With most technology products, innovation and competition between companies should drive prices down. This holds true for many types of products, such as hard drives and solid-state drives, which have seen prices drop and storage capacities grow over time. Some companies have apparently not received the memo however. Today, we look at several overpriced tech products that defy the pull of price drops and discounts.
Gold-plated and copper-plated premium cables
When HDTVs first became popular, HDMI cables were relatively pricey when compared to analog composite and coaxial equivalents. Now many years after their introduction, HDMI cables can be had for as little as $3 for six feet. Yet supposedly premium HDMI cables can be seen for as high as $100 or more. This premium cable market also extends to other standards, from digital audio to component video.
Sometimes marketed as copper-plated or gold-plated, these premium cables supposedly increase signal strength and picture quality. Dubious at best, the claims of these touted wonder cables can be difficult to test. Could there be a difference between a premium and standard A/V cable? Perhaps if the standard cable was somehow damaged. With standard perfectly functional cables however, the differences will be minute.
OEM ink and toner cartridges
OEM printer ink cartridges and toner often cost magnitudes more than their generic equivalents and rarely go on sale. On the other end of the market, generic ink and toner have a stigma of being cheap or shoddy when in fact they can be just as well manufactured as OEM offerings. On top of that, printer manufacturers frequently state that using any ink or toner not produced by them will result in a voided warranty.
Other claims associated with non-OEM ink cartridges include: they have lower print yields, they do not fit printers as well as OEM, and they use lower quality ink. However, the differences between OEM and third-party ink and toner cartridges are small considering the sometimes large price gap.
A laptop is a laptop is a laptop, except when it comes to a Macbook Pro—apparently. Always considered a high-end luxury laptop, the Macbook Pro’s existence continues to confound when lower-cost options exist. This is not to start a PC vs Mac debate, as that would continue for a very long time. Rather, buyers should consider a Macbook Air instead of its larger sibling.
While the Macbook Pro does feature beefier hardware such as a Core i7 2.5 GHz processor, the Macbook Air doesn’t disappoint either with a Core i7 1.7 GHz processor. In Turbo Boost mode, both processors clock up to 3.3 GHz. One could argue that the Macbook Pro has a larger screen than the Macbook Air, except that in an office LCD monitors abound, and both have video output capabilities. On the road, the smaller display of the Macbook Air actually wins out because of portability.
Wearables seem to be the next hot item, except that they may just be the next overpriced tech products. As we stated in a previous article, smartwatches best serve as second screens for your smartphone. However, does their cost justify saving a few extra seconds of having to get your phone? But smartwatches pale in comparison to other wearables, such as the Google Glass. Priced so high as to deter most buyers, it is no longer even sold. Google has promised to return to the proverbial drawing board to redesign the troubled product.
If the Apple Watch comes out later this year only to fail to attract buyers, then perhaps wearables will finally be priced lower. At this point in time, justifying the cost of a wearable is difficult when they offer so few benefits.
The overpriced tech products mentioned above still exist, despite cheaper alternatives and the fact that they add little additional functionality. At least not enough to justify their prices.
What other tech products do you think are overpriced and should not be bought by anyone with a grain of sense or the ability to comparison shop?