Top positive review
604 people found this helpful
excellent design for target market segment
on June 30, 2011
Others will cover functional details better than I can. This review will focus instead upon my experience in purchasing this product for my mother, who is now 90 years old. She had been using MSN WEB-TV for the past eight years or so, but locally it had become too slow. She wanted something better and had planned to purchase a laptop and cable internet on her own.
While my mom is pretty smart, she has never commanded a mouse and she has pretty severe arthritis, so I knew I had to seek an alternative. That was to be the Telikin.
Over the past 10 years, I have purchased three laptops. The first two each cost $2500+. The most resent, an ASUS, was around $700, and so I figured I could afford to spend that much on mom even though I didn't have a good track record and only the word of Rachel Ray to go on. I wanted to wait a few more years to see how this start-up company would pan out, but I realized my mom was 90, and I wanted her to have it now to enjoy it while she can.
So that's what went into this leap of faith. I wasn't disappointed, Rachel Ray. It is "the coolest thing ever.", at least so far.
The design is very beautiful; you can put it anywhere you might place a photo-frame. It has a huge 18.5" touch-screen display with beautiful, bright color and resolution, including integral speakers, camera, and microphone; video-chat ready. And the computer is part of the touch display. A nice white, color-coordinated keyboard and mouse are included, but my mom loves the touch screen.
While it has dual processors, 2GB RAM, and a 350GB HD, this computer isn't about number crunching. If you are into multivariate statistics, this isn't for you. But if you are mainly interested in surfing the net, e-mails, facebook, pictures and videos, keeping up with friends and relatives, tracking the weather and the news, watching DVD's in HDR, and watching your calendar of events, then this might just be the computer for you and your family, regardless of your age(s).
Along the left side of the touch-sensitive display, you have the following selections: Home, Video Chat, EMail, Photos, Calendar, Contacts, Weather, News, Web, Games (nice selection), and...
"More" which inclues currently a calculator, units converter, DVD player, File Manager, PDF reader, stopwatch, and timer (many of these useful in cooking, which may in part explain Rachel's reaction.)
Within 24 hours, my 90 year old mom was loving this device. She is even committed to trying to learn how to control a mouse, but she realizes that is irrelevant to using this system. At every screen, she can use the + and - magnification icons to enlarge the screen when necessary for her, and everything is legible and accessable. But "easy to use" is the key point, not necessarily "elderly". This will be well received by anyone who wishes to use a computer for the above applications.
You cannot download applications software. The trade-off is, in part, you don't have to worry about viruses at all, and the seller updates yours software for you. But it is strictly limited to the applications provided, though one has unlimited access to web surfing insofar as I can see.
All of this said, I did encounter a few minor disappointments. For example, although I set my mom up a gmail account complete with prior contacts, the contacts were not imported by the Telikin and I had to enter them manually. Similarly, new e-mail contacts must be entered manually. Another minor issue was in doing a Google search there was no way to highlight or search for the criterion text in the documents viewed; you have to visually scan them to find the reference you were looking for.
In calling the folks at Telikin to discuss these things, one finds very receptive ears, and people who when asked if they are sales or tech service say "we all do everything." They record your improvement suggestions and will tell you they are working on updates all the time. I believe them because I know it will be in their best interests to keep advancing their applications. This company is new, it's very organic and growing, and I have a sense it is committed to evolving this product to address the feedback of the consumer. Don't get me wrong; it's an excellent product as it stands, both in form and function. I'm just saying that if you decide to purchase one, you're going to find you get the best customer service you could possibly imagine; at least that has been my experience so far.
So that's about it, except that now that I've seen what this Linux-based technology can do, and what I think the future for this new company portends, my wife and I have decided to buy one or more additional units for the nursing home where my wife's father recently passed away, in his name. It is clearly something that will bring much joy to the folks there.
But I'm equally sure that once this gets out into the broader market, it will realize the potential that computer technology has always had to be a true utilitarian device that is easy for everyone to use and virtually problem free.
Update after two weeks: My mom is loving this computer. No issues. She called customer service once to make a suggested improvement, and they told her it would be immenent and automatic.
Even just after we got it installed, her voice over the phone sounded so much more up-beat. My sisters and everyone who calls her said so. I am so glad we got this for her. What a great product; what a wonderful company.
We're now talking with the nursing home where my wife's father recently passed away to see about getting a couple of these put in there in his name. I'm tellin' ya; this is a great design, and I know it will go far.
But I want to emphasize yet again, when people have come over and tried mom's computer, they say, "Geez! This is better than our computer." And they are like, you know, middle aged folks. So this isn't just a computer for older folks, it is, like I said before, finally a realization of design concept for everyone that finally will realize the main purposes we all use these devices. This is a great device for any family.
Stardate October 16, 2011: Just left Mom's house. She says this is the best thing she's ever had. 91 years old young.
