Technology choices can power up life or shut down budget

Technology surrounds us every day. These are some of the best pieces on the market.

NOOK Color
One of the best values on the market hands down is the NOOK Color by Barnes & Nobles. It carries features that never seem to end, since new apps, new titles, and new updates are available often. Some of the most attractive elements include 7-inch touch screen, access to over 2 million books, entertainment applications, and web browsing via Wi-Fi. Overall, the NOOK Color serves the purpose of an e-reader, gaming device, web browser, and media player all in one powerful device at a reasonable price of $249.

iPod touch (4th generation)
With functions such as e-mail, web browsing, and calculator, purchasing an Apple iPod Touch is equivalent to putting a mini-laptop in the palms of your hands. A simple interface allows the iPod to be extremely user-friendly and great for both kids and adults. Moreover, Apple offers an awesome variety of downloadable content, such as apps, music, and videos, which ensures that the owner will not be bored with or regret his purchase.

Pandora has taken its rightful place as the best internet radio service available. Pandora’s distinction comes from the idea of a personalized radio station that not only allows the listener to hear their favorite songs and artists, but it also helps people discover new music. It literally takes a few seconds to get started–all the program asks for is one song or one artist as the root and then it does the rest while the listener simply enjoys.

As their prices gradually descend, there has never been a better time to purchase a Blu-ray player. Besides the price, the Blu-ray experience provides both enhanced video and sound. Althought it isn’t revolutionary technology, Blu-ray discs are still worth investing in since they are slowly replacing DVDs by creating a sharper picture consisting of vivid colors and high-definition audio.

The magicJack essentially offers a landline in the size of a flash drive. One end consists of a USB connector and the other end has a standard phone jack. Once connected, users can make calls to any phone number in USA or Canada. Moreover, free features include caller I.D., voicemail, and call waiting. All of this is offered for an annual price of $40 (less than $4 per month). Anyone even remotely interested should  try it out by taking advantage of their 100% risk free trial for a month.

Worst Technology
The Apple iPad might seem innovative at first, but in reality, it isn’t worth the $500 price tag. One of the biggest issues is lack of flash support, which results in plenty of sites consisting of large X’s and black areas. Also, it’s basically a large version of an iPod touch since there aren’t any features or apps exclusive to only the iPad. You’re better off purchasing an iPod touch for $200. Better yet, you can easily purchase a laptop or netbook for under $500 that fills in all the gaps seen in the iPad. Overall, don’t expect the iPad to be a replacement or substitute for a computer.

VHS format is slowly becoming extinct since technology has allowed consumers to purchase better things. Lack of demand is resulting in little to no distribution of VHS tapes nowadays. Also, one of most irritating aspects of VHS tapes is that the image degrades overtime as the tapes just sit on shelves and in drawers. The top alternatives are DVDs and Blu-ray discs since they are both durable and of significantly higher quality.

3D  TVs
Change is not always for the good, and this is personified by the newly-introduced 3D TVs. Not only do they carry hefty retail prices, but there’s very little content available for it. Also, wearing those heavy polarized glasses is not convenient either, especially for watchers who wear prescription glasses already. Most importantly, 3D TVs are known to cause headaches through eye strain because the eyes are forced to act in an unnatural manner.

Windows Vista
The number one operating software to avoid is undoubtedly Windows Vista. Aside from the graphics, Vista was a huge downgrade from Windows XP in multiple ways. For one , there are too many popups asking to confirm actions, so it takes longer to download content, install applications, and finish general tasks. Also, another popular complaint is that Vista occupies too much memory and therefore limits multitasking. It’s best for computer users to stick with Windows XP, or skip Vista and upgrade directly to Windows 7.

GreatCall’s Jitterbug is a lackluster cell phone service geared toward the elderly audience and senior citizens. With only two types of phones availables, options are extremely limited. Also, their basic flip phone is marked to sell for $99.99, a total ripoff because plenty of mobile networks provide free phones for new users. On top of that, their plans and rates are not worth much considering the fact that the basic plan costs $0.30 per minute. All in all, Jitterbug pushes the limit when it comes to simplicity in a negative manner.