In this article we present five laptops that are especially suitable for seniors. For this purpose we have selected models that are suitable for beginners due to their simple operation. Here is our Ranking for the Best Laptops for Seniors in 2020.
Ranking First: Apple MacBook Pro
For seniors who have hardly ever worked with computers before, a computer from Apple is definitely recommended. While Windows frequently reports error messages, update requests or other problems, Apple users are largely spared this.
- A MacBook Pro 17″ is big enough for seniors whose vision is slowly fading. And Mac OS X makes it possible to zoom in in just a few steps to make it even easier to use.
- On the one hand, it’s easy to reinstall software on a MacBook, but on the other, the operating system already comes with the essential programs. So even inexperienced users can try out different things – whether it’s creating a presentation with Keynote or editing video with Quicktime.
- Cost: Starting at approximately $1,200 you can get a MacBook Pro with a 17-inch display.
- Big 17″ Screen, Great for Seniors
- Easy to Use Operating System
- Great Performance
- Battery just average
The workmanship is and remains a highlight of Apple products, of course. Touchpad and keyboard are on top level. The very small key stroke and lack of grip provide a typing feel that takes getting used to.
We measured an outstanding maximum brightness of 521.4 cd/m² and a very good chessboard contrast of 205 to 1 on 13.3 inches with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels – the Apple laptop only has to admit defeat to the Dell XPS 13 in the comparison test. By the way, the display surface is, as usual, not anti-reflective, which is hardly disturbing thanks to the very high display brightness. Nevertheless, the almost perfect MacBook display has a weakness: We measured a very good sRGB color space coverage of 99.8 percent, but the AdobeRGB color space, which is important for graphic artists and image editing, is only 87.8 percent. Thus, the comparison test winner, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, displays colors more correctly.
However, the OLED touch bar is still the highlight of the modern luxury MacBooks, because with this fascinating extension you can quickly access useful functions without having to use numerous menu structures. It can also be customized to suit your own habits – for example, important shortcuts can be placed directly on the touch bar in Adobe Premiere/Photoshop. A dream come true for everyone who has to do video editing and image processing.
It has a screen size of 17 inches.
MacBook Pro is powered by a current Coffee Lake processor from Intel – the 2.3GHz Core i7-8259U. The processor is accompanied by eight GB of RAM and a surprisingly slow SSD is used as a storage medium – its speed has always been a guarantee for top ratings and has always earned Apple a lot of praise. However, the 512 GB flash memory can’t keep up with the models that Lenovo, Dell, HP and Fujitsu build into their premium devices. Nevertheless, the MacBook Pro remains a true all-rounder and tops the performance charts in the comparison test. Whether it’s simple multimedia playback, video editing, or casual gaming, the new MacBook can handle it. Only when it comes to 4K video editing and the latest gaming titles does MacBook Pro run out of breath.
The interface offering remains a point of criticism even in the current version. As with its previous MacBook editions, the Apple does without numerous notebook standards. Gigabit-LAN, HDMI port, and also cardreaders are in vain. The MacBook Pro, however, has 4 x USB 3.1 Gen.2 Type-C Thunderbolt built-in, which will replace all missing interfaces with a suitable adapter. The MacBook Pro communicates wirelessly with Bluetooth 4.2 and WLAN-ac adapter.
Battery life – usually a solid foundation for good mobility scores, but MacBook Pro only reaches about 8 hours of battery life in simulated office use. In video-only mode, the laptop lasts about 8.5 hours, and in demanding use with many open applications, the battery life is still more than 5 hours. Here Apple’s competition with its premium notebooks scores considerably better in the comparison test.
The new thing about the current Apple MacBook Pro 17-inch is inside. The design-strong notebook is now also powered by a processor of the Coffee Lake generation. In the test, this enhances the overall performance of the MacBook and, as usual, enables universal use of the laptop, which makes it our best Laptop for Seniors in 2020.
Ranking Second: Asus TUF
- Good Screen Quality, fit for Seniors
- Great Perfomance
- Good Battery
- Not many Ports
The Asus TUF looks like a typical gaming notebook, but rather untypical components work under the hood. And the black gaming part still has a few surprises in store, as the test shows.
But gamers need strong technology, because most current games are extremely resource-hungry. If you loosen the eleven screws on the bottom and remove the cover, you can let your eye wander over the following components:
- Processor: The quad-core Ryzen 5 3550H from AMD, which was introduced on January 6, 2019 at the CES in Las Vegas, is responsible for the drive.
