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The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5965266/the-15-most-overpriced-gadgets-of-all-time/gallery/1

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All TimeThere’s nothing wrong with charging a lot of money for your gadget. Some of the best things in life are the exact opposite of free; a truly superior product is definitely worth spending more. Unfortunately, sometimes tech companies think too much of their wares and too little of your intelligence. The result is a product whose price is out of whack with its real value in the marketplace.

Here are 15 truly outrageous offenders, the most overpriced gadgets of all-time.

Cutting-edge technology is expensive enough as it is; why overpay for the stuff that’s not a good value? Laptop Magazine’s Avram Piltch breaks down some of the worst all-time bargains in tech.

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Laptopmag.com brings you in-depth reviews of the hottest mobile products, the latest tech news, helpful how-to advice, and expert analysis of the latest tech trends.

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

Microsoft Surface RT ($619 w/ Touch Cover)

How would you like a brand new convertible with a one-of-a-kind retractable roof for the reasonable price of $22,000? There’s just one catch. You must pay an extra $10,000 for the convertible roof you saw highlighted in all the commercials.

At its $499 base price, Microsoft’s first tablet costs the same as the fourth-generation iPad, the well-established leader in the tablet market. The attractive Surface has a worse screen than the iPad, it lasts 5 hours less on a charge and, at launch time, had only a handful of decent apps for its nascent Windows RT operating system.

However, you may want the Surface because of its heavily-advertised Touch Cover keyboard, a must-have accessory that will set you back an extra $119, even though it costs Microsoft only $16 to manufacture. That’s $619 for a new, unproven tablet which trails the $499 market leader in most ways.

More: 12 Hottest Holiday Tablets

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

Voodoo Envy 133 ($2,099 – $3,299)

One of the most anticipated products of 2008, the .7-inch thin Envy 133 notebook was supposed to inspire its name in all of your friends. But at a starting price of over $2,099 that jumped up to $3,300 when fully configured, this 3.4-pound notebook was far too light on performance and specs to justify its heavy price.

The high-end Envy 133 configuration featured a modest 1.8-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, just 2GB of RAM and 64GB of internal Flash storage that copied files so slowly it was more of a Solid State Park than a Solid State Drive. Worse still, the notebook lasted just 2 hours and 32 minutes on a charge, making this ultraportable not very portable at all.

More: Top 10 Ultrabooks

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

Cisco umi ($599 Plus $24.99 a Month)

Psst. Come over here. I have a copy of this week’s Village Voice newspaper that I’d like to sell you for just $25. What? “It’s free,” you say? Well, my version has slightly sharper print so I’m sure you and millions of others will be more than willing to pay my premium.

Cisco applied this perverse logic to its 2010-era umi home telepresence system, which cost an eye-popping $599 for equipment plus $24.99 a month to provide a slightly better video chat service than competitors like Skype and Google offered for free. With the umi, which was short for You / Me, you could hook up a camera to the top of your TV and either talk to one of the five other umi users — or with your friends on Google Talk who were paying nothing at all.

More: 8 Sweet Cameras for Every Shooter

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

Sony VAIO P Series ($899)

Back in 2009, netbooks were as hot as the Jonas Brothers, and everyone wanted to get in on the action. On the low end, non-computer companies like Sylvania (yes, the light bulb people) were making their own versions of netbook. On the high end, Sony tried to reinvent the genre with its 1.4-pound, 8-inch VAIO P.

At first glance, the VAIO P was an engineering marvel. The system was thin and narrow enough to fit into an overcoat pocket while providing premium features like a bright 1600 x 768 pixel display and 3G connectivity. However, with super-sluggish performance, mediocre battery life and a stiff keyboard, the notebook wasn’t good enough for extended use. At $899 and up, the value just wasn’t there when the best premium netbooks at the time cost $499.

More: Longest Lasting Laptops

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

Apple Lisa ($10,000)

In the early 1980s, few people had seen a computer with a graphical user interface. Xerox had been experimenting with GUIs since the 1970s and launched its Xerox Star 8010 in 1981, but it was Apple’s Lisa that finally brought windowed operating systems to the mainstream in early 1983.

