The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

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There’s nothing wrong with charging a lot of money for your gadget. Some of the best things in life are the exact opposite of free; a truly superior product is definitely worth spending more. Unfortunately, sometimes tech companies think too much of their wares and too little of your intelligence. The result is a product whose price is out of whack with its real value in the marketplace.

Here are 15 truly outrageous offenders, the most overpriced gadgets of all-time.

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 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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  • Rolf Breuer Says:

    I'm pretty sure almost everybody who had a Lisa way back will say it was worth every Pfennig or Cent. It was for me. And I paid 32,000 Deutsche Mark for it! (The included printer made a bit easier ;-) Almost exactly 30 years ago. Never regretted it. The apps were exactly what I needed. Nobody could do what I was doing - and I charged for it!
    I sold "her" in 1986 for 6,000 DM - just about enough to buy a Mac Plus 2 weeks later after I moved to California. It took 3 years for a Mac II to finally match the capabilities of the Lisa. Yes - she was expensive but looking back - I got my money back in multiples. And what I learned and where I got to go partly because of it - priceless!

  • Jim Says:

    Blah blah blah like it or not the surface was a piece of crap. If it was such a great product then why did it sell barely any( check your facts) I have an iPad. Not because it's apple but because it has the fastest touch screen. And apps work. Hate all you won't, call me what you will but at the end of the day my shit works and yours does the best it can
    Good day

  • Don108 Says:

    Sorry, Avram, but you don't understand the concept of "market value" and only seem interested in costs of parts, labor and overhead vs. sales price. That, sir, is irrelevant.

    If someone needs a product, and is willing to pay the price, then it is fairly priced. If nobody wants a product it is overpriced even if it's being sold for less than cost.

    Go and study utility theory. In fact, study economics. All this article shows is that English majors shouldn't write articles about anything other than English.

  • Adam Butterick Says:

    I'm not surprised the Surface RT is on here and not the iPad. Sheer lack of apps on the RT model is killing it as I expected from day one. My roommate totes a Surface Pro model. Only way to go if you like the Windows OS. iPad got a huge jump for years on the competition in the tablet market, effectively justifying the tablet's existence. It's paid off more than once and will continue to.

    As for Macbooks being too pricey, it you look what you're getting hardware wise, even their low end computer is still a high end device. Comparatively, spec point for spec point yes, you can get a slightly better Windows machine, however, it will be made entirely of squeaky plastic, come with a mountain of bloatware, and the Windows OS, I'm sorry, but if anyone things Windows even comes close to delivering the same user experience as OS X you've either never given OS X a proper test drive or you're entirely stuck in the past. I'll shell out twice as much for a Mac device than I will for a Windows device. As a matter-a-fact, I don't even consider Windows anymore. I run it in VM to play Rollercoaster Tycoon. That's really the only use it will ever have for me.

  • Jim Says:

    I LOVE my Surface Pro. In fact, I added a Pluggable docking station and it replaced my desktop system. When I travel, I unplug the one cable and I go. Can the iPad do that? No!! Can it run my software? No! The iPad's a toy, the Surface is a real work solution.

  • Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director Says:

    Ah, but the PC/AT was worth it for the time.

  • Gregg E. Says:

    How about the nearly $5,000 IBM PC/AT in 1984? At least it included a 20 megabyte hard drive and enough RAM to do pretty high end business tasks.

    But that was a screaming deal compared the Macintosh with only 128K of RAM and no hard drive. Even with much of the core operating code in ROM it was barely capable of booting the System and running one program. There was a hard drive available (more $!) and quite soon a 512K version and upgrades for the 128K model, but it was still very bare bones. Mac fanatics just gushed about the GUI and ignored the hardware's limits, while making Apple a lot of money.

  • SteveO Says:

    Wow....short on substantive content? Surface in some ways can do things the iPad just cant but priced similarly puts it on this list. What BS...this dude is a joke. I love iOS too but I'm not a zealot.

  • Tony Says:

    You, sir Sound like a whiny mac-ass.

  • Abbie Normal Says:

    That OQO handheld pc has rounded corners and a single IO button, just like the iphone. I can already sense apple firing up those patent lawyers -- oh wait, it came out 3 years before the iphone. Never mind.

  • Lance Says:

    All of the people complaining about office being the greatest thing since sliced cheese are ridiculous. I used office, a lot, and the fact that their charging ridiculous prices for it to function is absurd.

