If you read AARP, you may have seen ads for the WOW Computer within. So, what is our take on the WOW Computer? Does it have good features, and is it a worthy product? Does the WOW Computer make a good choice for seniors?
Let’s take a look.
How Much Does the WOW Computer Cost?
The list price of the WOW Computer (as of this writing) is $1299, but there are often sales for $200 off. Pricewise that is on the more expensive side for a computer, as one can easily find a laptop for around $350-$500 at the store.
The catch is that the cheaper computer is going to be more of the same. If you’re looking for a computer that’s easy to use, senior friendly, and that won’t give you the same headaches you’ve always had with computers, repeating the same mistakes in your purchases is going to lead to the same results you’ve always had.
If you’re looking for a difference in experiences, then the WOW Computer may very well be worth the investment for you. However, just know that there are much cheaper options available out there. Continue reading below to find what our recommendations are for some of these cheaper (and more effective) options.
What Operating System Does it Use?
The WOW Computer operates off what is called a Linux system. Most computers that you see out there operate off what is called Windows. While Windows is ubiquitous, there are several problems with it. For starters, it’s incredibly easy to hack compared to many other computer operating systems out there.
Quick WOW Computer Points
- You cannot install your own software
- Works best with high-speed internet connection
- It can connect to Wi-Fi
- You can open PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint or any other similar file on your WOW
- Utilizes Skype for video chat. Has a webcam, speakers, and microphone built in
- Comes with 30 days of VIP support for free
- Unlimited VIP support is $9.95/month
- A Tech Buddy is somebody who’s assigned to use your WOW remotely to help you fix problems from their own home should you get stuck
- One year hardware warranty
- 30-day satisfaction guaranteed return policy
- 2 gb ram memory Costs around 1099 – 1299 depending on the sales
Most computer viruses and malware are specifically made to target Windows users. This means you’re more likely to be targeted with a Windows operating system than you would be with any other.
In addition, many people have pointed out that there are some privacy concerns with the Windows operating system – as it gathers usage data on most everything you do with a computer – something that many people object to.
Linux, in contrast, is widely known as being one of the most secure operating systems that there is. Very few viruses are built to attack Linux, meaning that the probability you’ll have a problem with this operating system are very low.
Furthermore, Linux is known as being a privacy friendly operating system that doesn’t engage in the mass data harvesting from your personal computer. In short, if you’re going to choose an operating system, Linux is exactly what you want.
There are cons to using Linux – so be aware of that – but we’ll cover them below.
Is the WOW Computer Good for Seniors?
There are several features that make the WOW Computer a fantastic choice for seniors. Let’s look at each in turn.
Wow Computer Features
- An easy way to see photos, news, games, email, videos, and chats
- US based customer support
- Sets up in 5 minutes
- Free software updates forever
- Comes with games like Solitaire and Mahjohng installs
According to some of the most recent statistics we have, approximately 22% of Americans have arthritis of some form. Seniors are the most likely to be afflicted with such, and it’s not uncommon for arthritis to attack the hands and wrists.
This can make it either painful or difficult to use either a mouse or keyboard. The WOW Computer helps to eliminate this as a problem by incorporating a touch screen in a similar way to a smartphone. If you want to click on something with the WOW Computer you can use the keyboard and mouse to tell the computer what you want to do, but you also have the option of just pointing to what you want on the screen and gently pressing it with your finger.
This serves as a boon to any of those who have laid aside computer usage due to pain or lack of hand dexterity.
Ease of Use
The WOW Computer is about as easy to use as it gets when one’s talking about computers. All of the programs that you need are already installed on the computer, so you don’t have to worry about going to your local electronics store to purchase any software that you don’t already have – such as a word processor.
Everything you would likely need is already there. The layout of the computer system as well is as user-friendly as possible as well. No more searching through strange layers of software for the file you’re looking for. The WOW Computer takes the guesswork out of using a computer.
It Comes with Anti-Virus and Malware Protection
Though Linux is already a very secure operating system for a computer to run off of (in much the same way a V8 engine is a great “operating system” for a work truck), one still is going to want an additional layer of protection against viruses and malware.
Typically, this requires purchasing access codes from a supplier such as McAffee or Kaspersky. Fortunately, the WOW Computer has already taken care of this for you. Anti-virus software and malware protection software are already installed on the computer, meaning you can open this computer up, plug it in, and be ready to go right out of the box.
An Easy-to-Read Screen
It’s frustrating to navigate online only to find that the font size of the article you want to read is too small to see. The screen of the WOW Computer combats this by being large, bright, and with the capability to zoom up to 200x.
This means you can easily read whatever it is you want to read while online with minimal fuss. If you’re somebody who uses high-strength prescription glasses, this is a fantastic feature.
