Technologies

You May Regret In 13 Technology Purchases

I don’t know about you, but buyer’s remorse is huge for me; so much so that I’ll go out of my way to avoid it (with inordinate amounts of research) and get irrationally upset whenever it hits me (which, thankfully, isn’t too often).

In a lot of cases, buyer’s remorse stems from a paradox of choice. Too many choices leads to impatience, impatience leads to impulsive online shopping

Buck The Trend: 5 Tips To Avoid Shopping Impulsively Online

Buck The Trend: 5 Tips To Avoid Shopping Impulsively Online
Are you an impulsive shopper? Do you throw away money on items you don’t really want or need? Here are some tips and tricks to help you regain control.
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, and at that point, regret is waiting right around the corner. Sound familiar? Tired of it? Then here are several common purchases that tend to result in regret — avoid them unless you have a really good reason not to.

1. Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo has been surprisingly well-received since it debuted in 2014. The 4.4 rating out of 5 stars may not hold much credibility, especially given that it’s on Amazon’s own site, but that kind of approval is hard to get these days, so kudos to Amazon.

But we still think you might regret getting one. At just shy of $200, the Amazon Echo is pricey — and even if you like the device, you may regret dropping that much cash on it. That’s why we recommend getting an Amazon Echo Dot or Amazon Tap

Amazon Echo vs. Dot vs. Tap: What Are the Key Differences?

Amazon Echo vs. Dot vs. Tap: What Are the Key Differences?
One common complaint against Amazon Echo was that it had too many features and cost too much. Amazon’s response to that? Releasing two variations with smaller price tags: the Tap and the Echo Dot.
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instead. Both are significantly cheaper.

Sure, we’ve highlighted some of the creative uses for Amazon Echo

7 Creative Uses for Amazon Echo and Alexa

7 Creative Uses for Amazon Echo and Alexa
You’ve seen the ads starring Alec Baldwin, but you’re still not sure what Amazon Echo does or whether you need one in your home. We’re about to find out.
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before and it’s true that this device can do a lot of cool stuff. It can even integrate with all kinds of third-party devices, allowing you to control aspects of your home using only your voice

7 Ways to Control Your Home Using Voice Commands

7 Ways to Control Your Home Using Voice Commands
One of the coolest advancements in home automation is the growing integration of voice control with all kinds of smart devices.
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. But once the novelty wears off, you’ll realize that the Echo Dot or Tap can do just as much for less.

2. Other “Smart” Gadgets

A “smart” gadget is any device that has internet connectivity, such as a smartphone, smartwatch, or smart TV. And while many smart gadgets are useful, most of them have very specific use cases and the rest of them are useless gimmicks

Are These Smart Products Really Smart or Just a Gimmick?

Are These Smart Products Really Smart or Just a Gimmick?

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Take the Nest smart thermostat, for example. It’s an incredible device with so many more features than meets the eye

13 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With a Nest Thermostat

13 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With a Nest Thermostat
You may be surprised just how many little tricks you can accomplish with your new Nest thermostat!
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, but a lot of those benefits only apply to certain kinds of houses. Or smart door locks

Buy One of These Electronic Door Locks and Ditch Your Ancient Keys

Buy One of These Electronic Door Locks and Ditch Your Ancient Keys
One area where smart home technology shines is home security. And while security cameras and motion sensors are great, neither has more of a wow-factor than an electronic door lock.
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, which are convenient, but won’t keep you any safer.

Not to mention the risks associated with smart products. If a company goes belly-up, you could lose some (or all) of a device’s functionality. Smart devices are also more prone to errors and malfunctions, which means shorter lifespans and worse overall value.

3. Cutting-Edge Gadgets

I know several people who always need to have the latest and greatest tech, particularly when it comes to smartphones — and I also know that those same people often regret those right-as-they’re-released purchases. Not only is it a financially unsound habit

How to Be Frugal While Still Enjoying Tech & Gadgets

How to Be Frugal While Still Enjoying Tech & Gadgets
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, but it’s loaded with risks.

As an early adopter, you don’t have the benefit of user reviews and post-launch experiences. Consider the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which released in August 2016 — and was recalled two weeks later due to reports of exploding batteries!

Early adopters also pay an “early adoption” premium. The tech world moves fast, which means device prices plummet within months (or even weeks). A little bit of patience can save you a lot of money. If you bought a device for $500 and saw that it was half price a month later, how would you feel?

