What gadget or gadgets do I want?

(30 Posts)
margaritasbythesea Wed 08-Jun-16 10:31:18

I am just about to move to Spain for a year and I need to sort out my electronics before I go. It's much cheaper to buy things like that here.

What I want are:
- an e-reader so I can get English language books easily.

- an MP3 player, which I've never had. I have been using spotify on my phone but I'm not very happy with it. I want something I can put my own CDs onto.

- something sturdy the kids can play games with

- a reliable laptop for work

- a screen to watch TV programmes on

What I have
I have an 4 year old lap top that has seen better days. I have thought about replacing this anyway.

a Samsung Galaxy 7 inch tab which has trouble holding its charge and doesn't have an enormous memory

I wont have my current phone as I will end the contract and get a new o when I arrive.

So do I want one big new thing that will cover all these things, or do I want two or three things to do specific jobs.

I would be thinking definitely about the cheaper end of the market. I was tempted to get kids kindles when they were cheap recently but the way amazon approach things pissed me off so I didn't in the end.

If you know what I need, please tell me!

margaritasbythesea Wed 08-Jun-16 11:36:49

Bumping in hope...

AYD2MITalkTalk Wed 08-Jun-16 12:13:46

If it were me AND I had unlimited money I'd be getting separate items. You could probably make do with just phone, tablet and laptop (some laptops have a removable screen which works as a tablet, and I love mine, but I wouldn't hand it to a kid as it has no case).

Laptop - do you need portability or power? Unless you spend thousands, you have to choose.

I'd get an e-ink Kindle or similar - LCD screens aren't nice to read off for long periods.

For mp3s I would just use my android phone. I have had no trouble putting my own CDs on there. I uploaded my ripped mp3s to Google play music from my computer, and it lets me download them to my phone or stream them off their servers.

For the kids, any kind of tablet that has good childproof cases available for it. You don't want to buy what looks like a great tablet for not much money and then find the cases for it are all crap.

And I'd watch TV on the laptop or the kids' tablet(s), or if there were more money and space get a TV that I could stream things to from other devices.

AYD2MITalkTalk Wed 08-Jun-16 12:18:28

The e-ink reader isn't strictly necessary but they're not so expensive as a lot of the other items and have big benefits in battery life and readability (and reading them won't drain your phone and leave you panicking because you have 3% battery left and are expecting an important call.

Otherwise, maaaaybe a really good tablet, with a keyboard add-on, might do most of your tasks, but it depends what you need your laptop for.

AYD2MITalkTalk Wed 08-Jun-16 12:24:50

It all depends on what your actual budget is!

WankersHacksandThieves Wed 08-Jun-16 12:27:20

If you need to make calls then a phone of some sort is a given.

Otherwise it depends on how many people will want to use things at the same time?

There's no point having something super duper that does everything if you want to work and someone else wants to watch tv or play games or listen to music or read. So figure out what activities need to be separate and what can be joint?

Then work from there.

I'm not an apple fan and iTunes does my head in, however you can pick up a 2nd hand ipod with decent memory and load all your cds onto it. The kindle app can be downloaded onto pretty much anything. Unless you can do all your work on something other than a laptop then you will need that but it could be utilised as a tv screen for everybody (when you aren't working). Could you clear some stuff of your old laptop and download some stuff for the kids and also use that as a screen for tv for them?

margaritasbythesea Wed 08-Jun-16 12:47:25

Thankyou for your replies.

So, no one gadget, double up phone and mp3. Separate laptop and something for the kids. Argh. Lots of things.

Would I be able to read books on an ipod?The one with the screen obvs.

E-readers reduced on amazon today. Wondering whether to take the plunge.

Not much power needs I laptop btw. I just need on. I do online marking.

AYD2MITalkTalk Wed 08-Jun-16 13:11:05

You can totally read a book on a phone, iPod, tablet etc. - I often do (and most e-readers have a companion app for your phone so you can pick up where you left off on either). Tablets or phones are much better for some things, like kids' picture books.

I prefer having an e-reader (I've had mine for 5 years) because the screen is better in the sunlight, it's lighter than a tablet, the battery life is very good, and I feel I sleep better if I've read it in bed than if I'd been reading a tablet. BUT it's a nice-to-have, not an essential.

AYD2MITalkTalk Wed 08-Jun-16 13:18:42

So if you don't count the cost of the phone, and use the phone for reading and music... maybe £150/£200 for a low-end laptop (mine was £150 and isn't high-powered but does exactly what I need), a Nexus 7-type tablet for around £100 (and a decent rugged case, maybe a tenner or so) and watch TV on the tablet and the laptop?

I mean, personally, I'd go on a fantasy shipping trip and mentally spend about two grand, but... well grin

margaritasbythesea Wed 08-Jun-16 13:20:32

After your advice I am now thinking

Give the children my tablet (they are used to sharing it)
Buy a new, cheapish laptop for me
Buy an ipod. Put kindle on it.

Does this sound reasonable? And if so, could you recommend a place to but a refurbished ipod. Thanks again!

AYD2MITalkTalk Wed 08-Jun-16 13:21:25

Any SD slot on the current tablet? With an external power pack to plug into it when it gets low you could eke that out. What's wrong with your current laptop?

