Advice Wanted: iPad Mini vs. Other Tablets

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Massie

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Here's the situation: my dad wants to buy a tablet so he can begin texting me. He's in his sixties and has never had a computer--not even an email address. I really want him to get an iPad or iPad Mini, mostly because I feel like they are the most user-friendly for someone in his position, but also because iMessage and FaceTime would make communication much easier with me (iPhone 5, MBP).

However, it seems like he's wanting to check out some less expensive options--and this is where I need advice. If he was to go for another tablet, what is the best option? A Nexus, maybe? And assuming that whatever he gets is WiFi-only, what are the best apps available for cross-platform communication? (Whatsapp, etc.)

Ideally he'll just get the iPad, even if it means I pay for most of it, but I'd be interested to hear what his other options are. Thanks!
 

Peligro911

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A lot of tablets out there but I would push for iPad just for ease or use vs the others

Skype would be a cross platform as well




Sent from my iPhone 5 from a galaxy far far away (in the USA ) using Tapatalk !
 

Alli

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Get him a phone if he just wants to text. He's only in his 60's, ffs, he's not dead. If he realizes how simple it is to text, he might want to text other people, in which case he'll need a phone to flat out text from wherever he is. With an iPad, iPad Mini, or any other tablet, he would only be able to text a limited number of people when he's on WiFi. (If someone deletes WhatsApp, you'd never know.)

Break him in gently with a feature phone. Forget a tablet, if that's your only reason for getting one.
 

Massie

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I'd actually love to set him up with my old iPhone 4; it's him that wants the tablet. Size/eyesight might be an issue. But you're right, it might be worth having him look at some of the bigger phones out there, maybe a GS3 or something...
 

LCW

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Once you go mini you'll never go back. Size is PERFECT! Use my mini every single day since launch. Probably more than the 16 months prior with full size iPads (2 then a 3)!
 

gvndeb60

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Ok, so if he wants cheaper, let use the $200 price point of the Nexus or Kindle Fire. You stated that you would pay some, just pay the difference of the mini( $130). It will let you use FaceTime and iMessage like you want, and he gets an easier device for someone that has never even had a computer.
Plus there is the added bonus of the Apple store. He could purchase there and get lots of good training from their staff. You could even purchase one on one so he can go in whenever for training/help.


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gvndeb60

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I'd actually love to set him up with my old iPhone 4; it's him that wants the tablet. Size/eyesight might be an issue. But you're right, it might be worth having him look at some of the bigger phones out there, maybe a GS3 or something...

If he is ok with paying for a data plan, you might want to try the Galaxy Note if a bigger screen is needed for his eyes. You can get refurbs on contract for $50 or off contract in the $300 range. I have no issues with Android and the screen size would be nice but the OS might be a lot for someone with zero computer experience.

Not sure of the prices, but Windows is another easy solution, my mother in law loves it(she also had zero computer or smart phone experience).


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afazel

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Maybe the Nook HD? I can't remember exactly which model it is, but the newer one with the front-facing camera. That or a Kindle HD. Simplicity + functionality.

Talk him into the iPad mini, though.
 

Bcloutier

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What about an iPad 2? There might be some refurbished ones on the Apple Store, or many places are selling the iPad 2 for $400 or so. Resolution doesn't matter really, it's thinner than the 3 or 4 and still has all of the features a newer one does. If you're worried about eyesight I'd go for a regular iPad instead of a mini. The keyboard is much bigger, and thus easier to use, on a regular iPad. It costs a bit more than an iPad mini, but you may even get lucky and find someone selling a used one for a reasonable price in good condition.
 

leathernuts#WP

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iPad or mini would be first choice obviously, but when you get down to the $200 price point, then Nexus 7 is the one all my research and my IT recommended currently of the 3. In fact I bought my daughter the kindle HD, but am returning it this weekend. I just picked up the nexus 7 tonight, but haven't played with it because its her Xmas gift but you know i will come Xmas day, hey Dads got to set it up for her-right? I will say this though, between the 2, the nexus felt in the hand closest to an apple product to me. Picking up the nook and kindle, to me, it was obvious I was holding another animal. Good luck.
 

afazel

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iPad or mini would be first choice obviously, but when you get down to the $200 price point, then Nexus 7 is the one all my research and my IT recommended currently of the 3. In fact I bought my daughter the kindle HD, but am returning it this weekend. I just picked up the nexus 7 tonight, but haven't played with it because its her Xmas gift but you know i will come Xmas day, hey Dads got to set it up for her-right? I will say this though, between the 2, the nexus felt in the hand closest to an apple product to me. Picking up the nook and kindle, to me, it was obvious I was holding another animal. Good luck.

