Six Gadgets I Want and Won’t Get

Like every white, American, middle-aged male, I like gadgets. It’s part of who we are – we can’t play with Legos or Star Wars figures anymore, so we buy toys people won’t laugh at us for.

The problem I have is I can’t spend the kind of money these things cost without a good, justifiable reason.

So these are 6 things I definitely want, but can’t bring myself to buy. If anyone can tell me why one of these is worth the cost of admission, I’ll reconsider it.

[Note: “It’s cool” is not a reason to buy something. I worked with someone who used to believe that – and everyone thinks he’s an asshole.]

1) iPad


The iPad is pretty, versitile, and easy to travel. But it has a lot going against it in my opinion. There’s a lot it won’t do – no camera, no Flash support, no USB ports. You can’t replace the battery, and the onscreen keyboard is useless if you actually know how to type. Also the largest available amount of hard drive space is less than my iPod.

But at least it only costs twice as much as a comparable netbook.

2) HP Touchscreen laptop

HP Touchsmart tx2

This was my logical next guess at a good touchscreen after the iPad. It does everything an iPad does, and also lets me do things on it I can easily port over to my PC. The problem here is that non-Apple touchscreens have a bad history of failing over time. The sensitivity fails after enough usage, leaving you with a laptop that cost too much in the first place.

3) Blu-Ray

DVD vs Blu-Ray

Yes, it’s clearer and brighter, but not so much it’s worth the expense. I’d be more inclined to invest in something that makes streaming content sharper. Otherwise, DVD quality is fine until Blu-Ray manages to be as cheap.

4) iPhone 4

iPhone 4

This should hopefully show I’m not an Apple hater, because I really do want one. (Though I wish they made one with a physical keyboard – touch screen keys suck!) But having just gone through months of investigation of various plans, none of the major carriers are worth what they charge. Even if the iPhone was available on Verizon, I wouldn’t pay Verizon prices just for the privilege.

In Europe cell phone models aren’t tied to carriers – when are we going to get that smart? I’m sure if I could get an iPhone with any of the carriers, they’d finally have competitive prices.

5) iPod Touch

iPod Touch

Everything you have in an iPhone except the ability to place calls. I like that! It’s like having an iPhone, but you don’t have to pay AT&T, or curse their name for awful call quality!

I won’t get one, though, because I still have my 3 year old iPod Classic, which has 80GB of storage, and I’m using almost all of it. When it dies, I know I’ll replace it with another iPod that has more storage.

6) Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder

Zoom h4n

A whah?

It’s a handheld audio recorder for recording podcasts on the go, or bootlegging concerts. I suppose you could use it to record demos of your band too, but I don’t have a band so I don’t care about that functionality.

But it’s also $300. Unless I’m actually going to sell that concert bootleg, there’s no reason for it. I can just plug a very inexpensive USB mic into a laptop and pocket the rest.

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