There are several types of tablets available on the market, each one with different characteristics and nuances. Many people choose to buy a tablet for elderly parents as they offer most of the functionalities of a laptop computer, but in a lighter and less expensive package.
However, there is no “one size fits all” model: each type will likely be better adapted to certain situations than others. In order to find the best tablet for elderly parents, it is therefore important to carefully assess their particular needs and adapt accordingly. Keep reading for more information about this topic!
What kind of usage do your parents need?
Hands-on experience shows that some types of tablets are better suited than others depending on how your parents want to use them: if they want to stay mainly at home, then an Android tablet (with or without 3G connectivity) might be the best option; if they will use it for business purposes, then a Windows tablet is likely to be a better choice.
Let’s start with a brief overview of important characteristics that will help you identify best tablet for elderly parents:
- Comfortable Typing Experience:
Some tablets have full-sized keyboards and provide tactile feedback when typing. Other models expose virtual keyboards on their touch screens as an alternative. In any case, the functionality offered by these two types of devices is quite similar and greatly simplifies tasks such as sending emails or entering data into forms. The biggest difference lies in the comfort provided by each one of these solutions: physical keyboards tend to be more pleasant for typing long texts, yet virtual keyboards offer a better user experience when browsing the web or playing games.
In terms of usability, most models have their own keyboard layouts which can take some getting used to. As such, it is important to test how easy it is to type with your parent’s prospective tablet before making any decision. Depending on the layout and size of the keys, this task may become frustrating very quickly!
- Battery Life:
The battery life of tablets varies greatly depending on each one’s hardware components. Some lasts only around 6 hours under normal use while others can keep going for several days between charges. It is therefore important to think about how much autonomy you expect from your parents’ tablet when choosing one. Make sure to choose a device with enough battery life for their needs in order not to be caught in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery!
- Size and weight:
Tablets are generally small devices, but screen sizes can greatly vary between models. Some can easily fit into a purse or bag while others barely fit in your average pocket. If your parents want to carry their tablet around frequently, make sure they get one that is light enough for them to handle without difficulty! Screen size also has an impact on how easy it is to hold the device during extended periods of use: the bigger the display, the more likely users will get tired of holding it by hand.
- Ease of Use:
The user interface of tablets is generally very simple due to their touch interface. However, there are some subtle differences between each model depending on the OS they use: Android tablets tend to be more intuitive for first-time users since they have a similar look & feel as smartphones; Windows tablets, on the other hand, present their own way of doing things and may require getting used to by your parents.
Now that you have an idea about what features to take into account when choosing a tablet for elderly parents, let’s see which are the models that are currently available on the market!
- Android Tablets:
Google’s mobile operating system has become extremely popular in recent years thanks its ease of use and high degree of customize. All latest-generation Android devices come with a large number of pre-installed applications which cover a wide range of uses. In addition, the Google Play Store has a great deal of tablet-optimized apps that can be installed by your parents to boost their experience even more.
The best tablet for elderly parents on the market are:
1. Nexus 7
This is one of the best bang for buck all-round device currently available on the market. Sporting a 7″ display and powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chip running at 1.5GHz, it offers great performance while being easy to carry around in a bag or pocket due to its fairly compact size and low weight. Its battery life is also more than decent, offering up to 9 hours of continuous web browsing or up to 6 hours of video playback.
The Nexus 7 also comes with the latest Android update out of the box, offering a clean UI and more customization possibilities than other tablets on the market (custom ROMs are available for more tech-savvy users). The user interface is smooth and intuitive which makes it easy for your parents to get accustomed to this tablet.
- Great value for money.
- Decent performance.
- Smooth user interface.
- The display is fairly low-res compared to most other devices on the market.
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8″
This model is one of the best Android tablet available right now in terms of quality/price ratio. It comes with an 8″ screen, making it slightly bigger than most 7″ tablets out there which makes it more comfortable to use while still being easy to carry around thanks to its light weight. It is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chip and offers up to 11 hours of continuous web browsing over WiFi connectivity — great news for parents who need some extra autonomy while using their device! Its life can be further extended using the Power Saving Mode feature that helps users get the most out of their battery.
