Which device should I choose? How do I choose?

By Sandra Clitter  

Time for another post, this one quick, from my 87-year-old Uncle’s. It is absolutely amazing that when I sit down with him, the blog topics just present themselves. Why? Because he’s 87, but doesn’t consider himself too old to learn technology. He’ll tackle most any technology…head-on. Is he always successful? No…but he tries!

So, I’m sitting here and from my chair in the living room, I can see a laptop (15″), an iPad mini, an original Kindle, a Kindle Fire, a Dell Venue (tablet), a netbook, an iPad (2nd gen). Wow. They all work. They all get use. Hmmm…listen carefully…THEY-ALL-GET-USE.

I spent a day or so watching him navigate between the devices…a little while on the iPad mini, a little while on the Dell, a longer time on the laptop. Finally, I HAD TO KNOW…why did he switch between devices? “Because”, came the simple answer, “each one does something different well.”

This, my dear friends is a lesson. Despite the marketing materials posted by each and every manufacturer that THEIR device and ONLY their device can solve all of your problems, it is really much more likely that one device or another is better for your depending on what you need to do.

So, before falling in love with a device just because it is ‘cute’ or ‘sexy’, decide what you actually want to DO on it, then evaluate that particular devices ability to handle that need. I’ve seen too many people disappointed in their iPad because it’s hard to manage their Microsoft Office docs in the way that they want. Or, people don’t like the Surface because it is a heavier than the iPad and they want to hold it with one hand while walking a job site. Or, a particular app or software won’t install because it is incompatible with Android. The list of disappointment goes on and on.

Before purchasing a new device (and face it, the upcoming holiday season is a prime device purchasing time), write down the top five USES you see for the new device, then make sure that the device does those functions well BEFORE you send your loved one on a wild-goose chase! They’ll thank you later…and the monetary investment will be worth it because the new device won’t just gather dust.

Bottom line: Don’t have unrealistic expectations about what ONE device can do. Maybe more than one device makes sense…maybe not. It all depends on your needs.


  1. Rob Houston
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Sandy, very timely article. I find myself in this exact situation. I know you have been after me for years to purchase a smart phone. Well it looks like hell will freeze over because I am going to purchase one this year. In addition I want to pick up a Surface ( I think that might be best for me), you showed it to me last year. Don’t believe an iPad would be a good fit for my needs. Now when I walk into a client’s office they will not laugh at me for being so faaaar behind the technology curve!! I am going to make my list see where it takes me.

    • Posted November 28, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Happy shopping, Rob!!!! I do think you’ll like the Surface. You’ll be surprised how fast you get used to a SmartPhone once you have it.

  2. Posted November 17, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    Your uncle is oh so right! Although I only jump between three devices! Good advice to write down your top 5 uses before purchasing a new device!

    • Posted November 18, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink | Reply

      LOL! I’m thinking that the number that he has is a bit excessive, but if that’s what “floats your boat” when you’re 87, I say ‘more power to you’. My phone and my laptop are my two go-to devices (after all, your phone IS a computer in the pocket). The only tablet that I’ve really found to be productive (other than for checking email or websites) is my Surface because it runs ALL of my Microsoft programs…and is exceptionally portable. Great for taking into meetings…even if it isn’t sexy!

  3. Posted November 17, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    I SO agree with you, Sandy.

    I’m one of those people who, if I can’t find several GREAT reasons to purchase something, doesn’t buy on impulse. Oh, don’t get me wrong: if I see a new computer or camera for my video work, it’s hard for me not to feel the urge to get it.

    But even clothes – if I don’t find TWO shirts or TWO pairs of pants, I tell myself that I’m being impulsive and I don’t purchase either.

    With electronics, I need at least TWO great reasons to purchase something. And when I look for two reasons to purchase a tablet, I just can find them. I just upgraded my 4-year old 15″ Macbook Pro to a Retina, solid-state-hard-drive 13″ Macbook Pro with the latest versions of all the software I use. But carry an iPad or an Android tablet when it won’t have all the files I create on my MBP? I just can’t see the reason.

    My phone is large enough to show my videos one-on-one (to a client or to my Grandson), so I don’t need a tablet for that.

    Dang they look like fun – but I just can’t justify getting one.

    Charlie Seymour Jr

    PS: ONE of the reasons I bought the new MBP was because twice a month I now travel to Pittsburgh where I’m the Exec VP and Chief Marketing Office for a Vision Care company, working with one of my best friends in the whole world… it was an offer I just couldn’t refuse. Now I use ALL my skills and not just my marketing or video-marketing skills – ahhhh, what fun!

    • Posted November 18, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink | Reply

      Congrats on the new gig, Charlie! Sounds like you’re having a blast…and I’m sure that your new Macbook Pro is a terrific tool for supporting your varied endeavors.

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