Tablet computers may not seem like the most obvious gift choice for an elderly relative or friend, but they are a surprisingly suitable gift – and one which will almost always be well received – albeit after some initial surprise perhaps.
The fact of the matter is that a tablet computer is a great way for seniors to keep in touch with family and friends and generally stay in touch with the outside world. These devices can be used for e-mail, social networking, gaming (yes, some seniors really enjoy gaming), watching videos and more. They really are a great gift choice for retirees.
Choosing The Right Tablet Computer
Most tablet computer reviews will, quite understandably, focus on the technical aspects of the tablet computer under consideration. That’s fair enough, these are high tech gadgets after all – and most people will want to get the best specified device available on the market.
However, when choosing a tablet for seniors, you might want to assess your options using a slightly different set of criteria. Yes, you will want a certain degree of functionality – but grandma is hardly likely to worry about whether her tablet runs at 1.5 or 2.2 GHz – is she?
You should choose a tablet that is reasonably fast of course. Nobody likes waiting around these days – whatever age they are. A good clear display is another prerequisite. It should be easy for your gift recipient to read and to use.
When it comes to size, bigger isn’t always better. The late, great Steve Jobs famously pronounced 7″ tablets as “dead on arrival”. However, the buying public seems to be quite happy with them – and Apple’s iPad Mini (which is a little larger than 7″ to be fair) is currently outselling the “full size” iPad.
A smaller tablet is lighter and easier to hold. It’s slightly more portable, which may or may not be an issue. On the other hand, if the person using the tablet has poor eyesight, then a larger tablet, with a bigger display, might be a good choice. Choose according to the needs of your gift recipient.
The most important feature when choosing a tablet for a senior, is ease of use. Most tablets can be set up in just a few minutes to allow access to e-mail, social networks, videos etc. using a single screen tap – which is why many seniors find them to be so easy and convenient to use.
Here are the key points to look for:
- Ease of use.
- Reasonable speed and functionality.
- A good, clear and easy to read display.
My Own Experience
We recently got my mother-in-law, a sprightly 75 year old, a Kindle Fire HD for her birthday. She absolutely loves it and finds it very easy to use. She is on Facebook (we’re friends now!), Spotify and other sites that I’ve never even heard of. She uses it to e-mail her children, relatives, friends and grandchildren, as well as using a variety of social sites.
She also uses it to watch videos – old films are a favorite. It’s never far from her side and her knitting has been set aside in favor of her Kindle.
It took about half an hour to set up her various accounts, and now she has access to anywhere she wants on the web via a single prod on the Kindle’s lovely touch screen.
She’s very happy with it and I think it’s one of the best birthday gifts she’s had from us. It’s certainly the most used!
So, if you’re looking for a suitable gift for a senior this year, why not consider a tablet computer? They’re not just for kids and geeks any more!