Lightweight laptop for someone with bad eyesight

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by zakaluka, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. zakaluka

    zakaluka Notebook Consultant

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    Hi All,

    I am buying a laptop for an elderly family member with bad eyesight. They have an older 15.6" toshiba laptop that is a bit of a tank (okay not that bad, but still... I think we can do better).

    Given that CES2021 is going on, I wonder if there's something which would make sense to buy.

    tl;dr - 15.6" laptop, lightweight, budget, decent screen (enough brightness or matte screen to be usable in sunlight).

    Windows-based machines are okay, but Chromebooks or Macbooks are not.

    More details below. Thank you in advance for your suggestions and guidance.

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    $500-600

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    Could go down to 14" if it really makes sense.

    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?
    USA

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like: N/A
    b. Dislike: N/A
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    Yes

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Web, excel, google alternatives to office (docs, sheets, slides), Sudoku

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Will stay at home, near an outlet.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)
    Not really - integrated GPU is fine for anything that comes up.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    1-2 hours or more.

    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
    Online is okay.

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    Windows only.

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.)
    1080p - probably will be zoomed in.

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)
    Prefer matte. If glossy, something bright enough to be used in sunlight (living in California).

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    No. But weight is critical.

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?
    128gb+. SSD highly preferred.

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity

    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    In the next 3 months.

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?
    3+ years

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
    A week or less. Preferably not something that is failing frequently.

    19) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage?
    Shipping for repair is okay.
     
  2. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    Not too many $600 notebooks with screens bright enough to be used outdoors unless you want to go used, though that presents its own challenges, like not having a warranty. The Acer Aspire 5 might be worth a look.
     
  3. Not-meee

    Not-meee Notebook Geek

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    The Dell 15" 5402/5409 just meet your budget. You get a 256GB drive, 1920x1280 300nits display, and a 11th gen i5 with 8gb ram.

    I have a 14" model and am pleased with the colours and off angle viewing capabilities. Right now Dell has a special and it is below $580.00 and even lower on approved credit with dell. I am impressed with the battery and power capabitlities. There is more hidden than what is spec'd out as of late. The only thing I can recommend for speed improvement that is a cheap upgrade is to obtain and install one more 8gb sodimm. They run about $33.00 from Crucial Memory. Later on if you need more speed, a pci-e 4 or 5 will improve the system over-all speeds dramatically. Only go with a pci-e 5 two to three years from now. It's only for lower power consumption and lower heat radiation. But considering prices dropping with every newer product, it may be a price consideration, I moved to a pci-e 4 on the secondary thinking it was capable, but it was only 3. The heat range is lower since it operates 1/2 of its capabilities under pci-e 3. May even last lomger, but who is going to figure that out after 10 years or more.

    I looked at HP, too many options and you must get a touch screen for higher brightness. Acer, is low on upgradability, as well as HP, one is limited to just drive replacement, and the other has memory configuration that requires complete removal and swap out, leaving your original memory set asside. It's a mess of sorts trying to find the nice build with upgradable options for later in its life when the time comes.
     
  4. zakaluka

    zakaluka Notebook Consultant

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    Thank you for the suggestion. It is heavier than I wanted, but I will keep it in mind.
     
  5. zakaluka

    zakaluka Notebook Consultant

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    Thank you - this is very intriguing. Were you looking at Inspiron or Vostro? Would you happen to have a link handy?
     
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