The $500 Linux PC Aimed at Senior Citizens

Linux likely wouldn't be the first choice among those who consider themselves anything less than tech-savvy. However, KiWi PC is using a customized version of the open source OS on its latest offering, which it claims will fill a gap in the current market.

"Until now, there has not been an easy way for senior citizens to navigate the internet and stay connected to friends and family," said Oscar Ferreira, President of KiWi PC. "Linux based KiWi PC provides the elderly with an easy way to stay in touch, learn and game online."

Though one could argue that senior citizens could navigate the internet and stay connected to friends and family from any other machine, KiWi PC's desktop has a custom UI, called the 'Me Menu' that allows users to easily access to their most visited websites and programs straight from the desktop. It also boasts larger icons and text for increased visual acuity.

The $499 computer packs a 1.66GHz Intel Atom CPU with INTEL GMA 3150 GRAPHICS, 2GB of DDR3, a 19-inch monitor, Ubuntu 10.10, DVDRW drive, one-year of tech support, access to a download store, and lifetime upgrade support from KiWi PC.

  • gprosperiea
    A good user interface for them should never change. thousands of things could change in the lower layers for improvements but that should be transparent for them. they want to find the log in text box for their email in the same place and also, their personalized user interface should be able to follow them to any computer (chrome os looks could give them that)
  • christop
    Specs are low for 499. You could build a dual core with 4 gigs ram win 7 with 500 gig hd for 520.00 But I guess older people would not care.
  • amdfangirl
    Well considering the starting price for an x120e is $400 (AMD Fusion netbook) it dun make sense.
  • jasonpwns
    It is too expensive, on top of that it uses Linux, which is a free OS for the most part and should cost less than a windows pc. Except it doesn't...
    christopSpecs are low for 499. You could build a dual core with 4 gigs ram win 7 with 500 gig hd for 520.00 But I guess older people would not care.It's not that they don't care, it's more of the fact that they don't know any better. Their minds aren't sharp enough to "dot their i's and cross their t's" anymore. Something like this has recently happened to my grandparents and we're trying to resolve the issue.
  • Khimera2000
    ... I dont know... I havent dug around win 7 to see what it can do for elders. there is the magnifier I know that... perhaps it would be a point to build an article around? how can we say something really works well or not when we barely use the features that are already embeaded into every PC/notebook out there?
  • WR2
    'a custom UI' and 'access to a download store'
    Trying to lock customers into their own cash cow?
    Hey, isn't Kiwi a fruit too?
  • JohnnyLucky
    I am a senior citizen. My friends are senior citizens. We easily navigate the Internet and stay connected to familiy with the desktop pc's we already have.
  • Needs a bigger monitor for old eyes.

    Now, yes, I agree with other commenters, the price seems incommensurate with the product. One can build a faster system for $500, or less. One might ask, "pre-built/configured, etc., and with a decent monitor included?"
    Maybe not too much faster, but, still possible, I'm sure.
    I just built a 2.8ghz duo core Xeon AMD64 WITH 4GB ram for about $400, but had to build it myself, and no monitor or fancy colored keyboard included. (It IS running gnu/linux, of course).
    I do agree that gnu/linux is a good choice for the not-so-tech-saavy, though. A lot less likely for them to break stuff, mess it up with malware, spyware, have crashes, etc. that will frustrate them.
    I installed Debian on my Mom's old computer after she got tired of the mess of XP she had. She hasn't had a problem since.
  • JohnnyLucky
    BTW - Forgot to mention it but the keyboard has all those colorful keys. It might appeal to my grandchildren.