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Whether they’re more trouble than they’re worth right from the day of purchase, break quickly and are unrepairable, are superseded in record time, or just aren’t as great as the commercials and reviews led you to believe they were.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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117 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Doc

I’ve got two: most recently, about 16 months ago on Black Friday, I went to Radio Shack and bought a Velocity Micro Cruz Android tablet. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but it had no cameras, no microphone (older versions had a microphone jack built into the headphone jack, for 3.5mm combo headsets), and an Ingenic processor (so many Android apps wouldn’t install).

Years ago, I bought a Timex Sinclair 1000 computer…B&W only (even on color TVs) and incredibly crappy.

Neither was a purchase I’d ever make again.

dragonmouth

Many a programming career got started on a Timex Sinclair 1000. :)

Doc

I got rid of the crappy Timex (2K of RAM???) and replaced it with a Commodore 64. Many magazine type-in programs, and several manuals later, and I was writing BASIC programs, and eventually learned 6502 Assembly; I was even writing BASIC extensions (based on an existing one) and modifying others’ ASM code for special effects (such as displaying 50 sprites instead of 8). The Timex, on the other hand, had no real graphics (character graphics only), no sound, B&W, and a “hotkey BASIC” where you’d push “F” for “For” instead of actually typing….echh.

Dave Parrack

The old Commodore 64. I had one too and you’ve just brought a flood of nostalgic memories to mind.

Dave Parrack

Ooh, that tablet does indeed sound like a dud. That’s the problem with buying on a whim because it’s Black Friday.

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Va Du

The Microsoft Zune. Sure it was like half the price of a ipod but was lacking a lot of support and had a clunky interface. I did own a ipod as well and it just was not as easy to use and froze some of the time with prompted me to sell it as I was wasting more money using both devices. I think I used it for 4 months before I just got tired of it and ebayed it. Lucky I did it before it got discounted or I wouldn’t have recouped my money.

Dave Parrack

The Zune. Wow, I’d all but forgotten about that. A classic case of Microsoft playing catch-up and delivering a poor imitation of an existing device.

Reply

Pity

If had to choose one it would definetly be the iomega Zip drive I bought in the late 90s. Connectivity through parallel port, the price for the floppys and the upcoming CD writers did not make it the great solution it seemed to be in first place.

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Douglas

Seagate 1.5 Terabyte backup drive.
The Seagate Backup comes with its own software and I think that’s where the problem lies in the way the “Backup” portion is built. OK, I understand it’s a backup drive but it only works well with its own software as backup. If you are moving large files there is a problem. If you have it hooked up to a home server and it is supposed to do any other computer than the server, there is a problem. It just doesn’t work well at all. It looks like they have it hard wired to go to sleep and it’s something that can’t be changed. I bought it 6 years ago as a external drive and it just doesn’t work well for this function. If it says “BACKUP” drive on it, look twice on if it will fill your needs.

Dave Parrack

It’s never good when you’re forced to use a manufacturer’s own software. Are you still using it?

Douglas

I don’t use the Seagate software. Wiped it and staging the backups so the primary backups start and activates the drive before the secondary remote backups kick in. It’s all in the timing.

Dave Parrack

That’s one hell of a workaround.

Douglas

I have always been able to see problems from a different perspective than other people. When it comes to thinking “Out of the box” I sometimes don’t even think I see the box.

Douglas

Its a work around but it get the job done until I get back to work and can afford a NAS drive

Reply

Chris Marcoe

My Nook. It used to be my daughter’s but she didn’t like it. It kept locking up on her. So, we returned it for a new one, and I bought it from her. In the last 3 months, its locked up on us three times. It’s going to be returned this weekend…

Dave Parrack

Are you buying an alternative in its place?

Sara Friedel

Seconded. I bought the Nook because it was a deal and it seemed like a decent tablet for rooting purposes. Within six months, I was sick of it because it was sluggish and would constantly force close any app I was using – I was having to factory reset it and reroot it every couple of months to get it back to decent working order. It’s getting sold now and I’m moving on to the Nexus 7!

