Tablets are great for the elderly because of their large screens and ease of use. Unlike smartphones with their small icons and tiny virtual keyboards, a tablet displays words in bigger fonts and it’s much easier to type on them.
When you are buying a tablet for yourself, your elderly parent or an aging friend, there are various factors you should consider. We’ll discuss them below.
We’ll also review the five best tablets for the elderly which you can buy online. We looked at factors like screen size, weight, interface and battery life to find the best ones.
What to consider when buying a tablet for an older person
Look for a lightweight tablet that is easy to hold.
Most tablets nowadays are extra-thin and light. There are plenty of brands such as the Apple iPad Mini 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab A that weigh less than half a kg.
A light tablet is especially important for an elderly person with arthritis or weak hands.
If you have to get a large tablet that’s heavy, make sure it comes with a kickstand so that you can lean it against the table. You can also get a kickstand separately.
c. Battery life
Something else to check is battery life. Look for something that lasts at least a full day without having to recharge it.
This way, the user just needs to plug it in at night when they go to sleep. With light use, it should last for 2 days or more.
d. Screen size and display quality
A bigger screen is better because it makes it easier to see words and pictures on the screen. It is also easier to type on.
But make sure you check the weight before buying a tablet with a large screen. It might be too heavy for them.
The smallest tablets have a screen size of around 7”. They are ideal if you need something that’s extra-light and easily portable.
If the person you are buying it for loves travelling, this is the best size. They can easily carry it in a bag or purse.
On the higher end of the scale you’ll find 12 inchers such as the iPad Pro and the Microsoft Surface. These are essentially 2-in-1 mini-laptops and tablets.
Though they may be too heavy to hold by hand for long, most come with a convenient kickstand.
The ideal screen sizes are 8”-10”. They are large enough that viewing things and typing on the screen isn’t a problem but are not too heavy. They are also small enough to hold in one hand.
Also check the display quality. The higher the screen resolution the better because it’s easier to see images clearly and watch videos.
e. Extra features
Finally, look for extra features such as:
- Rear and front cameras to take photos and for video chatting.
- A slot for an SD card in case they need more memory to store photos, videos and music.
- A SIM card slot if you need to call and message using the tablet or if you can only use cellular internet.
- Bluetooth. This allows you to connect the tablet to Bluetooth headphones for better sound quality.
Best tablets for the elderly reviews
1. Apple iPad Mini 2 32GB Wi-Fi, Certified Refurbished
iPads have always been some of the best tablets. They are easy to use, the battery life is great and they last long.
This is a Certified Refurbished product so it’s cheaper than what you’d normally pay for a new iPad Mini 2.
Certified refurbished means it is pre-owned but the manufacturer has restored it to a ‘like-new’ status. It’s just as good and reliable as a completely new iPad. Just that it’s cheaper and may not come in an original iPad packaging.
The tablet’s display is 7.9”, big enough for someone with poor eyesight. Icons and buttons on the screen are big and easy to use.
At just 330g, the iPad Mini 2 is easy to hold even for someone with weak arms or fingers. Its fairly small size makes it easy to hold in one hand.
The tablet has 16GB of internal storage space and a RAM of 1GB.
It is a WiFi tablet and has no SIM slot.
It comes in two colour options: space grey and silver.
What we like about it:
- Long battery life.
- Compact and lightweight design that is ideal for elderly users.
- Large and clear display that is easy to see in different light conditions.
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 Inch Wi-Fi Tablet
If you need a bigger tablet with more space, try the Samsung Galaxy Tab A.
With a display size of 10.1 inches, it is significantly larger than the Apple iPad Mini 2. That means bigger fonts and easier typing on the on-screen keypad.
On the downside, it’s a little heavier than the iPad at 429g. But it’s still light enough that most users will have no problem holding it in their hand.
The large screen is great for users who are buying the tablet mostly for entertainment – watching videos, browsing pictures and playing games.
The resolution is pretty good too.
But it’s not all movies and games. The tablet comes with a rear 8mp camera for snapping quick photos as well as a front 2mp camera for selfies and video chats.
The 7300 mAh battery can withstand intensive use without draining quickly. On average, it can last a whole day with heavy use and 2 or more days with less intensive use.
The tablet comes loaded with Android 6.0 which is intuitive and highly customizable.
Note that this is a WiFi-only tablet. It doesn’t have a slot for a 4G SIM card.
