Buying a laptop for a parent or grandparent? Here are some of the best laptops you can get for seniors so they have a seamless experience.
If you’re an older person looking to buy a laptop or you’re buying for your elderly parents or grandparents, it’s important to consider a few factors before making a choice. There are some fantastic laptops out there, but that doesn’t mean they’re the greatest choices for older users. Finding the best laptops for seniors is a bit more tricky than just getting the latest and greatest specs.
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For one thing, you need to take into account the familiarity the user has with specific operating systems. If they’re more accustomed to a particular interface, changing it dramatically can mean trouble. It’s also important to choose a device with a large screen that’s easy to read, so we’re mostly looking at 15-inch laptops or larger. It’s even better if it’s a touchscreen, since that’s the most natural input method. In fact, it’s good to consider all input methods, like the keyboard and trackpad, because you want things to be as seamless as possible. Finally, you must also figure out their use case, which will help you narrow down systems based on their performance capabilities. Based on these factors, we’ve curated this list of the best laptops for seniors that you can get right now.
Our top picks for laptops for seniors in 2023
HP Envy 17 (2023) Best overall
A large screen and great performance
$680 $1050 Save $370
The HP Envy 17 has a very large 17.3-inch display with optional touch support, a full backlit keyboard, and plenty of storage for all the files you could want. It’s a fast PC too, and it has a lot of ports for peripherals to make the experience as seamless as possible.
- Large 17-inch display with optional touch support
- Great 5MP webcam for video calls with the family
- It includes a number pad
- Great performance for a reasonable price
- Quite heavy at 5.49 pounds
- Power-hungry processor may result in middling battery life
$680 at HP $1050 at Best Buy $900 at B&H
As we mentioned above, a big screen is one of the features seniors are likely to appreciate. Making everything bigger means it’s easier to read, and that’s why the HP Envy 17 is at the top of this list. It’s also a very good laptop in almost every other way.
For starters, the HP Envy 17 is powered by 13th-generation Intel Core processors, up to a Core i7-13700H with 14 cores and 20 threads. It’s very fast, but it also uses quite a bit of power, which means battery life may not be amazing. You can also opt for a lower-power Core i7-1355U paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU. The laptop also comes with up to 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD.
Laptop displays don’t get a lot bigger than 17.3 inches, and that’s what you get with the HP Envy 17, making it ideal for anyone who has difficulty reading smaller text. The base model has Full HD resolution, and touch support is available as an optional upgrade. There’s also an Ultra HD option if you want things to look even sharper. On top of that, the laptop has a 5MP webcam, perfect for staying in touch with family, and it even supports Windows Hello facial recognition for easier logins.
Another advantage of this larger size is that the HP Envy 17 has a number pad on the keyboard, which may be an easier way to enter numbers for some people. It also has a lot of ports, including two Thunderbolt 4 connections, three USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, and an SD card reader. A downside to having a machine this big is that it’s a bit harder to carry around, and at 5.49 pounds, this one is a bit heavy. But that won’t be a big deal if it’ll mostly be used at home.
All in all, the HP Envy 17 is one of the very best options if you’re buying a laptop for seniors.
MacBook Air (M2) Best Mac laptop
For newbies and macOS fans
$899 $1099 Save $200
The MacBook Air is a great laptop that might be more suited for those using a laptop for the first time in a while or users who already know macOS. It has a very fast and efficient processor, plus a great screen, coming in both 13-inch and 15-inch models.
- Fantastic performance and battery life
- Two display options for different preferences
- 1080p webcam is great for video calls
- The 15-inch model is a bit heavy
$1087 at Amazon (13 inches) $1099 at Amazon (15 inches) $899 at Best Buy (13 inches) $1299 at Best Buy (15 inches)
If familiarity plays an important role in choosing a laptop, then a macOS user will definitely want a MacBook, and the MacBook Air is your best choice. This is also a good choice for novice users, as macOS can sometimes be easier to understand for an inexperienced user.
Starting with the internals, the latest MacBook Air is powered by the Apple M2 chipset, which is a very fast and efficient processor thanks to its eight cores — four for performance and four for efficiency. Aside from that, you start with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, but you can go up to 24GB and 2TB, respectively.
The MacBook Air comes in two sizes: It has a smaller 13.6-inch panel, or the more recent 15.3-inch model, and this is probably better for older users, even though it’s a bit pricier. Both panels are equally sharp, with 2560×1664 resolution on the smaller model and 2880×1864 on the larger one. There’s no touch support, however. A small intrusion at the top of the display makes way for a 1080p webcam, which is also great if you buy this laptop to stay in touch with family and friends. There’s no facial recognition, but you can use Touch ID to sign in more conveniently.
