(03) 9696 2944

How can I choose the best computer for me?

Contact us

by Karyn Muscat

We are often asked for information and advice when our customers are looking to purchase a computer or tablet for use with our assistive technology products.  

However, there is not one right choice for everyone. The computer or tablet that is right for you will depend on what your needs are and how you plan to use the technology.

Nevertheless, there are some general recommendations and features that are important to consider when choosing a computer (laptop, desktop or tablet) for use with Zyteq assistive technology equipment and communication software.

We have created this blog to assist our customers to choose a suitable computer for use with:

You might find it useful to print this information and take it to your local technology supplier. They may be able to assist you with the selection of your tablet.

We have also created a PDF with this information and included it on the Grid 2 and Intelligaze product pages.

Is this information helpful? Is there anything else you'd like to see added? Let me know what you think via twitter @klmuscat or email karyn@zyteq.com.au.

Platform / Operating System:

The computer must be a Windows computer. Windows is the name of the operating system. This is updated by Microsoft every year or so. Different versions are available depending on the timing of your purchase. We recommend Windows 8 but Windows 7 or XP is also compatible with The Grid 2 and Mind Express 4. Windows XP is not compatible with Alea Intelligaze Desktop 2.0.

Android, Windows RT and iPads are not compatible with Intelligaze, The Grid 2 or Mind Express 4.

GridPlayer is compatible with iPad, iPod and iPhone. Please see our website for more information on GridPlayer. GridPlayer will not be discussed in this document.

General Considerations:

Many mainstream manufacturers are favouring smaller and lighter tablets, this is at the expense of some features we have come to expect. Listed below are some features to consider when purchasing a tablet (or other laptop / computer) for use as assistive technology:

Number of USB Ports

  • Many tablets may only have one USB Port and so if you are using eye-gaze, head-tracking, joystick or other USB based alternative access there will be no ports available for other equipment.

  • Some assistive technology devices may operate more effectively if they are connected directly to the computer and not via a USB hub e.g. Intelligaze.

  • If you are using the Alea Intelligaze camera you will need at least one full-sized USB 2 or USB 3 port on the side of the tablet.

  • Some tablets are advertised as having a USB port however the port may be a micro / mini USB port or may be located in the keyboard. These are not be compatible with the Alea Intelligaze.

RAM

  • 2 GB is the minimum for many programs.

  • 4 GB is recommended if you will be running multiple programs at once: e.g. The Grid 2 and Microsoft office programs. Gaming programs often have very large memory requirements – please consult your gaming software documentation for recommendations.

Mounting

  • Most mainstream tablets will not have mounting points built-in so you may need to purchase an adapter.

  • Some industry solutions will have VESA points which are compatible with the Alea Intelligaze mounting brackets.

  • Determine the mounting options that you may use prior to purchasing a tablet or monitor to ensure that your equipment is compatible i.e. minimum / maximum dimensions and whether VESA points are required / beneficial.

Size

  • Screen sizes are measured diagonally in inches.

  • The size of the screen will differ depending on your needs. If you are using eye gaze, the recommended screen size range is 10 inch to 22 inch.

  • We recommend 12 to 19 inch if possible as this is suitable for the largest range of individuals.

Hard Drive

  • A Solid State Disk (SSD) is often recommended but not essential.

Additional Capabilities

  • Do you require a SIM card slot for SMS and or Internet access on the go?

  • Do you require Bluetooth for connection switch adapters / speakers?

  • If you are using a tablet for communication, consider whether the volume of the speakers will be loud enough in a noisy environment like a supermarket.

 

HARDWARE & SOFTWARE SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS

Alea Intelligaze

  • Windows 8 is recommended (Windows 7 is also compatible. Windows XP is no longer supported)

  • 2GB of RAM

  • Atom CPU with 2 cores + hyper-threading or core i3 (AMD CPU equivalents will work as well)

  • Full size (not mini / micro) USB Type-A USB 2.0 or 3.0 port located on one side of the tablet to allow mounting of the camera below

  • The maximum USB cable length is 1.5m for the CAM30NT and 2m for CAM30 model cameras – this should be taken into consideration when thinking about positioning a computer tower in relation to the monitor.

  • It is recommended that the Intelligaze camera not be connected via a USB hub. The only way the Intelligaze camera can be effectively used via a USB is to ensure that you use a high quality USB 2.0 certified hub.

  • At least 10 inch screen size

  • At least 1366 x 768 resolution (NB: retina displays as used by the Microsoft Surface tablet are ok if you reduce the DPI settings to 125% or more. Please note that Grid 2 supports just 125% DPI) Intelligaze itself supports higher DPI settings.

  • Solid State Disk (SSD) recommended (HDD is also supported).

  • When choosing a monitor look for one with a slim lower border. The camera should be mounted as close as possible to the display panel for optimum functionality.

  • There is a purpose built tripod available to support the Intelligaze camera under a monitor if no other mounting options are available.

  • Although some individuals have had success using eye gaze on a laptop it is generally not recommended unless you have an external monitor due to complications with mounting and positioning a laptop.

The Grid 2

  • Windows XP, 7 or 8

  • The latest service packs should be installed (XP service pack 3, Vista service pack 2, Windows 7 service pack 1).

  • Grid 2 requires Adobe FlashPlayer, Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer 7 to be correctly installed, up to date and working.

  • 2GB Ram

  • 1GB free hard drive space

  • 1024 x 768 screen resolution is recommended (minimum 800 x 600 screen resolution)

  • 1.5GHZ processor

  • Graphics card – a dedicated graphics card will assist your grid pages to load quickly. It is not necessary and indeed most new generation tablets have foregone dedicated graphics card to maintain smaller more lightweight designs.

Mind Express 4

  • Windows XP, 7 or 8

  • 2GB Ram

  • 1GB free hard drive space

If you need more help please contact us.

Contact Us

Join our Enewsletter