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

ira November 5, 2012
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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

  1. Rima Abraham
    November 16, 2012 at 6:27 am

    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.

  2. susendeep dutta
    November 14, 2012 at 11:29 am

    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.

  3. Tony Gonzaga
    November 12, 2012 at 2:26 am

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

  4. Steve Caunce
    November 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

    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.

  5. Drew Butler
    November 8, 2012 at 6:41 am

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

  6. Kannon Y
    November 8, 2012 at 6:07 am

    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.

    • ira cohen
      November 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      of course, they are sold out

  7. Jim Chambers
    November 7, 2012 at 5:00 am

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

  8. Indronil Mondal
    November 6, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    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
      November 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm

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

  9. Anonymous
    November 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    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

  10. josemon maliakal
    November 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    galaxy note

  11. ha14
    November 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    if she will not use internet browser then Microsoft Security Essentials will be enough.

    for tablet she will need 3G since wifi will not be good, so perhaps a small laptop do the trick. But Tablet appears more stable than Windows thus she will not Face BSOD....

  12. Emily Anderson
    November 6, 2012 at 10:31 am

    I think your best solution is HTC One X. It fits your budget and enables all the apps you mentioned. A couple of my friends have it and they seem very happy with it

  13. Boni Oloff
    November 6, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Yeah, just buy a laptop. Since there are many choice aroud that ptice.

  14. Naveen Kumar
    November 6, 2012 at 6:08 am

    i would recommend not to buy a laptop since your mom is 82 years old she could not carry it around.Give her something that is user friendly and portable go for goggle nexus tab or kindle fire HD which are less priced else if you can get the ipad mini it feels lite and great to use

    • ira cohen
      November 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      could she email & browse the internet with the Kinle Fire?

  15. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    November 6, 2012 at 5:29 am

    It's not a high requirement. How about an used PC or netbook loaded with Linux Puppy? It's fast and nimble.

  16. Scratch galore A Scratcher
    November 6, 2012 at 3:34 am
  17. Rajaa Chowdhury
    November 6, 2012 at 2:00 am

    I would highly recommend a tablet rather than other devices as a tablets touch environment is easier to pick up and more user friendly. Besides they weigh les and a bit more portable, without any wires dangling for basic use. She can also use the camera in it to videochat, which will give her that emotional support at her age, where she would be able to see and hear her dear and dear ones. Also usually a tablets display has higher clarity than the other devices like a PC, laptop. Smartphones are very similar to the tablets but lack in the display size, which is important at a older age, for more clarity. Now, which tablet to decide, would depend on budget and other considerations, but you can checkout the iPAD Mini or the new Google Nexus 7 with 3G, besides tons of others available.

    • Douglas Mutay
      November 6, 2012 at 8:35 am

      I agree with you Rajaa. You are absolutely right!

    • Benjamin Tiessen
      November 7, 2012 at 2:34 am

      I agree with what Rajaa said, but even something as small and simple as an iPod Touch 4g or 5g would work for these 3 things and would be even less costly. See if you can find a used one! :)

  18. Anonymous
    November 6, 2012 at 12:30 am

    If Skype is not a requirement and you can use Google+ Hangouts instead, you should look into a Chromebook (about $250).

    • ira cohen
      November 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      I have read All negative reviews for the chromebook??

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