Unfortunately, for the privilege of rolling a mouse around Lisa’s 12-inch, 720 x 360 black-and-white screen, you had to pay a cool $10,000 ($22,000 in 2011 dollars) and put up with a pair of unreliable “Twiggy” floppy drives that used their own proprietary 860K disks. At the same time, you could buy a brand new Apple IIe, the leading home computer, for just $1,395, a Compaq Portable PC for $3,590 or an original PC for far less.

More: 7 Things Apple Must Do to Get Its Swagger Back

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

Nokia Booklet 3G ($1,720 Over Two Years)

Subsidized netbooks with two-year 3G contracts were always a bad idea, but never more so than with the 2010 Nokia Booklet 3G. For $299 and a commitment to give AT&T $60 a month for two years ($1,720), unsuspecting shoppers got an attractive but incredibly incapable 10-inch netbook.

Perhaps Nokia and AT&T thought the Booklet’s Macbook-esque aluminum chassis would distract consumers long enough that they would make it through the return period without noticing the system’s glacial 4,200-rpm hard drive, painfully slow Atom Z530 processor or cramped keyboard.

More: Top Windows 8 Laptop Gifts

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

DIVX ($499 Plus $4.50 per Disc)

How would you like to pay $500 just for the right to pay another $4.50 every time you want to rent a movie? That was the premise behind DIVX, a late 1990s movie rental system designed by someone who had watched too many episodes of “Mission Impossible” and loved the idea of self-destructing media.

After buying a $500 DIVX Player, you could then purchase any of about 400 movies on disc for about $4.50. A mere 48 hours after you watched the film, it would expire and you would have to throw away the disc or pay another $3.25 for another 48 hours. Circuit City, the leading seller of DIVX players and discs, touted the new technology as a convenience that would help you avoid late fees. However, the player was $100 more than a regular DVD player and the discs were more expensive than renting a film at the store.

More: Best Smart TVs

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

BlackBerry PlayBook ($499)

Research in Motion Co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie must have been eating some psychotropic blackberries when they laid out the MSRP for the company’s first tablet in spring 2011. At $499 – the same price as the industry-leading iPad 2 – the BlackBerry PlayBook provided a significantly smaller screen and an operating system so half-baked that it didn’t even include native email support at launch.

Within a few months, the price of the PlayBook had dropped dramatically. Today, you can get one for just under $180, which is still too expensive. Much-better 7-inch Android devices like the Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire cost around the same price and have a far better selection of apps.

More: Essential Tablet Accessories

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

Motorola Laptop Dock ($499)

A dual-core smartphone is already more powerful than an older PC, so why not use it as one? That was Motorola’s thinking when the company launched the Laptop Dock, a keyboard / screen combo that turned the Atrix 4G handset into a notebook runnin, the browser-centric Webtop OS.

At $499 by itself, or $300 when bought together with the Atrix, the 11.6-inch Laptop Dock cost the same or more than a full-fledged Windows 7 netbook that could run all of your software. Considering that its cramped keyboard was worse than those on most netbooks, Motorola’s dock was one of the biggest rip-offs of 2011.

More: 10 Hottest Holiday Smartphones

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

AT&T VideoPhone 2500 ($1,599)

Today, anyone can conduct an online video chat for free, using Skype, Google Talk, FaceTime or any of a dozen other solutions. But back in 1992, we didn’t have broadband Internet or HD webcams. So when AT&T released the VideoPhone 2500, a standard landline handset that could send and receive video, the world took notice . . . of its whopping $1,599 price.

Considering that it both sent and received video on a sluggish 19.2bps modem, the VideoPhone 2500’s 10 frame-per-second performance was pretty impressive for the time. However, to use the device, you needed your friends and family to buy it too, something few consumers were willing to do.

More: Best Bluetooth Speakers

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

Apple Macintosh G4 Cube ($1,799)

How much extra would you pay for sexy? If you were a Mac maven in 2000, Steve Jobs thought you would spend $1,799 for the PowerMac G4 Cube, a tiny cube-shaped version of Apple’s PowerMac G4 desktop. Unfortunately, at that price, the Cube was a square peg trying to fit into the round hole of Apple’s product line.

