What is the best (insert system type here)?

I have been asked "what is the best xyz system?" many times. To that I answer usually with a "it depends on what you do or want to do". It's not an easy question to answer and I know we all want the best for our money. So how can we determine what is the best?

Do not use tech specs to figure out "the best"

The trap of the latest tech specs being the best system is not the key to finding the right device. It's obviously part of it, but not the most important thing. When you buy something because it's the "latest" then you can usually guarantee feeling like crap when out of nowhere a brand new system comes out.

There's always something "new" which can be considered as "better". Getting a system based on latest tech specs is not the way to spend money wisely.

The solution?
Figure out what you need the system to do first, and then get a system that does that. The best system is based on what your needs are.  In a way you are "filling up a hole" in the road.  You are fixing something that will now let you do things.  If you get systems based on the idea of "needs" then you have a higher chance of getting the right system.

Some of the systems currently at my house:
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet - Best for portable system with long battery life for typing, note taking, and some media.
  • Lenovo ThinkPad W520 - Best for intensive applications, color precision tasks like image and video editing, quietness and reliability.
  • HP Pavilion DV6T QE - Best for 3D intensive tasks like gaming, all around performance at home.
  • BB PlayBook and HTC Flyer - Media consumption, alternative to alarm clock, book and web reading, secondary device to save battery life in main system, camping!

Companies make different products for different needs/tasks.  Some products might have similar capabilities (aka can play movies) but they all fill different use scenarios.  I hope this give you a few ideas on your search for the right devices.


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