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Why a Chromebook Is the Perfect Laptop to Buy for your Parents
February 2, 2020
Working with any new device presents some challenges, no matter who you are and what your experience level is. And for our parents who may be a bit older, there can be a distinct learning curve when it comes to understanding how to run their devices.
As a result, it’s best to present them with a laptop that’s simple to use and isn’t bloated with unnecessary hardware and software.
Enter the Chromebook, the best laptop for elderly parents that makes navigating the web, sending emails, and so much more an absolute breeze. In this guide, we’ll explain exactly why this handy laptop is so exceptional (and why it’s a great choice for any user, regardless of age).
What is a good laptop for your parents?
When browsing for the right laptop for your parents, you need to consider a number of different factors. First and foremost, what they use the computer for? What kind of tasks they will take on? A parent looking to use a laptop for contracting work post-retirement will need a very different computer than one planning to use it for fun, browsing the web, shopping on Amazon, and keeping in touch with loved ones.
What software do they use?
Think about which software your parents either already use or are likely to use as you research laptops for seniors. If they want to play simple online games or use their email, then you don't need an advanced processor or graphics card.
Those who require a word processor or a way to view family photos won't need anything beyond a basic model, either. However, if they plan to watch their favorite streaming shows or spend hours chatting over chat, then you should consider factors like more RAM or a faster processor.
Which operating system do they prefer?
The operating system your loved one enjoys using can be a determining factor in whether or not they will run into problems down the line. PCs run Windows software, which is probably what your parents have already used.
If so, it may be easier to guide them toward a Windows-based computer so they don’t have to learn an entirely new operating system.
But if they use Gmail and Chrome for their browsing, then a Chromebook, with the familiar Chrome OS just may be the perfect fit.
Do they want a touch screen?
You should also consider how they will interact with their new device. A touch screen can be an incredibly handy feature when it comes to helping your parents access their laptop.
Instead of worrying about connecting a mouse for easier use, your mom or dad can simply touch where they want to go with their fingers or a compatible stylus. Do they want to look through some photos you just sent them? It will be a tap or two away.
Consider the visual aspect
While your parents may not need intense graphics, you want photos to appear clear and you want to avoid any issues with illegible fonts. All HP Chromebooks come with integrated Intel® graphics, which provides the power to enjoy photos, videos, and more the way they should be seen. You also want to make sure that they can easily enlarge images or text if they need to.
Finally, you need to consider how much you want to pay for your loved one’s new laptop. In most cases, if they only need a device where they can complete basic tasks, this allows you to consider some of the more affordable options on the market.
After all, just because a laptop is pricey doesn't mean that it’s ideal for Mom and Dad. In fact, it can be quite the opposite when it comes to choosing the perfect laptop - like the always-affordable HP Chromebook family of computers.
The benefits of a Google Chromebook for parents
HP Chromebooks are perfect for parents because they meet all expectations you’ll have for a device that is equally affordable and intuitive. They also use programs that are extremely similar to those they’re already familiar with - what is Google Docs if not a streamlined version of Microsoft Word? Let’s discuss that and much more as we explore the benefits of an HP Chromebook for parents.
Speedy start-up times
Booting up a Chromebook is incredibly simple. It loads in mere seconds as opposed to the lengthy startup times of machines of the past. If you have ever received a call from Mom or Dad about how long it takes for their PC to load, this solves that problem easily.
Chromebooks also have the advantage of offering great performance without being overly complex. Many of these laptops start with an Intel Celeron processor with 4GB of RAM, which is plenty for using all that Chrome OS has to offer without worrying about lag or crashes. Some are available at 8GB of RAM, or even 16GB.
Plus, your loved one can instantly sync with all their existing Google apps, including Gmail, YouTube, and Google Drive to make using their new laptop even easier.
Various ways to use it
One of the major benefits of having a Chromebook x2 is that your mom or dad can use it in a variety of ways. If your mom is always reaching for a pen and paper to take notes, she can do that now in tablet mode.
When your dad wants to watch the latest golf tournament, he can place his Chromebook in tent mode and watch it on the display. Whichever mode works best for them, they have a variety of options to choose from.
Intuitive touch screen
Your parents may have a little bit of a learning curve with a tablet, especially if it arrives without a keyboard. This is where a Chromebook x360 can be especially useful, since it gives them the option of being able to type as normal while also using a touch screen for other tasks.
Unless they plan to write a novel in their retirement, they can access most features with a stylus or by using touch instead. Not only does this make it simpler for them to get around their device, but it also reduces bulk as well.
