10 Gadgets You'd Be a Fool to Buy Right Now

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In the '80s, you had a shiny new Betamax player, a couple of years after VHS came out. In the '90s, you spent top dollar for a Sega Dreamcast, only to watch the platform crumble. More recently, you were one of the first to buy an HP TouchPad, a tablet the company discontinued after less than two months .

Fortunately, you don't have to waste money and embarrass yourself by purchasing a gadget that's either on its way out, dead on arrival or not ready for prime time. Avoid these 10 gadgets like the plague.

Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
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  • skler Says:

    Micro$oft, a slowly dying company without innovation, trying to sell rest-overs as a breakfast, lunch and dinner. All versions after windows 7 are cut-down windows version, especially Windows RT (Real Trash) by cutting important pieces out of windows 7 and re-sell it as windows 8 or RT.

    RIP M$, you deserve it.

  • Micheal Says:

    Blackberry is another word for security. I own all of the BB10 handsets, as well as the Playbook. I use them daily, more than my iPad Air or Macbook Retina. I get all my work done on them. My sister also owns a Playbook and a BB7 handset. And I can tell you, the amount of times my blackberry got hacked is 0. It perfect for the 25-year-old businessperson and the 18-year-old college student. Don't try to talk me out of buying another Blackberry, because I love them.

    P.S. I'd pick a $1000 Blackberry over a free iPhone.

  • danny565 Says:

    nobody wants to be a fool! I agree with all of these non-purchases.

  • Agasicles Stamas Says:

    A lot of this article is FUD. While I agree with a lot of the choices of things not to buy right now, I strongly disagree with a some of the reasons. Some of them are just pile-on cruft or poor rationale for not buying the thing or selecting one of the recommended alternatives. Yes, this is long-winded, but I've been holding this in reserve for some time:

    Mobile Hotspots: "Some carriers try to charge you extra for using your phone as a hotspot, but on Android phones, you can avoid these fees by running a third-party hotspot app like FoxFi."

    Both Verizon and AT&T include hotspot functionality as part of any shared data plan. Perhaps more importantly, AT&T includes it with any PayGo prepaid plan that includes a data allocation. Point is there are other alternatives to using a carrier that charges extras for phone hotspot functionality. You can use a third party app, but there are still means for carriers to detect this (or infer and assume that you are doing it). In those cases, carriers will often throttle your service, suspend or disconnect your service, or charge you a penalty fee, often without warning or notice

    Blackberry: "I've been waiting for BlackBerry's obituary for at least three years now, but even if the Canadian company survives for a while longer, its proprietary platform is clearly on the way out."

    Not sure why the last part is relevant. Blackberry's OS is no more proprietary than iOS or Windows Phone or the modified versions of Android (not pure AOSP) that most users have on their phones. And that degree of non-open source code is not the (principal) reason BB is having problems.

    Fire Phone: "Even worse, it lacks the basic Google apps and services you want: Gmail, Google Maps, Google Play Store and Google Now."

    There's a large media assumption that everybody who uses Google services or Android also wants their apps. Not necessarily the case. People who do not manage their email with an abundance of labels and other Gmail features are just as fine using a 3rd party email client. I only use Gmail for my main Google account (of four), and only because of how fast the push comes, but I often wish I did not even use it for that. I'll give you Google Maps and Google Now. But the Amazon App Store should be more than sufficient for the common user, especially one who is already tightly wired into frequent use of Amazon services and purchasing.

    Microsoft Surface 2 / Surface RT: "You might even think that it would run all of your Windows applications, but you'd be wrong. The Surface 2, like its predecessor the Surface RT, runs Windows RT, an operating system that looks and feels like real Windows, but will only run touch-friendly "Windows Store" apps."

    This one almost makes me want to go nuclear, because it is the same ignorant comment that has been made since the launch of the first Surface. Comment on the high price if you want. Or say that the marketing and branding does not provide enough bifurcation between RT and the mainline Windows OS. But do not gig it because it does not run Windows x86/x64 apps. It is not a PC. It is a mobile device. Compare it to an iPad or Android tablet, but do not downgrade it based on how it compares to a Dell Inspiron or Lenovo IdeaPad.

  • K Langholff Says:

    Read the title wrong, my bad, very good list after all!

  • K Langholff Says:

    This list makes me cringe to read it's so bad. Why does everyone need google glass? IPhone 5sc when the 6 is coming in 2 months?

