2013 Last Minute Holiday Buyer’s Guide – Part 4

These are some of the hottest gifts available now, and some really good advice on which to get and why.

soft32_presentOver the past few years, I’ve put together a Holiday Buyer’s Guide. I never got to do one last year due to commitments to the now defunct Byte. Thankfully, I’ve got a chance to do it this year; and while nearly everything you see here will have some kind of software available for it from Soft32, I’m going to cover the hot categories – tablets, computers, smartphones, and accessories.

What you’re going to see are recommendations only. I don’t have everything that I’m going to list, so these aren’t necessarily reviews and shouldn’t be considered as such. However, I will try to cover recommendations from as many major camps within a given category as I can. For example, I’ll likely recommend a computer from the Windows as well as the Mac camp, a tablet from the Windows, iOS and/or Android camp, etc.

This is going to take a few days to get through, so please come back often to Soft32 for updates to the series. I’m going to do my best to get the series completed as quickly as possible. I’ve been covering some of the best and hottest gifts available. Today, we’re going to talk about accessories; or those wonderful items that bring joy and extra convenience to an already awesome device.

Accessories – or All the Things you Never Knew you Needed

Over the past few days or a week or so, I’ve been giving you what I think are some decent gift ideas, but more importantly, some good advice about what to buy if and when you decide you need or want a – tablet, a computer, or a smartphone. The most important thing to remember here is that there is no right or wrong answer to the question, “what should I get.” The only thing you really have to worry about is buyer’s remorse (wishing you would have purchased something else) or in spending too much or more likely, not enough.

After you HAVE made a decision, there are a few things that you might want to consider purchasing to further enhance the experience you and your loved one(s) have with the device. The options are nearly limitless here. Lord knows, I am not going to pour through tons and tons of wireless speakers, headsets and cases. I’d probably go bats, and quite honestly, we don’t’ have enough time to consider everything that’s out there. There are a couple of items that you might want to consider regardless of what kind, type or brand of device you get. I will however, give you a couple suggestions in each of the three categories that we’ve considered – Tablets, Computers and Smartphones. Let’s take a look at those and see what we come up with.

However, before we get going, you’ll notice that I don’t’ have a lot of advice when it comes to buying accessories. I will mention this – be practical, at least in the beginning. Many accessories, sleeves, cases, etc. may look cool, but you may find that they don’t fill the need you thought you had after you get them. Give yourself the time and opportunity to work without some particular item or type of item until you KNOW that you’re going to need or use it. This is especially important if the add-on you’re looking at or considering is expensive.

Tablets

The best thing you can get for your tablet is a case. If that case also happens to be a keyboard, then it’s a double win. The issue here is finding one that works with your tablet of choice. Any Bluetooth keyboard will pair. Finding one that’s also a cover and can sleep the device when closed is really what you want. You’re also going to definitely want something to cover and protect the screen.

To that end, Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover Black for iPad 2 and iPad (3rd/4th generation) is a GREAT choice for any iPad you might purchase, as it works with everything BUT the original iPad. At around $75 USD, it is a bit pricey, but if you plan to use your iPad as your main computing device, a dedicated keyboard is really going to be a big help when it comes to word processing or email.

Any other kind of accessory, is really gravy after you get a case; and a case should be the first thing on your purchase list for any new tablet you purchase, regardless of size or OS. The more protection you give your tablet, the longer it will last and the larger its resale value when it comes time to move on.

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