What new kit should you be considering for 2013 to run your business and what should you avoid like the plague?
Although there’s a ton of new products on the market, our best advice is if what you already have is working then save your money and wait until you really need to upgrade. There’s some pretty neat kit out there, but plenty of businesses are still running Windows XP computers and there’s nothing wrong with that.
If you do need new technology though, here’s our list of what to consider and what to avoid.
Computers and Laptops
Stick with Windows 7. Whatever you do don’t be tempted to go out and buy Windows 8 laptops for work. Whilst their lovely block display home screen is great for a mobile phone, it’s absolutely useless for a computer. Half the programs you’re going to want to run will default to the more familiar Windows Desktop experience anyway.
The biggest issues you’ll have is figuring out how to find the important stuff, like where the Windows control panel is hidden. Oh and if you want to turn your computer off or reboot, instead of hibernating, you’ll need at least four clicks in order to shut down!
If you are going to go Windows 8 then don’t skimp on the money, at least buy yourself a touch screen monitor to go with it as you’re going to need it. Failing that a whole load of apps are starting to become available to tame Windows 8 and make it look and operate like Windows 7.
Microsoft have a habit of screwing up every other software release, anyone remember Windows NT that didn’t have any driver support for almost any of the hardware you already owned? Sensible people skipped NT and waited for Windows 2000 to appear. Today your best advice (unless you want to play your xBox games on your computer) is to wait for Windows 9.
What to say, frankly it’s a disappointment. If you have an iPhone 4S you really won’t get much benefit from the iPhone 5. It’s got a bit of a bigger screen, but only in height, there’s no significant width which makes it very clunky against it’s rivals. There’s some new software, but not anything that you’ll notice in normal use as being outstandingly good. Apple were once renowned for their images but on the iPhone 5 even the camera quality is lagging behind it’s competitors. Unless you’re an Apple nut save your money and give this one a miss.
Samsung Galaxy III
Outstandingly good phone. Horrible finish. This is undoubtedly one of the best smartphones on the market today, but sadly both the software and the physical feel of this phone lets it down. The default graphics look like they were designed by a college kid on a summer placement but they’re easily fixed by downloading some more attractive widgets.
For functionality this phone wins, superb camera, plenty of grunt, and unlike the iPhone and HTC offerings it’s got a replaceable battery so you can carry a spare or buy a new one when it eventually doesn’t hold a full charge any more.
Personally I prefer the HTC Android overlay to Samsung’s. HTC’s is more polished and user friendly in my opinion, but that said if you’re in the market for a new phone you have to take a look at the Galaxy.
I know all the corporate arguments for secure email, and Blackberry does score here (barring their network outage last year). However with generally small screens, hardly any apps and tiny keys we’d need someone to give us really compelling reasons as to why we should try one.
I loved my HTC One X, until it failed dismally and died. This phone has the best physical touch and feel, although it tends to appeal to men rather than women. Would I buy another? I’d seriously consider it if only HTC would give a replaceable battery.
I’m so tempted by the HTC One X+ but the only way I’m parting with another £480 for a handset is if HTC loan me one to road test. I’d love to love HTC again, but they let me down too badly last time around. If you have an HTC let us know what you think and if you’ve had any battery issues lately that could put us off buying one.
Beautiful design and display, but I was somewhat miffed when round my mate John’s house and tried to show him a YouTube video. The iPad doesn’t support flash so of course YouTube failed to load and we had to switch to his laptop which rather spoils the whole experience.
I have got an Android Tablet though. Just £130.00 to DJC Electronics got me the cheapest 9.7″ touchscreen Android tablet I could find. It’s screen is 4:3 aspect – Wide screen (16:9 aspect) tablets don’t work for me as they’re generally pretty small. The DJC Touchtab3 is iPad sized, although slightly heavier and not quite as good a screen or shell. At the end of the day though the 10 point multi-touch screen does the job of an iPad, only better – I can watch YouTube on it. Plus I don’t feel I was ripped off price wise which I do with the iPad, this really is a tablet that’s cheap enough you can let the kids loose on without worrying overly if they break it.
I’ve added a keyboard case to the tablet which makes it just about useable for work and although I’d still prefer a laptop for serious typing it’s more than adequate for answering emails and browsing.
Whichever tablet you choose to buy don’t waste money on 3G versions though, just beef up your mobile phone contract and use a smartphone as a mobile hotspot, or of course find someone’s WiFi to jump on for free.