Where today’s PC has an average lifespan of five years, this classic computer is still balancing drive shafts 34 years after its release. This may be an extreme case, but it serves to illustrate how the newest technology isn’t always necessary. Here are some more recent examples of last-generation tech that still works like new.
During last year's holiday season, 4K Ultra HD TVs were all the rage due to the novelty and discount prices. With prices falling below $400 for some 50-inch models and under $300 for the 40-inch displays, these newfangled TV sets will again grow in popularity this year. But you can also purchase a 50-inch HD TV for $350 or a 40-inch HD TV for $250 this holiday shopping season — and, depending on your budget and your needs, that may be just as good.
Ultra HD TVs provide a great picture, but so do HD TVs, and the differences between them are so fine that you need to sit very close or have a very large TV to appreciate them. Even then, the differences aren’t that dramatic.
Plus, you need 4K content to take advantage of an Ultra HD screen, and so far, relatively little 4K content is available in the form of movies, TV or video games. Additionally, while 4K supports high dynamic range (HDR) content, you need a very expensive 4K set to use this feature. So, if costs are a concern and you’re content with not owning the latest, cutting edge technology, an HD TV may be a good buy.
Samsung Galaxy S6
With all the attention Samsung’s Galaxy S7 has been getting for its cutting-edge camera and water-resistance, it’s easy to forget the Samsung Galaxy S6 was considered the best smartphone available for Androids until the S7 came along. The S6 employs the same type of high-resolution technology used for HD TVs, providing one of the sharpest displays on the market. To make the most of these features, the S6 includes one of the best cameras on the market, with extraordinary picture-taking capabilities, instant start activation, and a range of modes to support versatile shooting.
The S6 combines this high-resolution screen and cutting-edge camera with a bold design, sporting an all-metal band wrapped around a strong glass case for an elegant look that fits nicely in your hand. Add in super-charging for your battery, fingerprint scanning for security and Samsung Pay compatibility for mobile payments, and you’ve got one of the best smartphones on the market, even if it’s not the latest version available.
Old MacBook Pros
The newest MacBook was released in October, but that hasn’t made the older versions obsolete. As of April, the 2012 MacBook Pro 13-inch upgrade remained the best-selling Apple laptop on Amazon and the fifth best-selling laptop overall. While it lacks the Retina screen display of more recent models, the MacBook Pro 13-inch differs from newer versions, as it comes with standard RAM slots and SATA drives for storage, making it easy to upgrade without buying a new model.
This makes it equipped to last longer than newer models, and with a few tweaks to configure it with a standard SATA solid state drive, it can perform on par with a Retina MacBook Pro. It is also the last model to feature a full-sized gigabit ethernet port and optical drive, letting you jack into a network or watch a DVD, features that cost $110 on newer models.
At half the price of newer models, the MacBook Pro 13-inch can be a good buy for the right buyer. Meanwhile, MacBook Pro 2015 models should also be coming down in price now that the 2016 version is out. This offer is yet another option for those who don’t necessarily need the latest versions on the market.