Worst piece of tech you have owned?

We talk a lot here of “best” and less about worst. So I was reminded of these as we were clearing out a storage closet this week. The only good thing I remember about them was that they had a huge (for the time) 1GB capacity.

OTOH they were the most temperamental and prone to sudden failure drives’ I’ve ever used, far more even than their older sibling, the Zip Drive which is not really saying much as they were not that great either, though they had the virtue of being relatively cheap.

The big virtue they had in the market was that they had a SCSI port which was almost essential for a mac user.

Jaz drive - Wikipedia

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Oh man, I’ve had some pretty bad tech in my time. I’m pretty cheap, so I tend to buy the bare minimum. I won’t count tech that I’ve immediately sent back it was so bad though.

Probably the worst I’ve had was a Lenovo Idea Pad. I used Think Pads at work, so had good experience with Lenovo and thought it couldn’t be that much worse. I had so many problems with it. Aside from really sluggish performance that barely worked for my uses, the hinge cracked pretty quickly after I got it, so I had to be very careful opening and closing it. The keyboard was really squishy and didn’t always recognize keystrokes. I was doing online school at the time, and that was all it was really used for, but, typing up papers was a real challenge.

For phones, probably my Lumia 610. I liked Windows Phone as an OS, it was quick and efficient, and had a previous Windows Phone that was starting to die when I “upgraded” to the Lumia. The Lumia was no where near as good. Part of the problem was right after I got it, app developers realized that Windows Phone just wasn’t going to catch on, and started dropping support. I didn’t use a lot of apps, but a few crucial ones got dropped after having the phone for only a year. It’s sad that MS doesn’t know how to market or support their best ideas. Windows Phone really was a good OS for its time, but like a lot of their better products, MS didn’t want to invest enough into it to make it work.

I don’t know that I really have had a bad tablet. The worst of the lot was probably my HP Omni 10. It was fine, no active stylus was the biggest gripe against it. I had won it though in a giveaway, so I wasn’t going to complain all that much. It wasn’t the fastest, but it was fine for browsing, videos, etc. I bought. a cheap bluetooth keyboard for it with a case and did quite a bit with it, but it also had lots of bugs and the camera stopped working, then something else stopped working. I contacted HP, and sent it in for repairs. They contacted me back and said there was an inherent problem with the hardware in the Omni’s and it couldn’t be repaired and gave me a “refund” on the device I’d won. I couldn’t really complain too much about that either, and used the money to get the HTC Flyer I believe, which was great while I had it.

Oh, and speaking of other not great things that I got for free. We don’t have any TVs, but we use a projector. We’d had one for over 4 years and it was getting some burn in on the bulb. They’re as expensive to replace as getting a new projector sometimes, so I picked up a new projector on Amazon during Cyber Monday. It said it had a “zoom” feature, which is important to us because of layout of our rooms, we need to be able to put the projector in a spot and zoom in and out. It didn’t, and also came obviously used/damaged with a really loud fan. The focus and keystone made a grinding sound trying to adjust it, and barely adjusted I sent it back and wrote a poor review. The company contacted me and sent me a free “newest model” replacement, even though Amazon had already refunded me. The replacement wasn’t much better than the damaged one. The fan is still loud, there is still no zoom on the newer model, and the keystone is average at best. The only saving grace for it is it’s actually pretty bright and the audio over bluetooth is loud enough to mostly ignore the fan noise. The problem is, it doesn’t work in any of the rooms we wanted it to because of the lack of zoom. So we bought yet another projector with a digital keystone and zoom that works much better. We found a use for the free projector in our bedroom to project on the wall opposite our bed for watching occasional movies in bed, but it’s a pain because we have to set it up in the middle of the floor to get it to the right size to fit the wall and have the right angle. And honestly, I’d rather use the other projector we bought. We don’t have it mounted, so we can move it around, and it can sit wherever we want it to and it would be fine. But we’re just trying to find a use for this one cause it was free, and so far no one else we know has need of it.

Interesting question! The main things that come to mind are cases where tech broke soon out of warranty.

  • Lenovo Miix 700: stopped charging after 18 months or so due to weak connection of port to breadboard. (not mine, family member’s device)
  • Boox Note Air: screen cracked while perfectly protected in laptop bag. :money_with_wings:

Interesting thought on the warranty issues. My Miix 700 is actually still in use by my kids now as their current school computer. The rear camera on it broke shortly before the warranty expired, but since I never used it I didn’t really care. I would include the Miix 700 as some of the best tech I’ve owned though. It was a great device for me over the years.


Absolute worst I’ve had was the HP Touchpad running webOS. As a beta tester on that one, I was constantly telling them it was trash that wasn’t ready to ship. And then they shipped it anyway.

Surprise surprise when they did a fire sale to get rid of them at $99 a month or so later. :joy:


Yeah I bought one of theme at the fire sale price to hack linux and android on to it. It’s positively criminal what HP did to WebOS.

Motorola Droid. Probably circa 2010 or so. 2 MP cameras and Android 2 (Gingerbread). The phone, literally, fell apart in my hands. Battery life was non-existent. Initially, it would hold a charge for a few hours. Within a year, it was down to an hour or less. I kept it on a charger most of the time. In the car. At my desk. At home. After having a blackberry for so long and having all day battery life, it was a complete PITA. Display was okay but that Hal 9000 like start screen was incredibly annoying. Traded it in the first opportunity. Luckily, my attention turned to Lumia. I never looked back.

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oh…some many to choose from.