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Dar win

Fitbit one!!

Where is it? That little bastard is here somewhere?

Dave Parrack

Any particular reason for the regret? I’m guessing you just don’t use it. At all. Ever.

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Lynne McCurdy

My Vizio V-Tab tablet. I should’ve stuck with my Sony Pocket Ed. e-reader. But no, I got seduced by the possibility of having books, magazines (in full color), games, video, music, etc., all in one shiny, handy gadget!

The V-Tab was titillating, at first; I couldn’t personalize it though. No wallpapers… Vizio’s version of a launcher app…well, it sucked. There were too many apps that weren’t compatible, and everything ran so slowly! A good part of the time Netflix wouldn’t run. According to the specs, there should’ve fairly decent performance, Should’ve been a decent buy, considering the price point ($289)

THEN, the micro-usb port started to get loose; I’d have to wedge the plug up against something to hold it in. Apparently, this is a known design flaw that Vizio was doing nothing about. It would overheat on the charger; the battery life went from so-so to horrible… less than an hour playing a card game, or reading rss feeds.

Finally, after a couple of hours on the charger, horrible smell. I actually burned my hand on it. It’s officially DEAD.

The ironic thing is that I’d quit reading. Too many distractions. My Sony Pocket Ed. e-reader did one thing. It did it superbly. I should’ve stuck with that!

Dave Parrack

That sounds like a horrible experience. All-in-one devices often fail because they don’t do any one thing particularly well. Lesson learned?

Reply

Marty

There are a few, but the ipod fm transmitters have all been pretty worthless

Lynn

The ’05 Jeep didn’t have the audio plug for iPod. I don’t even remember what brand FM transmitter it was but it worked great!

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Scott M

My Apple Ipad.The apps were fun for a while but I prefer a laptop.

Dave Parrack

You could probably get a good price for your iPad if you sold it. I must admit I dabbled with a tablet but ended up getting a Chromebook because I missed a physical keyboard.

Scott M

I did sell it and I’m looking at the Chromebook right now.

Dave Parrack

As long as you know its limitations before you buy the Chromebook is a solid device.

Reply

Old Codger

Not really electronic – but requires electronic gadgets to keep it clean…

Simple answer: Wedding Ring

Dave Parrack

Now now, your long-suffering wife may be reading!

Reply

Jerry

I most regret buying my netbook. It is too under powered to handle anything with adequate response times including today’s Ajax heavy interactive websites.

Dave Parrack

That must be annoying as you know the performance is only going to get worse as websites become more resource-heavy.

Jerry

Pretty much. Loading up Gmail takes a good 15-20 seconds. Longer if I have anything else taking up CPU cycles. I don’t know if it’s because of the atom processor or something else, but it is nearly useless.

Lisa Santika Onggrid

My laptop is capable, but I always use classic GMail. Works better with my crappy connection.

Ollie

Netbooks were great right up until microsoft basically strongarmed all the manufatures to put windows on it. I still have my origional Asus Linux eee and it runs fine still today, though I installed ubuntu over the Asus offerings, I had 2 friends that bought the same netbook after using mine but opted for the windows version, it was a totally different XPeriance which soon ment they were good only for gathering dust.

Danny

Can you give a specific example of such a web site? I never have problems with my netbook.

Thanks

Jerry

@Danny, see my comment above. Even a site like Gmail is slow to load. Very heavy sites (i.e. The Verge, iCloud, Google+) are nearly unusable.

Austin Beatty

Still using Windows on it? Windows sucks for netbooks, put a light Linux distro like Lubuntu on it, if you haven’t already.

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BrayOnTour

My Bada phone. I live in Korea and was essentially conned into believing that it was equivalent to Android.

