ipad elderly dad - 3g if the dont have internet?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by nashville man, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. nashville man macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hello,
    Considering laptop vs iPad for 84 yr old dad...since he doesn't "create content" thinking iPad might be easier for "consumption"(browsing/surfing, email, and content viewing.

    He is NOT at all computer savvy, doesn't even have internet (since cancelling AOL DIAL UP)

    Questions:
    Is iPad right for him vs cheap $400 pc based laptop?
    And...
    Can he get iPad 3g and not need hi speed internet (he has direct tv, but trying to avoid 45-60/month internet bill, since he doesn't use it that much...

    Thanks for suggestions and advice.
     
  2. Arnezie macrumors 65816

    Arnezie

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    #2
    I think once he learned the basic navigation of the iPad an how to do things it would be great for him. Never to old or too young IMO :apple:
     
  3. driftless macrumors 65816

    driftless

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    #3
    I have been pushing my late '80's neighbors and family to an iPad with keyboard from their ancient Dell's for a while now.
     
  4. filmbuff macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

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    #4
    Do you mean can he get 3g instead of home internet? I would say yes, he probably isn't going to use too many GB torrenting movies (is he?).

    My Grandma got a laptop as her first computer ever recently and has no trouble using it for basic things. An iPad is easier to use overall, but what about the smaller screen? I know the screen is too small for me to surf the internet for a long time and it doesn't have many accessibility features like making text bigger that you would find on a laptop.
     
  5. driftless macrumors 65816

    driftless

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    #5
    I missed the part about WiFi but I would think WiFi would be better than 3G regardless of the price. Since he has DirectTV now ......
     
  6. poloponies Suspended

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    #6
    How on earth would WiFi be better than 3G for what he described?
     
  7. driftless macrumors 65816

    driftless

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    #7
    Much faster, less frustrating.
     
  8. poloponies Suspended

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    #8
    What the hell are you talking about? How is 3G frustrating for web surfing and email? I use my 3G iPad daily for hours, I find it no different for most purposes than my very high speed WiFi at home.
     
  9. driftless macrumors 65816

    driftless

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    #9
    I am sorry, don't swear at me. Even if you have good 3G, WiFi is still faster.
     
  10. OlgaJ macrumors 6502

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    #10
    3G will still cost him. $30 per month for 3GB. I think that 3G will work fine for him though.
     
  11. driftless macrumors 65816

    driftless

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    #11
    If he is at home with a modem/router option, WiFi is better. Will he be traveling and using the iPad outside of WiFi hotspots? If so, get the 3G, otherwise WiFi is faster and more reliable. The costs are roughly comparable.
     
  12. nashville man thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    No, won't be travelling. He is mostly homebound, caring for my mom who is immobile and can no longer care for herself. So, either WiFi or 3g could work...guess I thought 3g was less $ and would not require installation of WiFi, cost of modem, router etc. Could be that if costs of WiFi and 3g are comparable, he might be better served with broadband WiFi, etc.
    Know he needs either a very inexpensive laptop or iPad to be portable moving from room to room. Just looking for easiest, least $$$ for him. Valid point re screen size...even $400 laptops are 15" screen but are they as easy on the eyes as iPad 9.7" screen? Then there is the easy of touchscrren IOS vs manipulating keyboard and mousepad...he is not a typist...one finger mode...
     
  13. driftless macrumors 65816

    driftless

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    #13
    I think that with older folks that a keyboard is essential with an iPad. I haven't seen a problem with the screen size as they will sit close to it and are amazed by the pic quality. If you have an iPad, or access to one, you may want to to show it to your Dad. Best of luck to you.

    - David
     
  14. OlgaJ macrumors 6502

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    #14
    With 3G it will be cheaper than the amount that you referred to in your original post. If his previous experience was dial up, the 3G will seem blazing fast to him. First see how he does with the 3G, and if he thinks it's slow, then get him wireless for the house and switch the iPad to wifi.

    ----------

    I'm in my 60s with friends in the 70s. We all prefer the touchscreen for typing. I even bought a keyboard thinking that I may need it but have not used it. I do prefer to read the iPad screen than my laptop.

    The iPad is also so much easier to carry around the house with you and sit somewhere comfortably than getting comfy with a laptop.
     
  15. poloponies Suspended

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    #15
    The suggestion that WiFi is better for the situation you describe is silly. 3G will be fine and cheaper as you noted.
     
  16. driftless macrumors 65816

    driftless

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    #16
    poloponies - please, you are coming across as a kid. It is fine to state an opinion but comments like "silly" are childish. I suspect that the OP has a pretty good idea at this point what is best for his father.
     