- Graphics chip: Instead of the graphics processor housed in the CPU, the separate AMD Radeon RX560 graphics chip is responsible for calculating the image reproduction on the display.
- Memory: The graphics chip and main processor have a generous 16 gigabytes of memory available for fast data transfer.
- SSD: Operating system, programs and data are stored on a fast SSD with an effective 477 gigabytes of memory.
The naked data did not promise any miracles before the measurements – the more astonishing the results: For example, the Asus TUF scratched a “very good” partial mark in the speed measurements with Office and Internet applications. Even more astonishing, however, is that it also showed games smoothly on the built-in Full-HD display with full detail rendition. But the Asus isn’t as fast as notebooks with separate graphic chips like Nvidia’s RTX models. Thus, the playback on connected monitors jerked violently – the graphic chip Vega 8 is definitely too weak for 4K games.
In return, the Asus is 600 Dollars cheaper than RTX notebooks, but by no means made cheap. The display was also convincing: It showed figures, environments and objects beautifully sharp and with almost original colors, the image change was done in under 14 milliseconds without ugly streaks.
Fan Noise and Heating
And the testers experienced another surprise: a full battery charge lasted between three and a half and almost four hours. These are very respectable values for a gaming notebook. In addition, the processor and graphics chip don’t develop much waste heat. The notebook stayed pleasantly cool on the underside even after two hours of gaming. But it wasn’t only the built-in fans that provided for the low operating temperature, because the Asus wasn’t annoying with loud fan noises neither during gaming nor under full load – it stayed nice and quiet.
Sure, there is no upper class gaming notebook with endless steam for $939, but the Asus TUF FX705DY did its job really well in the test: Its working speed was high, the gaming speed in Full HD as well, the battery life okay. The equipment is also almost complete, gamers only miss USB 3.1 sockets of the Gen 2 standard and modern USB C ports. Thus, the Asus TUF gets an “excellent” mark in the ranking of the best laptops for Seniors.
Ranking Third: HP Envy
- Big bright Screen, Great for Elders
- Good Screen Quality
- Beautiful Look
- No Thunderbolt connection
The HP Envy 17 has – as the name suggests – a 17.3 inch display with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, which is Ultra HD. The 43.9 cm screen is anti-glare, so that as few reflections as possible occur. The average display illumination is a good 280 cd/m². HP has integrated a Wide Vision HD camera with integrated dual array digital microphone in the middle of the upper display frame.
HP has positioned the 17.3 inch display in such a way that it lifts the base unit at the back by a few centimeters when it is opened. This makes the keyboard more ergonomic and typing is more pleasant. HP also uses this lifting for the ventilation system, as the waste heat is dissipated at the bottom of the device.
For the hardware, HP has decided on an Intel Core i7 of the 8th generation. The Intel Core i7-8550U is a QuadCore processor that operates at a basic clock rate of 1.8 GHz. In turbo mode, individual cores can reach a clock speed of up to 4 GHz. However, this happens automatically and the user has no influence on this. HP has installed two 8 GB modules in the main memory, which operate in dual channel mode.
The Envy 17-bw0003ng has two graphic solutions for the graphics. On the one hand the integrated UHD graphics of the Intel CPU and on the other hand an Nvidia Geforce GTX MX150. This graphics solution has its own video memory of 4 GB. Current games like For Honor, Battlefield 1 or Far Cry 5 are also playable. However, you have to reduce the resolution to 720p and set the detail levels to low.
The operating system, in this case Windows 10 Home in the 64-bit version, is pre-installed on an M.2 module (PCIe NVMe) with 512 GB. This module has about 430 GB free memory on delivery. This has very good transfer rates when reading, but is considerably slower when writing. HP has also integrated a DVD burner in the Envy 17-bw0003ng.
The network connection is either wired via the RJ-45 socket or wireless via WLAN. Bluetooth is also supported. You can also use the notebook on the road with the integrated battery. One battery charge lasts for almost 4 hours. Thanks to HP Fast Charge, a 90 watt adapter charges the completely discharged battery of the 17.3″ Envy up to 50% within only 45 minutes.
HP has placed almost all of the 17 incher’s many connections on the left side. Here you’ll find three USB sockets, whereby one is compatible to the type C standard, a full-fledged HDMI connection, the RJ-45 socket as well as the combined sound connection for the headset and the card reader.
On the right, HP has included a DVD burner and another USB socket. HP has also placed the fingerprint scanner on this side. You can use it for example for logging in under Windows 10.
