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PCInTech
keeping art alive since 1953
Premium
join:2004-06-07
Massena, NY
kudos:9
Reviews:
·VOIPO

Wow! Computers, anyone know anything about them?

My inlaws, in their 80's are considering one of these "Wow! Computers", any opinions?
»spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/tool ··· ft-touch
»www.mywowcomputer.com/index.html

I know they're overpriced for what they are, but, I had built them a couple of Windows PCs and it was all "way too complicated" for them. Would this be a viable alternative for them to feel like they're part of the "online Universe"? Their needs are VERY simple.

davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:3

1 recommendation

An interesting niche product. I would like to see 4GB of RAM, but if the Linux OS and applications are simple enough it could squeak by for a few years with 2GB. If I had the money I would try it out. Maybe the cost will come down significantly by 2020.


n1zuk
making really tiny tech things
Premium
join:2001-10-24
Malta
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to PCInTech
I know I'll get some backlash from this group, but had to solve a similar situation for my in-laws this summer.

Them with no computer experience, wanted a computer to Skype to my wife, read the news, and watch an occasional video. Budget was on the low side, and further complicated that English isn't their native language.

For them, best recommendation was an Apple iPad 2, 16GB, WiFi only (they already have WiFi at home, I installed awhile back). $399, free ship + tax from Apple Store.

The same walled garden that most of us here complain venomously about is what makes it so good for the computer neophyte. I'm no Apple fanboy, but I must admit the one thing Jobs & Co. got right is creating an intuitive user interface most anybody can understand. My MIL *LOVES* her computer, and has no fear of using it, and figuring out new things on it.
--
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Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to PCInTech
Both computers you linked to are MSI Win Top All-In-One systems. I didn't notice anything about specs but these models can have Atom processors and are typically not worth much (maybe $600) unless they are using something faster like a Core i3:

»www.amazon.com/MSI-AE1920-273US- ··· C+by+MSI

»us.msi.com/product/aio/Wind-Top- ··· 071.html

I think the main attraction here is the presumed ease of use with respect to uninitiated users that may have issues with eyesight but even that can be considered suspect because the individual(s) using it may still have comprehension issues (still don't know what the software is like).

I'm going to agree with n1zuk, an iPad might do the trick. This wasn't always a reasonable option though because the iPad wasn't always a viable stand alone device. It wouldn't function without a computer out of the box but now it can.


PCInTech
keeping art alive since 1953
Premium
join:2004-06-07
Massena, NY
kudos:9
Reviews:
·VOIPO
I realize that the Telikin (also marketed at the "Wow!" by FirstStreet) is an MSI Top Wind, but the attraction of this thing is the simplicity of the interface. I realize also, that most of us here find it baffling that Windows or Mac computers are "too complicated" for a previous generation, never exposed to technology to great extent, but, it is definitely a substantial segment.

iPad things are a definite NO for them! They've been exposed to them (Grandson has one) and it's WAY TOO small, and complicated. Another consideration, is suppose a family member gives them a CD or DVD of family pictures or movies? They also want to type on a real keyboard, not tap on a screen for that, for e-mails. I've watched several of the Telikan demo videos, and while the installed software is moronically simple to most people, and very limited in what it can, or can't do. I see why it's a pretty nifty choice for older seniors. Another "plus", is the support system, US, English speaking, that will help them do ANYTHING they want to do, even setup their e-mail accounts, Facebook, help them attach photos, etc.

The only negative reviews I've found, are from people for whom this was never intended, people much more technologically-advanced. From what I've seen, it's available in 2 models, an 18" w/ 320G HDD for $700. and a 20" w/500G HDD for $1000.


Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1

1 recommendation

If vision is a problem then the bigger the monitor the better.

Again, I have had no experience with the unique UI so I have no way of saying if it is as functional / serviceable (for the target demographic) as advertised.

I would check out a video demo if I come across one though.


rolfp

join:2011-03-27
Oakland, CA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

reply to PCInTech
I only have a fleeting acquaintance, made at Felton's Lindependence Day, with a Berkeley-based vendor for semi-custom Linux computers, ZaReason.

One of the OS options targets kids and can be suitable for newcomers of all ages: »zareason.com/shop/Invenire-1220. ··· 220.html

That support feature of Wow! will be hard to beat, depending on its cost and actual benefits.


Cthen
Premium
join:2004-08-01
Detroit, MI

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to PCInTech
Is WebTv still around? That should be the most simple at a reasonable price.

Edit: Looking around it seems the service is still available and supported however the hardware is no longer being sold. Which is really a shame. People who don't like using computers seemed to adapt to Web Tv nice and easy.

I would say if you can find a similar thing to Web Tv to give that a try. If a unit does not come with a keyboard, get one. Surfing with a remote is easy but typing with one is a real PITA.

Edit again: Another thing I didn't think about, do they have any game consoles around the house? (I know you said they are in their '80's but hey, you never know!) A Nintendo Wii with a keyboard can surf the net with it's built in web browser and is very straight forward. All they would need is to sign up for web email somewhere.

I know I'm probably getting way off track here but throwing out some simple\cheaper options for them before they spend the cash on a "specialized" computer.
--
"I like to refer to myself as an Adult Film Efficienato." - Stuart Bondek


PCInTech
keeping art alive since 1953
Premium
join:2004-06-07
Massena, NY
kudos:9
WebTV is no longer being offered to new customers, this is the recommended replacement.


Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN
reply to PCInTech
I think a tablet might be a better option. Though, I'd recommend a Kindle Fire over an iPad, since they can both have one for $100 over an iPad and still $300 cheaper than the computer. Throw in Amazon's free app of the day and the deal is even better.
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Want the shirt? - »www.despair.com/thedestructor.ht ··· tor.html
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Dissembled

join:2008-01-23
Indianapolis, IN
reply to PCInTech
Does a touch screen really cost $800? Because $200 is about all the rest of that thing is worth.


Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1

1 recommendation

said by Dissembled:

Does a touch screen really cost $800? Because $200 is about all the rest of that thing is worth.

As I stated before its an MSI Wind Top All-In-One PC and these come with Atom, i3 and apparently AMD APU. They can be found starting at around ~$600 or so (on Amazon) depending on components:

»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ··· 83152044

»www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,23 ··· 9,00.asp

None of that is the issue though. The product as a whole does cost more then the sum of its parts and I think the OP knows this. The value is placed on the ease of use with respect to uninitiated / elderly users (through custom software) as well as an extensive support package,……not the touch screen.


PCInTech
keeping art alive since 1953
Premium
join:2004-06-07
Massena, NY
kudos:9
Reviews:
·VOIPO
said by Octavean:

None of that is the issue though. The product as a whole does cost more then the sum of its parts and I think the OP knows this. The value is placed on the ease of use with respect to uninitiated / elderly users (through custom software) as well as an extensive support package,……not the touch screen.

Bingo. They just want something that does a LIMITED amount of things, and no more, and do them simply. The touch screen isn't the attraction at all, as I said, they've been exposed to a tablet, and it baffles them. Heck, they got cell phones with touch screens, and returned them because they couldn't figure ANYTHING out. I've watched several videos of the thing in action, and this is exactly what they need. The value IS in the custom UI and software, as well as the comfort factor of the support and knowledge that they can't "screw it up", and not the hardware. They've ordered one, and hopefully, they'll be able to Web-surf and e-mail to their hearts' content without getting into trouble.