I often get asked to recommend products for seniors. With the explosion in the mobile and tablet market, it is no surprise that seniors are increasingly using the internet and internet-enabled devices to do so.
Indeed, research carried out by Ofcom earlier this year pointed out that most 65- to 74-year-olds use their mobile devices primarily for checking emails and browsing. And most importantly that tablet use amongst this age group has grown exponentially from 5% to 17% in 2012 and 2013 to get to a staggering 42% now.
We’re not really surprised, as the ability to magnify text, move around while Skype-ing with the grandchildren and very responsive touchscreens have made the transition from desktop computers very easy.
So if you are in the market for a tablet for a silver surfer, we have made the job super easy for you by rounding up the best five tablets for the over-65s.
Samsung Tab S 10.5 - Full review here
Light, beautifully built and the excellent software make this our top choice in the large tablets arena. The screen might be a tad over-saturated but that works in favour for our target audience.
The bright screen, expandable storage and great battery life and help to make it an excellent choice in our opinion… but it is let down with two minor niggles: the back of the tablet is the faux leather-look plastic most recently seen adorning the backs of the Galaxy S5, and the selection of tablet-optimised apps on Android is still very poor.
We are happy to overlook these, however!
Nokia Lumia 2520 - Full review here
The Nokia Lumia 2520 is a great tablet for those who are very accustomed to Windows and, more importantly, a PC.
4G capability means they will be able to catch up on the last episode of Eastenders or GBBO without any lags. And a Netflix or Lovefilm account makes use of the superfast connectivity to get it to speed along.
The 10.1-inch Full HD display and pin-sharp high-def video are some of the 2520’s other selling points. The 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB RAM let the Lumia handle everything with ease and with Microsoft Office pre-installed, it is great for those who have spent years using Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook.
Kindle Fire HDX - Full review here
One word: Mayday!
Have you ever had your parents ring to ask how to adjust brightness on their tablet screens? I have, and while it is not annoying, it’s just really badly timed, each time, every time! If you have that problem as well… you need this tablet in their lives.
The Kindle Fire HDX comes with tech support on tap accessed via the unique Mayday button. You press a button, then click connect. The tech support advisor draws on the screen and takes you through working on the tablet… from adding bookmarks to how to make a purchase.
The connection is impressively quick (a matter of seconds) and the assistants appear both friendly and knowledgeable.
With a sharper resolution than the IPad Air, HD images on our 8.9-inch review model looked absolutely stunning. On-board storage can range from 16GB to 64GB, depending on the model you opt for, so you should have enough space to carry plenty of books, apps, movies and more around.
Asus Transformer Book T100t - Full review here
Incredibly good value for money at just £349, the T100t is a full-blown Windows 8 tablet, which converts neatly into a mini-laptop via a nifty keyboard dock. And with Microsoft Office bundled, this is a highly affordable way to stay productive on the move.
As long as you can get comfy on the dinky keyboard, the tablet offers dependable budget performance. Apps and MS Office ran really well - and you can play two apps side-by-side with no noticeable slowdown.
Factor in the bundled copy of Office, plus the excellent battery life, and you can stay productive all day - even if it’s just in front of the telly.
iPad Air - Full review here
The iPad Air is the most intuitive tablet out there… you don’t need a manual to figure out how to use this device. Sleek, surprisingly portable and a powerhouse, affordability aside, this is the best tablet money can buy.
With incredible movie/apps/games experience that just can’t be beaten, Apple has added extra value by making the excellent iWork and iLife suite of apps free to download from the App Store. iWork includes Pages (a creative word processor that produces magazine-style pages), Keynote (a handy presentation app) and Numbers (hot spreadsheet action), while iLife includes iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand (photo, video and audio editors respectively). We’re particular fans of the iLife suite, which are three powerful and professional editing apps that take full advantage of the iPad’s hardware.
It’s simple on the surface with some great features packed away inside, and it is only Apple’s insistence on using iTunes for fiddling with your media that detracts from an intuitive and friendly interface.