  17. nashville man thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Thanks everyone....sounds like iPad is viable as an alternative in this case since he is consuming content, not creating it (other than simple emails)...no word docs, no spreadsheets, no ppt, etc. Who knows, maybe he'd get some pleasure from a few sports games, some apps, etc...the simplicity is key, and guess IOS has that advantage...

    Yes, he'd need to try out the virtual keyboard, but I suppose as you have noted, can always add a keyboard to ipad.

    Sounds like 3g vs WiFi could go either way with each having pros and cons. What are some heavy 3g users paying per month for heavy iPad data use?
     
  18. poloponies Suspended

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    #18
    No; what I'm doing is reading his request and responding thoughtfully. You're ignoring the fact that his WiFi costs will be roughly double 3G and his father's intended uses are browsing and email. For those conditions making the statements that "WiFi is faster and more reliable" and "costs are roughly comparable" demonstrates a poor attempt at a meaningful response.
     
  19. driftless macrumors 65816

    driftless

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    #19
    We have the 3GB plan for $30/mo. Could have sworn it was $25/mo when we signed up. But com are that to Comcast's, and maybe DirectTV's, 250GB of download service a month. If you Dad starts streamling on Netflix, etc., he will blow through the 3G data limit. Truthfully, we don't use 3G that much as we normally receive poor service even in AT&T's two strong service markets Chicago & Atlanta. We use WiFi at home and out for the most part. If we need to go on-line while out, we will always duck into a Starbucks, etc., rather than use the 3G. Hence, my questioning relying on 3G. We are looking forward to the iPad having LTE. I would suggest using a device with the 3G service that you are considering for your father in his house to test it out first, if possible. Again, WiFi will always be faster and more reliable.

    Good Luck.
     
  20. nashville man thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Not trying to "be Switzerland," but I'm grateful for and appreciate everyone's replies here. I don't have a good feel for how to advise him, so I wanted to seek the thoughts of those more experienced and wiser than I in this matter.

    He is currently a Verizon cell customer, but out of contract and could switch. I don't know what 3g plans are like "in reality" per month, but most WiFi seems to run $40-50 per month, correct? And with 3g, you pay monthly but have no contract obligations, right? Whereas with various broadband packages, there is a 12-24 month minimum obligation. If it matters, he has ATT landline and Direct TV. I personally lost faith in Comcast a few years ago...seems local cable is a monopoly, not customer friendly, and feel they can charge more since no other local cable competition.

    Again, thanks to all. Didn't mean to start any flames...
     
  21. driftless macrumors 65816

    driftless

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    #21
    Remember to check the max downloads when comparing DirectTV/other to Verizon/AT&T. The cable/dish will allow 250GB or so of downloads and the cell service will allow 250MB, 3GB or 5GB. It really isn't apples to apples. Also, you can check the speeds between the various services on-line. I suggest that you get a lot more for a nominal difference.
     
  22. poloponies Suspended

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    #22
    3G is month-to-month and if his uses are mostly email and browsing, he'll be fine.

    I use WiFi at home but have had occasion to use 3G exclusively for extended periods (week at a vacation home we rented; on a long road trip) and have been extremely happy with it. My wife's car is her office and she relies exclusively on 3G during the day, her uses are essentially the same as you describe for your dad. I've yet to hear her complain about it being slow or unreliable - and she's been using 3G on her iPad since April 2010.

    As an FYI, although we're both on "grandfathered" unlimited 3G we rarely exceed 2-3GB per month with our various uses (I have 1-1/2 hours of train commute to/from downtown Chicago daily and when I'm not reading a book, I'm surfing or checking email).
     
  23. driftless macrumors 65816

    driftless

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    #23
    - d
     
  24. nashville man thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #24
    Good point. Makes it harder to really compare. Will be nice when broadband prices come down to where they should be...$40-50/month is too high....as are cable and satellite prices...we've become a society where we continue to raise our monthly "fixed costs" and at some point we need to get back to reality...too many bills for too many toys...unless your business picks up the tab, between cell, cable/sat (no premium channels it packages), broadband, 3g, on and on...it is $150-200 before you get out of bed on day 1of every month

    Pretty hard on older folks on fixed incomes...and someday we will all be there.

    Thanks to all who replied to original question in this thread. Signing off now...
     
  25. poloponies Suspended

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    #25
    My entire point is not to try to give a one-size-fits-all answer. I'm not an 84 year old with a limited set of Internet needs. If he was asking a different question I would not necessarily respond with "3G" but in this case I stand by my advice. If it turns out that his dad finds additional uses he can always change. Better to start with the least expensive/cumbersome route first.
     

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