What's the worst piece of tech you've ever bought?

By Scorpus
Oct 30, 2015
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  1. Here at TechSpot, we often talk about the best tech that's available, whether that's the latest graphics cards, processors, smartphones, laptops or electronics. But for every great product on the market, there are a multitude of terrible alternatives, some of which we make the mistake of purchasing for whatever reason.

    Of all the pieces of tech I've bought over the years as an enthusiast, some of the worst have been generic Chinese-made products that either don't work as advertised, or don't work at all. One particularly terrible product that comes to mind was a no-brand PCI Wi-Fi expansion card for my desktop, which wasn't a plug-and-play device and didn't come with a driver CD, making it utterly useless until I hunted down drivers for the chip it used.

    On top of not having any drivers, the signal strength from this PCI card was absolutely atrocious, and failed to work when there was a single wall between the antenna and access point. Luckily it was pretty cheap so I wasn't too annoyed about its numerous flaws at the time.

    As for devices I've received to review, the Nokia X is by far the worst. That was a truly awful smartphone, and I sincerely hope there is no-one out there that handed over hard-earned cash for it.

    Leave a comment below and tells us what your worst experience with a piece of tech has been, because I'm sure there are some horror stories out there.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Nitrotoxin

    Nitrotoxin TS Booster Posts: 102   +56

    XBOX360 because it was built like ****, and the DVD-ROM was a total piece of crap...
    davislane1 and DaveBG like this.
  3. Zenodroid

    Zenodroid TS Booster Posts: 131   +27

    Acer products. computer and tablet. was smart enough to see how apple works and never bought any of that crap :)
    Techman3 likes this.
  4. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,838   +884

    Galaxy S5, whole thing is plastic and it broke the first day I had it. Pulled it out of my pocket the first day I had it and the screen was cracked. Sent a text, put it in my pocket, pull it back out and it the screen was broken. The Irony being is that I was on the way to buy a case for it. Literally broke the first 30 minutes I had it. Can't help but think that if Samsung didn't make the whole thing out of plastic it'd have been fine. Really a shame because it was a good looking device with the hardware to back it up
  5. Experimentongod

    Experimentongod TS Addict Posts: 209   +82

  6. robb213

    robb213 TS Addict Posts: 311   +93

    Hmmm....this is a hard one to choose.

    Motorola Droid RAZR: Was great with Gingerbread. ICS came out and the phone was pretty much just that--a not-smartphone. The speed was so tarnished that I couldn't really browse, use my keyboard, or do anything with it other than call people. Waiting 2 minutes for stock and market keyboards to pop up was tiresome, same with programs.
  7. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 864   +356

    Iomega zip drive.
    Phr3d, Uncle Al and bicking like this.
  8. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,160   +198

  9. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,551   +595

    I bought an ergonomic mechanical keyboard that came out about 4 years ago. They were designed by some guy working out of his garage and manufactured by who knows. But it was a complete piece of crap - 1/4 of the keys wouldn't work and it was flimsy as hell. I returned it after trying to use it for a couple of hours, and the guy went out of business within two weeks of that because of all the returned keyboards.

    Nice idea, but the guy was out of his league trying to do something like that solo.
  10. Zenodroid

    Zenodroid TS Booster Posts: 131   +27

    must have been a monday phone you had, bc I had no problems with it what so ever :) even lastet 2 days on battery :)
  11. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    Four items stand out for me:
    Asus Striker II Extreme motherboard: The most unstable board I've ever owned. I'd swear the BIOS was a sadist, and whenever it detected I was happy with the system, it would just throw a fault at me at random.
    Intel Core Extreme X6800: It might have just been disappointing compared with the budget offerings (E6600 particularly). Factor in the $1K+ price, and it had me searching for the suicide hotline number.
    Nvidia GeForce FX 5900 Ultra (Gainward Golden Sample): I was told this was an enthusiasts graphics card. They lied.
    ATI 3D Rage Pro Turbo: Spent some cash and supposedly Upgraded my 3D Rage Pro (Asus V264GTE). Turned out I spent more money to get the same card I already had. By the time ATI had wrung some extra performance out of it via driver, the next architecture was out.
  12. bicking

    bicking TS Rookie

    Would have to agree on this one. The Zip drives were bad.
    p51d007 likes this.
  13. CrisisDog

    CrisisDog TS Booster Posts: 120   +17

    The Samsung Galaxy Vibrant comes to mind. GPS didn't work, screen burn in, low battery life.

