Inspired by a recent blog post by Walletpop covering the topic of generic products, or what they prefer to call "private label," we set out to cover a similar roundup - only our focus is targeted specifically on products that tends to head towards technological fail when one chooses to settle with the generic brand rather than a name brand.
1. As Walletpop had previously mentioned, MP3 players are a big one. If your budget is $10, then sure - you can grab one from your local bargain bin. Just don't expect it to last for long. The quality of manufacturing, materials used, and interface will suck so bad that you'd might as well not buy it at all.
2. Cameras. There's plenty of affordable name brand options out there with plenty of sources (including us) to provide first hand reviews and experiences regarding the performance and picture quality of the camera you plan to buy. No-name models tend to milk on the "buzzwords" like "high pixel count" and "70 event modes." Best to avoid those if you're looking for something that'll take pictures where people's faces are actually distinguishable.
3. If you're used to listening to low bitrate MP3s or fuzzy radio all day, then you may disregard this one. But if you actually wish to appreciate music, we suggest investing in a pair of quality headphones or earphones. We've covered plenty of ground here, so there should be no soul out there blasting away with some iPod headphone throwaways unless they have to.
4. This should be an obvious one - computers. No, we're not saying to go out and buy a Mac. Just be careful when settling for a "netbook" sold at the flea market from a brand you've never heard of once in your life. Computers break, but a generic one will break much faster with little hopes of getting even a single e-mail back from the manufacturer when things start to fall apart. (Additionally, buying off-brand Apple power chargers and accessories is risky business as well)
5. Cell phones. Yep, we're talking about you, $0 after $100 mail-in rebate AT&T standard phone. Avoid, avoid, avoid. This falls into the same realm as cameras, here. If you're not willing to spend a dime on your phone and figure the experience is merely "just talking on the phone" then you're mistaken. Even simple things like a buried contact list, sluggish buttons, and sticky keys can go from annoyance to technology hell. Best to do some research and try a few phones out first before settling for the default.
Got a tech product that you know will suck tremendously unless you buy name brand? Share it in the comments below!