Tablets can be far more easier than PC's to use
Some tablets can be far more easier to use, but it all depends on what your dad wants to do with it.
Tablets are so simple with there touch screen interfaces and big bold icons to touch to do things, and the on screen keyboard that can be quite big and easy to see and use.
However some tablets - iPad especially - do have a few issues that actually make them harder to use depending on what you want to do with them.
The biggest problem is with iPad there is no Java or Flash on them. The late Steve Jobs decided that both Java and Flash were old technologies and should not be included in iPads and instead more support for HTML5 should be included.
Now he is right that Flash is on it's way out and being replaced more and more by HTML5, but as for Java that is another thing all together, there is an alot of websites and software out there that all rely on Java, and even with HTML5 I can't see Java disappearing due to it being an actual programming language rather than just a simple way to display multimedia content.
If you dad is just using the internet in a very basic manner to go on, use Google search and access his e-mails he probably wont notice the absence of either Java or Flash.
The problem comes when he wants to use certain interactive websites. YouTube works entirely through Flash, along with many of these online players like BBC iPlayer, RTE Player, 4OD, or whatever other catch up TV players there are - so if he wanted to catch up on TV, unless that catch up service has an app for iPad's then he will be greeted by a confusing screen either telling him to download the latest version of Flash, or that his device is not compatible with Flash and to go and use a PC.
In addition to this Java is used in a number of sites as well, I recently had to help someone out who'd bought an iPad, his intention was to use the iPad on the train to play Bridge, however the website he is a member of for playing Bridge uses all Java and they have no apps at all for iPads so it is not possible to use this website directly through the iPad. Of course this is very disappointing when you spend so much on a device that you think should be able to do everything, only to find it very restrictive in this manner.
In addition to this some other websites that use Java for other things such as real time updates of sports scores, and things, however many of these do also have an app to work round this, the main issue is many gaming sites like Bridge sites, and some of these Bingo sites use either Java or Flash.
Of course if you did go for an iPad and then find out your dad needs access to Flash or Java there is a work around for it, but it's not simple and he'd be better just grabbing his laptop and using that. To work round it you need to install ShowMyPC app on the iPad, and on an existing PC. Then you need to ensure the PC is left on when you want to access the Flash content or Java content, you then use the ShowMyPC app on the iPad to access the PC, and then you can access all the Flash or Java content through the PC on the iPad. This of course is really confusing and is a very disappointing end user experience for such an expensive piece of kit.
The other alternative is an Android tablet. Many of the latest versions of Android tablets thankfully do include at least Flash on the tablets, so things like YouTube and iPlayers shoud work fine. Java however isn't included, but because Android OS is more open source than Apple iOS it is easier for developers to convert their Java based software into software suitable for Android, plus it's far more easier for developers to generate software that will "emulate" Java and allow access to this content, plus it's more likely that Java will eventually end up on Android tablets rather than Apple iOS.
The Android tablets can be a little more complicated to use than the iPads, the GUI isn't quite as nicely laid out as iOS.
If your dad does want full access to everything the internet can offer in a simple method he may be better looking at a Macbook rather than either an android or iPad tablets. They are bigger than a tablet, but they do have a simple interface very similar to iPads, and they do support most web technologies such as Java and Flash.
There are also Chromebooks as well, these use Chrome OS which to describe in full it's probably best if you watch this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QRO3gKj3qw. It's basically an computer that has nothing more than just a web browser. Therefore it's fast and simple and easy to use. The only bad thing with Chromebooks is that again they don't have Java - they do have Flash however which puts them higher up than iPads.
There is also Linux laptops you could look at. The good thing with Linux devices is the amount of flavours they are available with. If one interface seems too confusing just try another, and keep trying till you get it right. At present on my laptop I use Puppy Linux, which has a very simple interface, allows me to access everything from the internet like Youtube, and Java based websites without any problems whatsoever, it boots from a CD and the handy thing is with it working from a CD if it messes up it's just a case of turn computer off, turn on again and it works fine again, unlike operating systems like Windows, when that messes up sometimes it can lead to full re-installation of Windows to get things right again.
This is the order I'd consider looking at each device in:
This of course is just my own personal opinion and the only way to find out which ones would be best for your dad to use would be to take him to a shop that has a number of these devices on display (somewhere like a generic PC shop, rather than the Apple store as at least in the generic PC shop you have a good selection of these devices, rather than having Apple's rammed down your throat - LOL!) and let your dad have a go with them for a while and see which one is easiest for him to understand.
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