If the 20th Century was characterized by electronic devices like the radio, television and personal computers entering the common home, then perhaps the 21st Century will be characterized by electronic devices leaving the home – in the pocket of their owners. It seems like every electronic device is becoming mobile these days. It's now possible to bring your entire music and DVD library with you as you go for a jog.
As the popularity of portable handheld electronics continues to rise, how can we make sure that we're getting good value for our purchases? First a foremost, it's important to ignore the hype. Every week there's a new device that is all the rage. Many of these gadgets fall by the wayside. How many people do you know that own a portable book reader? Probably not too many.
There are some handheld devices that are here to stay, though. This list includes cell phones, GPS systems, mp3 players, PDAs, digital cameras and digital camcorders. Most of us own one (or more) of each of these devices. Many of us wish we owned a newest, faster, better version.
Before you buy consumer electronics, do some comparison shopping. The Internet is a great resource, as there are countless review sites and manufacturers' sites that provide you with all the information you need to make an informed purchase decision. In fact, you're currently reading one such site.
Most importantly, don't buy anything just because it's new and exciting. The reality is that new versions of handheld electronics are constantly being released into the marketplace. It simply isn't possible to keep up, so there's no point in trying. Forget trying to find the coolest gadget and instead focus on finding one that does what you want it to do. Will it be for family use or just your personal use? Will it have to endure the wear and tear of being shoved in a bag, taken out in a rainstorm or forgotten on the Subway? These are the types of questions that you should ask before you decide to spend any of your hard-earned money.