What tech do you regret buying?


What technology do you regret buying in your life?

Me: It was a cheap $200 Emachines laptop on Black Friday in 2009. It was a pretty good laptop, but had an awful single core processor. Also, the ports began failing after a couple of years.

Comments (63)

63 responses to “What tech do you regret buying?”

  1. hrlngrv

    The one & only NOT-flat screen HDTV I've owned.

    • Lauren Glenn

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Yes, I had a tube widescreen HDTV. It came out before HDMI and I ended up getting rid of it. It also had a weird aspect ratio which was stretched just slightly enough for me to notice too. Instead of 16:9, I think it was 16:8.5 or 16:9.5.... I forget which but anytime a movie started and a circle showed up at the beginning (like Universal, Columbia Pictures, etc. that you can use to test your aspect ratio), it was always off slightly and I couldn't adjust it.

      • jimchamplin

        In reply to alissa914g:

        Stretched TV screens are one of those tech peeves of mine. People with wide HDTVs setting it to stretch a square show out? I never understood who thought that was a good feature. Why on earth would someone want the picture to be distorted?

        • lecter

          In reply to jimchamplin:

          For some reason for 4:3 content both my mother and grandmother prefer the image to fill the screen and either be distorted or zoomed in than have black bars on the side of the TV. I guess they don't like getting less screen size than they paid for :D

          • jimchamplin

            In reply to lecter:

            That’s one of the excuses I always heard most. It used to piss some guests off that I wouldn’t change my TV. Best example ever was one Christmas, my uncle was getting agida because his 4:3 copy of Elf wasn’t getting stretched.

            ”If you think I wanna see Zooey Deschanel distorted and wide, you’re an insane man.”

  2. Lauren Glenn

    Great question. For me, it was ASUS VivoTab RT. Not just for Windows RT which I thought was fine..... but it was because the adapter plug for the USB cable was proprietary and NO ONE had this cable in stock (not even AT&T where they sold it too). So I had to order it from ASUS and they shipped me a parallel port riser card instead (after I waited 3 weeks for it). After much arguing with them, they finally sent me out the cable and it worked fine.

    Problem was that after all that, the cat rubbed against my hand while I was using the tablet and that static electricity bit for a second there fried out the touch panel circuitry making it get very fidgity and inaccurate. So I had to throw out the $500 tablet and get an iPad as no one would fix the RT tablet and I figured I've been through enough.

    Too bad they didn't have x86 emulation back then or it would've been better.

  3. slartybartmark

    Surface Book. Worst laptop(s) I've ever used bar none.

    Company bought 4 of them (all different models) and have had 11 total machines due to hardware failures and sending them back to MS.

  4. Jeffery Commaroto

    Moto 360 smart watch. It was the year when it seemed almost every “tech expert” was seduced by wearables and singing their praises. I tried everything I could to make it useable but it just wasn’t. It was garbage.

    Samsung Galaxy Tab. It was relatively inexpensive and I got it on sale. WiFi was horrible and Samsung announced not long after it wasn’t going to get any Android OS updates. The second gen Nexus 7 was alright but I tried way too long to try and make Android tablets work for me before finally caving in and getting an iPad. Wish I had never spent a dime or wasted all those hours on various Android tablets.

  5. Sprtfan

    Mine was buying a motherboard with a VIA KT333 from Monarch Computers. The motherboard was not stable and crashed often when I was gaming. This seemed to be a common problem with motherboards using this chipset from what I was able to gather at the time and VIA quickly refreshed its line up with KT400. This was before Monarch went completely down the tubes but getting any help from them was very difficult.

    System was rock solid for years after I was able to change motherboards.

  6. Clarkb

    Toshiba Encore 8. Was wooed by the Micro HDMI, which didn't come close to making up for the horrible industrial design. Dell Venue 8 Pro had better hardware design but wouldn't have made a difference, Windows 8/10 is a horrible UI for small (8" or less) tablets. SO much wasted screen real estate.

  7. rameshthanikodi

    I regret buying all my windows phones. Oh and my Dell inspiron 14R laptop. That was such a piece of trash.

    • skane2600

      In reply to FalseAgent:

      I don't regret our 4 Windows phones because due their unpopularity at the time we purchased them, we got some fairly decent hardware at a discount. Having said that, the lack of standard apps is starting to take their toll on the family. We will probably have to switch some of them to Android soon (nothing in particular against iPhones but we can't afford them).

    • arunphilip

      In reply to FalseAgent:

      I don't regret my personal purchase of a Lumia, but I do regret recommending it to my father - the app gap quickly became annoying for him.

