Greatest Gadgets Ever: 200-100
8th Feb 2012 | 00:05
200: Asus UX21 Ultrabook (2011).
Intel’s upgrading of the netbook/copying of the MacBook Air (delete as you see fit) is the latest attempt to make laptops seem sexy and relevant in the tablet age. Intel provides the i Core processors and sets a demanding spec that devices must follow if they are to earn the hallowed title of Ultrabook (as opposed to “skinny laptop”). The UX21 is the first great example, with mucho power lurking within a slimline frame.
199: Apple 1 Computer (1976)
From this skanky looking wooden box, a mighty empire would one day grow. Steves Jobs and Wozniak built 200 of these personal computers in a basement after becoming pals at the Palo Alto Homebrew Computer Club.
198: NAD 3020 (1979)
The German manufacturer focused on “effective power” – very German, that – with this incredible amp. Rivals soon had to admit that louder isn’t always necessarily better.
197: Meridian MCD (1984)
CD was the new kid in town. The MCD wrung every drop of sonic detail from the fledgling format.
196: Denon Ceol (2011)
Blending DLNA and AirPlaystreaming, plus an iDock, USB input and very tasty sound indeed, this bargain box redefined the hi-fi mini system for the 21st century.
195: LG Watchphone (2009)
A majestic Bond-esque innovation, but, alas, talking into your sleeve never really caught on.
194: Revox A77 (Open Reel Tape Recorder) (1968)
Unless you only listen to dubstep, many of your favourite albums will have been recorded on one of these masterpieces.
193: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (2011)
Yes, this Android tablet takes a few design cues from iPad, but it brings plenty of its own awesome too.
192: Asus EEE Slider (2011)
This laptop/tablet/lablet is the perfect device for physical QWERTY die-hards and surely the model for the chaps at Cupertino to follow should they decide to go the hybrid route in the future.
191: Sony WM-F5 Sports Walkmen (1985)
Like Mrs Thatcher, this canary-yellow, allegedly water-resistant jogger’s pal was a genuine 80s icon.
190: B&W P5 (2010)
Pushers of quality audio B&W elegantly slam dunked it with these great-sounding, opulently-sculpted, leather-padded headphones.
189: Nintendo Game and Watch (Various Titles) (1980)
T3’s Matt Hill has five of these. The twin-screened Donkey Kong is generally considered the best of all game/timepiece crossover gadgets
188: Onlive (2011)
Goodbye games on discs; hello cloud. “A revelatory concept that could change gaming forever,” we said…
187: Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch (2011)
The first notable Android e-ink device, this might be higher had it ever been released in the UK.
186: Sinclair C5 (1985)
This battery powered “freewheeling trike” cost £399 and required no tax, insurance, drivers licence or, the unkind might say, no self-respect. “The best-selling fully electric vehicle of all time,” Sinclair still boasts (it sold 17,000).
185: Marshall JTM-45 (1962)
The first amp Marshall made remains a benchmark for rockers everywhere. Angus Young of AC/DC still uses one to this day.
184 Kodak Playsport (2010)
The Ray Mears of photo-taking, the PlaySport was capable of shooting 1080p HD video underwater, had a Glare Shield which came in handy for shooting in the bright outdoors and built in image stabilization to keep your footage shake-free.
183: Cuisinart Food Processor (1973)
The first electric food processor revolutionised the kitchen. Making soup became approximately 4,691 times easier, for a start.
182: Acorn BBC Micro (1981)
Brought computing to the classroom, and Elite to gamers, the Micro cost around £300 pounds and had an impressive 2MHz speed.
181: Sony Bloggie 3D (2011)
Sony lowered the entry level for 3D video with an affordable HD camcorder barely bigger than your average smartphone.
180: Parrot AR Drone (2010)
The uncannily hovering “quadcopter” is controlled via your smartphone and features a tough hull shield when you do battle with fellow drones.
179: Pure Sensia (2009)
“Fits somewhere between clock radio and computer but dishes up much more fun than either.” Kieran Alger, T3.com.
178: Hypercolour T-Shirts (1991)
Changed colour as you got hotter for that sought-after “two-tone armpits” look.