Dave Parrack

I can’t say I’ve heard of that product. I’m guessing it wasn’t a patch on an Android device?

BrayOnTour

You guessed right!

The product itself is the Samsung Wave 3. The OS is Bada, using Samsung Apps, something Samsung had claimed would rival Android, but have recently dropped entirely, leaving all Bada phone owners pretty furious. Trouble is, we’re not a big enough number to be of concern to Samsung…

Dave Parrack

Oh man, that sucks. You definitely have reason to be annoyed with Samsung. Would it out you off ever buying a Samsung product again.

BrayOnTour

Well, yes and no. I’m fairly put off Samsung products, and I don’t want them to get any more of my money, but I know many others who are very happy with their stuff. To be honest, it’s more put me off buying lower- to mid-end products. The phone cost me roughly half the price of a new iPhone, so I wasn’t aiming for the latest or greatest thing. But I was still expecting a lot more than what I got!

I’ll also be changing phone company for the next one (they run the store where I bought it), but that’s another story…

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Vipul Jain

I’d say the Sandisk Cruzer Pop 8GB pen drive.
I purchased it recently for my sister and the moment I opened it from the package I realized I had made a mistake.
1) I should’ve gotten a 16GB instead, though it’s not really a big regret.
2) The en drive is styled so that you pop it form the middle and slide it half folded. The problem is the slider is not very smooth, it really feels cheap and when connected to the port, it kind of doesn’t fit in at once.

Should’ve got a simple Sandisk Cruz instead :/

Dave Parrack

They suckered you in with a funky design!

Reply

dragonmouth

In retrospect, we can regret buying any gadget that has been replaced with later/better technology. Not every gadget is destined to be an overwhelming hit. Some are underwhelming and some turn out to be duds. The question we need to ask ourselves at the time of purchase is “Will this gadget do the job I need it for?”

When the ZipDrive was introduced, it filled a need for a storage device with more capacity than a floppy but not as expensive as a hard drive. It was useful for two or three years until CD-R and CD-RW drives came along. The gadget that should not have been released by Iomega was the JazzDrive, in essence a 250 meg version of the ZipDrive, because it came out just about the time CD drives started becoming popular.

When buying gadgets one must do their due diligence. What are its capabilities and will they satisfy my requirements? Will a new version of the gadget be released soon? Can I wait for and/or afford the new version? Am I buying the gadget because it is “cool” or because I need it?

I should have taken my own advice. I bought a motor home, figuring that my family and I would go traveling around the country in the comfort of our own home. Well, for a while we did. Then our traveling sort of petered out. In retrospect, I regret spending the money but I do not regret the traveling that we did do. And I certainly do not regret getting rid of it shortly before the gas prices really started going up.

Dave Parrack

I totally agree. I always do my homework first, so that when I buy I know what I’m getting for my money. You can’t always predict the pace of direction of technology, but you can usually be pretty sure something is going to prove its worth.

It sounds like you got some good memories from the motor home, so my advice is to cherish them and forget about the money!

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Ivan Vucic

I regret buying overpriced dvd player which can burn disk (dvd recorder) i have only used it once to test it and that’s about it.!

Dave Parrack

Wow, that has to hurt. Start finding excuses to use it… that’s the only way you’ll feel better about the purchase.

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RcRon7

For me it would have to be my iPod Nano 4th Gen. Little square one with the display.

I bought this to replace a very old Samsung Y3k MP3 Player. I figured if I had an iPad (gift) then why not get the iPod. I planned on using this at work for the radio more than anything else. My old Samsung would go days on a charge and that was one thing I loved. Well, this iPod would last maybe 4 hours and die. I mean, REALLY, just 4 hours of not touching it and running as a radio. Come on Apple, I think you could have done better.

So, I took it back, got a refund and bought a Sony Walkman MP3 player and I’m very happy.

Dave Parrack

You mean iDevices don’t always turn out to be the best in their field? Tell that to some of my fellow authors…

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Scott MacDonald

I also have 2. My universal remote from logitech and my Blu-ray player. Both represent what I want to do more than what I do, so neither gets used very much. for instance, because I very seldom use my tv for more than my xbox, I don’t need to be able to nimbly change multiple settings thoughout my a/v setup. As I watch 90% of my media either on my computer or streamed through my xbox, the blueray hasn’t had a disk in it for over a year, I’d say.

I’d love to use my setup for a rich a/v experience, but the truth is, I just don’t.

Dave Parrack

It sounds like you could comfortably sell your Blu-ray player!

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Bruce W. Fowler

Every tablet I have ever bought. They are appliances, not tools. And only an obcon can key on them.

Dave Parrack

But you’ve bought more than one of them? That’s just madness.

Bruce W. Fowler

Why does your comment not surprise me? The purchases were all over a year apart and the incremental capability increased considerably while never departing from the consumptive paradigm. And yes, if my condition be madness, you should be envious.

Dave Parrack

Why should I be envious? It sounds like the tablet form factor isn’t for you. At what point do you give up on it?

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macwitty

Apple external USB Diap-up modem. Bought the first Macbook without a 56k modem and thought I was going to use it when traveling but have maybe used it 2 times

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Catherine M

my ipod instead of an iphone – 3 years ago

Dave Parrack

You’ll have to put it to your ear and pretend it’s also a phone. It might make you feel a little better about your poor decision!

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RK

I bought an MP3 player around 2005, which has 2GB memory. The make was RAVE. I had passion for music and used to listen for almost all the day. I got an AC adapter for recharging the internal battery. Just after 2 months I could see the battery getting drained faster and after another month it failed to charge.

Dave Parrack

Two months is pretty dire. To think I was annoyed when my laptop battery died after 12 months.

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Hampi

Creative Zii Egg for $500+ is on the top of my list.

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Mark E. Smith (@fubarista)

I’m pretty much a Luddite. I rarely buy technology, so I rarely regret buying any. I’ve never owned a cell phone and don’t intend to. I don’t have a microwave, a TV, a laptop, an iPod, a game box, or a portable e-reader. I download e-books to my desktop and use Kindle for PC or Calibre (both free) to read them. I use fastfreedialup.com instead of broadband. It isn’t fast but it really is free and I’m happy with it. But that means that I have to go to the library and use their computers to watch videos or download music albums. So when I recently saw a tiny 16GB USB flash drive on sale for $10, I bought two, one for my keychain and one to use for regular backups. It felt strange, buying technology, but I’m happy with them and glad I did. Since I don’t buy technology just because everyone else does, I have few regrets. Wasn’t it the philosopher Spinoza who said, “He who regrets is twice guilty and doubly punished,” or something like that? I seriously doubt that there will ever be a piece of technology I want badly enough to personally go to Africa and kill some Congolese to get their coltan to build it (or to reward some corporation for doing that for me), but I’m sure I would regret it if there was.

Dave Parrack

I just want to know what this mysterious “game box” you talk of is? And how I can acquire one? Great comment.

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SMoss

I still regret getting the HTC Thunderbolt! It was the first 4G LTE phone through Verizon and it STUNK. Heavy as a brick, slow, and about 3 hours of battery life. Oh, and it took 10 minutes to reboot!!

Dave Parrack

How can anything take 10 minutes to reboot?!

SMoss

I agree! My Computers take less than a minute. I was tied to my charger and if the darn thing got stuck… 10 minute reboot (4 of which were used to shut down)

It’s for sale; it’s not all bad ;o)

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Paul Winn

A Western Digital My Book. My first jump into the NAS boxes. 2 drives, redundant data backup, great, well… not so much! The data redundancy is useless if the controller hardware goes bad! This happened twice! The hardware failure was not really the worst of it. The hard drives were formatted with some obscure (at the time) format making data recovery very complicated. Now I just use a single disk NAS by Qnap and have it sync the files with one of my computers.

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BoloMKXXVIII

Blackberry Playbook

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Jamey Dee

My Microsoft Surface. The OS just wrecks it; there isn’t enough tablet support and using the desktop is painful. The resolution on such a small screen means reading is a strain. I can’t imagine why I’d carry this over my MacBook Air if I’m not drawing. My MacBook Air running BootCamp is more a pleasant experience!

Jim Starke

I hear ya. Windows 8 OS wreaks!

Dave Parrack

What made you go for the Surface in the first place?

Harshit J

It is the RT or the Pro version?

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Andy Bush

ViewSonic gTablet with 10″ Multi-Touch LCD Screen, Android OS 2.2. A great, big, hulking piece of junk that isn’t worth a lick unless you root it, and then still…

Also any iPod. They break constantly – fragile.

Dave Parrack

A lot of people have mentioned tablets…

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Daniel Kennedy

I’ve had lots of different gadgets and most of them were used at least a little bit,

The one thing that I bought that I never used was one of the original Dell Axims. They were one of the first PDA’s and I never could come up with one practical use for it.

I think that my current smartphone is what I was hoping for back then.

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TJ Ornedo

I hate Coby MID7011 phone tablet. I bought it two weeks ago.Play Store is not compatible with the device. I tried downloading it from the browser. It installed completely, but won’t start up. It’s market app is SlideMe. LOUSIEST!
Now, since a few hours ago, it hasn’t powered on after I charged it from my desktop computer.
Another gadget I bought a month ago is local 9-inch android tablet trademarked Starmobile. It is supposed to be dual core, with a 1gigahertz processor, 1gb RAM, with an 8-gb internal SD. It turned to a super-slow machine when I installed a 16-gb micro SD. Its cameras include a 2-megapixel unit at the rear and a pathetic VGA front camera. The device stopped charging because its USB port is loose and poorly installed. The whole device is actually poorly assembled that it has some I have yet to have it serviced so that I can dispose it soon.

Dave Parrack

You really aren’t having much luck with tablets, are you?! Perhaps you should bite the bullet and just buy a Nexus 7 ;)

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Jesse

N DS3. :-( had high hopes for it. But it made me dizzy and hurt my eyes a great deal.

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Carolyn Fitzpatrick

A Wii. There just aren’t any cool games for it. Your choices are games that were designed for other devices and have been crudely adapted for the Wii, and Wii specific games to help you lose weight or learn the capitals of the world. As for Wii channels the choices are Internet (with poor visibility), YouTube (with constant reloading), Amazon Prime (which I don’t have an account for), and Netflix – the only thing we actually use.

When I bought it the only part I was really interested in was the balance board. Did anyone else watch Tailspin on Disney afternoons growing up? That was going to be my airfoil! I had visions of all the cool games that would utilize this. Sadly that never happened.

Dave Parrack

Having a girlfriend who bought a Wii against my advice, I hear you on all the points you raise!

Austin Beatty

Aww come on, there are some amazing games. If you’re looking for Call of Duty, Halo, Madden, God of War, etc. look elsewhere. But the Wii has amazing games like Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, Metroid Prime games, Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess, Smash Bros Brawl, Mario Kart, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Okami, many more, and also loads of great Virtual Console games. Even though I have more PS3 games than Wii games, I still use my Wii slightly more than I use my PS3.

null

I don’t play my Wii nearly as much as my Xbox 360 or my PC, but I’ve played many a game on it (and still do) that I thoroughly enjoy:

Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess & Skyward Sword
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Mario Kart
WarioWare Smooth Moves (perhaps the best video game in existence for when you’re drinking with your friends)
Kirby’s Epic Yarn
New Super Mario Bros.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Paper Mario

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SaapeXD MoHods

Solar Charger! It never Charged! LOL! XD

Dave Parrack

That should be the definition of Fail in the dictionary.