The HP Envy 17-bw0003ng uses a QWERTY keyboard with a separate number pad. The keys have a pleasant size and typing on them feels very good. A backlight can be turned on with the F5 key. As in almost all notebooks from HP, two of the four direction keys turn out a bit smaller.
Below the keyboard there is a large touchpad that supports multi-touch gestures. With 121 x 61 mm, this has a very pleasant size.
As with all new Envy models, the Envy 17-bw0003ng cannot be opened without further ado. There are some visible screws on the back, but also hidden screws. These are located under the rear rubber strip and this is glued so well that only a specialist can remove them here and reattach them later.
Although strong hardware was built into the interior of the aluminum case, the notebook only heats up in a few places. The keyboard side remained pleasantly cool in the stress test. Only in the rear area, at the sound bar, a hotspot with 48.1 degrees Celsius could be found. As this area is never used when working, playing games or watching movies, this hotspot doesn’t play a big role. The wrist-rest remained pleasantly cool in the stress test. The notebook hardly warmed up under normal load.
The ventilation system also remained very quiet in the stress test and could only be noticed in close proximity. The bottom also remained cool. The thermal imaging camera couldn’t make out any large areas with heat development here. The power supply also remained relatively “cool” in the stress test. A maximum of 40.1 degrees Celsius was measured on the adapter.
If you’re looking for a powerful multimedia notebook with a large UHD display and aluminum case, the HP Envy 17-bw0003ng is the right solution. This notebook, which you can also use as a desktop replacement without restrictions, has been equipped by HP with a 17.3 inch large and bright Ultra-HD display, which offers very good viewing angles due to its IPS panel.
The inner hardware is based on a Core i7 processor of the latest generation from Intel, which is supported by Nvidia MX150 graphics. HP has immediately equipped the RAM with 16 GB and there’s no need for action on the memory, which consists of a fast M.2 module with 512 GB capacity. HP has equipped the multimedia notebook with Bang & Olufsen loudspeakers for an especially good sound.
The HP Envy 17-bw0003ng is perfectly suited for all multimedia tasks. Older games will also run if you lower the resolution and detail level. There is also a strong battery inside, which lasts almost four hours in everyday office use. We only miss the Thunderbolt support of the USB type C socket.
The HP Envy 17-bw0003ng also makes a good optical impression. The damask drawing on the back of the silver aluminum case gives the notebook a special look. The HP Envy 17-bw0003ng is currently* priced at around $1278.
The HP Envy 17-bw0003ng offers everything you can expect from a multimedia notebook. You can even watch movies in Ultra HD on the large 17.3 inch display. The sound, which comes from Bang & Olufsen speakers, rounds off the movie experience. The aluminum case with the damask drawing looks very noble. The built-in hardware meets the latest standards and should be sufficient for the next few years. A Blu-ray player instead of a DVD burner would have been desirable, but if you watch a lot of movies or series you have a Netflix or similar account anyway. All in all the Envy is ranking third in our ranking of the best Laptops for Seniors in 2020.
Ranking Fourth: Lenovo L340 thin
- Loud Sound, Good for Seniors
- Fast Speed
- Good Quality
- Display just average
The Lenovo IdeaPad L340 is optically a simple notebook that scores with strong hardware and a high maintenance friendliness. Thanks to the Nvidia GeForce MX230, it’s not only well suited for everyday office life, but also allows for reasonable editing of pictures and videos.
Lenovo relies on tried and tested design. You won’t find ultrasonic display frames here. They are almost 5mm wide at the sides, a bit wider at the top and bottom. The webcam is integrated in the upper frame. It has a privacy shutter. This covers the webcam, so that nobody can watch you if you don’t want to.
The keyboard takes up almost the entire width of the IdeaPad L340 and has a complete number pad. It is set into a small recess. The keys offer a relatively soft typing feel and have a very short stroke. I first had to get used to the typing feel. But after a short time I got along well with the keyboard. The keys are all easy to reach and even longer texts are no problem on this keyboard.
The touchpad is slightly indented to the left, as is the case in all notebooks with a complete number pad. Since there is relatively little space on the left side, you will often come across the touchpad with the ball of your left hand at the beginning. But you’ll also get used to it quickly and you won’t have any problems with it.
The touchpad itself has a pleasant size and reacts very precisely to input. At the front end are the two mouse substitute keys, which are optically not separated from the rest of the pad, though.
Decoration is kept within limits in the IdeaPad L340. Only the front right has a small and inconspicuous Lenovo logo. The logo is once again found in black on the display lid. That’s it. I personally like this very much.
