Using your fingerprint to verify your identity is not only more secure than a password, there's also no complex string of characters for you to forget or repeatedly mistype. But if you're also determined to use your ancient laptop until the day it dies, Synaptics' will soon have an easy and unobtrusive way to upgrade it with another layer of security.
Designed to work alongside the biometric security options in the latest versions of Microsoft Windows, Synaptics' new USB scanners manage to shrink fingerprint readers down to a minuscule dongle that you can leave attached to your computer at all times, which you'll probably want to do. After all, if it goes missing you can still use a password to access your machine, but having to hunt down your tiny USB fingerprint reader every time you want to log in completely negates the convenience of such a device.
The biometric dongle does mean sacrificing a USB port if you're using a smaller laptop with a limited number of ports, and there's no word on whether USB-C versions will be offered when these start hitting the market sometime later this year. But since most of us don't upgrade our laptops nearly as often as we do our smartphones, these should be a cheap solution to no longer having to remember an annoying password.