    Also, any motherboard made by ECS. Could never keep a system from crashing with that brand, terrible quality control...
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    I'm gonna go with HP optical drives. I kept thinking I bought a lemon and the next would be better. I finally jumped ship, been a happy camper since, and haven't looked back.
  15. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,620   +506

    First thing that comes to mind is a D-Link router, the DIR-615, weak signal, dropped all the time even with custom firmware. It's nothing more than a backup of a backup.

    Next are some name brand USB keys that promised USB speeds but could never deliver, then they failed altogether, one by Kingston the other by Corsair.

    Other than that I've been pretty pickup of my tech purchases, most of which is still around to this day in working condition.
  16. mrtraver

    mrtraver TS Guru Posts: 337   +43

    Probably the biggest purchase that I was disappointed with was a Pioneer car cassette player in the late 80s. $300, and it was in for service under warranty three times in 12 months. The 4th time it acted up, a friend who knew the history of it (and that it was out of warranty) offered me $20 for it. I talked him down to $10, and helped him install it in his car. We are still friends.
    Jos and soulsassassin like this.
  17. dgoodchild

    dgoodchild TS Member

  18. noel24

    noel24 TS Maniac Posts: 299   +152

    Had few of those but in terms of price/uselessness ratio, Iiyama ProLite E2410HDS beats them all. And their warranty service calls for a class action lawsuit.
  19. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 218   +72

    Creative Fatality extreme sound card. It was the most expensive SB card at the time and I thought it should be good. Drivers never worked normally even installing them on multiple versions of windows trough the years from XP - Vista - 7 on clean installs. Complete crap and their support was never able to provide any usable help other than please reinstall the driver over and over again.
    I never bought creative products again.
  20. CortyDK

    CortyDK TS Booster Posts: 65   +30

    A Philips DCC tape recorder, what a piece of cra..

    Worked ok with a traditional analog tape, but with the digital counterpart, after 2-3 playbacks sound started to dropout, stutter, and the compression algorithm sounded weird.

    Gave it away and bought a Sony MiniDisc. Still got it, it works perfectly now almost 20 years later and never had a problem with durability or sound quality.

    It was just overtaken by the CDR discs going from ridicuosly expensive (year 1995 DKR 75,00 a piece - approx 15 USD) to extremely cheap (year 2000 DKR 2,00 a piece - approx 40 cent).
  21. Jatin Sharma

    Jatin Sharma TS Rookie

    Iphone 4
    This thing couldnt make a single phone call without thing I hear
    Steve jobs was teaching the world how to hold a cell phone
    Asus Fonepad 7 ME372CG
    Worked ok for a couple months....but then I found out about that shitty battery asus had installed in it
    Used to take 26 hours to charge that 3900 mah battery via a 2amp adapter
  22. drjekelmrhyde

    drjekelmrhyde TS Booster Posts: 188   +43

  23. Flebbert

    Flebbert TS Rookie

    Yeah have to agree the iPhone 4 and 4s.......... such a horrible phone.
  24. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TS Addict Posts: 124   +92

    There's a bunch -

    Mercury 810 motherboard for the P3 - it was constantly failing, freezing, and generally being unstable and unreliable.

    Seagate xxxx.10 hard drives - also constantly failing. My friends an I started referring to the trips to the service center as 'The Pilgrimage'. The plus side was that Seagate would trade up capacities occasionally, meaning that I went from an 80 GB hard drive to a 500 GB hard drive free of cost through warranty replacements.

    OEM Sony DVD RW drives - ludicrous failure rates. I'd be lucky to get mer than a couple of months out of them. They were cheap, though.

    Intel 915 motherboard for the P4 - very prone to sudden failure. Several returns before upgrading to the 945.

    Any inkjet printer, ever - and I've owned a bunch. Just the worst technology ever conceived to put words on paper. Laser rules!
  25. trgz

    trgz TS Booster Posts: 148   +22

    A Lenovo 3 button wired mouse (so basic it hasn't got a name or number) - admittedly it was a company purchase but it is so bad it looks like it came out of a cheap Christmas cracker - nasty uncomfortable thing that I'd not even give away. I've kept it just in case the firm wants it back - eugh.

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