If you are a gadget freak like me and can’t resist the temptations to buy the newest toy on the shelves, then you’d obviously want to eek out the maximum you can from whatever budget you have. But while doing so you have to take care of a lot of things. Here is Part I of the few things that I do get the best deals out there while making sure I’m buying the right thing from the right place.
The first step to buying anything is obviously whether you are buying the right thing. The list of do’s and don’t and this regard are:
Do not blindly go by the what the manufacturer’s site says. After all I’ll always say that I my product is the best.
Do not just make the decision based on the feature set. More features mean more possible points of failure, so a device with fewer features but better reliability is obviously much better than the one that promises the moon but only the “once in a blue -“ kinds.
Make sure to search for similar products from other manufacturers. Just because it comes from Apple’s stable doesn’t make it the best. (For the record, in general, I don’t like anything that comes from Cupertino)
Look for the reviews. Search for the reviews for the product you have in mind, but a big problem with this has now arisen with the advent of “paid reviews”. But of course, you can always turn towards the community. Read through all the site-based single person reviews as well but also look for forums and other communities related to the type of gadget you have in mind. e.g. – For cameras, DPReview is a good place to go, for WM smart phones, XDA-Developers is the place to be, etc.
Is the after-sales support good? You don’t want to be locked out with a product that you can’t do anything about if something goes wrong.
Look also for the hidden costs of product. Many a times the base product is cheap but then it requires you to shell out a fortune in terms of required accessories to yield it’s full potential (e.g. Archos players).
Maintenance costs:e.g. Most Apple products dont have easily replaceable parts and need to be sent back to factory for even things like a new battery.
Now, the list above seems small but when put into practice it isn’t. But obviously, a geek who can handle all the latest electronic gizmos can surely handle the irks that come while chosing one, and of course, within a short while, it will become second nature to you.
Are there any other things that you look for buying your new boy-toy? Do let me know. Next time, we will look at how to get the best deals for the stuff you crave.