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Jim Starke

The single most useless item I have purchased of late is the Acer WT500 Windows tablet. It cam with Windows 7, which wasn’t too bad, but s**ked as a tablet OS, and when I upgraded online to Windows 8 it only got worse. I had to remove the 7backup and basically wipe the drive so that I could install 8 which req’d the entire 32 gb to install. After the install, the screen rotation stopped working and I haven’t been able to get it to work with any of the drivers online, there is no documentation on upgrading even though this is supposed to be a tablet OS , AND when I tried to downgrade with the original install disk, I just get an error message that the disks are an invalid system. My android tablets and phone are on the other hand, great.

Dave Parrack

A Windows 7 tablet… what were you thinking?!

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Austin H

My iPod Classic. I’ve had it forever, but I stopped using it a long time ago. They just don’t have the ease of interface for finding what you want to listen to when you have a huge library. I had about 40GB of music and it took way to long to find anything plus I couldn’t use it when I went running since it had the mechanical HDD. Mostly I regret it because it was too good, if you can believe it. Too much space (120GB) probably or videos and pics but…c’mon, no one put those on there with their tiny screens, and it lasts forever! I don’t have the heart to get rid of it because it still works even though its from 2008! I honestly forget it exists!

Dave Parrack

If you need it to stop working before you get rid of it… drop it accidentally on purpose one day. That should do the trick.

Lisa Santika Onggrid

Why not do the easier? Give it to someone else who might appreciate it.

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Manik Kumar

I think many times we buy gadgets bu after buying them we feel it was a waste buying it.one of the similar things happened to me…:PI Regret buying my Micromax A100 Smart Phone!.:P

Reply

Manik Kumar

I think many times we buy gadgets bu after buying them we feel it was a waste buying it.one of the similar things happened to me…:PI Regret buying my Micromax A100 Smart Phone!.:P

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thomas gainey

the gadget I wish I had never bought is my LG OPTIMUS LOGIC LGL35G android phone. I’ve tried many different ways to root the phone, with no success. I tried unlocking the phone, with an equal lack of success. to put it mildly, THE PHONE SUCKS!

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Marcella King

The fancy-pants video camera that we bought 5 years ago and thought we’d use all the time – it’s been out of the case three times, the last twice the battery was too flat to use immediately and the moment had passed by the time it was usable again.

Dave Parrack

I suspect there are lots of video cameras destined never to see the light of day again. Smartphones do a good enough job these days.

Dennis Wurster

It’s not just that… you can end up with numerous video files that you end up never watching again.

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andreas

my xperia sola. I suggest to everyone not buying it!
1) I ‘ve experienced problems with internet connection. I sit next to the router and i ‘ve got only half connection.
2)Screen is very weak.
3)Touch screen is too bad.
4)Internet browsers rarely work efficiently.
5)Zoom in pages is low quality so you can’t see text or pictures better.
6)A lot of problems with the hardware. For example, the power button sometimes works only for unlocking and not for locking!
7)Turns off by itself sometimes
8)Battery is incorporated in the phone and you can’t remove it when the device blocks.
9)Battery life runs out easily
10)When i listen to music, almost always, some parts of the songs are skipped.
11) No HD port
12)When charging is finished and i unplug the phone, the light on the front screen is still lighting.
13)Touch buttons, especially in internet browsers, don’t work
14)RAM memory is too small for me
15)After closing an app and returning to the home screen, it takes 5-10 seconds for the phone to return to normal.
16)Camera is not HD
17)No secondary camera
There are a lot of cheaper and better devices for someone to buy. I totally regret for my choice

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alper tarik

Sony vaio netbook, too slow, poor performance, bad battery
Xperia neo v, worst performance, will never buy a sony again (ps2, piece of crap, how did it became so popular with that fragile hardware, not reading original disks…)

Archos 5 it, battery swollen two times)

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eugen

a hp officejet 4500,it doesn’t work at all.

