First Computer for a Senior

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First Computer for a Senior

Postby gardengirl » Jan 10th, 2021, 12:18 am

My mom is 87. She is feeling very isolated with this Covid thing. I am thinking of getting her a computer so she can skype with family. She can type, but has never used a computer before. I am looking for a recommendation for something that will be easy for her to navigate and won't be too intimidating for her. She might use email, look up recipes on the internet and the like so she won't need anything fancy.

I am thinking an older laptop might be good. (My own is 8 years old. Windows 7 set up as XP. I am a bit of a dinosaur.)
I would appreciate any suggestions.
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Re: First Computer for a Senior

Postby kelownman » Jan 10th, 2021, 5:19 am

Get a tablet 7 inch to 10.1 inch $70 to $317 https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=tablet&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

or ipad pro $530 to $899 refurb/renew https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=ipad+pro&crid ... ts-a-p_5_4

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Re: First Computer for a Senior

Postby Bsuds » Jan 10th, 2021, 5:30 am

kelownman wrote:Get a tablet 7 inch to 10.1 inch $70 to $317 https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=tablet&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

or ipad pro $530 to $899 refurb/renew https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=ipad+pro&crid ... ts-a-p_5_4


I would tend to agree. You can get some good deals on Facebook Marketplace too.
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Re: First Computer for a Senior

Postby gardengirl » Jan 10th, 2021, 10:07 am

Is there a reason you are both recommending a tablet rather than a laptop?
I have never used one myself.
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Re: First Computer for a Senior

Postby Gilchy » Jan 10th, 2021, 10:11 am

Easier to use, no playing with windows, file types, etc. Having everything contained in apps with literal touch interface keeps it simpler.

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Re: First Computer for a Senior

Postby OKkayak » Jan 10th, 2021, 10:17 am

I'm with the tablet crowd. Easier to use.

My dad has a laptop and he calls every second day with questions and problems, saying something isn't working, etc. He calls with questions about his iPhone as well, but not nearly as much.
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Re: First Computer for a Senior

Postby gardengirl » Jan 10th, 2021, 11:22 am

Gilchy wrote:Easier to use, no playing with windows, file types, etc. Having everything contained in apps with literal touch interface keeps it simpler.


Ah gotcha. She does not have a smart phone either so this will be a bit foreign to her.
I guess we could get a keyboard to go along with it.
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Re: First Computer for a Senior

Postby Jlabute » Jan 10th, 2021, 12:18 pm

gardengirl wrote:
Gilchy wrote:Easier to use, no playing with windows, file types, etc. Having everything contained in apps with literal touch interface keeps it simpler.


Ah gotcha. She does not have a smart phone either so this will be a bit foreign to her.
I guess we could get a keyboard to go along with it.


An old laptop may be asking for trouble plus older O/S are more prone to getting infected or have reduced support for newer browsers, etc. Probably more maintenance in the long term. A new tablet will allow her to do everything she'd ever want plus there'd be a warranty. An iPad will do more than what is needed. One could go Android too although I don't think there are many strong advantages either way for her, plus they require less power and are instant ON when-ever you need them, and very portable.

Perhaps something like a new base iPad and keyboard is what I would suggest. You could perhaps look around for something slightly older... but not too older :-)

https://www.apple.com/ca/ipad-10.2/
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Re: First Computer for a Senior

Postby gardengirl » Jan 10th, 2021, 12:58 pm

gardengirl wrote:
Gilchy wrote:Easier to use, no playing with windows, file types, etc. Having everything contained in apps with literal touch interface keeps it simpler.


Ah gotcha. She does not have a smart phone either so this will be a bit foreign to her.
I guess we could get a keyboard to go along with it.

Jlabute wrote:An old laptop may be asking for trouble plus older O/S are more prone to getting infected or have reduced support for newer browsers, etc. Probably more maintenance in the long term. A new tablet will allow her to do everything she'd ever want plus there'd be a warranty. An iPad will do more than what is needed. One could go Android too although I don't think there are many strong advantages either way for her, plus they require less power and are instant ON when-ever you need them, and very portable.

Perhaps something like a new base iPad and keyboard is what I would suggest. You could perhaps look around for something slightly older... but not too older :-)

https://www.apple.com/ca/ipad-10.2/


Interesting. Apple has always been out of our budget so we have always had android devices. Those definitely look worth considering. I am still doing research so thank you for any suggestions.
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Re: First Computer for a Senior

Postby bb49 » Jan 10th, 2021, 3:01 pm

We've been using Samsung tablets for a number of years.
I just upgraded to a 10.1 inch from an 8 inch and love the larger size. It was $270 at Costco a couple of months ago.
I also picked up a quality case for it. That's mandatory as the tablet is slippery by itself.
I also bought a two-pack of Anker 6' charging cables through Amazon.

I can't comment on an Apple tablet but from what I know, Apple and Android are completely different to use.
Maybe find a couple of friends that have them and have her do a comparison. Or do a comparison with her at a retail outlet.
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Re: First Computer for a Senior

Postby Bsuds » Jan 10th, 2021, 3:16 pm

I have had both. My wife has a Huawei T5 and it's ok. Not quite enough memory but she pretty much only plays games on it.

I have a 10" iPad and like it much better than the Samsung I have. You get what you pay for .
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Re: First Computer for a Senior

Postby Jlabute » Jan 10th, 2021, 3:27 pm

Another option might be a Chromebook. Like a laptop, it comes with a keyboard and is less expensive. Like a tablet you can do most things with it.
Prices though usually reflect the quality of the built-in camera, built-in audio, performance, memory, upgradeability, etc. I’ve looked at a few devices for my mom, including devices which only do video calling and can auto-answer, good for those with dementia. Some things that may seem simple might be overwhelming for some elderly.

https://www.viewclix.com/
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Re: First Computer for a Senior

Postby Bsuds » Jan 10th, 2021, 3:36 pm

Jlabute wrote:Some things that may seem simple might be overwhelming for some elderly.[/url]


That would be the biggest hold back.
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Re: First Computer for a Senior

Postby gardengirl » Jan 10th, 2021, 3:45 pm

Bsuds wrote:
Jlabute wrote:Some things that may seem simple might be overwhelming for some elderly.[/url]


That would be the biggest hold back.


True. My mom is still really sharp, so that is not an issue, but she may be intimidated by all the doodads and steps you need to go through to get into programs.

I had a couple of very generous offers in private messages so we will see how that goes.
If she gets comfortable, we can always upgrade if necessary.
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Re: First Computer for a Senior

Postby TylerM4 » Jan 11th, 2021, 4:17 pm

So, 1st let's talk about form factors. A tablet is a type of form factor like PC, Laptop, etc. The form factor has no impact on how hard/easy a computer is to use. There are plenty of tablets that run a standard windows OS and are just as complex as a desktop or laptop.

What we should be talking about is the operating system, not the form factor. It just happens that tablets often come with simpler to use OS's than a desktop or laptop.

I would recommend a chromebook. BOOK (AKA Laptop) not a tablet. The chrome OS (chromium) is about as easy to learn as they come and a book/laptop format simply because it's much easier to use/learn a traditional keyboard vs an onscreen keyboard or some other alternative. There's a reason they're used in schools everywhere ;) Cheap, work well, and easy to learn.
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