If you have some money burning a hole in your pocket, you might be thinking about what shiny new gadget you want to spend it on. While some of us may know exactly what we want, others of us may go back and forth decided where to get the most bang for our buck, or with which gadget we will have the most fun. It is a battle that many of us have at one time or another.

 

Your average consumer, especially one who has a family to think about, considers new technological gadgets about as long as it takes him or her to figure out that it’s too expensive. Indeed, most people are thinking about their bottom line: paying their mortgage, finding the cheapest interest rates, saving for the future.

Fortunately, many of the newest gadgets coming out are not only fairly inexpensive but can actually help expedite tedious tasks, such as taxes and budgeting, and increase your level of connectivity with the world. This why we have seen such incredible growth for smartphones, tablets, and laptops. But what is the smartest gadget to invest in? Here are a few of my thoughts:

Smartphones—Becoming stronger, more complex and more capable by the day, smartphones are a solid choice for on-the-go technophiles. Check out advancements in hardware like the dual core processors charging the pistons of hot gadgets like the Motorola Droid Razr and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This combined with the fact that more people than ever are browsing the Internet using a mobile phone, helps one to understand why smartphone sales are outpacing both tablets and laptops in the last couple years.

Tablets—Tablets don’t quite have the fluidity of a smartphone, nor the beastly RAM powers of a laptop, but they fit that middle ground perfectly, offering people portability, long battery life, reliable connectivity and web services fit for business presentations and networking. While tablets like the iPad may not replace PCs altogether, they are already starting to stand in for smaller PCs. More importantly, they are being adopted readily into commercial workplaces, prompting many businesses to give their employees iPads in order to improve data collection and sales reports.

Laptops—Queue the song “Still The One,” perhaps, as laptops aren’t going anywhere. They are still the default option for people who need a full keyword, high performance, and raw computing power. However, many laptops are receiving overhauls that underscore the influence tablets and smartphones are having. The Macbook Air’s lightweight design, for example, as well as the new PC line of ultrabooks (which in the future will have touchscreens) bespeaks the merger of laptops with tablets.

There is no final winner between smartphones, tablets, and laptops. They complement and influence one another and often serve different purposes. Personally, I think it’s best to have all three. But, then again, I’m kind of a tech nerd and plan parts of financial budget around affording new gadgets. I will say that I’m certainly looking forward to the rise of ultrabooks, which will be storming the market this year.