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13 gadgets that let us down and yes, we're bitter (photos)

Nothing bums us out more than tech that fails to live up to its potential...or straight up falls flat on its face.

CNET staff

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1 of 14 James Martin/CNET

The gadgets we thought we'd love, but hate

Not every new piece of tech is going to be a winner -- that's just life. But as gadget-lovers, we CNET editors feel a deep level of disappointment when the products that promise to amaze and simplify our lives crumple under the weight of their own deficiencies.

And as CNET editors, we don't always agree with each other. Each choice in this collection was chosen by an individual editor, whose experience may not coincide with our official review.

2 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Google Glass

Google Glass was always a goofy concept -- most people don't want to wear a computer on their heads. But it did have some practical applications. Privacy concerns and general clunkiness all but killed it off before Google could perfect it, though some defiant Glassholes still remain.

3 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET


The cheap, Android-based Ouya video game console was going to disrupt gaming as we know it. Until a weak software library, bugs, poorly-constructed controller and underpowered system architecture crushed our hopes and dreams.

4 of 14 Amazon

Amazon Dash Buttons

Pressing a button to instantly order more of something from your favorite brand has incredible potential to bring us closer to that Jetsons lifestyle. But we found that limited Dash options are overpriced and only available in bulk. (Sorry, we don't need 2,400 Dixie bathroom cups for $56.95. How about just one or two boxes? Please?)

5 of 14 CNET

Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect

Interacting with your gaming console: good! Gimmicky games, few titles and the realization that using it swallows up your entire living room: bad.

6 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Nintendo Wii U

We were pumped to bridge the tablet and console worlds. But ultimately, it was all style and very little substance. Game titles are drying up, and the Wii U just can't compete with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One's sheer horsepower.

7 of 14 CNET

Lytro Light Field Camera

Being able to refocus a picture after you take a picture? Wow, Lytro, bring it on. Too bad the expensive, weirdly designed camera couldn't take photos worth a damn, focus or not.

8 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Android/Google/Web TV

Internet on a big-screen TV has never really worked. Today you're much better off just plugging an HDMI cable into a laptop and mirroring its screen, or using a device like a Chromecast with the Chrome browser.

9 of 14 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Not yet beer o'clock

You can understand our excitement with Nitrobrew, which supposedly turns any bottle of beer at home into something that tastes like a true pour from a nitro tap. In the end, this eyesore took way too much effort and muscle to operate.

10 of 14 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Smart smoke detector

We thought the First Alert smart smoke detector that worked with Apple's HomeKit could be better than the Nest Protect. The letdown? It takes 90 seconds to deliver any push notifications. It also has voice controls -- absolutely useless voice controls.

11 of 14 Ten One Design

This digital pen

We wanted an iPad that not only played games but also worked like a Wacom tablet for sketching and editing photos -- and we thought TenOne's Pogo Stylus would give it to me. But it wasn't much better than a blunt fingertip, and we stopped using it after a couple weeks.

12 of 14 CNET

A battery pack that charges itself while you walk

Sound too good to be true? It is. The Ampy Move just doesn't generate enough electricity to charge much of anything.

13 of 14 Sony

Pocket PCs (UMPCs)

We're still upset about this oldie. Ultra-mobile PCs were supposed to be the PC you could carry around and dock to become a full-fledged computer. It was plagued by awful battery life, hobbled Windows software and a hefty price tag.

14 of 14 Screenshot by CNET

Google Wave

It isn't a gadget, but Google Wave, a collaborative tool for people to communicate on projects, baffled pretty much everyone (and was way before its time).

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