Ask Ars: how do I know the best time to buy smartphones, PCs, and TVs?

ArsTechnica: Everyone has that friend (or is that friend) whose gadget-buying timing is always so far behind the curve that their purchases fall just hours before the new version is announced. Not all these people care about riding atop the refresh wave, but as many as not are crestfallen when their new gadget is no longer the new hotness days after buying it.

Fortunately, the release schedule for the products we discuss here—TVs, consumer PCs, and smartphones—are actually fairly regular for most brands. There are also many resources online that will tell you exactly when a product was released, so you can see how old a product is and infer whether it's a good time to buy based on the typical refresh schedule.

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snoop_dizzle1900d ago

As long as you time things right you should be good to go. A lot of times people complain about things being released every year, but that's simply the way the tech world runs. The best way I find, is to simply go with what you like that way you aren't constantly wanting to upgrade. You might even put more money out up front, but if you're happier with your device, you might save money in the long run.

Also, with tech like TV's and Home Theater gear, don't be weary of buying something a year or two old. For instance, with the constant push of 3d in high end and mid range tv's, you will likely see pretty high end tv's that are a year or two old go for a good price. Even solid current generation 2DTV's will be pushed down in price, meaning you can get a solid tv without necessarily settling with a low end tv. Unless of course, you care about 3D.

Buying older equipment when it comes to A/V receivers and speakers is another example of this. With speakers, they will typically maintain their value and be good for years if you buy good speakers (not HTIB's), and still be good even when new audio formats and tech improves. A very good set of speakers isn't something you just replace every few years. With receivers/amps, given that HD audio formats have been around for a few years and HDMI 1.4 is really the only new thing to come along in relatively inexpensive receivers (Although more receivers are beginning to have network capabilities, but even that has been a feature in higher end equipment), you can find pretty good mid to high end A/V receivers from a few years ago for a good price that might still sound better than the current ones. When it comes to audio quality, a higher end amp can still be better than newer lower end ones.