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Get with the Times: These 9 Devices Might Be a Waste of Your Money

By Jos ยท 62 replies
Mar 27, 2014
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  1. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Addict Posts: 264   +92

    I think I disagree with some of the technology mentioned here. So this article is telling me that desktops are going to disappear? Well I really hope this article is completely wrong about it.
    DarkDragon7 and mosu like this.
  2. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,188   +209

    hmmm... one count here.:) I've watched my house, m.d. season 1-6 dvd collection (ripped into *.m4v) at least 6x already for the past 3-4 years; ...lord of the rings trilogy dvd collection at least 3x already (but I'm not planning to watch it anytime soon.:))

    I have never owned an over-powered desktop pc but I agree with the author.
    the previous expensive (for my pocket) desktop gpu I owned is an NVidia 9800gt 1gb ddr3; the current most expensive (for my pocket) desktop gpu I owned is an NVidia gtx 650 1gb gddr5. when it becomes available at my favorite store, an NVidia gtx 770 is my next buy.

    hehehe. I currently have one alarm clock on each of my two computer tables plus a 6-y.o., cheap, plastic timex wrist watch.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
    hood6558 likes this.
  3. MrBungle

    MrBungle TS Booster Posts: 151   +67

    Agree on some, disagree on others...

    If you do much traveling a stand alone GPS is far superior to some battery sucking crappy cellphone app.
    Mbloof and Polaco like this.
  4. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,571   +620

    Was this article written by Verizon or AT&T? Their answer to everything is "you can do it on a smartphone."

    They're full of it if they think blu-ray players are going away anytime soon. There are SO many older movies that aren't available other than on blu-ray or DVD. Plus there are many collection sets I have like Star Trek, Star Wars, Walking Dead, Band of Brothers, etc., that include extras you can't get online and I watch all the time on my own and with friends.

    Flash Drives still have plenty of usefulness in them. You seriously think anyone is interested in uploading 50GB of music (or whatever) and then download it again on other devices? No one wants to wait around for that. Put that on a 3.0 USB flash drive and you get it in a fraction of the time.

    MP3 players are another one. You want to work out and sweat all over your $500 cell phone when you could have 400 songs loaded on a $30 mp3 player? How about taking it camping? I have about 5 of those 8GB Sansa Clips and use them constantly. My phone is for talking to other people and taking pictures. I don't load it up with music.

    And alarm clocks? Really? Unless I'm traveling and don't trust the hotel alarm clock, that's the ONLY time I use my smartphone alarm. The alarm clock on my bed stand with the nice big numbers, easy to program settings and decent sounding music works perfectly for me, thank ya very much.
    lchu12, mrtraver, Burty117 and 8 others like this.
  5. earthquake10

    earthquake10 TS Rookie

    I completely disagree about PC's as my dual 24" touch monitor setup with DisplayFusion can't be beat by any smartphone or tablet for doing research and work (although I do own a second generation Nexus 7 for fun - like Netflix But use home Wi-Fi for the connection).

    There is also the highly irritating battery problem and storage problem with all mobile devices - especially with people who don't want to pay for the high costs of cellphone company data me.
    DarkDragon7, rpsgc and hood6558 like this.
  6. Scorpus

    Scorpus TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,922   +202

    I agree with a lot of the devices in the list, but not desktop PCs. With multiple monitors you simply can be more productive on a desktop. (Not to mention that tablets aren't powerful enough for professional editing tools, generally speaking)
    DarkDragon7 likes this.
  7. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,437   +145

    I'm also a little discontent about the stance of this article.
    For a very average person, I think most apply well but this site has a lot of Tech enthusiasts where the best experience is not always to be found on a smartphone.
    Blkfx1 and rpsgc like this.

    NTAPRO TS Evangelist Posts: 810   +102

    Interesting choices.
  9. toooooot

    toooooot TS Enthusiast Posts: 37   +7

    I'd rather keep blu-ray movies on disks
    I like flash drives for superior transfer speed
    It easy to forger charger for the phone than for gps since it is always there
    PC, well there are many pros and cons but they are convenient/cheap for some purposes

    The rest I agree with.
  10. Desktop PC? no freakin way, its not just a piece of multimedia entertainment but also works way well for productivity which none of the mentioned alternatives give us anytime soon. as long as there is a home in every corner of the earth then there should be a desktop pc regardless of its size which may shrink a little bit like how mac pro done (cylindrical container), as the technology moving forward very fast its only get better.
  11. svesam

    svesam TS Rookie

    Agree with 2,5,6 .. the rest no way ..
  12. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,154   +693

    The purpose of the article being published on TechSpot was to hear you out and have some reactions, hence the word "might" on the title.

    Having that said, I've also made an adjustment to controversial #7, the desktop PC, which now reads "(Mainstream) Desktop PC"...