    You can get the same functionality from IOS, android, palm, and lastly for computers: Linux (Ubuntu). I have used Microsoft my whole young life, from windows 95 to windows ME, to xp, Vista and Windows 7. Well guess what? Microsoft sucks. Yeah, I said it. S U C K S. I used iOS for one week and it became my only used Internet connection. Two weeks ago, I got tired of microsofts S**t and installed ubuntu on my computer. Within one day, that's the only operating system for computers I will use again. Sadly though, I have to have windows 7 pro on a partition for programs that only run with windows. And that's only one program, bluestacks.

    What's my point? Ubuntu 12.04LTS has an "office like" suite that looks eerily similar to office 2009. Powerpoints? They're there. Word processor? There, for free.

    The fact that really struck me, is that ubuntu starts up at least ten times quicker on my POS acer laptop, and everything I use insid ubuntu loads at least twice as quickly. The office like programs load in less than ten seconds, whereas office 2009 takes damn near a minute to stop using the processor.

    In summary, you can flout your usability and what apps you have, an what apps come with it, but I sit here and laugh because your all idiots. Microsoft is trying to hang on to its reins while it constantly loses civilian consumer demand. Sure, you got a tablet that multitasks, but I can turn on my laptop, load Linux, turn on my phone, plug my phone into my computers USB port, and have in essence, three separate windows open while still not using a single Microsoft product, s**t, even my girlfriend uses Linux and she doesn't know a darn thing about computers, how they work, or even how to fix them, so yeah, Linux happens to be a viable and worthy alternative to super expensive options.

    Oh, and for those numbskulls mentioning "apples 3G" or "100$ plans", do some research before you assume you're right. Apple isn't the one who provides 3G, it's your phone carrier. And it's my guess that you don't know a darn thing about pricing. I use Sprint, have a family plan with 5 phones on the same plan, and pay ~340$ a month. Oh and that includes the unlimited night and weekend, 3G, 4G and LTE, Internet access, unlimited pics and messages, pretty much everything. That's like 70$ a person after taxes, for everything. So stop quoting Verizon and AT&T pricing, learn about metroPCS and sprint, and just plain try out a Linux distribution on your computer. It's not "just as good," or "on par". It's better. It's like carving a wheel out of rock when you know there's rubber.

  • VALID T Says:

    How did that overpriced piece of Apple crap, the iPhone, not make this list? They make it for less than a hundred bucks, pay a Chinamen 2 cents an hour to make it and then they charge 800 bucks for it? Wow. I'd say that for the right amount, a "fluff" news piece can be bought for way too much money as well.

  • tudd Says:

    Oh, so everything that's not overpriced is by Apple, and all the overpriced things are MS or Android? Nice try. There's product placements everywhere in this "article".

  • insite4U Says:

    Tiz commented that the iPad has no "business class products." Wow, what a near sighted comment.

    Fully functioning Pages does just about everything that Word can do, but is thinner and easier to run. How many businesses do you see using Microsoft anything or Android anything portably? ZERO. iPad? The square is everywhere, and mostly on iPad (though available for Android, too)
    Garage band on the iPad can record professional level music tracks. Many many other "business class" apps are available.

  • Tiz Says:

    This article is way off the mark. I run both the iPad and now the Surface RT at a college. Both have their good and bad points. The first iPad was a piece of overpriced junk. At that time many net-books could do more and were priced less, but the advertising machine of Apple had the "oh look its shinny" crowd going nuts for it. To their credit, Apple has improved the later editions. And of course Apple computer users love, love, love them zealously.

    The iPad is fun, has good quality, and is easy to use, but is too restrictive and does not include business class products like Office. The extras like a protective cover, and cables are too expensive. I get complaints from the same people that wanted an iPad ASAP, that they cannot do this or that, and some ask why we bought these. All I can tell them is that it was not my decision, it was demand from our consumers.

    As for the Surface, Microsoft has taken so long that the market is almost fully saturated with iPads. So, if demand does "surface" - pun intended - you may have to wait a bit for the next gen of the tablet before it really hits the sweet spot, just like the iPad. A big issue is that even PC people on Windows have to learn the new Windows 8 interface and this takes time. However, once Windows 8 is mastered, you can easily work in Word, Excel and other business class software, and you can play just as well on it as you can on an iPad.

    The bottom line is, if you are a Mac person, you probably will not be happy with anything other than an iPad. If you want to play, listen to music, and don't care that you must buy all from Apple, go with an iPad. I like to play on the computer, but for me it is not all about that. I am also a tech and business person. Having worked with both, and after mastering Windows 8, I prefer the Surface.

  • Brendan Says:

    wheres the macbooks? I built a $3500 ALIENWARE that had 4x as much ram 16x better processor 6x as much video memory and 2x as much storage and it was faster... i have a $1500 laptop that good

  • Wormy Says:

    This list is ridiculous. How are no recent apple products on this list? They are consistantly overpriced. How about the chromebook pixel, which costs a fortune despite just being an internet browser?

