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back to article Fujitsu launches lappie for oldies

Fujitsu has taken a plunge into the grey market by launching a notebook designed specifically for the over 60s. The aptly named “Grannote” is aimed at “active, mature adults” and will debut in Japan on February 13. The Lifebook AH90/P lappie has been fitted with some extra features to make it easier for old folks to use. …

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Shame the keys aren't bigger

I have big hands and find regular keyboards a bit too small. If I could just increase the size of the keys by 20% to enlarge the keyboard, I'd find typing much easier. I guess the original keyboards were designed in an age when women did most of the typing, so the key spacing is designed for smaller hands.

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Re: Shame the keys aren't bigger

I wouldn't mind having a good deal more information about this as and when it's made available. Are the keys themselves slightly larger than is the norm? What's the screen size/resolution? Ports? Price? I might be an old fogey but these things matter.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shame the keys aren't bigger

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv1w9bg3bMM

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Anonymous Coward

Laptop for oldies, installed with windows 8?

One reason why I bought my dad who incidentally will be 76 this year an iPad. I never have to go round to his house to 'fix' it' or reinstall stuff or teach him new stuff. So long as he doesn't drop it, it's unbreakable.

I just handed it to him, he replied 'how do I switch it off?' I replied 'you don't ever have to' to which he said 'is there an instruction book?' To which I replied, 'just use it.'

He did and I have my free time back.

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Here's the specs

In Japanese, but relatively easy to understand:

http://www.fmworld.net/fmv/ah_g/1402/spec/

8 GB RAM seems generous, and 4 USB 3.0 ports, 1920x1080 15.6 inch screen, and 10.5 hour battery life.

Keyboard is 18.4mm keypitch and 3.0mm keystroke (travel?)

According to their own web store, with a 10% discount coupon it is a pension-abusing 197,820 yen, or just a tad under 1,200 quid.

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FAIL

Re: Here's the specs

Why the numerical keypad? I never use it and I don't think granny is heavy on data entry either. It's useless and just clutters the design. Typical of non-design-driven companies though (i.e. pretty much all but Apple) who just keep dragging along the old "features". Only if you look at smaller (i.e. 13") and thus more expensive laptops (except this ChromeBook I am writing on) the numerical keypad is gone and possibly then only because it didn't really fit.

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Re: Here's the specs

>Why the numerical keypad? I never use it and I don't think granny is heavy on data entry either. It's useless and just clutters the design.

If a bigger screen is easier to read, and there is room for it, a numerical keyboard is good. FFS, it is easier to type any number (telephone number, credit card number) on a numerical keypad than it is by whipping your hand from left to right above the Q to P keys. If you have limited dexterity and arm strength, this is even more important.

Have you even thought this through?

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Re: Here's the specs

It might be that the older person needing a laptop with easy to read keys, etc, isn't a senile old duffer but, say, a programmer. But thanks for the patronising attitude - us oldies can never get enough of that

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Windows

Me to

I spend at least half my time editing what I have typo'd!!

This new lappie for oldies, will it have a better DVD tray, to hold my cocoa mug more securely??

I know what it looks like, but it is really a self-heating can of cocoa.

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Here in Sonoma, Californa ...

... the saying is "60 is the new 40".

Fujitsu can fuck right the hell off. Ageist bastards.

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Re: Here in Sonoma, Californa ...

Fujitsu can fuck right the hell off. Ageist bastards.

You know, if you have ever had to help someone who can't even write anymore because of Parkinsons or who needs bifocals to see properly you'd know what a stupid comment that really is.

You could have used the space to make an intelligent comment like "but it's not just the hardware, I dread to think a beginning senior computer user using Windows 8" but no, that would not represent the right lack of maturity.

I hereby wish you getting old soon. You're doing well on the dementia already.

As for Fujitsu, it's an obvious market but (as stated above), usability is not just big keys. The iPad story above I can confirm, and that was after an Android tablet proved to be too difficult. The issue is not so much apps, it's the lack of lock down ability - still not perfect for the iPad, but somehow worked better for the user I had to deal with which is IMHO the only true metric you can apply.

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@AC (was: Re: Here in Sonoma, Californa ...)

Note that I was discussing the ageist mentality of fujitsu marketing, not the physical ability of the potential end user.

I'm over 50, if it matters.

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Re: @AC (was: Here in Sonoma, Californa ...)

Does that mean manufacturers of hearing aids are ageist?

Does that mean BMW are ageist for implementing softer floors in their factories for the benefit of an ageing German workforce?

I don't get why you object to a product being designed to mitigate the effects that aging has on many people's bodies. Nobody is saying that all older people have arthritis or poor eye-sight, but some do.

FFS, this is Japan, where the birth rate is so low that much of their research into robots is aimed at caring for their older population.

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Re: @AC (was: Here in Sonoma, Californa ...)

