Help me choose a tablet, please

A friend of mine is in need of a new tablet but I have no experience with them other than Kindles, so I need a little help from you folks.

She has some weird (to me) requirements.

  1. She uses it as you would a desktop, it stays in the same place at all times.
  2. She won’t use wifi so you have to be able to plug a phone line into the tablet.
  3. She needs an actual keyboard rather than a popup touchscreen one.
  4. She needs a plug in for a regular mouse.
  5. She only uses this for email and online shopping, she will not use it for anything else.
  6. She will be fine with a 10" screen.

Thanks for any help in advance.

Sounds like she shouldn’t just be looking for a tablet but also a dock + detachable keyboard. What’s the price range?

It sounds like she needs a laptop or desktop, not a tablet. I don’t think you’ll find a tablet with a physical network jack, let alone a phone (?) jack. A chromebook might be the best option. They might be hard to find at the moment.

What’s the motivation for wanting a tablet specifically?

I didn’t notice this at first. If she’s on dial-up, there are USB options for that.

Probably $400 tops. She’s an elderly lady and all she’s used to is hand me down laptops. I don’t think she can afford a laptop and she will not allow me to pay part.

Price is the main reason for a tablet. She’s not good with change and she totally ruled out a desktop.

Given the requirements you can definitely buy a low-end laptop or chromebook (if available) for less than $400

Here is an example (not recommending this particular model, just FYI).

I should clarify that she doesn’t have dial up, she has AT&T DSL which works well enough for her needs.

This is one of the ones I looked at but I can’t tell if you can attach a mouse to it. She wants to use a plug in mouse.

If her AT&T DSL is like my AT&T DSL, then the phone line is plugged into a router which supports both Ethernet connections and wifi. The last I checked RCA tablets have standard detatchable keyboards and a USB port usable for mice, and connect using wifi.

Interesting, she swears her router has no wifi, maybe I’m going to have to check for myself, she may not understand it has wifi since she has always plugged her machines into the router.
Thanks for the RCA info, that looks great.

If she’s elderly and used to Windows, the various Chromebooks may be too much change for her. I know we had zero success teaching my aged MIL to use an iPad after she’d been with PCs from DOS through Win7.

The lowest model of Microsoft Surface, the Surface Go 2, is a decent choice for the OP’s use cases. The base price is $400, but the keyboard (AKA “typecover”) costs extra. These work real well as generic internet terminals, shopping devices, etc. My wife has one for just that kind of light use.

An ordinary separate keyboard & mouse can also be used via built-in Bluetooth. As can external monitors, wired internet, etc. if you get an appropriate docking station or adaptors. Realistically you’re probably looking at $550-600 by the time you’re done.

I bought a Samsung Tab A 10.1 tablet. I also bought a heavy table top stand for it. I put the tablet in the stand to watch movies.

I really like my tablet. But, it doesn’t have any jacks. Bluetooth mouse and keyboards are available. I’m not sure how well a mouse would work with Android.

Add the price of a cheap decent wifi router to greatly expand her options if her DSL modem doesn’t offer wifi. Mine doesn’t so I have a bridged connection from my router.

Thanks for the help everyone. My wife and I are going over to her place Sunday so I can check on her router situation myself. From talking to her last night it sounds like she does have wifi but she was used to plugging everything in so that’s what she did. It sounds like she has a ethernet cable running from the router to the old laptop.

I’ll check back Monday if I get more info. Thanks again.

I don’t think she wants wifi. So no wifi router needed.

If she gets a tablet, is she prepared to learn Android? It’s not difficult, but it’s different from Windows. I agree with those who suggest a lower-end laptop. It will be more familiar and will do everything she wants it to do. If she doesn’t want a wireless mouse, she can always use a corded USB mouse.

Easier than trying to cord in a tablet.

Perhaps, but the OP said: " 2. She won’t use wifi so you have to be able to plug a phone line into the tablet."

For half that price (under $200), you can get refurb Dell Latitude Win-10 laptops online. I’ve bought three, all like-new, the one I’m using now is trouble-free after four years. Should have all the features you want.