Technology should move us forward. Every once in a while, the wheels of progress get stuck in the ditch of “terrible ideas”. The following top 10 gadgets are an embarrassment and should not be used.
BlackBerry is one of the most under-featured and under-powered gadgets, especially when you compare it to other top-tier smartphones out there. It is also about to go completely irrelevant once RIM unveils its new mobile operating system, BlackBerry 10.
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has had some rough years, prompting experts to speculate whether the Canadian telecommunications equipment company is inching closer to its demise. It’s quite the change from just five years ago when RIM was leading the smart phone sales game with its seemingly ubiquitous BlackBerry line of handheld devices.
But with competitors such as Apple’s iPhone and the Android-based devices rapidly gaining ground and winning over smartphone customers, RIM and Blackberry has really lost its niche on the global markets. Its stocks have fallen to unprecedented low levels, and has in the past year lost 77 percent of its value.
Adding to RIM’s hardship is the laundry list of misfortunes, including a multiple-day global service outage in October 2011, which prompted infuriated users to take to Twitter to vent their frustrations. Another service disruption occurred in March 2012, affecting users in the Asia Pacific region. The problem was solved within hours but it nonetheless the nightmare still had its effect on the brand.
2. Toshiba Excite 13
Smartphones and waistlines are expanding to include tablets on the market. It seemed that this was what Toshiba was think when it introduced the Excite 13, a “family friendly” 13-inch Android tablet that is being sold for just over $600. Unfortunately, the 1600 x 900-pixel display had a lower resolution and brightness than the iPad and the Android Tablet. And, you think stretched-out Android phone apps look bad on a 10-inch screen? They looked even worse on this gadget. They need to do better, if they want to compete with ASUS, Samsung and Apple.
3. Google Nexus Q
A failed Apple TV mimic – indeed!
Nexus Q is similar to the modern Apple TV and Roku. It is basically a streaming device. Unlike the Apple TV, you can’t use it to stream video from an attached drive or from a server.
Instead, all you can play on it are videos and music from Google’s Play Music, Play Movies and TV, and, YouTube. Netflix? Sports? Not present. All your content must be kept in Google’s cloud services.
To play these, the Nexus Q supports 10/100GB Ethernet. It does not support the new Gigabit Ethernet. You can also use 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, but do not count on it to support the newest popular wireless standard: 802.11ac.
To manage your content you must utilize an application on your Android smartphone or tablet. Google also sees a big selling point as that your friends can also access and control your Nexus Q Google entertainment library from their phones or tablets.
You can do without it.
4. Sony VAIO Duo 11
Sony’s Vaio Duo 11 is a convertible Windows 8 tablet/laptop. I heard about it on the radio, while driving to work.
The 11.6-inch screen is situated on the face of the 18mm, 1.3kg device. Slide the screen backward and up, and you have a laptop with an 11 cm deep keyboard and a fixed 45-degree screen incline.
It’s completely non-adjustable, meaning that the only way to change your viewing angle is to change the height of your chair. If you are trying to watch a video from a meter away, forget about it.
The keyboard is below full-size, with tiny buttons that are too far spread out for quick typing. Travel is minimal – more like buttons than keys – which is quiet but uncomfortable. I was able to type at up to 100 WPM, but not with my usual accuracy nor for any great length of time.
There’s also no room for a typical touchpad; instead there’s a micro touchpad about the size of a small joystick and located in the centre of the keyboard. It’s hard to navigate it, but the good news is that it provides more accuracy.
5. Acer Aspire 5552
I bought this laptop 2 years ago, since then it broke down twice on me. The Hard Drive got busted after just two years of use. The up arrow key broke off in the first month. The speakers got busted after 1 year.
If you are looking for an inexpensive laptop, you don’t have to limit yourself to this netbook’s small screen and keyboard. You can do better, if you want things to last. My Toshiba laptop is still working 9 years later and in perfect condition and so is my Compaq Presario.