Friday, December 21, 2007

Power-hungry TVs, Mobile Gifting and a Wii Tip

KXL Tech Expert Segment for 21 December 2007

Today on Portland's Morning News on Newsradio 750 KXL we discussed how the TV you buy may affect your power bill, how to give a mobile phone as a gift, and gave listeners one last-minute tip to update the Holiday Wii Hunt.

For more information and tips on buying a TV for the energy efficient consumer, check out this post. You might also consider equipping your home with a "Green Switch" to completely cut off power to devices that drain juice even when in power save mode. The kits start at $1125 and more information is available here. If that sounds like an expensive accessory, consider you'll make it up in energy consumption from idle devices in just a few years!

Considering a mobile phone for that recipient on your gift list? I explain on today's show why giving a gift certificate or "IOU" may be the wiser choice. Many phone users prefer to pick their own phones. Some considerations:
  • Will this phone be used for work? Some employers only support certain models when interfacing with corporate systems such as email.
  • Is size, form-factor, style or the presence of a full keyboard important?
  • Does the intended user require WiFi web browser or the ability to connect to their laptop as a makeshift wireless modem?
  • Are they willing to switch carriers (are there contract implications?) to get a particular model such as Apple's iPhone?
As you can see, it might be best to talk this over with the recipient before making a purchase.

Finally, because dozens of you have written in asking where to buy a Wii -- I'm happy to share a special alert I received from Santa's Helpers. Seems St. Nick himself will be stopping by the Game Crazy in King City with 100 Wii consoles available for purchase. How they managed to schedule the last-minute delivery on Santa's busiest day of the year, I'll never know... but for those still on the Great Wii Hunt 2007 edition? Read this entry carefully!

Listen to this report, originally broadcast on KXL-AM Friday December 21: kxl_techexpert-plasmaenergy&lastminutegifts_20071221.mp3 (MP3)

Got a question? Need help deciding what gift to buy? Drop me an email techexpert (AT) brianwestbrook (DOT) com (remove CAPS before sending)... I'm here to help!

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