The Best Desktop Computer for Seniors

Computer systems get more and more complicated every year. A desktop, rather than a laptop or a tablet, is ideal because of its customizable capabilities. Software and interface settings can be adjusted for easier reading and accommodating for a simpler computing experience.

If you are a senior person who is shopping for a desktop computer that best fits your needs or you’re buying a desktop PC for an elderly family member, read this roundup review for more.

Quick Summary

  • The HP All-In-One series is the premiere towerless home computer system. Built-in touch screen and packed with parts that will hold up for years and years to come. The best choice for families that need a computer for everyone.
  • Mini computers are small powerful machines that stay out of the way. Intel’s NUC gives you everything you need in a personal home computer. Simple, small, and everything a senior need for their own desktop.
  • As basic and simple you could ask for in a desktop, Dell’s Optiplex 390 is the definition of no-nonsense. Ideal for light surfing, email, and Skyping. This is the absolute low bound of personal computers today.
  • This is the only computer system that is built specifically for seniors, The Telkin Elite II, everything in this PC has been optimized for simple user experience. The highlight is the computer’s operating system, which does away from complicated and advance features, replacing them with easy and simple to use programs.

Who Should Get This?

The computers listed here are specifically intended for ease and simplicity of use. Yes, we hand-selected each PC with our own grandparents in mind; but anyone who wants a no-nonsense home computer would find value in any of the desktops listed below.

Best Desktop Computer for Seniors: What to Consider

Simplicity

It might be feeding into a stereotype of the elderly being bad with new tech, but most seniors would prefer a simpler computer experience. If you’re not expecting the computer to be used for heavy video editing or to play big-time AAA games, there is no need to get a desktop with all the bells and whistles.

Physical Limitations

Not all users have the same level of motor function ability. Some elderly may have vision or hearing difficulty, some may experience tremors in their hands. The most important thing to do when considering a desktop for seniors is to understand what difficulties they have in life. So that the desktop is there to work with their physical limits and empower their lives.

Software and Peripherals

Basically, a peripheral is a mouse or a keyboard. This along with the computer’s software (and OS) is what a user would be most immediately interacting with. Similar to the two previous sections on simplicity and physical limitations, the software and peripherals should be adjusted in consideration to the user’s specific needs and capabilities.

Best Desktop Computer for Seniors: Our Picks

1. HP All-In-One

Most Advanced and Accessible to the Whole Family

This trusted name in home computers hit a home run with this beautiful piece of machinery. While it is not the only all-in-one computers on the market, it is by far my favorite.

Jam-packed with features, most importantly a responsive 10-point touch screen. My pick for seniors who have medium computer literacy, you can make some minor adjustments for easier user experience.

Overall, the computer’s parts will hold up for years and years to come and the touch screen should be the selling point for families who want a PC that is easy for everyone to use.

What we like:

  • Large beautiful display that is clear and easy to read.
  • 10-point touch screen for a more natural computer experience.
  • Adjustable stand to change the screen angle.
  • Web-cam can be easily hidden and set out of sight.
  • DVD player built-in that can read and write all your family home movies.
  • Easy to set up, just plug it in and you’re already there.
  • Support a second monitor.

What we don’t like:

  • USB ports are in the back of the desktop and can be difficult to access.
  • No USB 3.0 port.
  • Running Hard Drive gives off an audible buzz, might want to consider upgrading to a Solid State Drive (SSD).

2. Intel NUC (NUC6CAYH)

The Built-A-System Package

What’s in the box?! Everything a computer needs to handle all of today’s basic technical functions. Here you have a straightforward and powerful machine in a compact package. You’ll barely notice this device sitting at your desk.

Despite its small stature, the NUC boasts some powerful specs. The parts of this device will stay relevant for years to come. It’s the ideal base if you’re building a computer for a senior you love. You’ll still need to get a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, but the NUC is exactly where you want to start.

