Family Member #1: Grandpa/Non-Tech Savvy Individual

You probably have an older family member that's not really tech-savvy (I have one too, it's okay). Fortunately, there are products out there for him/her to at least get started in the technology realm. Willie the Tech Man recommends either an Apple iPad or a Google Chromebook to start.


Both the iPad by Apple and Chromebooks are great solutions not just for family members who've never owned a computer before, but for people that have owned one as well. I always recommend a tablet or Chromebook for any person that is looking for a new computer. The one exception that I make is if you have a Windows program that you have to run for work or other purposes. In that case, check out my blog post on how to protect yourself on a Windows machine (coming soon).

Think about it, if all a person does is check e-mail and surf the web for the most part, an iPad or Chromebook can do all those things and more. Among many reasons, both the iPad and Chromebooks are very secure as you will see in the descriptions. These two devices are great for replacing those complicated Windows machines. Here are some features unique to the two devices.

1.1 iPAD

The iPad is a great choice for non-tech savvy individuals for two main reasons. First, the iPad is tightly locked down by Apple (which is good for people like grandpa who might otherwise accidentally download bad software by accident). It's almost impossible to get a virus on an iPad because of that tight security.

Finally, the iPad is very easy to use and very easy to teach. My grandpa is in his 80s and not at all tech savvy. I taught him the very basics on how to use an iPad. As a result, he can unlock the iPad and get to his Bible app for church all on his own without my help.

If you are working with a non-tech savvy individual that is complaining that his fingers are "too big for the screen," fortunately, there are styluses that you can buy for the iPad online for very cheap. Here is an Amazon search for styluses specifically made for the iPad.

If the iPad doesn't work out for this individual, there is another option.


If you're working with someone who just has to have a mouse and keyboard, I would recommend a Chromebook. Chromebooks are designed all around Google's Chrome OS. To put in simple terms, Chrome OS is basically as if you had a regular Windows machine but the only program you could use was the Google Chrome browser.

The great thing about Chromebooks is that you can not get a virus on the machine. Even if you manage to get a virus or if your non-tech savvy individual somehow happens to mess his machine up, there is a feature called Power Wash. Power Wash resets the computer to the beginning, as if you turned on the Chromebook for the first time. And because all of your documents and email are saved in Google's cloud automatically, you don't ever have to worry about backup. Just login with your Google Account and all your stuff is there.

Willie the Tech Man would recommend an iPad first before a Chromebook, but this is a great compromise if this individual does not want a touch screen and/or wants a keyboard and mouse.


Okay, there is a small catch to these two devices, Internet access. You will have to have Internet access for most of the features of these two devices to work, especially the Chromebook. Thankfully, both the iPad and Chromebook allow you to put data plans from the cell phone providers, (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.) so that way you don't need to buy Internet access from the cable company, although that is an option as well if you don't want to pay data bills. Make sure if you do use data that you keep an eye on that usage otherwise your bill will be really high if you go over your usage for the month.

Pricing for Chromebooks are $200-300* as of the writing of this blog post (don't get the Chromebook Pixel, it's a waste of money). However, pricing for the newest iPad Air is $499*⁺ for 16GB and $599*⁺ for the 64GB model. If your budget is tight, you can get an iPad Mini for $399*⁺ at 16GB and $499*⁺ for 64GB (if you're on an even tighter budget, last year's iPad Mini is $299*⁺ for 16GB and $349*⁺ for 32GB).

If this helped you, please give a Like, and if you have any questions, or I didn't explain something clearly enough, please leave a comment below.

*Data plans will make the price $50-100 more expensive.

⁺Prices are listed as of November 23, 2014 and can change. Visit to see current pricing.