4 Popular Tech Gifts You Should NOT Buy This Holiday

Here in North America (and a bunch of other places around the world) people are getting ready to celebrate, whether it be for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. You know what that means? Presents!

And as we all know, in a sign of just how important they’ve become, tech gifts are now the most desired presents of all.

But amidst all the hype and rush to get something before it’s too late, people sometimes buy things that are less than ideal. So as a loyal service to our Techi readers, here’s a list of some very popular gifts that you might want to think twice about before purchasing for your loved ones. And even though we know lots of Techi readers may not be celebrating anything special this month, we’d guess this advice still applies to you.

As for the list, I admit, some of these choices may seem controversial, but read through for the reasoning. This isn’t meant to just be linkbait. Hey – we here at Techi are just looking out for you :)

 

The iPad

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Wait wait wait… THE IPAD?! The thing everyone and their grandmother wants? Yes. You read that right.

Now don’t mistake me. The iPad is absolutely drool-worthy and an amazing device. But very simply, it’s the wrong time to buy one.

First, we’re past the halfway mark of Apple’s annual product cycle. We’re already hearing rumors of new iPads shipping in February to launch in April. That means you’ll spend anywhere from $500 to $900 on a gift, only to have it become outdated in just a few short months. That’s a lot of money to spend for some short-lived joy.

Secondly, the next iPad will undoubtedly have some new features: almost certainly cameras, and probably a faster processor, a gyroscope, a lighter, thinner design and possibly an improved display (though not the Retina display everyone is talking about). The current iPad will be unable to access the inevitable Facetime iPad app and may not be able to run some future games or apps.

So why drop all that cash only to have a new one be announced just 2 or 3 months after you’ve bought it?

 

The Wii

To put it plainly, Nintendo’s massively successful white box has seen its day.

It’s almost inconceivable that we could go through 2011 without some knowledge of what Nintendo is going to replace the Wii with.

To be sure, the Wii is still a great system and decent value for the money, especially when you factor in that it also does disc-free Netflix streaming. But unless you can score a great deal on it, I’d recommend you hold off until the next great Nintendo revolution arrives. Like the iPad, it’s too close to being replaced to buy in now.

The PS3 and the Xbox 360, on the other hand, will continue to make great gifts, as both Sony and Microsoft will be looking to hold off new consoles for as long as they possibly can.

 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab

Unlike the previous two items, the Galaxy Tab will likely stick around for a  while – at least long enough to be upgraded to Android 2.3 or possibly even the more tablet-centric 3.0.

But the reason you shouldn’t buy a Tab now is simply that it’s overpriced and undercooked.

Though smaller – and thus arguably less suited to browsing – the Tab is the same price as an iPad. And though it’s a great little device in a neat form factor, it still lacks the polish and overall comprehensiveness of Apple’s competitive device.

At $500 for the base Wi-Fi model, the Tab is too much money to justify right now, especially with a slew of Android tablets on the way. If, in the future, it drops by a $100 as it’s upgraded to Gingerbread, it’ll be totally worth it. But right now, unless someone on your list likes the openness of Android and has to have the latest and greatest, stay away from this until the price comes down or a better replacement comes along.

 

The PSP

Sony and retailers are pushing the venerable handheld with a slew of discounts and bundles. Simply put: don’t buy it.

Not only has the PSP lost its luster as a must-have tech device – if it ever had that – it’s also about to be replaced in 2011 by not one, but two devices: a PSP-like phone from Sony Ericsson; and a full-fledged PSP2.

What’s more, though the PSP has a decent, if sparse, back-catalog, people just aren’t making games for it in the West. Sure, there was God of War: Sparta, but other than that, you’re looking at a product at the end of its life-cycle. Wait for its successor, or possibly a Nintendo 3DS or iPhone 5.

What other tech devices should people stay away from at the end of this year? Hit the comments and let us know.

Written by Navneet Alang

Navneet Alang is a technology-culture writer based in Toronto. You can find him on Twitter at @navalang
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Comments
  • http://dkuntz2.com Don

    Umm, Gingerbread is Android 2.3, not 3.0…

    • http://scrawledinwax.com/ navneetalang

      You’re quite right – I was thinking about Honeycomb, which will be more focused on tablets. Thanks for bringing it to out attention.

  • PixelTunnelVision

    “Don’t buy an iPad.” – Agree.
    “Now don’t mistake me. The iPad is absolutely drool-worthy and an amazing device.” – Completely disagree.
    “Don’t buy a PSP.” – Sadly, agree.
    “Not only has the PSP lost its luster as a must-have tech device – if it ever had that” – Lost? Maybe. Doubting it ever had it? Don’t have to agree/disagree. This is straight up false. I say wait for the PSP2. I have a PSP and it’s freaking awesome. Music, movies, wifi, and awesome games like Force Unleashed and GTA, from something I had since 2005, come on. That thing was sweet as hell. And I’m not playing games on a landscape phone that’s just a touchscreen. Can’t top a good controller.