For about a decade, Apple has been working on a tablet-based Mac computer system. Today, January 27th, 2010, will go down in the annals of the history of technology as the date that Steve Jobs introduced the iPad tablet to the world. The iPad is a 9.7 inch touchscreen tablet computer. Think of it as the iPod touch on steroids. Depending on the model, the iPad ranges from $499 to $699; it should be available for purchase in about two months.
There might be some sort of assumption that the iPad tablet is too flashy and is not an elder friendly product. But we would like to dispute that. The truth is that not all seniors have the same technological needs or desires. If you are suffering from dementia, the iPad might be a bit too complicated. However, if you have a mild case of arthritis, loved the idea of iPhone but found the buttons too small, it is worth looking into the iPad tablet.
Elder friendly features: Nice Big Screen (a height of 9.5 inches and a width of 7.5 inches), Large Touchscreen Keypad, External Keyboard (so you don’t need to use a touchpad to compose a long e-mail or letter), Simple Interface, Stable and Lightweight (1.5 to 1.6 pounds, depending on the model), Bright Backlit LCD Display System (unlike the Kindle, it displays color).
Notable benefits: The battery lasts up to 10 hours, the cellular data plan with AT&T costs $15 a month for 250 MB of bandwidth and $30 a month for unlimited data, can hold anywhere from 16 to 64 GB of data, can run all 140,000 iPhone applications, Kindle-esque capabilities such as an iBook application, iTunes, iPod, Apple Store, internet access.
Price range: Medium
Just a note: we haven’t been able to physically play with the iPad yet, so consider this to be a preliminary discussion of the product. Look for additional ElderGadget posts on the subject within the upcoming months once we get our hand on it.