Whoa there! Cross purposes, I suggest.

To my knowledge, Jake's comment accurately reflects - albeit in humorous vein - the instinctive reaction of the majority of c.60-year-olds these days when marketed at on the basis of likely/possible infirmities/limitations.

ie " I'm not bl**dy well old ! "

That's completely separate (as I see it) from the reaction of those who are coping with their infirmities/limitations (including some of the same people, just in a more reflective/realistic moment) and of those who care for them.

This GranNote could be very useful for some I know who are very much younger than 60.

I hope it will be renamed for the UK though.

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Anonymous Coward

Does it come with a free pair of slippers and a subscription to Saga?

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Anonymous Coward

Saga from The Bridge you mean?

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FAIL

Blue Backlight=FAIL

Blue is a hard color to focus on - it is next to impossible to focus on a blue lit indicator and the key it is on at the same time. I HATE all damn blue indicator lights on every damn computer or other decive that uses them. I expect that the focus problem is worse when you've got to use glasses with progressive lenses (bifocals with no dividing line, just a floating transition from near to far.)

Blue looks cool, but it sucks as a control indicator

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Re: Blue Backlight=FAIL

> Blue looks cool, but it sucks as a control indicator

Blue is harder than other colors, but only some far-blue frequencies (actinic) are impossible to focus your eyes on. That kind of light is often used on signs because it's a cool, if overused, effect.

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Re: Blue Backlight=FAIL

You beat me to it.

Blue is also difficult in low light situations.

Amber would be a much better choice as well as amber on black is one of the most high visibility signage designs one can have.

Useful if you have vision problems.

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There Always Has To Be One

Well done Jake for showing up as the essential dimwit troll, not only a stupid little person I guess you go along grinding down the warning studs at the edge of pavements, (sorry Jake for you 'sidewalks') showing the blind or partially sighted where to cross the road. Do you also turn off or stop up the vibrating and audible sounders on pedestrian crossings? Ban wheel chairs because the all important Stupid Jake does not like or need one. No need for crutches either in Jake's world, you either get with his plan or tough.

Personally I am ALL for inclusion where it can work; bigots like Jake can take a hike. Sure many 60 year olds are as fit or fitter than many 40 year olds were when I was born. But age related problems DO EXIST. While the current crop of sixty, seventy, eighty or even ninety year old inhabitants are in many cases still very active, some of us will, or do need adaptations to make things assessable. While an operation greatly improved my back and mobility, with damage to my hands I now find a screw top release tool useful. I may start to use voice dictation to allow assess for me to write on the computer since the keyboard is becoming hard to use; stupid ignorant raving trolls like you Jake, are simple offensive non contributors.

So a mark for Fujitsu for at least making an effort to reach out to a possible market segment that they clearly feel exists.

Did silly Jake complain about the current push to touch screen devices aimed at the young with full manual dexterity? No? I thought not! I find that rubbish totally useless, so finding a new mobile phone is increasingly difficult, I do not boycott that dross. Since I cannot make use of it there is no point to buying a new phone. I still use the ten year old voice technology on my old mobile. There is a world of difference between meeting needs and forcing fashion on those unable to employ the trend.

So Jake before you crawl back into your play pen, well done to Fujitsu for a small step forward in market choice. I do hope the machine in question is NOT encumbered with 'so called touch' and those god awful kiddie bricks of the TIFCAM Windows H8 .

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Re: There Always Has To Be One

"Did silly Jake complain about the current push to touch screen devices aimed at the young with full manual dexterity?"

I think I'm on record as being anti-touch-screen. I've spent over a third of a century trying to keep lusers greasy mitts off my monitor ...

"No? I thought not! I find that rubbish totally useless,"

So where, exactly, are we at issue?

"finding a new mobile phone is increasingly difficult"

That's why I use my old Nokia 5185. Newer does not always mean better.

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Re: There Always Has To Be One

Jake's use of the term 'lusers' neatly sums up his attitude to people.

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Re: There Always Has To Be One

Pot calling the kettle. Jake was not making any comments about making things easier for disabled people or those with disabilities.

He was complaining, rightly, at the way age is used when advertising and or writing about devices like this. The article is titled, "Fujitsu launches lappie for oldies." The inference being that after a "certain age" you will automatically need one of these things. Which is ageism plain and simple. The get away with crap like that because ageism is a prejudice that still hasn't adequate legal recourse available to the victims.

You are the dimwit for over-reacting to a legitimate comment. When you yourself get past 60, I am 64 next month, you will find that the patronising and insulting way you start to be treated by some is bloody infuriating. As are stupid, insulting and infantile title such as the tile for this article.

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Re: There Always Has To Be One

>The article is titled, "Fujitsu launches lappie for oldies."

Jake has been on The Reg long enough to know that a Reg headlione does not always reflect the marketing message of the company in question.

