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I've noticed a few equipment purchasing questions on this site. Do questions related to choosing equipment belong here?

What is a good scanner on a budget?

What image tablet can you recommend on a budget?

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I'd say they are on-topic if they're used in on-topic context; and same should go also for software recommendations.

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    I would also add that the author has to get really, really specific about the problem they are trying to solve. Questions ask simply "What tablet should I buy" should be closed as not a real question. They are too vague to answer reasonably. Jan 5 '11 at 21:24
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I'd say:

  • Software recommendations are fine, both free and commercial

  • Instead of hardware purchase recommendations, we should generally strive to provide generic guides to identifying a suitable device for the OP's needs. What attributes to look for; what price range to prepare for; what kind of place sells them at what kind of price; and so on. Purchase guidelines don't age as quickly as shopping recommendations do, and it's still possible to point out some actual devices in the text.

Exceptions should be

  • hardware recommendations based on own personal experience ("I've been using the X-B10 for three years now and ....") which in my opinion have inherent value if written by a honest and competent person

  • specialized tools for which there is no big market of choices.

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