There was a time when things like cool phones and computers were considered luxury technology. As in, most people didn’t get to have them, just those blessed with a sizable chunk of disposable income and some technical know how. Times have really changed, though, and phones and computers are everyday necessities. Accordingly, these devices are no longer privileged commodities and there’s a wide array of gadgets designed especially with those with tighter budgets in mind. With that in mind, read on for our recommendations for four great bits of kit that won’t break the bank.
Not willing to fork out $400-$500 on a tablet? Then you should look no further! The Blackberry Playbook was released by Research in Motion during 2011 and it has become one of the most popular budget tablets on the market.
The tablet itself started off with a very high retail price, in the same sort of ball-park as the iPad and other competitors. However, RIM quickly saw that they were failing to compete in the tablet marketplace (who wants a BlackBerry tablet for the price of an iPad?) and they promptly slashed the price to put the device in the budget price range. You can now get this 1GHz, 16GB device for just $189. It will record HD videos, take great pictures and perform many of the functions of pricier tablets.
Lenovo Thinkpad X121e
Once an IBM brand, the ThinkPad series of laptops has been providing consumers with top-level devices since 1992. Particularly popular with businesses and school, the ThinkPad range has a reputation for strong, utilitarian design and raw functionality. While ThinkPads are available with top-of-the-line hardware within, manufacturers Lenovo offer budget versions starting from around $200. Reviewers have praised the X121e’s build quality, screen, battery life and processing power, and it’s a guaranteed route to satisfaction for anyone looking for a great laptop on a tight budget.
Samsung Galaxy Ace
Smartphones are the new big thing, and the Galaxy Ace from Samsung is perfect for anyone wanting to join the smartphone generation but not wanting to blow $500 on a handset. The phone costs as little as $200 with most retailers and this will give you all the expected features: GPS, Touchscreen, a 5-megapixel camera and enough processing power to run all the latest apps from the Android store. The Galaxy Ace is the baby-brother of the Samsung Galaxy II and it has inherited some great features from its big brother. The phone is sleek, thin and very easy to use; the perfect budget phone!
Creative Zen M300
This is the updated Zen MP3 player, a great budget option for all gadget fanatics coming in at around $60-80 for the 4gb version. It has great sound, above and beyond most expensive MP3 players and the overall design is great. It’s compact, fits nicely in any pocket and the loading and deleting process is very simple.
Not only does it play music, the Zen M300 also plays videos, albeit with a fairly limited number of video codecs. The Creative programme that comes with the Zen does allow you to convert the videos to the right format when you transfer. This is a great budget MP3 and video player for anyone looking to update their gadget collection and not wanting to splash out on expensive hard-drive based devices.
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