For these reasons, buying cutting-edge gadgets is almost always a mistake

5 Reasons Why Being An Early Adopter Is A Bad Idea

5 Reasons Why Being An Early Adopter Is A Bad Idea
Are you the type of person who pre-orders the newest tech gadgets as soon as they’re available? Then you’re an early adopter. Is there a downside? Let’s find out.
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. The risks are too great and the benefits are few, which means regret is likely.

4. Warranties and Insurance

Generally speaking, device warranties aren’t worth it and extended warranties are definitely not worth it.

Consider SquareTrade, one of the more reputable providers of electronics protection plans. For a $500 laptop, you’d end up paying $120 up front for a two-year protection plan with a $75 deductible per claim (or $200 up front for no deductible), and it costs proportionally more for a three-year protection plan. For most folks, this is not a good financial decision.

broken-tablet-needs-warranty-insurance

Think of how many devices you have. How many of them are older than two or three years? Most of them, I’m betting. The truth is that more than two-thirds of the time, a brand new device will outlive its warranty — and by that point, it will be outdated enough that when it breaks, you’ll want to buy a new device rather than repair what you have. If you banked the original warranty cost, you’d already be halfway towards a newer, better device.

The same thing is true for insurance. The peace of mind of a service like AppleCare

AppleCare: What Are Your Options & Is It Really Worth It?

AppleCare: What Are Your Options & Is It Really Worth It?
High customer satisfaction ratings and a large network of stores capable of performing certain repairs on-site give AppleCare the edge over the average warranty – but are the benefits really worth the price?
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may be worth it to you, but chances are you aren’t going to need it.

And don’t forget that your devices may be protected under two other services that you probably already have.

  • Credit cards usually offer some kind of warranty protection for devices bought using that credit card4 Reasons to Always Put Tech Purchases on Your Credit Card

    4 Reasons to Always Put Tech Purchases on Your Credit Card
    Racking up debt is never a good idea, but there are some great reasons to put all of your tech purchases on a credit card.
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    .

  • Renters’ insurance and home owners’ insurance may cover things like damage to and theft of devices within your residence.

5. Netbooks

I bought a netbook back in 2011 and I still cringe about it to this day. I have never used a device as slow, frustrating, and uncomfortable as a netbook, so you can imagine how happy I am that netbooks have gone out of style. For those who don’t know, a netbook is basically a miniature laptop

What Is the Difference Between a Netbook, Notebook, Ultrabook, Laptop, and Palmtop?

What Is the Difference Between a Netbook, Notebook, Ultrabook, Laptop, and Palmtop?
The term “laptop” encompasses so many different types of laptops these days. Here are the important differences between them all.
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I won’t go on and on about this. If you’re thinking of getting a netbook for whatever reason this year, reconsider it right now. At the very least, you can get a comparably-priced tablet instead and connect a keyboard to it using USB OTG

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What Is USB OTG? 5 Cool Ways to Use It on Android
USB OTG allows you to connect any USB device to your Android smartphone or tablet. There are so many possibilities!
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6. Desktops and Laptops

If you don’t have a tablet yet, you should really think about getting one

7 Reasons Why You Still Need a Tablet This Year

7 Reasons Why You Still Need a Tablet This Year
Some say that the era of tablets is over, but that’s quite far from the truth. Tablets are still useful in several different ways and their value should not be overlooked.
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. I’ll admit that I thought they were stupid until I was gifted one of my own, and to say that it changed my life would not be an understatement.

Unless you’re doing heavy graphical work, you don’t need a desktop anymore

5 Reasons Why You Don’t Need a Desktop PC Anymore

5 Reasons Why You Don’t Need a Desktop PC Anymore
When you hear the word “computer”, your first image is probably that of a desktop machine. It’s iconic, but perhaps outdated. Here are reasons why you probably don’t need one anymore.
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, and unless you’re doing processor-heavy work while traveling or commuting, you don’t need a laptop anymore either

4 Reasons Why You Don’t Need a Laptop Anymore

4 Reasons Why You Don’t Need a Laptop Anymore
The era of laptops may be coming to an end. In fact, there are several reasons why laptops are now sub-optimal purchases. Here’s what you need to know!
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. The one exception is a Chromebook, which can be a surprisingly good alternative to a tablet

How to Decide If a Chromebook Is Right For You

How to Decide If a Chromebook Is Right For You
Is a Chromebook for everyone? In a word: No. There is a time and a place for a Chromebook. If you are contemplating this laptop replacement, there are a few things you should consider first.
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For checking email, browsing the web, and handling tasks and errands that are available as mobile apps, a tablet is more than great. Just remember to take these considerations into mind before buying one

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Which Android Tablet Should I Buy? 7 Things to Consider
If you’re thinking about getting an Android tablet, these are the things that you need to take into consideration.
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7. Tablets and E-Readers With 4G LTE

If you do end up going with a tablet, be very deliberate in your decision to get one that supports 4G LTE or one that is Wi-Fi only.

