What Gadget Do You Most Regret Buying? [We Ask You]

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The world is full of gadgets. I have plenty in my house, and I’m sure you have plenty in yours. They come in all shapes and sizes: some connect to the Internet, some broadcast radio or television signals, many make our lives easier. Or at least they’re meant to make our lives easier. The truth is some gadgets turn out to be duds.

Whether they’re more trouble than they’re worth right from the day of purchase, break quickly and are unrepairable, are superseded in record time, or just aren’t as great as the commercials and reviews led you to believe they were. Some gadgets just don’t work out….which is where regret takes over.

This Week’s Question…

We want to know, What Gadget Do You Most Regret Buying? For the purposes of this discussion, “gadget” is a catch-all for every piece of technology hardware you can think of. This includes laptops, tablets, smartphones, television sets, microwave ovens, watches, etc. I’m sure you get the picture…

… right on cue, here is a picture of some guy surrounded by technology. Which is a form of pornography for some geeks.

We want you to cast your mind back and think about all those purchases of consumer technology you have made over the years. And then to come back here and tell us which fills you with the most regret. Is there one piece of hardware you wish you just hadn’t bothered with? Which you now realize that the money spent on it could have been put to much better use?

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Tell us the reasons for this regret. Was it too expensive? Was it completely unnecessary and devoid of purpose? Did the technology you buy into get beaten into submission by a rival (I’m thinking VHS vs. Betamax, Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD)?

We want to hear your story of woe. Consider it a public service, as your pain may prevent someone else making a similar mistake in the future. We may even get a laugh out of your unfortunate journey into the world of consumer electronics.

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told Us. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, the respect of other readers, and 150 MakeUseOf points to use for MakeUseOf Rewards. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Jorge Gaspar Sanz Salinas

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Comments (117)
  • Jason

    Qualcomm pdQ photoQualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs’ appearance on the Charlie Rose Show brought back memories of the earliest days of smartphones. Jacobs told rose that he originally proposed adding a cellular radio to the Apple Newton MessagePad. When Apple demurred, Jacobs headed to Palm, then owned by 3Com, where he negotiated a license for Qualcomm to build a phone based on Palm OS.

    The original Qualcomm pdQ wasn’t very good–I later described it as “a Palm glued to a phone.” It had all the functionality of a Palm 3 PDA and a typical CDMA phone of the late 1990s, but virtually no integration between the two sets of features. As I recall, you couldn’t even dial the phone by looking up a contact on the Palm and tapping the number. The only real advantage was that you got to carry one big device instead of two smaller ones. Needless to say, it sold poorly.

    The followup pdQ a couple of years later was a more interesting product. By then, Qualcomm had sold its handset business to Kyocera, including the in-development pdQ 2. The revamped pdQ was a much more appealing product. It was much smaller than the original and offered some real integration of PDA functionality. It also borrowed the primitive Web-browsing capability of the Palm VII. Data communication in those days was limited to a theoretical maximum of 14.4 kilobits per second and you often did much worse than that, so the Palm system relied on pre-digested an condensed web snippets.

  • supertofana

    A few years ago I bought occasionally largest capacity flash drive – 32 GB. It was a flash memory Pretec. Cost less than in the store, because someone got as a gift and was selling at auction. But not enough, because a few years ago prices were very high. Satisfied loaded there all my best software and other data. From time to time threw new things. After some time the problems started with access to some data. Shortly thereafter (about a month after purchase) it turned out that I do not have access to the data on a memory stick, memory stick and he fell apart in my hands. Memory chips fell out! I did not have the warranty and did not want to have it repaired because of personal data within. I have it to this day and is still useless. These were thrown money …

  • Eileen Crawford

    I was really excited about getting an ipad 3 so couldn’t wait to use it. It was very disapointing to find that I couldn’t do lots of things -and frustrating trying to use the on screen keyboard! In the end I just use it for checking my emails and playing games.
    The real work happens on my trusty computer – Each to their own, I guess

  • vicntc

    Okay, after reading the other comments, I will add that I too got suckered (talked myself into) buying one of the offshore/knock-off 10″ tablets. As others have posted, it wasn’t compatible with Google Play, only ran for about 2hrs before the battery died and was twice as heavy as it’s Apple and Samsung counterparts. At the time, I thought it was so cool that it came with a USB port and two (count’em…2!) SD card slots.

    Yeah, not so much…

    The other device I had much hope for but has turned into a huge dust magnet was the Nokia N-Gage QD. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N-Gage_QD

    I wanted it to be something it never was able to be. Too early I guess. I keep it now for the “shock” value. People are (apparently) amazed that such a thing existed (nobody remembers Symbian OS and Nokia’s 80% market share? Really?)

  • vicntc

    PSP 3000. Hands down most useless purchase ever.

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.