Call #3 of the bunch came an. An elderly lady has a laptop that stopped working, she wanted to connect to the Internet. Her son told her to get an iPad, so she did, but is finding it confusing. She wants to know what to do. I told her to return the iPad.
It's an iPad 3G 16G and it's just past the 14-day return period. She said the store wanted a 10% restocking fee, which would be ~$70. I said i'd look on ebay. I'll wait for a few to end and see what they go for. This is nearly new and with the box and all.
Her needs are to get onto the Internet mostly for studying and research, which means a a few websites. She goes to Florida during the winter, so it and it's Internet connection should be portable. She has used a laptop for some time, so a laptop seems optimal.
Her laptop is over ten years old. It's a P3 (iirc, 600 MHz or so) with 384MB RAM, and a 4GB HD. The laptop has a key for 98/98SE but it's running XP. There's less than 100 MB free on disk, the battery looks like it's shot, and the power cable is a bit loose.
Freed up some 800 MB by deleting, uninstalling, emptying the recycle bin, and lowering the system restore space. With just under a GB free, she ought to be able install an aircard (she had a problem with that in the past) and the low disk warning will go away. That was last night, i'm going to have to get back to her.
I think she needs a new laptop. Her current laptop will work, but it's probably worth a small investment to have a lighter laptop with a working battery. Dell's cheapest new laptop shows $399, same at Newegg. Is there anything cheaper?