#Surfacegate: Aiken Area Progressive is no longer recommending any Microsoft or Windows non-phone product
Redmond, Wash. – If you are among the few who have been living under a rock, you should know why this post is happening.
In August, Consumer Reports basically de-recommended all of Microsoft’s non-phone products, saying that almost one in every four Surface computers were returned because of various issues that popped up during the second year, usually right after the warranty ended.
We at Aiken Area Progressive agree with Consumer Reports magazine here.
In fact, we are going to go one step further: Simply do not buy any Windows PCs, Surface PCs or Xbox Ones.
Instead, buy these alternatives:
• MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro came out on top in the Magazine for good reason. Their laptops are now superior to the Windows PCs – something I would have never said in 2014. There is a MacBook running MacOS Sierra for every budget, though. Even the old 2010 MacBooks now run 10.12 Sierra. And what’s more? You can even game on a MacBook! However, I strongly recommend buying one that is New, Like New or New Other.
• Chromebooks. If you are on a shoestring budget, get a Chromebook. This is the perfect companion for an outright majority of Americans, since they own Android phones. Unlike MacBooks, though, I will not recommend refurbished Chromebooks.
• IMac: This is an alternative to the MacBook – and a cheaper one at that. What’s more? You can install it to an old Windows monitor or even your TV! Bad news, though, the 4 GB variant is the cheapest – coming in at 499.99 USD.
• Sony Xperia z3 Tablet Compact: While all of Sony’s tablets – Xperia z, z2, z3, z3 compact, and z4 – are the best money can buy, this is the absolute best tablet, since it is the only one under the ten inch threshold (it is eight inches) – meaning that you can download Microsoft Office apps for free from Google Play. The tablet, like all Sony tablets, is also water resistant, which makes it good for breastfeeding selfies and naked Hangout/Messenger/Snapchat chats outside near the lake and in the bathtub. Sadly, the price is north of the 400 USD range for the z3 compact, as well as for the z2, z3 and z4 Tablets, even on eBay and other discount e-commerce sites.
• IPad: This is more than one IPad I am including in this. In fact, I am including all IPads except the first generation and those whose screens are larger than ten inches. The original IPad and original IPad mini are being excluded because of the fact that they are no longer being supported by Apple. Three of the four IPad Pros are being excluded because you will have to purchase Office apps from the App Store – those tablets are larger than ten inches. The IPad is the best tablet for Messenger, Snapchat and Cyber Dust. However, unlike the Sony Xperia tablets, the IPads lack water resistance. The IPads I am recommending include the 2016 IPad Pro, whose rear camera is actually better than the IPhone 7, and the IPad 4 mini due to the fact that not only is it the last mini still being sold by Apple, it is also now 399.99 USD (and even lower on some sites) for the 128 GB variant, which means people on a budget will like it.
• Samsung Galaxy Tab Active: The only other water resistant tablets around, the Tab Active rocks Samsung’s products and it rivals Sony’s tablets. However, three years after its release, it is still well over 400 USD, even for a Like New Tab Active on eBay. The good news is that the Office suite of apps are free to download on the Tab Active.
For gaming consoles:
• Nintendo Wii U + New Super Mario Bros. U/New Super Luigi U bundle: I know that Nintendo Miiverse will be shuttered on November 7th, but the online servers will still be kicking long after now that Nintendo runs the servers and not some third party corporation. That is a good thing if you are playing Mario Kart 8 and the like. Alternative bundles you might consider are the Wii U + Super Mario 3D World and Wii U + Super Mario Maker bundles. All of these bundles cost the same: Roughly 209.99 USD.
• Nintendo 3DS: Online gaming that is about as good as the PlayStation 4, especially for the Pokémon games (including UltraSun and UltraMoon here). Miiverse will continue to work on most 3DS games for the foreseeable future. The price of these are still 199.99 USD.
• Sony PlayStation 4: The best alternative to the flailing Xbox gaming console (not to mention the superior console), the PS 4 has most of the same popular games that the Xbox One does. One major advantage that the PS 4 has? In addition to a corporation who actually listens to their fans, PlayStation also has Street Fighter V. And their Call of Duty Infinite Warfare/Modern Warfare Remastered bundle is the same price (269.99 USD) for a much better value than any of the Xbox One bundles, including that of the soon-to-be-released Xbox One X.
We have decided against recommending the Nintendo Switch at this time because of the fact that they have not yet announced, let alone released, a deluxe edition of New Super Mario Bros U or New Super Luigi U.