Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm buying my mom a new toy.

I'm contemplating selling my MacBook Pro and buying an iPad for my mom. Her very ancient Windows PC is nearly dead.
Here are the thoughts in my head:
I don't want her to be tethered to a desktop. Currently she has it in a room in her house that is freezing, even in the summer. With her health, I don't think it's a good idea especially when I know she surfs the web in the wee hours of the night when the house is even colder.
I don't want to get her a Windows machines because she's just had too many issues in the past. We finally had to parental restrict her PC to avoid the thirteenth wipe clean/recreate due to viruses and what not.
I could give her the MacBook Pro but it would lead to additional tech support questions and concerns. Although they may not be as intensive as the Windows based tech support I've had to do in the past, there is a degree of learning and switching Windows gears to Mac gears she would need to adjust to. With a toddler underfoot, I just don't have the time nor patience to do this.
All she really needs is email, web and printing. All three can be done via the iPad which is fairly intuitive.
It's not multi-taskable which reduces the amount of "Where are you? Minimize this window." instructions that take up 50% of my tech support calls with my mother-in-law (we bought her a Mac) and 90% of the calls with my mom (Windows PC).
It's literally touch to access application.
Once I set up her mail, she's good to go.
Once I set up some bookmarks, she's good to go.
She can save photos easily from mail or websites.
It's less than 2 lbs and her health restricts her from carrying anything over 10 lbs.
No flash may throw her off. My husband doesn't think so but trust me, I fully expect 1) several calls saying the website says I need to install something and 2) complaints that her new computer doesn't work 'right'.
iPad is not a standalone and requires updates via PC/Mac syncs. This isn't really a con in my opinion as it's so light, we can tell her to bring it with her when she comes over for dinners and we'll do software updates on my Mac.
I'm fairly certain I know my decision but it's still a night's worth of pro/con lists for me.
With my mom, I want something easy for her to use, easy for me to maintain for her, low tech support calls and low complaints. The last one is going to be hard as sometimes the grass is always greener for some folks.
Guess, I'm going to see how much I can sell my laptop for.
Even if I can sell it tomorrow, until Otterbox comes out with the defender for the iPad, I plan to hold out. I love my mom but she's pretty tough on her electronics. For the cost of an iPad, I'm wrapping that in bubble wrap.