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The Best Gift to Get Your Mom This Christmas

Aeryn Lynne

The stars truly aligned recently when Intel asked me to review their Lenovo FLEX 4 PC. It was only a few days before, that I suddenly found myself thoroughly researching the market for a new laptop built on their speedy 7th Gen, Core i5 processor, that would have great battery life. I needed to find a versatile machine; one that would meet every demand from someone who is highly demanding for functionality. I needed to find something for my mom, you guys. You know, no pressure.

Why was I in the market for a new PC? Why was I on the lookout for a 15″ laptop with responsive technologies to make everything from YouTube, emails, and web browsing a breeze?

Just days before, I heard the words that every family tech-support “guru” dreads hearing when their mom calls, “just to say hello.”

“Hi, dear! So… my computer won’t turn on.”  Ugh. The pain that drives through my chest when those words are uttered. I foresaw a lot of hours in my future, trying to gain back the files that probably weren’t backed up elsewhere, and generally try to breathe life back into her old PC.

Unfortunately nothing worked. My guess is that her 7 year old laptop’s hard drive simply couldn’t handle it anymore.  Mom’s computer was kaput, and that meant I needed to help find her a new one.

Finding the Best Computer for Mom

I don’t know about you, but I’ve come to realize that my mom is the hardest person to get a gift for. She never wants for anything, and when she does ask for something specific, it’s always a practical item that the whole family could use, like a vacuum.  I’d love to get her something that simply makes her happy and I had that in mind when I began to search out laptops for her.

Jay and I have had various discussions over the years of component/peripheral necessities when it comes to computers, as we’re the duo that our families come to when they need a new one. Everyone is a little different, and their tech differences are prevalent.

So here’s what we figured out mom would need to make the next PC the best one that she can handle.

  • Her new computer needed at least an Intel Core i5 processor. Sure, mom isn’t a hardcore gamer like her kids (though she does play a mean game of Mahjong,) she still needs a processor that will keep up with her all the same. Gone are the days where mom is willing to go make a pot of coffee while waiting for the desktop computer to load, so she needs a PC and its apps to load quickly for her.
  • The PC needs to be portable, aka a laptop, as she doesn’t have a home office, and would be better off not having to designate an awkward table in any room, and be stuck there at all times to read her email. Likewise,  mom’s new PC should be as light as possible for her to carry, and not “lug” around.
  • While light, the new laptop needs to have at least a 15″ monitor. The last thing I want mom to have to do is squint at the screen, and put any kind of strain on her eyesight.
  • The new laptop needs to be as easy to use as the operating system is willing.
  • Easy file sharing and editing Microsoft Office documents is a must for the odd times that she does have to work from home. I developed my love of Excel databases from her, so I know she’ll want a system that will let her create as many tables and functions as her heart desires as well.
  • It would have to be a great source for entertainment, as she wants to do nothing more than relax after a hard day at work.
  • It will undoubtedly become her phone’s charging station, so will be best equipped with a laptop that uses “Always On USB” technology. Regardless of whether the PC itself is turned on or not, the USB ports will be set to “on” to allow for device charging.
  • And I know she wants to Skype, just like everyone else can, without fuss. Her old computer couldn’t handle the video processing.

We found all of that, and more, in the Lenovo Flex 4 laptop PC, and right now, it’s available for such a sweet price on NewEgg.

Unboxing Made My Green Heart Swell

I have to say, unboxing the Lenovo laptop was refreshing. There wasn’t any fancy boxing, material, useless CDs and whatnot that winds up all in the garbage when I can bring myself to add more to the landfill. It can be super hard living the techophile lifestyle when faced with heavy duty packaging.

This though? A dream.

Lenovo ideapad FLEX 4 Intel Laptop Unboxing: A box, a little bit of padding, and exactly all I need to get this baby running.

Lenovo FLEX 4 Intel Laptop Unboxing: A box, a little bit of padding, and exactly all I need to get this baby running.

Lenovo ideapad FLEX 4 Intel Laptop unboxed and ready to go.

The FLEX 4 is unboxed and ready to go!

The Lenovo FLEX 4 PC Does It All

This laptop computer is a brilliant little engine that could. The FLEX 4 is nicely built on a 7th Gen, Core i5 Intel processor, along with 8GB RAM and a 1 TB hard drive.

