Disabled users and laptop/notebook computers

We often get asked for advice on laptop computers for elderly or disabled users.

Generally speaking laptops are an ergonomic disaster area; the screen is at the wrong height, the keyboard is positioned incorrectly and the built-in mouse is often difficult for people with mobility problems to manipulate.

So you need an external keyboard or notebook riser to raise the screen to the correct height and an external keyboard and mouse to suit your needs. By this time you are probably beginning to think that a desktop computer might have been better after all!

So unless portability is your main consideration, it is probably better in the long run to go for a desktop computer – it is cheaper, lasts longer, can be repaired more easily if it goes wrong and can be adapted more easily for the user.