177: Easy Zapper (Later Logitech) Harmony (2001)
As front room gadgets proliferated, the first universal remote expertly cleaned up the clutter.
176: Beats by Dr. Dre (2008)
Staple headgear for Premier League footballers, Dre’s contribution to tech is the most iconic cans ever.
175: LG Optimus 3D
Very solid Android phone that also happens to have… a 3D screen, you could also shoot in 3D while the handset also hosted dual lens camera that delivered 5-megapixel snaps.
174: Korg Kaossilator (2007)
Innovative musical sketch-pad/synthesiser makes musical creativity as easy as scribbling on a screen.
173; AK-47 (1949)
Over 75 million of Mr Kalashnikov’s reliably homicidal masterpiece have been built. You have to admire the horrible efficiency of its design.
172: Cambridge Audio Minx (2011)
“It seems inconceivable that such small cubes, which are virtually invisible when dotted around, can fill a room as easily as they do.” T3.com, November 2011.
171: Slinky (1943)
In 1988, founder Richard James’ wife Betty sold the much-loved, stair-descending spring to a company called Poof Products Inc.
170: Chillblast Fusion Fortress (2009)
This i7-powered daddy was our favourite PC gaming behemoth for a quite indecent length of time.
169: Mattel Classic Football (1977)
Ensure your LED dot is not tackled by other LED dots. Touchdown! It was state of the art in 1977.
168: Waiter’s Friend Corkscrew (1880s)
Almost 130 years on from its invention, there’s still no easier way to crack open a bottle of plonk.
167: Sharp J-SH04 (2000)
The world’s first camera phone had a mighty, 0.11-megapixel resolution – that’s barely a passport-sized print.
166: Philips Air Fryer (2011)
The reigning T3 Home Gadget Award winner brings all of the taste with less of the morbid obesity and cardiac issues.
165: Wii Balance Board (2007)
In April 2010, a lady fell off the Wii Balance Board and developed persistent sexual arousal syndrome.
164: HP Touch Smart IQ522 (2009)
With Windows 7, touchscreen PCs finally became a viable solution for family computing. HP took advantage.
163: Philips Cinema 21:9 (2009)
The world’s first home set to boast a true cinema screen aspect ratio, showing movies the way God intended (and Coronation Street reshaped and stretched a bit at the edges).
162: Garmin Forerunner Sports Watches (2003)
The ultimate stable of do-it-all sports training watches, with GPS to track you as you run/swim/cycle/hop.
161: Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc (2011)
Mixing Sony Ericsson’s usual strengths in camera and media with Android 2.3, this was a storming come-back.
160: Palm Pre (2009)
Palm’s WebOS wowed all who saw it, although long delays and nasty design meant the Pre and its siblings never achieved mass appeal.
159: Grado GS1000 (2007)
Costing north of a grand, these wood-hewn headphones offer astonishingly accurate reproduction.
158: Sony HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer (2011)
This audiovisual facehugger straps to your head, then creates the illusion that you’re looking at a 750-inch, 2D or 3D movie screen.
157: Geneva XL Sound System iPod Docks (2009)
Hulking iDock in a choice of high gloss finishes purveys relentless sonic assault to the discerning.
156: Technics SL-1200 MKii (1978)
Scratched, mixed and pitch-bent DJs through 30 years of history thanks to rock-solid construction and reliability. The original wheels of steel.
155: Slingbox (2005)
Releases your TV signal from the shackles of the living room, beaming it to just about anything that can connect to the web.
154: Asus G50 V (2009)
A high performance gaming laptop that’s stylish, affordable and can be lifted without exertion. Once, such a thing existed only in the realms of science-fiction, but no longer…
153: Loewe Connect 3D (2011)
Network connected, stunning picture quality and probably the most stylish 3D TV ever made.
152: Sodastream (1970s)
At the height of its popularity, SodaStream syrups were delivered by the milkman, so that fans could “get bizzy with the fizzy” even quicker.
151: Apple Airport Express (2004)
“AirPort Express isn’t just the world’s first mobile 802.11g base station; with the addition of AirTunes users can now play their iTunes music on any stereo in their home – all without wires,” said Steve Jobs, accurately.
