Internet is getting more and more important in our daily lives: communication, information, online shopping, administrative paperwork… Are you planning to offer a computer or a tablet PC to one of your loved ones or to yourself !?

Perfect! Our tips will guide you through this oh so important buying choice to determine which material is best for beginning senior Internet users!

  • Tip #1: Think about the needs of the senior user!

Here are some key ideas to keep in mind before the purchase so that you can find the material best suited:

  • Start by carefully thinking about the usage of  the material  in order to choose a machine that suits your needs: neither too powerful and complex, nor too limited.
  • Think medium / long term: What are the customization possibilities of the new computer? Will the material still be appropriate if the user is progressing?
  • Think about customization and adaptation options: according to your present and future needs (eg. blurred vision …) is it possible to set the internal appearance of the machine, are there any compatible simplified accessories available?
  • Think collective and strategic: what kind of machine is the most used in your surroundings? While there are many lessons and self-help books for classical computers this is less the case for specific senior computers.

 

  • Tip #2: Think about the inconvenient laptops can have!

Who says laptop, says compact. Thus, this is not the best solution in terms of comfort and user friendliness for a novice user: Compared to a PC, as the size of the screen and the keyboard are smaller, senior users have sometimes difficulties to hand it. In addition there is a greater fragility and the need to manage power. Therefore, we do only recommend the purchase of a laptop computer if  transportability is one of your key criteria. If you still want to buy a portable pc: take one with a numeric keypad!

 

  • Tip #3:  Do not underestimate the potential and the comfort of a real PC

We often realize that we mostly use the computer at home. A personal computer is in general composed of 3 elements: a keyboard to write, a screen to visualize and a tower: the “motor” of a computer.

The additional benefit of a personal computer is that you can choose and adapt these 3 elements independently, depending on your needs. For more visual comfort, eg. seniors and visually impaired, specific products are available.

– The keyboard: For example, a keyboard with large keys and large letters, three times larger than a standard keyboard makes using more comfortable.

standard keyboard vs visual comfort keyboard

For greater visual comfort opt for a keyboard with large buttons.

– The screen: after the same logic: the bigger the screen is, the better the visibility. A screen of 24-inch for example offers the best user comfort. What’s more, you can edit and customize most of the visual settings on your own. We will soon write a specific post about this.

If you have problems using the mouse and touching seems much more easier to you, note that there are now touch screens!

– The tower: If you want to use your PC for tasks like browsing the internet, word processing, image editing, etc. a normal computer allows you to perform these actions (eg. 120 GB hard drive and 1 GB or 2 GB RAM are enough for comfortable use).
In order to choose the best option, do not hesitate to discuss your needs with a specialized shop dealer.

To resume:
As you know now, one of the big advantages of the personal computer ist their capacity to be customized and personalized according to your needs.
This possibilities are not only limited on material but also count for the internal configuration of the computer. Everything is customizable according to your wishes in order to make it more user-friendly.

 

  • Tip #4: Beware of  hidden costs of senior computers!

Designed to be simplified and adapted to the use of seniors, special senior computers can be very useful for real beginners.

However, because of this forced “simplicity” the lack of customization and personalization compared to a conventional computer can be deplored.

What’s more, the price for the simplicity of those computers is by way of comparison high. Also, many senior computers require a monthly subscription fee of up to 30 € per month, additional to the internet subscription.

 

  • Tip #5: Make sure that the comfort of the tablet is good enough!

TabletA cheaper and interesting alternative for those who want to browse the web and who don’t need functions such as text editing and other basic programs are tablet computers.

“Touchable” – the immediate access might for some be the big plus, for others this might not be the case due to user difficulties such as problems linked to motivity. The weight of the tablet, as well as the accuracy of the touch screen may also cause problems.


As you can imagine there are for sure also special touch screen computers for seniors.

What ever you choose, remember that Hakisa offers a free service to simplify the internet thanks to its simplified portal based on intergenerational support. A friendly and easy way to remotely help your loved ones with their first steps on the internet.

And what is your purchasing advice? Do you still have some questions? We are here to help you!
We will soon write another post to explain how to optimize the senior’s usability of a classical computer. Themes will be screen resolution, contrast, character size, cursor, useful programs and software … as well as other tools facilitating the use of a computer.