The Galaxy Tab 4 8″ comes with Android Jelly Bean (the latest available version is still KitKat) which means it will offer a decent user experience while not being as fluid and intuitive as latest-gen devices which run on Lollipop. Its 8″ screen has relatively good resolution for its size, although you can get better-quality displays on some other tablets currently available. Overall, this model is one of the best choice if your parents are looking for an easy to carry around device with great autonomy!
- Light weight.
- Good performance.
- Great autonomy.
- Sharp display.
- Older Android version pre-installed.
3. Amazon Fire HD 6
This is one of the cheapest tablet on the market, but despite its price it offers pretty good performance, especially if you consider that your parents won’t be using intensive apps or games. It has an HD 1280 x 800 display which makes web browsing and reading books more enjoyable. Its battery life is also fairly decent for this kind of device (it gives up to 7 hours of continuous reading).
The Fire HD 6 runs on a heavily modified version of Android called Fire OS – this means that it has no access to Google Play Store and can only run apps available through Amazon’s own store. This may be problematic if your parents want to install some new apps (or they need specific apps like Skype). However, if they are simply looking for something cheap with good autonomy, this tablet is definitely for them!
- Very cheap.
- Decent battery life.
- Good user experience for basic tasks.
- No Google Play access.
4. Asus MeMO Pad 7 ME176C
This model offers great bang for buck value right now on the market, boasting an older version of Android (KitKat) but it still runs smoothly and offers smooth UI navigation thanks to its hardware specs – it has a 1GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 processor and 2GB of RAM memory. It also has front and rear cameras with fairly decent quality so your parents will be able to take photos and videos without a problem.
Asus’ tablet comes with 16GB of storage which can be further expanded using an SD card, but Asus have been criticized in the past for being slow with their Android updates so your parents may want to consider this as it could potentially cause problems down the line. All in all, if you’re looking for a good performing device at a great value for money price, this is worth considering!
- Very cheap.
- Solid performance.
- Decent cameras.
- Older Android version pre-installed
- Updates may arrive slowly.
5. Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite 7″
This small tablet offers good battery life (around 10 hours of web browsing) and fairly good performances it is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core Cortex A7 chip. It comes with 1GB of RAM, which is the minimum you want your tablet to have. Its screen resolution is low (1024 x 600) but it is not likely that your parents will be watching movies or playing games on their device anyway, so no real problem here!
Samsung devices are usually well-made and quite reliable (they don’t make things like they used to of course), so this tablet can be a good choice if you’re looking for something decent at an affordable price. Keep in mind that it may arrive running on older Android version though (currently Lollipop).
- Very cheap.
- Long battery life.
- Solid performance.
- Great user experience for basic tasks.
- Low screen resolution.
- Runs on older Android version (Lollipop).
6. Lenovo TB3-850M
This one is slightly more expensive than the previous model, but it offers much better performance due to its 1.44 GHz Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM memory. The design is also fairly attractive, which shouldn’t be neglected – after all your parents will use this tablet for web browsing and reading books mostly! It has 32 GB of storage that can be further expanded using a microSD card up to 128 GB though.
The main drawback here is that it comes with an older version of Android (KitKat), so there’s no guarantee that your parents will get future updates – let’s hope Lenovo will continue to support this device and offer future updates at least.
- Decent performance.
- Good design.
- long battery life.
- Runs on older Android version (KitKat).
- No access to Google Play Store.
All in all, if you’re looking for a cheap and reliable device that can be used to answer emails or surf the web, any of these three models would be a best tablet for elderly parents.
However, if you’d like to buy your parents something more recent and with faster performance (and better resolutions), I’d recommend the Asus MeMO Pad 7 ME176C. The Asus MeMO Pad 7 ME176C definitely seems like the best choice in my opinion.