The NUC comes in various packages depending on which parts are loaded into it. The device linked has the absolute bare necessities you’ll want in a home computer.

What we like:

  • Small package, stays out of the way.
  • All the relevant video ports provided: HDMI and VGA.
  • Built-in Wifi card and an ethernet port for a direct LAN cable.
  • Customizable and upgradable to meet your needs. 2 RAM slots provided.
  • Supports dual monitors.
  • Great ventilation all around.
  • Built-in fan that is quiet as a mouse.
  • Includes an SD card reader built into the box.

What we don’t like:

  • The NUC is everything it wants to be, no complaints here.

3. Dell Optiplex 360

“…anything simpler I’d call obsolete.”

If you’re looking for the absolute bare minimum of a desktop computer, Dell has the answer with the Optiplex. You can expect to do everything a computer needed to do in the early 2000. Easy browsing, sending emails, and the occasional video chat.

I wouldn’t try to test these computers’ limits, just let it be as is. The reason I picked this model over other bare-bones desktops was its HDMI and Wifi functionality. This PC will get the job done, as long as that job is something very very simple.

What we like:

  • Slim tower, will fit easily under or on most desks.
  • Includes all the relevant ports you will need.
  • Built-in Wifi functionality.
  • Can support upgrades if you ever feel the need.
  • 8 USB ports for whatever you need.

What we don’t like:

  • As simple as it gets, you’ll get what you ask for. Everything looks good here boss.
  • Can only handle the simplest of computer functions.

4. Telikin Elite II

Editors Choice

The mothership of easy to use, simple as life, personal computers. The operating system is completely customized and utilized for senior citizens. This is the absolute best computer to introduce elderly users to the internet and technology – you can quote me on that.

It takes all the tools and programs that a senior would want to use and presents them as simple as possible. Everything from browsing, chatting, and even some games, the Telikin designs it all in an easy-to-read & easy-to-use format.

The most important feature is that you can assign a remote tech assistant to the computer. You can give access to the computer to someone tech-savvy in the family. Then from that special tech-savvy person can access the Telikin from wherever they are. So they can easily and remotely fix and troubleshoot the PC at their own convenience.

What we like:

  • Built from the ground up for elderly users.
  • Great display for the custom operating system that’s built Linux.
  • Not susceptible to malware or bloatware.
  • 1000x simpler than Windows and OSX.
  • Touch screen with zoom and large printed keyboard makes interaction as easy as possible.
  • All the programs are optimized for simplicity.
  • Can designate a remote tech support person to maintain the device.
  • You can tell the system was brought together with a lot of care and heart.
  • Built-in Wifi, so just plug it in and it’s ready to go.

What we don’t like:

  • Touch screen hardware isn’t the most advanced.
  • Not a very powerful computer in terms of computing power.

Useful Tips and Resources

Audio Assistance

Some senior users may be hard of hearing, so sometimes speakers just won’t do the job. We suggest getting a comfy pair of earphones with microphone capabilities, to make hearing the computer without too much problem. Panasonic makes a pretty handy pair, but any comfortable earbuds should do the job.

Big Print Keyboard

Using a traditions computer keyboard may be difficult for some elderly people. If the keys are too small to use a keyboard comfortably, consider using a big print keyboard. Ablenet took out all the complicated mess around the letter keys and left only the necessary keys. This keyboard should be easier for those with difficulty seeing or with hand tremors.

Final Words

When choosing a computer for an elderly user, just go about it the same way of choosing a desktop for anyone. Take into consideration what the PC will be used for and who the user is.

With the four computer systems listed above, we’re sure there is a desktop out there for every elderly user. If you want to go full premium, the people who designed the Telikin have thought of everything. For a PC the whole family can use, get the HP All-in-One. Then if you’re going to build a system from scratch, start with either the NUC by Intel or Dell’s Optiplex.

Do you know of any other great computer accessories for the elderly? Leave us a comment and we’ll share your insights.

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