Published: November 01. 2012 2:37PM
Written by Stephanie Trotter
Photographed by Cindy Hosea
Before you bust a pen in your pocket-protector over the the word geek, meet Christopher Cecil. It’s a label he proudly wears.
“I am that guy,” he says with a smile. “I’m a huge tech guy. My mind understands it. And when I understand one product, I understand another. I love testing technology to see how it makes my life easier and I love making it easier for everyone around me.”
It’s not just about ease; it’s also about profitability. As the founder and creative director of Slant Media, a marketing and design company, staying on top of the latest trends, gadgets and social media is mandatory.
“The new technology we use at work is critical,” Cecil says. “For such a small company to have two offices and do the kind of stuff we do, we wouldn’t be able to if we weren’t interconnected.”
Slant teams in Greenville and Charleston work on projects from Haywood Road to Hong Kong, serving some 85 clients. To get the job done, almost all are syncing with cutting-edge products, programs and applications Cecil researches and recommends. So, TALK Greenville thought this techno-geek would be the perfect person to jump-start your search for the latest techno-tools.
iPhone 5: Not among the 23 million who jumped on the latest generation of Apple phones this fall? Now is the time. “From a design stand-point, Apple is the best,” Cecil explains. The larger, taller screen may sound trivial, but it’s important for apps. There’s extra space for data and if you’re watching a movie, it’s now a true wide-screen format.”
LTE: No matter what type of smartphone you purchase, look for one that can use a fourth-generation, long term evolution network. LTE makes 3G look like the horse and buggy of intel transport. This higher rate of speed permits multiple-source video streaming and simultaneous talking and surfing. It also improves efficiency with file transfers and downloads — just about equal to what you get on your high-speed home Internet connection.
iPad Mini: We can only hope! Rumors have been swirling that Apple will release an iPad Mini this fall. As TALK Greenville goes to print, nothing’s been confirmed, but oh are we keeping our fingers crossed. Imagine all of the efficiency and ability of your current 10-inch iPad, but in a smaller, more portable size. Believe it or not, surveys show folks love their iPads, but want a lighter, tighter version that can be held comfortably with one hand while reading, or slipped into a clutch while traveling.
Nexus 7: Why wait on Apple, if this Google tablet is already available? This thin, light, portable device features a 7-inch screen, putting more than one million vibrant pixels at your fingertips. Powered by Android 4.1, the Nexus 7 syncs with 600,000 apps and the world’s largest collection of eBooks. The music manager allows users to upload entire iTunes libraries. Cecil, a self-admitted die-hard Apple fan, admits, “This is the first android tablet that made me turn my head. And it’s only 200 bucks. That’s almost stocking-stuffer material.”
Kindle Fire 2: Recent reports have Amazon retooling its once successful Kindle Fire that launched one year ago. Smaller in size and price (by $300), millions easily chose it over an iPad. But in a sign of how quickly technology marches on, its market-share is diminishing and Amazon is now said to be outfitting Fire 2 with hardware improvements and a better display. Thinner and lighter than its predecessor, the new tablet is expected to have a built-in camera as well. Another plus in playing with Fire: Amazon is continuing to add to its massive content library by inking streaming video deals with NBCUniversal.
Amazon Prime: This is the perfect gift for the impatient person in your life — especially if she does a lot of on-line shopping. For $79, users get free two-day shipping on millions of products, and for $3.99 they can overnight items right to their doorsteps. Amazon Prime also delivers unlimited, instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows. And readers can enjoy a free eBook each month from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. “Buy today, shows up tomorrow,” Cecil says. “It’s the gift that gives the rest of the year.”
Apple TV/Roku 2: Invite the world into your den through these little hockey puck-sized boxes. While there are many $99 streaming boxes on the market to connect to your TV, these are the two bestsellers, and for many reasons. Viewers can rent movies, download Netflix rentals, watch old television shows, play computer games and even flash through stored photography, all on their giant television screens while sitting comfortably on their sofas. “It’s like back in the ’80s when your parents made you watch slides from their vacations, but now it’s even better in HD!” Cecil says. From Disney to MLB, Pandora to YouTube, each box has slightly different content availabilities. So it’s best to explore which suits your viewer’s needs the most.
Christopher Cecil’s Tech Buying Tips
• Do your research ahead of time on the Internet.
• Head to Best Buy and find someone in a blue shirt. Pick that person’s brain.
• Scan QR codes to pull up reviews while shopping in stores.
• Typically the best prices are found on Amazon, but lots of local stores now provide aggressive price-matching. Don’t be afraid to ask.
• If you buy early or without doing full research, make sure there is a return policy in case the gear you buy does not play nicely”with your other components at home.
|Gadget guru Christopher Cecil.CINDY HOSEA/Staff|