Latest in 2010

Image credit:

Engadget's Holiday Anti-Gift Guide: Stuff you don't want

Vlad Savov

Welcome to the Engadget Holiday Gift Guide! The team here is well aware of the heartbreaking difficulties of the seasonal shopping experience, which is why we've prepared a whole Gift Guide hub of product guides for this holiday season. Today, however, we're indulging in an exploration of the gadget world's worst offenders of the year.

We're only a couple of days away from Christmas, you've taken care of every one of your loved ones' gadget needs with military precision, and now you can rightly put your feet up and relax. But while you're unwinding, why not spare a thought for those you keep even closer than your friends: your enemies? What if they need some last-minute advice on outfitting their tech boudoir? You'll want to be prepared with the year's worst possible gadgets, so as to inflict maximum damage with your "friendly" tips. Follow the break to be enlightened, you Machiavellian schemer, you.

Stocking stuffers

ThinkGeek TK-421 iPhone keyboard

This is the quintessential crappy gadget. Capitalizing on the iPhone's popularity and Apple's totalitarian disdain for physical keyboards, the TK-421 sought to fill a niche in the market. Sadly, the way it went about doing that was with a laughably poor construction, a nonsensical layout, and even inconsistently labelled keys -- all of it held together by a whimsically fragile hinge. Maybe if you paid us $40, we'd consider owning one. But even then, it'd be purely to show it to our friends and laugh at it.

Price: $40

Cheap, but hardly cheerful...

Augen GenBook - $99 at Kmart

Augen (who?) made a lot of noise with its crazy pricing at Kmart earlier this year, but for every dollar you saved when buying its GenBook, you lost a couple of dollars' worth of actual value. It was so dreadful, in fact, that you'll have to hunt high and low to even find one on sale anymore.

The dumbest smartphone ever...

Microsoft Kin One - $20 on contract

What should a modern smartphone possess? A large high-resolution screen, intuitive UI, fast browser, decent camera, and, perhaps, an app ecosystem? Yeah, the Kin One has none of those things. Its new ONEm iteration is cheaper, but it's still the same rotten core you're buying.

Oh, you (really) shouldn't have

Toshiba Folio 100

The Folio 100 isn't alone in being yanked from shop floors for generally sucking too hard to sell -- Viewsonic's G Tablet matched it very recently -- but Toshiba's slate wins out by having not only terrible software, but an atrocious screen and poor build quality as well. What's so devious about it is that underneath all the troubles resides an unquestionably powerful Tegra 2 chip, which, when allied to Toshiba's usually reliable brand name, should ensure your victim / gift recipient will expend many an hour trying to make it work. It's so deliciously evil that we wonder if psychological warfare on this level is even allowed under the Geneva Convention. We'll guess and say it is.

Price: £365 ($566)

For a life less tolerable...

Flip Slide HD - $199

A device that never made sense from the start, the Slide HD leaked its backlight all over a resistive touchscreen and rendered any user's life an unenviable series of frustrations. Video should never have to be so fiddly, but brand recognition will again aid you in fooling people that this is actually a decent gift.

The one thing the iPad didn't need...

Colorware Grip for iPad - $300

Do not be confused by the price and image above -- this isn't some oddly titled iPad on a subsidy -- the Colorware Grip is just that, a gripping implement for your iPad. Hell, it barely even qualifies to be called a case as it only wraps around the sides of Apple's slate. And that's the other thing about it, this $300 accessory can only "Grip" that one device.

We can't afford the rent now, can we?

Toshiba Regza 12GL1

You can tell everyone within earshot that this is a highly innovative piece of technology, that it delivers a glasses-free 3D picture and all that, but it ain't gonna change the fact that Toshiba's 12GL1 is a 12-inch screen with a 466 x 350 resolution. Seriously, read that again. We've had bigger displays than that in our bathrooms since the '80s. If you want to inflict a tiny screen with a prissy 3D tech -- in our experience, the GL1 loses its luster with only minimal movement off center -- this is most definitely the high-end item you're looking for.

Price: ¥120,000 ($1,431)

For lovers of exclusive gear...

Fusion Garage Joojoo - $499

It's not available to purchase anymore (wonder why), but we couldn't conduct this guide without an honorable mention for perhaps the fastest-talking and slowest-walking gadget of the past year. The Joojoo's ambition was limitless, but its execution could most generously be described as "flawed." A surefire disappointment, whoever you bestow it upon.

For the truly big spenders...

iPhone 4 Diamond Rose Edition - $7.75m

Stuart Hughes maintains his position on our annual anti-gift guide by going even further into the land of exorbitant prices for extravagant phones. Costing nearly $8 million, his iPhone 4 boasts 500 flawless diamonds, a rose gold back, a solid granite case, and absolutely no appreciation for things like economics or subtlety.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr