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Ask HN: I have $1200 to spend on gadgets, what should I buy?
23 points by bhoomit on Sept 16, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 61 comments

Upvoted this thread just because of this link to that post. Excellent advices!

really nice advises from the link. thanks for the sharing.

I think it exceeds his budget by the fact that he will also have to spend time which he can otherwise use to make more money. Doesn't it?

You could skip sleep too in order to make money.

If you don't have any specific needs, are you sure it's worth spending that money on electronics?

Personally I hate the remorse that comes every few months when I go through a drawer and discover a barely used iPod touch or other device that I once thought might improve my life, but didn't.

I was worried about the same thing when I bought my point and shoot. But I used it like one use his cellphone. And the other thing is for a long time I wanted to hack new gadget like leap motion.

If it was me, it'd be a toss-up between a combination of: eReader, tablet, and a Nexus 4. Items to increase my learning efficiency (eReader/tablet) and productivity (Nexus 4).

And I would wait til October for the new Paperwhite and probably the new Kobo Arc.

Also I would want to put about 10-20% away into some sort of investment fund unless there were some items that offered a serious short-term productivity increase the money could rather go to. Just a general rule.

I already have Nexus 4, thinking about iPad mini.

And this is 80% of the actual amount :)


Find whatever makes you free, and do that. Gadgets are a small set of the tools that can make that possible. Knowledge is even better.

I see that bgar's already asked you what you have.

What do you want to do?

(For me, if constrained to gadgets, perhaps a DAQ card can open a lot of doors. Arduinos are cheap, LabJacks and fancier can get a lot more done with greater sensitivity. Got only $10 and an I2C interface? You can have an unreasonable quantity of fun with an AD7746. Seriously.)

Save it for when you need it. Donate it to Watsi. Whatever you feel like but don't buy crap you apparently don't need.

i have saved up 1000$ to buy gaming consoles and equipment (LCDs, Leap motion , games etc). But it is mainly due to the fact that before becoming a professional i was never able to afford the latest consoles and games :P.

Savings: something you don't need when you have it and that you won't have when you need it.

If you don't have a need for anything and that cash is burning a hole in your pocket, invest in tools or supplies .

I mean real tools - Maybe a repair kit that includes all those fancy security screws and stuff to fix your iPhone, or some portable muilti-use power tool, so when you need em and have em (it's a good feeling). Best to get the stuff you know you will actually use.

Supplies - got a color laser printer? stock up on those pricy extra toner packs, buy that bulk pack of ink, get extra paper.

Ergo stuff, how about your workspace, need a better chair or desk (I got myself an adjustable standing/sitting desk, it was a good investment) Maybe dual LCDs?

Organization stuff - example - If you have a ton of DVDs filling up bookcases may I suggest Disc Sox - http://www.amazon.com/DISCSOX-DVD-POLY-SLEEVES--25Pack/dp/B0... Put your cover and DVDs in these things and you can cut your DVD shelf space by 75%, also you and your friends will know its your DVD because of the cool flexy case.

Safari Library Subscription - get on-line any time access to thousands of O'Reilly books and manuals - http://www.safaribooksonline.com/

High quality 24-27" IPS monitor, mechanical keyboard, mousepad, earbuds, chair.

1. Dell Ultrasharp

2. http://www.elitekeyboards.com/products.php?sub=special&filte...

3. SteelSeries QcK

4. Logitech G500

5. Etymotic ER4

6. Herman Miller Aeron

Amazing, someone who actually replied with a list.

etymotic ER4 are a bit expensive for earplugs that are not molded to your ear canal.

You can get buds moulded separately, they are fantastic IEMs if you are prepared to pay the money IMHO.

I just purchased a pair of Westone UM3X in-ear monitors. I was cringing at spending $320 (best I could find on amazon) for headphones, but since I received them I never want to take them out.

For those of us that work with or use technology a lot during our days, I think there's something to be said about spending a little extra on the part that connects the human to the technology. Connecting these two very different things in a pleasing, comfortable, exciting way is not easy.

Recommend an experience - Vacation, Sporting Activities over buying something.


Expobar Lever Semi-Auto Espresso Machine

Boosted Board

Wool & Prince dress shirt that supposedly doesn't need to be washed

Vespa-like scooter

Yamaha Digital Piano

Brompton folding bike

Taga Bike that transforms into a stroller (if you have young children)

Oculus Rift developer's kit ($300). Start messing around with it and develop a game before release. This thing is going to be huge.

Grammar police here.

The (all) is not needed, "what should I buy?" already covers the plural case. I have noticed this a lot in Indian English.

