Speak Your Mind

Speak Your Mind: My Mom and Dad Need Your Help

…but they don’t know it. You see, my parents need a new computer. They need one bad. Seriously, it’s getting ridiculous.

Really, this computer would be for my mom, because my dad isn’t what you’d call a techie. From our conversations, my mom is torn between getting a laptop and an iPad. Growing up, we’d always had a PC, so an iPad would be her foray into the wonderful world of Mac. 

My darling mum mostly uses her computer to get on Facebook or read the newspaper or send emails. But she also has a tendency to take a lot of photos, so she wants a device with and SD slot. But an iPad is cheaper, which is always a big plus.

My advice (“You should get ME and iPad!”) has been characteristically unhelpful. Plus, I have no idea what I’m talking about. So…

Are there any computer buffs out there? What would you recommend to a couple of middle-aged parents? Are there any better tablets out there? 

Featured image credit: WarOnTomato

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Mindy is an attorney and Managing Editor of Teen Skepchick. She hates the law and loves stars. You can follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


  1. August 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm —

    You’d be surprised what you can find. There are a lot of good laptops for under $600, and quite a few even in the $400-$500 range. Netbooks are a pain, so I would say steer your parents clear of those, but a 13 or 15 inch laptop really is a lot nicer and easier to work with than an iPad. If you look on Newegg, you can tune the search to price, screen size, etc very easily, so you should be able to find one that will fit your parents’ needs well 🙂

    You’ll probably want something with an i3 or i5 CPU (or a similarly priced laptop with a Phenom II) and if your mom has a lot of pictures, at least a 320GB hard drive (more is better, but that is usually plenty). With windows 7, 4GB of RAM is probably best, although 2GB will work.

    • August 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm —

      Thank you! I knew I would find the help I need here 🙂

  2. August 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm —

    She could get the ipad and one of these bad boys:


    • August 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm —

      Ha! I want her to get an iPad just so I can play with it!

  3. August 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm —

    My mom just made the jump to an iPad from a PC and she LOVES it. She’s pretty much exactly what you describe: not very tech savvy, middle-aged, and was debating between laptop and tablet. It took a little bit of getting used to and I had to explain a lot to her (which mostly meant I got to play with the iPad a lot), but she brings it everywhere with her now. She loves being able to make her screen bigger because she has bad eyesight, she loves being able to read whenever and wherever she wants without dragging tons of books with her, and she is adorably obsessed with pulling it out to google things whenever someone asks a question to which no one knows the answer.
    So I’d say iPad is a good plan. That is as long as there’s still access to a real computer somewhere for word processing, because typing on the iPad is not fun.

    • August 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm —

      There are also keyboards you can buy that plug into the iPad, aren’t there? One of her friends lent her an iPad when my mom was in the hospital a while back, and I think she liked it a lot. I don’t think I’m projecting my unbridled lust for the iPad onto her…

  4. August 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm —

    Yeh, My mom & dad both have Ipads now & they love them. Easy to use, great for email, facebook, newspapers. You will also be amazed how quickly non-gaming parents download a crappy free game and waste time.

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