What’s the Coolest Electronic Gadget You Have Owned?

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When we’re looking at buying new electronic gadgets, the “cool factor” often comes into play. Sometimes we want a particular gadget not because it will be extremely useful, but because it’s just … cool. This brings us to the question we posed to a few of our writers: “What’s the coolest electronic gadget you have owned?”

Christopher was tempted to say his Nexus 5 but ultimately settled on his old Xperia Play. He enjoyed that “it wasn’t just a smartphone but one with a slide-out game pad“, and it was his first smartphone. He went on to use it long after he no longer had cell service even rooting it after the device stopped getting updates. He feels it opened the gateway to his better understanding of Android and Android development.

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For Judy, she is also sticking with the Android, but for her it’s a Samsung Galaxy J5 Dual Sim smartphone. The screen size is perfect for her and she can make and receive calls on both SIMs without having to switch from one to the the other, yet both are active at the same time. Besides that, she can’t stop looking at the beautiful design.

The coolest gadget Jeffry has ever had was his Tangerine iBook. It was his first laptop and his first time using Mac instead of Windows. He was a college student and bought it second hand with his own money at a time when everyone was buying the “boxy grey Windows laptop.” For him, nothing beat the cool feeling he had when everyone turned t heir heads to star at his iBook.

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Mahesh is enamored with Apple products as well, but his is an iPad 3, also known as the New iPad when it first came out. When he bought it a few years ago he was “introduced to a whole new world that Apple had created for its users.” He was impressed with things such as playing high-red game and having access to features such as iMessage and FaceTime. The best news for him is that it still works just as well as when it was first inboxed.

My coolest gadget is in the same realm. Mine was the very first version of the iPhone. Sure each one that I’ve had is better than the previous version, but the coolness factor has to go to the first one that I bought a month after it made its debut. It didn’t even have third-party apps at that point, but it was still, bar none, the coolest gadget I’ve owned over any of my iPads or other iPhones.

For our writers, their coolest gadgets are mostly mobile devices but also a laptop. We’re sure you have even more cool electronic gadgets to tell us about. Let us know about yours in they comments section below.

Image Credit: Carl Berkeley, D, and Public Domain

13 comments

  1. I had an HP 41C programmable calculator that was one of the most useful and versatile pieces of handheld gadgetry I ever owned. After several years of near-daily use the display finally gave out. In the meantime, laptops became much cheaper, much more powerful, and much more reliable. So even though I replaced my 41C with a newer HP programmable calculator, that newer model didn’t get anywhere near as much use because I was using my laptop to do many of the calculations I had formerly programmed into my calculator…

  2. I’d have to say it’s my HP 200LX palmtop; my first one was bought in the mid 1990s. There is still an active world wide newsletter group. Compare to current tech there appear to lots of short comings but its very long battery life, using simple AAs, good built in apps like Lotus 123, and ability to run a lot of DOS programs makes in an interesting machine to carry.

    • Came here to mention this. I started off with a dual floppy (no hard drive) tank of a system, heavy amber monitor, cables… To have that system reduced into something that fit the palm of your hand running on AA batteries and using (essentially) the same CPU was amazing. Owned one too for a while and made good use of it.

      Eventually picked up the Psion Series 5mx and followed that with similar miniature clamshell devices (Sharp Wizard OZ-770) as I focused on PDA-type tasks. None matched the HP 200LX only because it was my first foray into a handheld capable of running powerful programs. Don’t think I could back to those early devices but I do really miss the clamshell design…

    • Russ is right, there was nothing else that could replace the 200LX, How could HP loose that machine ? was the pressure from apple and microsoft that high ? I even would buy one if it would be available

    • At the time, the HP-35 was absolutely the coolest device “anyone” had ever owned! My fist scientific calculator. it was WYSIWYG, as there was no shift key(s). Very fast for the time. Mine still works,

      Then, in keeping with HP innovative quality, the HP-95LX –> HP-100LX –> HP-200LX. I loved each one and still have a number of working HP-200LX units. (Ran virtually anything the would work on a CGA monitor, albeit B&W only.) Even WordPerfect and Minix!

      As a calculator, currently the WP-34S is close to the most powerful “HP” calculatorever as hardware and there are emulators which run on Windows, Macintosh OSX and Linux.

  3. My HP 42S calculator, purchased after I lost access to my job’s HP41C. Would run all of the 41’s programs, though they had to be typed in – no mag stripe reader.

  4. I had a little Radio Shack tone dialer that could be programmed with up to 100 numbers. I still have my HP-15C calculator.

  5. I’m still using the ultimate HP200LX a DOS machine. There was till today nothing that could replace the functionality of the 200lx, unfortunetaly. HP is still sleeping,

    rgds Michael

  6. 2 gadgets share the spot. As a student, chemistry and physics lab reports were teduous and onerous in the need to calculate results to many decimal positions. What a useless wastenof time. HP just announced heir HP35 calculator and despite the high cost I got one. Chemistry and physics labs became delightful.

    In 1994 I ended up with HP100LX (then 200LX) mentioned by Russ. That is still the most incredible device. I ran my software development business on it for several years.

    A.

  7. Couple of things come to mind… while in high school, HP came out with the HP-25, the first programmable calculator I’d ever laid eyes on. I think it had all of 25 “steps” that it would store and ran Reverse Polish Notation (RPN), my first run in with that completely elegant and efficient method of using a calculator. Oh what fun it was to hand it to someone who’d asked to borrow it and watch them search and search for the ‘=’ key. And the price back in the mid-70s? A hefty $295 for something that had no non-volatile storage at all. But me and my geeky buddies loved it, for sure.

    And then, a few years later, on loan from my boss as part of my very first programming job, an Osborne 1. Equipped with dual floppies (no hard drive) and running CP/M, and that lovely 52 character wide monochromatic display (color? Heh. Graphics? Heh heh…). It would automatically scroll horizontally when you reached the end of a line, and there were keys to scroll horizontally manually to inspect the 80 character wide display, if so desired. Sounds terribly clunky and evil and useless now, but I remember getting a fair amount of work done on it, particularly documentation, considering my alternative was a non-electric, manual typewriter with “eraseable” typing paper. Oh yes, gimme those 52 characters across any day. And to be able to fold up that keyboard that doubled as its cover and head home to keep working? Priceless, truly priceless…

  8. I’m loving my Series 2 Apple Watch Edition in ceramic. Hands down the coolest tech I’ve owned.

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