October 2018 Edition
- Full general purpose laptop (Windows 10) - Surface Pro | Asus Zenbook | Dell XPS 13 | HP Spectre - In this category, you just want to ensure you have at least an i5 CPU (6th generation or higher), minimum 8GB of RAM, and a Solid State Drive (SSD) rather than a Hard Disk Drive (HDD). If you have at least these features, you will enjoy using your Windows computer. This is why most people don't complain about Mac laptops (these are the specs of a CHEAP Macbook).
- Chromebooks (Internet Browsing Laptop) - I recommend these so much, I dedicated an entire page to them. Check it out HERE.
- Budget Windows Laptop - Surface Go - If you ABSOLUTELY NEED Windows (95% of people do not), and you know you need Windows apps for things like video/photo editing, you would not be buying a budget laptop. However, if you wanted to spend less than $500 on a decent Windows laptop, just look for a computer with an SSD / solid state drive. That will make the most difference in the speed of a budget laptop.
SmartphonesFor a true guide on buying smartphones, the smart way, check out my article on the Truth about owning Smartphones.
- Sub $150 Carrier Class - STAY AWAY from these phones at all cost! These phone are extremely slow, have lousy screens, poor battery life, and dated Android versions. The carriers (T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, etc) sell these phones, usually as their branded devices or off-Chinese brands to give to people that do not want to pay $30 to $40 per month for a top of the line Flagship iPhone or Galaxy phone. These phones do not get updated by Google so this leaves them susceptible to malware and security flaws
- Sub $250 Budget Class - LG G6 | Google Pixel | Moto G6 (2018) | Moto G5 Plus (2017) - This is the ideal phone I recommend to most people. Great prices, features, durability, and experience. There is no reason to pay $1000 for a phone that will be outdated and severely depreciated in 18 to 24 months.
- Sub $500 Mid Class - Google Pixel 2 XL | Google Pixel 2 -These are the highest priced phones I recommend. They are usually the best of the best, after they have depreciated in value, or were priced right in the beginning. These will have the best cameras, screens, build quality, and noticiability.
- $800 - $1500 Flagship Class - These phones do not get any recommendations, not because they are not exceptional, but due to their price point and imminent depreciation. Best to wait a few months then buy from the sub $500 Mid class recommendations. The only reason [most] people buy these phones is because a payment option is available spread out over 2 years so customers don't feel the real cost. The reality is that statistics say most people don't even have this much money saved in a savings account, much less be able to spend it on a phone, if it wasn't for the monthly payment option.
- Amazon Fire 7 ($30-$50 + $3/month ) - Fire 7 - The target of this device is as a secondary screen your kids can destroy [instead of yours]. This tablet is deal because of cost, usability, and privacy. This tablet teamed with Amazon Freetime, Amazon's Kid Friendly virtual environment, is the ultimate solution for your child. Freetime has tons of great features such as full control of the time spent each day on a device, advertisment free, age controlled content, and child specific features. You can even manage the kids tablets remotely with this site. Check out the link to learn more.
Wireless RoutersThese two products are first and foremost the most important pieces of hardware in your home when it comes to internet usage. With that being said, if you are currently using the equipment your cable company gave you for internet access, you are not only getting ripped off up to $15/month to use their trash equipment, but you are sacrificing network speed and inefficiencies with your home wireless network. Do your self a favor and buy your own modem and wireless router, you will be glad you did. If you need help with installation, contact us.
- Time Warner / Spectrum compatible Broadband Modem - I have removed this category since Spectrum now gives you the best modem for your connection for free. There is no longer a monthly charge for this as with Time Warner. However they still charge you for wireless, so the routers will stay on the T-Recs.
- Basic Wireless Router - TP-LINK Archer C7 - For a Small House or Apartment with a few streaming devices.
- Full Performance/Featured Wireless Router - Netgear Nighthawk N7000 | ASUS AC68U - For a Larger House with many streaming devices and/or gaming sessions. Streaming devices should be about 100ft away.
- Full Performance/Wireless Mesh Router - Google Wifi | Eero - Large House or business with streaming devices more than 100ft away from router. These are a new category of wifi routers that aim to eliminate dead spots using multiple hotspots that work natively together to give you the best possible signal no matter where you are in your home or business.
PrintersIn general, printers are becoming more and more scarce. There is less and less need to print with so many screens all around us for presentations, sharing images, and official business done via electronic signature. However there will still be those that cling to this aging technology, for those few, here are a couple of recommendations.
- Wireless Brother Black & White Laser Printer - HL-2270DW | Toner Cartridges - This is a simple, no-fuss, inexpensive, blank & white laser printer. Toner can be bought cheap on Amazon, easy to swap out, lasts a long time.
- Wireless Epson EcoTank (Cartridge Free) - ET-2550 - The beauty of this printer is the sustainability. Most printers come with enough ink to print for a month or 2, this printer comes with enough ink to print for a couple of years. And the best thing about it, when you do run out, you buy inexpensive bottles that you just pour into the large ink tank and you are on your way.