      • rameshthanikodi

        In reply to arunphilip:

        The 'app gap' was never a problem for me, because all I need are the basics: give me Twitter, Whatsapp, Spotify, Instagram, Maps, Uber, and i'm pretty much set. The real app problem was app rot. The Instagram app was never updated out of so-called 'beta', the Twitter app took forever to be updated just for basics like threaded replies, the Uber app doesn't work, and the Spotify app doesn't support Spotify Connect.

        When it became clear that Microsoft would limit their commitment to the platform, that basically sealed the fate of third-party app support for Windows Phone.

        • arunphilip

          In reply to FalseAgent:

          Ditto. I use only a few core apps so I was fine. But my dad is the kind who tries out apps on the recommendation of his friends, so it was frustrating for him.

          While 'app rot' was a real problem there, I'm also surprised that the WP version of WhatsApp allowed you to prevent media download for specific groups; a feature still nor found on the Android version.

          Uber was the reason I finally moved to Android:-)

        • skane2600

          In reply to FalseAgent:

          The fact that Whatsapp is no longer supported on my wife's Windows phone is exactly what I was referring to. Everybody has their own "basic" list - I don't use most of the apps you called out. What I miss is the customer-to-business apps. Even FireOS is better supported than Windows phones. You can visit businesses' websites instead, but browsing on a phone remains a terrible experience in general.

  8. red.radar

    Apple watch.

    it keeps me shackled to an iphone and IOS ecosystem.

    Everything else I washed my hands of on Ebay. but this one i regret because personally for me its hard to get rid of.

  9. skane2600

    One of those TV Wonder USB devices back in the day. You were supposed to be able to use your PC as a DVR, but when playing back a video the sound got out of sync in the first minute or so. I should have realized that a USB-based device wasn't going to work very well. Wishful thinking on my part and the vendor was only to happy to indulge potential customers' denial. :)

    • evox81

      In reply to skane2600:

      Most of the TV Wonder line was crap and I fell for it a couple times myself. Either they didn't work well, or they did but ended up suffering from terrible ongoing driver support.

  10. wright_is

    Where to start? Vic=20 as the C64 came out, a Memotech MTX500 instead of a C64, an Amstrad CPC6128 instead of an Amiga... An Amiga 1200 instead of a 4000

    So many DVDs (>2000)...

    An iPhone 3GS, an htc Sensation.

    A Mini Metro, it rusted through in a few months, luckily the clutch held long enough to burn out as I drove onto the forecourt to trade it in for a different car. A Citroen C3 (it had a BMW engine that used a Litre of oil every 10,000KM).

    It seems, whatever technology I buy, there is always some shortcoming with it.

    The list goes on.

  11. lvthunder

    The Iomega Click Drive.

  12. lecter

    HP TX1000 convertible laptop/tablet with an AMD processor and one of those Nvidia chips that tended to unstick themselves from the motherboard because of the heat. Feature-wise for 10 years ago, it was fantastic, it even had a Lightscribe optical drive :D I also liked the dual headphone ports, which made plane or train trips with the gf very enjoyable. Other than that, though, after a couple of repairs to the damn video chip, I wrote it off and got a Dell Latitude...say what you will about their blandness, but I have yet to be disappointed by a Dell Latitude laptop.

    • MattHewitt

      In reply to lecter:

      I had a tx2500z with a similar issue. It was a nice little laptop but was prone to the unseating issue. I sent it in once for repairs (luckily my credit card company credited me for the nearly $400 in repairs.) That helped me get another year of life out of it, but it eventually died again. I still regret not getting something a bit more traditional.

  13. KingNerdTheThird

    Pretty much everything from Kickstarter

  14. dhr2018

    An HP ProBook laptop with AMD APU - was overpriced where I got it and generally was an overheating POS

    Lumia 640 - luckily got this one for free from the carrier on contract and could sell it practically new in early-2016

  15. thea2_


    Anything consumer related, from micro soft, what will they kill next?

  16. bpaul14

    Back in the day when hard drives were 1 to 2 GB and expensive, I bought a removable drive system - the Syquest Sparq. 1 GB removable drives, kind of like the old Iomega drives, but with larger capacity. I thought I was so smart. I even bought stock in the company. Both the drive and the stock were utter disasters.

    • Patrick3D

      In reply to bpaul14:

      In 1997 I was working as an upgrade technician at a now defunct computer store called Computer City (a division of the Tandy Corporation, LOL) and remember when those hit the market. We did everything we could to try and sell them but everyone kept getting ZIP drives instead. I always wanted one myself but was happy enough with a CD writer that I didn't bother.

