What not to buy on Black Friday

An iPod

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IMAGE: MASHABLE. CHRISTINA ASCANI

Apple’s portable media player is actually an excellent device, but has almost no reason for being. (The same goes for Sony’s Walkman and virtually any off-brand media player you can think of.) Your smartphone (iOS or Android) does everything an iPod can do and much more.

The only caveat here is if you pick one up for anyone under 12. Many feel children shouldn’t have phones, and an iPod satisfies virtually every other need, including photography, gaming, music, movies, TV and even social communication.

A cheap desktop PC

cheap desktop

There are some juicy deals out there, such as a $399 Windows 7 Dell box with 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.

I’m telling you, don’t buy it or systems like it.

There are a couple of red flags here. First, it’s a box! It’s also an Intel Core i3 system. Most of Intel’s CPUs are plenty strong and power efficient, but the i3 is best suited for word processing, light web browsing and not much else.

There are so many better system choices out there, including light, portable Chromebooks that cost $200, connect to the Internet and a host of online tools — even virtually unlimited storage.

If you’re out buying a computer this week, don’t accept anything less than a Core i5 and, if you can, save for a Core i7 and discrete graphics. (The offending systems doesn’t even mention graphics — never a good sign.)

A phone or tablet, if it’s 8GB of storage

You’ll see a lot of great deals for mobile devices, but if you don’t pay attention to storage space, you could end up frustrated later.

With the amount of HD content and 8-20-megapixel images (not to mention 43-megapixel panoramas we’re storing), you’ll burn through 8GB in no time. The bare minimum storage space for smartphones and tablets is 16GB. And if you can afford 32GB, get it. I know, Apple cut out that mid-tier, and that’s unfortunate, but other manufacturers still offer that option.

What not to buy on Black Friday

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