At the time, consumers could pay $1,000 less and get an iMac, which came with a monitor included. Creative professionals who had the money to spend preferred to buy a PowerMac G4 tower with better performance and the ability to upgrade.

More: Alive and Booting: 8 Reasons The PC Still Matters

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

Motorola Xoom ($1,079 Over Two Years)

When they released the first true Android slate in early 2011, Google and Motorola were a year late to the party and yet they wanted hundreds of dollars more than Apple’s belle of the ball.

At a time when the iPad 2 cost $499 with Wi-Fi, or $629 with contract-free 3G service, the Motorola Xoom launched at $599 and required you to sign a two-year contract with Verizon at a minimum of $20 per month ($1,079), or $799 sans contract. While the cheaper iPad 2 had access to thousands of apps, at launch, the Xoom had a measly 46 tablet-optimized apps.

More: Top 10 Tablets to Buy or Avoid Now

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

IBM PCJr ($669 to $1,269)

A stripped-down chip off the old block, 1983’s IBM PCJr (PC Junior) would have been overpriced at any cost. At $1,269 with the absolutely necessary floppy drive ($669 without), the PC Jr. was quite a bit cheaper than full-fledged IBM PCs of the time, but about on a par with the Apple IIe and far more expensive than home-computing competitors like the $200 Commodore 64 and $150 TI-99/4A.

Unfortunately, with its horribly stiff chiclet keyboard, slow performance, and a slew of compatibility issues that kept it from running popular PC programs, the JR wasn’t worth the premium. That year, I arrived at computer camp earlier than the other kids, just so I could grab a seat in front of a real PC rather than this awful offspring.

More: 5 Essential Tips for Gifting a Tablet

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

OQO Model 01 ($1,899)

In launching the world’s first 14-ounce Windows PC, OQO’s 2004 Model 01 was a true trailblazer. However, even by early 21st century standards, the Lilliputian laptop’s 1-GHz Transmeta CPU, 20GB hard drive and 256MB of RAM provided sluggish performance. Meanwhile, the tiny keyboard just felt awkward.

Considering that you could get a fully functioning laptop for hundreds of dollars less, it was hard for most consumers and business users to imagine buying this severely neutered novelty for such a high price.

More: The 12 Best Gadgets You Didn’t Buy

The 15 Most Overpriced Gadgets of All Time

Newton MessagePad 2100 ($1,000)

By 1997, Apple had improved the software and solved a lot of the handwriting recognition problems on its Newton PDA. Perhaps because of these improvements, the company felt it could price its grayscale handheld at a whopping $1,000, more than some PCs cost.

At the same time, the PalmPilot Personal cost just $299. Yes, the Newton had a better processor, more storage and a larger screen, but none of these features justified spending $700 more, even during the Internet bubble.

More: Top Android Tablets for Kids

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 news No Comments

$1,450 for high-res, high framerate home viewing

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/30/redray-4k-cinema-player-1-450-pre-order/

Redray 4K Cinema Player is ready to preorder, $1,450 for highres, framerate at home

We got a peek at Red’s Redray 4K Cinema Player and Projector back in April at NAB, but now you can bring the player portion of it to your own home very soon. You’ll need to bring your own 4K Ultra HD display but for $1,450 you can pre-order a unit capable of native 4,096 × 2,160 or 3,840 x 2,160 video playback (in .RED file format) and upscaling. It connects to 4K displays via one HDMI 1.4 port or 4 HDMI 1.3 ports, with an additional HDMI jack needed to push 7.1 audio. It’s even ready for the new high framerate 3D video that we’ll see debut at theaters next week with The Hobbit. There’s no mention of the Red Laser Projector yet, so you’ll have to BYO 4K display, which right now would probably mean something by LG or Sony.

To get content home Red is also launching its nationwide fiber-based Odemax.com over-the-top distribution network. Red co-owner Jarred Land calls it the “only comprehensive distribution solution for 4K,” with built-in DRM, sales and analytics tools. He goes on to say that the Redray player will begin shipping at the end of December, with volume shipping promised in Q1 2013. A new RRencoder plugin for the Redcine-X viewer will launch in mid-December for converting external footage to the .RED format, and finally Odemax is scheduled to come online in January in time for the Sundance film f! estival. Check for more details after the break, plus a few more pics and a press release with all the specs.

