Another tech holiday shopping season begins
If a series of post-prandial naps or a prolonged recovery from hellish holiday traffic have kept you from our site or yesterday's print edition, our annual tech-shopping guide appeared yesterday.
My part of this was a series of how-to-buy columns that covered computers; still and video cameras; smartphones; HDTVs, DVD players and recorders and Blu-ray players; and MP3 players, GPS receivers and e-book readers. Mike Musgrove joined in with advice on video games and game accessories, while Jen Chaney offered advice on gift-worthy DVD and Blu-ray movies.
(Need more advice on these topics? Try PC Magazine's holiday guide, Macworld's buying guides, Gizmodo's list of the best smartphones on each carrier, or CrunchGear's picks in netbooks and camcorders. If you've got other sources to suggest, please do so in the comments.)
Writing any kind of gadget-guidance story requires dealing with three problems. One, tech hardware becomes more of a commodity every year -- a trend that manufacturers often resist not by making devices easier, but by packing in complex or esoteric options that look good in a bullet-point list. Two, as basic features become more settled and more vendors join any given market, it gets harder to recommend a single product in any one category. Three, it's never quite clear whether people are actually interested in features -- or even entire types of products -- that kept getting talked up in the press and in ads.
I'd like to think that after enough years of practice, I've figured out all three issues, but I just can't give that kind of assurance.
So that's where I'd like to turn things over to you all. Now that you've had a chance to look over our tech-shopping advice, were there any topics you wish we'd covered? Could you have done without any of the stories we did run? And how has your own tech shopping (if any) gone so far? The comments are yours ...
November 30, 2009; 10:36 AM ET
Categories: Gadgets , Tips
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