Monday, April 8, 2013

Which computer is the easiest to use?

Which computer is easiest to use? 

This question is often asked by those starting to use a computer or going back to a computer after a long time away from computers.

 The question is really two questions. The first is what is easiest to learn to use and the second is what is easiest to use after you have learned. 

Tablets are probably the easiest computers to use but do take some time to learn to use. 

If you have some familiarity with Windows or Macs, you might want to use a familiar version of these. You might want to avoid Windows 8 or XP and stick to Windows 7. But all Windows and Mac computers have problems. Both require maintenance and have limited support for seniors. 

A better alternative than either would be the Chromebook, which resembles Windows or Mac and is more intuitive to use and more free of trouble than Windows. As for the Mac, it is a whole lot cheaper. 

If you have old Windows or Mac computer, it is even possible to make it work like either simply by plugging in a specially prepared USB stick with Zorin (free).

Even better, if you're daring, you could plugin a new $60 so-called PC stick between a display or TV, and a keyboard, to create the latest least cost PC. If you are comfortable with Android cell phones, or are a quick learner, this is the best and cheapest way to go. If you do that using a TV, you also get big screen access to all of the huge library of video and recorded TV on internet. 

Now, once you have learned the basics, then the choices are different. Tablets are clearly the best choice for ease of use for access to information, while keyboard devices are better for document creation. The lowest cost keyboard device which requires the least learning and periodic maintenance would again be the Chromebook. (Chromebooks are totally dependent on wifi and require wireless printers.)

Tablets now start at $150.Tap or click for the newest one as of 4/8/2013.

For the long term, while tablets are the best choice for ease of use, they do require that initial learning. That learning is worthwhile in order to get the full benefits.

But if all you want is email and browsing, a reasonable choice for someone starting back into use of computers again would be the familiar looking least cost Chromebook laptop, and later a tablet. The heavy maintenance of both Windows and Macs would be altogether avoided, plus their cost.