Answers to Three Tech Dilemmas

New York Times personal technology columnist David Pogue helps answer some common questions about consumer electronics:

#1. Should I buy new when its going to be cheaper and/or something better will be coming out in 6 months?

Just accept that innovation is always going to lead to cheaper, faster and better products. Consumer electronics begin to depreciate almost immediately and will eventually get to the point of uselessness. However, Pogue says there are some predictable new product cycles you can count on: new iPods generally debut in October, iPhones in June and digital cameras typically get refreshed every February and October.

#2. When should i fix it or get a new one?

Consumer Reports did the math and found that if the product costs over 50 percent of the price of a new one to get fixed, it is better to just buy the new one. Appliances have about eight years before buying a new replacement makes more sense than repairing the original. If you have a favorite high-end, older appliance you may want to repair it.

#3. When is a tech warranty worth it?

Almost never, says Pogue. Laptops are the only thing that may warrant an extended warranty because they get banged around so much. For everything else, you come out ahead by not taking the warranty.

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