iPad as only computer in house ?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by johnsmclean, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. johnsmclean macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    apologies if this has been discussed before.

    I was thinking that my 70+ year old auntie would benefit from having access to internet, email, BBC iPlayer etc.

    I don't think she would want the hassle of getting broadband in her house and would not need a laptop or desktop.

    So a 3G iPad would be ideal for her (I think).

    Could an iPad be able to survive on its "own" ? After the initial set up, would it be able to get by with irregular access to another computer ?

  2. johnniewalker macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2006
    Blackpool, England
    I would have thought that after the initial setup it would be fine, although the amount of data being used could be an issue if it relies only on it's 3G connection.

    It may work out cheaper to get a basic home broadband package by the time you factor in the cost of the 3G model and the charges for data.
  3. fehhkk macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Provided that she never has the need to print anything, then she could manage it that way.
  4. slipper macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2003
  5. Mitchrapp macrumors 6502a

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sounds like it'd be perfect for her needs and what shed be doing.
  6. FotoDirk macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2010
    It can work, however there might be a moment where it needs a compleet reset. Like you might consider to completly re-install a desktop/laptop after some years of usage.

    The 3G seems simpler. As only 1 device needed.
    But how is the 3G coverage around the house?

    Alternative is to take the Wifi variant and a wireless router and a fixed internet account. That will depend on the price setting of fixed internet versus a 3G account at the location.
  7. SwiftLives macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2001
    Charleston, SC
    Keep in mind that the iPad is not intended to be a replacement for a computer, but rather a supplement.
  8. macpluslaptop macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    go for it

    She would probably love it. You might have a problem if she wanted to print out an e-mail or something she saw on the web, but that may be fixed in a later software fix. The upside of getting her on the net far outweighs the limitations. It would open up the world for her.

    She might need an external keyboard, unless she hunts and pecks.
  9. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    If you give her an iPad, I suggest you back it up for her to a computer at your house. If it ever goes belly up, you can restore it. I suggest backing it up a few times a year. You might also want to create a separate iTunes account for her so she can get software. You need a valid iTunes login even to get free stuff. You will need to write it all down for her because every time she touches the app store she will have to log in, even for updates.

    As for printing, it is possible but it sounds like she doesn't have a computer at all. If you pick up some sort of dsl or cable modem and a wifi router and printer for her, you can get something in the app store to support printing. If the ability to print is important to her, I recommend you check all this out first before you part with any money.

    But yes, with proper support an iPad can make an adequate "only computer" for a senior as long as they don't expect to be able to do their taxes on the thing.
  10. Myradon macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2005
    Other considerations may be her eye sight and manual dexterity. I know some individuals who find touch devices more difficult because of arthritis and hand pains.

    Perhaps you have one you can lend her for a few days to try?
  11. ItsThatKush macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2010
    West Palm Beach, FL
    dont you need an actual computer with itunes to sync for software updates, add music, photos, etc?

    i dont see how it could be used w/o a computer unless it was for the most basic of functions
  12. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    I also think that she would be just fine with iPad. As long as you can run the s/w updates for her every now and then, she should be set.
  13. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008

    I think she is among the target audience. She doesn't want a computer, she just wants to use some basic Internet stuff without having to struggle with complex network setups or complex operating systems and applications -- that is EXACTLY what the "Safari Pad" was designed for.

    Just be sure that there actually is a 3G coverage where she lives, otherwise you will have to go through the complex process of installing a wireless router at her house. (Which might be a better option anyway for her because of the better performance of the BBC player and other video streaming services.)
  14. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008
    None of those are in the list of things that she wants to do with the iPad. And you don't constantly need to update your software.
  15. LaNex macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2010
    Eyesight is not problem with the iPad. The iPad has Zoom and VoiceOver accessibility features. I use these so I can vouch for them (I'm registered blind, very little remaining vision, fiancé has had a go with my iPad too, and he is totally blind).
    Dexterity issues I'm afraid I can't comment on.
  16. ItsThatKush macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2010
    West Palm Beach, FL

    well if she doesn't need to add media, just wants to browse and see email... then go for it. iPad would be perfect (although rather boring)

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