  • Ren Says:

    I agree with most of this list completely, however the comment on Windows tablets is stupid (well, depends on the tablet - x86 cpu and real windows 7 or 8 = good, ARM cpu and WinRT = cheap RUBBISH with no practical use and no software).

    REAL windows tablets have ulv i3/i5 cpus and are essentially small convertible laptops with a touch screen, generally with 20 times the usefulness of any crap ARM/Apple/Android products.

    That being said, I hate Windows 8's retarded Metro UI. I'm not a metrosexual!

  • Billy da Kad Says:

    You'd be a fool to wait around because you'll wait, then whatever it is that you're waiting for won't live up to all of your expectations, then you'll find yourself wondering whether you should keep on waiting.

    Then you'll be dead having waited and never enjoyed what it is you could have used.

  • lynn Says:

    Buying the older model isn't always the bad choice, patience has virtues both ways. You already have access to all reviews and the tweeks have been revealed. Just got my first iPhone 4, free. For a few days while the 5 was being introduced, the 4 was free.

  • Janise Grubber Says:

    If you ordered an iphone I feel so bad for you being stupid and buying anything Apple, your mother should dis-own your sorry ass

  • pmpope Says:

    These product reviews seem to have been written by a five-year old who never had the opportunity to realize that all of these disposable technologies have a six-month shelf life. The holiday season is upon us and even NOW (or Black Friday) we, readers of blog.laptopmag.com, would be 'fools' not to wait until spring, when the 'deep-deep discounts poke their little heads out of the winter cocoon of 'if-i-only-had-waited-for-x-or-y-or-z'. If you are interested in filling cyberspace with tripe, Bravo! If you'd like to write reviews, please find a mentor and study, study, study.

  • marvin nubwaxer Says:

    today is october 15, 2012 which makes this article completely out of date.

  • Anonymous Says:

    After looking at the list and reading the articles I doubt I'll be looking at this site or its content ever again. Specs on a few of the products are off and I don't know about when or where the data was gathered, but most of it is incorrect or just flat out not true. For ex. At the time of its release the Nokia Lumia 900 was ,until Samsung's new release, the fastest phone on the market (its been tested and debated so look it up). Saying that windows phone are playing catch up to other phone manufacturers just isn't true. Do they have market share?, no, but you can't stop stupid people from buying overpriced, ikea-isc, toys.

  • Mark Ziegler Says:

    I would get a windows phone myself.

  • Keith Says:

    Technology is good these days, you don't have to buy the latest and greatest if you don't want to. I bought one of the HP Touchpad's for $100, installed Android Gingerbread on it, and have used it on both Android and WebOS and loved it, got my money's worth and then some. I'm still using the heck out of my iPhone 3GS ('bout ready to upgrade though). So I think the point is simple, you don't have to buy "leading edge" to get a lot of fun and bang for the buck. Enjoy the tech!

  • Maneesh Says:

    He has a point. Technology is changing very fast that what you buy today will be obsolete tomorrow. What he is trying to say is why lock yourself in a 2 year contract with a smartphone that is below your expectations, when you could have researched a little more about the upcoming technology and the functionality it has to offer you.

  • Phil H Says:

    So, Bill. If all of this 'junk' is not needed and especially not Internet access or computers, and the electricity to run them, how the heck did you make your post? Ha ha.

    There are no wrong choices in the list of 10. It depends on a person's stated wants or needs in the present. As it was stated, there is always the next thing coming, but also the purchases of the items now fund R&D for the next iteration of these devices. In rare instances where R&D are unique, say, in space, do we find technology that is not really repeatable in those cases. Point being ~ all of these devices serve a potential want or need; a purpose if one will allow that. I venture to say that cell phones became so popular some for the novelty of the device, but originally, it was build to solve some problem. Something like, a person was in a car accident and could not make it to a phone and it would be nice to have a phone in one's hand for emergencies.

    Yet, we all do pay some pricey fees for the technology and access to it. Frankly, I don't understand why anyone would have a need for Unlimited text and Unlimited voice and Unlimited data. Instead of emailing and text someone, just call them. It's not hard to do and generally voice-mail still is alive and well as a technology.

    More to the point: one can always wait for the next iteration of a technology product, but several poignant posts remind us that technology that we use to pass information between us in the modern world. Choosing ones options has more to do with personal choice and preference that what is a 'right' or 'wrong', 'good' or 'bad' choice.

