$700 laptop for grandpa that does *not* have a glossy screen?
July 15, 2011 7:03 PM   Subscribe

$700 laptop for grandpa that does *not* have a glossy screen?

So, my grandpa is tired of the desktop and wants a laptop to free up desk space. We've gone shopping locally and only ever see laptops with glossy screens. This makes us both sad.

Grandpa really only surfs the net, uses email, and Office. He uses a DVD drive every now and then and needs a 2-3 USB ports for whatever new gadgets he just bought. He is not interested in a Mac.

A glossy screen is a deal breaker due to the lighting in his office. He doesn't want to fiddle with any screen covers or hoods. So, a matte screen is a must.

What are some good laptops with large screens and full keyboards (number pad a plus)? I can evaluate specs myself to make a final decision, but if I am ordering online I need to know for sure if the screen is matte -- not all the laptop makers mention this in their specs.

In short: $700 laptop, must have a non-gloss screen!
posted by Wossname to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The ThinkPad L520 is $719 and has a 15.6" matte screen. In my opinion, ThinkPads have the best laptop keyboards there are.

However, it's ergonomically unsound to work at a laptop all the time. It's impossible to keep the keyboard and the screen at the right distance from your body simultaneously. I would strongly suggest at least an external keyboard and mouse. If you put your laptop on a stand (I have the 3M LX500), you can reclaim some of the desk space by adding an additional vertical level. Having an external monitor on a stand might be an even better idea, and the spaces under external monitor stands are even more usable.

I have a Sony Vaio

I was under the impression that Vaios have at least some gloss.
posted by grouse at 7:21 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

The business lines usually don't have the glossy screens. Latitude, Thinkpad.

This one says it has an anti glare screen. I assume that means matte...?

And a number pad!
posted by gjc at 7:22 PM on July 15, 2011

Would you consider getting any old laptop (well, the one with the best specs) and hooking it up to the monitor he already has? It will still save space and still be portable. Like Grouse said, it's really hard to use a laptop all the time as it involves a lot of neck and eye strain, which may be problematic for someone who isn't as young as they used to be. I'm 27 and it's problematic for me.
posted by bleep at 7:47 PM on July 15, 2011

If he doesn't want to move around but just wants to save space, why don't you look for a small form factor PC instead? You could get this guy, a mount for his old monitor (assuming LCD) to get it off the desk, and a wireless keyboard/mouse combo which can be stored out of the way.
posted by anaelith at 7:48 PM on July 15, 2011

Any laptop doesn't have a glossy screen if you apply a matte screen protector to it.
posted by kindall at 10:42 PM on July 15, 2011

Has your grandpa considered trade-offs in screen size and keyboard comfort? Many older people compensate for vision problems by making text and icons really big, so screen real-estate can be important. How much typing does he do?

The Thinkpad E520 starts at $549, has a number pad and a better keyboard than most of the computers you'll see at Best Buy. The T-series Lenovos have even nicer keyboards, but no number pad.
posted by jon1270 at 3:11 AM on July 16, 2011

This one says it has an anti glare screen. I assume that means matte...?

AFAIK, this just refers to the coating on a glossy screen which reduces its reflectivity but which is still nowhere near as unglossy as a matte screen.
posted by matlock expressway at 8:38 AM on July 16, 2011

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