This question used to take about 5-10 minutes to answer...now it still takes 5-10 minutes to answer...and you thought my answer was going to change, right (LOL).
The reason is that my response is still the same, however the person asking the question today has to do a bit more research to address my response...fortunately we have the Internet and Google searching to help us complete our research.
So let's take a look at my response that has not changed over time, even though technology has changed dramatically over the past 10 years.
Question: "Which desktop, laptop, or tablet, should I buy?
Response: First ask yourself these four questions. I know you are not supposed to answer a question with a question but it works here.
Q. 1] How much are you willing to spend (your budget) on this new piece of equipment?
Sample A. 1] I am able to spend between $400-$500 dollars on a new laptop . I want a laptop because I need the portability of bringing it on business trips, as a tool for conducing presentations at off-site meetings and when I stop by a coffee shop for lunch
Q. 2] What is the intended reason/purpose for the purchase of this piece of equipment?
Sample A. 2] I need an updated laptop that will allow me to run the newest version of Microsoft Office. I will be using the laptop to start my new business and to conduct meetings that will be held at the prospects/clients locations. The laptop will need to be able to handle multiple applications open at the same time without slowing down how it works and to easily be able to pick up Free Wi-Fi connections (like at coffee shops).
Q. 3] Do you have a preferred brand that you are comfortable with purchasing this new piece of equipment?
Sample A. 3] My preferred brand is Dell as I already have other devices from that vendor and I am comfortable from having used them at previous places of employment.
Q 4] Are you willing to invest a little research time into making an informed and prepared decision about the purchase of this new piece of equipment?
Sample A. 4] I am a person that always does research before making a decision on any investments that I make. I check for customer comments; I check for brand/make/model rankings from customer-friendly product advocates (i.e. CNET)
You are probably saying to yourself that this seems to be a complicated response to such a simple question. However, such a decision deserves this type of effort as the purchase of such equipment should be viewed as an investment that is being made by you toward a specific goal in mind.
For example, "I am purchasing this piece equipment for child entering into college"; "This piece of equipment will help my 5th grader do his/her homework"; "I need to be able to track my daily expenses using this MYPF Financial Tool that I just heard about"; etc...
If you treat your next technology purchase as an investment toward a particular goal or set of goals (such as the needs for the entire family), you will be pleasantly surprised by what you will get in return from your investment.