Not Upgrading

There have been lots of cool new products released in the last month or so, some of which I have commented on here and others I looked at, then decided not to get. Here’s the round up of what I have decided against recently.

iPhone 5S

Technically off-cycle for me now (I upgraded from the 4S to the 5 last year), so I was only going to jump to this if it was really significant. Some of the features interest me for sure: the new camera, the 64 bit CPU and even the fingerprint sensing all caught my attention.

Even more interesting, I could probably sell my 32GB 5 for between $400 and $500, so the actual cost of the upgrade would not be that bad (AT&T would sell me a similar spec 5S for $550 + almost a ton of taxes).

But honestly, with iOS 7 on the 5 I am very happy with it again. So I think I can just wait for the iPhone 6 upgrade next year… I think…

Sony QX-100

When Sony announced the two Wi-Fi direct “lens cameras” last month I was very interested in them, to be honest, I am still pretty interested in the concept. The camera has been around for a few weeks now though and the reviews on Amazon reveal a number of things. Firstly, lots of people love them, especially the higher spec, and much more pricey, QX-100 with the Carl Zeiss glass. But there were also lots of comments about app instability, especially on iOS, and also quite a few comments about how slow the response was when using the phone as the controls for the camera.

Sadly, it looks like this is a case of a great idea that has been poorly executed or perhaps just rushed to market too soon. I am still interestedn the concept, but now I want to actually try it before I decide whether I will buy one.

Nexus 5

Another amazing device, and quite an upgrade in some respects, is the new Google Nexus 5 (manufactured by LG), but I am happy with my Nexus 4, so I don’t feel compelled to spend $350 upgrading. If I was looking for a new Android device today though, I would be seriously tempted by it, and for the price it is a steal if it is even half as good as the Nexus 4.

iPad Air

Announced today, but ever since I bought my current iPad (the last gen retina one that the new iPad Air replaces), I have been wondering whether I would upgrade. I was actually not a fan of the design of any of the ones after the original iPad, but this one has grown on me, and the new one doesn’t seem to that different. Certainly not enough to make me consider an upgrade just yet.

So, the Air, thinner and lighter has some appeal now. The same 64 bit CPU that the 5S sports too, though it didn’t get the fancy fingerprint sensor. I don’t care about the camera on my iPad, so changes there don’t mean anything to me (I do know some people who were desperate for a back camera on an iPad though, and would love having it improve).

I’m also not interested by the Mini – I actually like the larger screen because I don’t use this as just a book (I am writing this blog post on my iPad and I use it for all sorts of other things where the extra screen space is useful, including remote access to my Mac Mini at home).

DVR / TiVo

Part of cutting our cable TV at the end of last month meant we lost the DVR that was part of that package. I had been contemplating a replacement DVR for our family room, just for the over the air channels we get there now. In practice though, we’re just not watching much on those channels, and we could probably pay for episodes of anything we cared about on something like Hulu for less than the monthly service cost for a TiVo (and that’s before you factor in the cost of buying the hardware). So, for now at least, I have no plans to replace the DVR.

MacBook Pro

Here is where the story might change. My current 13″ MBP is an upgraded mid 2009. By next year, that will make it a 5 year old design; my normal cutoff date for Mac hardware. But here’s the thing: it is still working pretty well for me. I upgraded the RAM (though it could probably do with more again now), and I swapped the tiny spinning HD it came with for a 512GB SSD, and it feels fast enough for most of the things I do.

But it isn’t a retina display, and the non-retina 13″ was very short on pixels. It also has a much shorter battery life (with its age, that is down to a shade over 3 hours typical use – we’ll see if Mavericks can improve that at all). A new 13″ MBP with a retina display would be a very big upgrade.

The only reason I am hesitating at all is that there is no option to have the 512GB SSD on the entry level CPUs, and those are plenty fast enough for my needs. That changes a $1300 laptop, which is already expensive, into a $1800 laptop. I am still thinking about it though…

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