One of my biggest tech disappointment’s was no doubt the Thinkpad Tablet 10 (1st gen Bay Trail with EMR)

At the time the Asus 8-inch/ Wacom Penabled Tablet (that we all had one or two of) showed shocking good performance (for that time) from the Bay Trail Atom platform. How well Photoshop ran I think surprised a lot of us. But the 8-inch size…

So Lenovo releasing a 10-inch model with a slightly better Bay Trail Atom CPU, 4GB of Ram (up from 2GB in the ASUS) and Wacom EMR seemed like it would be perfect.

For a 10-inch device, that thing was Heavy, uncomfortable to hold because of how its ends were unbalanced (rounded on one half, square on the other), it had one of the worst implementations of EMR I’ve ever seen with endless offset no matter what pen I used, poor pressure control, edge drift, and performance was terrible. Photoshop which ran like desktop perfect on the ASUS, was an absolute mess here, even the 32-bit installation of photoshop.

I’ve had alot of devices with alot of cons over the years, but few things upset me as much as this device.

2nd up would be the lenovo lt1423p, which as much as it was a unicorn for its time, it also had a terrible implementation of EMR, very dim screen, was difficult to get it to stay connected, and none of my devices could correctly display on its screen. No matter what device it was paired with, the display Resolution was always wrong.

It was both of these devices (each released in relative proximity to each other) that made me rethink Lenovo devices going forward.


Had to think through all of my tech devices I’ve owned over the years and strangely enough I think it’s my Surface Pro 6 (which is still my primary “laptop” device).

Touch screen has died on me twice now, the Windows Hello IR camera only works about 10% of the time (despite adding my face from different angles about a 100 times), and the thing has significant slow downs and random bugs and glitches since I upgraded to W11 (even did a fresh install later but it didn’t fix anything).

All around, has been a disappointing device and will probably move back to a non-Microsoft and more traditional laptop design for my next purchase (I also found the kickstand to be less convenient in a lot of settings).

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That reminds me, I think if we ask @DRTigerlilly the answer is going to be the Surface Pro 4. #flickergate #neverforget


I could go on and on when it comes to this subject.

-A load of HP Pro/Elitbooks with the crappiest 1366x768 screens. For THAT price, as well!
-Samsung 7 Slate - The one with the screen that ejects itself. Also cost a lot.
-Creative PowerVR card - It simply never worked and crashed. A LOT.
-Dell Latitude 5285 - We bouhht 5/6. The touch screen failed on every device.
-Early Windows PDAs - If the battery ran out, settings would be lost. Umm?!?
-OEMs releasing desktops with 256Mb of ram - Oh, Superfetch LOVED that.

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I have a feeling HP and Lenovo are going to be on this list a lot.

This might come as a shock to some people but my worst piece of tech was the original iPad.

The only reason I got one was because clients wanted to get their novels into iBooks and I had to see what they would look like on an iPad and make adjustments as necessary.

At the time it was all just iPhone apps enlarged and the resolution wasn’t very good. This was before retina iPads. And long before there was a Pencil. I just didn’t think it was a very good experience and I didn’t use it much except for the business purpose I bought it for.

It was the second gen when it started getting good, IMHO. Though I didn’t buy another one until the iPad Pro came out. :smile_cat:

I am not shocked at all. I mocked the original iPad endlessly when they came out for being nothing but giant phones you couldn’t make calls on. Took them awhile to figure it out.

Here are some of mine:

  • Similar to @darkmagistric , my Jumper ezbook 5SE was supposed to be an upgrade to my Asus note 8 with 4GB RAM and newer Atom Chip. But the thing was sluggish beyond belief, much much slower than my Asus. Atom just wasn’t seem to be designed with 64 bit Windows in mind. To give the thing credit, the EMR calibration was on point and battery life was good for a Chinese tablet, but it’s just too slow to be useful.

  • The Gaomon PD 156 PRO which would have been an unicorn had the screen not developed two black lines across the screen after 8 months of use. That screen had many buttons and good selection of shortcut, the pen performance was the nicest of all Chinese screen I used. Two bad I can’t tolerate 2 black lines right in the middle of my screen ( the thing had never left my table so it wasn’t physical damage that caused it).

  • A random offbrand Intel PC stick I bought with the expectation that it would be mobile. It’s similar spec to the Asus and run okay, but the amount of cable and plug I realized I would need made me realize that it’s anything but compact or mobile. Haven’t found an use for it, maybe some day I will figure out how to make a reliable home server with Windows.

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Same for me. I bought the original on launch day and after the “new toy” charm faded, I ended up giving it to my wife. It was only after the second generation of the iPads having “retina” displays, coupled with Apple staring to put iPad specific UI elements in to the OS that I started taking them seriously.

And in fact it wasn’t’ until the iPad Pro 10.5, because of the pencil, that I actually bought one for myself again.

That was at least fixable since it fell under warranty. And when the replacement models starting doing that (suspiciously post warranty) a tiny dash of glue would mostly hold it down.

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Man, I still have my Moto Droid somewhere. I kind of miss that landscape keyboard, and I don’t remember having any of the issues you describe, but I also might have just had very low expectations. I also rooted it and did all kinds of craziness with it. :smiley:

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For me, it has to be the ExoPC. I was one of the lucky ones able to return it.

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It is so long ago I no longer remember its name, but it was a tape backup device. It had these kind of half size 8 track tapes you put in and every darn time some part of that tape got tangled insid the cassette or the device. It ran on SCSI which was another bag of conflicts. Eventually I got a Jaz instead and that was just as incompatible with everything else as that tape backup. Thank God for USB memory sticks.