Gallery: Red Redray Cinema Player, Odemax.com 4K info

Continue reading Redray 4K Cinema Player is ready to pre-order: $1,450 for high-res, high framerate home viewing

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Source: Red Store, Red, Odemax.com

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Saturday, December 1st, 2012 news No Comments

Gamers Chipping Away At Digital Cube Are Promised ‘Life-Changing’ Secret

Source: http://www.popsci.com/gadgets/article/2012-11/gamers-not-taking-amazing-social-experiment-seriously

This is how the just-released game Curiosity: What’s Inside The Cube? works: Anyone with an iPhone or iPad can download the iOS app. With the app, the players connect on the Internet, furiously tapping on their screens to remove pixely chunks of a single, gigantic cube. The one player lucky enough to remove the final pixel from the cube gets to see what creator Peter Molyneux calls a “life-changing” secret. So naturally, the gamers have already worked together to chip out pixels that form swear words. But still. Pretty neat game idea. [Kotaku]

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Friday, November 9th, 2012 news No Comments

Apple Is Just A Niche Player In Smartphones Now (AAPL, GOOG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/android-market-share-2012-11

Android’s dominance of the global smartphone is getting out of hand. 

New data from IDC says Android owned 75 percent of the smartphone market in the third quarter of 2012. Apple was a distant second with 14.9 percent of the market.

Android’s unit shipments nearly doubled on a year over year basis, growing 91 percent. Apple was up 57 percent. Android is taking share from BlackBerry, Symbian, Linux, and others. 

Thus far, Android’s incredible rise has had little impact on Apple’s financial performance. It’s still printing money. It’s the world’s most valuable company.

But, Tim Cook has to be worried that his company has become a niche player in the biggest global computing market.

Here’s a table breaking it down:

Android

Don’t Miss: Why Apple Is At Risk Of Losing Its Lead With The iPad

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Friday, November 2nd, 2012 news No Comments

Even Gruber Says Apple Passed Up ‘A Sure Thing’ Charging So Much For The iPad Mini (AAPL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/gruber-apple-passed-up-a-sure-thing-with-ipad-mini-pricing-2012-10

ipad mini official

A lot of people are upset about the iPad Mini’s price.

Even John Gruber of Daring Fireball says that Apple passed on a “sure thing” making the iPad so much more expensive than Google’s Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire

“Better but costs more” is a gamble. “Better and costs the same or less” is a sure thing. And the iPad is hard to compare to any previous Apple product other than the iPod. The iPod and iPad didn’t enter mature markets — they entered nascent markets with no strong competitors and established themselves as unquestioned market leaders. The iPad Mini’s $329 starting point leaves a price umbrella in tablets that Apple never left for MP3 player competitors.

Don’t Miss: Don’t Buy An iPad Mini (Yet)! >

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Thursday, October 25th, 2012 news No Comments

Pew Research finds 22 percent of adults in US own tablets, low-cost Android on the rise

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/02/pew-research-center-tablet-ownership-report/

Pew Research finds 22 percent of adults in US own tablets, lowcost Android on the rise

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that more Americans than ever now own tablets, but if you’d ever wanted some quantifiable data to go along with that homespun wisdom, then the Pew Research Center is glad to help. According to its latest report, 22 percent of US adults now own a tablet of some form. While the iPad remains the dominant player in the space with a 52 percent market share, this figure starkly contrasts the 81 percent share that Pew reported in 2011. As you might expect, Android tablets have made significant inroads and now account for 48 percent of the overall tablet space. Leading the Android charge is the Kindle Fire, which alone accounts for 21 percent of all tablets sold. It’s worth pointing out that Pew’s survey was conducted before the release of either the Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire HD, which means that even the most recent information is a bit behind the curve. You’ll find a press release after the break that provides a much broader take on Pew’s latest findings in the mobile space, but those who want to go straight to the meat should hit up the source link below.

