In addition to returning your collectible Justin Bieber wig and your Kim Kardashian wedding photo album, don’t hesitate to return technological gadgets that provide insufficient quality for your buck. Sure, your family meant well when they gave you that cheap Android tablet, but you especially know that you can do better. By returning some of the lowest quality gifts of the season, you will have the chance to obtain better gadgets that will make your life easier.
1. Android Tablets
Return: Low Quality Android Tablets — Lousy Android tablets like the PanDigital 72-70FW 7-inch tablets will be buggy and slow. In addition, they will run a version of Android that may never be updated. Better to put the money toward an Android tablet that you will actually be using five years from now.
Buy Instead: Exchange now for the Samsung Galaxy Tab, or wait just a little while for the ASUS Transformer Prime to come out. If you’re getting the Samsung, then go with the Galaxy 10.1 or 8.9. If you’re waiting for the ASUS, then just be aware that the Wi-Fi was having issues right before shipment. Some ASUS models were delayed until after Christmas so that the Wi-Fi issue could be ironed out.
2. LCD eBook Readers
Return: LCD eBook Readers — LCD eBook readers combine the functionality of an eBook reader with the advantages of a tablet. Unfortunately, the eBook tablet is a jack of all trades and a master of none.
Buy Instead: If you want an eBook reader, then choose an e-ink display like the Nook Simple Touch reader or the ever popular Kindle. If you want a tablet, then choose an Apple iPad 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab or wait for the ASUS Transformer Prime.
3. Digital Photo Frame
Return: Digital Photo Frame — These gadgets looked neat on Star Trek 20 years ago, but digital photo frames have become obsolete.
Buy Instead: Replace your digital photo frame with a tablet on your kitchen table or a slide show on your television provided by a media center or a game console.
4. Point-and-Shoot Digital Camera
Return: Low-End Digital Camera — Digital cameras that function on their own can easily be exchanged for a smartphone that already has a camera included. You’ll carry one less piece of equipment while enjoying the multiple advantages of a smart phone.
Buy Instead: The Samsung Galaxy S2 is one of the best Android smart phones on the market today. In addition to superior camera and video shooting technology, you’ll get an intuitive user interface and the best that the Android Market has to offer. The Apple iPhone 4S also touts an impressive camera which can put any low-end point and shoot unitasker to shame.
5. Apple iPod Touch
Return: iPod Touch — The iPod Touch is a great device, but a newer and better design is just around the corner.
Buy Instead: Wait for the next version of the iPod Touch or for the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 promises NFC technology, which will help to transport you into the future of convenient payments and the latest in user-focused content. Also, expect an even better camera and a cleaner design.