It seems like only a couple months ago we were peeling the plastic off our new super duper deluxe iPhone, iPad or for the traditionalists out there iMac but now the Apple machine has churned out a new ultra spec, can’t live without this, life necessity. Now that may sound bitter, but, it’s just because I have a basket on the Apple store waiting to be cashed in and as is the case for many of us, is just slightly out of reach for the moment. The reason I have chosen this generation in the life cycle to go Apple crazy is the advancement’s in the products. New processors and chips across the board mean that we now have macbooks that are capable of a full days use on a single charge and ios devices twice as fast as the previous generation. The advancements made by Apple have been impressive in my eyes whereas to some in the tech world they were extremely unimpressed with Apple’s offerings this time around. At the end of the day it all comes back to personal opinion and preference, and I, for one, is in full support for the current Apple crop.
Now as with all things Apple that comes at a cost, and as always it’s one of those moments you should really be sitting down for. When I filled out my basket with basically one of everything Apple had to offer (the full list is included for those interested in what I chose) the total cost came to a heart attack inducing €5,680.95. I could hardly believe that such a number would actually exist when buying tech products. Even though I will eventually end up handing out that amount (and much more), it got me thinking about the alternatives available. So I did a little digging, and here’s what I came up with.
Desktop: HP B170 All in One Desktop Computer €649 harveynorman.ie
It may not be as pretty as an iMac, but at that price how can you argue. For your money you get 8gb of ram and 2tb of storage, enough for any average household to get through their day to day tasks. With it being a HP the build quality should be good enough to withstand the average household. It is running the dreaded Windows 8 but remember you will get a free upgrade to the new Windows 8.1 format that is supposed to have worked out some of the teething problems with 8
Laptop: HP Touchsmart Laptop D8Q27EA €649 harveynorman.ie
I personally love HP computers. I decided to choose a Sony Vaio over a HP the last time I upgraded and I feel I made a poor choice. The Vaio isn’t bad but it just lacks that extra something I always felt I got with the HP. This laptop is what I’ve chosen for this experiment. It has plenty of power, looks rather nice and most importantly has the touchscreen that will keep the techy in your life entertained for hours. As mentioned above it should have good build quality and gets the Windows 8.1 upgrade.
Tablet: Google Nexus 10 16gb €334.99 expansys.ie
The sworn enemy of the iPad, the spawn of the all knowing Google. Having used last year’s Nexus 7, I would have no hesitation in recommending Google’s wonderful line of tablets. Sufficiently specced at a very reasonable price point, it’s hard to ignore this offering when looking to purchase your next tablet. Unfortunately Google Ireland don’t sell them from the Irish play store but thankfully they are available from a wide range of retailers.
Phone: Google Nexus 5 16gb £299 UK Google Play Store
Forget touch i.d and other fancy features that the average user will never find use for, this is the smartphone for the masses. Similarly specced to all the main players in the smartphone market but has the ace up its sleeve that it is half the price. I like this phone so much I am actually going to purchase it and use instead of my iPhone 5 for a while. Who knows I may never buy an iPhone again. Unfortunately, like the Nexus tablet, the Nexus phone is not available from the Irish Google Play store. Your options for buying this phone are by purchasing from an ebay retailer at an inflated price or purchase through the UK Play Store. Whatever you decide, you will not be disappointed by what you receive.
MP3 player: Tablet or phone
I thought about this for quite some time and felt that realistically there isn’t any real need to go out and purchase a separate music player. That’s my personal opinion, but if you feel you need one I can safely say it can be left to your own personal choice as the technology has been around so long now that all companies seem to have it at a sufficient level to please the general audience like you and me.
So for a fraction of the cost it is possible to purchase some outstanding products to rival the Apple machine. Although it may be hard to convince some to try new things, with a little gentle persuasion it may be possible to change their mind. A top tip would be to bring them to a retailer and let them try out a couple of options. After all, how do you know it will be a good fit without trying it on.
Here is the famous Apple cart
*Please note all prices and information correct at time of going to press