Business InsiderGadget lovers without deep pockets have it rough. The newest, most exciting gear can cost a week's salary. But old gear is...well, old.
Sometimes, though, a company builds a gadget so good that its sequel is basically the same device updated with very minor tweaks. Yet, when the newer model comes out, everyone forgets the original and its price plummets.
Here are three amazing gadgets you can pick up at a fraction of their true value:
1st Generation Parrot Zik Headphones
The Parrot Zik 1.0: from an era when Blackberry made your product look better in ads.Amazon
Parrot is a bit of a weird company. Mostly they make drones, but they also make headphones. And my first-generation Parrot Zik bluetooth headphones are still the best I've ever owned.
They still look better than any other brand. Their noise-canceling technology is good enough to block out the noise of a crowded subway. You can plug an audio cable in to use them without draining the battery. A seamless touch pad on the right ear lets you skip songs, pause, answer your phone, and adjust the volume without taking your phone from your pocket. And of course the audio quality is excellent.
With that feature set they debuted at a whopping $399 back in 2012. But after two generations of sequels, the price of a new pair has dropped off substantially. Amazon now offers the "yellow gold" model for $169 – less than half the price of a Parrot Zik 3.0.
You will miss out on some benefits in the more recent models – the 3.0 weighs a fraction of the original Zik's 2.4 lbs, has a longer-lasting battery with wireless charging, and reptile-skin leather if you're into that kind of thing.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Steve Kovach/Business Insider
Microsoft's Surface Pro line raises some interesting questions. Should laptops be harder to hold in your lap? Should tablets have loud fans? But they've had an undeniable impact on the laplet world.
The Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book solve some of the Pro 3's problems (of course this should be available as one machine; of course it should have a fanless option). But both generations offer Windows 10-running, Intel i5, 128 gigabyte models. The biggest difference between the two? A cool hundred bucks.
The Pro 3 sells for $899 and the Pro 4 for $999. If you're willing to skimp on processing power, there's a i3 Pro 3 available for less than the cost of a new iPhone.
The Nintendo Wii
Released in 2006, the Wii is a seriously old console, and never developed the wealth of games of the PlayStation 2 or Xbox. But it remains the best (and only) casual video game system that anyone can pick up and play. And people still love it; compare its sales to its confusing sequel, the Wii U.
Now its $42.99 on Amazon. That's cheaper than a Nintendo 64. That's cheaper than parking in midtown Manhattan. Buy it. Make a Wii Sports drinking game with your friends. Play tennis with grandma. Play Mario with your little cousin. It'll be the best forty bucks you ever spent.
UPDATE 11/14/2016, 9:12 AM: Maybe don't buy a Wii after all
Funny story: when I researched this list yesterday, Amazon sold the Wii at $42.99 through an authorized seller. They seem to have sold out since then, and as of this writing the price is back up to $239.95 for the white version.