    • jchampeau

      In reply to bpaul14:

      Ah, yes. the Syquest drives. I couldn't afford such things but I sure coveted those things. Sounds like my lust was not justified.

    • bharris

      In reply to bpaul14: Does anyone remember the Castlewood ORB drive...2 gigs per disk...Enormous at the time! Worked great....until it didn't! You pop in a disk and it was always like :"I wonder if this is going to work" I had probably $400 tied up in the drive and disks. After losing some files a few times, I threw all of it in garbage

  17. Winner

    1 - Zip disk in my Dell desktop. Never used it

    2 - Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop. Complete overpriced crap. Creaky screen and case.

    3 - Huawei Android Wear watch. It was pretty but developed a hardware problem. Also not a ton of functionality for $250. I just don't see enough value out of smartwatches to make them worth the another-device-to-charge-every-day. That includes the Apple watch.

  18. John Scott

    Cheap Chromebook, Windows 8 netbook, Acer thin desktop with Celeron CPU, Apple TV. I pretty much avoid technology that is just too cheap to really be any good. The experience is always less then my expectations.

  19. skane2600

    A paper-white VGA monitor. My denial was strong on that one.

  20. Paul Thurrott

    Tech regrets is a great topic. Will need to think on this one.

  21. Nic

    Every machine with an Intel CPU.

  22. Bats

    My Verizon-Microsoft Lumia phone. I thought I could like it, if I spent time with it, but it was useless to me as it was incompatible to my entire digital way of life. I wish I could get back the $200+ (or $12/month for 24 months) I spent to get it.

  23. bharris

    Cheap router....and by the time you mess around extenders, the wasted time and the frustration.....Never again. I finally got sick of fooling around with all of it and spent $400 on an Asus. Money well spent

    • evox81

      In reply to bharris:

      I will second this. Been here many times. And as we speak a buddy of mine is asking for advice on a router to buy. He's shocked at the $300 model I'm recommending and sending me everything he can find under $100 asking if it would be ok. "Ok" simply isn't acceptable, that's why you're shopping for a new one!

  24. Chris_Kez

    Nintendo Power Glove.

  25. jimchamplin

    My two worst decisions were, in reverse order

    #2) Surface RT - It was fine for what it was... if only the damn thing wasn't so flaky. It would randomly hang at least once a day, and would often refuse to wake from sleep (a problem I've had with multiple Windows-powered tablets.) Then the power brick when south suddenly, turning it into a useless paperweight. Not getting an upgrade to a Windows 10-based system, or at least a platform update to run UWP software was a jerk move.

    #1) Apple Mac mini (Late 2012 i7) - What an overpriced piece of junk. They couldn't even be assed with putting real video in it. Saddled it with a slow 5400RPM spinning disk, and only 4GB of RAM. In 2014. Apple's concept of selling years-old machines with no changes to the included equipment is a holdover from some older time. The damn thing should have shipped with 8GB of RAM. I didn't know that then. I was out of the loop on PC gaming and hardware, so I thought "I'm spending as much as my girlfriend, I should get equal performance, right?" WRONG.

    Apple strikes again. To make matters worse, the newest macOS DOES NOT WORK WITH THIS MACHINE. I can run Windows 10, Linux, Chromium OS, whatever. They all work fine, but the current macOS just shits on itself and after one session, is unbootable. That's not the machine's fault, it's macOS High Sierra's fault for being garbage. Still though, between this and experiences with them in the last decade, I'm frakking done with the Macintosh. It's a warmed-over piece of crap at this point. Just overpriced, under-designed, under-performing trash.

    This was one of two purchases of new, non-budget computer hardware I've made since 2001. Full price. And it was nothing but a disappointment. Taught me a lesson.

    I might even be done with iOS. I'll probably keep an iPad around for GarageBand recording, but I think I might go with Samsung on my next phone upgrade and get a Galaxy Note.

    Runner up: NuVision Signature Edition 8" Tablet - Shitty shitty shitty. I can't repeat that enough times. Shitty. I only paid like $60 for it, but the endless headaches with it. The OEM didn't bother to design power management drivers, and Windows often times would refuse to wake from sleep (see my complaint about the Surface RT) And then one day... It just wouldn't power on anymore. Less than a year old and it wouldn't power on. This crap really shouldn't be so hard to do. Unless you're a fly-by-night Chinese operation using warmed-over parts from garbage Android tablets.

    • polloloco51

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      I bought a Asus Vivotab RT, a few years ago. It was a great tablet, and did everything I wanted. However, the performance was poor and inconsistent. On some occasions, I actually got a BSOD. It did have Microsoft Office preinstalled, which was fantastic. Eventually, I sold it and now I have the Surface 3, which is night and day better, than the VivoTab!

