gadget shoppingI am gadget shopping this week! And wow, what a pain it is. All these years of computer-owning, and I still feel like every time I buy a new one, there is all this manual labor involved. How have they not found ways to make this easier yet?

I have an Apple store gift card that has been earmarked for a new iPad Air. My iPad 2 is starting to show its age a little, and I had an opportunity to make a deal with my boss for it, so I seized the opportunity. I have been happy enough with the base model and will likely get another WiFi 16 gb.

But the computer…ugh, what should I do? The Beloved seems to feel I should stay with the Mac brand. He is not a fan of them himself, but he knows I am used to them and I think he does enough tech support at work that he doesn’t want to spend his leisure time helping me get up to speed on a new system. He also is a believer in keeping all of one’s devices on the same ecosystem; he has a Windows phone to match his Windows computer, and since my phone and tablet are all Apple ones, a Macbook seems to be the way to go.

I know that Apple is often thought of as a premium brand, but I did some price-checking and found that most of the lower-priced PC laptops are lower in specs as well. An ultra-light with the same RAM and SSD as the mid-range Macbook will cost me about the same. So, I am going with Apple. But what configuration?

Will I be sorry if I get an 11-inch screen over a 13-inch one? Is 8 GB of RAM enough, or should I special-order it and get more? Will I be sorry if I don’t get the bigger drive on it, or will I be okay with using a backup drive to keep movies and other disk hogs?

And how can I best smooth over the transition? I currently keep both my iTunes library and my Calibre library in my Dropbox folder. I should be able to just set up Dropbox on the new machine, download the Calibre and iTunes updates, show them where my library folders are located, and be ready to roll. I’ll need to download the Evernote and Kindle apps, set up Overdrive to get library books, configure the Calibre plug-ins I use most often (or will those transfer over somehow via my library settings?) and voila? Or…maybe not?

I’m going shopping on Thursday; I welcome any advice before then on what to get and how to set it up as quickly and easily as possible.

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"I’m a journalist, a teacher and an e-book fiend. I work as a French teacher at a K-3 private school. I use drama, music, puppets, props and all manner of tech in my job, and I love it. I enjoy moving between all the classes and having a relationship with each child in the school. Kids are hilarious, and I enjoy watching them grow and learn. My current device of choice for reading is my Amazon Kindle Touch, but I have owned or used devices by Sony, Kobo, Aluratek and others. I also read on my tablet devices using the Kindle app, and I enjoy synching between them, so that I’m always up to date no matter where I am or what I have with me."


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