Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
I’ve recently got a brand-new gadget and it became almost obsolete the second I opened the box.
One big problem with electronics is that no matter when you buy, they’re already obsolete. My soon-to-be-obsolete device is an Android tablet called the Archos 5. It surfs the Web very well, renders newspapers beautifully, does all the apps stuff, has a built-in GPS, a wonderful movie viewer and all the rest. I paid $150 for it, but a year from now it might not be worth a dollar!
Technology marches on that fast.
Likewise, my senior radio producer Kimberly recently paid $200 for the Epic 4G cell phone from Sprint (with a slide-out keyboard). But now there’s a new 4G phone with a slide-out that’s supposedly the latest and greatest thing … for $149.
Technology just keeps marching on as devices get faster, cheaper and better.
Last month, the tech world turned its eyes to Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show. The hot thing this year at CES was all the wannabe Apple tablets.
My take on the tablet market? If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the iPad, it’s still too early. Give it at least six months and you’ll be rewarded with very nice tablets at very nice prices.
In fact, I expect tablets to become impulse purchases in less than a year and a half. One of the key indicators telling me so is that Vizio is entering both the cell phone market and the tablet market. Vizio is the No. 1 seller of TVs and the company that’s had the most to do with driving down the cost of HDTVs. When they enter a market, they build stuff that’s high quality at lower prices than anybody else says is possible. So get ready!
-by Clark Howard, Save More, Spend Less, Avoid Rip-offs
Find more answers to your consumer questions at ClarkHoward.com. You can also listen to his radio show live 1-4 p.m. Monday through Friday on AM 750 and NOW 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB.