Chromebox for elderly grandparents

A couple months ago I was looking at a new computer for my grandfather. He uses his computer primarily for emailing, banking, checking the weather and stocks, and reading Marmaduke online. He's had issues in the past with inadvertently installing things on his Windows PC, making me hesitant to get him another PC. The tiny screen of a Chromebook was going to be a no-go, but a Chromebox has proven to be the perfect fit for a few reasons:

  • Eyesight: We now have my grandfather's Chromebox hooked up to a 27" 1080p monitor that we picked up on clearance. The Chromebox has a surprising array of accessibility features, including the option for an absolutely gigantic black mouse pointer. He can see everything without having to get too close!
  • Simplicity: My grandfather was already doing everything in Chrome. He's been well trained to click on the beachball to get to the internet, and things work exactly the same on the new machine. He also has icons on the Chromebox shelf (taskbar) for each of his most used apps. There are no more popups telling him his antivirus needs an update.
  • Price: Grandpa doesn't like it much when we spend big money on him. We were able to get him squared away with his new setup for under $400 for a Chromebox, huge new monitor, and a new cloud print capable printer.
  • Not being able to break it: If something goes awry with a Chrome OS device there is a "powerwash" option in the settings to wipe it back to factory default. Awesome.
Notes from my grandfather:
  • He can't get over how easy it is for him to do his stuff.
  • He likes that the desktop pictures keep changing automatically (A default setting on his Chromebox I didn't even realize was enabled)
Quite possibly the only issue we've had is remote support. I presently live over 300 miles away, and my parents are 15 minutes away. The cloud print allows us to remotely print things for him, but right now there isn't a viable option for remoting into a Chrome OS device for support. As of today the feature is live in Chrome Remote Desktop for Chromebooks on the beta channel (v41), so hopefully this will make its way to my grandfather's Chromebox in the coming months, thus making it a complete solution for an elderly computer user. Thus far he's been very happy with his tiny new computer.