stop_donot_buyGizmodo has a list of “10 gadgets you’d be a fool to buy right now” (that it reprinted from Laptop Mag but thankfully de-slideshow-ified)—devices that are soon to be replaced by something better. Weirdly enough, you can read e-books on all but one of them—including, naturally, e-readers. (Amazon is expected to launch new e-readers within just a few months.)

The others include iPhones, Sprint phones, Windows phones, and Blackberries, as well as Windows and Android tablets. Ultrabooks and Macbook Pros are also due for refreshes, and smart TVs—the one device that doesn’t read e-books—aren’t a smart purchase with upcoming offerings known from LG and rumored from Apple.

The funny thing is I remember an old saying that’s been around about as long as PCs have: “If you don’t want to buy something obsolete as soon as you buy it, wait to purchase.” The joke there is, of course, that “tomorrow never comes”—if you wait to buy something, it’ll still be obsolete as soon as you buy it, just with slightly better specs than now.

And it’s kind of like that with gadgets, too. With a new iPhone coming out every year, any time after six months is “wait for the next one” time for the smarter shoppers. Likewise, any e-reader more than a few months old is “yesterday’s news” for those who want the latest and greatest. Funny to think how devices we think of as all but disposable have significantly more processing power than those that sent man to the moon.


  1. There is always something better coming … sometimes it arrives on time, sometimes its delayed, sometimes it never arrives. (We’re still waiting for the iPhone 5 originally hyped for last summer.) Unless you are buying gadgets for the sake of having them, then not buying them means not having access to today’s capabilities.

    It’s also partly a a matter of cost. Not everyone can plump for a new 3G/4G iPad every year at $800 and may want to wait for the next cycle; but a $100 eink ereader or $200 Android entry tablet (like the Kindle Fire) is another matter. Even if you believe something better is coming in six months, you’ll get lots of use in the meantime and might even be able to delay buying the next version till the prices drop a bit.

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