Recommended Nerd Purchases

Notebook Computer
MacBook Air M2, 2022 model
This is the Mac to get if you 1) need a Mac and 2) need that Mac to be portable. This was recently updated and it’s just an excellent, excellent Mac. I am using an M2 MacBook Air with 24 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage and it’s just great. I got it in dark blue which generally looks black. It’s sharp as all get out.

Desktop Computer
M3 iMac
The M3 iMac is excellent for most people who don’t want to move their computer around. Bump up the storage to at least 512GB. My recommendation: 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD.

iPhone 15
This is what I wrote about the iPhone 14: “It’s the perfect phone for someone who keeps their phone for three years. Now that the iPhone’s base model has 128GB of storage, you don’t even need to go for the larger sizes. Now, if you take a lot of photos and videos… Well, then you already know you need more space.” Same applies to iPhone 15, but the camera is better.

iPad Air
The iPad Air is the iPad to get if it’s going to be your only iPad. It’s fast and has almost all of the goodness of the iPad Pro 11" for a little less money. I have an iPad mini 6 because I find I don’t use my iPad as much as I used to now that I work from home at least half the time (so my Mac is always right here).

Apple Watch
Series 9
The Apple Watch has no real competition. Buy the newest and keep it for three years.

AirPods 3
I had the AirPods Pro for 2 years (or so) and I really liked them. In subway conditions, the noise cancelling was excellent. But since I’ve been home (like most of us), I’ve not needed that. And because of the crackling (a known issue) and lack-luster battery life, I bought myself the AirPods 3.

iCloud Storage
200 GB
You should get over yourself and throw a couple of bucks at Apple for the iCloud storage. The prices are competitive and, if take care to set it up correctly, your iPhone will back itself up each night. Then turn on iCloud Photo Library and have all your photos available to you even if you fill up your iPhone. Seriously, we’re talking about three bucks a month.

Certified Refurbished
If you don’t shy from refurbs, getting one of these machines from Apple’s Certified Refurbished store is a great deal. iPhone and iPads come with new outer shells, new batteries, and have the regular one-year warranty. If money is tight (or you are smart with your money), this is the way to go. The M1 Mac mini pops up on here from time to time and it’s a hell of a bargain.

What I’m Currently Using
M2 Mac Book Air, 24 GB RAM, 512 GB storage
iPhone 13 mini, 128 GB
iPad mini, 6th gen, 64 GB
Apple Watch Series 7
AirPods 3
Despite my recommendations of certified refurbished products, the above were all bought new.

Page updated: 2023, November 6

Bob Schulties @bobschulties