Comments on: PCWorld Ranks the Top 50 Gadgets

PCWorld has published their take on the 50 greatest gadgets of the past 50 years. They rated each gadget on its usefulness, design, degree of innovation, and influence on subsequent gadgets, as well as their "cool factor." The list features two Jeff Hawkins originals. The Pilot 1000 ranks an impressive 4th (behind the walkman, iPod and Tivo), and the Handspring Treo 600 comes in at 20th.
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One item seems really out of place.

timepilot84 @ 12/28/2005 1:05:17 AM # Q
I was looking over this list and found it interesting. All of the items seemed really groundbreaking in one way or another even if their particular brand of excellence has since fallen by the wayside. I just couldn't figure out why #12 "Motorola Razr V3" was on the list. It isn't particularly groundbreaking, or important, or even interesting for that matter. It's just a fancy phone that got good reviews. I figured that there must be something to it. It made the list after all, but even in the description provided it doesn't seem to fit in with all the other top gadgets.

Heck, even the Sanyo SCP-5300 (#30) was the first phone in the US to have a camera. I'd say that trumps the RAZR right there.

RE: One item seems really out of place.
PenguinPowered @ 12/28/2005 3:02:28 AM # Q
A silly little list. What sort of electronic gizmo list could possibly leave out at least one of the Apple II or the original Mac, each influential in its own way?

And there's not a single GPS on the list, anywhere. How, um, lost.

Of course, they've left out lots of little things that influence you indirectly, like all the electronics that make today's music possible, or the entire history of component sound systems. What, not a single boom box?

The Regency, by the way, barely, doesn't fit the 50 year window.

and how did they manage to completely leave out HP's perfecting the ink jet printer?

Marty Fouts

I survived PalmSource '05

RE: One item seems really out of place.
freakout @ 12/28/2005 3:52:26 AM # Q
It seems everyone likes to throw together one of these 'best of' gadget lists every other week. It always changes too, even when it's the same magazine or website making the list, which I find quite amusing.

But what I do find cool is that nowadays, either the Treo 600 or the 650 manages to find a spot on almost every list. So I hesitate to write them off as completely useless... ;)

Tim Carroll
Your friendly customer service robot
(and big Treo fan)

RE: One item seems really out of place.
pmjoe @ 12/28/2005 9:58:44 AM # Q
Plenty of items out of place, in part because this list seems way biased toward items from the past 10 years. If the iPod is seriously #2 then this ought to just be a mobile music list and the Learjet Stereo-8 ought to be #1.5. The Commodore 64 continues to be the best selling computer of all time and probably was really the basis of the home computing, yet only came in 27th? Could they stick any more mobile phones in this list??? Sorry, the Treo 600 is nice, but isn't top 50 in any list of "Gadgets of the Past 50 Years" unless you're just talking about phones.

RE: One item seems really out of place.
mtc111 @ 12/28/2005 11:55:20 AM # Q
I'll throw in my vote for the IPod not belonging in #2. The list as a whole seems pretty good, but the order is a bit odd.

RAZR and Ipod (plus a few others) seem artificially high in the list. Marketing hype.

RE: One item seems really out of place.
rsc1000 @ 12/29/2005 11:04:48 AM # Q
nah - the Treo does belong in top 50. It is influential as a converged device and is considered the gold standard that 100 other companies are trying to beat and the 1st to the smartphone concept basically 'right' to the point where many consumers wanted it, buy, love it. Many people i know don't know what the phrase 'converged device" means - but they know 'treo'. I don't own one and I am still waiting for Palm (or somebody) to get it right - but i still think it's top fifty. The razr on the other hand, has no business being on the list.

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The list is a good start but needs work...

DWD @ 12/29/2005 1:33:30 PM # Q
Maybe they don't consider the Apple and IBM PCs to be "gadgets." It's kind of a slight to the Commodore but makes sense. The Razr being on the list, let alone #12, is a joke.

Agreed, too many phones. Should have been another TI or HP calculator in the bunch.

Omitting the Mattel handheld LED games but including the Jakks Pacific TV Games, #49, is completely asinine. The Mattel games took over the world in the seventies, while I had never heard of Jakks before which is just implementing old games again.

And what about a talking Boogie Bass? Based on sheer numbers sold, the whole talking gag gift sector should have had a representative.

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Razr and not StarTac?

Tuckermaclain @ 12/31/2005 10:31:49 PM # Q
I think the StarTac was much more of a landmark device than the Razr. The StarTac was quite a bit smaller than anything else when it was introduced around a decade ago--Not so with the Razr. The StarTac may have be the very first of the ubiquitous "micro-clamshell" design that dominates to this day. Until it came along there was really nothing you could fit comfortably in a pants pocket. The Razr is just an evolution of this. The MicroTac was also a pretty cool phone with that funky shape. Remember Lee Travino running it over in a golfcart? It was one of my favorites.

RE: Razr and not StarTac?
Tuckermaclain @ 1/1/2006 12:21:08 PM # Q
Duh! Didn't read all of it.

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