Picking up a Chromebook for my mom’s birthday now. Her laptop is on its last legs, and even on its best days it’s a maze of confusion for her. She’s the ideal candidate for a Chromebook if there ever were one.

I ran it by my brother, suggesting he help pick up the tab so that he isn’t empty handed gift-wise tonight. He replied, “Done, as long as you really think it’s a good idea for a 70 year old woman to be taught how to use something that is totally new to her. I’m not saying it’s not (you’re the expert obviously), but that did cross my mind.”

I responded that I did indeed think that  and with confidence, adding that were a Macbook the same price Mom would still be a Chromebook gal, no question. I can sense your effervescent interest already and will keep you updated on how this plays out.


  1. Stupid question, but…
    Why Chrome Vs ipad? Cost or OS?
    I just assumed an “elderly” would find IOS on ipad easy to use, and with the right add on keyboard…
    Personally, Chrome has not hooked me. But then, I am never on my PC, laptop or tablet anymore. 95% of my tasks are completed on my “TabPhone”
    I am not a fanboy, I believe the right device and OS for the user is the important issue.
    Just curious, as I could find myself in the same position.

  2. Big mistake. My 74 yo mother got a Surface RT for traveling and she can do so much with it out of the box.
    she’s already comfortable with her desktop Windows 8 computer and Lumia phone and she can apply everything she has learned on these 2 platforms to her mobile computer.
    I truly believe that you are clueless to your mother’s needs and are buying her a gadget she will end up not using vs another desktop/laptop replacement which she will thrive and grow.
    technology is getting easier to use every day and instead of making that technology breakthrough available to your Mom, you are crippling her.
    shame on you….

  3. To johb,
    Wow that is pretty harsh. You know nothing of his mom or her needs.
    Reread what he wrote. She was bogged down with Windows. Does not sound like a Surface was what she wanted.
    Take your fanboy BS somewhere else, and try to be helpful in the conversation.

  4. So seriously Simmons, today is your Mom’s birthday? My Mom would have been 89 today. Damn, that is some strange karma going on there (along with the March 12th thing).
    Wish her a Happy Birthday for me. I will be curious to see how this plays out. My gut says fail, but I have been wrong before.

  5. My mother-in-law’s birthday is today.

    My mother’s birthday is tomorrow.

    Both fall in Mothers’ Day week, so this is a tense time trying to satisfy all at once.

  6. Thanks everybody, I’m touched. Ram, of course, I will say hello to my mother for you.

    I don’t expect every single one of you to believe me, but she loves it. There was no setup, there was very little to teach her (the power button, type in your password, click the Chrome icon, everything else is the same).

    She used the word love, “everything I need is there,” she’s impressed with the hardware (got the $320 HP model), she’s not using it as a backup as she had intended but has not touched the old laptop. Just need to get her comfortable with Picasa Web and mission complete.

  7. Well I tried iPad, Surface RT and Chromebook with septagenarians and everything is pretty simple and fast for them. No need for learning. I gave iPad, had to tell them touch icon and to close it press home button. Chromebook, tell them what is a browser where it is located and how to launch it, where is email, and how to check if their email is not Gmail and how to download pictures from their loved ones and how to see them. from there everything is easy for them.

    And probably you wouldn’t believe, but Surface RT, I just turned on and logged in, and they knew everything.

    Now who said Metro/Modern UI interface is Fisher-Price toy interface. It may as easy as playing with toy, and isn’t that what a UX should provide. The only struggle they had with it was minimizing the App. Of course I had to show them some other stuff like, how to lauch multiple apps and horzontal swipe from left to load previous app, closing them and pulling charms bar to do sharing, search and settings and SnapView.

  8. Right now my older kid is reinstalling Win7 on their laptop with a new Hard drive.
    I just handed over the other laptop to my other kid, it is Win8, and Chrome installed. Still waiting for feed back.
    Glad your Mom is happy. It is not easy trying to keep everyone satisfied. Thankfully my wife chooses her own devices. WP8 and Kindle Fire. It is out of my hands, and she likes it that way.

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