Tim Allen would be “arghhh, arghh, arhhhh”ing right about now.

It boasts a long lasting battery, but even better, it’s fast charging. This means mom won’t have to compromise by staying connected to a surge protector all day long, regardless of how much she uses her new laptop throughout the day.

Lenovo ideapad FLEX 4 has all the ports for all the peripheral devices that one could possibly need with a laptop PC.

It has all the ports for all the peripheral devices that one could possibly need with a laptop PC.

Three “always on” USB ports, an Ethernet port for when she doesn’t have access to WiFi (this happens more than you would think!) There is one HDMI port which would be particularly great if one of my siblings gifts mom a video projector. Video projectors are truly affordable these days, and can potentially work well with the ever growing assortment of online TV/Movie networks such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. Imagine projecting your favourite Netflix show in 80″ glory, where your old TV used to be.

There is also a SD card port, which is fabulous when you want to simply dump your photo files from your camera onto your PC without any extra work involved.

The biggest feature for this laptop is it’s four monitor settings. The “FLEX” in FLEX 4 PC is quite descriptive, as this monitor can rotate 360 degrees for easy computing, no matter where you sit.

The “normal” method is great for easy typing, research, emails, etc.

Lenovo ideapad FLEX 4 Intel Laptop

Flip the lid, so that the keyboard is now facing down, for closer access to the monitor. When you’re Skyping for instance, chances are you won’t need the keyboard, so why not “put it away” when it’s not needed? This method works really well when you want to use a touch screen, up close, without having it sit in your lap, or have it lay flat down on a table surface.

Lenovo ideapad FLEX 4 Intel Laptop: Great for video calling.

Lenovo FLEX 4 Intel Laptop: Great for video calling.

Want to watch a movie? Turn the the laptop “upside down”, and you now have a personal theatre system that doesn’t take up much space while still providing incredible audio, and a beautiful 4K Ultra HD video display. Jay and I would personally love this option for ourselves. There have been countless instances where we’d like to watch a show or movie on a laptop over a meal, and find it awkward to fit even our 10″ netbook in front of us with limited space and a bulky keyboard in front of us. And let’s not mention how many times we gamble not spilling anything onto the keyboard itself with our drinks nearby.

Lenovo ideapad FLEX 4 Intel Laptop: perfect way to watch 4K Ultra HD movies and TV.

Lenovo FLEX 4 Intel Laptop: perfect way to watch 4K Ultra HD movies and TV.

Then there is the Tablet Mode for when you want to have fun…

But, Does It Play Solitaire?

I was just starting my two year stint in college for a graphics design course, where I found myself buying a massive PC that the whole family could use. My siblings were still in high school, so it was destined to get a lot of use for homework between the three of us.

Though, I will never forget what my mom asked as I was setting up the Windows 98 operating system, “So, will it have solitaire?”

Even now I giggle at this honest request for gaming from my mother. She too spent years on that clunky desktop machine, building databases, writing papers to earn certifications for work, researching everything from family history to recipes for dinner.

What was most memorable though, were our family “tournaments” to see who would get the best score in Mahjong.

A PC laptop that would allow for tabletop gaming would be perfect. It’s a great way for her to play spider solitaire, Sudoku, or even put together puzzles when she wants some peace and quiet, but it’s also optimally designed for multiplayer digital tabletop gaming as well. It would be amazing to play a round of monopoly without having to dig around for the Thimble.

Lenovo ideapad FLEX 4 Intel Laptop: great for tabletop digital gaming, like this puzzle game.

Lenovo FLEX 4 Intel Laptop: great for tabletop digital gaming, like this puzzle game.

Are you looking for a new PC for gift giving this year?  Check out all that NewEgg has to offer, including a fab deal on the Lenovo Flex 4.

Find Lenovo FLEX 4 Deals on NewEgg

 

Upcoming Twitter Chat

Using the hashtag #GiftPC, we’re gonna have a blast talking all things Intel with @NewEgg for the Holidays!

When: Tuesday, November 22nd at 8PM!

