AOL recommends waiting on these gadgets

In an effort to help all us herdlings who jump on the latest tech whenever possible, AOL has posted a list of 5 gadgets to hold off buying until the next generation of them comes out – presumably also when these products improve and/or the prices come down.

Many first-generation products have so many little bugs that these highly anticipated toys simply don’t live up to the hype. Making matters worse, consumers have to pay top dollar to get their hands on the newest technology. So unless you simply must have it, you’re better off waiting until the next generation, says Tom Merritt, executive editor of CNET.

Before talking about any of the gadgets, let me just say I’m confident it would be easy to expand this list waaaaaay beyond just 5 gadgets. That said, here are a couple AOL pointed out:

1. High Definition DVD Players

Price: $500-$1,000

Remember the battle between Betamax and VHS? Well, the format wars are back. Only this time the fight is between the Blu-ray and HD DVD players. What does this mean for consumers? If you invest in one of these platforms over the other you risk building up a library of movies for a technology that could soon be obsolete. And even if you’re willing to make the bet on which format will ultimately dominate, the payoff just isn’t that high. Netflix, which boasts a catalog of over 70,000 titles, only carries a limited number of Blu-ray and HD DVD movies.

4. Windows Vista Operating System

Price: $239

Windows Vista isn’t exactly a gadget. But it does run on one. And if you want to keep your largest toy as up to date as possible, you may feel tempted to upgrade to Microsoft’s latest operating system. CNET’s Merritt suggests you wait. As with every new operating system, there are always some bugs that need to be worked out in the beginning.

Also, if you really want to exploit Vista’s cool new advances, such as the transparent menu bars, then you’ll need to purchase the premium version. There’s just one problem: There’s no guarantee that your current computer can handle it. PCs that are even just a couple of years old don’t have enough memory to support it. You’ll need 1GB of RAM memory and 15GB of free memory on a 40GB hard drive to run the “premium” package. In the meantime, if you’re happy with your current version of Windows, Merritt suggests sticking with it. There’s no huge benefit to upgrading now. Just keep using your current computer until you need to buy a new one and then you’ll get a cleaned up version of Vista for free.

After reading the list, I definitely can think of some more to avoid. Although I’m seeing more and more that I disagree with the rest of the world, let me throw out the iPhone as one to avoid at first release. Any other gadgets not on the AOL list you can recommend that folks skip for now?

[tags]Gadgets to avoid (for now)[/tags]

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