Jul 19

I need to get a new (insert device here) . What should I get??

It’s a question that I get all the time.  I need to get a new phone/TV/DVD/computer/digital camera etc. etc. etc.  And the answer is really hard.  How can I, someone who’s pretty into gadgets, tell someone what to get based on the way I use my equipment.

Most of the people who ask that question tend to be more on the novice user side than a medium or heavy user of devices.  Those folks usually know what they like or don’t like (just look at the constant online Apple vs. Android vs. Blackberry vs. Window phone wars). People who are familiar with tech know what they like and tend to stay there.

However, I feel I need to answer the question or give a little advice when it comes up.  But before I offer any advice or suggestions, I always ask some questions.  Questions like…

  • What do you have now?
  • What do you want to do with it?
  • What do you think you might want to do with it a year from now?
  • Who else is going to use it?
  • Are you a “tweaker”?  Do you like to be able to have full control over the settings or do you just want the device to work, without having to do too much?
  • Do you want to dig into an operating system or do you want the experts to maintain the system and just give you updates.

These are only a random sample of some of the general questions I ask.  I usually tailor the questions more towards the specific device I’m being asked about. But more importantly, I try to get the person to answer their own question… make their own decision, make a more informed decision based on what they really need versus what someone else told them they need or what you’re seeing in advertising for the gadgets.

Sometimes those two things are the same, sometimes they’re different. But the key thing is to think for yourself.  Identify what you want the device to do.  Ask yourself the questions and write down the answers.  Then, do a little research online (remember, Google is your friend) and find those gadgets that meet what YOU want them to do. But here’s the kicker… when you actually buy, go one step up from your basic needs.

Once you start using that new gadget, you’ll probably want to be able to do more with it.  If you go up one step on the phone or DVD or digital camera or whatever, it will be likely that the device that you bought will be able to do that extra one or two things without having to get a newer, better gadget.  So invest in the future when you’re looking at and buying gadgets, but remember, the more you use them the more you’ll want them to do.  Why not take that extra step right now.

If you have any specific questions, just post them here, and I’ll be glad to give you my best shot.

And, as always — don’t be afraid to share this on your Facebook wall, via email or twitter — the more the merrier!!

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