Have you heard of a WOW computer?

patti43May 2, 2012

We got a catalog in the mail yesterday I saw these WOW computers for sale. Supposedly made for seniors. There is no tower, no hooking up a zillion cords. You just plug into the wall and your internet connection and you're ready to go. My neighbor is 85 and thinking she's too old to learn the computer, but this says there's no learning curve.

My question is, have you heard of it and what are the down-sides to them? You know what they say, "If it sounds to good to be true...."

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Are you referring to the Raspberry?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 10:51AM
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I googled wow computers and from their website learned:

You get a 30 day trial - plenty of time to check it out. $50 shipping so that'd be $100 if you returned it.

A steal at $999 on sale :-). About same price as a Mac. Presumably same quality?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 11:38AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Well it is linux based and it is touch screen here is a review that gives a good bit of info on it.

here are the specs on it
* 20" high definition, 16:9 widescreen, touch screen monitor
* 2G DDR3 built-in memory
* 500GB SATA II hard drive
* AMD� Dual-Core E-350 (1.6GHz) Processor
* Built-in web cam and speakers
* Built-in DVD/CD player
* Keyboard & mouse included
* Custom Linux based operating system designed for seniors
* 6 USB ports, 6-in-1 card reader, HDMI out
* 10/100/1000 LAN and wireless 802.11 b/g/n
* No bulky tower or complicated setup - it�s all built into the monitor!

and a youtube video on it
WOW! Computer for Seniors

Kinda of reminds me of the old webtv sets.

but for the price they are selling the thing why not just get a regular cheap pc and load linux on it yourself one of the really light easy distros. Several people I know did just that for their elderly relatives.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 12:46PM
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I saw the offering in the AARP magazine not too long ago. I came away with the impression it was targeted at senior citizens rather than general users.

A basic Google search using the keywords "aarp wow computer" (sans quotes) presented a lot of potential information.

My initial feeling is the Wow is a "must have" product targeted at a niche group. Something like the bath tub with a door in the side.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 12:55PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

what I wonder is how they are getting away with selling this product with linux on it with out being in violation of the GNU public license laws.

Plus from what I have read it looks like you have to pay them a monthly fee for "tech service" which is $10, it does not sound like this is a choice.

There is another one in this same category called the Telikin
Telikin Easy to Use Touchscreen Computers for Seniors : Senior PC Email for Elderly 50+ PC Games

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 1:08PM
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I'm all for seniors using computers, but I'm not convinced that this type of computer will magically solve everything. I looked on Amazon for the WOW computer and it seems to be manufactured by a company called Telikin, and there are zero reviews for it. There is also a similar computer marketed by FirstStreet, and they offer tech support for $10 a month. If it's so trouble-free, why are they offering paid tech support? I understand what they are trying to do, by simplifying everything, and this may help some people a little, but it's not a magic bullet. Below is a link to a good review of the computer that gives a little more info about its flaws.

If I had a non-techy senior that I was trying to get to use a computer, I would opt for a known brand, like HP which has a line called the TouchSmart; it has a touchscreen and does not require any significant setup, either...and you would get more for your money. Then I would arrange for some simple classes or instruct the person myself.

The problem with the WOW, besides its bugs, is that no computer -- no matter how simplified the operating system is -- will prevent problems from occurring.

Here is a link that might be useful: WOW review

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 1:20PM
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I surely thank you for your input. I figured there must be a catch to it somewhere. I would have to talk to her some more--not even sure if she can type. She says she'd like to have one, but maybe that's just talk. She's 82 and her DH is 85 with Alzheimers so I don't know how much time she would actually have to use it. I did read about the Telikin so if she really wants one, maybe that would be the way to go. She's so sweet, but also gullible and would probably fall the that the first scam that came along. Maybe a Mac would be better for her, you think?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 1:47PM
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Maybe an Ipad ? would do well for simple.

I just talked to an elderly lady whom has used iPad for sometime... She just bought a PC and is lost what to do, how to do.

Actually a few minutes on teamviewer showing her how to change backghround, change default font sizes.. and a walk around the win7.. she seemed happy, but still afraid of it.

Her goal... print envelopes and cards.. intel i7 & 8gb/1tb ..hehe

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 7:47PM
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Successors to the GO! computer of a few years back. Sorry but, IMHO, this is a shameless travesty for a marketing ploy preying on target market of troubled people. It's a very compromised system.

IMHO, if your folks can't figure out an iPad, that's about it for them. Alzheimers, you say? Forget it. Forget all of it. They won't be able to learn it. Or, if they are able, they won't be able to tomorrow. Not trying to be a snot. Just know how these things go from more experience than I wish I had.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 10:33PM
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Mikie's suggestion of the iPad (or the Samsung for that matter) is great. My sister is 80 and has steadfastly refused to get involved with these new fangled gadgets. Lo and behold, 6 weeks ago she bought an iPad and is using it at all hours now.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 6:41AM
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I have a Telikin computer (telikin.com) that I won in a drawing at a trade show. It is essentially the same as a WOW computer. I am retired from a Silicon Valley product-development career, and I own multiple desktops, laptops, and tablets, so have lots of experience with hardware and software on many platforms.

Telikin/WOW Pros:
Nicely pre-configured and decent for email, web surfing, Skype, and photos. The touch-screen is useful. Compact design. Useable DVD player. Included microphone and camera. Decent screen size and real keyboard. Easy to set up and use.

Telikin/WOW Cons:
Overpriced and underpowered. This is essentially a $300-$400 machine that sells for $700-$1000. Slow processor and limited memory. And I think ongoing support is probably extra.

Telikin/WOW Final Thoughts:
I would like to like this box. It does lots of things right for non-techie casual users (elderly, for example). However, there are other options, like an iPad or similar, that cost less and might, with a bit of hand-holding from a knowledgeable user, be a better choice. The screen size and on-screen keyboard of a tablet might be a problem for some, but (at least for the iPad) HDMI interfaces to an HD TV screen are available, as are external keyboards.

There is no single correct answer (sigh). Thankfully, there are several ways for non-techie seniors to participate online.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 11:27PM
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The company retains root access to the machine, which means they continue to have complete control of it after you purchase. They will refuse any request to give you control of the machine. The administration of the machine is dumbed down, which could be useful for the target audience, but sometimes you need a guru to ensure that you can trust the machine. I am my grandmother's guru, but I am not allowed by the company to set the security settings, or to exclude them access to her machine or data. Do you trust strangers with your credit cards?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 10:00PM
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