Continue reading Pew Research finds 22 percent of adults in US own tablets, low-cost Android on the rise

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Pew Research finds 22 percent of adults in US own tablets, low-cost Android on the rise originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 02 Oct 2012 17:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

Samsung aims to become key player in digital content distribution through company buyouts

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/27/samsung-aims-to-become-key-player-in-content-distribution/

Samsung aims to become key player in digital content distribution through company buyouts

The writing has been on the wall ever since Samsung’s acquisition of mSpot, but the Korean firm today confirmed to Reuters that it plans to join the ranks of Apple, Google and Amazon in the world of digital content distribution. Most importantly, it plans to do so through buyouts. Samsung executive Kang Tae-jin offered a rather frank overview of the company’s ambitions, saying that it will grow Music Hub into one of the top four services in terms of revenue and subscribers within the next three years. According to Kang, the push isn’t so much to tap a new source of revenue, but rather to drive hardware sales — perhaps it sees Apple’s rumored move into music streaming as a bit of a threat. That said, the announcement also dovetails with rumblings of Samsung’s efforts to build a more self-sufficient software ecosystem. Whatever the true reason, we’d imagine that the folks at Pandora, Spotify and the like are now watching the phone a bit more intently. Wouldn’t you?

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Samsung aims to become key player in digital content distribution through company buyouts originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Sep 2012 04:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, September 27th, 2012 news No Comments

Texas Instruments wants to ditch smartphones, switch focus to embedded processors

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/26/texas-instruments-dumping-mobile/

Texas Instruments wants to ditch smartphones, switch focus to embedded processors

Texas Instruments has made the startling announcement that it’s going to wind down its wildly successful smartphone and tablet business in favor of embedded systems. VP Greg Delagi told investors that the switch would create a more “stable” and “long-term business” than the cutthroat battles it’s faced in mobile. While, currently the world’s third biggest semiconductor company, it’s concerned about losing ground to players like Qualcomm, Samsung and Apple — despite its latest OMAP CPUs powering tablets like the Nook HD and Kindle Fire. We’re scratching our heads as to why a major player would drop such a strong position like this, but perhaps they know something that we don’t.

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Texas Instruments wants to ditch smartphones, switch focus to embedded processors originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Sep 2012 10:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 news No Comments

Apple Is Destroying Amazon And Google In E-Commerce With 435 Million Accounts (AAPL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-online-payments-amazon-google-2012-9

Visa cards, credit cards, wallet Apple just announced at the iPhone 5 launch event in San Francisco a stunning statistic.

The company now has 435 million accounts for iTunes, the online store that sells music, apps, books, and movies.

That’s up 9 percent in just three months. In June, Apple said it had 400 million iTunes accounts.

That puts Apple way ahead of Amazon.com and eBay’s PayPal unit, both of which have less than half Apple’s number of accounts.

And Google, which is trying to match Apple’s online app and content stores with Google Play for Android smartphones, doesn’t say exactly how many Google Wallet accounts it has. The only range it’s given is “tens of millions” of accounts. 

Right now, Apple is only a player in buying digital goods. But its new Passbook feature, which stores coupons and tickets, is a tentative step towards handling other kinds of purchases.

Don’t miss: Everything You Need To Know About Apple’s New iPhone 5 >

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Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 news No Comments

A Greek Yogurt Company Is Winning The Ad Olympics Online

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/addthis-a-greek-yogurt-company-is-winning-the-ad-olympics-online-2012-7

Jennie Finch Chobani

According to social media sharing and measurement company AddThis, the Chobani Champions campaign is currently winning the race online for most effective campaign amongst the official Olympic partners.

Over the course of a three-day period (July 19-July 22) AddThis measured mentions on social networks, articles and Twitter followers and determined the Greek yogurt brand is proving to have the greatest reach.

Chobani’s campaign features noted softball player Jennie Finch.

Rounding out the top five were United Airlines, Visa, Omega, and McDonald’s. According to AddThis—which claims to monitor more than 14 million websites and 1.3 billion users—McDonald’s is doing particularly well on Twitter.

AddThis Olympic Scorecard

Here’s the Chobani spot:

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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 news No Comments

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