So many options make buying a computer tough

October 29, 2010

There was a great article on The Star-Ledger website today about how difficult it’s become to shop for a computer. And I had never really stopped to think about it, but it’s so very true. We’ve almost become overwhelmed with options, especially with the onset of devices like the Apple iPad.

It used to be that the toughest decision you had to make was laptop or desktop. Then, of course, you had to figure out how fast you wanted it to be, whether you were going to choose Mac or PC, and what color best fit your needs.

Now, with in-betweeners (that’s a technical term), like iPads and netbooks, the decision has been complicated, especially when you’re buying an extra computer for business travel or one that’s specifically for the kids.

Author Allan Hoffman explores each option with a little more depth, noting that the iPad has essentially become the industry standard in this category, but that there are viable alternatives.

“The Samsung Galaxy Tab, for instance, runs Android and includes a 7-inch color screen and other iPad-like features. The Galaxy Tab will be available in November from Sprint for $400 with a two-year contract starting at $30 per month. Another option, the HP Slate 500 Tablet PC, runs Windows software and costs $799.”

He does call the iPad a “runaway hit, but it’s not for everyone,” noting that you need to have another computer, specifically one that has Apple’s free iTunes software, to keep the tablet’s software updated. For $499, you can get an iPad with Wi-Fi access and no monthly plan.

Hoffman asserts that netbooks win in the portability category but definitely fail in terms of storage (music, photos, video). You can find a quality netbook in the $200 to $400 range.

So I’m curious: Do any of you use these smaller devices as your primary computer? If so, why?

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central & Southern New Jersey. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @CarnegieJersey.

Photo credit: Yutaka Tsutano

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