20 gadgets that defined the decade

11. Nikon D70

Nikon's ground breaking and semi-affordable DSLR managed 6.1megapixels, which was a lot for 2004 - but it was its compact, logical design, lightning fast start-up and operation and superb picture quality that cemented the D70 as the SLR for both amateurs and professionals.

Mint models still sell for £200, as once a gadget gets this good there's not much point in buying anything else. Cameras reached their peak and it was downhill all the way during the second half of the decade, as the miserable, smudged output of the "cameraphone" somehow became an acceptable way of recording our precious memories.

Nikon d70

12. Solid-state hard drives

Quicker to boot, don't make as many funny and slightly worrying whirring or clicking noises, don't get as warm and make our cheap little netbooks perform as well as proper computers. We really ought to write all those clever South Korean engineers a thank you note for all they have given us this last decade.

Solid-state hard drive

13. Nintendo Wii

Is it a games machine? Is it a toy? Is it a physiotherapy device that ought to exist solely in the swimming pools of old people's homes? Bizarrely, Wii managed to be everything to everyone - even selling for a decent price when it launched.

Of course, it doesn't work as well as Ant & Dec make it look, but there is fun to be had - especially if you only play games twice a year at someone else's house.

Nintendo wii

14. Nokia N95

Nokia very, very nearly cracked the smartphone dream with the N95, which it marketed as a multimedia device rather than mere telephone. Features-wise the N95 was stunning - but ask its processor to actually boot up the GPS system and you faced a bit of a wait.

A little more internal "oomph" and the N95 could've taken the world hostage and demanded whatever it wanted.

Nokia n95

15. Xbox 360

Most notable for its interface and community features than games alone, Xbox 360 managed to oust Sony's PlayStation from the number one spot (with help from Nintendo) and seize the "hardcore" gaming territory.

The groundwork was done by the first Xbox, which Microsoft used to build its Live network - an incredibly well built and user-friendly online world that's an essential extra for all owners.

Xbox 360

16. Asus Eee PC 701

2007 was an astonishing year for computers. Instead of paying lots of money for a small computer, we suddenly had the option of paying very little money for a very little computer, thanks to Asus.

The "netbook" was born and browsing PC World on Saturday afternoon meant only spending £250 on a new laptop instead of £800. It was the decade things got better and cheaper. Lucky old us.

Asus eee pc 701

17. iPhone

Didn't just do one thing right, it did everything right. If Apple just made a great touchscreen, we'd have been impressed. If Apple had only invented a good portable internet machine, we'd have been impressed.

If it had just built a decent online gaming and music store, we'd have been dishing out the end-of-year accolades. But to do all of those things? Perfectly? In one device? First time? Unbelievable.


18. Nintendo DS

Changed the way games worked long before Wii came along. Featuring games about stroking dogs, blowing into the microphone and doing your maths homework, the DS was a machine like no other. Games released in 2006 still sit in the top 10 charts of today, as more people investigate gaming for the first time thanks to Nintendo's all-encompassing, welcoming style.

Nintendo ds

19. HTC Hero

Thanks, iPhone, thanks for doing all the groundwork. The slightly shabby T-Mobile G1 was an awkward false start for Google's Android OS, with its bulky frame, empty apps list and battery life barely long enough to get it through the boot process.

Then came the Hero. With a more polished Android and HTC's own gorgeous SENSE user interface over the top, we finally had a smartphone capable of standing up to iPhone and not embarrassing itself.

HTC hero

20. PlayStation 2

Launched in the year 2000, so ought to have been discontinued and relegated to museum shelves and lofts by now - yet PS2 continues. It lives.

The first few years of the 2000s saw the likes of Grand Theft Auto III, Gran Turismo 3, SSX Tricky and quality game after quality game flood the PS2 market, as owners, unaware of it at the time, lived through a Golden Age of home gaming.

Everything we play now is merely a clone of the magic PS2 ushered in. And we've nearly forgiven it for killing Dreamcast.

PlayStation 2


Liked this? Then check out 10 gadgets that changed everything

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