KiWi PC, A Senior-Friendly Desktop Computer

Old people use computers, too.  And, if you've got grandparents who rely on their favorite grandchild for tech support, you know they usually mess it up.  This KiWi PC  should prove to be a lower maintenance, more senior-friendly option.

Since Windows machines are notorious for being a veritable magnet for viruses and malware of all varieties, this computer washes itself clean of all of Microsoft's OS iterations.  Instead, it's running a custom version of Linux Ubuntu that's been tweaked for the more aged, less-technically savvy members of the population.

Details of the KiWi PC include a 1.66GHz Atom CPU, Intel GMA 3150 graphics, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 250GB HDD, a DVD optical drive and the usual salad of basic connectors.    They throw in that colorful keyboard in the mix, as well, though we're not sure how green and yellow keys are supposed to give older users an easier time typing.

The senior-friendly Linux build gets a customizable UI called "Me Menu" on top, presumably with bigger fonts for easier visibility and what sounds like a shortcut-based system.   They also threw in a software called Evolution Mail, a universal email inbox that simplifies the process of sending funny pictures and forwarding chain letters.

The KiWi PC is available now for $499.  Granted, that sounds a bit much for a barebones nettop computer with a monitor and keyboard thrown in, but we doubt the old people they're expecting to buy these would know any better.  Still, a PC designed for older folks is a necessity -- one we're glad someone is servicing.


7 Responses

  1. Usmaan

    Before putting my words in, I might as well admit that I am not absolutely up to date as regards the tech buzz. But, I am sure that I have heard about the Me Menu interface before this. There was this tech review show going on some times back, and those people talked about the Unity interface from Ubuntu, which is actually same as the Me Menu thing. Unity is currently on Ubuntu’s Netbook Edition, as far as I know. The buzz is that it would be a part of all most Ubuntu versions from mid year onwards. Anyways, the Me Menu interface does make interfacing to the web and email (do not forget the gaming) very convenient. But old people might not be very pleased with merely this. After all, if you are asking for something like 500 dollars from them for this KiWi PC, you’ve got to ensure that they are not left wanting in any sense.

  2. Ian

    The fragrance of technology has invaded all territories and people of all ages are getting attracted towards the world of the internet and PC. Ageing parents and aged grandparents are not the easiest of students to be teaching the nitty gritty of operating a computer and using the internet. In comes the KiWi PC, specially made for the elderly generation. A reading there rough the configuration of the PC does not impress at all. However, the fact that it runs a customized version of Ubuntu Linux 10.10, which does not require any supersonic circuit speeds for operation. The hardware configuration is certainly nothing to flaunt, but definitely sufficient for day to day computing. The 19 inch monitor with big broad fonts should make visibility very convenient. The oversized visual toolbar gives quick access to frequently used features such as e-mail, chatting and social networking. But the best part is the 24/7 toll free number which can be called up for prompt solutions whenever your grandma or grandpa gets stuck with some task on the KiWi PC. Although there is a large number of PCs available, for almost half the price (considering the hardware specs), none would serve the purpose of a senior friendly device.

  3. Darrel

    I am dead certain that my gradpa would throw the keyboard at me if I told him about the funky colourful version of the keyboard in the KiWi PC. How on earth could this help out? That was seriously childish of the design team. And to top it all, they price it at 500$, surely they are kidding us all.

  4. Fredrick

    Not only would a senior friendly PC like the KiWi PC prove to be useful for the elderly people who find some troubles handling the normal computer, but this might also remove the inhibitions from the minds of those who generally shy away from technology, thinking of it as an alien with entirely contrary interests from those of humanity. The software configuration is obviously the more important factor that must have taken the attention of the makers of this machine. Big fonts to improve the visibility sounds good enough, but they could have given a though to including an anti glare eye friendly screen. Good thing, they have ensured easy mailing provisions.

  5. Galvin

    1.6 GHz Atom CPU, Intel GMA 3150 graphics, 250 GB HDD and DDR3 2GB RAM, along with the DVD optical drive; sounds good till now. A freaky looking keyboard, and a price tag that shouts out ‘buy me for 499$ and gift me to your grand daddy’; does not sound that good. Good post, though.

  6. Hubert

    Oldies might not apply a lot of mind before deciding to purchase the proclaimed elderly friendly version of the computer, but sure as hell their children would have to be convinced pretty fairly about the value provided by the 500$ machine. We hope there is much more than mere fanciful keyboard colours and big icon. Even I am at a loss to understand the manner in which different colours of the keys could help them out. It would have been more logical had they coloured the CTRL, ALT, DELETE and ESCAPE keys only, anyways, these are the most frequently used keys with Microsoft Windows! And, there’s a magnifier option in Windows, so the bigger icons do not make an impact whatsoever. They must have tweaked some serious tricks into the OS, considering that they have confidently priced it at 500$. Nonetheless, it is good that at least these companies are thinking in lines of making products aimed at special groups of people.

  7. Jeremy

    I’ll speak from experience here. I visited my grandparents a couple of months back, and they have this old preserved PC, all wrapped in a blanket of dust. As luck would have it, my grandma had a fit of technology, and she suddenly wanted to know about the good old Pinball game in her computer, which she had observed me playing. And it took me close to three hours explaining to her the procedure of moving the mouse, clicking the relevant buttons, waiting for her handicapped CPU to lay open the game window, and then actually hitting the keys to play. I really hope the makers of this senior friendly know their business, and if they do, they might just have made the Saviour of the unfortunate race of today’s grandchildren.


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