BudgetGadgets is located in Shenzhen, China. They have been in online retail/wholesale business since 2003, though I had not heard of them until they contacted me via my site. For full disclosure here, they DID contact me and asked if they could send some product for me to review. I received two products, but instead decided to review not just the products but the site itself and the service they provide.
When asked to do a review the folks at BudgetGadgets said I could simply log on to the site, browse around and choose any two gadgets I’d like to review. At the time they did not know I’d be reviewing the site itself (*wink*).
The site itself has a clean layout, easily distinguished categories, and simply pricing options. The first thing I noticed was how inexpensive everything on the site appeared to be. In fact, the pricing categories listed on the sidebar start at $0.99 – $1.99 and only go up to $20 or more. So the site name really tells it all, these ARE budget gadgets. They provide an array of items from home and garden to all types of electronics. I assume they are able to provide items as inexpensive as they do because they are located in Shenzen, China and get it directly from the manufacturer.
I chose two items from the site, two things that I could actually use, went through the simple ordering process and after about a week the items arrived. The first item was a XBox 360 Media Playback Remote. While I couldn’t find the exact model on the net a similar 360 remote runs approximately $20. This remote costs $7.65… budget indeed! I’ve just recently set my 360 up as a media center in my living room so his was something I actually needed. The remote itself controls all the aspect (at least that I know of so far) for both media and DVD playback. The remote feels good in your hand and the button layout is intuitive. The only downside is the short range. My 360 controllers work well over a distance of 10+ feet. This remote only works up to a distance of about 5 feet. If you have a smallish living room this would work perfect. It still worked for me but I had to lean out a bit from the couch to get it to receive the signal.
The other item I picked was also something I need. I’ve recently been playing with Skype (considering dropping my home phone line). My experience with Skype has been slightly mixed so far… I’ve found that a couple 1-800 conference bridge numbers aren’t supported and that my monitor mounted microphone cut out as I was speaking making it hard to hear me. Armed with my new Skype USB Handset ($10.14) I decided to give it another whirl. The handset itself is extremely light… I actually wish it had a bit more weight to it, though it did sit comfortably in my neck like a regular phone. Vista picked up the device right away and Skype recognized it as a supported device as well. The downside is that the Skype buttons on the handset didn’t work. However, I can’t blame that on the handset… smack across the front it says it works with Skype 3.6. Here’s where BudgetGadgets customer service came into play. I fire off an email and in less than 12 hours received a response informing me that it should work with Skype 4.0 with no problems. It was at that point I realized I’m running the beta of the next version of Skype… doh! Dismissing the issue as a problem with Skype beta I decided to call a buddy using the handset. Despite the button issues and it being a bit light, the audio performance was great. Honestly, it sounded just as clear as using my landline… something I hand’t experienced with Skype before. The earpiece provided great sound output and unlike my monitor mounted mic, the mouthpiece made my conversation easy to hear for the person on the other end.
If you are in the market for some gear and are on a serious budget check out BudgetGadgets.