      I also had an HP ElitePad at one point, which was great, but plagued with performance issues, and it significantly lacked ports. The keyboard case, I bought for it was a nightmare!

    • Jeffery Commaroto

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      I actually still use that Mac Mini model with the i7 every day. However I bought it refurbed put in 16GB of RAM and switched the OS to an SSD last year which breathed new life into it. The RAM and SSD are probably what allow High Sierra to run so well because I have no issues on that front.

      I would agree on video though. It actually wants to recognize monitors as TV’s and the quality of the output is lacking. I looked into solutions and it just seems like a giant undertaking.

      • jimchamplin

        In reply to Jeffery_Commaroto:

        I'm not sure what's up with High Sierra. After installing, it will run for the first boot, but operation will degrade until things like Finder start crashing. Ultimately when you reboot it, you get literal TV static instead of the Apple boot screen.

        It runs CloudReady, Windows 10, and Linux just fine. I've currently got CloudReady on the internal disk.

    • ErichK

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      A few weeks ago I ordered a refurbished Mac mini with that 5400 RPM hard drive in it and 4 GB of RAM direct from the Apple store. I don't know who I was trying to kid. After two weeks I returned it and stepped up to the one with the Fusion drive and 8 GB of RAM. Much better experience.

      You're probably wondering, why bother, and it's because I miss GarageBand, Logic, etc., and I wanted to also port over some of the recent games I've written to macOS.

  26. Patrick3D

    Two bad purchases in a row: 1st generation Mac Mini with a PowerPC processor that was soon obsoleted by Apple's move to x86 processors, and the black MacBook with an Intel CoreDuo processor that was obsoleted by Apple's move to 64-bit only. In addition to becoming obsolete the MacBook also remains the single worst piece of hardware I ever owned. It suffered from the thermal shutdown issue that required a mainboard replacement, 2 bad Bluetooth cards, 1 bad Wi-Fi card and a battery recall.

  27. arunphilip

    My very first laptop.

    I was seduced by all the Pentium 4 hype that I chased after the 3.2 GHz chip, shunning the available Pentium IIIs that ran at a piddling 1.x or low 2 GHz.

    That taught me the valuable lesson of researching my purchases better, and brought me to great hardware review sites as well (AnandTech, Tech Report, Tom's, etc.).

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to arunphilip:

      Age at least provides perspective. My first employer-owned PC was a Panasonic luggable (mid-1980s, over 20 pounds, internal thermal printer). After that, ANY laptop looks good.


    Windows 8. I still can't believe that Microsoft actually shipped that piece of crap - the launch should have been aborted. It is the most disturbingly bad product from a major technology company by a factor of 3. I doubt that Microsoft will ever fully recover from the mistake, nor should they.

    • polloloco51

      In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:

      Windows 8 wasn't horrible, it was huge mess UI wise. There was truly, two operating systems in one. There was the metro interface, with the metro apps, and the desktop with the desktop apps. I always ignored the metro environment. It was always there, and was bothersome. Windows 8 was alot sleaker than Windows 7. It was also faster, and had better power management, and also, USB 3.0 support. Windows 8.1 did improve upon many things. By then, it was just too late, to fix Windows 8's public image!

      • evox81

        In reply to polloloco51:

        I'd only add one thing here... It was faster and more stable, but more importantly, it stayed fast and stable. Everything that came before 8 got slow and flaky over time.

    • Tony Barrett

      In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:

      Win8 (or 8.1 more so) was actually very fast and stable - the last monolithic Windows development design where stability and performance were valued over looks and features. Unfortunately, the 'metro' UI was just horrible and badly designed. Slap on a 3rd party menu replacement like Start8 or Classic Shell, and I'd take 8.1 over 10 any day of the week. No data collection. No ads. No UWP. No Cortana. No Edge. Yay!

    • Lauren Glenn

      In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:

      The best part about Windows 8 was the recovery options in the OS. No one mentioned it at the time but when I swapped motherboards and used the drive from the old motherboard, I expected it to BSOD and stop requiring me to reinstall the OS. But no, in about 30 seconds, I got a message saying "Automatic repair.." and then the OS was back up and running shortly afterwards. First Windows OS to be able to recover from that or doing something like changing your boot device hardware / drivers also. That used to always crash Win 7 and XP.

    • simont

      In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:

      Could be worse, I paid for the Windows Vista Ultimate to get all those future extras

  29. Simard57

    NuVision 8" tablet I got 2 years ago

  30. dave0

    Bought a netbook when it was trendy. What a horrid POS. Bought a couple of early Android phones when Android was still terrible.