    We are allowed to spend our dollar votes on the tech of our choosing. While I might not purchase a TRS-80 or an Atari gaming system from the 1980s now, that does not make the technology itself a poor investment, back then. Do one's due diligence and decide if you want to buy the product or not in any given timeline. There are reasons to purchase the technology at any given time or to wait for a while, e.g., if you don't have a SmartPhone and you want or need one now for some reason, one simply cannot wait ad infinitum for their Mobile Phone if they need it now for their grandma that just broke her hip and needs to be able to call us for transport to somewhere.

    With that being said, the list is neither 'right' or 'wrong'. It depends solely on an individual's situation, want or need. Like a B&W eReader might be just the best thing for a younger kid that you don't want them smashing up your new Tablet or using your new Laptop as a baseball home plate, even though it is not the right shape.

    I do agree some with Bill's post . . . we do need to spend a bit more time away from technology and get more exercise. And we need to have actual, real, personal interactions with more people and less isolation via technology. Humans are social creatures and interaction directly is part of our make-up, i.e., not with a technology bridge. But, it is nice to be able to Video chat with those people I have made personal relationships when they have moved to Singapore or Tokyo or Moscow or just one street over. They cannot hear me no matter how much I yell through a paper cup with a string.

    Yet for Bill, I wonder if he would like his primary source of information to be only books at the library, and go back to seeking information on the shelves and periodicals? It is not the technology that is inherently bad, just as the invention of firearms are not inherently bad. Much about technological change depends on how humans use these technologies and positively impact our lives, both good, and bad. The latter at least I hope we can correct.

  • Duane W Says:

    The majority of the current BlackBerry lineup is 1.2 GHZ, FYI, not 800 MHZ.

  • RR Says:

    He is lying to us all! we are already trapped in the matrix! We just need to take the damn pill, then we can control it just like a friggin video game~!

  • Kindlefan Says:

    Total B.S. on the advice about Kindle and Nook... Who cares if they're greyscale and not backlit? THE WHOLE POINT of that device is how by using e-ink technology, how wonderfully long the device holds a charge, and how it can be read outdoors in any light. It isn't a tablet or a laptop or a media device and it's NOT SUPPOSED to be a backlit product. Now, if they end up with a colored e-ink product, that WOULD be interesting...

  • Bill Says:

    Every single person wqho reads this has wasted $12,000 the last ten years on cable, tv and electricity and gotten fat in the process. Get off your fat arses and play ping tennis or ride a bike. Quit buying this new technology. You didn't need a cell phone 20 years ago and you don't need it now. You didn't need a computer 20 years ago and you don't nedd one now.

    You don't need this new crap. It just wastes your time. The tv wastes trillion of hours a year. Get off your fat arse and put out literature about this stuff.

  • Jay Says:

    Let me sum it up :

    Phone :Galaxy S3 on T-mobile,verizon .
    Tablet: iPad or nexus.
    Smart TV- Wait for it

  • bart drennon Says:

    Oh damn!!! I just bought all ten last week.

  • Johne37179 Says:

    I own a full range of Apple gear from an XServe to a shuffle with lots in between. After reviewing all of the hype for the iPhone 5, I chose to buy the 4S. My reason was that none of the hyped features were of any interest to me. I could not see either waiting or paying a slightly higher price. If I were going to wait now, it would be to pick up the iPhone 4S at a deep discount once the iPhone 5 comes out.

  • smarterthanyou Says:

    Why do people think this guy is stupid? All he is point to are pieces of tech at the end of their era. It's not like the iPhone 4 just came out... Windows tablet pc's have been around for ages and have archaic interfaces when compared with android tablets such as the Nexus 7, which happens to be the same price as the Kindle Fire... but blows that one out of the water as well. If you are going to complain about sprint... then you're not to be trusted in the first place. The Note is just a weird shot at making a tablet that you can use to call people... but doesn't do a very good job. Windows phones don't run well - so why would you buy one when android's are far superior. And finally Blackberry... I know several people who tried to make the move to a Torch or comparable product from an iPhone and bought new phones outright, paying full sticker price to get away from the crappy OS... This guy is doing you a favor, but when you buy your iPhone 4S a few months before the 5 comes out, I'm sure you'll enjoy the regret.

