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Tablets can be a welcome alternative to regular computers in more ways than one. They offer portability without sacrificing many key functions you can get from a computer, such as the ability to watch movies, listen to music, video call your family, research, access your online bank accounts, and more.
As single devices without cords or complicated setups, they can be more accessible. Not all tablets are made equal, however, which is why we compiled this list of the five best tablets for seniors.
In our tests of each tablet, we paid close attention to the following criteria:
Battery life: Battery life is a big deal with a tablet because you probably won’t use it while it’s plugged in. If you think you may want to travel with your tablet or use it to watch movies, then you’ll want a battery life of at least five hours.
Size: Bigger tablets may be easier to see, but they may also be heavier. Depending on what you plan to use the tablet for, you may want to prioritize certain sizes.
Cost: All the tablets on this list cost less than $500, and most cost far less.
Ease of use: Users with arthritis, visibility issues, or other accessibility impairments will find that tablets are easy to pick up and use.
The Kindle Fire HD is one of the most accessible tablets on the market, aimed at providing a convenient place to group all your video and media apps, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, in one place. It also connects easily to Spotify and Amazon Music.
The screen on the new Kindle Fire is a bright and colorful 10.1-inch display that is noticeably brighter than previous generations of Kindle. It also has a decent amount of storage — up to 64GB — built in, and it can be expanded with a microSD card to a full terabyte of storage. That means you can give your Kindle Fire space to store all your movies, shows, music, and books, with a device that’s as easy to use as plugging in a USB drive.
The battery life is also great, lasting up to 12 hours on a full charge. The tablet easily integrates with popular apps such as Alexa and Zoom so you can stay connected with your friends and family. You can also use Microsoft Office, set calendar reminders, and take advantage of the hands-free mode.
A Fire HD won’t completely replace a laptop, but it’s a great choice for basic entertainment use.
The Yoga Tab 13 by Lenovo is big, with a 13-inch screen that has a higher resolution than cheaper tablets. The Yoga 13 streams content in 2K resolution, which is great. The screen also cuts out harmful blue light, which can give you headaches and weaken your eyes over time.
Lenovo’s premium audio system is crisp and loud, but we noticed some volume balancing issues, which can make things like notifications too loud after cranking up the sound on a movie. Regardless, the tablet is for entertainment lovers who want to play films at the highest possible quality. It even has the processing and visual power to play video games, if that’s something you’re looking for — either for your grandkids or for yourself.
The Yoga Tab 13 has fantastic processing speed, and it can even connect to another screen to give you a boost in productivity. The only thing we didn’t like about its interface is the location of the buttons, which are on the bottom and are easy to press accidentally.
The iPad Mini has an 8.3-inch screen, which is about 2 inches smaller than an average iPad. It’s more like a large phone, but with all the multimedia and entertainment capabilities of a tablet.
The iPad Mini is thin and weighs less than a pound. It’s perfect for people whose wrists get tired easily or who want to hold their tablet for long periods on the go. Even though photos and videos will be smaller, it has a vibrant liquid retina display. Videos look great on the Mini.
If you watch videos on it continuously, the iPad Mini’s battery charge will last about six hours. There’s a lot more you can do with it, however. You can connect the Apple Pencil (sold separately) to draw on it or use the touchscreen. It also has access to all of Apple’s major apps.
The only drawback — other than the high price — is that the iPad Mini won’t replace a laptop. Typing documents on Office Suite or storing large files isn’t where this tablet shines, but, as a pure entertainment device, you’ll get your $499 worth.
Price: $57 to $89 per month Size: 8 inches Weight: 12.5 ounces Battery life: One to three days
The GrandPad tablet is unique — it’s designed specifically with seniors in mind. It packages numerous functions the company believes will be useful for older adults, and it’s designed for people who don’t have a lot of experience with modern tablets.
Rather than one up-front cost, the GrandPad is priced monthly — either $57 per month if you prepay annually or $89 if you pay each month. You may think that would quickly exceed the cost of other tablets, but GrandPad makes up for it with what its package includes.
For the monthly fee, you’ll get the use of your tablet and all its software, 24/7 customer service tailored for seniors, and a cellular data plan. That means the price of the GrandPad includes your cell-phone bill, which greatly increases its value.
The GrandPad is great for listening to music, playing games, checking the weather, listening to the radio, taking photos, and messaging your friends and family. Its battery can last for days on a single charge, but it lacks the processing power and bells and whistles of other tablets.
FYI: The GrandPad is available through Consumer Cellular. To learn about this provider, read our Consumer Cellular review.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 is a solid, affordable tablet that provides basic performance in a sturdy little package. Its 10.4-inch screen looks great in full HD and the Dolby Atmos speakers provide a crisp audio experience. It’s a great tablet for kicking back and watching movies or propping it up somewhere and playing your favorite music.
You can pay $50 to upgrade the Galaxy Tab A7’s processing power. There’s also space for microSD storage, which means you can upgrade the space on your tablet by buying more memory. YouTube, email, basic gaming, Netflix, and more are very viable on this little machine.
One of the downsides is that its sturdy frame comes with a heavier weight. A pound may not sound like much, but holding it for long periods can be taxing on your wrist compared to some lighter models.
We also noticed that the Galaxy Tab A7 runs on slightly outdated security, and it hasn’t been patched in a while. Compared to the more expensive Galaxy tablets and phones, the A7 isn’t running all the latest features.
Excellent battery life
Great for playing videos
Outdated security features
Heavier than other tablets
Some tablets are made explicitly to be accessible for seniors who aren’t used to new technology, but there are many other options for people willing to learn a little and enjoy the higher-end technology that more expensive tablets can offer.
To learn more about our favorite internet and computers, read our helpful guides.
Compared to desktop and laptop computers, tablets are more intuitive to learn and have less to set up. If you are familiar with only one operating system (Windows, Android, or Apple) or you’re not used to certain technical features, however, then certain tablets may be more difficult to use.
Very few tablets have the processing power of a good laptop, so they won’t always be able to run the latest games or use complex software. They are also very limited by their battery life compared to computers.
Laptops and tablets each have pros and cons for seniors. A laptop is usually more powerful, versatile, and familiar, but a tablet is portable and has many entertainment functions that laptops don’t. Which is better for seniors depends on the needs and experience of the individual user.