MSIOF Wed 08-Jun-16 13:22:08

That sounds reasonable. Is there a reason you don't want to use your phone for mp3s and reading?

WankersHacksandThieves Wed 08-Jun-16 13:25:31

You could read on an ipod touch but the screen isn't very big and they don't have a big memory.

So would a tablet be fine for your work then? Then you could have a couple of tablets - use yours for work, music, watching stuff and reading and one for kids for the same. Get a fairly basic phone if just using it for calls and hang on to the old laptop as an extra screen for Netflix or whatever until it dies?

margaritasbythesea Wed 08-Jun-16 13:33:10

MSIOF - DH and I are a bit caught because on the one hand we think it will be better to have a phone there to get internet access with it, but as we're not there and haven't been for ages we don't know, and on the other hand we know it is better to buy tech here.

AYD2 - My laptop is heavyish and has been dropped a couple of times and DS spilled something on it once. I manage ok with it but I wonder how long it will last. I cannot use internet explorer on it as it has some sort of 'thing' on it that I can't get off. I use firefox reasonably ok on it. I could pay some money for a techie to clean it all up but wonder if it is worth it given the drops etc.

Yes there is an SD slot on the tablet. What are you thinking I would use it for? Sorry am not very well informed. Coould I put the kindle app / books on it for eg?

wankers - I would need a laptop, for comfort and size more than anything. I have periods of weeks with 10hrs a day spent close reading.

AYD2MITalkTalk Wed 08-Jun-16 13:35:39

Essentially the choices are many and varied. I agree with Wankers. You need to work out exactly what tasks you need to do, and whether you need to be able to do more than one of those things at once.

And you need to work out where you're willing to make compromises. It helps to know about what's available, e.g. the Google play thing I mentioned earlier, ebook apps, etc.

You need to know what services are going to be available in Spain, like streaming services (e.g. no iPlayer, unless you use a proxy or something? I haven't looked into it in ages).

And you need to think about how to make the best use of what you already have, what you're willing to spend, and how reliable the things you have are going to be (cheap stuff breaks...).

The fantasy list I wrote, alongside a stocktake of what I already have, would for me be a starting point to whittle down from.

I don't know where's best to buy reconditioned iPods from, sorry.

AYD2MITalkTalk Wed 08-Jun-16 13:37:12

Depending on the version of android it's running, you can put apps and media like music on the SD card.

WankersHacksandThieves Wed 08-Jun-16 13:38:32

If you wanted to use your phone for music and reading, you'd need to make sure it had expandable memory and also you'd find the charge going down really quickly.

I have an ipod classic that I bought from a neighbour, DH has a refurb one bought from ebay - he has 160gb and has his entire music collection n it and it's still got mountains of room and a charge lasts forever. You'd be able to get one in places like CEX with a guarantee but I was also able to buy a guarantee with DHs one from ebay. I took my chances on my neighbours one. You cant get apps and ereader on a classic though and I'm not sure if the touch went higher than 16gb.

AYD2MITalkTalk Wed 08-Jun-16 13:41:38

I wouldn't personally spend money on a techie, a lot of them are scam artists. But then I'm happy with backing up, reinstalling Windows or installing Linux, either alone or dual booting, etc. - for an old physically unsound laptop I think it might be a waste of money getting it looked at.

If you get a very very basic phone with no SD slot you might need an iPod or something, but most phones these days will have at least a readable screen and will work to play mp3s.

AYD2MITalkTalk Wed 08-Jun-16 13:42:30

Wankers makes a lot of sense.

WankersHacksandThieves Wed 08-Jun-16 13:42:35

It's also worth looking on Amazon warehouse for used/unboxed items, I've had no issue with returning stuff up to year with them, often the stuff is new anyway, just a returned item.

margaritasbythesea Wed 08-Jun-16 13:44:24

It seemed so to me but was hoping someone would tell me I was wrong and the obvious solution was waiting for me.

Thank you for your help anyway! All the comments are useful.

AYD2MITalkTalk Wed 08-Jun-16 13:47:43

I have a feeling I've only succeeded in confusing you and making everything more complicated...

margaritasbythesea Wed 08-Jun-16 13:53:11

Oh no not at all. I'm not a person who has strong opinions about tech and neither do I have much money. That's what makes it complicated!

WankersHacksandThieves Wed 08-Jun-16 13:54:42

Sorry OP sad

I also know nothing about how things work in Spain so that doesn't help.

I think the issue is that our needs and wants aren't fixed in terms of tech so what suits one day isn't what you need 6 months down the line. Do the kids have birthdays that are coming up that you could update their tech for them for?

Think carefully about tablets and phone re getting windows ones or android.

I have a dell windows tablet that I picked up in the sale before Christmas which came with windows 10 for free but I don't really like it (the tablet is great and has a brilliant screen etc etc I just don't like it being windows)and I think if your children are younger then android is probably better if you are not an apple family.

margaritasbythesea Wed 08-Jun-16 14:40:10

I would love to be an apple family. I used mac before I met dh. Can't remember why I changed. I can't justify the expense now.

Thanks for directing my attention to the android / windows thing. My tablet is android and I like it. Have windows 10 at work and hate it.

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