Loading Notifications...

Laptop for my (senior citizen!) mum Pt. 2

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.

The previous thread was archived so I can't reply there, which is the only reason that I am starting a new thread. 

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/off_belay/yet_another_recommend_us_a_laptop_thread-727682?v=1#x9332279

Thanks again to all who replied, I've read everything and thought about it all. 
Chromebooks are a no. 
Refurb....yes if it was me buying for me, but it's my Dad buying for my Mum and they are old fashioned and will want the feel of buying new from a shop. Possibly negotiable. 
MS Office - not an issue. I'll see if we can wean her onto Libre Office (I am testing it at the moment, the "Word" equivalent seems fine to me, just so long as there is cross compatibility; I see their ".docx" file format states "Word 2007-365"). If it's no good then we put MS Office on in some form or other. 

I am kind of "nearly there" but one thing I've not looked into, which a few posters mentioned, is the processor. 
My idea of specification goes as far as screen size, resolution, RAM, and SSD capacity. 
Perusing a few options today I noticed there was considerable price difference on otherwise identical machines, according to what processor they had. Makes sense I guess, but I am totally lost when it comes to that. 

e.g. how much "worse" is an i5-1035G1 than an i5-1021G1?

Bearing in mind that her processing needs should be minimal. 

I am looking at models with 8Gb RAM and 256Gb SSD. 

Actually pondering a Lenovo 2-in-1, I think she might like the novelty of having a "sort of" tablet, for Skype video calls etc. She gets on well enough with her smartphone and she has previously shown interest in the Kindle Fire (which I talked her out of!)

Something like this
https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/laptops/lenovo-ideapad-flex-5-14-2-in-1-laptop-intel-core-i5-256-gb-ssd-grey-10208027-pdt.html?fbclid=IwAR1l9ydlVqywEntsQzJ9B0cZH3cyqQ6lPEVHAEnGXrW4kmfEoc4zGW2BuqM

(and for the sake of £30 we could stick Office on for a year)

Part of me is wondering "what's the catch"? In terms of spec this seems competitive with some standard laptops yet we have a touch screen and the flip mechanics to pay for. Is it that it has a weaker processor, and is this going to matter?
More generally are these things a bit of a niche/novelty that just end up being used as standard laptops 99% of the time by 99% of the owners?

Thanks in advance, again! 

 Jenny C 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I prefer open office to libre office (probably familiarity), MS files open fine and you can set it to save as .doc or .xls by default so that files she creates can be opened by MS users.

Some formatting can get lost in translation when swapping between MS and OO programmes, but it's not usually a big problem to correct and I suspect for what your mum needs a non-issue.

I use MS at work and it is slicker, but for home OO is fine. It's appearance is more like MS of 20yrs ago, so a little dated but easy to navigate with familiar icons and functions.

In reply to Jenny C:

Thanks Jenny. I wasn't sure whether Libre Office was simply a new name for Open Office! I probably wrote too much about that in my OP and should have emphasised more that the Office aspect can be taken care of either way. It's more a hardware question. e.g. for not much price reduction, Curry's do a non-flip Lenovo with apparently equivalent spec (processor, RAM and SSD) so why not chuck in an extra £30 for that 2-in-1 option. 

 Jenny C 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Thanks Jenny. I wasn't sure whether Libre Office was simply a new name for Open Office! I probably wrote too much about that in my OP and should have emphasised more that the Office aspect can be taken care of either way. It's more a hardware question. e.g. for not much price reduction, Curry's do a non-flip Lenovo with apparently equivalent spec (processor, RAM and SSD) so why not chuck in an extra £30 for that 2-in-1 option. 

Now you are asking technical questions that are totally out of my league to answer....

Post edited at 20:10
 Angrypenguin 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Both of the processor models you mention would be strong for your use case.

To provide a simple general answer, google the model name of the processor and then pick the result which pops up from cpubenchmark.net (easier through google rather than searching their site). For office/skype/chrome/online videos, you want a score (in orange on the right of the screen) of >= 4000. This will do you for at least 5 years which is approximately as long as an average laptop will last. <2500 will start to give a noticeable lag with many browser tabs open for example. I find < 1500 unpleasantly unusable. Going upwards, my approximately 8000 score processor is fine for heavier workloads like 3D modelling, photoshop, games etc.

There are more complicated answers involving the number of cores, the architecture and the power settings of the laptop but that is probably overkill to think about for the intended use case!

Post edited at 21:20
In reply to Angrypenguin:

Fantastic, very useful info, thanks. Scores 8005. 

 Angrypenguin 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Though I haven't tried it personally, my dad recommended SoftMaker FreeOffice to me the other day. He said it did all of the basics really well with a slick interface.

That laptop you posted is good for the price. Lenovo are a decent brand, the specs are good and buying from Currys is a no brainer if you are not super tech savvy, as if it breaks you can just take it back. The only thing I would note is that it has Windows 10S preinstalled. This is like a "locked down" Windows (explanation here: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/windows-10-s-mode-pros-and-cons/), likely you want to upgrade to Win 10 Pro (free to do) through the app store before you get your mum started with it.