  • z3u5 Says:

    in other words you are saying don't buy anything! because if you advice folks not to buy the iphone 4s because the iphone 5 will be out soon then you should've as well said don't buy anything till apple says this is the last iphone series cause new ones will always show up!

  • Laptop Headphones Says:

    This article is right about the iPhone. I bought a 3GS a couple of months before the iPhone 4 came out and now it's a dinosaur, and I'm clocked into a three year contract. Knowing the cycles of technology products is so important these days.

  • HuckleberryFarper Says:

    My old Toshiba is still workin' tickitee-boo and I've got the phone that suits my purposes. I'll save my $$$ for something that says it's got my name on it, when the time comes. Priorities, y'know...

  • Aaron Says:

    This article assumes everybody wants the "best". How about personal functionality? I got an old style kindle because it does what I need. I don't want a backlit colour one. As for all the other gadgets, I mean the whole article is preying on the belief that everybody wants to look cool with the latest toy. Pretty sad really.

  • Roger Ball Says:

    A gadget is a Veg-O-Matic or an LED keychain. A novelty...

    At $1,300 I would hardly call a MacBook Pro a "gadget."

  • Jack Benimble Says:

    Why are Americans so addicted to possessions, especially, tech toys? We become more self-isolated, even as we "connect" more with gadgets.

    Read MIT Professor Sherry Turkle's mind-opening book, "Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less From Each Other". Scary.

  • Benny Says:

    The new iphone 5 will have it's headphone jack at the bottom... does that sound like a smart buy?
    The ignorance of the future is what makes this article painfully incorrect in countless assumptions.

  • WTF Says:

    Okay let me break it down for all you people. This is a guideline that shows you a product may come out in the near future. The prices on these outdated models will drop significantly.

  • Dr. Jackpot Says:

    All of these responses seem to point to sour grapes by people wanting to justify being 'sucked in' by the so called Apple Hype. Few need a cell phone if any at all. The true cost of a cellphone is $60,000. One must invest $60,000 at 2% (after tax) net in order to pay a $50 monthly phone bill. Any other conclusion is denial. If you pay out of wages you are simply paying interest on a $60,000 loan you don't even realize you borrowed.

  • Jid Says:

    ...And this is an article that you'd be a fool to read.

    By the time you waited for the gadgets and devices he recommended for you to wait, new gadgets and devices are already along way.

    Seriously, have yourself checked...you might be suffering technophobia.

  • Avid Reader Says:

    "How bad would you feel if you bought an old-school grayscale Kindle today, only to see one with a backlight or a color screen come out within a few months?"

    I'd be fine with that. Some people love prototypes, and I thank them for being early adopters.

    All the same, my Kindle lasts for a few weeks on one charge. Why would I want or need a backlit version? Don't people have bedside lights? If I wanted to read in the dark I already have a book and a torch, thank you! The Kindle does exactly what I bought it for.

    Better models = battery-draining colour FX - to surf the web when you're out and about? I don't think so. Battery life never squares with portability. When are manufacturers going to standardize the leads and plugs?
    Most of us can go online with our phone; but it needs to be plugged in every three days; so much for portable devices. I like enthusiasm, but I'm not about to pay to juggle and recycle various cables 24/7.

  • Graham Klerks Says:

    This guy's pretty funny.

    I bought an Asus Transformer Prime /w keyboard for A$829 (Usual retail 4 months later is still A$899) The HD version coming this fall will be lucky to be in the shops here in Aus by Christmas, will cost more and my content will have to be HD. Camera is better too. Wow, really worth waiting for. The Prime outputs HD content to a 1080p screen if I want it, and the screen is amazing at the lower res of 1280 x 800.

    I just last month bought a Motorola Razr Maxx, to replace my aging HTC Legend - again only just available for grey import here in Aus for A$525. Wait for Quad-Core ? It's already here. HTC One X and Samsung GS3. Both unsuitable for my needs and again, not worth waiting for the Razr HD.

    I bought a Sony PRS-T1 eReader last year, awesome little device for reading, even better once rooted. Easy on the eyes, light, and simple to use. Colour e-Ink is still someway off from commercial distribution, and you shouldn't compare these to iPad's or other Tablets - those are primarily for media consumption.

    Was it a low-news week ? Find some real news. Have to buy tech sometime, idiot.

