Best Tablets For Seniors (2013) – The Top Tablets for the Elderly in 2013

Today’s seniors are more tech savvy than their predecessors. With many people being introduced to computers, laptops and smartphones before they retired, seniors want to keep up with technology in their golden years. This is why tablets are such a popular personal computing device for many seniors.

Last year we put together a list of the top tablets for the elderly that wound up being one of the more popular posts on the blog, so we decided to update the list for 2013.

Best of Both Worlds

Tablets offer a great middle ground between laptops and smart phones. Many seniors like the benefit of the larger screen and optional keyboard, without all of the complexity and unnecessary features that laptops offer. And for those who still like their devices low tech, tablets allow seniors the ability to take and share photos and participate on social media sites without having to plow through a 100 page user manual.

Top 10 Best Tablets

These tables vary in features and price. For those who are looking for a device that can replace the need for a laptop to those who just want to use Facebook and video chat, there is a tablet here for you.

1. Apple iPad Mini MD535LL/A (32GB, Wi-Fi + AT&T 4G, Black)

 

The best feature of this iPad Mini is that it comes with AT&T 4G Wireless. Sprint and Verizon 4G plans are also available for this model. This way users don’t have to search for hotspots or available Wi-Fi networks. It is still light, fast and has 10 hours of battery life and iOS6. The Apple iPad Mini, overall, earns a GDGT rating of 93. Critics award it a rating of 8.6; users a rating of 8.9. Prices start at $600.

 

Pros

  • Comes with its own Wi-Fi network availability

  • 7.9-inch screen

  • 11 ounces

  • 10 hours of battery life

  • 32 GB flash memory

  • Apple iOS 6 operating system

  • Siri virtual assistant

Cons

  • Great for reading and watching television, but is limited in other features

  • Limited to a contract option with 4G plans

  • Can’t video chat and surf the web simultaneously

2. Toshiba Excite AT305T64 10.1-Inch 64 GB Tablet Computer – Wi-Fi – NVIDIA Tegra 3 1.20 GHz

This laptop has a larger screen and faster processing speed than the Kindle Fire. It runs on the Android 4.0 operating system but it is still easy to operate, making it ideal for seniors who aren’t as tech-savvy.  It also has front and rear cameras for those who love to take pictures to share with friends and family. This particular model isn’t listed at GDGT, but in general Toshiba Excite models earn GDGT scores between 60 and 73. Price is approximately $600.

Pros

  • 10.1 inch screen that adjusts to ambient lighting to reduce glare

  • 64 GB Hard Drive

  • HD

  • Android 4.0 operating system

  • 1.2 GHZ Processor

  • 2 Lithium Batteries

  • 10 hours battery life

  • Keyboard and stylus available

  • More ports than standard laptops

 

Cons

  • With the larger screen comes more weight, 1.32 pounds

  • While allows users to do more, still not capable of basic office programs

  • For those looking for simplicity, the Excite may be a little out of their league

3. Apple iPad with Retina Display MD510LL/A (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black)

 

For those who prefer the original iPad to the mini, the MD510LL/A offers all of the standard iPad features, along with some great new benefits. The retina display feature helps to ease eye strain and offers fantastic resolution. It is Wi-Fi capable and offers a 16GB flash memory. The Apple iPad earns a GDGT score of 88, with critics contributing to a rating of 7.8 and user ratings averaging 8.8. Prices start at $500.

Pros

  • 9.7 inch screen

  • Apple iOS 6 operating system

  • 1.4 pounds

  • 10 hours battery life

  • Dual Processor

Cons

  • With the iPad the screen is larger but it is much heavier than the mini

  • It is expensive compared to Android and Windows tablets

  • For the price it doesn’t have as many features as other tablets

  • Many users find it clunky

 

4. Apple iPad Mini MD532LL/A (32GB, Wi-Fi, White)

Many people love Apple products and the mini version of the iPad is good for those who don’t like big products. The 7″ screen has 32G capacity and Wi-Fi and iOS 6. The Apple iPad Mini is grouped into a single category at GDGT, with a rating of 93. Critics award it a rating of 8.6; users a rating of 8.9. Pricing starts at about $430.

Pros

  • Apple A5 Processor

  • 10 hours battery life

  • 10.9 ounces

  • 32 GB Flash Memory

 

Cons

  • Apps are more limited than Windows operating systems

  • Can’t multi-task as well

  • Expensive compared to other tablets in its class

 

5. Dell XPS 10 XPS10-2727BLK 10.1-Inch 32GB Tablet

This highly rated tablet has a 10″ screen but is still light and slender. It has Windows 8 and Office 2013 for those who are looking for a laptop alternative. Also can multi-task for those seniors who are always on the go. The Dell XPS 10 earns a GDGT score of 75. Critics contribute to a rating of 7.1, while a single user gives this tablet a perfect 10. Price starts at $400 and with the keyboard it can start around $460.

Pros

  • 1.4 pounds, not bad for a 10″ screen with these features

  • Battery life is extended when docked with the keyboard

  • Windows 8 operating system

  • Keyboard for those who don’t like using the one on the screen

  • Can use a mouse, printer or other monitors if desired

 

Cons

  • While it does have Wi-Fi capacity, come customers have had connection issues

  • Windows 8 can be difficult to navigate

  • Windows 8 is focused on social media, can be an issue for those who don’t live on Facebook

  • The Lithium Ion battery isn’t included

 

6. Lenovo IdeaTab K3 Lynx 11.6-Inch 64 GB Tablet

The Lenovo company has had some success with their tablets, laptops and convertibles, which are laptops that can convert into tablets. They pack a lot of power and features into their devices without making them cumbersome. This tablet is good for those who like to work and play for those who are “semi-retired”. On GDGT, the Lynx series earned a score of 69. One enthusiastic user rates it a 9.0, while a few critics contribute to a lower 6.7. Pricing starts around $400, and with a keyboard and a cover the price is only slightly higher.