The case is made of plastic and is stable. Merely the display can be bent easily. As long as you don’t try to bend it, there’s no danger of breaking anything.
There’s nothing more to say about the design. It is plain and unagitated.
In most notebooks, the connections are distributed on both sides of the device. This is different with the IdeaPad L340. Here, all ports are on the left side of the device. Only the device for the Kensington lock is found on the right. The reason for this unusual arrangement is the slot for an optical drive. You can – if the rare need arises – install a DVD burner on the right side or with an appropriate frame a further SSD.
The IdeaPad L340 has a solid selection of connections that should get you quite far in everyday life. In detail, you have a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type C port, a 3.5mm 2in1 audio jack, two USB 3.1 Gen1 Type A ports, 1x HDMI 1.4b and an Ethernet port. If you need more connections, you should get a corresponding docking station.
Lenovo installs a matt full HD IPS panel in the IdeaPad L340. With a 15.6″ diagonal, you get a PPI value of 142, meaning that content is displayed crisply and sharply. As it is matt, there are also no problems with reflections.
The display brightness is with an average of 203 cd/m² in a normal range for office notebooks, but could be brighter for my taste. The illumination is not quite even. But that’s not a problem in everyday work life, as the deviations are within limits and are barely visible to the naked eye.
There is also no surprise in the color space coverage. As in many office notebooks, it’s not outstanding. To be precise, it’s not really convincing. 55% sRGB color space, 39% NTSC color space and 41% AdobeRGB color space are truly no dream values. For everyday office life this is easily enough. First and foremost, colour accuracy is not the most important thing. If you have color-critical work to do, you should look for another notebook. The IdeaPad L340 is also suitable for occasional Netflix sessions.
There is not much to say about the IdeaPad L340’s software. Windows 10 Home 64 bit is pre-installed on the 512 GB SSD. Fortunately, this comes almost without Bloatware. Only LinkedIn is pre-installed. In an office notebook there is at least some benefit to be seen. Otherwise, there is only McAfee in a test version. Of course they try to convince you to get the full version. If you don’t feel like it, you can completely uninstall it.
Lenovo Vantage is also installed so you don’t have to search for the latest drivers for the IdeaPad L340. With it you can let the updates run automatically in the background. The software also shows you the warranty status, you can have your system scanned for errors and contact Lenovo support directly.
The first time you start the software, a menu will appear that allows you to set up the IdeaPad L340. Besides the already mentioned Lenovo Vantage you can download several more or less useful apps (Amazon, YouTube, WinZip). But you can also leave it alone. There is also a wizard that helps you to get your old data onto your new computer. It is self-explanatory with step-by-step instructions.
The SSD has 440 GB free on delivery.
For everything that has to do with Office, there is more than enough power available in this notebook.
The NVMe SSD is fixed and all applications are loaded quickly. Switching between applications is smooth and there was no bottleneck during the test. The IdeaPad L340 achieved values of 1299 MB/s write and 1228 MB/s read in the AS SSD benchmark. Thus, it places itself in the top group in our database in comparably equipped notebooks. The IdeaPad L340 also cuts a good figure in other benchmarks.
The graphic card is a rebrand of the MX130 and is only conditionally suitable for gaming. It simply has too little power to provide gaming fun. However, it is an excellent accelerator for image editing or light video editing. You should, however, connect a monitor for this purpose, as the L340’s color space coverage makes a useful editing almost impossible.
Nowadays, the notebook is rarely always in a place close to the power outlet, but you have it with you when you’re on the move.
In everyday life, the notebook lasted a good four hours without a power outlet. The brightness was set to 200 cd/m². In this case that means that the display ran at full brightness. The notebook lasted a little over four hours. That is a reasonable value.
If you turn the display brightness down, you will of course get even longer battery life.
Fan noise and Heating
In everyday life, the IdeaPad L340 is a quiet notebook. The fans start up for a short time every now and then, but are quiet most of the time. We also put it through the AIDA64 stress test, of course.
It got louder there, but not unpleasantly loud. Normal office noises drowned out the notebook without a problem. The values remained in the green range in terms of temperature. On average, the CPU became 72° Celsius warm and there was no throttling at any time. The graphics card didn’t get excessively warm either. It warmed up to an average of 69° Celsius.
Overall, the notebook remained pleasantly cool during the test. It only warmed up a bit directly in front of the display, as the waste heat from the IdeaPad is transported there.
