I'd like to get my mom a tablet for her birthday. She has a powerhouse laptop running Vista, but finds it frustrating (I mean, who wouldn't, right?). She's a very intelligent 65YO woman, but she doesn't have much confidence in front of the screen. I thought a tablet might be fun for her to play with and develop a comfort factor.
She's a heavy Netflix user, but spends the rest of her online time doing financial stuff, sending e-mail, reading news, etc. In other words, pretty basic stuff.
I know that Samsung is supposed to come out with a new Galaxy Tab in May. There's the Nexus, the Fire, and the good ol' iPad. Anyone have any ideas for me?
iPad. Most apps, and probably the gentlest learning curve.
The Voice of the Night
She might prefer an iPad Mini. My Mom did
I hate Apple Crap.
But for that situation, the iPad is probably best.
How do you know she will like a tablet computer, OP?
Therefore I would get her the Kindle Fire®.
For not a lot of money, she can have the tablet experience.
If she does like her tablet, and finds it will not do things that she wants it to do, you can always donate the Fire, and get her something with more horsepower $$$.
The Fire simply will not do most of the things OP said. It's okay for watching movies and TV shows and reading books and such... but ... "doing financial stuff"? Even heavy email would be an issue on that slow, underpowered, cheap tablet. The browsing experience is also a bit "less than".
I am sure "doing financial stuff" means simply logging into her bank's website and paying bills.
Quit throwing shade on the majesty that is the Kindle Fire®.
I have a Zagg bluetooth keyboard that I use with my iPad 2, OP. It's like having a mini-computer. Apple products are always the easiest to use and look great. I'd go with an iPad 2 if money is an issue or the iPad 3 if you want a more vibrant image and faster downloads.The iPad mini is good for people who like the size of the Nook or Kindle but want to do more than read or check e-mail.
I'm going to recommend the iPad. I love my iPad3 even though I still really hate being "trapped" by Apple's closed system too much of the time (mostly when browsing. I still need to unlock it one of these days).
In terms of the range of applications, the quality of the apps, the stylish spit and polish of the thing, I still recommend the iPad despite the excessive price, particularly if it's being bought as a gift. Depending on when her birthday is, you might want to hold off for the latest release in a month or two (probably), it will supposedly be 25% lighter, thinner bezels, etc. Anyway, if you can afford the extra price about what an Amazon or Samsung would cost you, I'd recommend it.
You're so sweet, OP.
I had heavily leaned toward the iPad, but she has no experience with the Apple ecosystem. I vacillate between thinking this might confuse her further or whether it might make a great introduction. She is WAY too frugal to spring for a MacBook.
R11, in that case, perhaps the Amazon Kindle Fire is the right way to go?
Because once you dip your toe in the Apple world, it's like quicksand... it sucks you in (and then sucks the money out of your wallet/bank-account, and the brains out of your head). There's a level of lock-in there that's significant... and the iPad without a Mac to sync it with is kind of annoying (iTunes/QuickTime on Windows sucks, especially on Vista).
What about a Microsoft Surface!?
Can your mother do syncopated dancing, OP?
...I probably should have mentioned that, just like you're thinking about doing, I bought my Mom (well, me/my sister and my dad jointly) an iPad several years ago for her birthday (69th) and then bought her an iPhone last Christmas. The nice thing about her having both is that the operating system is basically the same and the learning curve transfers.
I should also mention that my mom doesn't use the iPad as much as I'd hoped (mainly for videos, browsing for recipes, email) because she isn't very tech savvy (less than your mom from your description) and because my dad (the angry narcissist), who is tech savvy makes it unpleasant for her to learn how to use it well. But this spring she signed up for a computer/iphone/camera learning course at a local senior center and seems pretty involved in getting up to speed.
Anyway, the iPad we bought her was a first generation and my own iPad3 (now up to iPad4s in stores) blows it away in terms of speed and screen quality. Mom's older one is surprisingly primitive in comparison.
I love my Kindle Fire HD (loved my regular Kindle, too). My mom has one and loves it, my little niece too (she inherited my first Kindle).
Fire is in the lead? Wtf. I wish I had one like the American version.
No Amazon Instant in the UK - you can stream, but NOT download video meaning Amazon are missing out on a shitload of potential revenue stream due to "rights issues" (yeah right). Pointless huh?
And many people have complained cause like me one reason they got it was because they wanted to watch films (on the HD screen which is made for it and is excellent btw) on the train etc. The UK launch of Kindle Fire and Kindle itself were delayed by over a year. Beyond that the app selection is poor and you can't access Google Play.
