The AARP RealPad Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be

With more and more aging adults attempting to become computer savvy, AARP, in its infinite wisdom, has introduced the RealPad for seniors. Jim Dondero has learned that the company touts this new made-for-seniors device as “relatively inexpensive” and pretty easy to operate — even for the most Internet-illiterate. Well, not so much.

The 8.75 inch, light-weight pad has obstacles that can prove a bit annoying, if now downright frustrating. When you initially attempt to cut on the pad, the button is not only difficult to find but also about the size of a pin head. Some seniors complain that the instructions are difficult to follow, and troubleshooting can be a royal pain in the rear end. Some owners — through a bit of trial and error — finally get up and running, while others lose patience and interest.

Fortunately, along with the bad comes some good. The RealPad is considered a bargain at a mere $149. Large icons and buttons also makes the experience a bit better, especially for seniors who are already computer literate. Overall, the RealPad grades at about a C. However, the $179 Kindle Fire HDX may be a better option because it is considered more “senior-friendly.”