The MacBook Air has a very thin and light design, measuring just 11.3mm and weighing 2.7 pounds for the 13-inch version, so it’s great if you want something easy to carry. The 15-inch model is a bit heavier at 3.3 pounds, but it’s still fairly portable. It comes in four colors, including Silver and Space Grey, along with newcomers Starlight and Midnight. Ports are somewhat limited, with two Thunderbolt/USB4 ports, a headphone jack, and MagSafe for charging. You’ll need a USB-C hub if you want more ports, but MagSafe is very welcome in case you accidentally trip over the charging cable.
Asus Chromebook Flip CX5601 Best Chromebook
A value-conscious option with a user-friendly interface
$499 $649 Save $150
The Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 is a 16-inch Chromebook with a great display and 12th-generation Intel processors. The large canvas with touch support makes it great for older users, and it has enough performance to ensure it keeps up with your needs.
- Large 16-inch touchscreen with a 16:10 aspect ratio
- 1080p webcam
- ChromeOS is lightweight and generally free of bloatware
- A little expensive for the specs
- 4.76 pounds is on the heavy side
$499 at Best Buy $868 at CDW
Most of the large-screen Chromebooks out there have fairly low-end specs, but the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 is a great exception to see. It’s a great laptop for seniors thanks to its big screen and affordable price.
Starting on the inside, the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 is powered by the Intel Core i3-1215U, a very capable 12th-generation processor with six cores and eight threads. Plus, you also get 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, which is more than good enough for a ChromeOS laptop. And like macOS, ChromeOS is often seen as a simpler and more user-friendly interface than Windows.
However, the display is the centerpiece of this laptop. It’s a large 16-inch touchscreen with a 16:10 aspect ratio with pen support. This taller aspect ratio is great for reading, and the large size ensures everything is more easily visible on screen. It comes in Full HD+ resolution, which should make for a very solid viewing experience. And above that display, there’s a 1080p webcam, so you can call your family and friends and looks your best while doing so. It’s worth mentioning there’s no support for facial recognition on this laptop because ChromeOS itself doesn’t support it.
Design-wise, the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 is made from an aluminum alloy, and it meets MIL-STD-810H military standards for durability, so if you happen to drop it, it should be able to survive. Because of its large size and metal build, this one is a bit heavy, coming in at 4.77 pounds. In terms of ports, you get two Thunderbolt/USB Type-C ports, one USB Type-A port, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader, so you have all your needs covered without needing adapters.
Acer Aspire 5 17-inch (2023, Intel) Best value
Affordable but still capable
$585 $700 Save $115
The Acer Aspire 5 is a modern laptop with 13th-gen Intel Core processors and large 17-inch panel with Full HD resolution. It’s relatively affordable, but it still packs a few niceties like a 1080p webcam and a nice supply of ports.
- 13th-gen Intel Core processors
- Full HD display and webcam for a relatively low price
- Not overly heavy for its size
- No Windows Hello facial recognition
$650 at Amazon $585 at Acer
If you want a solid Windows laptop but you don’t want to spend a lot of money, the Acer Aspire 5 may be for you. There are many models of this laptop, but we’re looking at the 17-inch version, which may be easier to read.
Inside the Acer Aspire 5 are 13th-generation Intel processors, particularly a Core i5-1335U with 10 cores and 12 threads, which means it’ll run smoothly and use a low amount of power. It also includes 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, which is enough for plenty of files.
You also get a 17.3-inch display with this one, and it comes in Full HD resolution, so it’s pretty easy to read and use, and the IPS panel gives you great viewing angles, too. Above the display is a 1080p webcam that should give you pretty solid quality for calls with family, so you can always stay in touch. There’s no Windows Hello facial recognition, but you can use the fingerprint reader to sign in more quickly and easily.
Despite the large 17.3-inch display, the Acer Aspire 5 is relatively portable, weighing 4.61 pounds. It also comes with a solid supply of ports, including Thunderbolt 4, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, and a headphone jack, so you can use some accessories if it’s more convenient for you. It’s not a visually interesting laptop, but the subdued look means it probably looks good enough for anyone to use.
Considering the relatively low price, the Acer Aspire 5 is a great choice for seniors, and it still nails the basics to be easy to use for anyone.
