Holiday Shopping Guide

Holiday Shopping Guide

Simple Explanations of most mainstream Technology

Technology  Shopping Guide: Having Fun at Home

This last year more than ever , the importance of staying connected digitally has come to light. While we have had fantastic news of a vaccine, it’s looking like some more time indoors is going to be needed before this is all done. With that being said I made this guide to help the less non tech savvy shoppers understand what they are buying. Featured below is both used and new options. Common use case scenarios are also included.

Shopping Guide for Computers

Tablets : Tablets are hybrid laptop smartphones. They are excellent for media consumption , reading , and productivity. For most use cases , Apple has done this right with the newer iPads.

Laptops: Transportable computers , there are various types depending on your needs.

Ultra books:

Usually on the higher end of price , with the MacBook series from Apple holding strong on the top end of the market. Expect $700 and up for most of these, and $300 used. These excel in delivering a slim form factor and proving many hours of battery life while holding more than enough processing power for work at home solutions and photo editing.  

Specs to look for : i5 , Ryzen , or i7  processors.

                            8gb or 16gb of storage

                            256gb or better SSD

Gaming Laptops:

Most of them feature a heavier form factor with lots of processing power. These are ideal for video editors and of course gaming. Battery life usually suffers behind on these due to the increased demand of power they require.

            Specs to look for:

   RTX series graphics cards

                                       GTX 10 series graphics cards

                                       16gb of Ram

                                       I7 , or Ryzen processor.

                                       256gb or 512gb SSD

Used Specs to look for :

                        GTX 900 series graphics cards

                        I5 , i7 or Ryzen processors.

                        8gb or 16gb of Ram

                        1tb storage

Budget Laptops:

These are for those who only check social media or some light web browsing. You are almost always better off buying an iPad or tablet instead of these. If you are insistent on a computer , than get a used gaming laptop. Even an old one will greatly outperform the newer budget laptops.

Streaming Setups:

In short , the more you spend the better off you will be. You are often better off having a custom desktop computer built as many market solution in this tier are significantly more expensive.

You can contact either myself or a local system builder to figure out what you need.

Buying Used ?

If you like many others are tight on money this year , the used market is the place to go. Avoid anything sketchy or old.Unclean or broken systems should not be paid any sort of premium for. You can use PC parts picker , to help price the specs in the computer. Many old systems require an SSD upgrade to remain functional so please keep that in mind when buying used. On average $200 for an SSD upgrade is what you can expect to spend.

Check with your cellular providers for financing options on tablets.Newer is better.

Game Consoles

Xbox :

Due to the wonderful marketing team , they have a very confusing naming scheme for the new and old versions of the xbox. If you want the newest model , expect to pay a premium due to the market demands.

Xbox one : The original successor to the xbox 360

Xbox one S: The mid tier model of the xbox one. Supports 4K resolution .

Xbox one X: The high end model of the xbox one. Supports 4K resolution and runs games better than the One S. 

Xbox Series S : Not a good purchase if you like or have game disks. There is no disk tray for this model , and it’s intended to run them from those who download their games. Gameplay is somewhat better than the Xbox one X . I would suggest to get the Xbox one X instead. Price $500.00 +

Xbox Series X: Very comparable to a higher end gaming pc , backwards compatible with old xbox , xbox 360 games. Has a disk tray. Expect to spend a decent amount of money on this console. $1,000.00 +

Play Station (PS):

PS5: The newest PlayStation Model. Runs games in amazing details. The same situation with the short supply , expect to pay a premium.


I think at this point we all know what TV’s do so I’ll just cover the specifications. You can apply these to computer monitors as well. It is also possible to use your Tv as a computer monitor.


Clarity of the display. More pixels to make a cleaner picture. The higher the better.

8k: The newest resolution 2x the pixel count of a 4K or QHD Tv.

4K: Excellent quality tv Also known as UHD. Most new game consoles or higher end computers can display with nicely.

1080p: Also known as HD. Kind of outdated now , but works well enough especially if you are on a budget.

Refresh rate : How often the screen updates the picture. Clearer motion.

60hz is the most common

120hz  is much nicer , you can go higher on this if available.

HDR : High Dynamic Range , better picture with deeper colors.

Smart TV: Basically tablet functions on your tv. You can buy third party devices like Apple TV , (Roku) , Chromecast , Firestick (Amazon) to get the same or better functionality.