Pros and Cons of Tablets for Seniors

iPadIt seems like tablets are everywhere these days. People use their tablets to read, check the daily news headlines and even to work on. But what are the benefits for tablets when it comes to seniors? Do they outweigh the benefits of having a smartphone? In this article, we’ll explore the pros and the cons of tablet computers for the older population.

What Exactly Is a Tablet?

Before we can list the pros and cons, we first need to identify exactly what a tablet computer is. A tablet is a mobile device that is approximately the size of a standard 8 1/2 x 11 inch notebook that a student might use. Tablets have specialized operating systems that are also used for smartphones. For example, tablets are run by the Windows mobile operating system, iOS and Android. Tablets basically do everything that a computer or smartphone does but the screen is much larger and you don’t have a keyboard or mouse – although you can hook one up with some tablets.

Advantages of a Tablet for Seniors

Tablets do have a number of advantages – both advantages that apply to just about everyone, as well as some specific advantages that that apply directly to seniors. Here are some of the reasons why you may want to get a tablet.

  • A tablet is extremely lightweight and portable which means that you can take it anywhere and use it much more easily than a cumbersome laptop.
  • A tablet is advantageous over a smartphone because the screen is much bigger and you can see the icons better as well as web content, pictures and video.
  • A tablet can even be used as a mobile phone in some cases, which is advantageous if you have trouble seeing or using a smartphone.
  • Tablets are actually easier to learn than computers if you are not familiar with either. The way that you use a tablet or smartphone is simply by touching what you want to use and with a few simple tricks like expanding, scrolling and swiping you will have mastered the navigation.
  • Tablets can be used for GPS navigation.

Disadvantages of a Tablet for Seniors

There are also some disadvantages when it comes to tablet computers as well. These must be weighed carefully when deciding whether or not to get a tablet. Here are the cons of tablets for seniors.

  • A tablet is portable but is much easier to break – particularly the screen which can crack easily if the laptop tablet is dropped.
  • Laptops and desktops have much larger screens than tablet computers. While tablets are definitely advantageous over smartphones when it comes to size they are not as large as conventional types of computers.
  • You get limited storage space with tablets and you may not be able to store all of the videos, pictures and applications that you want.
  • It is extremely difficult to do complex computing tasks such as typing letters with a tablet computer. There are keyboards that connected them but they are not nearly as comfortable as conventional ones.

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