HP Envy x360 15 (2023, Intel) Best convertible
Versatile, with a large display
$1050 $1150 Save $100
The HP Envy x360 is a versatile laptop that can be used as a tablet thanks to the 360-degree. It comes with a large 15.6-inch display, including the option for an OLED panel, and it has 13th-generation Intel Core processors for great performance.
- High-end 13th-gen Intel processors
- Convertible design with a solid display, including OLED options
- Great webcam with Windows Hello support
- It can get a bit pricy
- Relatively heavy for its size
- Default display isn’t very bright
$950 at HP (customizable) $920 at Best Buy $1050 at B&H
Using a touchscreen can be a lot more intuitive than a typical touchpad and keyboard, and if you want a laptop that can do both, the HP Envy x360 15 is a phenomenal choice. It’s a convertible laptop, meaning you can change between laptop and tablet modes whenever you feel like it.
The HP Envy x360 15 comes with 13th-generation Intel Core processors (there’s an AMD model that we reviewed, but we recommend going with Intel here), up to a Core i7-1355U with 10 cores and 12 threads. There’s also an optional Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, though it’s not really necessary. The laptop can be equipped with up to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, so you get a solid experience across the board.
Since it’s a convertible, the 15.6-inch display supports touch and pen input across the board, and it also has Full HD resolution. There are different configurations for the brightness (250 nits or 400 nits), plus there’s a stunning OLED option, ideal for watching movies and videos. Above the display is HP’s signature 5MP webcam with Windows Hello facial recognition. It’s a great camera if you’re frequently making video calls with family and others.
Design-wise, the HP Envy x360 15 is fairly basic aside from the convertible design. It comes in Natural Silver or Nightfall Black colorways, and the 4.22-pound weight makes it somewhat heavy if you want to carry it around often. On the flip side, it does have plenty of ports, with two Thunderbolt 4 and two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a full-size SD card reader.
All of this makes for a great laptop if you don’t mind something that looks a bit more boring.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 Best value tablet
Cheap and portable
$369 $499 Save $130
If you want something more portable and affordable, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet offers an experience that’s hard to match. At $500, you get solid performance with Qualcomm processors, a beautiful 13-inch OLED display, and a decent keyboard to type on, which you can remove whenever you don’t need it.
- Stunning 13-inch OLED display
- Great front and rear cameras for video calls
- Very portable, especially since the keyboard can be removed
- ChromeOS may take some getting used to for a Windows user
$369 at Best Buy $369 at Lenovo
Those looking for something more portable and lightweight will probably prefer using a tablet instead of a full laptop, and the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 may be just what you need. This affordable tablet offers a great user experience thanks to the lightweight ChromeOS.
Powering the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2, an octa-core Arm processor that delivers solid performance for web browsing and basic tasks. The tablet also has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC storage, which matches the processor quite well. This isn’t exactly a productivity machine, but it’s great for casual tasks and keeping up wioth family.
Helping with that, you get a beautiful 13-inch OLED display with Full HD resolution and 100% coverage of DCI-P3, making this a great canvas for any kind of content. What’s more, there’s a 5MP front-facing camera for video calls, and even an 8MP camera on the back for when you want to show something in front of you. It’s a great device for keeping in touch.
It’s a very portable device, too. You can remove the keyboard when you don’t need it, and the tablet itself weighs just 1.5 pounds, and it’s 7.9mm thin. Because of how thin it is, it does lack ports, so all you get are two USB Type-C ports, but that’s normal for a tablet.
Not many affordable tablets have screens this big and beautiful, and for that alone, this is an easy recommendation.
Apple iPad Air (2022) Best tablet for iPhone users
iOS familiarity in a laptop form factor
$500 $599 Save $99
The iPad Air is an extremely thin and light tablet that offers a familiar experience for anyone more accustomed to iPhones and other Apple devices. Paired with a keyboard, it can become a great laptop for anyone familiar with iOS.
- Very lightweight and portable
- Interface will feel familiar to iPhone users
- Fantastic performance
- Relatively small screen
- Not as versatile as a traditional laptop
$500 at Amazon $500 at Best Buy $599 at Adorama
If you’re someone who uses an iPhone already, the iPad Air will give you a very familiar experience, and thanks to keyboard accessories, you can make it more of a laptop, too.
The latest iteration of the iPad Air is powered by the Apple M1 chip, like what’s inside the 24-inch iMac. This is a very powerful chip, and putting it in a device this small makes for one of the fastest tablets on the market, including the ability to run demanding mobile games. The processor also includes 8GB of RAM and you can choose either 64GB or 256GB of storage.
