17” laptop for seniors

I wonder if this is the start of a trend… a 3 lb. laptop with huge screen and medium (2560×1600) resolution: LG gram 17″.

Could this be the perfect device for seniors? With eyes older than 50 years, 4K resolution on a 13″ screen is not all that useful.

Maybe this particular laptop isn’t the one, since it lacks a touch screen (I don’t need the convertible fold-over feature, but I don’t think I can go back to a non-touch laptop), but I’m wondering if it shows a future to which we can look forward.

As with other computers these days, I’m mystified by the small amount of RAM (16 GB) with which this thing is set up. My 32 GB desktop right now shows that 19.4 GB is in use. Google Chrome accounts for 6 GB. CrashPlan backup software is using 3 GB (it needs this if you have a lot of disk space to be backed up). Microsoft Edge is using 0.5 GB. Adobe Acrobat is virtuous! It has a bunch of big documents open and is consuming only 147 MB.

Given that processor performance has more or less stalled out I would expect a modern laptop to be available with 32 or 64 GB of RAM and 1-2 TB of SSD. A SanDisk 2 TB drive is $250 at Amazon. The 16 GB of RAM that LG includes is less than $100 at retail on Amazon. Why buy an expensive package, screen, and battery to go with a puny RAM and SSD?

Readers: Can bringing the weight down to 3 lbs. and the package size down to where 15″ laptops typically are revive the moribund 17″ laptop category?

2 thoughts on “17” laptop for seniors

  1. RAM prices only recently (3 months) started to decline from their sky-high levels of last year. Product plans are typically drawn at least a year in advance, which explains the paltry RAM available on the current generation. Also high-density DDR4 modules are still expensive and most laptop motherboards will only have 1 or 2 slots (and the RAM will be soldered to the motherboard on Ultrabooks).

    I opted not to get a MacBook Pro at work and got a 2018 model Mac Mini with 32GB RAM. Second faster machine I have access to (#1 is a HP Z2 G4 Mini workstation, http://browser.geekbench.com/user/122632 ), no crummy keyboard or wonky display hinge. The AC adapter is built into the unit, no heavy power brick that undoes the size advantage of a compact computer (yet oddly is never shown in the product photos on manufacturers websites), the HP’s being comically huge, about twice the size of a regular brick because it is rated for 200W. The Mac Mini does run hot, however.

  2. I have a 15″ Dell 5570 from a year ago with 32Gb of memory, a 1gb SSID, a touchscreen 1080P display, a an 8gen i7 (but slower) processor and the two things I dislike about it are the 1080P as “it’s just too small” and its fan.

    I’d be interested in a 3lb 17″ touchscreen 2500×1650 device, and a ton more so if the memory were upgradable, and I knew the thing had no fan.

    At work I have a ThinkPad X1 Carbon with 16Gb and with a dozen or so docker containers running, and then webpack and pycharm blah blah blah, even with the 16gb it does start swapping.

    (Remember when folks would choose vi because emacs was a memory hog?)

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