New Laptop for Dad


Dec 20, 2016

I'm looking to buy a new laptop for my Dad. He doesn't care about a lot of the new stuff avaialble in modern laptops - touchscreen, flip screen, tablet, etc. and I'm also not the most tech savvy so I'm a little confused with what to buy.

I'm new here & I saw the thread with a list of questions so here they are:

1. What is your budget?
Under $1000

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
13-15 inch, 15 inch preferred (I think this would be nice for my Dad since he's 70)

3. What screen resolution do you want?
This stuff doesn't matter as much.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
This is replacing his old laptop.

5. How much battery life do you need?
Doesn't matter as much since it's always plugged in.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Never. This is not important at all.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Email, regular web browsing, viewing photos. Very light stuff.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
I'm not sure about this question. I feel 250GB and up should be sufficient.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Sites with good customer service like Amazon or Best Buy are preferred.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
As long as possible. 3-4 years at least.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
No need.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
Anything brand with good warranty customer service.

13. What country do you live in?
United States

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
The most important things are speed and comfort.
Speed - for regular tasks like turning on/off, web browsing, MS Word, etc. - the laptop needs to be very fast. It should stay fast over the years. I've been looking at i5 processors and 8GB RAM laptops.
Comfort - big enough screen size and comfortable keyboard & trackpad.
Things like tablet, touch screen, flip screen, graphics for video games, etc. don't matter at all.
We want a good value laptop that will last.

Thank you!


Jan 27, 2012
So. Almost any modern processor is going to work well for him, he isn't doing anything all that demanding. When looking at modern laptops you'll see things like, 6300U and 6300HQ. Both are new I5s, but one is a low power (U) and one is a higher power quad core (HQ). The HQ is a better performer, but usually costs more and uses more power.

One thing you want to pay close attention to is the type of storage. What your dad sees as "fast" is likely going to boil down to this one component. It absolutely must be a SSD. A standard HDD with an SSD is an option, but complicates things if he isn't comfortable with multiple locations to save. A single, 250GB SSD would be a great option.

A graphics card like an Nvidia 955m or something is of no use to you, so avoid that.

AMD A8 and A10 laptops are also quite nice, but they usually do not come with good RAM or SSDs. Once you upgrade them they run great, but by then you've almost spent as much as the Intel laptops.


Dec 20, 2016
I wasn't thinking of the SDD drive at all! With that in mind, do you all have a recommendation for a laptop that fits the requirements above? I was thinking there might be some good sales during the Christmas/Holiday season.
You can get your dad the following Acer laptop with a Core i3-7100u, 1080p screen, 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive for $350. Windows 10 allows you to increase the scaling so that icons / text will be larger.

You can buy another stick of 4GB RAM and install it yourself for $28.

As for an SSD, the Samsung EVO 850 series it pretty well known for performance and reliability. A 256GB SSD costs $90 while a 500GB SSD costs $170. It comes with software that you can use to clone operating system from the hard drive to the SSD. But you need to purchase a USB to SATA cable in order to do the cloning.


Dec 20, 2016
That laptop looks really nice! The idea about buying RAM and SDD separately sounds very cost effective but I'm afraid I don't have the technical know how to do that myself. Is there a laptop you'd recommend with the RAM and SDD already built in at an affordable price point?
RAM is easy to install. The laptop I suggested already has a free RAM slot so it is a simple procedure. You just need to line up the little notch on the RAM stick to the little space that in RAM slot, insert at about a 45 degree angle, then push down until the little claps on the side of the RAM slot snaps into place to secure the RAM stick. The following video demonstrates how to upgrade the RAM for the Acer Aspire E15 laptop I recommended.

The only tool you will really need is a small Phillips screwdriver such as for tightening the screws in a pair of glasses. If you do not have a set, then I suppose you can purchase a set from the local hardware store for $10 or less.

The following video demonstrates how to clone the hard drive to the SSD and then how to install it in laptop. The laptop is not the Acer Aspire E15 I recommended, but the procedure is the same. It's not as easy as simply installing the RAM since you need to unscrew the hard drive and gently disconnect the SATA cable, then connect the cable to the SSD and screw it in.
If you absolutely do not want to open the laptop at all to upgrade, then you can customize the following HP Pavilion 15t laptop to your liking. The base price starts at $470. By default it comes with a Core i5-7200u CPU, 1366x768 screen, 6GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive all of which can be upgrade.

There only one option for a SSD. That is a 256GB m.2 SSD. The m.2 SSD is basically like a large gum stick and it occupies the m.2 slot. That means there will be no hard drive in the 2.5" bay.