What’s in a name? Would a MacBook Air by any other name feel as light? Actually, maybe not. In the consumer electronics world, perception matters, and if you give your product a stupid name, you can create confusion or, even worse, lose the respect of your potential customers.
While we’ve seen some good product names and others that were just forgettable in 2013, these 10 products left us scratching our heads and wondering, “what were they thinking?”
Release the Kraken! This pair of headphones is named after not one, not two, but four unrelated things. We know that Razer is the brand name that invokes images of a blade, that the Kraken is a creature from Greek mythology and that a hooligan is someone who gets into drunken brawls at soccer games. But what the heck is an E-Panda? Is it a panda that’s addicted to ecstasy? Officially, E-Panda is the nickname of Bruno Mars’ brother and drummer Eric Hernandez, but how many people actually know that? And how many actually care?
New rule: You get only one Greek god per product. CyberPowerPC's Zeus Hercules is a powerful gaming laptop for sure, but not even an 8-core workstation with dual graphics cards deserves this kind of arrogant appellation.
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Unless you’re Yahoo Serious, oxymoronic names just don’t work. Would you buy a phone named the "Expensive Cheap" or the "Strong Weak?"In the gadget world, the word "pro" generally means "high-end," while "lite" means cheap and scaled back. LG obviously wants users to associate its budget-oriented smartphone with its flagship LG G Pro, even though the new phone has a low-res, 960 x 540 display and a sluggish CPU. However, the company doesn’t want to confuse you, so it throws the word “dual” at the end of the name, because clearly everyone knows that indicates a dual-core processor.
Apple had a good thing going with its Mac operating systems when it named them after cats. Who wouldn’t want to upgrade from “Snow Leopard” to “Mountain Lion?” Unfortunately, the company decided to call OS X version 10.9 “Mavericks,” and claims that it’s named after a surfing location in Northern California. However, when most people hear “Mavericks,” they think of the McCain/Palin 2008 ticket. If Apple is going to stick with the theme of failed presidential bids, its next version could be OS X 10.10 “Dukakis.”
Unless you get a special dispensation from RuPaul, you don’t get to call yourself “fierce” when you can only connect at 3G speeds. Despite lame features like a 960 x 540 screen, last-generation connectivity and a ho-hum 5-MP camera, Alcatel chose to label its bargain-bin handset the One Touch Fierce when it should have been named the “Tame.”
The EFUN company’s name has always been more ridiculous than its bargain-bin tablets. However, the folks behind the redundantly titled Nextbook Next3 really outdid themselves in 2013. A unique peripheral that turns any laptop screen into a stylus-capable touch screen, the Touch 8 aPen sounds like the punch line to a children’s joke. Why was the pencil afraid of touch? Because Touch 8 aPen!
Who doesn’t want something pure? If a waiter asked you whether you’d like the pure water or the cloudy stuff that’s filled with chlorine, you know which one you’re going to choose. However, in the case of Toshiba’s low-end tablet, the word “pure” means lacking in features. One of the least exciting Android slates around, the Toshiba Excite Pure packs a dim, low-res screen and no back camera at all, but it will keep your wallet unadulterated with a low, $299 price.
Oregon Scientific’s kid-friendly tablet is supposed to help young children surf the Web safely while providing age-appropriate games, learning apps and e-books. Unfortunately, all we could think of when we first heard its name is Beaker from the Muppets, whose only word is “Meep.” Unfortunately, unlike Beaker, who works as a lab assistant, the Meep is no help at all, offering sluggish performance, an awful display and a confusing payment system for apps.
If you can’t go to Jump Street, go to Hipstreet. This low-end tablet brand suffers more from its awful, bombastic name even more than its tablets’ poor performance and awful build quality. The Hipstreet Titan is the worst offender of all, offering terrible battery life, a putrid display and no Google Play store. You don’t need to be an Olympic god to beat this Titan.
In 2013, 2-in-1 detachables were all the rage, with names ranging from the Satellite Click to the Transformer Book T100. HP decided to name its line of hybrids the Split, ignoring the obvious negative implications of that term. Is the company’s 13-inch laptop/tablet combo called the Split X2 because it breaks in half like an old wood board? Are the keyboard and the tablet splitting up so they can run go their separate ways? Or does this device just have a split personality?