You remember the story about Goldilocks and the three bears, right? She would try out items at the bear residence, finding something of the mother or father bear’s too extreme in some way (too soft, too hot, etc.) and eventually settle on something of the child bear’s because it was somehow just right in the middle.
The Goldilocks story can be applied to consumer electronics pretty easily. You’re often faced with a bazillion choices when you go shopping. Some items are too expensive, and others are too cheap. Some have too many features, and others don’t have nearly enough. In the end, you purchase the one that’s just right for your needs. Something that fits into your budget and does what you needed it to do.
What are the problems with buying too much or too little of something? Well, buying the ultra-super-duper model means you better hope to enjoy all of those features before your friends pick up the same thing at half price a few months later. On the other end of the pricing spectrum, it’s always a great feeling to get a good bargain, but it’s never fun to end up with poor quality or insufficient features. After making several mistakes at both ends of the pricing and quality game, people tend to arrive at the strategy of getting something that costs a little more than the cheapest model, and is just a few features shy of the most expensive one.
The last few days saw a couple of articles that reinforce the zen-like practice of walking the middle ground when it comes to consumer electronics. One was a study of the warranty and service policies on some of the lowest-priced HDTVs, and another was a performance test of HDMI cables. (more…)