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John

Blackarmour 110 nas. Worst ui ever. Not one person in our office got the hang of it.

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Tony

My Latitude D630 laptop. I got it refurbished, but it worked fine and fulfilled my needs at the time.

Only now am I realizing how under-powered it is.

The one port you want to work in a laptop(in my case the headphone jack), has broken.

Despite my sincerest of efforts, I cannot disable the track pad.

To top it all off, I can’t get the wireless to work in any Linux distro to save my life.

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Charles

While on vacation in Japan, I bought a minidisc player. While I did get some use out of it, ripping CDs to MDs, it was just a technology that didn’t last that long after the advent of mp3s.

Dave Parrack

As someone who seems to make a habit of buying in-between technologies that don’t last long, I sympathize!

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Stephan A

Nook tablet. Absolute waste of money. We have 2 Kindle Fires that are in constant use because their operating systems seem to be easier or more intuitive. The Nook just doesn’t respond the same way.

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Keith Gatling

The only regret I can think of at the moment was the cheesy little Memorex MP3 player we bought as an incentive for our then 3yo to become potty trained. It was only $30, and seemed like a much better idea than spending $100 on a refurb iPod Nano, but it was a piece of **** that was very hard for those of us who were accustomed to iPods to figure out how to make work for her.

Eventually she got a cast-off iPod from a family member who had upgraded.

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Chetan Chandgothia

Ipod..

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jarhead

For me – Blackberry playbook. Initially booted up in reasonable time, time the first OS upgrade. Then very slow afterward. Seldom lauch it and when i do – update- update, and slow to update. Not many apps as BB is an island unto itself. no added memory. Bought it Black friday – such a deal at $200, then learned i was duped as that became it’s market price. Accessories where $$ thru the roof. Lucky me- it became so unpopular the office supply stores -OfficeX started to liqidate all BB tablet accessories.

Biggest gripe, the incredible amount of time it takes to set up the device the way you like to have it. I am a lite user – no socail media garbage. just want my private maile services contacts, calendar, ect. Later i bought a 32GB Asus tablet on Ebay -what a difference in speed, setup time. wish i had my 200 back as it would have been used to buy an ASUS with 64GB -

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null

I cant think of anything but I have friends that bought the Blackberry Playbook at full price at 499 and only months later I bought one at $300 cheaper with updates and all that.

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rDude

iPod touch 4g. Sooooooo restricted, apple don’t let you do ANYTHING with their pampered devices.

It was still a useless pile of junk even AFTER I jailbroke it.

It’s a sad piece technology, it has so many capabilities yet is so restricted by the OS apple gave it.

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Deveril D

Back in 2003 I bought a PocketPC — Compaq Ipaq, I think it was called. It was around ÂŁ300 plus an SD card (not cheap, for only 64MB!!!) and I got a foldable keyboard — which stopped working after only a couple of months. It seemed like a nice travelling package, and I could use it with my Nokia mobile to send emails. I wrote a report on it from Italy, that more-or-less paid for the gadget — but all-in-all, I spent more time setting up the thing after the battery died and it lost all the settings than I spent using it. It was hopeless for any form of media — other than audio or tiny video clips, and web-searching was slow. I gave it away a couple of years ago to a charity shop, because I realised that it was more hassle than it was worth at that point. But, I guess as a precursor to modern tablets and smartphones, it paved the way.

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Franz

Way back in 1980, a girlfriend got me a portable radio you wear around your neck like a scarf…. I think it was called a “bonefone” or something similar. The sales guy convinced her these would replace the Sony Walkman that were becoming so popular. Obviously, it didn’t and I felt ridiculous wearing the thing. To balance things out, in the lab I still use my HP-11c calculator (RPN) purchased in 1981 older than the undergrads here!

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vicntc

PSP 3000. Hands down most useless purchase ever.

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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?)

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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

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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 …

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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.

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