Technology can be … challenging to say the least — particularly for those in the more mature stages of life. Finding the best computer for seniors isn’t as easy as going into an electronics store and choosing the one you like the look of best. There are a lot of technical things to consider when buying a computer, some of which may require some serious research. The good news? We’re going to break it down for you in easy, understandable, bite-sized chunks, and give you our picks for the best senior computers currently on the market. Ready? Let’s go!
What type of computer should I buy?
There are three main computer types to choose from. These are:
- Desktops: Computer desktops are traditional models that are comprised of a tower or base, which holds all of the computer’s components, a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse. Desktops are made to stay in one place, and as such, are not easily portable.
- Laptop: A laptop is a compact, portable computer with a built-in keyboard and mouse. Most fit inside a purse or briefcase. Despite their small size, many laptops are more advanced and faster than desktops.
- All-in-One Computer (AIO): One of the newest types of computers around, the all-in-one desktop’s main computer machinery is built right into its monitor, making the need for a tower obsolete, since you can operate everything right from the screen.
- Tablet: A tablet is a mobile device with a mobile operation system (OS) and a touchscreen display. Though miniature in size, tablets are capable of doing almost anything that a computer can — you can even get a wireless keyboard and mouse should you need to.
What are the best computers for seniors?
There are a few important points to consider when purchasing a beginner-friendly computer that older people can operate with ease.
- Portability: If you travel a lot or work on-the-go, look for a laptop or tablet that can be easily transferred from one place to another.
- Storage space: If you’ll be storing a lot of photographs, videos, or even movies on your computer, you’ll want to look for a storage drive size of 500 GB or more. If you just want a computer for daily management of emails, finances, bills, paperwork, and documents, it’s best to keep things simple with a memory of 128 to 256 GB or less (you can always buy an external hard drive, or portable storage device, if you find you need more space later on).
- Screen size: If you don’t have a problem with a smaller screen, an 11 or 13-inch compact monitor or laptop screen is a nice size for carrying out your daily computer work. However, if you have poor eyesight as a result of aging, or simply prefer to have an enlarged, easy-to-read monitor, screens can go up to 17 inches for laptops, and a massive 35 or more inches for desktop monitors.
- Random-access memory (RAM): The size of your computer’s RAM can make a huge difference to its performance speed. For those who like to keep their technology non-complicated and keep just a few tabs open at a time, a memory of 4 to 6 gigabyte (GB) RAM will do the trick. However, if you need to open many pages at once, you may want to opt for an 8 GB to 16 GB Ram, keeping in mind that the higher the GB RAM, the higher the price.
With all this in mind, we did our research and found 9 of the most user-friendly computers on the market that older shoppers, relatives, or loved ones will delight in. Keep scrolling for FIRST’s picks for the best computers for seniors.
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.
1. Best Desktop Computer for Seniors — Dell Optiplex 7060 SFF Desktop Computer
Best Desktop Computer for Seniors — Dell Optiplex 7060 SFF Desktop Computer
Where to buy: $1,499, Amazon
A great all-round computer comes in the form of Dell's Optiplex 7060 desktop computer, which is is as straightforward as they come. This bundle includes a tower, a large, easy-to-see 24-inch monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse. With a 16 GB RAM, it will be plenty fast, and it's equipped with the latest technology (including a Windows 10 OS), which means that it's bound to last you a very long time without needing a headache of an upgrade.
2. Best Laptop Computer for Seniors — Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
Best Laptop for Seniors — Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1
Where to buy: $349.99, Amazon
The Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 convertible laptop is one of our favorite laptops because you don't have to be a computer whiz to use it: Simply touch its 14-inch screen to write or draw directly on it with the included computer pen, just as you would a physical notepad. It’s fast while using the internet, has a good amount of storage space, and is incredibly lightweight (3.65 pounds) for seniors who can't carry heavier models. No wonder it's Amazon's No. 1 one bestselling 2-in-1 laptop!