    I recently sold my $1700 acer aspire S7 (totally overpriced) and bought a used surface RT for $300. This surface RT is more usable than the acer, easily, aftering buying the keyboard, because the acer had serious problems with the keyboard and mouse being unresponsive. The S7 should be on your list. Why the surface RT is, I have no idea. It has amazing battery life, feels smoother than other tablets, has microsoft office, has windows on it :o I use it as a full PC yet it is thinner and lighter than an ipad. No other tablet could do that. With simple 1-click mod, it can run hundreds of legacy xARM programs including torrent clients. With a SD card slot and USB slot it had endless capacity for increased storage. How in the world is that overpriced when the ipad is not? The ipad doesnt even have a usb port or word processor...

  • Luis Says:

    Avram Piltch, it seems you kick a hornet nest or you are clueless. Of all the comments almost 98% was defending the Surface, a couple defender the IPad and a couple of more mention the rest of the items on your list. Just for the strong reaction in defending the Surface, it seems the overprice title would not apply to it. Like many people mention, expensive but not overprice.

    The right thing to do is to retract the Surface from the list and find another product that fits the description, like a Mac, IPhone, or IPad and see if you get the same reaction. Right now the IPad Mini is overprice if you compare to the 7" size competition. The competition is also selling well, so you cannot use the sales as a yardstick. But then, I know you will mention the overprice is on the eye of the beholder and the Mini is not overprice because people are buying it.

  • Jonathan Says:

    The writer of this article should be embarrassed by how biased and hopelessly inaccurate it is. Most of the statements made were untrue, and are most likely complete guesses with no semblance of research to back them up. For the record, the iPad costs just as much as the Surface in order to have the same specs, and most people end up buying a [far uglier] case for it, which costs just as much while being half as functional- the only difference is that the best ones aren't made by the same company that makes the device itself.

  • Dean Says:

    To all those saying that the Surface is better than the iPad, they are dead wrong. I've got a co-worker that has a surface and he says it has terrible battery life, a bad screen, and a bad OS. Lets face it, iPad has it with tablets.

  • JournalistAreIdiots Says:

    SUCCESS!!!! They got us to click. This is why the journalism "profession" is about as low as you can go. I hold almost every profession other than tobacco company lawyers and Wall Street execs in more esteem than "journalists." They're people who couldn't cut it in a more demanding discipline in college, so they figured "What the heck, I'm not smart enough to be anything else, I can always be a journalist. I don't have to know anything or be able to reason logically. I just need to fill pages with words and SOMEONE will click on it. Then, BINGO! We get paid! And on to the next writing project for which I'm not qualified."


    The number of articles that favour apple in LaptopMag are starting to piss me off. I bought a 1 year subscription and was planning on renewing it every year, but there is no way that's going to happen now. Here are a few of the articles that effected my decision:

    -Best Phones (IPhone 5 should not be in any top 3,5 10, or even 20 phone comparisons, the IPhone 5 is so far behind the rest of the market in feaures, specs, and OS)!

    -Most overpriced Gadgets (Not one Apple product other than their very old products were in this list, and even then every Apple product in this list was excluded from the magazine. Every Apple product has competitors, besides the Ipod, that are better and cheaper. IPhone should have been in this list, every Mac should have been in this for sure!!!!!, and the Ipad should have been in this list)!

    -Nearly all of your reviews! (Does Apple pay you guys for these reviews? Every Apple product that I have seen in these reviews have been either 4 stars or 4.5 stars! All of my friends who currently own Apple products say that they will never buy an Apple product again. Why? Because you can get better products for half the price!)

  • John listerine Says:

    @Abolt- Your comments have a tint of hate. There is an old cliche: "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
    Microsoft- Yes they screwed up by releasing the Rt first instead of the Pro. Yes, Steve Ballmer needs to go. He is clearly not the one to turn the company around. Keep in mind that Microsoft even after paying a dividend for 10 years and selective stock buy-backs (something Apple only started this Qtr), they still have almost as much free cash flow as Apple so, with strong leadership, they can compete.
    Amazon- Amazon now resembles the company open in the late 90's that lost millions yet had a high stock value until the bubble burst. They need to change their Mission objectives.