The bulk of the article discussed the actual features of the laptop.

Tha said, I know a lot of crap is marketed at oldr people - just look at Telegraph 'Reader Offers'.

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Nya

Nice idea, only real issues are the name as that'll tick off many, and also the price tag. The majority of the retired folks who end up buying a lappie end up going to places like wonky world and buying whatever cheap tat with the lowest specs going as it was cheap. If they moved it down to an AMD (ok shudder) or an i3 and did it for under £500, preferably under £400 than the thing I bet would be a great success.

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Agreed, CPU doesn't make much difference to usability on most of the laptops I've used for "normal" work; Lots of memory and an SSD option would make these laptops safer from an impatient senior poking them with a walking stick to prod them into a response ;-)

My latest Lenovo has taken a backward step, with just one LED, indicating power - No mains or battery indicators, no HDD light to show you it's busy, no WIFI/Bluetooth indicators - I nearly whacked it myself while it was going through its incredibly slow setup process (with no opportunity to start Task Manager to see what it was actually doing). I'd hate to have to do remote support on that one.

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I don't believe it.

Now there's a point. Why can't we have a Victor Meldrew icon for comments?

Anyway I've long maintained that IT is going to have to address these issues. I think it's going to impact smartphone design the most. I'm only 47 and I've never felt really comfortable browsing the web on my phone because getting the text readable means zooming in and ruining the layout. The keyboards are generally too fiddly as well. My HTC Desire was terrible. My current S3 is tolerable. Oddly the best keyboard was my really old Nokia Xsomething-or-other even though it had the smallest screen.

Ah. An X-6 possibly. Of 2009ish vintage.

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There was a time.....

.....when I might have sneered at such a development but, to my continuing astonishment, time has caught up with (even) me.

I wish similarly thoughtful manufacturers to the Japanese would consider the tiny legends, often moulded into black plastic on so many devices. I can no longer read them without my glasses or, in extremis, having to move the device into daylight.

Slightly larger type, lighter coloured plastic -- not too much to ask surely ?

As for phone keyboards, don't get me started !

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Re: There was a time.....

Couldn't agree more!

I'm not yet at the age where I need this, but mid 40s I have got to the point where it's not quite as easy to see close as it used to be. And I broke my arm a few years ago and my right thumb and first finger never *quite* entirely recovered their strength. I don't have any actual problems using modern equipment, but a bit of thought and it could be so much easier.

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Re: There was a time.....

I once had to read a serial number for a customer support call. It was ridiculously small. I couldn't read it. My sixteen year old daughter could only just read it, and couldn't be 100% sure she'd read it correctly.

So I took a photo of it with my phone and zoomed in. Problem solved. I love modern technology.

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Re: There was a time.....

Yah. Original HTC headphones. The 'L' and 'R' are printed in black ink on the dark grey of the phone bodies. And my Honda dealer admitted that every DST/BST switch over they used to get lots of Jazz owners asking how to change the clock. The reason being - light grey ink on grey plastic so no-one could see how to enter clock change mode.

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Re: There was a time.....

I'll see your Honda Jazz and raise you a Samsung Pro815 camera. Fantastic device in everything, until you come to the range of flat buttons around the top LCD screen and down the side of the main one. Dark brown 'bronze' buttons with the function incised into them with the world's narrowest laser.

Result? Off with the glasses, peer at the buttons from a distance of 1-2cm, look up and "Oh, I can't see what I was taking a photo of now"

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Apple ADB Extended Keyboard

I still have an Apple ADB Extended Keyboard keyboard and I find it a joy to type on. I had to get a USB-ADB adapter for it. The ALPS keys on it have a lovely spring.

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Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should type and browse at close of day;

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Devil

Lappie? LAPPIE!!

Thought we banned that "word" years ago. Yes, I'm going to be 60 next year. Yes I also want a Victor Meldrew icon. No, I don't want anything made by Fujitsu.

Thank you and goodnight.

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the only problem......

.... is that they won't have a CLUE how to do ANYTHING with it, once it boots up and the full horror of Windows 8.1 unveils itself ..... like a geriatric stripper with bedsores!

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Re: the only problem......

Downvoted because your parting comment wasn't compatible with my lunch!

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Really annoying...

... that the article made no comment about the deeply-patronising term Silver Surfers, so my spleen remains unvented.

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I wouldn't mind having one...

...but the fact that it runs Win8 is a definite stumbling block, and the price is a deal breaker.

Let me have it with Win7 or *Nix, and reduce the price significantly, and then it becomes a good deal.

Larger keys on the keyboard, audio DSP to adjust hard to hear tones to a more hearable range, and other enhancements to make it easier for those with less-than-perfect hearing, vision, & mobility?

They deserve a serious pat on the back for making the effort, even if they've made serious missteps in the OS & pricing departments.

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