Table of Contents


Recommended Specs

First, click here for recommended and minimal specifications for any brand or model computer.

Laptop Considerations

  • Screen size: 15" screen or larger, unless portability or maximum battery life is required. 
  • Touch Screen: On a standard laptop, not used much. However, if dexterity is a problem, might be helpful.
  • Tablet Mode: The screen flips around to be more like a tablet. Most people buy tablets if this is needed.
  • Battery capacity: If you will need many hours of battery life, consider the maximum available.
  • Keyboard1: Keyboards with a numeric keypad on the right side is nice for number entry.
  • Keyboard2: Backlit keyboards might be nice if typing on low-light conditions.
  • Keyboard3: Color might be important with poor vision. You may want dark keys with bold, white, key lettering.
  • CD\DVD drive: Becoming very rare. There are external drives available that connect via USB.
  • Camera Card Reader: Prefer a full size SD card reader. There are external USB SD readers available.
  • USB ports: Prefer at least one older style USB port plus one newer style (USB C). May not have much choice.
  • External Video: Prefer a full size HDMI port but it may come with a mini-HDMI. 
  • Extended Warranty: If you are on the road and absolutely need the laptop running, Dell has you covered.
  • Build Quality: All brands have a cheap model line along with mid and high end line. Never go with cheap.

More Information

Lets talk screens

Our recommendation is 15". It's a compromise between a big screen, physical size, and battery life. Most eyes can see text on a 15" screen. Resolution on a 15" can also be lowered to enlarge text without a lot of it disappearing off the edge of the screen.

 

Touch screens mean just that, you press the screen like you are clicking a mouse. Most people, even if their laptop has  touch screen capabilities, still use the keyboard, touchpad and/or an external mouse. We have found that those with physical issues may be able to point at the screen better than using a mouse. 

 

Tablet mode refers to the ability of the laptop to rotate the screen all the way around to the underside of the laptop and use it like a tablet. Dell calls their models "2 in 1", HP has their "Spectre" line. Very few people use laptops in tablet mode, instead opting for a dedicated tablet. We have found the hinge don't hold up very well. 

Lets talk keyboards, touchpads, and external mice

We had one scenario where a customer could not see the keytop lettering because the keys were silver and the font was thin and white. He needed more contrast. Ever since then I strongly recommend darker colored keyboards and white lettering. 

 

15" screens and larger can typically accomodate a numeric keypad on the right side of the keyboard because the overall width of the laptop is wider. This can make number entry much easier. 

 

Touchpads are hated by most people. Because of that wireless mice are often used like a desktop. However, if you take the time, modern laptop come with nice touchpads to the point of being tolerable. Two finger scroll, press and hold, and "tap to click" make touchpads more usable. 

 

Backlit keyboards simply light up the keyboard for low light use. Nothing more complex than that. 

CD/DVD Drives

The DVD/CD drive is becoming rare. If necessary, an external drive that connects to a USB port can used. Fewer people need a DVD/CD drive.

Build Quality

Dell, for example, has different model lines such as Inspiron, Vosto, Optiplex, etc. Inspiron is the consumer line. We recommend avoiding the Inspiron line when dealing with laptops. We find Inspiron desktop computers acceptable. Vostro is our goto model line. The same goes for any other brand. Some models are better quality than others. 

Recommended Laptops

  • See here for recommendations and minimums.
  • There have been major supply desruptions. Availability varies.
  • Specifications and prices can change daily. Always confirm before ordering.
  • We can assist in the ordering process. Contact Us for more information

 

Image of a Dell Vostro 3510 laptopoDell Vostro 3510

i5 / 8GB / 250 GB

15" Screen

Good price / performance

Excellent Quality

Average Battery

NO DVD

NO Touchscreen

NO Backlight Kybd

 

 

 

 

Image of a Dell Vostro 5510 laptopDell Vostro 5510

i7 / 16GB / 512 GB SSD

15" Screen

Excellent Specs

Excellent Quality

Good Battery

Backlit Kybd

NO DVD

NO Touchscreen

 

 

 

 

Image of a Dell Inspiron 15 with AMD Ryzen and TouchDell Inspiron 15 w/touch

Ryzen7 / 16GB / 1T SSD

15" Screen

AMD Processor

Touch Screen

Large Battery

Backlit Keyboard

Full SD Card Slot

NO Tablet Mode

NO DVD

 

 

 

 

Dell Inspiron 15 2-in-1

i5 / 8GB / 256 GB SSD

15" Screen

Good Price / Performance

Folds Into A Tablet

Good Battery

Backlit Kybd

NO DVD

 

 

 

Contact us for more information

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