues who might find using a touchpad more difficult.
Stereo speakers are also a welcome addition to the Dell Inspiron 15 as they deliver big sound while watching a movie or when in use with a video call. Plus, with plenty of ports, you can add an SD card full of family photos and videos to view on the big screen and make use of the speakers for great sound. There is even an audio jack for plugging in a pair of headphones if you want a little privacy.
Check out the Dell Inspiron 15 and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.
|Fantastic value for the price||Should have 16GB of RAM for future-proofing|
|SD card reader is great for use with a camera|
Best 2-in-1: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook
- 2-in-1 device powered by ChromeOS
- Up to 15 hours of battery life
- Utilizes Samsung OLED display with the 13.3-inch Full HD screen
- Crystal-clear audio with 4 speakers with smart amplifier technology
As many seniors look to their next computer, they might discover a tablet is a great choice, which is why the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 is such a great option.
One of the best 2-in-1 Chromebooks, the Duet 5 is an incredibly easy-to-use laptop with an attached keyboard. However, if you want to go into tablet mode, doing so is as easy as pulling apart the magnets that connect the display and keyboard, and voila, tablet mode.
Whether you use the screen as a tablet or laptop, the Full HD 13.3-inch screen offers an OLED display, which means very crisp and bright colors. At almost 400 nits of brightness, the Duet 5 should be easy to read and view from almost any angle, no matter if you are in a very bright or dark room.
Where the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook really shines is with its four built-in speakers. Arguably among the best in any Chromebook, the 4 speakers use a smart amplification technology for enhanced sound, which should be easy for anyone, at any age, to hear. There are also two microphones built-in for easy communication back to anyone you might be video chatting with on the 5-megapixel front-facing camera.
Check out the and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.
|Outstanding 2-in-1 computer||Requires familiarity with ChromeOS|
|Works great as a tablet for watching movies or for video calls||The 13.3-inch screen might be smaller than preferred|
How to Pick the Best Laptop for a Senior: Step-by-Step
When choosing a laptop for a senior, there are some important considerations beyond battery life or storage size to factor in before making any purchase decisions.
- Physical disabilities
- Screen size
- Ease of use
Let’s break them down below.
When you are looking at a new computer for a senior, you may need to factor in physical disabilities or limited movement as important considerations. This might be something along the lines of arthritis or pain in the hand as well as common factors like hearing loss or vision impairment. As you consider these factors, finding a laptop that offers the ability to increase text size, offers a touchscreen, or has stereo speakers can play a big role in finding the right computer.
As an extension of the physical disability consideration, determining the right screen size for a senior is definitely important. Ideally, you would not go below a 13.3-inch display size as that should be the minimum for any senior citizen looking for a new laptop.
At this size, you can still easily adjust the font size and see all of the text and material on the screen you might need. Ideally, you would likely go even larger and look at 15.6 inches as your starting point for any screen on a laptop.
Ease of Use
Thankfully, every major operating system on a computer like Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS all offer some level of accessibility features. However, ChromeOS and macOS are likely to be more intuitive and have less of a learning curve, which may be important for seniors who are not up to speed on the latest technology. ChromeOS is undoubtedly the easiest to use as it centers around the browser, which is often the most important piece of software a senior needs on a computer beyond a webcam.
Using a Laptop for a Senior: What It’s Like
When you have chosen a laptop, you may need to begin with several early lessons on how to perform some basic tasks. This is true whether someone feels comfortable with the latest technology or not as different features change with every new operating system update.
For ChromeOS, using the laptop doesn’t get much easier as the Chrome shortcut is available at the bottom of the screen as soon as the laptop starts up. This makes for a quick way to get online fast, and as Chrome remains the world’s most popular browser by far, there is a good chance a senior is at least semi-familiar with how Chrome works.
Apple, Windows, and ChromeOS all make it easy to quickly increase text size and increase volume, which are two of the first tasks a senior might need to perform. It’s this ease of use that makes the laptops on this list such strong recommendations.
|#1 Best Overall||Acer Aspire 5||AMD Ryzen 3 3350U processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, Full HD 15.6-inch backlit IPS display, 7.5 hours of battery life, Wi-Fi 6, Windows 11||The keyboard is a little mushy|
|Best Chromebook||ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5||Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, ChromeOS||Does not include a number pad on the keyboard, Somewhat pricey for a Chromebook|
|Best Accessibility||MacBook Air||Appleâs M1 chip, up to 18 hours of battery life, 13.3-inch Retina display, macOS||Pricey for a senior laptop, Switching from Windows has a learning curve|
|Best Large Screen||HP Laptop 17||17-inch screen, full-size keyboard with a number pad, Intel i3 processor, 12GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, Windows 11||So-so battery life, The larger screen means slightly more weight|
|Best Value||Dell Inspiron 15||Intel Core i5 processor, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, 15.6-inch Full HD display with anti-glare LED feature, touchscreen, stereo speakers||Should have 16GB of RAM for future-proofing|
|Best 2-in-1||Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook||2-in-1 Chromebook, Full HD 13.3-inch OLED display, four built-in speakers, two microphones, 5-megapixel front-facing camera||Requires familiarity with ChromeOS, The 13.3-inch screen might be smaller than preferred|
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock.com.