My mom, who is 76, not very computer literate and tends to forget what she learns about computing, is considering getting a laptop.
She gets confused about terminology and how to do things, and even has trouble understanding the difference between her webmail service (Netzero), browser and ISP. Her tendency in the face of a challenge, be it a slow/broken connection, browser, webmail and any other issues, is to restart the computer. I had to train her to stop using the power button to do this, but sometimes she still does. She does tend to get easily frustrated and I won't be nearby to drive over and get her out of a fix.
I doubt that I could get her to remember to update things on her computer, so she'd need a computer that can, as much as is possible, take care of itself. She is on a fixed budget, of course. I am certain I couldn't teach her to understand security software, so it'd need to be something that can run and update entirely without her intervention.
Most of the time, she reads her webmail and news (generally on Newser and related sites), responds to action items from different organizations (Avaaz, Public Citizen, Daily Kos, etc.), and may occasionally watch short videos although she lacks the patience for long ones (more than about 15 minutes in general, unless George Clooney is the star ;) ). She also does online banking, but she doesn't really do much else. Of course, she'd need Adobe Reader and a few other obligatory tools.
Given her light usage and particular challenges, can anyone make any recommendations for hardware and software that might be suitable? I am aware that there may not be a good choice out there, but I'm also aware that she may not decide to buy, too. ;)
Thanks in advance for your help!