Crowdsourcing my gadget decision-making

For my birthday this year, Annie (my S.O.) has suggested I upgrade my technology and I’m waffling between three choices — if you have any suggestions or observations, add them:

a) iPad: So many people have ’em and they really make my palms itch with desire. Will use for browsing web, reading, goofing off, etc. Good thing: Currently use an old, shitty and beat up HP laptop and/or desktop for this and replacing the laptop makes me happy. Bad thing: I don’t need more reasons to goof off.

b) smartphone: My current phone is just a phone (it might also have a clock and tip-calculator in there). It doesn’t even get texts. Since so many of my pals use texts, I feel left out. Plus the navigation options are pretty sweet and useful. I don’t know exactly what phones are available from my cell provider, so I haven’t picked a specific phone yet. Bad thing: The phone is the cheapest choice in terms of up-front cost, but the long term cost of the increase in mobile charges probably make it probably the most expensive. Good things: Navigation, music in my pocket and keeping in touch.

c) Mac Mini: The Mini costs around the same as the iPad… and I can chain it with my current PC desktop to share monitor, keyboard, etc. Will use for scanning, archiving, publishing projects, etc. Good thing: Probably most useful and shit I miss the Mac system after having used Windows for a few years. Bad thing: Will have to add adobe suite (driving cost up).

Any opinions/options/ideas I ought to consider? Thank you, internet.

8 Comments on “Crowdsourcing my gadget decision-making”

  1. Booberry says:

    Mac mini is a solid investment. You may want to take a look at the specs on tomorrow's iPad3 announcement before making any decisions.

    As great as a smartphone can be, I'd honestly say it turns out to be the biggest time-waster. Particularly if you have it hooked to any social networks you may be a part of. Facebook doesn't actually NEED to be accessible from the toilet, or on the bus, or pretty much anywhere really.

  2. Brunomac says:

    I love tech, but I'm always around 2-3 years (or more) behind on all of it. I buy cars that are around 3 years old. I don't get the new video game consoles until they have been out for around 3 years. I only just got my first laptop last year (although I had a netbook the year before that). And my phone? Last year there was a commercial featuring a black businessman being goofed on by puppets on the bus and in restaurants for his childish looking phone – and when later some girls at work goofed on me for mine, I realized it looked like that guys phone! So I ran right out and got a no-contract Android.

    Anyway, Ipad may be my next grown-up move.

  3. ApisFurioso says:

    Smartphone has made me dumb. I do like mapping on it

  4. Paul says:

    You know you want the iPad.

  5. Limpey says:

    Actually, Paul, I really want the robot… but it's not on my list. The iPad looks mighty temptin', tho. I'm a little worried about the Mac Mini and monitor compatibility; need to do some more investigating on that score. I've already determined I want to add an external dvd… if I add a monitor, it starts getting way too pricey.

  6. I bought them in this order: Mac Mini, iPhone, iPad. I bought the Mac Mini because I wanted a new computer. If you have a working computer, perhaps you don't need a new one. Once I stopped playing games on my desktop computer I realized that I don't need to upgrade it all the time. So I'd advise against it unless you really need a computer.

    I only bought the iPad after I realized that I had been using the iPhone for many hours reading stuff on Google Reader and that I had started to read eBook on the iPhone. That's still what I use it for, mostly. I don't take pictures with it, don't play music with it, don't play games with it. I'm not sure whether you need a mobile blog reading platform. If you you're not sure, perhaps you should start with a smartphone.

  7. Paul says:

    if I add a monitor, it starts getting way too pricey.

    It should be compatible with most any monitor, although you may need a $30 adapter. Also, it's cheaper to buy a third party optical drive (and way cheaper to buy third party RAM if you want to add more than the default amount). But if you do start adding a bunch of stuff, the iMac starts to look attractive. The displays on those are nice.

    I bought a Kindle Fire a few months ago, but soon realized it wasn't as much of a bargain as I'd hoped. It's OK for book reading, bad if you want to web browse or use “apps”, and the regular/cheaper Kindle is much better for book reading. Overall, the Fire is inexpensive, but doesn't provide a polished user experience.

    I thought about buying an iPad, but ended up with a Macbook Air because it runs real applications. I worried it would be too small/weak, but I love it.

  8. Limpey says:

    I'm sad to say I just used the money I was going to spend on gadgets on putting a new exhaust on Annies' car. Maybe next year…

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