What “computer” should you buy?

Talking to a senior today about her next computer purchase made me think about the options facing any senior.  And by computer, I mean phone, tablet and laptops of all sizes.

Can the choice be made through answers to a series of questions? e.g.:

Are you already a computer or smart-phone user?  Will you resist replacing mice and keyboards with touch screens and voice input?  Or are you starting fresh?

  • What info (calendar, contacts) have you decided to share across devices (phone and laptop) and in what universe (Apple vs Google vs Microsoft) is that info today?  For instance, is your email in Google, and your contacts on your iPhone?
  • How is your eyesight, mobility, and patience?
  • What are your “Must-have” programs, be they editors, games, Skype, email, ebook readers, or photo editors
  • What are your printing needs
  • Where will you need to be able to get help
  • and not least, what are your budget limits

In deriving a choice, weights should be applied to the importance of the answers.  For instance, do you have an absolute limit to the cost, or is it a guideline.


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