What do the 1980s mean to you? Dodgy haircuts, Charles and Diana and Dynasty spring to mind, but let’s spare a thought for the technology of the decade that style forgot.
They may not have been pretty, cheap or powerful, but devices like the Apple Mac, Sony Walkman and the Game Boy changed the face of technology, spawning the smartphones, tablets and computers we use today.
Here’s a nostalgic look at our favourite gadgets from the 1980s…
Launching in 1984, the original Macintosh computer was hugely popular - becoming the first computer in many homes. It was introduced to the world with a ground-breaking advert directed by Ridley Scott and aired during that year’s Super Bowl.
Sony’s original portable cassette player actually launched in 1979, but the best-selling model was the Sony Walkman WM-2. Released in 1981, it cost £130 and sold 2.5 million units.
Sinclair ZX Spectrum
The huge popularity of PlayStation and Xbox consoles owes a lot to 1982’s Sinclair ZX Spectrum – affectionately called ‘the Speccy’. The brainchild of Sir Clive Sinclair, priced £125 it was the first truly affordable home computer, but despite its educational selling point, really came into its own as a games console.
For many Brits, the BBC Micro was their first home computer. Released in 1981 as part of the BBC’s Computer Literacy Project, its educational focus and usability taught a generation of Brits computer literacy and basic programming skills.
Speak & Spell
With its distinctive red and yellow design, not forgetting the robotic voice, the Speak & Spell was an educational toy masquerading as a game. It even co-starred in the decade’s biggest film, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Thirty years later, you can get smartphone apps that pay homage.
Nintendo Game Boy
Squeezing onto our list with a 1989 debut, the Game Boy’s portable cartridge-based console revolutionised gaming and introduced Tetris to the world. Along with its successor the Game Boy Colour, over 118 million units were sold.
Epson ET-10 Pocket TV
In the days before mobile TV was as simple as iPlayer, the Epson ET-10 was the world’s first pocket colour TV with a liquid crystal display. Nicknamed Televian, it had a two-inch screen and five-hour battery.
Nokia Mobira Cityman 900
Our list of Eighties gadgets wouldn’t be complete without an oversized mobile such as 1987’s Nokia Cityman (above, right). It was a mammoth 18cm high and weighed 760g. The Brick phone payed a 2013 homage.