You'd think Amazon would be the best in terms of content. I love Amazon and Google and would rather support them than the style over substance Apple with its horrible interface. But Apple can't be beaten I'm afraid.
For your mom Apple may be a bit fussy, I've never liked iTunes which seems designed for advanced computer users.
I have heard the iPad Mini is shit though.
So what if she "doesn't have experience with the Apple ecosystem"? Is she so much more familiar with Android? Certainly she'll be even more lost with a Microsoft tablet (which are shite and overpriced).
Just fucking buy her a white iPad Mini and be done with it, jesus.
iPad (3 and 4 - 4 was released very soon after and is again cosmetic changes)
Google Nexus 7 and Google Nexus 10
Galaxy Note 10.1
Are the ones the editors of a mobile phone magazine single out as best.
They aren't fond of the iPad mini at all and call it overrated. Kindle Fire gets a bad review but that's probably cause of the limited UK version, they call it "a shopping centre for Amazon first, and a tablet second".
I really like my iPad Mini.
I was an early adopter of the iPad 1 a few months after it was introduced, and I really liked it.
But compared to the iPad Mini, well, it's like night and day.
I have the cell feature on my iPad Mini and I can take it with me and basically use it as a "phablet" if I want to.
Very convenient that, as I do not carry a cell phone.
iPad mini was the one I wanted next (still fucking expensive though!). Those reviews can be picky, I'm sure it's good. I know my way around Apple for better or worse, it's the standard. I think I'd rather have the small one.
r19, you can't actually make voice calls on the mini like an iPhone, right? But can probably skype out?
Do Sim cards work with Ipad minis? I want a tablet that travels well.
You can text using the Pinger app, and of course you can Skype. But my friend has mentioned that there is an app that will allow you to place a phone call. I have not checked this out yet.
My Mini's cell capability is through Verizon. You can buy minutes "on the fly" on an as-needed basis.
Is it made for heavy telephone use, like an iPhone, no. Can you use it this way in an emergency, I am led to believe "yes."
Also, you can make a mini-movie of yourself using the front camera speaking your message and e-mail it.
You've buried the lede, OP. Why is her laptop still running Vista?!
Get her a Surface Pro to replace that.
I just love my Surface. In fact, I have two of them so I can use them like big black high tech castanets!
Cha cha cha!
Windows 8 has had VERY bad feedback. I have to say after trying it that it's a nightmare to use, as they bury everything that was there in all the old OS. It takes some getting used to.
However, I love the touch screen. I always love touch screens and sometimes accidentally do it on my old PC out of habit. That was clearly the way things were going, and though they botched it, Windows knew that.
I have an iPad with Retina display. If I was buying my tablet all over again, I would get a Nexus, followed by Galaxy, Kindle Fire HD and finally, iPad.
OP, if your mom will do what you say with the tablet, she will be perfectly happy with a Nexus.
Here's why: there is nothing special about the ipad. These other tablets are closing in on the iPad in terms of form and function. The iPad is too expensive for what it is. Save a few hundred dollars until you know whether your mom will enjoy the tablet experience. If I knew then what I know now...
Yes. Please buy our copy phones so we can do another craptastic Broadway product rollout at Radio City Music Hall like the one we did for our recent launch of the Galaxy S4.
Yes, indeed, we are so flipping far out. Can't you see how cool we are? We're SO much cooler than Apple. Apple doesn't DO craptastic Broadway rollouts like we do.
Samsung, choice of hipsters everywhere.
I'd get her the Kindle Fire. I have both a Fire and an iPad and prefer the Fire. But then, I find both impossible to do any actual work on.
Samsung Galaxy from Costco or Best Buy. Wonderful! Perfect.
For a 65 YO woman? I'd go with a Mead lined and some Bic Pens for Her.
Surface will be more of a realistic option when the Surface 2 and the Surface mini are out along with Windows 8.1 this fall.
Next I would recommend Kindle Fire, mostly because the price is right in the case she doesn't actually take to it well.
Thank you all for your replies. I appreciate the feedback. I have a lot to consider.
I'm kind of surprised the Fire has such a following. I'll definitely take a look. Mom's definitely a movie and music maven, so a Prime subscription might work well for her.
Why not just upgrade her PC from Vista to Windows 7?
Another vote for the Kindle Fire HD. I love mine!
R30 might be onto something. I have a Samsung tablet and my sisters both have iPads. My Mom liked my tablet so we went to the store; she looked at all of the tablets and iPads and bought the tablet. Personally, I think the cost of the iPad made a difference.
Now that she's seen my sisters' iPads, she likes the larger icons (Mom's closing in on 80). She is used to her laptop so I think she's used to the size of those icons. My tablet seems to have quite a few on the home page. Not sure I can do anything about that.