Me and my sisters are able to send her photos, video conference, send all the video links... It's wonderful.
And she has used the great technical support from Teliken on her own and reports are they are so very helpful.
So I think this is an amazing piece of technology, not just for the elderly, but also for families who want to have a "family-friendly" central computer that is totally accessable to everyone and safe from viruses etc. This is it.
April 14, 2012: Telikin has continued to upgrade and update their software automatically and transparently. My mom has no part in it. We have not subscribed to the optional customer service for a nominal fee, but on the rare occasions we have needed assistance, it is available with the greatest customer service I've ever experienced. You do need to have your own ISP service just as you would for any computer that is connected to the internet. My mom has a local dsl service with her own WiFi wireless router. This is not associated with Telikin in any way. There is no monthly fee. Other than the cost of the computer at around $700 about a year ago, we have paid nothing additional to Telikin. Mom is now fully recovered from her heart attack and her Telikin remains a central element in her life and her communication with others. It is the best gift I ever gave her.
November 17, 2012; I continue to get forwarded e-mails and videos from my mom on an almost daily basis. I send her all my most recent photography which she says she puts on her screen saver display so that she sees it all the time.
This device has allowed her to remain "with it" throughout her heart attack a year ago. She is 92, living at home, and I think this Telikin computer is a huge, significant aspect of her quality of life. Unlike other computers I live with, this has been totally trouble free.
Great product, Telikin; Best money I ever spent for my mom.
November 26, 2012; My mother in law was released from the nursing home after a series of strokes in August that left her with significant paralysis on the right side. Today I ordered her a Telikin just like I got my mom; she wouldn't be able to use the PC I set up for a year ago. Based on my mom's experience, I know she will love it and that it will make a significant difference in her ability to stay connected with her other children and grand kids now spread out across the country. I'll update this at some point to share her experience.
July 26, 2013; My mother (92) continues to use her computer every day to surf the web, send and receive e-mails with pictures and videos etc. Virtually no problems. My mother-in-law (82) is now in a group home. The ladies who care for the 6 people there don't speak much English, and the other residents are "out of it". So while we bring her over to have lunch and watch movies as often as we can, on a regular basis, her Telikin is in her own words her "lifeline" to the world. I would say it would be an understatement to say she "loves it" because that would imply it is a luxury of sorts. I think it would be a truer statement to say she needs it on some level. She needs it to hold on to something very important.
One issue we have had is long wait times in the very very infrequent event of a problem. But when it does occur, I think they need to respond more quickly for folks who cannot afford the premium monthy service charge. I spoke with Mike today and he assures me they will work on a solution for that. After talking with him, I'm fully convinced of their committment to the market this device was designed for. And once again, I can state here that this is without question the best thing I've been able to do to enhance the quality of life for both of my moms. And, again, I recommend it.
Update August 30, 2014
Telikin has improved their technical service, and mom tells me she just e-mails them and they call her in a day or so and walk her through any issues she has, which are infrequent. She is very frugal and did not opt for the monthly premium support. I've been visiting her over the past year for a week or two each month, and I've never had to assist her in resolving any computer issues. (Meanwhile, as others have noted, my wife and I have had relatively difficult and frustrating problems with our Windows-based systems). I asked her when I was there last week what she thought of it, and she said she uses it every day and that it has been the best gift she ever received. She is now 93.
Meanwhile, my mother-in-law, who had a serious stroke two years ago, is partially recovered and living in an assisted living facility, and she also loves her Telikin and told me it is her "lifeline" to the world and that she doesn't know what she would do without it. She mostly uses the touch screen because of the stroke impairments but she is very adept at shooting off e-mails and we always copy her on the latest FW: items of interest that are going around.
This was pretty new when I bought them and a bit of a risk, perhaps, but the product has exceeded all of our expectations and I would recommend it highly for folks like my mom and mother-in-law who basically want to use the internet, do e-mails, Skype with video, and keep in touch with distant relatives.
UPDATE AUGUST 4, 2015 =======================================================
Almost every time I talk with my mom on the phone lately, she brings up here Telikin computer and thanks me for it yet again. I just got off the phone with her and she told me again how she doesn't know what she would do without it and she keeps wanting to pay me for it :)
She's 94, and a day doesn't go by when I don't get FW emails from her or the results of some research she has done on the internet. She orders from Amazon and sends e-mails to a number of others, including my two sisters. It is set up in her dining room where she can just sit down and use it, and she used it several times a day. It has really helped to keep her mind sharp and to keep her feeling involved and connected instead of isolated. I live in the Chicagoland area and can't spend as much time with her as I'd like.
I can't say enough good things about it, how they designed it to be remotely maintained so folks like my mom don't have to worry about antivirus's and malware, and adware etc. I don't think that she would (or I) would be capable of having her use a standard Windows computer these days. The Telikin is an exactly perfect fit for her and for people like her.