3. Best All-in-One Computer for Seniors — Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91 AIO Desktop
Best All-in-One Computer for Seniors — Acer Aspire
Where to buy: $749.99, Amazon
If you like the idea of setting up an office space at home with a desktop, but could do without the clunky tower, an all-in-one computer is an excellent choice. The Acer Aspire has a gorgeous, large 23.8-inch monitor screen for not-so-great peepers and acts as the hub of the actual computer. A wireless keyboard and mouse also make for two less wires you'll need to worry about.
4. Best Tablet Computer for Seniors — Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Best Tablet for Seniors — Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Where to buy: $774.96, Amazon
Popular for its sleek look, versatility, and ease-of-use, Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 computer tablet is one of the best in its class. It’s technically a tablet, but has a computer’s capacity, speed, storage, and battery life. When you close it, the detachable keyboard — which features a large trackpad for easy operation, navigation, and scrolling — doubles as a cover. It also weighs an ultra-light 1.7 pounds, making it extremely easy to carry.
5. Best Computer for Seniors for Internet Use — HP Pavilion Touchscreen Laptop
Best Internet Computer for Seniors — HP Pavilion Touchscreen Laptop
Where to buy: $659, Amazon
In this day and age, having multiple tabs open for Facebook, Skype, and of course, First for Women, is an all-too-common occurrence. The HP Pavilion 15 laptop is a computer workhorse that won't need troubleshooting no matter how many tabs you've got open. Its touch screen makes it super easy to use, and at 15.6 inches, its screen makes for a nice size for more mature eyes.
6. Most Storage Space Computer for Seniors — Samsung Notebook 5
Highest Storage Computer for Seniors — Samsung Notebook 5
Where to buy: $599.99, Office Depot
Is your phone constantly filled with pictures and videos of the kids, grandkids, and animals? It may be time to upgrade to the Samsung Notebook 5. It features 1 terabyte (TB) of hard drive, meaning it has lots and lots of storage space for all your precious memories. What’s more, the screen is fully HD, so you’ll be able to see crystal clear pics of your loved ones. Other helpful features on this laptop include an ergonomic keyboard and precision touchpad for ease of use — the little things can make all the difference!
7. Most Affordable Computer for Seniors — Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
Most Affordable Computer for Seniors — Acer Aspire 5
Where to buy: $309.95 (Originally $349.99), Amazon
Currently priced at just over $300 on Amazon, the Acer Aspire 5 slim laptop, complete with a large 15.6-inch full HD display and a backlit keyboard, is not only an Amazon’s choice product for best laptop — it's a steal!
One of its many five-star reviews reads, “A very reasonably-priced laptop for basic computing needs [and] an aesthetically-pleasing design. The screen is very sharp and high contrast … was [also] pleasantly surprised by how clear the audio is.”
8. Best Lightweight Computer for Seniors — ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop
Best Lightweight Computer for Seniors — ASUS VivoBook 15
Where to buy: $699.99, Best Buy
At just 3.75 pounds, the ASUS VivoBook 15 laptop won’t strain your back. This thin, light laptop, which has a full HD 15.6-inch screen and a backlit keyboard, is a great option for seniors.
One Amazon reviewer wrote, “I like the design of the product. It has a very nice thin look. I enjoy how light the laptop actually is. It’s easy to transport and fun to use… Gets the job done.”
9. Best Starter Computer for Seniors — HP Pavilion 570 Full HD Desktop Bundle
Best Starter Computer for Seniors — HP Pavilion 570
Where to buy: $599, Amazon
The HP Pavilion 570 desktop is an impressive basic computer that allows you to surf the net, play movies online, watch DVDs, and even create your own CDs without all of the other unnecessary bells and whistles. Its 23-inch high-definition screen makes screen-viewing strain-free, and it’s also incredibly easy to set up. All in all, it's a great little starter computer for seniors or beginners.