Having said all of that, I would lean towards taking her to the store and having her select the one she wants and purchasing it for her. Electronics like this are a very personal purchase, as evidenced by your poll result.
The Moms of Wozniak, Jobs and Gates
I think you should buy her something that you yourself know how to operate.
Because you know, you will be her go-to person for any and all advice on "how do I do this."
This very well could be the deciding factor, especially if you are out of town.
Depends; can she dance like a Catholic school girl hip-hopper?
Next Generation "Surface" devices are being announced in June.
You can make calls on WiFi only iPads/iPods using Google Talk/Chat/Video with free apps like Talkatone and other paid ones. You can, also, make and receive non-iMessage texts with Talkatone to and from your Google Talk/Etc./Renamed number. I use it all the time on my iPad when I'm using my iPhone for something else or just for larger texting real estate or because I don't want whomever I'm calling to have my main cell number. I have it installed on my iPhone, too. You just set it up through your GMail account and this you have to do on a normal computer of whatever sort. You can also make the calls and text from a normal computer.
Skype is also a cross-platform method of messaging and calling and video-calling.
This Surface commercial is just too much, and not in a good way!
This is the :60, I have not seen it IRL.
Those school girls look like they'd happily stomp your guts out for you -- ha, ha, ha!
If you love your mother, get her an iPad. Saddling her with one of the poseurs is just passive-aggressive.
It's true, it's an iPad or nothing.
[quote]You can make calls on WiFi only iPads/iPods using Google Talk/Chat/Video with free apps like Talkatone and other paid ones.
The Google+ app has video chat ("Hangouts") and messaging built in. Google+ may not have overtaken Facebook like they thought it would, but it's a solid messaging and collaboration platform.
The Facebook app also offers free phone calls, if she's on Facebook.
^Sorry, I just realized I confused the Facebook phone app with the tablet app. It's the phone app that offers free phone calls over WiFi.
The Google+ info still stands, though.
I'm going to get my mother an iPad later this year for her birthday. She is 82 years old and a complete idiot when it comes to computers. She constantly clicks on popup ads in her windows computer. Why? Because it says, "Click here now!" "You need to read this!" and "Your computer may be infected. Check now!"
She is catholic and I'd used to doing what people tell her to do. So her computer is filled with malware, spyware, you name it. It's slower than molasses At least she won't get all that crap on an iPad.
But she's so dumb, I don't know if anything will help her. I spent two hours with her on the phone once . She insisted on using AOL (I begged her not to use it) and kept telling me that AOL would not recognize her password. "I keep trying to sign on! It won't let me!" Instead of clicking "Enter Password," she was repeatedly clicking on "Change Password." I was tearing my hair out until I figured out what she was doing. I couldn't explain Internet Explorer to her. "What's my password?"
"You don't have a password."
"Then how do I get my email?"
I just got an iPhone in January, OP. A couple of years ago, I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7". The ease of use was night and day, in favor of the Apple product. I say this as someone who doesn't own any other Apple products.
With an iPad, the Apple stores have free classes if she needs them. The apps and operation are so easy, though, that I was doing everything I needed in a day or so. If I had a question, I could find the answer within a few minutes and apply it. With the Samsung, you go online searching for information. You have to join forums to get any information and, then, a lot of people don't know what they are talking about. You ask a question and get 4 different responses for something that shouldn't be that difficult. I found I was spending hours just trying to answer the most basic question with the Galaxy Tab.
I liken these to the difference between a tool and a hobby. With a tool, you have something that easily improves some aspect of your life. With a hobby, you are doing something that you supposedly enjoy and expect to spend hours and hours messing with it. The Galaxy Tab is the latter and I'll bet your mom wants the former.
It's less about the specific tablet and more about the content ecosystem. If, for example, she uses Amazon a lot and has Amazon Prime, then it's a no-brainer to give her a Kindle Fire, since she'll have access to free videos and to the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.
If she already has an iTunes account, then you should consider the iPad.
Tablets are essentially content consumption devices, particularly for users like your mother. So look to see which content ecosystem has the music, movies, television shows, apps, and books that she wants. That's the tablet you should go with.
I bought my parents an ipad when it first came out and they love it. They basically use it as a google machine and that's it. If they used it more, I'd upgrade them.
I also have an ipad, but once I bought my Kindle Fire two years ago, I hardly ever use the ipad. I read a lot of books, watch movies and surf the web on my Kindle. If I need to do work or send email, I do it from my laptop or desktop. The ipad is collecting dust. If my Kindle blows up, I will replace it with an ipad mini. You can do everything the Kindle can do with a mini, plus more. I just don't feel like shelling out $350 on something I don't need.
r54, the iPad has an Amazon Prime app and a Kindle so she would still be able to access all of that.
