Here in PCWorld Reviews Land, we often end up in conversations like this:
“So, what do you do for a living?”
“I review [insert product type here] for PCWorld.”
“Oh, I’m looking to buy a new [insert product type here]! Which one should I get?”
There’s never an easy answer to that question. Everyone’s needs are different. Everyone’s budget is different. And just about every week, a new gadget comes along and renders yesterday’s hottest gadget obsolete–and much more affordable.
In every product category, however, you’ll find certain overmarketed specs that really shouldn’t mean much to most people. For that matter, many features are important in some contexts but not others, and a few specs don’t get nearly enough attention.
Before you reach for your wallet and plop down cash for a bajillion-gigahertz CPU or a bajillion-megapixel pocket camera, consider the advice we dispense in this article. Category by category, here are the specs we think you can safely ignore, the specs you should consider in certain contexts, and the specs you really should seek out.