Can't really go wrong with a Nexus 7, either. I think someone who doesn't use a PC may have some trouble with Android, however.
 

Rene Ritchie

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The other tablets suck. I don't mean to be harsh, but they do. The Nexus 7 is probably the best, but it's more big iPod touch than small iPad.

Tim Cook was absolutely right: Your dad may feel great he saved a few bucks when he buys a cheaper tablet, but he'll spend months regretting it lately.

An iPad mini for $329 or an iPad 2 for $399 aren't more expensive, they're better values.

(And I own a Nexus 7, have for months, and it's still not an iPad alternative... yet.)
 

henywatty

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The other tablets suck. I don't mean to be harsh, but they do. The Nexus 7 is probably the best, but it's more big iPod touch than small iPad.
Can you explain how the Nexus 7 is a big iPod Touch and the iPad Mini isn't? The Nexus 7 has far more power and functionality than an iPod Touch, and an iPad Mini, for that matter.

Sent from my Nexus 7 running Android 4.2.1 using Tapatalk 2
 

Rene Ritchie

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Google hasn't successfully deployed a tablet interface yet. They've failed to get developers to embrace tablet interfaces, and they've compromised their own software by promoting a mishmash of smartphone and tablet elements on the Nexus 7.

My *guess* is they simply haven't had time to do it and they'll get to it eventually, but right now the Nexus 7 lacks tablet software, so it's not really a tablet.

(Power and functionality don't really matter -- the DNA and Note 2 are almost the same size as the Nexus 7, and are as powerful and functional as the Nexus 7, yet they're not tablets either.)

Apple and iOS suck in a lot of ways as well, but they've been the most successful in deploying tablet interface and tablet software to date.
 

Massie

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Thanks all—after going to a few places and actually trying everything, he's decided on either an iPhone 4S or a Samsung GSIII so he can have a bit more portability. Proud of the guy!—he actually took early retirement so he wouldn't be forced to learn a computer system, so this is a big step for him.
 

richard_rsp

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Can you explain how the Nexus 7 is a big iPod Touch and the iPad Mini isn't? The Nexus 7 has far more power and functionality than an iPod Touch, and an iPad Mini, for that matter.

Sent from my Nexus 7 running Android 4.2.1 using Tapatalk 2

I will have to agree with Rene. I have a nexus 7 (and a mini) and while its not a bad device, the apps don't seem to be setup for tablets, but rather as blown up phone apps. It's not bad, by any means, but the iPad mini is a better tablet IMHO. Also, the 4:3 aspect ratio is much more usable than the 16:9...
 

axllebeer

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As a user of the mini and a BlackBerry PlayBook, I think the ipad 2 would have been the best choice for price, screen size, and ease of use. My mother just got hers for an early Christmas Present, she loves it. And she is 59.
 
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cardfan

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It really depends. For my kid, I'm considering a Fire HD 7". It's all about the amazon content especially unlimited childrens books they've recently announced (although still have to check it out). Along with better parental controls.

For my mother in law who really can't operate a PC either? The criteria changes. You don't care about parental controls. Content? Still a bit important as it needs to be easy. Cost? Has to be low. Their tech budget is usually "free" if they can manage it (or manage you is more like it..lol). But most of all it has to be EASY TO USE.

Cross out the Nexus on that one. It comes down to Amazon vs ipads. The being cheap and having some free (with your Prime) content rears its head again. But ease of use goes to ipads as well as more of a variety in what apps you can use. Ideally, in my case, the tablet would have LTE. She could basically get rid of her internet which she hates paying for (and doesn't really use much at all as her PC stays turned off most of time) and we could put her on our plan for 10 a month. That means Verizon. That means ipad. BTW i should mention the 30 a month dsl internet she pays for is too slow to be useful besides web browsing. It's a bit less than 1mb down. A speedtest of my verizon iphone 5 is like 15-20mbps down inside her house.

So ease of use, we share our apps with her, share some content she likes, netflix, amazon video, etc, her cancelling her internet pays for itself. Ipad wins. Which ipad? 16gb LTE for sure. Probably a Mini.
 
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