Yeah. I have Amazon Prime and use the iPad app all the time. I use Amazon's cloud. I would not waste money on a kindle. You get so much more with the iPad.
[quote] the iPad has an Amazon Prime app
To be precise, it's called the Amazon Instant Video app, and it's available on the iPhone as well. You can stream or download the content to your device.
I got my mother an iPad mini with a wireless keyboard cover for her 88th birthday. She loves it. She already has an iphone, so that helped with the learning curve, but still. Standard iPads are actually quite heavy for frailer/smaller people, so you might want to consider the smaller tablets, whether you end up with an iPad or another product.
You guys are great and have raised some points I hadn't even thought to take into consideration. Thanks for your continued help!
The Nook HD and HD+ have just been updated to allow access to the Google Play store, so the Nook is more of a real Android tablet now.
However, this week came word that Microsoft is interested in buying the Nook business from Barnes & Noble; the tablets would be phased out by the end of 2014, and Microsoft would then offer the digital content for its own Windows-based tablets.
Just teach her how to use the laptop she already has. Doesn't sound like a tablet will solve her problems.
Despite my earlier criticisms, one thing I will say about the Kindle Fire is it's great for internet.
I actually thought buying it would reduce my internet time but if anything it's increased it. Argh.
It's great to lie in your bed with, as I often do with DL especially since my insomnia has been bad lately. And me getting locked out with prime time most other times.
I never understood people who could sit with a laptop on their knees like my mum does but this is great. Anywhere where there's wi-fi really and you're good to go, using your own router at home is fastest.
If Amazon Instant was available here I'd never be off it. The screen is brilliant of course being HD.
Tablet purchase for mom? Valium 20mg twice a day - never fails!!
R64 has it!
I gave my mom a kindle fire, she loves it. The screen saver is a photo of my partner's big hard cock. She doesn't ask me to buy things for her anymore.
so... what did you buy her, OP?
Microsoft is putting their Surface RT tablets on sale.
Get one before they're gone.
FWIW, forget the Apple ecosystem nonsense - an iPad is not a Mac. The only reason not to get her an iPad is some some stupid ABA (Anything But Apple) nonsense. As others have pointed out, it's got the easiest learning curve and the most apps. Oh yeah, and it (and the Mini) work far better than any other tablet. Plus if she ever has a problem, there's the Apple Genius Bar.
We were given a 1st gen Kindle Fire last year by an ABA who said she heard from her son (another ABA), that it was great. A bigger piece of shit I've never seen. Horribly underpowered speakers, a complete dearth of decent apps (i.e. things like no Time Warner app), that iPad users take for granted.
If you're still worried, spring for an extended AppleCare warranty. A better investment than the iPad.
Since they dropped the price - why not a Microsoft Surface?
Has a great Netflix and Hulu client - she would be familiar with IE and comes with office so if she does do more than web banking she can use excel.
add in the touch or type keyboard and it is practically a laptop you can take anywhere. While you can't load windows apps on RT. the files are compatible. So all of her docs and what not would be able to be opened etc.
Better get one quick, because like the Zune, they could be gone forever!
I'm going to get mine today because I desperately need a table shim.
they won't be gone at all - well maybe ms not making them but rt will be around - it gets the blue 8,1 update like all windows 8 and is tied to the windows phone ecosystem.
zune actually lived for a long time as a hardware and he zune service still exists today.
I bought 1st generation iPads for the family. I didn't like the virtual keyboard (they didn't have that tiny bluetooth keyboard at the time), so I replaced mine with a Macbook Air.
Since then, I've upgraded for speed and bigger ssd. My family, however, is still using the same two iPads.
I'd recommend iPads for any non-computer person.
Good question OP. First, we need some more information.
1. How much money does she have?
2. How is your relationship with your mother?
3. How many siblings do you have?
4. Does she favor your siblings over you?
Based on the info above, I could recommend a tablet or two.
[quote] Too many Surface shills to quote
"Oh, but Surface is so much cheaper!" First, not really. Second, if price is really an object, get a refurb unit from the Apple Store and add AppleCare. Third, see link for another great reason to stay away from Surface.
Your link says nothing - look MS screwed the launch of the Surface - it is overpriced and it's accessories are overpriced. I mean 70 dollars for a charger??
I have said all along if ms wanted to screw apple then they should have sold that 32 gb surface at 299 to start. The PRO is just a joke. Who wants 1920x1080 on a screen that small without the doubling trick apple does with retina. I have seen them the text is tiny.