Pros

  • Five-point capacity multitouch

  • Windows 8 Operating System

  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity

  • 8 hours battery life on its own, 16 hours with the keyboard

  • Keyboard and tablet together are only 0.74″

  • 1.5 pounds

  • Multiple slots and ports

 

Cons

  • 1.5 pounds may seem heavy to some

  • Lenovo makes their tablets to be replacements for laptops, which may be too complicated for some seniors

  • Some issues may occur with attaching and releasing the keyboard

7. Sony Xperia 64 GB 9.4-Inch Tablet S SGPT123US/S

 

Because this laptop was a Sony, it is a great tablet for people who love entertainment. There is even an app that allows the tablet to become a universal remote to add functionality and usability to a senior’s lifestyle. The 9′ screen size is a little larger than many tablets, but not as large as many laptops. On GDGT, the Xperia received an overall score of 70. It received better reviews from the users than the critics. Users give it a 9.0 while critics only give the Xperia a 6.7. Pricing starts at $400, and there are many great accessories available.

 

Pros

  • 9.4 inch screen

  • 1280×800 screen resolution

  • 1 GB RAM

  • 12 Hour battery life

  • 1.3 pounds

  • Android 4.0 operating system

  • Wi-Fi capable

  • Can allow for separate user configuration

  • Splash proof

Cons

  • If not an entertainment geek, not different than other tablets

  • Weight may be cumbersome to some people

 

8. Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet (128 GB Memory, 4 GB RAM, Windows 8 Pro)

The Microsoft Windows Surface Pro combines what some consider the best blend between the functionality of a PC and the portability of a tablet. With the Windows 8 operating system built-in, compatibility is unsurpassed and seniors benefit from easy file and image-sharing through SkyDrive. GDGT gives the Microsoft Windows Surface Pro a score of 75. Users contribute to a rating of 8.7, while critics award it a 7.2. Prices start at $899.

Pros

  • Windows 8 operating system for superior PC/laptop compatibility

  • 3rd generation Intel Core i5 Processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000

  • 10-point multi-touch

  • Two 720p HD cameras, front and rear-facing

  • 128 GB (approximately 89 GB available for user content)

  • Ambient light sensor for enhanced readability

  • Keyboard/cover available

 

Cons

  • Some popular mobile apps aren’t compatible with the Windows OS

  • Some complaints about short battery life

  • No Ethernet/3G/4G adaptor

 

9. ASUS Vivotab Smart Black Office 2013 H&S ME400C-C2-BK 10.1-Inch 64GB Tablet (Black)

Like the Lenovo system, the ASUS Vivotab is made for those who want a working keyboard and an alternative to a laptop. But the 64 GB tablet has a lot of great features for seniors who want to socialize, download apps and have a portable location for all of their family photos. GDGT gives the VivoTab Smart series a score of 75. Users contribute to a rating of 8.8, while critics offer a slightly lower 7.4. Prices start at $350.

Pros

  • The 10.1″ Screen is great for watching movies and is easy to see compared to smaller screens

  • 64 GB Flash Memory makes the tablet fast and turns on instantly

  • 8.5 hours of battery life

  • 1.3 pounds, which makes it lighter than many of its counterparts

  • Windows 8 Operating system

  • Lithium battery included

  • Wireless and Bluetooth

Cons

  • Microsoft office needs to be downloaded, which may be difficult for some users

  • Doesn’t always recognized when docked with magnetic keyboard

  • Some people report issues with the touch screen

 

10. Kindle Fire HD 7″, Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers

 

This is a basic tablet and has many of the features that interest seniors who aren’t necessarily tech savvy. Kindle Fire allows users to read books and magazines, listen to music, and watch television shows or movies. This tablet also helps seniors connect with friends and family by integrating basic social media sites and email programs. GDGT gives the Kindle fire a score of 79, with users and critics concurring on ratings: critics offer a 7.6, users a 7.5. Pricing for the Kindle Fire starts at $159.

 

Pros

  • 7″ screen, 8.9″ available

  • 13.9 ounces for 7 “, 20 ounces for 8″

  • Anti-glare HD

  • Dual band Wi-Fi, 33 MBPS, faster downloads and Internet search

  • Supports Facebook, Twitter, and Skype

  • Email: Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Exchange

  • Sound is rich, not tiny or distorted

  • 11 hours of battery life

Cons

  • No keyboard, although you can buy one that is compatible

  • Power adapter sold separately

  • No office software so you can’t create or edit documents, just read them

  • Kindle operating system only, no Windows or Apple operating systems

  • Small screen may be harder for some seniors to see properly

What’s Next?

When buying a tablet, seniors need to consider their budget and their desired features. Create a short list of several good devices and look at a side by side comparison to determine the best tablet for the money. The least expensive device isn’t always the best, so look for consumer reviews before making a final selection.

  • holtfox .

    Check out a tablet that was designed specifically for seniors. igg.me/at/

    • Joan Lucci

      this link no longer works – would have been good if you could have spilled the beans and shared specifics about this “table designed specifically for seniors.”

  • dazedconfused

    It seems like the title for this article should have been ’13 Popular Tablets’ – I can’t see why any of these tablets would be better than another when it comes to issues that seniors face. Which is most intuitive? Easiest to set up for accessibility issues related to icon size, font size and magnification? Can they be controlled remotely if someone needs help with a problem? Durability if dropped? Maybe this article is a re-post from a general website, but I was hoping for more from an assisted living website.

    • Zeze

      I just received the kindle fire he as a Christmas gift and have found it to be horrible. You cannot adjust the font at all for web browsing rendering it completely useless for anyone with less than perfect vision.