tablets for parents

Sue Spence virtuallysue at
Mon Mar 3 10:13:50 GMT 2014

I suspect you're probably right about the 3G/4G, assuming that there is
good coverage where they spend their time (really needs to be checked). If
they don't have decent 3G at one location maybe they could consider getting
cheap DSL installed there.   If they don't have good  3G at either place
then one fixed line and they only videoconference from there.  That's still
more often than they do it now. :)

The usual device suggestion for people like your parents is obviously
Apple, but it would be nice to let them try a few first.  Perhaps they
would like a  3G Chromebook.  These are fairly inexpensive.  I had an easy
to use ee 4G dongle which cost about £20 per month for an unlimited plan.
 Just on the off chance that they might prefer a notebook.

On 2 March 2014 21:20, Nicholas Clark <nick at> wrote:

> Dear knowledgeable hive mind,
> It seems that my parents are finally cracking and amenable to the idea of
> buying a device for the purpose of videoconferencing. My sister and I
> suspect that the right thing is a tablet connected via 3G
> (my parents alternate between two locations in southern England, so fixed
> line would mean 2 fixed lines, and two lots of fixed infrastructure, which
> feels like a pain)
> So, what is good to get. Specifically
> 1) What tablet?
>    (with camera, obviously, 3G, and possibly not much else "special")
> 2) What data plan?
> You can infer from this that they don't currently have an Internet
> connection, and I don't think that once they get one they are going to
> start
> heavy surfing or high bandwidth activities such as watching videos on
> YouTube or iPlayer.
> (They have had the "recording the TV" thing sussed for a decade or more
> now,
> and whilst they have migrated from VHS to hard drives, I don't think that
> they are going to move from the idea of a box under the TV connected to an
> aerial, that they program after circling programmes in a paper listings
> magazine)
> I don't think that they care what OS, and I don't think that I do hugely
> either. I just that care it doesn't get abandoned by the manufacturer as
> soon as the next model comes out*, and it needs to work without assuming
> that the owner has a PC for any sort of regular service activity.
> My sister has Macs (and a Blackberry too, I think), but is dealing with
> Windows at work, so between us I think we can hand-hold most things.
> Nicholas Clark
> * So *this* would put me off Windows RT even if it ticked all the other
> boxes,
>   as I can't see how MS are going to sanely sustain 3 different OSes and
>   ecosystems, and I suspect that RT is more than 33% likely to be the one
> for
>   the chop. And even if it isn't, well, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7,
>   Windows Phone 8 - they have a pedigree now of dumping their customers.

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