The 50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 Years

PC World's 50 Greatest Gadgets, by the Decade

Following is PC World's list of the 50 greatest tech gadgets of the last 50 years, organized by decade (gadgets released the same year are listed in alphabetical order). The number in parentheses at the end of the entry is the product's ranking on the list. We created the list after PC World editors submitted nominations. We then rated the nominated gadgets for usefulness, design, degree of innovation, influence on subsequent gadgets, and the "cool factor." (For more on our 50 Greatest Gadgets project, see the full story.)

1950s
1954 Regency TR-1 (10)
1956 Zenith Space Command (21)
1960s
1963 Kodak Instamatic 100 (23)
1965 Learjet Stereo-8 (46), Polaroid Swinger (43)
1969 Motorola Handie Talkie HT-220 Slimline (42)
1970s
1971 Phonemate Model 400 (15)
1972 Hamilton Pulsar (22), Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera (8)
1973 Texas Instruments SR-10 (17)
1975 MITS Altair 8800 (24), Sony Betamax (29)
1977 Atari Video Computer System (7)
1978 Magnavox Magnavision Model 8000 DiscoVision Videodisc Player (37), Milton Bradley Simon (38), Texas Instruments Speak & Spell (16)
1979 Sony Walkman TPS-L2 (1)
1980s
1982 Commodore 64 (27), Sony CDP-101 (5), Timex/Sinclair 1000 (47)
1983 Motorola DynaTAC 8000X (35), Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100 (25)
1989 Nintendo Game Boy (26), Sharp Wizard OZ-7000 (48)
1990s
1990 Poqet PC Model PQ-0164 (50)
1993 BellSouth/IBM Simon Personal Communicator (41)
1994 Apple Newton MessagePad (28), Connectix QuickCam (40)
1995 Iomega Zip Drive (36), Sony Handycam DCR-VX1000 (19)
1996 Motorola PageWriter (13), Motorola StarTAC (6), PalmPilot 1000 (4), Play, Inc. Snappy Video Snapshot (39)
1997 Franklin Rolodex Electronics REX PC Companion (33), Sony Mavica MVC-FD5 (45)
1998 BlackBerry 850 Wireless Handheld (14), Diamond Multimedia Rio PMP300 (18), Lego Mindstorms Robotics Invention System 1.0 (34)
1999 Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer (32), ReplayTV RTV2001 and TiVo HDR110 (3, tie), Sony Aibo ERS-110 (44)
2000s
2000 M-Systems DiskOnKey (9), Sony PlayStation 2 (11)
2001 Apple iPod (2)
2002 iRobot Roomba Intelligent Floorvac (31), Jakks Pacific TV Games (49), Sanyo SCP-5300 (30)
2003 Handspring Treo 600 (20)
2004 Motorola Razr V3 (12)

The Top 50 Tech Gadgets

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