Arm yourself with facts before buying

JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin

With Christmas on the horizon and with eager children and loved ones waiting to be pleased, a lot of you will be thinking about buying a gadget in one form or another. Before you go rushing off to buy a new desktop PC, laptop or funky new tablet or other device, there are some things you should consider.

We all see the tempting offers in adverts on TV and in print, it is something we as a culture have grown up with and accept. Adverts serve two purposes. 1. They notify us about a product. 2. They make us want that product.

Being bombarded with so many shiny things can make it confusing and hard to see what really is the best product for you.

Before making a decision, ask yourself these questions... Is this the latest model of the product you want to buy? Is the cheap price an indication that it may be an older and outdated model? What level of after sales support is being offered? Is the product a best fit for what you need, or to put it another way, will you be spending money on functions that will never get used?

Putting a little effort in now to research a product before buying can save you lots of money and the hair on your head.

The internet has a wealth of reviews and information on gadgets of all kinds. Doing a search at an on-line retailer (like Amazon or Play) will let you compare prices and see what the real worth of something is. You can also read customer reviews about particular products, which will help inform your opinion.

Use the time you have between now and Christmas to research the gadgets you are thinking about buying. The great thing about the internet is that it makes it easy to empower you with knowledge, to arm yourself before making a purchase.

Finally, if you do need help choosing the right gadget for yourself or as a gift, then you can always seek an independent IT professional for some expert advice.

Alan Stainer