That's truly funny. Have you also heard the Anglo-Indian use of "y'all all"? :)))

Which grammar? Which dialect? English is not monolithic, and Lowth and Murray were wrong.

Noted. Will take care.

If you love taking pictures get a DSLR + Tripod.

I'm guessing you're asking because you have a gadget allowance from a new job? If so, and assuming whatever you're buying needs to be at least slightly relevant to your job, looking around at what your co-workers bought may be useful. This doesn't mean you buy what your co-workers buy but at least you may get some ideas.

No, you can think of it as a reward for some part time work.

Donate to the EFF

What do you already have?

I only have a smartphone, and a point and shoot camera(I love taking pictures).

You're fine. If you MUST spend that money, put it towards DOING something rather than acquiring a thing. Maybe put it towards night school, or online courses. Or, craziest of crazy ideas, sock it away in the bank or your sock drawer.

Invest in photography then. Buy a brand new DSLR with decent lens or one of the new hot mirrorless micro four thirds.

That and a masterful course on photography. Stay cheap with the hardware until you know what you want.

If you find yourself running out of battery power, an extra powerpack can come in handy. I ordered one earlier from newtrent.com this year and use it a lot more than I thought I would. Lots more other manufacturers too if you do a quick search.

Wait, if you can. Gadgets are nearly always much cheaper and better with each new generation.

If you must spend the money, though, I'd recommend a high end ergonomic chair or a treadmill desk.

Forget things. Invest it into your progress, your own projects. Purchase value, Whatever makes you more productive in the things you like doing.

Kindle, Nexus 4 and that's all I would need.

Already have Nexus, would probably buy iPad mini.

Get yourself a SanDisk SD Plus card. <strike>Best</strike> Handiest technology I've ever used. Ever.

A good ($200+) mechanical keyboard.

Invest it in your own project(s)

for 200 extra i would go for a makerbot digitiser http://store.makerbot.com/digitizer.html assuming you have a 3D printer, that is.

Don't have a 3D printer.

i'd get a basis band, a couple raspberry pi's, and a kindle with a bunch of books. the rest I would spend in a vacation @ southeast asia :-)

One of those Internet Fridges. Yeah, buy one of those.

Accidental damage insurance.

Save it

Raspberry Pi

A bicycle.

Already on my list :)


1. one of those aeron (?) chairs - 300 on ebay

  could be really uncomfortable or the best chair ever, nerds are

  picky about chairs and unreliable at furniture advice
2. your favorite game, GTA 5 coming out soon

3. a phat screen, 25" lcd or 50 tv - 400 bucks at frys

4. oculus vr dev kit (VR) - 300$

  VR half life, tf2, portal... cool. also really stoked to try a really scarey game.
5. lucid dreaming goggles on kickstarter - cheap lucid dreams... cool

A bicycle, so you can take more pictures with your already good camera.

A course on 'stop being an insensitive douche', that is probably where you should start.

We have had posts about helping Syrian developers get jobs outside of Syria, people hit hard by economic crisis, people dying. But you don't care, you want to waste $1200 on crap you don't need. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/fight_club/quotes/#quote_386...

This is an international place to share news about technology and how it can help us better our lives. These kinds of posts belong on Facebook, if anywhere. But to be honest, I think your 'friends' will not appreciate this type of bragging.

No. Just no. HN is a forum for hackers to talk and discuss anything that interests them, which may very well include the latest cool gadgets someone wants to buy. In fact, HN guidelines specifically say: Off-Topic: Most stories about politics.

HN is not the zero-sum, channel of communication-most-important that you think it is. This is not a zero-sum game.

HN is not a place where you badger other people for talking about a topic just because you think another topic is more "important." You don't yell at your friends for talking about startups instead of Syria. At least I hope you don't.

You're just being mean.

Absolutely agreed with Argonaut ^^

> A course on 'stop being an insensitive douche', that is probably where you should start.

I hope you're not an example of their alumni.

what are you upset about?

Are you upset because the wheels of capitalism continue rolling for the people that aren't under direct distress due to a bad situation happening elsewhere in the world, away from them?

Or are you upset because the first time you hit on the philosophical and existential elements of materialism it was in a brad pitt movie?

What, exactly, does Syria have to do with OP?

Given that there is something terrible happening at all times, do you find yourself fatigued after so many years of trying to convince everyone to stop living life and to start needlessly becoming anxious about a war they can't influence instead of looking for a new toy?

I eagerly await your response to the hundreds of consumer product reviews that get posted on HN on a weekly basis. I hope you can convince all of them, too, that they are out of touch and need to focus their attentions on whatever some pseudo-anonymous guy on the internet deems important at the moment.

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