markmatters.comChances are the laptop, tablet or smartphone on which you're reading this story is considered obsolete by tech nerds. This is not what we mean when we talk about obsolete gadgets. Bargain hunters – our favorite folks – know it typically pays to buy slightly older devices in favor of tempting deals on new tech. But there are some electronics that are now approaching outright extinction.
"Some consumers may need the complete functionality of a point-and-shoot camera, for example, but for the majority of us, a smartphone already accomplishes everything we need," writes Dealnews.com. "So before you consider buying any of these items below, think long and hard about whether such a device is actually a redundant purchase and, thus, a big waste of your money."
Take all of this with a few grains of salt. Most of the items on this list have been replaced by new tech gadgets that many folks do not own. Even better, the fact that these items are losing their luster means you can probably get a great deal on them if you're so inclined. Usefulness is in the eye of the beholder, and the buyer.
When Google released Google Maps Navigation for Android it knocked 20% off the value of big turn-by-turn navigation players TomTom and Garmin in a single day. Since then, Google Maps has spread to other mobile platforms like iOS, and its accuracy and usability has improved.
"So we ask, why would someone pay hundreds of dollars for something we all can get for free? Sure, there are weaknesses with Google Maps, such as the need for cellular service, but it is now possible to load up a map and directions before a journey. Standalone GPS devices simply don't offer enough extras to make them a worthwhile buy anymore."
Predator DVDBlu-rays Discs and DVDs
This is a tough one. Many people like to own physical items instead of digital downloads. This is especially true of collectors, who want a visible testament to their obsessions. For everyone else, digital downloads remove the clutter of boxes holding DVDs and Blu-ray discs that will eventually be scratched or lost. If you have a media player, a decent Internet connection, and a subscription to services such as Netflix or Hulu, you could choose to eliminate your DVD or Blu-ray library. But you likely won't get much cash for them.
"The point-and-shoot compact camera industry is another victim of the smartphone revolution. As a separate device, you've got to remember to bring your compact camera along if you want to use it. Moreover, most cameras require users to plug into a computer to upload and access photos, although there are a few wireless options now. And above all, basic compact cameras no longer offer better specs over smartphone cameras.
In one of last year's better Super Bowl ads the great Amy Poehler pesters a Best Buy employee about "The Cloud." "Where is the cloud?" she asks. The answer is: "The could is everywhere. And it's here to stay."
"There's an impressive wealth of free cloud storage out there. Set up multiple accounts and you can store everything you need on remote servers that you can access from anywhere. And while a flash drive might seem like an easy solution for transmitting files to friends, many services offer such a utility without having even having to hand out your password."
MP3 playerMP3 Players
Bought any new CDs lately? Probably not. Now the MP3 player – the device that revolutionized listening to music – is at the end of its run. It's easy now to maintain a digital collection online if you have a device that can access it whether it be a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or speaker system.
Handheld Gaming Consoles
This is another tough one, because there is a generation of gamers who fondly remember playing Tetris on the school bus with their big, grey Gameboy. Sadly, the sales of the latest handheld gaming consoles are pitiful.
"The dedicated portable gaming industry has tanked, perhaps because handheld consoles and the accompanying games are expensive and their battery life is poor. And beyond employing better graphics, there simply isn't enough innovation or creativity in the industry: most people are content to play casual games and ports of old classics on their phones and tablets. Free-to-play games have made gaming on-the-go cheap and accessible for the masses; while the PC and console game industries cater to the more serious gamer."
This is not to say that ALL desktop computers are obsolete. For instance, on OCt. 3 Gateway announced their new Gateway One ZX4270 all-in-one (AIO) desktop series. This new series offers a sleek 19.5-inch HD+ non-glare LED display, popular features and solid performance with prices beginning at just $399. It's a good choice for an AIO desktop, and evidence that the demand for these machines is still high. They are ideal for entry-level computer users or a value-priced solution that can meet basic computing needs.
However, consumers have been buying overpowered computers for years.
"For every power user who genuinely needs a cutting edge PC, there are 10 people who will just surf the web, check email, and occasionally play a casual game."
"Video camera manufacturers have tried in vain to keep up with the digital revolution. For the everyday user, there's very little incentive to buy an expensive video camera. The mass market for home videos is well-served already: many smartphones and tablets have HD recording capabilities, and built-in software makes video easy to edit and share."
This is going to be a tough sell. Nearly everyone has an alarm clock and relies on it to get them up and out in the morning. Many of you have probably had the same one for years. There is something comforting about that. However, so many of us now have smartphones that can operate as an alarm clock and plays the tune of your choice from your own music library.
"Keep in mind that, despite our griping, there will still be reasons to purchase some of these items. But for the average tech Joe, avoiding them might be easier than you think — resulting in some extra cash in your bank account to spend elsewhere."