Great extra features
If your parent is the kind of person who always seems to pick up malware or viruses, you'll be relieved to know that all of HP's Chromebooks come with a H1 Microcontroller and Kensington Nano Slot technology.
These features make it that much more difficult for them to run into problems with their device. Along with that, Chromebook users can count on long battery life and an HD webcam for video calls.
Easy to download and use apps
Your parents also have access to thousands of different apps through Chrome OS. They’re easy to download and offer a number of different organizational features and games.
You no longer have to worry about whether they have the correct software, either, because it’s easy to figure it out for themselves without you checking it out first. These apps can offer hours upon hours of entertainment, provide new ways to use their device, and much more - often for free.
Another great feature in our Chromebooks is that they offer voice activation, making it simple for your parents to ask any questions relating to the weather or traffic. This feature also allows them to boot up their favorite songs without searching through a number of different apps to find the right one.
Many parents prefer the option of being able to communicate with their devices through voice, which can take some of the problems of navigating an operating system out of the picture.
Most of their device’s storage will exist in the cloud and not on the actual hard drive. This is ideal for many reasons, all of which stem from the fact that the Chromebook can provide automatic backups. This means they won’t have to worry about accidentally deleting a file.
Finally, they have the support of HP's award-winning support team, which can assist them any time they have a question or need help with their device. Instead of spending your time helping them with their device, they can get it up and running fast without waiting on you to fix it.
Chromebooks are well-known for the fact that they are almost completely resistant to malware and viruses. However, if your parent’s laptop somehow manages to get infected, they can feel confident knowing their device comes with security software that should take care of everything for them.
The 3 best Chromebooks for parents
HP has a number of great Chromebook options for parents in need of a new, easy-to-use laptop. Each one offers simple navigation and all the features they could want to enjoy their time online or playing solitaire.
If you aren't sure about investing in an entirely new PC where there is a large margin for error, HP's Chromebook line can be the perfect solution for both you and your parents.
1. HP Chromebook 14-inch notebook
The HP Chromebook 14-db0020nr is a perfect choice for the parents who are likely to use their device for multimedia and video chatting. But the best part? It's incredibly affordable for any budget. Whether your mom wants to look for a new recipe on YouTube or your dad wants to know the score of the big game, this HP Chromebook and its 14-inch HD screen is an ideal option.
It comes with up to nine hours of battery life as well, so your parents can remain unplugged for longer. And thanks to the stereo speakers, your parents can spend hours watching their favorite shows with great audio. Plus, the included security software means they can shop online without worrying about malware or hackers.
- Easy download of thousands of Android apps
- 32GB of internal storage
- 180-degree hinge for multiple modes
2. HP Chromebook 11-inch notebook
This HP Chromebook is the perfect model for your slightly-computer-phobic parent looking for a device that can accomplish all major tasks for an amazing value. With more than 12 hours of battery life, your parents can take their HP Chromebook with them wherever they would like without losing power or needing to hunt down an electrical outlet.
Whether they are entertaining the grandkids or checking golf scores, their new laptop will provide plenty of power and lots of apps to keep them busy. The HP Chromebook 11-v010nr has an 11-inch screen that keeps it lightweight and extremely portable. Plus, they’re sure to love the built-in HD webcam when they want to catch up with friends and family over video chat.
- Slim design for easy portability
- 4GB memory
- Intel HD Graphics 400
3. HP Chromebook x360 14-inch notebook
Like the first laptop on this list, the HP Chromebook x360 14-ca0010nr has a stunning 14-inch display. The big difference, however, is that it comes with durable 360-degree hinge that lets your parents use their laptop any way they want. All they need to do is fold the screen back and it’s like they have a tablet in their hands - perfect for taking notes or showing off photos to friends.
This HP Chromebook also has everything they need to enjoy their media in peak form. From amazing sound to the speedy processor and plenty of battery life, they can do it all from wherever they want.
This model takes security to the next level, too, by using automatic updates for software and for security, allowing your mom and dad to be safe from malware when browsing the web.
- Stylus support for alternative navigation
- Audio from B&O
- Multi-gesture touchpad
Discovering the right device for your parents is an essential part of helping them navigate new tech and making them feel more comfortable. And it’s where buying an HP Chromebook can fill in the gaps and make it a breeze for you to teach them how to use their new PC.
With a Chromebook, you can help your parents get excited about taking on a new world while giving them the tools to feel successful at it. Plus, you can all accomplish this together without breaking the bank, because so many of these laptops are available at competitive and highly affordable rates.
About the Author: Daniel Horowitz is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Daniel is a New York-based author and has written for publications such as USA Today, Digital Trends, Unwinnable Magazine, and many other media outlets.