150: Sharp Aquos LC-C1 (2001)
Perhaps Sharp’s greatest contribution to tech, the LC-C1 was the first proper LCD “flatscreen” – remember when we used to call them that?
149: Canon Ixus 980 IS (2009)
Beautifully sleek, this was the standout compact cam of its generation with its impressive 14.7 megapixel digital camera and 3.7x optical zoom lens amongst the features to shout about.
148: Atari Pong Console (1975)
“When we figured out we could put Pong on a single chip, we knew we could put one in every home” – Pong creator Nolan Bushell. Home entertainment changed forever that day.
147: Humax Foxsat-HDR (2009)
Excellent Freesat PVR negated the need for a Sky+ subscription, offering a fistful of HD channels to tightwads.
146: Wowwee Robosapien (2006)
Massively successful toy-cum-AI experiment ruled Xmas 2006, despite a rather non-AI tendency to walk into walls and then grind to a halt.
145: Casio Databank (1983)
This schoolyard favourite was the first watch to allow data storage. More importantly, a built-in calculator facilitated cheating at maths.
144: Gocycle (2010)
Charge up for 3.5 hours, then cruise past perspiring, Lycra-clad buffoons at 15mph for up to 20 miles.
143: Fatman Itube Carbon Edition 2 (2009)
One of the first audio devices to tackle the coldness of digital music, using valve amps to give a warmer more analogue tone. It also looked cool – like something from 50s sci-fi.
142: Samsung 9 Series (2011)
We described this slimline laptop as “Beautiful on the outside and smart on the inside,” on its launch.
141: Leica X1 (2010)
Highly compelling blend of extreme spendiness, almost pornographically good looks and more-than-decent photographic results.
140: Nintendo Zapper (1985)
This satisfyingly accurate, solid-feeling Ninty gunccessory brought video arcade shooting to the living room. In those innocent times, we were happy to bag a few fowl, courtesy of the vaguely rude-sounding Duck Hunt, rather than requiring the sort of body counts and boss battles found in such subsequent light gun titles as House of the Dead 2, Time Crisis 3 and Murder Bastard 7.
139: Vita Audio R41 (2011)
All-in-one system combines iPod dock, FM, DAB and CD player whilst looking very chic indeed.
138: Guitar Hero (2005)
Massively popular plastic peripherals made rock gods of us all.
137: Razer Switchblade (2011)
“The killer tech in this incredible, ultra-portable PC is an infinitely customisable keyboard, where each key can change its purpose and appearance to suit the game being played” – T3, awarding this our Innovation Award for 2011.
136: Fujifilm 3D W1 (2009)
The first high-quality 3D compact snapper, the 3D W1 was more than just a gimmick. Well okay, it wasn’t – but it was a good gimmick.
135: Brabantia Sensor Bin (2010)
The bin with the “magically” opening lid is the perfect gadget for the hand-sanitiser generation.
133: The Boom Box (1980s)
At one time, listening to music was a more social experience – whether you liked it or not – thanks to the likes of the Sony CFS-500 pictured here.
132: Sony Vaio P (2009)
A laptop that fitted in your jacket pocket, this was a real tech-head’s gadget. The underpowered processor and lack of a trackpad meant it didn’t work that well, but the concept was beautiful.
131: Nintendo 3DS (2011)
The glasses-free gaming portable from Ninty is an awesome bit of hardware, even if AAA titles are only trickling in so far.
130: Sonos S5 Zoneplayer (2011)
If you want to spread the audio love into every room in your house, the S5 is one of the best sounding, multi-room speaker system to open your wallet for.
129: Brompton Folding Bike (1976)
Millions of suited men have whirred to work on this brilliant, if eccentric, design classic since its invention.
128: Honda Asimo (2000)
Parodied as “Awesome-O” on South Park, this remains the high point of human-aping robotics to date.
127: Sony X-Series Walkman (2009)
With the X, Sony finally came up with a Walkman that could mount a credible challenge to the iPod. The screen was gorgeous, sonics superb.
126: Diamond Multimedia Rio 300 (1998)
This pioneering PMP cleared the path for the iPod by securing the first digital licensing deals with labels.
