What device should I get for my elderly mother to use email, Google, and Skype?
Question by ira /

My 82 year old mother finally decided she now wants a computer to email whatever friends she has left, use Google search and Skype to my sister across the country. She can only spend approx. $300.00.

I don’t know if a laptop would get her into trouble with security, viruses etc. And as much as I love her, I want to cut down of constantly receiving multiple daily phone calls etc., for I am still a little more than a novice at computing; I myself being a disabled veteran. Still have problems using my Asus G60JX desktop replacement sometimes.

Would a used iPad 2 be safer for her? She is afraid of not being able to use the virtual keyboard; she mentioned being able to use a physical typewriter keyboard better?

I am weary of buying off of eBay for a used iPad being afraid of getting burned & not being able to recover her money if it would happen. I noticed that Best Buy are listing a 15.6″ Asus & Lenovo ‘Windows 8′ for $329.00. [7 or 8?]

Any help or advise you could give me for my mother would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You, Ira Cohen

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Answers (25)
  • Rima Abraham

    a tablet , my mom who is 50 asked for one and she liked it a lot , it was also easier for her than a pc.

  • susendeep dutta

    A tablet would be better than a laptop for a old age person as it’s easy to use and carry and doesn’t consumes more resources than a laptop.I suggest you to get a 9.7 inched iPad as it would be good device with many tablet optimized apps having good looks and easy to use too.iOS is recognized for their ease of use so it’s recommended.

    For video calling too,a tablet is well suited for better portability.

    If you extend the budget,you can get iPad3 refurb –


    Regarding physical keyboard,you can purchase a wireless cum bluetooth keyboard found in many stores.

  • Tony Gonzaga

    I suggest you buy her a tablet with a 10″ screen.

  • Steve Caunce

    A basic Android 10″ tablet. Typing is not necessary, she can send voice files instead of email with Note Everything. You can even find an eReader for them. Stay off of EBay for used tablets, you are right, a lot are broken or stolen, and you don’t have to get top of the line, Mom doesn’t have to impress her friends at school.

  • Drew Butler

    kindle fire HD 7″. $199 and then you could pick her up a keyboard/case combo for cheap on amazon. just my two sense..

  • Kannon Y

    Hello Ira, pretty much any cell or iPad model will do everything you’ve specified.

    Matt Smith did an interesting round-up of some good cell phones for the elderly.
    However, I don’t know if I’d recommend any of the devices in that lineup, although they are definitely worth looking at for ideas.

    Of these, I would actually agree with you, that a refurbished iPad 2 is probably one of the top options. Apple sells a reburb through its store for $319. It also introduced the 7-inch iPad Mini for $330, which may fulfill your needs better than a full sized iPad, although it is $30 above the target price.

    In case she’s more comfortable with physical keys, you can actually get her a keyboard as an accessory, although I’m unfamiliar with the Bluetooth pairing option, and that’s probably too complex an option for your GM.

    In case you’d like to examine some added insurance for eBay purchased electronics, I highly suggest checking out Squaretrade’s website.

    On the Android operating system, there’s actually an App that makes phones into dead simple to use devices.

  • Jim Chambers

    Does she live in her own home or a retirement home. Many retirement homes have a computer room for their residents?

  • Indronil Mondal

    i dont think a tablet is a good choice though it has a large screen but for her it will be hard to use . she wont be able to type properly

    go for a samsung netbook
    this is best for her i think

    • Indronil Mondal

      dont worry about security if you use windows then ms security essential is good choice if u use linux then just no worry

  • Anonymous

    yeah I would suggest a tablet myself as laptops/PC are not that portable and also hard to understand for the elderly people
    and they would love touch interface, I think, rather than keyboard

    may be i-Pad mini or nexus

  • josemon maliakal

    galaxy note

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