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87-Year Old Wants First Computer
I'm thinking a tablet

 2:56 pm on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

An 87-year old friend has decided she wants her first computer. My first thought is to recommend a tablet, but having no experience with them I'm a bit lost.

She basically needs, well, the basics: email, web, ebooks (with a strong dictionary function).

She does not have an Internet connection so am I right in assuming she would have to go with some flavor of Kindle?

Oh, and she has absolutely no experience with PCs so interface must be very intuitive.

Any recommendations are much appreciated.



 5:17 pm on Nov 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

If someone is using a tablet as their only computer, there are a few features that may not ordinarily matter that much, that you should think about.

For one thing, USB storage: lots of people use USB drives to move files around, so you need to be able to read them. A standard USB port is a must. I think that rules out the Apple's products (there are workarounds, but, that is probably not what someone wants from a first computer).

You may want one that either has mobile connectivity built in, or that has drivers for a USB mobile dongle - depends on usage pattern (hard to predict) and how common wifi is where they live.

Automan Empire

 8:38 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Some of the posts are ageist

Obviously not the fellow who made the "Helping Grandma with the controller" poster.

My dad was an avid computer user to the end, even when MS reduced his manual dexterity to almost nil. It is amazing all of the accessibility settings there are even on an old XP desktop or lappy. Touch screens can be dicey even with a young body; I think having a tactile keyboard will be important for many aging users. One certainly cannot generalize about aging computer users; look at the Dekatron guy, wonder what he runs now?


 11:35 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure what files she would be moving, or for that matter where she would be moving them too, but that's a point I'll certainly keep in mind.

@Automan Empire
Yep, whatever direction is taken a keyboard is likely a must.


 2:03 am on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

You can use a bluetooth keyboard with an iPad. But you're still constrained to the iPad's range of keyboard layouts :(

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