Convertible laptop vs Regular laptop for visually impaired student?


Nov 29, 2013
Country: USA
Budget: $1250
Size: 15 - 17in
Resolution: Any is fine (will set it to 1366 x 768)
Battery Life: At least 5 hrs
Tasks: Programming, Schoolwork, light gaming (no big 3d games)
Hard Drive Capacity: At least 120GB
How long laptop will be in use: 2-3 years
Optical Drive: Not necessary

I am a visually impaired computer science student looking to get a laptop for using IDEs and web browsers at the same time (my current laptop runs Visual Studio like crap). However, I am looking into convertible laptops as reading aids.

The idea is that I can use the convertible laptop to read textbooks more comfortably than otherwise (I hate reading printed text because I can't zoom it, and reading ebooks on a regular laptop can be uncomfortable for me). Most tablets aren't big or powerful enough for me to read textbooks on, but a 15 inch convertible seems to be a reasonable option.

I am in between getting a 15 inch convertible laptop (specifically the Sony Vaio Flip 15) and a 17 inch regular laptop such as this. I know for a fact that I can get a 17 inch laptop with a much better CPU at a cheaper price. Though I am excited about using a 15 inch touch screen, I am afraid that I wouldn't be getting the best bang for my buck.

What do you all think? I am considering just getting the 17 inch and waiting until I can get a cheaper, more powerful convertible laptop. That still wouldn't help me with my issues with reading now, though, and by the time I can get a cheaper convertible laptop, I might be out of school and won't need it anymore.

I'd be satisfied power-wise if the Vaio Flip was significantly more powerful than my current laptop and could run VS well for the next 2-3 years, really. Do you all think it meets that criteria?


Sep 13, 2010
I would lean toward the 17 inch and then use the display control panel to set the standard size to 150%. The magnifier is also helpful and it is under the Ease of Use Center control panel.
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