The IdeaPad L340 is a dream to upgrade.
All you have to do is loosen 13 screws on the bottom, pull out the cover for the optical drive bay and then lever up the bottom with a credit card or similar. Please don’t use a screwdriver for this. You would almost certainly leave scratches and dents in the case.
There is a free slot for a 2.5″ SSD or HDD. You can easily remove the RAM latch and replace it with a new one. 16 GB are supported here maximum. As SSD a M.2 2242 is installed ex works. Of course you can also replace it. Practically you are not bound to the 2242 format, but you can also install a 2280 here.
The battery is also only screwed and can be replaced if necessary. And last but not least you can install a 9mm DVD drive if you need it. Or you can get an appropriate frame and install another hard drive.
The IdeaPad L340 surprises with its sound. Notebooks tend to be heavy on heights in most cases. This is due to the fact that there is simply no resonance chamber in which depths could come to bear. However, there is a lot of space inside.
The IdeaPad L340 offers a rich and balanced sound. Lows, mids and highs are well balanced at half volume. If you turn the volume up to 100%, the sound balance remains. The trebles become somewhat more dominant, but by no means shrill.
The IdeaPad L340 offers enough power for all tasks in everyday life. The built-in hardware with Intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM and an NVMe-SSD is more than sufficient for the next few years. You only have to accept some compromises with the display.
It offers all the important connections and the IdeaPad also scores points for sound. The extremely easy upgrade is also positive. You can easily exchange all important components if necessary and also install another hard disk. If you like, you can also install an optical drive or another SSD.
At the moment you have to put almost $1100 for the IdeaPad L340 on the table. All in all this is a fair price, which means its’ ranking Fourth in the best Laptops for Elder people.
Ranking Fifth: Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
- Great Battery
- Lightweight, Fit for Seniors
- Fast Speed
- Not many Ports
Hardware and Performance
The Surface Laptop 2 is similar to the first Surface Laptop, but Microsoft now installs a Core i5-8250U or a Core i7-8650U. These quadcores deliver much more power than the dualcores of the seventh generation, which are soldered in the Surface Laptop. But in the test, the model with Core i5-8250U and eight GByte RAM shows the same problems as its predecessor. Thus, already after the second performance benchmark run, a significant performance collapse is measurable. This can be explained by the very low construction height of only 14 millimeters. The cooling simply has too little space to keep the CPU efficiently at a reasonable temperature level.
Nevertheless, the Surface Laptop 2 delivers a decent everyday performance – only when editing video in the HD range, in direct comparison to other premium notebooks, is there likely to be a lack of power. By the way, the memory is stored on a 256 GByte SSD.
Regarding the connections, the Surface Laptop 2 is annoyingly no different from its predecessor – because Microsoft still has no confidence in the high-performance Thunderbolt protocol and the accompanying USB type C interface. Thus, the Surface Laptop 2 and its predecessor model, the only two Ultrabooks on our premium notebook bestseller lists, remain without a Thunderbolt port. Only a USB 3.0 type A port and a mini display port are available as interfaces.
But enough about interfaces: Touchpad and keyboard are very pleasant to use and the typing feel is tiptop, also because Microsoft sticks to the rather classic keyboard layout. The black case has an extremely noble and high-quality look and the previously criticized Alcantara cover also really looks good in black.
Due to the special 13.5 inch format, the display comes with a Full-HD resolution of 2,256 x 1,504 pixels. The touch function is often underestimated but very practical – especially in everyday work and office applications. The reflective display can’t keep up with the competition in the premium laptop segment, but it still works okay despite a low maximum brightness of 341 candela per square meter and a weakening chessboard contrast of 138:1.
The highlight of the Surface Laptop is its battery life, which has been trimmed for mobility. For example, we measured a very good six and a half hours with the benchmark PC Mark 8 Work, which simulates a long and battery-demanding working day with spreadsheets and video conferencing, among other things. For series fans, more than 13 hours of video runtimes are included. By the way, the power supply is another subjective highlight, as the smartphone can still be charged with an integrated USB port, for example.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 differs from its predecessor, apart from a new color selection, only in more up-to-date hardware. Because in the test it quickly becomes apparent that despite a faster processor and an adapted CPU cooling, the weak points of the predecessor were also adopted. But there are also two advantages of the Surface Laptop 2 – on the one hand, the ergonomics of the Ultrabook are convincing, on the other hand, the notebook boasts an excellent placement in the mobility ranking. Making it the Fifth rank in our best Laptops for Elders in 2020.