Overwhelmed By Selection? How To Find The Perfect Laptop, Tablet Or Camera
A while ago, I wrote about a web app that helps you make some sense of the vast selection of smartphones currently available on the market. While Geekaphone was great, it was limited to smartphones only, and we all know that’s not the only thing that comes with a huge selection.
Recently, I had to purchase a laptop for a family member, who couldn’t even begin to find her way amongst all the possible options. Even for me, the selection was overwhelming. Where do you start? So imagine my joy when I found out that the makers of Geekaphone now offer a similar service for other items, such as tablets, cameras, TVs and even laptops. With Sortable, you can sort through different products according to the things you find most important, and find out what the best product is for your specific needs. You can also easily compare different items, and learn about similar items for you to consider.
Getting Started With Sortable
The first thing you have to do with Sortable, is decide what you want to buy. And this is probably the hardest decision you’re going to have to make in the whole process. On the main screen, you can also choose your maximum price, but you can always change that as you go along. Now all you have to do is click “Go”.
If you’re truly dumbfounded and have no idea what you’re looking for, Sortable offers a list of popular devices in each category. You can start by browsing these devices, and looking at the most popular comparisons other people have made. This should get you up to speed with the hottest trends on the market.
Finding The Right Device For You
Before you even start digging in, Sortable will recommend the best devices based only on your price range. The best device will appear on the left side of the screen, and more options will appear on the right.
As you go along, you’ll think of things that matter to you more than others, or things the device you choose must have. You can easily screen the results by almost any imaginable parameter. This includes everything from brand, network and form factor…
…to card format, display and ports. These change, of course, when searching for different products. Simply go over these criteria, choose your preferences and watch what happens to the results below.
When you find a device you’re interested in, you can get a comprehensive overview of the device’s specs, including photos, advantages, tradeoffs and reviews from Amazon.
You can also see how the device matches up to its competitors in various categories, and get an idea of what other similar devices are on the market, and what makes them better or worse than this device.
If you’ve found two items you like, and would like to know which one is better for you, Sortable offers a comprehensive comparison between any two items, which includes any differences and similarities, a full specs comparison, and even a visual comparison.
To compare two items, either check the compare box when browsing items, or click the “compare” link at the top left.
Here, you can fill in any two devices. You don’t have to remember the full name, simply start typing the brand name, and Sortable will offer different models for you to choose from.
You will then get a short overview of reasons to consider each device. You can already see significant differences here which can help you choose.
If this is not enough, you can bore down into the more detailed differences, including a full specs comparison of every little aspect of the devices.
As you can see, there’s a huge amount of information in those specs. Naturally, some information is missing, and some information may be inaccurate. But there’s something you can do about it! When you’re viewing a item’s specs, and you find a missing piece of information or something you believe to be wrong, simply click the edit icon on the right and add or change that spec.
You don’t even have to create an account to do this, but if you do, you can keep track of your edits and become a known contributor on the site. If you choose to claim your account (personalize it, as opposed to keeping it anonymous), you can sign in with either Facebook, Google or Yahoo.
On the front page, Sortable features all the top contributors for each category (even if they are anonymous), and you can view a detailed list of their edits.
Wish you could use Sortable to find more products? Well, it seems that they’re definitely planning on it. If you want to influence what those next products will be, click the Sortable icon on any page, and choose “Vote on what’s next!”
This will direct you to Sortable’s Facebook page, where you can vote on what new products you’d like to see on Sortable. Looks like cars are leading the pack!
The only thing that’s apparently missing from Sortable is a price comparison feature between different stores. The site seems to be tightly integrated with Amazon, and all buy links direct to there. But price comparison engines are a dime a dozen, and once you manage to decide what you want to buy, finding the right price should be a piece of cake. In fact, ignoring the price makes the site much more usable internationally, since prices and stores vary depending on where you are. Specs usually don’t.
What do you think of Sortable? Know of other good comparison engines we should try? Share in the comments.
Image credit: Shutterstock
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