The best X.

I often get asked what the best thing to get is. Well for most people it’s this stuff. If you don’t agree with these choices, then this page isn’t meant for you!

Updated September 2019.

Mobile Phones

Get an iPhone. An iPhone is the best phone experience you can have. If you get a big screen version, then you won’t really need any other type of computer.

Apples phones are powerful, secure, have good to great cameras, are hardwearing and have long-term support from Apple. They’re still releasing updates for the 5S which is 6 years old (a lifetime in phone-world). Oh, and all the best software is written for iOS which is what really matters.

Budget will dictate which one you buy, but don’t pay for anything older than an iPhone 8. Really you should be looking at an iPhone XR or 11 particularly if you’re going contract. If someone hands down a 6S or 7, that’s cool but don’t pay (much) for it. If it’s a 5S or 6 it needs to be a freebie!

There are lots of tempting looking Android devices out there, but they are almost all without question total shite in too many ways to list here. There are TWO exceptions.

  1. The Android One handsets from the likes of Xiaomi or Nokia are cheap but extremely cheerful at around £130. Do make sure you get an Android One model! They both make phones that are not Android One.

  2. The Google Pixel 3a is an incredible device for £399 and it genuinely competes with the cameras on new iPhones. It’s hard to argue against it, but if you can’t stretch your budget I’ll try not to begrudge you.

Proper Computers

Buy a new iMac. You’ll still have it in 10+ years and it will still be completely usable like the day you bought it. No PC on EARTH will do this.

Buy the best spec you can afford at the screensize you want and you’ll never look back. It literally needs one single power socket and you can stick it on your kitchen worktop for everyone to use.

If you choose something that runs Windows from PC World on a wet Saturday afternoon then in less than a year it’ll be unusable and you’ll hate even having to switch it on. You will think that all computers do this, but they do not.

Laptops

Only software developers need laptops. Do not buy a laptop ever. If you need a proper computer, buy an iMac.

If you just want something a bit bigger than your phone that maybe has a full size keyboard and maybe you can take on a commute or a holiday, buy an iPad.

For laptop money (around £1400) you can buy a 12” iPad Pro with wifi+cell connection, a keyboard cover and an Apple pencil version 2. So do that instead. It will honestly will change what you thought a computer was.

If you don’t have laptop money but still want a portable computer, buy a 10” regular wifi only iPad with keyboard case for just over £500.

Never ever buy any kind of Android tablet, because (all the reasons you shouldn’t buy an android phone) X 1000.

Tablets

A decent smartphone is better than a tablet in almost every situation just remember that. Your iPhone probably already does what you think you need a tablet for.

I would only buy an iPad as a laptop replacement. In our house, the kids have the bog standard iPad from last year with a giant foam case on it. They use it for drawing, watching films and facetiming daddy when he’s in meetings at work.

Vehicles

Buy what you love. If you don’t love cars but you do need one then look through the classfieds for something with a small petrol engine that’s cheap and was made by Honda or Suzuki in the last 5-7 years. The more service history the better. Everything has gone electric, a topic for another day but don’t buy a brand new car from anywhere. The rate of change in the industry today is immense and god knows what it’ll be worth in 3 years time.

Books I’ve Recently read:

Staying on Track by Nigel Mansell. Bit boring.
Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari. Fascinating but read Sapiens first.
Customer Success by Mehta, Steinman, Murphy & Martinez. Plain speaking, great education.
The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs by Tristan Gooley. Interesting but preachy.
Think Dog by Jon Fisher. I think this is my favourite book.
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. Absolute enjoyment.
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. Superb, fascinating.
London Under London by Peter Ackroyd. Nerdy and interesting.
Nigel: my family and other dogs by Monty Don. Lovely.

Stuff I’ve recently watched.

Hardy Bucks. Total smalltown fever, super niche but funny AF.
Catastrophe. Funny, sweet and close to home.
Curb Your Enthusiasm S2-8. It’s right up my street.
The F1. It’s alright, low time investment, enjoy it.
Top Gear S29. This is sunday nights really. New crew are great.
Game of Thrones. Huge investment, got in too deep to give up.
Seinfeld. The first series might be the best TV ever made. The rest is great too.
T2 Trainspotting. Memory lane.
The Hateful Eight. Glorious.
The Grand Tour. Overall fairly boring. Low priority watch for the rare organic moments.
Gravity. Enjoyable swashbuckler.
Immitation Game. Bit annoying.
Legend. Fackin what mate.
Argo. Tense.
Dallas Buyers Club. Powerful, ace.
Mad Dogs S1. Superb characters, totally beliveable.
Locke. Dead good film, unique.