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It's crazy what these 10 popular gadgets looked like 10 years ago

It's crazy what these 10 popular gadgets looked like 10 years ago
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

It's easy to say technology moves fast, and it's true. As hard as it is to believe the original iPhone launched in 2007, even though it already seems like smartphones have been around a lot longer.

To really bring home how far technology can come in a short period of time, here's a reminder of what 10 popular gadgets looked like just 10 years ago. You aren't going to believe some of these.

1. iPod

Before the iPod nano, shuffle, or touch, there was just the iPod. It later became known as the iPod classic and, alas, Apple stopped making it last year. Here's what it looked like in 2005.

iPod classic 2005

And for a real blast from the past, here's what the iPod classic looked like when it first came out in 2001.

iPod Classic 2001

2. Apple iBook G4

Apple latest MacBooks are thin as a supermodel, light as a feather and designed like it's from the future. However, 10 years ago the iBook G4 was the pinnacle of size, power and design.

Apple iBook G4

It doesn't look very "Apple" anymore, does it?

3. Apple iMac G5

Apple's all-in-one iMac was a huge breakthrough in computer design. It was sleek, compact and meant fewer wires cluttering up the place. Today it sports huge screens and razor-thin edges. Back in 2005, it was a bit chunkier.


Still, some of the design elements in the current Mac are already present, including the stand.

4. Samsung MM-A800

In 2005, there were no smartphones, so the pinnacle of design and features was the Samsung MM-A800. It was the first phone in the U.S. to have a 2 megapixel camera!


5. Digital cameras

Point-and-shoot digital cameras are so compact now it's almost hard to use them. Of course, most people just use the one that's built into their smartphone anyway.

Back in 2005, if you wanted a good point-and-shoot, you got something like the Canon PowerShot A520 with its whopping 4 megapixel image sensor, 1.8-inch LCD screen and hefty 6.35 oz weight (to compare, an iPhone 6 is 4.55 oz and it includes two cameras that are 1.2MP and 8MP).

canon powershot a520

You can still buy one of these online for around $16.

6. Video game hardware

When it comes to video game consoles, the big name to launch in 2005 was the Xbox 360.

Xbox 360

It doesn't actually look that dated because it stuck around until 2013 when it was replaced by the Xbox One. What does look dated, however, is the handheld consoles. This is Nintendo's Game Boy Micro.

Nintendo Game Boy Micro

And you thought early smartphone screens were small.

7. PDAs

Before there were smartphones, there were Personal Digital Assistants. These had touch screens, but they weren't like the touch screens you know today. You could only touch one thing at a time and you were best off using a stylus.

While some PDAs had basic games, they were really a business tool that stored contacts, calendars and notes. If you wanted to transfer information, you had to plug them into a computer, set up an infrared link or get an expensive Wi-Fi add-on. Some units let you connect with cellphones for Internet access, but it was slow, buggy and expensive.

There were several big names in PDAs, but the biggest for quite a while was Palm. Here's its Tungsten E2 and Z22, both released in 2005.

Palm Tungsten E2

Palm Z22

8. Portable DVD player

Today if you want to watch a movie on the go, you have the option of loading a file onto your smartphone or tablet, or streaming video over the Internet. In 2005, you had portable DVD players.

These are still around, but they're much less clunky and have higher resolution screens. Back then, they looked more like this.

Old portable DVD player



Modern LED HDTVs are amazingly thin and light. Don't forget that you can get huge screen sizes for not a lot of money. In 2005, HDTVs were just starting to arrive in households and they were huge. This 98-pound Samsung 42" Plasma TV is a good example.

Samsung HDTV 2005

The tricky part is that this was an "HD-ready" TV, which means it didn't even display 720p or 1080p correctly. It scaled them down to 480p. Oh, and it cost $2,800.

Today you can get a Samsung 42-inch LED TV that displays 4K video for $900. Oh, and it only weighs 19 pounds.

10. The Slingbox

Today we have Apple TV, Roku and other gadgets that bring streaming video to our TVs. Back in 2005, the Slingbox brought live TV over the Internet to your computer.

Slingbox classic

It didn't really take off, but over the years Sling Media has released a few other boxes that do the same thing and its latest project is Sling TV.

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