HCCS Holiday Shopping Guide 2014


Are you asking the right questions about your technology purchase?

Buying the perfect gift is hard, but when you are purchasing technology for someone else, it can be even more stressful.  Before you jump on that Cyber Monday deal for a new tablet or computer this holiday, it is important to research the device fully to make sure your bargain is not lacking any important hardware or software features.  When we purchase new technology for the company, we entrust this responsibility to our IT department, but not everyone has a Tech on hand to address concerns.   So, what questions should consumers ask before purchasing a new device?

What is the device being used for?

It is important to determine how a device will be used before deciding which version of the device is right for you. For example, a person who is on the go will probably prefer a laptop over a desktop computer.  A person using a device for business will have different needs and expectations for it than a person using a device for personal or recreational reasons. For instance, a gaming device may require better graphics than a business device.  Knowing how the user will utilize the technology helps determine which device is best suited for their individual needs.

What is included on the device already?

There are certain hardware and software components vital to determining which device is best suited for your gift.  When looking at a new device, consider the hardware requirements for the way it will be used.  If it will be purposed for gaming, it is important to look at the memory requirements, processing speed and hard-drive space necessary to run a game or specific software.  If the device will be used for business, does it come with Microsoft Office or will the user also need to purchase additional software?  Some of the holiday promotions and special offers are available for a reduced price because the device is not fully furnished. Once you know the answer to question 1, it is easier to determine your system requirements and verify that the sale item contains everything the full price device includes.

What happens if it breaks?

When disaster strikes, it is good to have a plan in place.  That’s why it is so important to get a device with a warranty.  Find out the return policy before you purchase a new device, so there are no surprises.  Many stores will not accept returned computers if they have been removed from their packaging, and even unopened devices sometimes only allow a refund of store credit.  Depending on where you purchase your new technology, the vendor may have a store warranty to cover the device, or there may be a manufacturer’s warranty.  Sometimes there is an option for both! Be sure to ask the vendor who will honor the warranty on your new device.

When you encounter an enticing sale price this holiday shopping season, use this guide to research the device, and make sure the deal includes everything you want from your new technology.

Happy hunting and Happy Holidays from Heritage Computer Consulting & Services, Inc.