Think of all the locations where you might use your tablet — home, school, work, library, subway, park, etc. — and think of how many of those places have Wi-Fi access. Most of them, probably. And of the places that don’t have Wi-Fi, will you really need 4G LTE? Most likely not.

And while there may be important differences between the two

What’s The Difference Between An E-Reader and A Tablet?

What’s The Difference Between An E-Reader and A Tablet?

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, the same holds true for e-readers: you probably don’t need 4G LTE. If you need to download ebooks to your device, you can plan ahead and load them up when you have Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi is everywhere these days, so you may regret paying more for 4G LTE capabilities (not to mention that a 4G LTE data plan isn’t free, either). This is an easy decision, if you ask me — easier than deciding whether to get a tablet or e-reader

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A Brief Guide to Every Amazon Device on the Market
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8. Low-Capacity SSDs

Solid-state drives (SSDs) are standard for home computer storage these days if you have a desktop or laptop. The trouble is that SSDs are more expensive than hard drives, so people tend to skimp on capacity when shopping for SSDs.

128 GB might sound like a lot, but you have to remember that most of that space will be taken up by the operating system, the apps you install, and the various caches that are used by web browsers, music streaming software, and other apps. And don’t forget that SSDs need about 20–30% empty space for optimal performance

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5 Things You Should Consider When Buying An SSD
The world of home computing is moving towards solid state drives for storage. Should you buy one?
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!

A 128 GB SSD is effectively closer to 64 GB or 32 GB, so I don’t recommend anything smaller than 256 GB. Any less and you’ll wind up regretting it — especially if you’re ordering a new Macbook Pro or iMac and won’t be able to upgrade the data drive after the fact.

Other tips to keep in mind for an SSD include taking proper care to extend its lifespan

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3 Ways to Protect Your SSD and Extend Its Lifespan
There are a few mistakes that could be shortening the lifespan of your SSD. Avoid these to extend your SSD’s lifespan as long as possible.
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and learning the warning signs of a dying SSD

5 Warning Signs That Your SSD Is About to Break Down & Fail

5 Warning Signs That Your SSD Is About to Break Down & Fail
Worried that your SSD will malfunction and break down and take all of your data with it? These are the warning signs to look out for.
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9. Digital Music Albums

I’ve personally never bought music from a place like iTunes. Rather, I skipped right from CDs to Pandora, then Songza, and now both Spotify and Amazon Music. Given the current landscape of digital music, buying doesn’t seem to make much sense anymore.

This is because digital ownership of media doesn’t exist

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The End of Ownership: Netflix, Spotify, and The Streaming Generation

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, so any music you buy on iTunes, for example, isn’t actually your own. If you care about ownership, you’re better off sticking with physical CDs

Don’t Sell Your CDs & DVDs! 5 Downsides to Going Digital

Don’t Sell Your CDs & DVDs! 5 Downsides to Going Digital
You name it, there’s probably a digital market for it. And while digital is awesome in many ways, it definitely isn’t perfect. Here are five reasons why.
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or going even further back to vinyl

4 Reasons Why Vinyl Is Better Than Digital

4 Reasons Why Vinyl Is Better Than Digital
Greetings, peasants! What, still listening to MP3s? Look, as someone who knows more about music than you, I think it’s my duty to tell you there’s a better way. It’s called vinyl.
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Why spend $8 on one iTunes album when you can pay $10 per month for full access to millions of songs on Spotify, Google Play Music, or Apple Music

Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Google Play Music: Which Is Best?

Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Google Play Music: Which Is Best?
While there are lots of music streaming services around, there are three major ones that stand out above the others: Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music. But which is best?
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? All of these services also have offline playback for when you don’t have Wi-Fi and can’t stream. In a lot of ways, it is the smarter option

Spotify Your Music Collection: The End Of iTunes

Spotify Your Music Collection: The End Of iTunes
Spotify is no longer content to just compete with radio, now they’re competing with the idea of even owning music.
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10. Cheap Headphones

Headphones are one item where spending a little more goes a long way

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Stop Buying Cheap: 7 Tech Products Worth Spending More On
Sometimes the best way to save money is to spend a little more on a quality product that’ll last you a while. These products are worth the extra dollars.
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. Whether you’re shopping for practical Bluetooth headphones

Best Bluetooth Headphones in 2016

Best Bluetooth Headphones in 2016
Android and Apple phones may dispense with their audio jacks. Bluetooth, on the other hand, may replace wires entirely. So you may want to invest in Bluetooth headphones. But which one?
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or something a little more traditional, you do not want to cheap out here.

