Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cyber Monday 2016 - Tablets, Laptops, TVs

There will be some deals that’s for sure.  If your planning on spending some hard earned cash, here’s a couple thoughts on the techy stuff.

Apple or Android?  Lots of options out there but really comes down to that choice first.  I could go on forever with pros/cons.  To oversimplify this, if you currently use apple iPhone and can afford Apple iPad, stick with it.   If keeping it simple is most important, get Apple iPad.  If price is most important, get Android.  If you want granularity into everything, consider android.  Apple tablet will be more secure than android, just a fact.   Although if you’re a safe user and use trusted apps your fine either way.   Of course there’s Windows 10, if your not attached to your apple or android look and feel then sure Win10 is nice on a tablet.  

Screen.  Personal preference here.  The 7”-10” are more portable, easy to take with you.  Anything larger becomes a thin laptop and large to hold up, expect to be using at a desk.   <7” are easy one handers.  >10” are two handers.   <7” is getting small.  

Memory. All comes down to pictures and video, that’s what sucks up the space.  If you don’t plan to load up on pics then the small 16 GB is just fine.  Going to be taking lots of photos, get the larger 64 GB.   32 GB is the mid range and some 128 GB are available.   

Watch out for the <$100 tablets.  Seems like such a deal and they look fine in box.  They get real slow real fast and become a pain.

Cellular.  You can use your phone as hotspot and you probably have internet most places you go.  But it’s usually <$10 month for cell service on your tablet.  If your like me, it’s well worth it to not deal with the hotspot.  If you’re the person to stand in line for hours to save couple bucks or you just don't need internet everywhere you go, then opt out.  If your frugal but like to keep things simple, price is not rule all and you use your table often on the road, just get cellular built in. 

Personally I have an iPad Air 2 64 GB, LTE tablet and Samsung S6 128 GB phone.  Wife has iPad mini 16 GB and iPhone6 64 GB with an iWatch.  She is always taking photos/video and out of space.  

Endless options out there.  Really comes down to the planned purpose, toy or tool?  Kid or adult?  Work or fun?   Regarding the toy, kid, fun laptops, the i3 Intel processor is ‘ok’.  The really cheep slow stuff is the Celeron.   For the tool, adult, work device, get an i5 or i7.   

Screen.  Touch is all the craze.  Rarely do I see touch screens used in production on laptops as a useful tool.   We’re talking about laptops not tablets remember.   For toy/fun it’s nice.   For all uses, 13” to 15” is most common size.  I think 14” is the perfect mix of decent landscape and portability.   

Brand.  I’m a dell fan.  HP is ok.  Not a Lenovo fan.   

Watch out for the <$300 laptops.  On the outside seems great...?  They’re disposable in 12 months and get frustrating slow in 3 months, typically.   

Microsoft Surface devices are pretty nice, they can be both tablet and laptop.  I do like these. 

My likes:
For fun, you can do a decent Dell Inspiron 11” or 15” for $400-$600. 
For personal, my favorite is Dell XPS 13.   You can get an i5, 8 GB memory, 256 GB SSD for sub $1,000.  
For work, my fav is Latitude E7470 Ultrabook series.  Budget $1,500 with a dock and decent specs.  

Warranty.  Unless you plan to trash it when it breaks, watch out for the warranty.  Many times the super low cost come with a mail in warranty.  I hate these services and rarely go through the pain to use them.  But that’s just me. 

Yes, SSD drives are way faster than standard hard drives.  You WILL notice the difference in performance. 

UHD, SUHD, Curved, 4K…what matters?  I’m one of those guys that will stand in front of the TV’s for hours and compare, most the time when your put them in your home they all look pretty darn good.   If you want to future proof and you have the $$, get 4k.  But for the most part you’ll have no clue you have a 4k TV until we start seeing content common in 4k, so be willing to flush some money.  Most Comcast and the like broadcast in 720 or 1080, far cry from 4k.  Netflix, Amazon and YouTube do have some 4k content, but you pay and its limited.  Curved is all about the experience, if you like that sort of thing go ahead.  It’s like 3D movies, some love it some hate it, this is personal preference and it’s expensive.   Brand, I’m a fan of LG, at least right now for TV’s.   Things change.  Used to be a visio fan, there still ‘ok’ to me.   My brand choice (2016) in order from top to bottom: LG, Sharp, Samsung, Sony, Visio.  I wouldn’t buy anything else. 

Size.  I think 60” is the sweet spot.  Have 50” in bedroom and 70” in living room.  I’ve never heard someone say “I wish I got bought a smaller TV”, I have heard many people wish they bought a better TV.  I’d rather have slightly better quality with step down size than the opposite.  

LCD, LED & Plasma.  Get LED if possible.  LCD is fine but generally speaking LED is better.  Reality is LED is just a different flavor of LCD, has an LED backlit.  Typically Plasma is hotter, uses more power and heavier.  Was the ‘thing’ until LED’s became reasonable cost.  Plasma still has some tricks but I vote for LED TV generally speaking. 

Wall mounts.  I buy all my mounts and HDMI cables from  Awesome company.  Some knock off items, but check the reviews on products and you can find great deals on reliable slick gear.   I’m rarely disappointed from  If you buy a mount or HDMI cable anywhere else you probably wasted money.  

Again, just some food for thought on the stuff people tend to ask me about most often.   

Happy Clicking!

Nathan DeSutter
IT Consultant

No comments:

Post a Comment