The internal storage capacity is 32GB and RAM is 2GB.
What we like about it:
- Large screen and great resolution.
- Slim and lightweight profile that’s easy to hold in one hand.
- Available in 3 colour options.
3. Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa
Amazon has not had much success with their tablets compared to brands like Apple and Samsung. That’s not to mean their tablets are inferior.
In fact they are excellent options if you are looking for something cheap but good quality.
The 8th generation Fire HD tablet is one of the cheapest on this list but comes with plenty of great features.
One of them is the high definition 8” display. It’s not quite as big as Samsung Tab A’s display but it’s big enough for someone with less than 20/20 eyesight.
It also has two cameras; one at the front for video calls and a rear 2MP camera for capturing photos and HD videos.
With a 32GB internal storage capacity, there’s plenty of space to store videos and photos. But if you don’t need all that space, there’s a cheaper 16GB version.
The battery life is impressive with an estimated 12-hour mileage of heavy use.
Amazon says the tablet can withstand falls without breaking or cracking. It’s perfect for users with shaky hands.
The tablet comes with Alexa installed. Alexa is Amazon’s smart assistant.
You can ask Alexa for information about the news, weather and general questions. You can also ask her to play music, make video calls and send messages.
If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can enjoy thousands of shows, movies, songs and books for free.
What we like about it:
- One of the cheapest tablets you can buy.
- Hits the sweet spot in terms of size – not too big, not too small.
- Easy access to Amazon Prime benefits such as movies, songs and TV shows.
- Comes with Alexa smart assistant.
4. Microsoft Surface Pro 3
If you are looking for a PC-like tablet that’s good for watching movies as well reading and editing documents, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is great.
It’s the most expensive tablet on this list but it’s worth it if you are looking for something powerful and versatile.
It is 12” is size and weighs over 1kg. But at least you don’t have to always hold it in your hand.
You can use the kick stand to lean it against a surface like a PC. This is handy when you are typing on the screen or watching a movie.
The tablet is loaded with Windows 10 Pro. It’s easy enough to use though not as intuitive as a mobile-first OS such as iOS or Android.
But you’ll learn quickly.
The display is very clear with colours looking bright and sharp.
Whether you are working or playing a game, the tablet is fast and responsive thanks to the 128GB SSD and 4GB RAM.
What we like about it:
- Ideal for those who want to replace their PC with something lighter and more portable.
- Excellent display quality.
- Huge storage capacity.
5. Huawei MediaPad T3 10″ Tablet(Grey)
This is another good option if you are looking for something cheaper but good quality.
The MediaPad T3 WiFi tablet comes with a 10” display (9.6” to be specific), 16GB internal memory and 2GB RAM.
As the name suggests, the MediaPad is designed to deliver a great experience when watching movies and TV shows. The HD resolution delivers vivid colours and the sound is not too bad either.
The thin profile makes it easy to hold in your hand.
If you need to type or read a document, the tablet is pre-loaded with all essential Microsoft Office applications.
It comes with Android 7.0 with plenty of customization options available.
What we like about it:
- Durable aluminium body.
- Fairly long battery life.
- Includes Microsoft Office applications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What tablet is best for an impatient older person?
For an impatient older person, look for a tablet with a clean user interface that is easy to navigate. This means well labelled buttons, a large easy-to-read front and easy to find menus and settings.
A larger screen is also preferable as it makes it easier to find things on the screen and read text.
To avoid lagging problems, get a tablet with a fast processor that opens apps and menus quickly.
Some tablets that meet these requirements include the Apple iPad 9.7, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and the Apple iPad Mini.
Q: Is Chromebook good for elderly?
Yes, Chromebooks are great for seniors. Compared to Windows or Mac OS, Chromebooks have a simple interface and are easy to use. Most people feel that they are too ‘bare’, but that’s what makes them perfect for older users.
Chromebooks are designed to provide easy and quick access to your favourite apps including Chrome browser, photos and YouTube.
If you are looking for a laptop or tablet for an elderly family member or friend, a Chromebook is definitely a great choice.
Q: Where to buy a tablet for an older person?
Amazon is one of the best places to buy a tablet for an older person. They have a wide range of models and prices are usually lower compared to a brick and mortar store.
If you prefer buying from other major retailers like Tesco, you’ll also find a good variety of tablets.
Most electronics and mobile devices stores, both online and physical, also carry the most popular models from Apple, Samsung and other well-known companies.