Is it wise to buy latest, expensive gadgets?

Summary:Over the years, I have realized that when it comes to technology, the world can be divided into two kinds of people (no, I am not referring to the digital divide): One, the gadget freaks (who will save, beg or borrow to buy their dream gadget); and two, the wiser ones--who want value for money, and couldn't care less about brands and the latest gizmos in town.If you invest in expensive gadgets, you are exposed to threats from the 3Ts-–tumbling value, thieves and technology.

Over the years, I have realized that when it comes to technology, the world can be divided into two kinds of people (no, I am not referring to the digital divide): One, the gadget freaks (who will save, beg or borrow to buy their dream gadget); and two, the wiser ones--who want value for money, and couldn't care less about brands and the latest gizmos in town.

If you invest in expensive gadgets, you are exposed to threats from the 3Ts-–tumbling value, thieves and technology. The first factor is rather easy to understand. When launched, most gadgets cost a lot more than what they would cost a few months down the line. So, you end up feeling cheated when your (copycat) neighbor buys the same gadget at half the price...six months on. Almost every other gadget-–be it a laptop, a mobile phone or a television set-–is predisposed to this threat.

The second factor-–thieves-–is quite rampant, at least in this part of the world. Sometime back, I bought a fancy music system for my car. And within a few months, someone stole its (detachable) front panel from the parking lot of a shopping center. I never understood what he would do with the panel. But the music system is as good as scrap today.

The third factor is probably the worst. Technology changes so fast that gadgets become obsolete in the matter of a few months. What's worse is the fact that technology used in many gadgets is often not tested over a long period of time.

Many a time, gadgets stop working for no rhyme or reason. And the company's authorized service station simply hands you over the gadget's death certificate-–saying it is beyond repair. Hard luck, eh? If it's not in the warranty period, there is nothing the company can do about it. The gadget was probably destined to die a natural death, two months after its warranty expired.

This happened to me recently. I purchased a Communicator in July last year, a month after its high-profile launch in India. And it went dead 20 days back, within 15 months of purchase, while it was attached to a laptop for a software update. Unfortunately, the company doesn't tell you what to do with a US$750 mobile phone!

That's probably the lesson technology has taught me-–don't become a sucker for the latest gadgets. Stick to the value for money proposition.

Topics: Laptops, Hardware, India, Mobility, Telcos

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