He has FAX capability he'll never use.
You would think, but actually, you cannot say that. Just last week I changed some beneficiary information for one of my insurance policies. They emailed me the forms but I had to fax the signed signature page back. Fortunately, I have an all-in-one printer device so (as long as I remember to press *70 to disable call-waiting) I can easily fax from home instead of paying $1.00 per page at my grocery store. And because of how my health insurance works (unless I want to pay out-of-pocket) I cannot have my blood labs done at my doctor's office, I have to go to another lab and they fax the results to my doctor.
They'd also be better off running Linux but that is another subject.
Except that involves a steep (for them) learning curve to learn a new OS and the new (to them) software that runs on Linux. They love the idea of Linux and Open or LibreOffice being free, but not having to learn how to use them. This learning curve is one of the main reasons so many seniors refuse to give up their XP systems - they don't want to be forced to learn, or just have a difficult and frustrating time learning something new. Thank goodness for one of my favorites, Start10
or the free alternative, Classic Shell
Many seniors have a laptop as their only PC and think they have a better replacement for their old desktop.
A "new" notebook likely is
better than their "old" PC. It likely is more powerful and likely has a more secure operating system. But that does not mean a "new" PC would not have been a better (and less expensive) replacement for their "old" PC - especially if they could have carried over their old keyboard, mouse and [larger, easier on old eyes] monitor. And how many of those seniors with new notebooks EVER move that notebook off their desk? Not many from my experience here - at least not as they move further into their very senior years. Of course some seniors are more active and mobile than they ever were - always traveling and doing things. For them a notebook may be the best choice. But even there, many have moved to smart-phones to stay connected.
As a hardware tech, I don't like notebooks because they are so proprietary - IF
replacement or upgrade parts are available, you typically have to get them from the notebook maker, at a higher price. As a price conscious consumer, I don't like notebooks because if the computer portion fails (motherboard, for example) and it is not economically feasible to repair, you must also replace the case, power supply, keyboard, mouse pointer and the expensive monitor too.
I think all-in-ones are better for seniors than notebooks. While they are basically notebook computers mounted in the back of a large monitor, they do take up less space than a tower PC and use a much more comfortable (and easier to see) full size keyboard, easy to handle mouse (or easy to use trackball), and of course, that much easier to see/read big screen monitor. And because the AiO monitor sits up on the desk, it tends to be easier on necks.