And if you’ve ever wondered why your headphones keep breaking

This Is Why Your Headphones Keep Breaking

This Is Why Your Headphones Keep Breaking
I can’t be the only one frustrated by the constant breaking of my headphones, earbuds, and pretty much anything else that has wiring, right? There are few feelings in the world that are worse than…
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, this could be why. Would you rather spend $30 every year for headphones that keep breaking or $100 once for headphones that last five-plus years?

However, when your headphones do break, don’t rush out to buy a replacement without first trying to fix them yourself

How to Fix Broken Headphones

How to Fix Broken Headphones
Despite having a reasonable pair of Sennheisers and looking after them, my headphones broke recently — like they always do. Rather than replace them, I decided to repair my headphones. Here’s how.
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11. DVD Players

Now that streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, and Hulu

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Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Which Should You Choose?
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are well established, and now that we’re starting to see niche streaming services as well

10 Niche Streaming Services for Those Who Hate Netflix

10 Niche Streaming Services for Those Who Hate Netflix
Mainstream streaming services carry mainstream content. What can you do if you want to watch something a little less conventional? You’re better off checking out these alternative streaming services packed full of niche content.
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, it may seem like DVDs are obsolete — but there are reasons to stick with DVDs, such as offline playback.

On the other hand, there are no good reasons to buy a DVD player. They’re expensive and they’re unnecessary. Most computers and gaming consoles can play DVDs, and if yours can’t, you can just buy an external DVD drive. Then all you need is an HDMI cable or a Chromecast, and you can stream your DVD right to your TV.

12. GPS Device

Whether you’re driving your car or searching for a geocache, the GPS navigation abilities of a smartphone are more than enough. There aren’t many benefits to using a dedicated GPS device over using a GPS app on a smartphone.

In fact, the smartphone is usually better because you can use voice commands

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8 Voice Tricks for Google Navigation That You Never Knew About
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, integrate and automate other apps on your device

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How to Use Google Now to Automate Your Home and Life
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, and you can always switch to another navigation app if you want

What’s the Best Maps and Navigation App for Android?

What’s the Best Maps and Navigation App for Android?
Using the rights maps and navigation app can mean the difference between making it to your appointment on time or being late — so we examine the best of them for you!
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I can only think of two good reasons to use a dedicated GPS device instead

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Smartphone vs Sat Nav: Should You Buy a Dedicated GPS Device?
Is there still a good reason to buy a dedicated in-car sat nav, or a handheld GPS for outdoor use?
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: if it comes with a dashcam or you’re going to hike or camp deep in the woods and you need a better signal and better battery life.

13. DSLR Cameras

Photography has been a huge craze over the past few years (I know because I hopped on that train two years ago myself). Everyone thinks photography is easy and that “anyone can do it,” because “how hard could it be?” — until they drop $1,000 on their first DSLR and realize they have no idea what they’re doing.

If you want to pursue photography, go for it. All I’m saying is that way too many people have regretted their DSLR purchases because they underestimated just how hard photography is. The learning curve is massive, and the truth is that amazing photos can be taken without a DSLR

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Not Everyone Needs a DSLR: Which Camera Is Right for You?
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, so don’t rush into it.

If you decide to get one anyway, make sure you consider all of the important details

6 Things to Consider When Buying Your First DSLR Camera

6 Things to Consider When Buying Your First DSLR Camera
With so many options out there, how do you choose the right DSLR for you? Every camera has so many specs and features that it’s hard to tell them apart.
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. And make sure you buy used or refurbished whenever you can

Why You Should Never Buy a New DSLR Camera (And Always Buy a Used One)

Why You Should Never Buy a New DSLR Camera (And Always Buy a Used One)
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(at least until you become a professional) as that’s the best way to save money on a DSLR

5 Money-Saving Tips You Should Know Before Buying a DSLR

5 Money-Saving Tips You Should Know Before Buying a DSLR
Here are some helpful tips for making photography a more financially-manageable activity.
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Which Tech Purchases Do You Regret?

Do you have an expensive smartwatch that you never wear? Did you buy an off-brand tablet only to have it malfunction within months? Were you hoping to be a professional photographer, dropped $5,000 on new gear, only to discover that you didn’t like it very much?

We want to hear your stories! Tell us below in a comment about any time you regretted a tech purchase, whether that regret was instant or took months to set in.

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