 Si dH 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Fwiw, just noting your musings about a 2-in-1, my mum generally finds her laptop hard work but seems to have found learning to use an android tablet much easier.

In reply to Angrypenguin:

thanks again for the note about 10S vs Pro. I’ll look into that tomorrow. I had no idea. Yes I’ll be tasked with setting the thing up too, how did you guess 😃

In reply to Si dH:

thanks, I am hedging the bets here, she can just use it as a laptop if that’s what she is comfortable with.

Looks like a decision has been made , again thanks to the UKC hive mind 

 jbrom 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Lenovo stuff tends to be good quality and surprisingly good value for a well known brand.

Touchscreen is worth the extra £30 imo, it provides more flexibility and can reduce the frustration of using the wrong input for the device, trying to pinch to zoom for example, which for an elderly person used to a smartphone they might instinctively do.

One 'catch' is that it runs Windows 10s which is a restricted version of Windows which limits what apps you can install etc. It was designed for weaker computers to try to reduce people asking too much of their computer and it struggling. However it is easy to switch to 'normal' Windows in settings (there is no going back), but with 8GB of ram and that processor it'll handle full Windows without a problem.


Edit: took me so long to reply that angrypenguin beat me to it.

Post edited at 21:54
In reply to jbrom:

> Lenovo stuff tends to be good quality and surprisingly good value for a well known brand.

> Touchscreen is worth the extra £30 imo

Yes I am struggling to find a downside! Just lucky that Curry’s have that £70 discount (I have not checked availability yet though)

> Edit: took me so long to reply that angrypenguin beat me to it.

Don’t worry, you are included in the thanks! 

 Rob Parsons 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Thanks Jenny. I wasn't sure whether Libre Office was simply a new name for Open Office!

They're not the same: Libre Office was forked from Open Office.

While both projects live on, the current state is that Open Office looks moribund, whilst Libre Office is in a healthy and maintained state.

I suggest you go for Libre Office.

Post edited at 22:11
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> I wasn't sure whether Libre Office was simply a new name for Open Office!

Both have their origins in StarOffice, originally from Sun Microsystems. LibreOffice is a 'fork' of OpenOffice; when Oracle bought Sun in 2011, there was a split in the open source development community (up to then, it had been developed both by Sun employees and open source volunteers), and LibreOffice is the result. Oracle gave the OpenOffice source & rights to the Apache Software Foundation (also open source). IIRC, LibreOffice has the edge over OpenOffice; it is the Office suite included in most Linux distributions.

But both are very similar  and share much of their code.

In reply to Blue Straggler:

After narrowing it down and the excitement of making a decision, turns out Curry’s don’t have any in stock (at least not when I enter major English conurbations like London, Birmingham and Manchester as click anc collect locations) despite promoting it on their website and not showing it as out of stock. They did similar earlier this year on a freezer that was discounted and have done similar with printers. I got my freezer via their eBay outlet and found a printer for a friend similarly, but no luck with this laptop. We might have to shell out the non discounted price and get it direct from Lenovo 

 fshbf 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I had a touchscreen laptop from Lenovo and really liked it, very easy to use. My cats loved it too and would pat the screen to make all my documents close without saving.

 Philip 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Why do you rule out Chromebook. I have to replace laptop for in-laws in 60s and have decided Chromebook.

Virus risk, price, security of data won it for me. My wife has used them from the beginning for the same thing I have a tablet for, so quite comfortable with g-suite.

In reply to Philip:

> Why do you rule out Chromebook. I have to replace laptop for in-laws in 60s and have decided Chromebook.

> Virus risk, price, security of data won it for me. My wife has used them from the beginning for the same thing I have a tablet for, so quite comfortable with g-suite.

Appalling Internet connection in their home. 

In reply to Blue Straggler:

> We might have to shell out the non discounted price and get it direct from Lenovo 

ha! Lenovo must be reading this, they have knocked off £80 today, obviously just for me  

 Ciro 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I like open source, however an MS office subscription is a very economical way to get a large amount of cloud storage, and for the less technically literate everything is more likely to just work.

In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Thanks Jenny. I wasn't sure whether Libre Office was simply a new name for Open Office!

It sort of was, but the two code bases went different ways after the fork.

 Angrypenguin 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> [About touchscreens] Yes I am struggling to find a downside! 

They decrease battery life a bit, the digitiser weighs something so laptop will be a bit heavier (maybe 10%), you pay a little extra and the screen itself tends to have a glossier finish so not so good in direct light and will get a bit smudgy with fingerprints (so will need cleaning more often if you notice that sort of thing).

So yes, minor disadvantages - especially in your case where it sounds like the touch could be a big upside.

In reply to Angrypenguin:

Thanks again, as you guessed, those things are minor issues as it will never be carried far and rarely used without being plugged into the mains. 

I've ordered one  


This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.