Choosing a Laptop for Older Adults and Seniors

Pew Research, Forbes, Radius, and many others have observed – those in the 55+ age group are the generation that invented the personal computer, video games, email, smartphones. They also participated in the conversion of yesterday’s old-fashioned analog planet to a digital world.
However, if you are looking for a laptop for someone who’s not used a computer who struggles with physical limitations, the laptop market is ripe with options.
Begin your search by defining what the user expects to do. For email, web browsing, streaming video, social media, word processing, spreadsheets, and similar activities, an “entry-level” machine should suffice. But if the user plans to use software that strains the machine – editing 4K videos, or running CAD/CAM software, for instance – more substantial processors, memory, and storage are needed.
So, let’s take a look at some options.

Chromebooks Could Be the Answer

Being able to use a computer productively depends upon its operating system, perhaps more than any other factor. Windows can be confusing to new users despite Microsoft’s efforts to build a graphic user interface (GUI) that’s “intuitive.”
Chromebooks, on the other hand, don’t use the Windows O/S, which makes them easier to learn and operate. K-12 schools across the nation use Chromebooks for students in the earliest grades through high school.
Chromebooks offer a couple of other benefits, too. First, viruses and malware are less likely to be a problem. Second, Chromebooks use the “Chrome OS” operating system. Google updates Chrome OS automatically so the user never needs to think about “updates” or downloading files to bring the O/S up to date.
Over at, you’ll find a few of the industry’s most popular Chromebook laptops, many of which sell for just a few hundred dollars.

Apple Deserves a Close Look, Too

Apple is known for its ease of use. Its operating system and GUI design make Apple products the favorite among millions. Apple’s latest O/S for MacBook laptops is “mac OS Big Sur.” The company has put significant effort into ease-of-use issues. While Apple laptops are more expensive than other brands, their simplicity and resistance to viruses and other malware make them a good choice for novice users. You’ll find details on Apple MacBooks at the company website.

A Bevy of Windows Machines to Consider

Stepping into the world of laptops that run Microsoft Windows instantly multiplies the number of laptop brands and models to consider. According to Gartner, just five companies account for 80% of laptops sold. Each of them has a great deal to offer. In descending order, these are:


Manufacturer Market Share
Lenovo 25.0%
HP 24.8%
Dell 15.6%
Apple 8.5%
Acer 6.7%

Don’t Forget to Guard Against Damage

Laptops are built to survive only routine bumps and knocks. But accidents do happen that can put any laptop out of commission. Spilled liquids, dropping it to the floor, scratching/cracking the screen, and other such accidents are not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. They only cover defects in manufacturing and workmanship. They’re almost all limited to just one year. After that, you’ll need to pay for repairs, which can easily run into hundreds of dollars.
Manufacturers create warranties to protect themselves, which is why they fill the warranty document with fine print that excludes almost every hazard you’re likely to run into.
Upsie delivers the protection that’s missing from manufacturer warranties. Protection includes: accidental damage including liquid spills, immersion in liquids, drops, cracked screens, dead pixels, screen burn-in, and a host of other hazards.
You can buy Upsie protection for two- or three-year terms, and at great prices. For example, an Upsie plan for a $999 HP Envy x360 15.6″ laptop is just $121.99 for two years of protection. Compared to $254.99 at Best Buy for the same machine.
Learn how easy it is to get started with Upsie by visiting the Laptop Warranty page, or call 877-844-7745 to speak to an associate.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.