When Smaller and Lighter Technology Is Not Better

I think it’s safe to say that the overall trend in technology is not only to make better and faster products, but also to make them more convenient and easier to transport… which usually means making them smaller and lighter.    This trend can be seen with cell phones (remember the original cell phone??), computers, stereos, speakers, and more.  Even laptops, whose main purpose is to be smaller and more portable than a desktop, are being replaced by even smaller and lighter tablets.  In most cases, smaller and lighter products have advantages such as being more convenient and portable than their larger counterparts and it’s easy to find yourself in the mindset that smaller and lighter equals better.  But is it always advantageous to buy a “smaller and lighter” product as opposed to a larger and heavier one?

My thoughts are that, well… it depends.  If quality and durability are necessary for the product in question, it may be best to take a look at heftier options.  Take outdoor speakers, for example.  Outdoor speakers, especially weatherproof ones that will be exposed to potentially extreme weather conditions, need to be sturdy and durable.  The materials required to make a durable outdoor speaker will need to be heavier in order to withstand strong winds, rain, snow, etc.  In order to produce good sound, a speaker must also contain heavier internal components.  It also needs to be larger if it’s going to get good coverage.  When it comes to speakers, especially an outdoor speaker, “smaller and lighter” might also mean “poor coverage and broken within a few weeks.”

The trend towards smaller and lighter technology is making life more convenient for people, but I think it’s also important to make sure that quality and durability are not being sacrificed in the process.  It is certainly not convenient to be constantly replacing a product that was not made to last.




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