Telikin Touch Review and Ratings
Our Verdict: For seniors or others unable to master traditional PCs or Macs, this $699 non-Windows computer is a unique, easy-to-use alternative. Read More…
- What We Liked…
- Very easy to use
- Comprehensive mix of basic applications
- Large touch-screen display
- What We Didn’t…
- Limited functionality
- Not expandable
- Works only with certain HP printers
- A bit pricey, considering the hardware
Telikin Touch Review
By Sally Wiener Grotta and Daniel Grotta, reviewed October 20, 2011
If you’re too young to remember Vietnam or Ronald Reagan first-hand, using computers, smartphones, and tablets is probably something you can do in your sleep. But if you grew up during the Roosevelt or Truman eras—or, dare we say it, recall Harding, Coolidge, or Hoover—mastering today's cutting-edge tech can be daunting. For many older Americans, a computer can frustrate and mystify, regardless of how many times their children or grandchildren explain how it works.
Telikin, a Pennsylvania-based company, set out to create a computer system that anyone—elderly or not—can begin using right out of the box. To do this, the company took an off-the-shelf all-in one (AIO) computer from MSI (a version of the MSI Wind Top AE1920-001US), jettisoned the Windows operating system, and substituted a customized version of Linux. The idea of Linux might sound bizarre in a computer for seniors, but you won't have to teach Granddad how to get root access; the interface is fully graphical, with no sign of a command line. Plus, on top of the operating system, Telikin installed a variety of near-goofproof, easy-to-use applications, many of them relying heavily on touch input.
Relying on touch was a smart design move, because some older folks find a keyboard and mouse challenging to use. Although both of those conventional input devices are included with the Telikin Touch, its 18.6-inch display is also a touch screen. (The company also offers a larger-screened version of this computer, the Telikin Elite, with a 20-inch display and a roomier hard drive.) The LCD can also double as a huge digital picture frame, via one of the utilities (Slideshow Viewer) included in the interface.
In addition to Slideshow Viewer, Telikin provides a smart mix of software features that cover most of what an older user with basic computing needs would want. The interface has dedicated areas for Video Chat, Email, Photos, Calendar, Contacts, Weather, News, Web, and Games. A handful of utilities—which act more like what we now know as "apps"—handle other basic computing tasks: Backup/Restore, CD Player, Calculator, Conversion, DVD Player, File Manager, PDF Viewer, Slideshow Viewer, Stopwatch, Timer, and Write. The last is a word processor.
Whether or not the Telikin Touch is a success story in simplification depends on who is using it. If you’re accustomed to working on a normal PC or Mac, you’ll be disappointed with the Telikin Touch’s limitations—but that's okay, because you're not who this computer was made for. If, on the other hand, you’ve never handled a computer, the Telikin Touch is a veritable godsend, because you will be able to do plenty, such as surf the Web or initiate a video call to the grandkids, without fear or frustration.
1.8GHz Intel Atom D525|
320GB hard drive
18.6-inch LCD (touch screen)
Integrated Intel GMA 3150
Dell XPS 27Read Our Review
Maingear Shift Super Stock (2013)Read Our Review
Dell XPS One 27 TouchRead Our Review
Apple iMac (27-Inch, 2012 Version)Read Our Review
Origin PC Genesis (2012 Version)Read Our Review