Recession-proof tech ideas

December 8, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
You don't need to spend a lot of money on new gadgets. Get the same results by updating what you already have at a fraction of the cost. Brian Tong, editor of CNET.com, shares his recession-proof tech ideas.
  1. Not a new PC, buy more memory:
    You can buy RAM at NewEgg.com; Buy.com; or the computer manufacturers directly (i.e. Dell). Prices vary depending on what computer you're upgrading and how much memory you're adding. It could be anywhere from $25 - $50 for 1 GB.

    Hard drives can be bought at any electronics store, or online at Amazon.com; Buy.com; and others.

    Example shown in this segment:

    Toshiba 320GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive that sells for $110 on Amazon.

    Link to other favorite external hard drives: http://reviews.cnet.com

  2. Instead of a new cell phone, buy a micro-SD card.
    You can buy them at: Amazon.com; Buy.com; Best Buy; Circuit City. A 4GB can be about $10. For 8 GBs you can expect to shell out between $20 and $30, and they are getting cheaper all the time. Molly recently bought a 8GB microSD card for about $23. A 16GB ranges from $25 - $60.

    Examples shown in this segment:

    The SanDisk 16 GB micro-SD card is on the priciest side of the range at $60 and can be purchased at Amazon.com. It can be bought for less elsewhere with coupon codes and such.
    Buy it on Amazon

  3. Not a new sound system, but pluggable speakers.

    Examples shown in this segment:

    Audio Technica Portable Speakers are $24.95, but can be bought for as cheaply as $16 on Amazon.

    Buy it on Amazon

    Buy it on JR.com for $20

    iPod Building Block Portable Speaker are iPod specific and cost about $20.

    Buy it on Amazon

  4. Not a new video game console, new controllers to spruce up old console.

    Examples shown in this segment:

    Glow Saber Duo Pack NW ($35)
    Buy it on Amazon

    Nintendo Wii Perfect Shot Gun ($18)
    Buy it on Buy.com

    Activision - Guitar Hero Wireless Les Paul Controller ($50)
    Buy it on BestBuy.com

  5. Inexpensive New Digital camera under $100

    Examples for the Canon PowerShot A470:

    Buy it on Amazon ($95)

    Buy it on BuyDig.com ($90)

    Buy it on JR.com ($95)

    Buy it on Beach Camera.com ($93)

  6. No new DVD players, watch movies online.

    Examples shown in this segment:

    Hulu.com (free)

    YouTube.com (free)

    Amazon.com Video on Demand ($3.99 and up)

    Netflix "Watch Now" (plans charge from $4.99 to $16.99 a month)

    Blockbuster "Download" lets you download movies, TV shows and other popular videos for rental or purchase. (Rental prices vary by title, with no membership fees or late fees.)
About Brian Tong:
Brian brings his high energy and edgy style to CNET showcasing the latest and greatest in the tech world. Brian hosts Prizefight, a face-off between two of the hottest products ranging from MP3 players to cell phones. He also hosts the popular Crave video podcast, a weekly rundown on the latest, greatest and sometimes strangest tech products from the CNET Crave gadget blog. You'll also see him introducing the newest products reviewed on CNET in the Product Spotlight. Brian graduated from San Jose State University, majoring in broadcast journalism. He started his media career working at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. He received his first break as one of the hosts of an Asian American pop-culture TV show called STIR TV that aired nationally for over four years. While at STIR in 2003, he had the opportunity to cover cell-phone technology in Japan that still has yet to reach the U.S.
Website: http://www.cnet.com

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