Buying a computer system/Touch Screen


I was thinking it might be useful to get my mother a touch screen computer to keep her busy. She is disabled, has expressive issues since her stroke and only control on her left side. I was thinking if there was a tablet computer that is simple and can run some creative programs and some speech related programs it might be useful to her. I just would want a relatively large screen, resolution of screen isn't crucial, processing power isn't too important. Mostly very simple programs to keep her engaged.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "creative and speech related programs" - however there exists a very large library of software for most of the more popular tablets on the market (like the iPad or Kindle), and you can likely find an application for just about anything you'd like to do with the computer. My advice would be to investigate a computer that is physically suitable for your application - e.g. is a glare a problem? Does it need WiFi? How about multimedia features? (Is your mother likely to want to watch TV or listen to music through the computer?) Things like that. In general the higher-end tables (like the iPad) will accomplish all of these things, while less expensive models generally cut features to bring the price down.

Based on, overall, what you have described, the iPad may not be a bad idea overall - various symbol-to-speech and text-to-speech applications exist (, as well as simple drawing/puzzle games (almost to excess - hence why I'm not providing any listings; there truly is a very large number of games and similar applications available for the iPad).

You may also consider the Kindle, which has more robust features as an ebook reader, however is not as geared for multimedia as the iPad. It costs less, accordingly.

The deciding factor between the two (at least in my mind) is how important ebook/text is for your needs - many of the Kindle models will perform this better (longer battery life, better screen for text reproduction in certain lighting conditions, etc), however the iPad is not incapable of serving this function (such as with this app:

You may also consider, depending on her mobility level, a portable/hand-held gaming device like the Nintendo DS, which will cost less, and has a variety of puzzle/creative/etc games available for it. However it will be less robust overall than a full tablet, so do keep that in mind.

Fortunately, tablets and portable gaming devices are quite popular these days, so it should not be a problem to find all of these devices (except perhaps Kindle) for live demonstration at a variety of retailers, to give you an idea of their overall capabilities, size, etc before you purchase one. This is especially true of the iPad, as Apple stores will generally be quite happy to demo the device for you (of course they'll lean on you to buy the device, but that's your own choice at the end of the day).

Regarding the lack of mention of "no-name" Android tablets - they're generally something I'd stay away from, because support can be spotty. Windows is not mentioned because of the general complexity it brings to the table; while Windows 8 has done quite a lot for advancing what a tablet can do, it's probably a lot more functionality than you need.


Buying a computer system

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.


I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

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