Military Families: Best Purchases for Technology Needs

Military Families: Best Purchases for Technology Needs

The holiday shopping season is almost here. (I know, I know—I didn’t want to say it either! Don’t panic!) But facts are facts, and if you’re contemplating making a technology purchase, either as a gift or out of necessity, it’s time to begin researching and figuring out the best product for you.

And therein lies the tough part about shopping for technology. There are so many options, often it’s difficult to figure out what is the best product for you and your family.

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Military families have unique technology needs. So much of keeping in touch with our friends, families, and immediate family members happens through a screen. (You might be guilty of being addicted to your devices. It’s hard not to be when family and friends are far from us.) Because of that, choosing the correct computer is absolutely vital. Here’s a quick primer for choosing the best tech product for you and your family, based on what you need and want.

Choosing a Tablet

Tablets are perfect for a portable lifestyle: small but able, they offer many of the same capabilities as fully functioning computers do. Tablets are used for tasks ranging from email to art, gaming to video chat. They are perfect for families who want to keep in touch with faraway family and friends or are going through deployment or geobaching. After all, tablets are lightweight and have a long battery life. That means you can pass a tablet around the table at Christmas so that Grandma can see her grandchild.

Pros:

  • Exceptionally portable
  • Long battery life
  • Little time to boot up or shut down
  • Touchscreen

Optimal Tasks:

  • Reading ebooks, digital magazines and newspapers
  • Using social media
  • GPS
  • Short maintenance tasks (answering email, updating business social media, surfing the internet, etc.)
  • Often can be added onto cell plans so you’re not tethered to Wi-Fi

Perfect For:

  • Older family members who may not want the responsibility of maintaining a more complex tech device.
  • Children and teens (supervised by their parents) for keeping in contact with family and friends and playing internet-based games.
  • Bibliophiles
  • Small business entrepreneurs
  • Those who work from home and find themselves needing to stay connected without bringing out “the big guns.”
  • Military members who want to access to technology who may not have a lot of space or consistent access to electricity for charging.

Choosing a Laptop

With larger screens, keyboards, and CD drives, laptops offer a level of portability paired with functionality that tablets don’t have. Laptops are perfect for people who need to work on the go or who don’t like being tethered to a desk. Laptops are a little more expensive than tablets but can be found in a large range of price points with a variety of features and capabilities. You can purchase them specifically built for you or straight out of the box, depending on your budget and needs. If you love the idea of having a tablet, 2-in-1s are a great hybrid choice. Learn more about 2-in-1s.

Pros:

  • Keyboard
  • Extensive storage
  • Durable
  • Larger screen
  • Built-in features like CD/DVD drives, speakers, and ports

Optimal Tasks:

  • Word processing
  • Creative tasks like design, video-editing, etc.
  • Tasks that need a significant amount of memory or special software
  • Watching movies and videos
  • Video chatting
  • Gaming

Perfect For:

  • Students
  • People who work-from-home or are highly mobile
  • Small business owners
  • Members of the military who are highly mobile
  • Creatives

Choosing a Desktop

If a tablet is a rifle and a laptop is a bazooka, then a desktop is a tank. We’re talking about heavy-duty computing power and longer life (after all, it’s less likely to be dropped or thrown around like a tablet or laptop). Desktops have larger screens and more technical capabilities. Desktop upkeep is easier for tech-geeks—for example, you can add or upgrade components as needed throughout the life of the machine.

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Increased graphic processing abilities
  • Typically a financially savvy option
  • Many options to customize including touchscreens

Optimal Tasks:

  • Gaming
  • Movie-watching
  • Multitasking
  • Programs and tasks that need a lot of processing power

Perfect For:

  • Families who want to monitor members’ use or have a communal machine
  • People who want to live a more intentional lifestyle when it comes to technology
  • Computer engineering enthusiasts
  • Creatives

After deciding the type of technology you’re interested in, it’s time to start honing in on the details. What components and processes are important to you and the work that will be done on the device? Which brands do you trust? What’s your budget and the expected lifetime of the device? If you’re looking for devices that are future-forward and quality-made, check out Dell. They even offer specific military perks and benefits, including 10% off Dell PCs to military community members. With so many options, you’re sure to find something that fits your needs and budget in time for the holidays! For more information on Dell military perks and benefits, click here.

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