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Can anyone please advise me on whether a laptop or a pc is a better buy for my mum?

(16 Posts)
bodiddly Wed 10-Jun-09 19:55:11

My parents aged pc has finally died and they urgently need me to get them a replacement. It is basically used for day to day accounts, letter writing and online/emails. Nothing amazing required! Can anyone please advise me or steer me in the right direction. I was thinking we could find something for £300-£400?

bodiddly Wed 10-Jun-09 20:23:46


AMumInScotland Wed 10-Jun-09 20:28:45

A laptop is handy, because you can take it to anywhere in the house, but they may find the screen a bit small and the keyboard more fiddly than a fullsize one. Also you tend to want to plug in a separate mouse rather than the builtin tracker things, which again is more fiddly than just having a PC set up at a desk.... um, so I don't know grin. Maybe depends what sort of age they are and whether the eyes and fingers are starting to go a bit...

bodiddly Wed 10-Jun-09 20:37:13

Its only for my mum to use as my step dad has fairly advanced alzheimers. She would probably only use it in her study but then again a laptop would give her the flexibility of sitting at the dining table etc. She can still type pretty fast so her fingers haven't gone .. yet! I just can't decide which way to go. They had their last machine for 7.5 years so it isn't as if they would look to upgrade for a looong time.

bodiddly Wed 10-Jun-09 20:40:36

I use a laptop at home and a pc at work and I far prefer my laptop. I hated the touch pad to begin with but then never got round to buying a mouse so have become used to it. I find the mouse at work frustrating now ... so I guess it is just the idea of getting used to it. I guess I just need to get looking.

callalilies Wed 10-Jun-09 20:41:08

I'm not remotely geeky but laptops aren't great from a h&s point of view at all; if it were my parents I'd want them to get a PC.

Things like being able to get the screen at eye level so they're not hunched over, and being able to rest wrists properly, all that stuff. I'd just be more concerned about it with people of a Certain Age!

PerfectPrefect Wed 10-Jun-09 20:43:24

If she is used to a desktop I would probably go for Desktop again.

I think that laptops are good - but they do have limitations - more prone to power supply issues, overheating. I think that laptops don't have such a good longevity.

If she doesn't require anything amazing then a budget of £300 should be plenty. Don't buy a fancy machine just for the sake of it.

bodiddly Wed 10-Jun-09 20:43:40

I hadn't thought of that Callalilies .. thanks! I rest my laptop on the arm of the sofa which is quite high .. I hadn't thought about how low it may sit. She does have neck and shoulder problems sometimes so that is a good point.

bodiddly Wed 10-Jun-09 20:44:16

Any makes you would suggest PerfectPrefect?

PerfectPrefect Wed 10-Jun-09 20:46:58

I like my Dell's.

Look at both the dell home user and small business section. Both of mine are the Vostro (from teh small business section). I got a better spec machine for the same money as in the home section. You do usually have to pay delivery though in the small business where you often don't in the home section so take that into account.

bodiddly Wed 10-Jun-09 20:55:04

thank you!

CherryChoc Wed 10-Jun-09 20:58:27

Is she used to using Windows XP? If she is I think you would be much better off getting a refurb from ebay with XP on it, rather than Vista. Or if you really want to buy from a shop, get Vista Ultimate Edition which means you can downgrade to XP for free.

nevergonnapost Wed 10-Jun-09 21:02:38

i love my lap top cant believe i used to be stuck in the one place i think my laptop was about£300 from pc world it is an advent it has quite big keys which is great for me as i need my reading glasses to type it has quite a heat off it at the base so will also warm your mums legs lol

bodiddly Wed 10-Jun-09 21:12:49

yes she is on XP .. and I think it is best to keep it that way - she isn't brilliant with it at the best of times but she is learning! Do any of them come with office as part of a package or do you have to pay for the separately. Or do you think it is best to save the money and go for the free open office suite?

PerfectPrefect Wed 10-Jun-09 21:14:14

(You can downgrade to XP from Vista Business too I think)

CherryChoc Wed 10-Jun-09 23:00:03

If she's already using Office and still has the disks you should be able to put it on the new computer. (That way she stays with the version she's used to as well.)

I think you are right Perfect, not sure, but the people in the shop should know.

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