Christmas Computing

I’m writing this in November, but the shops are already stocking mince pies and selection boxes, so it’s not too early to be thinking about Christmas. If your children (or adults) have asked for electronics for Christmas, here’s a quick guide:

Christmas Shopping Online1. Laptop
Laptops are now more popular than desktops – but just as expensive. If it’s for schoolwork and internet browsing, you could consider a Chromebook. They come slightly smaller and cheaper than laptops, and run on the very user friendly Chrome operating system. You can do word processing, spreadsheets, e-mails etc and browse the internet – ideal for younger teens. They come with a built in web-cam and excellent battery life (7-9 hours) but no CD/DVD drive – so check that this won’t be needed before buying one. Prices start from only £179.

2. e-Reader
I’m a huge fan of paper books, but for holidays and travelling I love my Kindle. Kindle and Kobo are the main brands of e-Reader – both come with similar features and price levels, and access to over 3 million titles. The thing to watch out for is that books bought from one e-Reader store cannot be read on the other, as Kobo and Kindle use different book formats. If you’re not sure about adding another electronic device to the house, you can download both the Kindle and Kobo apps onto smartphones and tablets of all makes, to read on your existing devices, and buy a gift card to put under the tree. Prices start from around £60 new but you can get good second hand deals from Kindle and Kobo directly.

3. Tablets
There are more brands of tablet than you can shake a stick at – your main choice is between an Apple (iPad), Android (most other tablets) or Windows version. If someone already has an iOS device such as an iPhone or iMac, then an iPad would be a great choice, but they are the most expensive of the brands. Windows tablets will sync with other Windows devices, but can’t always run full versions of programs such as Office – check the particular model before you buy if this is a concern. Android tablets are often cheaper, and will run apps that you can also get on your Android smartphone. One thing to be careful of is the very cheap tablets you can find on eBay – some are genuine deals or unwanted gifts, but some are very cheaply made foreign copies. I’ve seen a few of these, and they’ve all failed within a few months, with no warranty, so buyer beware! Prices start from £60 upwards.

If you need any recommendations, help with setting up a new device or anything else IT related, please contact us on [email protected] or call on the number below for a free chat.