TechFogeyA savvy consumer wanting to buy an electronic gizmo – be it a TV, smartphone, digital camera, whatever – is likely to trawl the Internet to find the best product at the best price.  Friends who seem vaguely sentient might also be consulted.  Specialist magazines may be pored over.

All so you don’t:

  • Buy a piece of junk.
  • Buy a device you end up hating by which time it’s too late to return it.
  • Fork out for something soooo last year that mates in the know will snigger behind your back.
  • Spend top dollar on a product that is superseded by a better, cheaper, upgraded version the following week.

Even with the awesome power of the Web at your fingertips proper research can take ages.  Consumers and experts rarely agree.  Some of the opinions on specialist tech websites are genuinely impartial, others try to be while also needing to appease advertisers.  Some consumers are smart and well-informed; others are muppets.

So Tech Fogey aggregates.  We trawl the web so you don’t have to.  Each Fogey 5 will be the top products by consensus of at least 10 reviews websites; a combination of  expert and consumer reviews.  We sift through the views of significant opinion-formers (sources of which will vary, depending on the product) until the cream rises to the top.  We then skim that cream, tell you what you need to know about the product and give you a link to the best price.  If we get it wrong it means at least 10 other clever people have it got it wrong too.  Which is unlikely.  So you can have confidence that each Fogey 5 really does represent the best of the best.

There is one flaw in this strategy: it takes time for new products to be sufficiently well-reviewed and so gain enough positive feedback to find their way into a Fogey 5.  The good news is that it doesn’t take that long.  Weeks at the most.  Tech websites fall over themselves to be the first to review new gizmos.  Early adopting consumers are only too keen to let the blogosphere know how smart they were to have bought an Apple iFart and what a wondrous device it is.  The opposite is also true, of course, which helps keep out the crap.  And because no self-respecting Fogey is swayed merely by the whims of fashion, we’re sure you’ll be willing to wait a while, let the dust of a spangly product launch settle and then decide whether to part with your cash.

There’s also the issue that larger manufacturers have bigger marketing budgets with which to charm the media.  Lending out – or even giving away – products to journalists is cripplingly expensive and smaller, niche brands can find it difficult to compete.  For this reason, each FOGEY 5 will be complemented by a FOGEY FIND –  a product we just happen to like and think you will too.

There are only five recommended products in each category because  too much choice is often no choice at all.  Restaurants with long menus make it difficult to decide.  Even with hundreds of TV channels or radio stations to choose from we get to know a few and then stick with them. Better to have fewer choices and know that any or all of them will be good.

Tech Fogey also understands the lure of the cosily familiar and mantras along the lines of: “It’s seen me through the Crimea and two world wars and don’t see any reason to change it for one of those new-fangled contraptions.”  We appreciate that not all new, shiny stuff is worth your attention and much is best left to the purview of slack-jawed adolescents.  So the range of products featured will reflect your inestimable good taste and manners.  Tech Fogey does not do flash or vulgar.  It has a perfectly fine and functioning willy but sees no reason to wave it around.

Just so you know.