  • thaghost Says:

    Oh, You also shouldn't buy any video game consoles because a new one might be on its way soon, Don't buy any new shoes because something more comfortable is coming out, And most importantly of all, Don't buy any groceries because better tasting food with more efficient packaging is on its way!

    Seriously though, Did anyone even read over this article before it was allowed to be published?

  • Quorra Says:

    Not gonna go for apple products anyway.
    Happy that I've made the switch from my iPhone4 to an Android phone, Samsung Galaxy SII. :D

  • Ajmal Najeeb Says:

    Wat the heck....plz mention wat all gadget der is left to buy....haha

  • SwaGG_SeaN Says:

    He's right about the tablet market, don't spend $500 on a tablet a newer one will be released soon after and you'll feel very stupid trust me guys I made the same mistake about buying an android tablet, and as far as I'm concerned android tablets don't warrant a $500 MSRP too much for for a consumption device.

  • Nudo Says:

    ummm... can I still buy milk and bread?

    lol this article is hilarious! Don't buy anything!!!

  • Monkeysweat Says:

    wow, maybe the mention of blackberry and POSSIBLY waiting for the new macbook or windows phones (especially at the time of writing the article) - blackberries suck and the company is going down hard ,,, but if someone is in the market for a macbook pro they may have been interested in the new version

    and as for the windows phones, they appear to be decent,, however with the recent announcement that NONE of the current windows phones can upgrade to Windows 8,,, that's a big blow to anyone to hear in less than 6 months (or 6 days) of purchasing one...

    rest of the list? how long are you supposed to wait? really --- wait for iphone 5?? another 5-6 months?? it isn't going to be revolutionary, just evolutionary,,, the main 2 items people will notice are the a bigger screen and the possibly better camera,,, it's kind of like comparing the iphone 4 to the 4s,, maybe it would be nice to have newer, but not something ditching to upgrade

  • B.H Says:

    The Iphone 5 having 4G connectivity will be pointless in the UK for at least 2 years- so 2014 would be best release date for iphone 5 in the UK and most of Europe. No point in having an iphone 5 in the UK until the government sorts out the complexities surrounding granting new 4G licences which could seriously interfere with UK digital TV signals. If 4G services disrupt any public service broadcasting such as the BBC then mobile service providers will have to spend millions upon millions compensating licence fee payers. It is a legal minefield and potentially disatrous! I cannot see the UK launch being at the same time as the USA or Asian versions of Iphone 5 - Apple just wouldn't be able to market it in the same way because UK consumers won't be able to benefit from 4G. (Look at what happened with The New Ipad regarding 4G).Even when 4G is introduced in the UK the limited 4G and high-speed coverage means the Iphone 5 will have limited capacity and I would expect many handsets to be returned due to disappointment with poor signal during the 1st few weeks. If the UK don't sort out 4G capability sooner rather than later economically we will fall even further behind the USA and Asia than we already are.

  • tahrey Says:

    So the Lenovo win8 slate does a twist 'n' flip to rest its screen against the keyboard, eh... now where have I seen that before...

    Oh yeah. In the 2006-vintage HP TC4200 that's sat on my desk at home. I wonder if they'll even use the same case and hinge mechanism, licensed off HP/Compaq? If it unexpectedly comes with a 12", 4:3 aspect screen (just a high-rez, multi-finger-touch capable one instead of an XGA stylus-driven affair), we'll know for certain.

  • Jay Lazaro Says:

    When I need it I buy it. If I just WANT it but don't NEED it, I don't buy it. This article wants me to think I need a 4G when all I need in a "gadget" is SMS and the ability to place a call. I got my first tablet in a raffle, an Ipad2, which which I don't "need", although it's convenient. I MIGHT buy my next tablet when this one conks out in 5 years.

  • louie Says:

    For me, it's still alright whether i buy the latest gadget or not as long as i would be able to maximize its use.

  • Mnementh Says:

    How bad would I feel if I bought a grey-scale Kindle now, and the color ones came out in a few months? Not bad at all. I still have an original Kindle, and you know what? With all the improvements in eReaders, the books I read STILL don't have color pictures in them.

  • Rebecca Says:

    DM - you're kidding, right? Those are two COMPLETELY different articles. Your point is invalid and also irrelevant.

  • jrunv Says:

    if you buy and iphone 4/4s/5/ your an idiot iphone are a thing of the past its androids turn now

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