Like one of those heist movies starring a well-dressed, smirking George Clooney and his BFF Brad Pitt, a group of about 20 thieves overpowered workers at a Samsung factory in Brazil and managed to make off with about 40,000 phones, tablets, computers and other electronics. [More]
All over the world, in dusty corners of discount stores and warehouses, retail antiquities are waiting for someone to discover them. These tiny pockets of obsolete, comically overpriced technology are the purview of the Raiders of the Lost Walmart, a group who tirelessly search for these artifacts, then send pictures of them to Consumerist. This week, they uncovered two fascinating treasures. [More]
Okay, the electronics industry in general isn’t known for its commitment to progressive views on gender. As Samsung has become a global brand, though, people are noticing the subtle and not-at-all subtle sexism of their advertising. [More]
We know that a lot of our readers are fans of Dyson vacuums, but we aren’t sure whether any of you are into their air multipliers, which are totally not mini-portals to a distant dimension. Someone out there is, because they’ve expanded the line to include portable heaters. Some of these units have been heating a little too much lately, and 380,000 of them have been recalled in North America. [More]
The state of California has pretty good consumer protections, but not when it comes to extended warranties. That’s what a family who bought a laptop computer at Fry’s learned after a planned five-week repair of an HP laptop ended up taking three months. Three months? [More]
Matthew writes that he ordered one HDMI cable from Newegg, and got a box large enough to fit at least a dozen more. You could throw in a laptop computer without too much trouble, too, even though he only set his 15″ Macbook on top of the box to give us a sense of scale. [More]
Upon first reading of the words “crazy ants,” one might think that is not a real thing — perhaps it’s just someone being like, “You’re so crazy, ants!” Alas, crazy ants are a real species — Nylanderia fulva — currently swarming all up in the Gulf Coast states’ business, and they present a very real problem for your electronics. [More]
It seems like every device we use, from toothbrushes to mobile phones, has some kind of rechargeable battery in it now. I mean, seriously, toothbrushes? Prolonging the battery life means prolonging the useful life of your gadget. Are there things you can do that would wreak havoc with the millions of microscopic hamsters inside the battery that power your laptop? [More]
Exploring the clearance section of his local Walmart, Eric made a rare and fascinating discovery. Well, as we’ve learned on this site, not all that rare, but it is pretty fascinating to see an electronic gadget that’s around eight years old sitting on the shelf, marked down on “clearance” to a comically high price. [More]
Do you want a set of nice headphones? Do you want a set of headphones endorsed by Dr. Dre? If the answer to both of those questions is “yes,” then perhaps Beats headphones are for you. The question, as it is with many luxury brands, is whether you want to spend $300 for a pair of headphones, and why. [More]
Do you turn your printer off when you’re not using it? You might be wasting electricity…and ink. Our watt-measuring colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports Electronics note that letting your printer enter standby mode often uses less power than turning it off or on. For inkjet printers, the toll also includes ink: some models slorp a bit more ink when priming the jets to print when you turn the printer on rather than letting it wake up from standby mode. [Consumer Reports Electronics]
You might have ripped the wrapping paper off a shiny new GPS unit earlier this week, but should you keep it? A well-meaning loved one might have bought you a new one this week, but that doesn’t mean that they chose the best one for your needs or that you should keep it. How do you know whether the unit you have is the best for you? If only there were an entity out there that tested different models side-by-side and published the results…Oh, right, that would be our elder sister publication, Consumer Reports! [More]
Here at Consumerist we like to keep our readers in the loop about schemes, cheats and tricks we hear about so you don’t end up as a victim. Unfortunately for a few wannabe iPad owners, they apparently hadn’t heard the story of the woman who bought one of the tablets at a gas station only to find out she’d really purchased a mirror. A couple unsuspecting consumers in Miami were looking for cheap electronics, but they ended up with picture frames after dealing with strangers at a gas station. [More]
Rhoda wanted to get the new Halo 4 edition of the Xbox 360, and she wanted to get it from Sam’s Club. Presumably, she’s a member, and she says that she has ordered online from Sam’s before. But something about this transaction made the store’s computers unhappy, and the order wouldn’t go through. She called up the company to verify the order and tried again, only to face even more rejection.
Perhaps irrationally, Robert thought that because the Staples website said that the tablet he desired was “in stock” at the nearest Staples store, that meant that it would be available for purchase. You can’t be too sure, so he called up the store. Yes: they had three tablets! Score! He drove to the store to bring home his precious, precious Nexus 7. The very same employee he had spoken to on the phone dispatched someone to get the tablet, and he was told that there were none in stock.
Renato bought a 50″ Sanyo LCD TV at Walmart with the understanding that he’d be able to use a DVI adapter and the audio port instead of the HDMI port that his computer doesn’t have. This would have been true had the TV’s audio port been working. He called Sanyo’s tech support for help, only to discover that their tech support staff knew less than he did about how audio and video ports work. They were, however, pretty good at reading the manual.
A few years ago, Costco changed its famously generous return policy when it comes to electronics. Customers have only ninety days to bring back gadgets that break or don’t make them happy, unlike the previous seemingly infinite return policy. Nick, however, bought his Vizio TV from Costco before the return policy changed. Back when he had as long as he wanted to bring it back. Now the six-year-old set won’t turn on, and he thinks that Costco should take the set back for a refund, which was the policy at the time he purchased it.
Last year, I bought a used iPhone 3Gs that is now well out of warranty. Not a big deal. Only the battery didn’t stay charged all day anymore, and I wondered whether it was time for a new phone, even though mine is otherwise in great shape. Too bad I couldn’t just order a new battery online and snap it in like with previous phones. Except…I could. I just needed a tiny screwdriver, a few other tools, step-by-step instructions, and a lot of patience.