2011-11-16 / Seniors

Simplified Computers For Seniors

Dear Savvy Senior

Do you know of any home computers that are specifically designed for senior citizens? I would like to get a computer for my 73-year-old mother, but she’s not computer savvy at all.

Look Around

Dear Looking,

There are actually several computers on the market today that are designed specifically for older boomers and seniors who want, and need, things simple. Here are some top options to check out.

Telikin: For seniors that have little or no computer experience, the new Telikin “touch-screen” computer is a wonderful option. Ready to go right out of the box, this innovative computer comes preloaded with simplified software that makes accessing the Web, e-mail, games, video chat, photo sharing, news, weather and more, with just a touch of the screen away. And since it runs on Linux software instead of the standard Windows or Mac OS, it’s a virus-free computer too.

The Telikin comes with a sleek 18.6- inch LCD touchscreen (a 20-inch touchscreen will be available in mid to late June), a 320-gigabyte hard drive, built-in speakers, webcam, microphone, wired keyboard and mouse, and provides a unique “tech buddy” feature that can help seniors get computer assistance when needed. Priced at $700, (the 20-inch model will retail for $995) Telikin comes with a 60-day trial period, one-year warranty and free support for the first 60 days. Visit www.telikin.com or call 800-230- 3881 to learn more.

It’s also worth noting that Telikin has a partnership with firstSTREET, www.firststreetonline.com, 800-704- 1209, a senior product direct marketing company which is also selling this computer rebranded as the “WOW! Computer for Seniors.”

Senior PCs: Sold through Enablemart, www.enablemart.com, 888-640-1999, are Hewlett-Packard computers that also come completely set-up and ready to use, but depending on your mom’s needs, you’ll have several options to choose from.

If you’re looking for a simplified goofproof operation, the Autopilot desktop is the best model. This PC comes equipped with QualiWorld software that provides one-click solutions for tasks like letter writing, preparing a document, surfing the Internet, sending and reading e-mails and much more. The Autopilot also comes with OnTimeRx medication and appointment reminding software, HOYLE Crossword and Sudoku puzzles, a high contrast keyboard, mouse, 17-inch monitor, speakers and a color printer all for $1,125. They also offer this same Autopilot computer in a laptop edition for $1,165.

Or, for seniors with low vision their Vision Plus model may be a better fit. This computer comes pre-configured with everything you need to see your PC, including state-of-the-art screen magnification software, a high visibility keyboard, and an all-in-one printer/scanner for scanning books, mail and other reading materials for magnification. It also comes with OnTimeRx medication reminder software, HOYLE Crossword and Sudoku puzzles, a 17-inch monitor, mouse and external speakers. The price: $1,255 for the Vision Plus desktop, or $1,895 for the laptop edition.

Kiwi PC: If you’re looking for something more affordable, the new Linuxpowered Kiwi PC for seniors is another option to consider. Priced at just $380, this user-friendly computer provides a simplified navigation system, with oversized tool bar, large icons and text that makes it easier to see and use. Other features include a customizable “Me Menu” that provides quick and easy access to frequently visited Web sites, e-mail and programs straight from the desktop, a colorcoded keyboard, 19-inch monitor, and a toll-free phone support line that’s available 24/7. Go to www.kiwipc.com, or call 855-255-5494.

Savvy Tip: While it’s not designed specifically for seniors, the Apple iPad2™ ($499) is another user-friendly option that has gotten great reviews from older users, go to www.apple.com to learn more.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit www.savvysenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to “The NBC Today Show” and author of The Savvy Senior books.

The Gazette does not endorse the contents of The Savvy Senior. Check with professionals about the contents of this column.

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