» The choice trap

Mary Jo Foley went looking for a new Windows PC:

I discovered a few things during my search. But it all boiled down to this: There’s no shortage of Windows PCs and tablets from which to choose. But there’s no good way to make the choice.

Over the holidays I was actually considering getting my son a Windows PC for Christmas. That might seem like heresy coming from me, but he’s obviously into gaming, which is real PC strength, and his best friend has a PC so there’s a whole peer identification thing going on. I also thought it might be good to have a Windows machine around the house just to keep up on the platform now that I’m no longer forced to use one every day by The Man.

But the choices are so bewildering it’s nigh impossible to pick one. A number of people on Twitter said Lenovo was making the best machines now but most gaming PC reviews didn’t have them high in their recommendations and I heard terrible things about their support. Actually, I heard terrible things about every PC manufacturer’s support. If I could have afforded a Razer Blade I would have gotten him one of those because they’re really the best made, but $1800 for a 10-year-old who not that long ago spilled a sticky drink on the keyboard of his MacBook Pro doesn’t seem like a very good investment.

Sites like The Wirecutter help but with the number of vendors and the speed with which they change their models, their recommendations quickly become dated.

In the end he got an Xbox and he was happy, but it’s a real problem.