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How To Video: How to read a Best Buy circular (laptops edition)
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How To Video: How to read a Best Buy circular (laptops edition)

3:30 /

Deciphering the specs in a retail store sales flyer takes some careful reading and the right background info.

I'm Dan Ackerman here to pick up one of these guys, that's right, at the retail cell circular from your favorite electronics store. It's really one of the main reasons you might wanna go pick up a Sunday newspaper these days instead of just reading it online. I would like to get these and see what's new and what's on sale at different stores. Best Buy is one of the more common ones you're gonna find and like that they have a lot of desktops and laptops and not just that but TVs and digital cameras and all kinds of other technology. But I'm looking through the flier. I sometimes find it hard to figure out exactly what they're advertising or what the actual product is they're trying to sell because I would like to compare this and shop and see where I can get the best price on thing. So let's take a laptop as an example here and I'm gonna show you how to read a best buy ad. I'll take this one right here. It's a Dell laptop. You see a nice picture of it. That's okay. I see the price, but I can't really tell what the exact laptop is. It's simply not going out of their way to tell me about that. I'll give you a little hint here. Even thought they don't list the model number very prominently, if you look down here at the very bottom of the fine print, there's a string of letters and numbers in parenthesis. That's actually the model number. You see here, it says I15RN and some numbers. Now, you can either Google that little string there and maybe we'll get a hit and maybe you won't. Sometimes, stores like best buy get their own specific model numbers even though it's basically the same laptop you can get anywhere else or you can know that the I15R is actually the Dell Inspiron 15R Laptop that we reviewed and you can go look that up and see if you can get a similar specs with the same price or less either direct from Dell or from somewhere else. Now, it tells you what the processor used, Intel Core i5 but doesn't tell me the actual 4 digit extension on their process. I can't really do an exact comparison shop unless I guess I go into the store and try to find out in person. There's some other odd stuff here in the descriptions. It says 4 way processing. That sounds really fancy. That's really just a dual core hypothetical processor. That's nothing special there. They must have just needed to fill some space here in the description. Those bunch of little boxes down here that purport to tell you details about it. It says (??) just got a 15.6 inch screen. Okay. I can see that. It says up to 7 hours and 26 minutes of battery. That definitely sounds impressive. Of course, if you follow the little foot note on here, it tells you how they tested it. The test that we run here is actually different and on the less, Inspiron 15R that we tested, the battery life we got was much much shorter. So always take these numbers with a grain of thought. Now it also says right here that. the little blue box says WIDI in it. Not really. any explanation there but that means Intel WIDI or Wireless Display. That means this laptop can hypothetically send it's signal to your TV wirelessly which is very cool but they don't mentioned that you're gonna need a sold separately net gear box that's usually around $99 in order to do that. So that's just some of the stuff we found in one of these laptop ads. If you go through all of them, you'll find similar things like hidden model numbers, non specific CPUs. But if you read carefully and you understand what to look for, you can usually figure out enough or at least decide if you wanna go to the store and see this laptop in person. I'm Dan Ackerman and that's some tips on how to read a best buy ad

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