    The biggest problem is that instead of moving in the direction of standardization. Companies are taking a cue from Apple and erecting walled garden and will shoot any potential trespassers by going "thermonuclear" on patents. Apple also appears to be now headed in the direction of having a refresh of Ipad, Ipod and Iphone 2 times a year. If they do this will be their Waterloo as people are waking up to the fact that you don't have to replace these items except every 2-4 years. Apple is also further fortifying it's walled garden by going non-standard on pins and requiring people to buy adapters from Apple.. Finally, Apple is overpriced for the components in their system. They app. double the cost of upgrading any component. Keep in mind that the hardware of an Apple PC is not different than the Hardware of a Microsoft PC.

  • Kyle Says:

    Someone forgot about the Rio MP3 player. About 150 dollars if I remember right and a whopping 10 song storage capacity. Unless you want to expand it for another 100 I believe. Someone feel free to fact check because my memory of a device I discarded shortly after opening is not perfect

  • abolt Says:

    Wow, lot of haters here. (Surface STILL sucks btw, and nothing can save it)
    They forgot the Samsung Q1 Ultra. Google it and marvel at its stupidity at a gargantuan price.

  • John Listerine Says:

    Face it. Any blog linked to kneels down and drinks the juice of Apple.When you look at profit margins, Apple and their a**-kissing and juice guzzling, so-called media ( In this case used the term loosely should be ashamed of that margin.
    You would make a fine used car salesperson.

  • sunanda Says:

    this is a joke. first I ditto Paul van der Heu. second,s eriously the ipad isn't on here? I have one and it should have made the list.

  • Dr.Evil Says:

    FAIL! Are you kidding me? Where the hack is the iPhone?! It is outdated and costs more than every other smartphone, or with Macbooks the same? This List is absolute not objectively!!!!!

  • Merf Says:

    Jeez, the Microsoft press dept are quick off the mark, aren't they?

  • Al A. Says:

    The BlackBerry PlayBook at it's current price is the best tablet value on the market. It has far better build quality than any Android tablet, a better screen than the iPad mini. It also has the best web browsing experience on a small tablet. The original price was out of line but the current one is a steal.

  • JW Says:

    One thing the Apple FUD spreaders won't tell you is how long it takes to recharge the iPad vs the Surface. Surface will be fully charged in 80 minutes whereas the iPad takes hours. The Surface will be up and running again and through the iPad's charging period once the battery dies.

  • Waqas Says:

    And do you know that an iPhone costs less than $200 to build for Apple, that was a ridiculous comment/comparison to be thrown in, when everyone know that electronics/accessories are priced according to what they can do for the consumer NOT how much they cost, going by you standard, and iPhone should cost $250 that's adding more than $50 profit for apple.

    One more writer that loses credibility over stupid and un-researched work.

  • Steven Says:

    Notice how the author seems to submit and give up when being challenged? Hey, loser, you have the surface as one of the 15 most overpriced gadgets of ALL TIME. You don't seem so confident about your position any more now, do you? Smh.

  • hlov Says:

    To the author, not sure if you are really inexperienced that you think that people pay a lot of money for being able to play on a 9.8" screen.
    Have u ever used a surface? I work on mobile, have to deal with apple and android devices. You can't compare an iPad or android tablet it's a different thing. The surface is windows on Arm with a touch friend interface, full USB support, full browser...
    Overpriced, give me a break

  • MikadoWy Says:

    Did you actually get Paid for Writing this Article.... Seriously BAD. I have only run across this mag a few times, but this is a good reason to avoid. Just plain Bias and Clueless.

  • JustSayin Says:

    In my previous comment, the size is in in GB and not MB.

  • JustSayin Says:

    Avram, If you are saying the reason Surface is overpriced is because it does not include Touch Cover, then did you also note iPad does not include Smart Cover. Apple also advertises Smart Cover as something innovative and a reason to buy iPad over competing products. Smart Cover costs an average of $50. I haven't seen that many iPads on the streets without smart cover. Did you add Smart Cover costs to iPad base price like you did with Surface. It might also be useful to note, Surface has ~20 MB of free space (for 32 MB $499 base model) where as Apple's iPad only has ~12 MB free space (for their 16MB $499 base model) which means Surface has ~8 MB (~50%) more space than iPad's similarly priced model. Calling Surface overpriced without caring to mention iPad shows you are biased and not objective.

  • scorp Says:

    Stupid article. iPad is 4:3 which is terrible for video content, has a mono speaker, no Office included, no true multi-tasking, no file management, no expandable memory, iOS has become very stale and boring. If anything the iPad is an overpriced POS

  • Micah Says:

    Wow, yeah Surface should certainly not be on this list.