    As you know at TechSpot we live and swear by our multi-monitor setups, but this is more about the family PC years being over.
    Mike Steele likes this.
  13. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 723   +177

    Google Maps may be good enough for casual use, but if you drive in remote areas there's no way you're going to trust it over a Garmin.
    rpsgc likes this.
  14. someguy495

    someguy495 TS Rookie

    Your smartphone will not help you fall asleep. That alarm feature is a trap, get an alarm clock.
    yukka likes this.
  15. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Addict Posts: 245   +58

    This article assumes that everyone on the planet owns a "smartphone", apparently with an unlimited atomic battery. You'd need that mythical battery to do all this crap on a phone. Everyone I know with such a phone spends most of their waking hours hunched and squinting over their tiny screens, texting and playing stupid games, and always looking for a place to plug in the charger, because it's always dead. Good luck getting anything important done on this piece of crap. If by some miracle there's battery power available, that's when it loses the signal because the greedy providers maximize profits by skimping on cell towers and bandwidth. I have an old "stupid" phone, just for phone calls. I talk to dozens of people each day, and the regular crappy battery lasts 2 to 3 days. Sometimes progress is a step backwards. I don't want my world view narrowed down to a 4" screen. Half these people don't know how to use the camera, or how to send anything anywhere besides texts, or how to transfer photos to a desktop PC, even though the phone is their whole life. Pathetic...
    mrtraver and rpsgc like this.
  16. Biostud

    Biostud TS Rookie

    I'm definitely more effective @ my desktop running a 27" 2560x1440 than working on my laptop or iPad. So while many can do with a desktop, I think that you're more productive with a good desktop setup than a laptop. The optimal being a desktop for stationary work and laptop for when you're on the road and using an online storage solution for easy access to shared files.

    Regarding GPS, then the problem with google maps is that it requires data traffic and therefore is ill suited for traveling. Nokia Lumia's have an offline maps/gps for the entire world for free, and is therefore a better solution if you travel abroad.
  17. One thing about cloud service requires a internet connection. great if you live in an area where you have good high speed connection, but with mobile data expensive and spotty it can take hours to sync, upload and download stuff. I have had instances where it has taken for me 2hrs to upload files, and hrs to download. Let's see, a flash drive took me 2min to copy 20megs to the drive, and about 30sec to copy about the same amount from the drive. so Flash Drives are far from dead. Some of the new USB3 drives transfer at real speeds of 70mbs, show me how many cloud services can provide that kind of speed. and how many services are as cheap. Flash drives are real cheap and you don't need a permanent internet connection, which always costs you money for every meg.
  18. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,432   +179

    USB drives? Really? Not soon anyways...
    rpsgc likes this.
  19. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +297

    I felt like I was reading this out of a magazine... and you want to hear me out Julio Franco? okay... <grin>

    1. GPS - I vehemently disagree with this one. I have tried Google maps a few times in a bind and it works, no question about it. But it is slower on the initial calculation, slower on re-routing, inferior voice direction, than compared to my Garmin. Also mentioned in the article, needs both GPS and cellular service. You are also generally tying up your phone in order to do this. The only advantage Google maps and such services have is that they are better at finding newer places that have opened up or running searches for say, restaurants and don't know the name.

    2. BD/DVD + Players and 4. Flash Drives - When you have quality stuck-ups like me streaming pretty much anything does not meet my expectation of quality. When you start loading 1080p video it can become fairly taxing to your connection, and heaven forbid you want to watch it again later and have to load the video back up. Plus I easily can't find over half of my DVD/BD collection on movie streaming services. I know first hand as I have frequently let people borrow my copies since they couldn't find it on Netflix. Even if I digitized it, I'd be committing piracy by sharing it (GASP) and it would require me getting it online in the first place. This brings me to flash drives. As mentioned by TomSEA, cloud storage is very impractical for copying and subsequently retrieving large amounts of data. More importantly, what if the computer in question is NOT connected to the internet (GASP again), is on a slow connection, or even worse have a low data cap? Considering the average broadband speeds not only in the US but in most countries, a USB 2.0 flash drive would almost be faster if not for physical transportation.

    3. P&S Cameras and 8. Handheld Camcorders- I shoot with dSLRs so I don't care so much about either of these guys. Also, people have pretty much abandoned them for the convenience of cameras in smart phones, even I will whip out my phone for something quick and dirty because it is much easier. However the article makes the common mistake of suggesting having a larger megapixel count means better photos. The camera/smartphone's ability to process the image data to something meaningful is just as important, and there are 4 year old P&S cameras that still get better pictures than phones because of better processing. Many recent cameras also boast Geotagging and wireless upload, or in many cases can use wifi enabled SD cards so they offer similar capabilities, though the convenience factor is still not as high. Compared to picture taking, video recording is a far less common task which makes the importance of camcorders relegated to events you really REALLY want to keep. Like weddings or graduations...

    5. MP3 Players - I will agree with this one to a degree. Phones have largely replaced standalone MP3 players, with the itunes/iphone combo making it incredibly simple to keep track of everything. The only real loss is battery life which MP3 players by and large excel at. If not actual music tracks many people simply stream music, again something the average MP3 player cannot do. Thinking about it makes me want to use my Samsung YP-K5, that thing was a beast. TomSEA has mentioned a good point though, working out is sweaty and gritty, and with all that movement and fluids fairly hazardous to one's expensive phone, and one of the few reasons I would immediately prefer the standalone player vs the phone.

    6. Handheld Consoles - I am really sad to see them go on the wayside. The truth however is that people like free and cheap games. They can get them and toss them as they please. When the entry price for paid games are often under $5 on a phone or tablet, it makes it a lot easier to make an impulse buy than a $20-$40 game. Sure the handheld consoles are more powerful/efficient, but the audience is not only changing, but shrinking which is evident with the significant declines in sales for basically anything handheld console related.

    7. Desktop Computers - I'll actually agree with this one with a major caveat: Touch only devices make poor production hardware. Over the years I have become proficient enough with typing on the screen to not look like an *****... but I will never be as fast as on a dedicated keyboard. This makes typing long documents or emails (or embarrassingly long replies to articles) error prone and time consuming. Tablets, since they were mentioned, do not nearly have the performance, or accessibility of at least mid range laptops. Barring very few exceptions, you'd not want to be doing any heavy production of content such as music, images/pictures, video editing, etc on a tablet, or depending on what you're actually doing, even on a laptop. For the bare minimum usage type which is mostly consumption, I can see where a tablet or just their phone would be enough for many people. For the rest, absolutely no way.

    9. Alarm Clocks - Excuse me while I set my alarm clock to wake me up in a few hours. =) I think this one is basically nitpicking at this point. Also, it's nice to be able to see the time without having to find/turn on your phone.

    tl;dr: wall-o-text, move along~
    veLa, TomSEA, rpsgc and 1 other person like this.
  20. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,407   +335

    So basically everything is a waste of money then? lol
  21. roadkill1

    roadkill1 TS Rookie

    I think I might have to disagree with this article...

    1. GPS devices ... as someone working with GPS devices on a daily basis, I can tell you that these don't require constant internet connection and have a better signal quality and stability. And yes there are parts of the world where there is no internet coverage. What do you do in these places where you might need to calculate a new route or find a POI without internet connection? Also there are some expensive roaming fees for data connections in most countries of the world.

    When internet coverage will reach the same level as GPS coverage and data roaming fees become cheaper I will surely switch to Google maps. Until then, I recommend using gps devices for everyone going on a hike or travelling to foreign countries.

    2. Blu Ray / DVD and their players ... what if the internet connection is down or it's too slow or no coverage in given area?

    4. Flash Drives ... same as #2 plus you might never know who is sniffing around in your dropbox. Yes, NSA & Co. I'm looking at you. Not to mention hackers and security vulnerabilities. Also, uploading bigger files takes longer than copy pasting them to a USB 3.0 thumb drive or external HDD.

    7. Mainstream Desktop PC ... you surely don't need one for Facebook, Instagram or IM-ing, but when it comes to basic tasks like working with an offline office suite or editing photos, videos or music it's way easier to use a desktop. Plus it doesn't use some crippled apps, it uses normal programs (see dropbox app vs dropbox program or skype app vs skype program).

    9. Alarm clocks ... lets see how your smartphone wakes you up in the morning if the battery empties and you forgot to plug in the charger the night before.
    veLa, rpsgc and dennis777 like this.
  22. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Posts: 700   +60

    Mobile gaming isn't true gaming, so don't toss out your 3ds or vita just yet
    Matt12345170 and rpsgc like this.
  23. dennis777

    dennis777 TS Enthusiast Posts: 285   +33

    Flash drive versus Cloud - unless accessing the Internet is Free/affordable with super speed, flashdrive is a good buck for your money

    Handheld Console vs Mobile Gaming - as if smartphone today has a great battery, not great in pointing it in the article. A Nintendo 2DS or PSP will be more durable in the hands of kids over Iphone/ipad/android phones.

    Family PC - pointing Free-to-Play for Mobile gaming yet the PC has them before mobile gaming was a hit. Overpowered PC + for surfing/email + takes less space = iMac

    why not include Television - buying a new one is a waste of money, HD TV exist for years now no need to upgrade unless its broken.

    get this to a poll and others MIGHT have a better suggestion on gadgets that waste your money.
    rpsgc likes this.
  24. With a standalone GPS, you're not tracked. Where you go is your business, not your cellphone and app provider's. The same with having a digital camera - I'm glad to still have one that's not integrated into a smartphone.
    rpsgc likes this.
  25. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,998   +2,291

    I couldn't have put it better myself even if I really tried. My views to the tee. Although I have to agree with their take on the GPS unit, I have one fully integrated into the dash one of my cars (I think Garmin supplies the maps) but I use Google maps in place of it.
    rpsgc likes this.

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