New gadgets are a lot of fun, but wow, are they expensive! This is especially true if you buy more than one — a smart phone, an iPod, a tablet, a laptop, and that’s just the small technology! If you’re in the market for a new gadget, or if you’re just coveting a new technology, here are some things to consider. Here are 7 helpful tips for choosing a new gadget.
1. How will you use it?
If you’re attempting to decide between a desktop, notebook, netbook, or tablet, you might feel overwhelmed. The key things to consider when choosing between any of these computing devices is how and where you’ll be using them. If you’ll be doing a lot of computing, you’ll want a desktop or laptop, because they have more memory. If you’re mostly wanting to use the Internet and a few apps to do basic things, then a netbook or tablet might be a better choice…
2. Where will you use it?
… but you also want to think about portability when choosing a new gadget, especially a computer. If portability is key, then a desktop or big, bulky, heavy laptop is out. Try to strike a balance between the computing power you need (desktop and laptop) and the portability you might want (netbook and tablet).
3. Do you need it?
Here’s something else to consider: do you actually need a new gadget, or can your old one be repaired or updated or upgraded somehow? We tend to prefer to simply toss our old gadgets in a drawer, when often, they’re just in need of a little refresher. Sure, the new technology is cool (like the iPod Touch), but I still love my tiny iPod Shuffle for the gym.
4. Can you consolidate?
Do you really need a tablet and netbook and iPhone? Probably not. Sometimes rather than buying three or more new gadgets, all you need in one multi-functional one. I get all warm and fuzzy inside when I think of all the things my iPhone can do… now I don’t need an iPad or iPod Touch or netbook. I use my phone for most small computing (and phone calls!) and my big laptop for major computing.
5. Can you use a trade-in?
Lots of places (including Best Buy and the Apple Store) will give you a trade-in value of your old stuff when you buy a new gadget. For instance, my old, cracked iPod Touch was worth about $100 towards a reconditioned iPod Touch — I paid only $150 for it.
6. What about service?
Once you have your new gadget, how will you take care of it? How will you pay for it if it breaks? Buying a service plan or insurance up front is often less expensive than paying for repair, service, or replacement later. Consider this when shopping for a new gadget.
7. How will you pay?
I highly recommend paying cash for your new gadgets. Why? Because using credit cards is for emergencies only, and some banks are charging a monthly fee for using a debit card. My one exception to this rule is if you want the points on a credit card, and you’ll pay it off by the end of the month.
So now that you’ve seen this list of helpful tips for choosing a new gadget, do you absolutely have to have that new iPhone or laptop? If you do, go for it! You can be a one-woman economic stimulus all in one shop. What new gadget are you considering? Which of these tips do you think will be most helpful in choosing one? Please share!