Laptops For Seniors

Discussion in Computers, Electronics & Gadgets started by Theo • Sep 12, 2016.

  1. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

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    I'm trying to help my elderly neighbor find a laptop with larger keys, and wonder if anyone knows of any models? She needs a big screen too, but I think 15 inch should be fine as her eyesight isn't good, but also she has MS, so her hands aren't very steady either.

    She only wants it to write letters and maybe view the odd website, so a basic one, but the larger keys would help her. I think a laptop is better than her current desktop as she isn't mobile and at least she can write a letter sitting down wherever she is.
     
  2. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    Do you think she needs a laptop for those limited applications? I was discussing this recently with my mom, who is also elderly, and I recommended that she get a tablet, rather than a laptop. My mom would use it for the occasional email, and for entertainment. I can see her doing some of the apps I use, such as solitaire, word searches, and other minimal games, as well as looking at cute YouTube animal videos, a bit of window shopping (although I doubt she would actually trust her information on the internet enough to purchase items), and perhaps Netflix.
     
  3. Aree Wongwanlee

    Aree WongwanleeActive Member

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    I think a tablet would be a better choice. On a tablet, you can change the size of the keys. On a laptop, you cannot do that. Also on a tablet, there is auto-suggestion and auto-correction which is impossible with a laptop keyboard.
     
  4. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice, but a tablet is put of the question. It has to be a physical keyboard as I said because she has limited use of her hands and fingers due to her MS. She can't even hold a pen steadily, so a tablet would be no good as she would have to hold that too.
     
  5. artyarson

    artyarsonActive Member

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    Oh, I remember the fist time I had ever shown such thing as laptop to my granny. Damn! It was a comedy. It's so damn easy but, unfortunately, aged people have a huge trouble getting into that. Though, it's pretty easy. It takes a tremendous effort to teach them how to use a modern-day technology.

    So, I guess a laptop for them should have like 5 buttons or so :D
     
  6. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    With tablets, you can often attach a keyboard. I think for my mom the tablet would be better since she has no use of the more intensive programs a laptop would be needed for, and tablets are typically lighter and somewhat less bulky than most laptops. Of course each person is different, so it does sound as if a laptop might be a better choice for your neighbor. I'd like both, personally, but both aren't in my budget. Since I have a smart phone, I will probably end up replacing my laptop with another laptop, rather than a tablet, since I will be using it for more than the few tasks my mom would want to spend time on.
     
  7. Aree Wongwanlee

    Aree WongwanleeActive Member

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    I see. In that case, see if the speech to text feature would work for her. All she has to do is speak and the tablet will convert her speech into text. Let us know if this works. She can try it out at the shop before making a decision to buy or not to buy a tablet.
     
  8. Happyflowerlady

    HappyflowerladyWell-Known Member

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    Speaking as a senior (almost 72), I would never want to go back to any kind of a computer again, after having my iPad. I also have a keyboard case, so it is almost like having a small lightweight laptop. I also have a lapdesk, and I can sit comfortably in my recliner, lapdesk resting on the arm of the chair, and write. Because the iPad has a stretch screen, if I have trouble reading or seeing something, I can instantly stretch the screen and make it large enough to easily see things.
    It is portable; so it can be used anywhere, and I also use that when I am watching a movie, and like it much better than watching the television screen, which is hard for me to see, too.
    Amazon has a great variety of keyboard cases, some with detachable keyboards, or lighted keyboards, all of which are great for older people.
     
  9. Aree Wongwanlee

    Aree WongwanleeActive Member

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    Good to know that you have discovered the wonders of a tablet. It really is a lot more convenient than a laptop. Myself, I am still using my laptop because I can type very much faster on a standard keyboard. I have tried one of those Bluetooth keyboards which work with a tablet but I found it to be a bit small for my hands.
     
  10. Ke Gordon

    Ke GordonWell-Known Member

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    I think a Chromebook might be a perfect solution. Not only will she have use of the internet, she won't have to worry about wndows updates and the like. I don't really know what the size of the keyboard is, but I have an older friend who has impaired vision and he likes it, so it might be just the solution for your neighbor.
     
  11. Happyflowerlady

    HappyflowerladyWell-Known Member

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    The bluetooth keyboards come in different sizes, @Aree Wongwanlee@Aree Wongwanlee . The one that I use with my ipad is smaller than a full-size keyboard; but now that I am used to it, the larger ones are harder for me.
    I have a larger one that is about the same as having a full-size keyboard, and it works with the iPad Pro, which is a larger tablet. Basically, with the larger size tablet, the keyboard and the screen are both as large as they are on a laptop; but it is still a lot easier to carry around and use. the keyboard for the iPad Pro is separate from the case, and I can use that tablet in several ways. I usually use it in the case, either with or without the keyboard attached; but if I am drawing or editing photos, where I want to be able to turn the tablet easier, then I can take it out of the case and use it that way, too.
    All in all, tablets are just MUCH more versatile than a laptop, you just have to have the size that suits your needs.
     
  12. Aree Wongwanlee

    Aree WongwanleeActive Member

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    Thank you for the information. I may not have looked hard enough when shopping for a Bluetooth keyboard before. Or, maybe, the stores didn't stock the full range available. At that time, I was in a rather secluded part of the country. As for tablets, being more versatile than a laptop, there are caveats, in my opinion. To get a tablet with a screen as big as a laptop would mean paying even more than buying a laptop. That, for me, makes the tablet not competitive, price-wise. Anyway, I don't want a tablet with a 17-inch screen. I just want one which I can carry around in one hand. For this purpose, I find that a tablet with a 7-inch screen is just about right. I have tried one with an 8-inch screen and found it to be a bit unwieldy.
     
  13. hades_leae

    hades_leaeActive Member

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    Some others have recommended a tablet, I would recommend the same thing because you can make the keys much larger. Tablets kind of suck, but if you also got something that you could use to prop it up like a laptop then I think it'll be just fine.

    Also I would recommend finding a laptop where she can turn it into a tablet, they exist and are quite cool. I don't know about getting bigger keys on a keyboard.

    I have seen some keyboards with large letters that expand all the way to the tips of each key for people who have a problem with eye sight.
     
  14. Happyflowerlady

    HappyflowerladyWell-Known Member

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    Probably the answer is different for each person, simply because every one has different needs and requirements from their device.
    For me, the iPad is just much easier, and it does everything that I want it to. With the keyboard case, it functions just like a laptop, and I have one of those lap-desks that I use with it. Rather than having to be in the office and sitting at the computer desk, I am here reclining on my favorite chair, with the iPad desk resting on my lap and the arm of the chair. Very comfortable ! The iPad is close enough to me that the smaller screen is easy to see. When I use a laptop or computer, I have to lean into the screen to be able to read things anymore; so having the tablet close enough for me to see it easily is one of the important features for me.