125: TomyTronic 3D (1983)
This range – the first home 3D tech ever – scores maximum nostalgia points. Better than the 3DS any day.
124: Motorola Pagers (1990s)
Around since 1959, but became a must-have for a fleeting moment in the 1990s, before we all got mobiles.
123: Big Trak (1979)
Slow yet incredible programmable electric vehicle. Recently reissued.We want one again...
122: Gibson Firebird X (2011)
A purist’s nightmare, this subversive, self-tuning six-string boasts a pedalboard’s worth of built-in effects.
121: Korg WT-10 Electronic Tuner (1975)
Made obsolete by the above, this was a revelation at the time, allowing rapid tuning without the need for a fork.
120: Samsung BD-D7500 (2011)
“Blu-ray decks have largely been unappetising slabs of black designed to squat under your telly like malevolent metal turds. Not so the wall-mountable, ineffably lovely, BD-D7500.” T3 Hot 100, 2011.
119: Kodak Easyshare One (2005)
Before 3G smartphones, this Wi-Fi-enabled compact cam pioneered photo-sharing on-the-go.
118: Kef Muon (2007)
These two-metre tall, aluminium speakers are nothing short of works of modern art. That’s £70K per speaker to you, sir.
117: Polar Sport Tester PE 2000 (1982)
The first wireless, wearable heart-rate monitor revolutionised professional sports training. Its successors are now commonplace among non-Olympians.
116: Nike Air Max (1987)
If you weren’t wearing these in the playground in the late 80s, you probably have scars to prove it.
115: Atari Lynx (1989)
Atari’s ahead-of-its-time handheld console was the first to have colour graphics. Games included Double Dragon and the arguably less well remembered Yastuna 1: The Alchemy of Cubes.
114: Yamaha Tenori On (2010)
As used by everyone from pavement buskers to Björk, this easy-to-use sequencer is far more than a toy.
113: Motorola Atrix 4G (2011)
The little Android smartphone that could become a laptop (via a dock) was a bold, powerful statement from Motorola. Its well-connected media dock also impressed.
112: Oral B Smart Series (2010)
Putting dentists out of business since 2010 this range includes a model with a sort of satnav for your mouth, ensuring you brush all over.
110: D-Link Boxe E Box (2010)
The best of the most recent generation of set-top boxes for getting web content on your TV.
109: Zippo Lighter (1933)
This American wartime icon has never been bettered, thanks to its windproof design and unique “snap”.
108: Brothers Wall of Sound (2010)
Hand-built to order, the Wall is the largest iPod dock to date, housing 28 individual speakers.
107: Xerox 8010 Star (1981)
“There were way too many firsts to enumerate,” coos Xerox software engineer Dave Curbow. The 8010 defined what the personal computer would look like, adding a mouse, ethernet and more. It flopped.
106: Nike+ Sportwatch Powered by TomTom (2011)
TomTom’s GPS smarts and Nike’s user friendly Nike+ training system make for a winning combo.
105: Zenith Space Command (1956)
Evolved from 1950’s wired version, this was the first wireless remote. A button triggered an ultrasonic sound that the TV interpreted to change channel, volume, or even colour levels. Seemed like the most futuristic thing ever in 1956.
104: Apple Macbook Pro (2006)
The creative show-off’s laptop of choice remains unsurpassed and continues to get the upgrades that make it as desirable as it first was in 2006.
103: Roland TR-808 (1980)
The drum machine that powered hip-hop and later electronics. Currently enjoying a resurgence courtesy of Kanye West.
102: Samsung BDP1000 (2007)
The first ever Blu-ray player revealed the full potential of the 1080p HD format.
101: Motorola Dynatac 8000X (1983)
The first commercial cellphone, the Dynatac took ten hours to charge, was 13 inches tall, could store 10 numbers and cost £2,500
Who made it to number one?: Greatest Gadgets Ever 100-1
111: Philishave Electric Razor (1939)
The first electric razor to utilise “rotary” revolving heads, this set the standard for the next 70 years.
134: Playstation Move (2010)
“Powerful physics and beautiful visuals give a layer of subtlety that the Wii doesn’t offer. Move feels so much more sophisticated than its competitor,” T3.