It's getting to be that time of year again.  Graduation announcements are going out, and ads for things to buy that soon-to-be grad are starting to appear.

Randy Bogden recently posted an article about graduation gifts, and it prompted me to do this.

Laptops, tablets and the like have become big-ticket grad gifts, and it can be a massive headache, so I wanted to try and help by giving you some things to consider before you buy and when you're shopping around.  Of course, these same tips will also work if you're looking to buy for yourself.

This is going to be a bit of a series, because I want to do a good job, and trying to cram everything into one article is not going to help anyone.

I am not going to make recommendations of what to buy.  I have no desire to start that kind of debate.  So, let's get started.

The first piece of advice I can give you is to sit down and think about the intended recipient and what they will likely use the device for.  Gaming?  Video or photo editing?  Are they a musician, and will they be doing audio recording and editing?  If so, you'll want to get something with a bit more oomph.

Or will it be used mainly for Internet surfing and writing documents?  In that case, you can get by with something less powerful.

From there, the next step is to decide on what to get them, and this is where things start getting tough.

Next time, I'll talk the pros and cons of desktops, laptops, and tablets.