Host: Chat with tech expert Marc Saltzman (@marc_saltzman)

Panelists: myself (@AerynLynne), @BrandiJeter@somedayilllearn@SarahSarna@pinkonthecheek

Prizes: DELL Inspiron 15 5000, and 1 of 10 @NewEgg $50 gift cards

Get all the info, including terms and conditions, here.

 

Part of Geek with Style Holiday Gift Guide 2016

 

Disclaimer: Intel provided me with the laptop for review and I was compensated to produce this review; all opinions are my own.

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Aeryn Lynne

The Geek at Geek Life
Living in Superman's Metropolis (aka Toronto, Canada), Aeryn Lynne found a way to entirely over-share everything she loves, and make a career out of it! Ultimately a geek, she waxes poetically over technology, fights for fashion-equality, squees over comic art, and literally sparkles, thanks to her makeup addiction.
Aeryn Lynne

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12 Comments on “The Best Gift to Get Your Mom This Christmas

Casey Palmer
November 21, 2016 at 2:52 pm

Hey hey!

Lenovo’s one of the few brands I’d stand behind for a solid PC — thanks for the review 😁

Reply
Holly
November 21, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Technology sure has come along way over the years. I love how versatile computers are now, not to mention how light-weight and portable they are – so easy to lug around from the hockey arena to the coffee shop to my work desk.

Reply
paula schuck
November 22, 2016 at 10:00 am

Okay this is awesome! I like Lenovo and I love the features on this one. Also I have never heard of NEW EGG until now. I am googling them immediately. I agree with Moms are hard to buy for. Looks like you hit the jackpot there though. She will LOVE that computer.

Reply
Amanda
November 22, 2016 at 12:37 pm

I don’t know about my mom but “this mom” would love that! Can’t wait for the party tonight – I’ve already got it in my calendar!

Reply
Little Miss Kate
November 22, 2016 at 8:52 pm

Oh neat! My mom will be in the market for a new computer soon. They have had theirs for years and it is starting to show its age. I love the touch screen, I think it would make it easier for her to navigate.

Reply
Tami
November 25, 2016 at 5:30 pm

That seems like a pretty awesome laptop. 🙂 Great review, thanks for sharing!

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Heather Lynne
November 25, 2016 at 10:25 pm

haha “but does it play solitaire?” …and that is the question, right? 😉

Reply
Lynda H
November 26, 2016 at 3:04 am

Unfortunately my Mom is a lost cause when it comes to technology, believe me, we’ve tried!! However, this looks like it would be good for me!

Reply
Olivia
November 27, 2016 at 3:49 am

Lucky mom! I want one! When my current laptop dies, I already have my eye on the Flex. (Bummed I missed this Twitter party though.)

Reply
Rosalyn O.
November 28, 2016 at 9:16 am

My sister and I have Lenovo”s. Even at my previous office job I would only use Lenovo. You made me think I should get my mom too, thanks for sharing this!

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Roger
December 14, 2016 at 10:19 am

Looks like a great laptop Aeryn. If you want a bit more graphical power you could also consider getting an external video card like the Razor Core.

Reply
Katt Lewis
December 16, 2016 at 7:38 pm

Wow, I began reading the article and started wondering how old your Mother is. My mother needs a new computer, but she needs more speed and ram just to play Farmville on FB…..she keeps clicking her mouse instead of waiting for it to load, but of course I found all kinds of malware on her computer due to her clicking while falling asleep sitting there…..but she would drop a laptop in a New York minute. She needs a 32 inch monitor because she can’t see well and won’t get glasses….my “Mom” is 78 years old though. I’m 57 and my 15 inch Dell is fine, but I do have an i5 processor and 8 gigs of ram because I like fast and I like to multitask. And I play a lot of Farmville. Well I finished the article, how much ram does it have? I can’t live with less than 8 anymore and plan to bump this up to at least 12 if not 16. I’m on a Dell now. So your mother is probaby my age. I just realized I bought my first IBM 20 yrs ago the 23rd. New Years Eve I was online saying hello in a chat room on aol. 20 yrs, where did they go? I remember it was a month after the internet (AOL) went unlimited. It used to be $3 an hour 1996. I logged in over 300 hours that first month. I was addicted from the start. That was one expensive desktop but it was cool and sleek and black. It had 2 gigs of hardrive. All for only $2,500!! Hope your mother enjoys her laptop. I LOVE mine!

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