The iPad Air also has a great display, though it’s a little small, at 10.9 inches. It’s very sharp, though, at 2360 x 1640 resolution, so it’ll look great for something of this size. Plus, it’s pretty bright, with up to 500 nits of brightness, and it supports the P3 wide color gamut. Of course, being a tablet means it supports touch and the second-generation Apple Pencil.
The iPad Air is designed to be a tablet first, which means it has some of the best cameras on this list. The front-facing camera is a 12MP wide-angle camera with features like Smart HDR 3 and Center Stage. On the back, there’s another 12MP camera.
Because it’s a tablet, it’s also incredibly thin and light. The iPad Air comes in at 1.02 pounds and is just 6.1mm by itself, making it incredibly portable, but if you want it to be a laptop, you’re going to have to add the $179 Smart Keyboard Folio or the $299 Magic Keyboard, which also add a bit to the size and weight. This thin design means you only have one USB Type-C port and nothing else, so this won’t be ideal if you want to use a lot of peripherals.
It’s not exactly a laptop, but the iPad can definitely deliver a solid laptop-like experience for a lot of users, especially if you’re familiar with iOS.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus Best Android laptop
Familar Android experience that turns into a laptop
$1000 $1120 Save $120
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+ is a powerful and very lightweight tablet that still has a relatively large screen. You can pair it with a keyboard and mouse for a laptop-like experience, especially thanks to Samsung’s DeX mode.
- Ideal for those familiar with Android
- Stunning 12-inch AMOLED display
- Fast performance
- Good cameras for video calls and photos
- It can’t run a lot of desktop-level apps
- Not the best value as a laptop
$1000 at Samsung $1000 at Best Buy $1000 at Amazon
Not everyone is an iPhone user, and if you want a laptop-like experience that feels more like Android, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+ is probably your best option. You can step down to a regular Tab S9 or upgrade to the larger Tab S9 Ultra, depending on your budget and needs, but this is the best middle ground.
All three versions are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which is a very powerful chipset for smartphones and tablets, though not quite on the same level as the Apple M1. On top of that, the Galaxy Tab S9+ has 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, though the storage can go up to 512GB if you need a lot of space.
One of the best things about this tablet is the display, coming in at 12.4 inches and with a super-sharp 2800×1752 resolution. This should make it one of the easier tablets to use for older users. It’s also an AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate, so it looks fantastic no matter what you’re doing on it. Like other tablets, it also has great cameras compared to a regular laptop. The front-facing camera has 12MP resolution, and it supports 4K video. And on the back, you get two cameras, one being a 13MP main camera, and the other being a 8MP ultra-wide lens.
This is another incredibly thin device, too, measuring just 5.6mm thick, and despite its larger size, it weighs just 1.28 pounds. Of course, you have to remember you’ll need to add the Book Cover Keyboard if you want to use this more like a laptop. The device also suffers from a lack of ports, with only one USB Type-C port.
While some would debate whether this can stand toe-to-toe with proper laptops, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+ will offer a great experience for seniors more familiar with Android. Plus, it has Samsung DeX built-in if you want a more desktop-like experience.
The best laptops for seniors in 2023: The bottom line
Whether you’re buying for someone already familiar with laptops or a first-timer, these options are all great for different kinds of users. It’s all about knowing who you’re buying for and what they might value in a laptop. The best choice for most people will probably be the HP Envy 17. It has a large screen with a good resolution, fast performance, and it runs Windows, which is the most popular operating system in the world. Plus, it has a great webcam for the occasional video calls with family and a great array of ports, so you can use all the accessories you need for a more seamless experience.
HP Envy 17 (2023) Best overall$680 $1050 Save $370
The 2023 HP Envy 17 comes with 13th-generation Intel Core processors and optional Nvidia graphics. The large 17-inch display helps make it one of the best options for older users, on top of the great performance and the 5MP webcam.
$680 at HP $1050 at Best Buy $900 at B&H
If you want a cheaper alternative, the Acer Aspire 5 is almost as great, and while it misses out on some performance, it’s actually lighter, so it’s actually a bit more portable. With that being said, there are other great options depending on what you’re used to, such as the MacBook Air for macOS fans, or the Apple and Samsung tablets if you’re more familiar with the phones from each brand. Ultimately, it’s up to your use case, so make sure you know who you’re buying for before making a choice.