Since Christmas I’ve had at least 10 conversations with family and friends who are over 65 years old about tablets.
There are lots out there, so I’ve written this up to help me work through the options and to help you with your near and dear. Read on for the 5 step process to getting your family member the right tablet for them.
If they consume online content then get a tablet, if they create or edit get them an ultrabook or laptop.
So where do they use it ? They use it at home or when they’re on holiday. At home they have wifi and on holiday they have their phone with them (which will be a smart phone that can provide the tablet with wifi via hotspot functionality of the phone).
By getting a tablet that doesn’t need a cell phone sim card then you get more for your money.
So what comes up as recommended for seniors ?
Big screen and good sound.
The good sound can be fixed with a blue tooth or wired speaker so it doesn’t make a difference to my parents but if yours are using hearing aids you may want to go to the store early (when it’s quiet) and test out the sound quality for the ones you’re thinking of buying.
The big screen is so they can see what is on it.
Now talk to the old people and find out what their budget is.
- Around NZ$300
- Around NZ$600
- Around NZ$800
I’m not even going to consider anything much over NZ$800.
Now that you know their budget buy the one that has the biggest screen within their budget. Other things I take into consideration: RAM (bigger is better, it means the apps open and run faster), ability to expand memory if required, battery capacity
Which tablet to buy your mum or dad ?
In New Zealand there is a website which lists technology items and their prices by store they’re sold from called www.pricespy.co.nz
The following link lists items that I think meet the criteria I’ve outlined above: tablets under NZ$1000 that have big screens.
The pricespy site also lets you compare the product specifications. Using this feature I came up with the following:
- The best around NZ$300 tablet is the Lenovo TAB 2 A10. Highest resolution, big RAM, fast processor, and good battery capacity made it good to me.
- The best around NZ$600 tablet is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 16G. I’ve chosen this because although the ASUS ones come with docks and keyboards the Samsung has the faster processor, larger RAM and ability to take a larger memory card than the others.
- In the over NZ$800 bracket the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro 13 32GB is NZ$80 more than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 SM-T800 32GB. But I pick the Lenovo because it’s screen is 13.3 inches (30% more) and it’s battery capacity is a good 40% more.
Over this price and you’re into ultrabook and laptop teritory. There are tablets over NZ$800 but I’m not going to talk about them here.
So what tablet should your olds get ?
Step 1 – find out what they like doing on the internet or with their existing computers. If it is mostly consuming crosswords, video, social media, news papers and these days TV (via services like NetFlix) then a tablet might be for them.
Step 2 – Ask how much do you want to spend ? About NZ$400 , NZ$600 or NZ$800 ?
Step 3 – Take that information and work out how big a screen you can get for their budget, decide which accessories they need: headphones, or a speaker, keyboard, stylus, case etc, then use an online tool to come up with a range of models.
Step 4 – Go into some of the big retail stores with them and get them to try the different models you’ve picked out. Be careful with the models. There are a lot around and even a small differnce from what you’ve researched may make a difference.
In store look for things like brightness of the screen, ease of touch for them, and speaker volume. Weight is another consideration with older folks – hence get them to consider a stand or case that supports the device.
Step 5 – Now you’re ready to buy, in the big retail store or online from a reputable retailer.
PS I’ve been asked why iPad didn’t feature in these recommendations. Well in the articles I read they weren’t recommended other than in small screen formats. And my criteria were for maximum screen size.
The other approach to this problem is buy the cheapest one you can, with the intention of replacing it in 6 months when your over 65 person has a better idea of what they need and how they use it.