As a tech support guru and technologist, I'd like to help anyone on the forum that needs it with advice and information on gadgetry for the holiday season. I've received a lot of help, and hope to repay it in turn. Remember, what you pay does not necessarily correlate with what you get, and electronics salesmen are often incompetent, dishonest, disinterested, or, all too often, all of the above.
So ask away!
Also, here's a quick list of "Holiday Do's and Don'ts"
-Buy using credit cards that extend your warranty. You may be able to get an extra year for free!
-Buy from reputable vendors, like Newegg or Amazon. If something goes wrong, you don't want to have to wait three weeks for a replacement part.
-Buy one of my "Quick Holiday Gift Guide Picks:"
$30 SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 2HN Mp3 player - like an iPod Shuffle with a screen, but cheaper and expandable to 10GB with a $20 camera memory card
JVC HA-RX700 Headphones - comparable to Bose products at 1/5 the price!
-Spend money on fancy cables. Monster Cable is no different than the cheap stuff you buy from Radio Shack. While the flimsy rubbish included with most electronics is a bit sub-par, there's no difference between a $30 Monster shielded HDMI cable and a $3 Monoprice shielded HDMI cable.
-Buy extended warranties unless you're really sure you need one. As a rule of thumb, you're better off spending the money on a higher quality version of the same product (this applies especially to TVs) or saving it for the inevitable replacement. There are definite exceptions to this rule, though - notably laptop computers.
-Buy refurbished electronics unless you're very sure of the product and vendor. This goes triple for the Microsoft X-Box.
-Buy anything made by Bose. Or any $300 iPod docks.