    Just to name a few features that are a step ahead of an iPad:
    - Office
    - Kickstand
    - USB Port
    - Touch Cover (not required, but sometimes nice to have) - you'd still have to pay for a keyboard if you wanted one on an iPad too, so not sure why MS if getting knocked down over it.
    - Ecosystem (more than just apps) - I can login with my MS account and get all my contacts, calendar information, browsing history, bookmarks, access to my skydrive information, my photos, my apps installed on my other Win 8 machines, Remote Desktop to name a few. Apps are coming, and coming fast and will continue to get even better.
    - Multiple user accounts
    - Parental controls that blow the Ipad out of the water

    The iPad has:
    - Apps
    - Basic parental controls
    - No multi-user accounts
    - Minimal if any syncing across devices
    - No office
    - No keyboard
    - No kickstand
    - Good display (Surface is pretty close)
    - Almost exactly the same weight as the Surface, despite being smaller than the surface
    - No USB

    Looks like you better add the iPad to the list, ohh and probably the iPad Mini since it actually is overpriced.

  • Kevin Says:

    I own a surface and even with Office I still feel I paid more than I should have. In that sense, I agree that it is overpriced but not enough to make it on to this list. Also, you don't have to get the expensive adapter to get video out on the Surface; its just a micro-HDMI port - I bought a micro-HDMI to HDMI cable for about $2 from

  • Paul van der Heu Says:

    Here's the holes;

    SurfaceRT 32GB with cover is the same price as the 32GB iPad
    Surface comes with Office installed
    Surface easy lasts a day on a charge (mine does about 1.5 days)
    To call the screen worse is subjective. lower res sure, but a number of blind tests have shown people prefer the Surface screen in a number of situations.

    Surface allows additional storage
    Surface supports USB
    Surface plays 16:9 video full screen
    Surface can attach to an external HDMI screen

    The adaptor required for an external screen may have a fancy name, but it's just an everyday microHDMI port. Shall we bring up the new iWhatever connector with a $0.50 adaptor selling at $35

    At best the comparison is biased, at worst it's paid for. You should at least get the facts straight and not twist what you bring up in favour of what is obviously believed to be a 'must defend' product. It shows a lack of security and need to justify liking another product better. If you prefer iPad that's find. But bring up valid arguments, not some cooked up twisted story

  • Hasan Says:

    You believe wrong. The micrihdmi connector is a standard. And it works with standard cables. Seriously, at least try to be intellectually honest instead of a click bait.

  • Yannick Says:

    Uhm what? The Surface overprised? Do you remember that the iPad for 499 only 16GB has and the Surface 32GB, a full OS, Microsoft Office, etc.?

  • Daniel Says:

    What an uneducated piece of crap article, you sir are not worthy of being called a journalist or blog writer for that matter. I bet you never even saw a Surface RT in person and you Scroogled all you facts from some equally lame articles.

  • E. Manon Says:

    @Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director, It is a micro-hdmi cable that you can buy anywhere. Just how Apple sells their ridicules overpriced cables. Did you even use one for any meaningful amount of time? Smart Cover $40 for no keyboard.

  • Niklas Says:

    @Avram, you do not need an expensive adapter. You need a HDMI Cable and a cheap microHDM adapter like this one;jsessionid=D42C51D30079BA47FEC367832F3F8757.bbolsp-app03-74?id=1218475492637&skuId=4343736&st=hdmi micro&cp=1&lp=2

    Surface is not overpriced, iPad is and I stopped using mine since I bought the Surface.

  • surilamin Says:

    Same price as an ipad, but the Surface overpriced? This article is complete bs.

  • fail Says:

    I wonder how much apple paid you for this garbage.

  • Randall Says:

    Avram, I think you're grasping at straws here when taking into account the title of your article.

    You're telling me that in the history of gadgets, going back hundreds of years, the Surface has already proven to be one of the most overpriced? You looked through the millions of products released to deduce that a capable, well received device is one of the most overpriced of ALL TIME simply because it's screen has a lower resolution and it's app store was initially lacking? I think either the title of your article is incorrect or you're being a bit dramatic in your thoughts on the Surface.

    To echo Carlos' comment above re: car commercials, a very large percentage of advertisements advertise a killer feature that doesn't come standard (park assist, ford's SYNC technology, accident avoidance, etc). Are all of those cars also some of the most overpriced of all time?

    Again, this is a silly, dramatic article with questionable reasoning given to justify inclusion.

  • Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director Says:

    @Carlos, appreciate the thoughts. I believe you still need to pay for an expensive adapter to get video out on the Surface. I agree that Office is a differentiator, but when you advertise the touch cover as the reason to buy the product and it's not included and you ask for over $100 more for it, that's overpriced. If the Surface had a full ecosystem and battery life / screen res parity with the iPad and/or if the touch cover came included, it would not be overpriced. It is a well-made product with a lot of potential.

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