Theres always some site (guilty!) willing to tell you what to buy: Get this tablet. Snap up that smartphone. Download this pricey app. I have no buying advice for you. I spent a recent evening perusing half a dozen Black Friday store flyers. You wont agree with all my choices and might even call me a gadget snob, but come December 26, you will thank me.
Apple’s portable media player is actually an excellent device, but has almost no reason for being. (The same goes for Sony’s Walkman and virtually any off-brand media player you can think of.) Your smartphone (iOS or Android) does everything an iPod can do and much more.
Smartphones don’t have the greatest lenses, but they are more than capable of matching your average point-and-shoot photography. Camera manufacturers are well aware of this and are now offering 20 megapixel devices, which easily outstrip most smartphone image capture capabilities, for $89 or less. But you don’t want or need them. Most of the photos you capture and share are on social media in formats where 20 megapixels is almost meaningless.
There are a couple of red flags here. First, it’s a box! It’s also an Intel Core i3 system. Most of Intel’s CPUs are plenty strong and power efficient, but the i3 is best suited for word processing, light web browsing and not much else.
With the amount of HD content and 8-20-megapixel images (not to mention 43-megapixel panoramas we’re storing), you’ll burn through 8GB in no time. The bare minimum storage space for smartphones and tablets is 16GB. And if you can afford 32GB, get it. I know, Apple cut out that mid-tier, and that’s unfortunate, but other manufacturers still offer that option. Read more…