Free Software Updates Forever
As time goes on software needs to be updated. This necessity comes about by discovered problems within the code of a program that need to be “patched”, by operating systems having faster versions of themselves available, or by software programs having updates that allow you to seamlessly access new features.
This can be a rather frustrating process to have to go about on your own, as it’s often unclear which updates are necessary, which are not, and how to go about with the updating process to begin with.
The WOW Computer takes all this guesswork away. It gives you free software updates forever and does so in as easy of a format as possible.
US-Based Customer Support
It’s frustrating to have a technical problem with a product, to call the helpline of the manufacturer, and then to discover you can’t understand a word the company contractor is saying. With the WOW Computer, that’s not a worry.
All the customer support teams are located within the United States.
The Cons of the WOW Computer
Alright, we’ve looked at the potential good qualities of the WOW Computer. To give you a much better founded understanding of your purchases, let’s look at the cons.
As mentioned, the price of the WOW Computer is exponentially higher than a lot of the other computers out there on the market. We’re talking 3-4x the price of many other computers out there.
Linux is a fantastic operating system when it comes to privacy and virus protection. But it’s a different operating system. Most people out there have spent all of their computer time in the past running with Windows or with Apple products.
If such is the case for you, Linux can be a significant learning curve.
Concerns of Reliability
If you comb through the reviews of the WOW Computer (which appears to be just another name for a Telikin computer), you’ll see many negative reviews. People seem to have had issues with poor customer service, lack of memory, and other problems with the hardware.
iPad Alternative to the WOW Computer
WOW Computer isn’t the only computer out there. There are other options out there as well with very similar features.
A simple iPad can easily be used by even the most technologically illiterate user. They have a large screen, are a touch screen, and are about as intuitive as it gets for a computer as well. You can easily pick one up just about anywhere for $400 (more for newer models), they have a time-tested proven track record, and help support for an iPad is everywhere!
- WHY IPAD — All the essentials in the most affordable iPad, with a beautiful 10.2-inch Retina display, powerful A13 Bionic chip, and an Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage. Work, play, create, learn, stay connected, and more.
- IPADOS + APPS — iPadOS makes iPad more productive, intuitive, and versatile. With iPadOS, run multiple apps at once, use Apple Pencil to write in any text field with Scribble, and edit and share photos. iPad comes with essential apps like Safari, Messages, and Keynote, with over a million more apps available on the App Store.
If you end up stuck with an iPad, in today’s world you can virtually ask anybody for help with using it and they’ll know what to do. You don’t have to call anybody, just find somebody at the coffee shop, church, family reunion, or wherever, and it’s virtually guaranteed they’ll know what to do to fix the problem for you.
You can easily download whatever apps you’re wanting to download (such as games, news sources, and so on), it’s got a host of accessories such as cases, stands, and the like available to it, and it truly is a great product.
I have worked in the medical field with seniors for the better half of a decade and has shown countless seniors how to use an iPad. They are truly fantastic products for seniors that give few to no problems.
If you have a senior who might struggle with learning an iPad (many adults do), a simpler alternative might be the GrandPad. We have covered a review of the GrandPad before. Check it out.
Where Seniors Can Learn to Use a PC
If you’re looking to learn how to use a computer, I would begin by consulting a local senior group. There are often regular postings in newspapers for “How to Use a Computer for Seniors” meetings throughout towns, and they very well may be a good place to start.
Bookstores such as Books-a-Million often have several books on the shelves which will teach you how to use a computer as well.
Here is what this author recommends, however:
First, buy yourself an iPad. It doesn’t matter if it’s not the newest model. Just find something affordable and get that.
Next, follow the prompts once you turn the thing on. You’ll truly be surprised with how intuitive the thing is to use.
Finally, should you get stuck on something, ask a friend or neighbor. While a traditional laptop/computer can truly be a bear for such a person to fix after a senior has clicked through every tab and option available, an iPad is easy.
Should somebody become stuck on an iPad, it’s often a very easy solution, and there’s little risk of the user having done any lasting harm to anything.
Honestly, buy an iPad and go from there. (There are books available at Books-A-Million on how to use them as well.)
If you’re in the market for a senior-friendly computer, this author does not recommend the WOW Computer. Despite having an impressive list of features, this author does not believe that they are justified by the high price.
Instead, I highly recommend looking into a simple iPad.
An iPad has a touch screen, is very user friendly, will let you send messages, images, and videos, will let you play games, will let you read email, and will let you do video chats with people as well. In short, you can do everything a normal computer can with an iPad, and in an incredibly easy-to-use format.
Hopefully, this will shed some light on your purchasing decision for you here.
What are your thoughts? Do you have a WOW Computer? What have been your experiences with such? Do you regularly utilize an iPad? Let us know in the comments below!