Will the Credit Crunch Crimp Your Gadget Needs?

Today’s launch of a $400 touch-screen e-Reader from Sony had me eager to whip out my credit card, but the mess on Wall Street stopped me cold. Even with the $700 billion bailout, there are going to be some serious consequences for companies — among them layoffs, lackluster earnings and the chance they won’t be able to raise that next round of capital. On a personal level, I hope my family and friends won’t see too much fallout, but I’m still spending cautiously. That means everything from buying generic food brands to deciding I don’t really need a new pair of boots. It also means I’m having second thoughts about picking up both a Roku box and an e-reader.

I tried the Roku out and loved it, but couldn’t justify spending $99 for a box with such a pathetic amount of content (I’m cheap that way). Now that Netflix is expanding the number of titles it has available for streaming, I’m once again inclined to buy it, but the thought of spending the equivalent of two tanks of gas or a week’s worth of food on entertainment is a painful one.

 

As for the e-reader, I’ve wanted to play with a Kindle ever since it was launched, but again, I’ve had a hard time justifying the $359 price tag. I had settled on asking for one for Christmas, but in light of the past week on Wall Street, I’ve struck it from my list. Check out the interview below to see how Amazon will try to convince people like me to shell out anyway (it didn’t work for me). Although once we’re feeling flush again, that touch-screen Sony Reader might be my eventual choice.

Is anyone else out there rethinking their gadget purchases in light of the crisis, or am I just too cheap for my own good?

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