Top 10 retro gadgets of 2006

Dave Walker Gadgets, Top stories, Top tens

We demand the latest technology, but that doesn’t mean we want to sacrifice the stylish looks of days gone by. There have been plenty of retro gadgets in 2006, but after long consideration, here is our top 10:


1. Specktone iPod docking station

Looking like that ‘wireless’ your grandparents had, the Specktone is every bit the modern docking station, throwing out 28w of sound from the lacquered wood cabinet. The iPod never looked so old.

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2. Rubik’s Illuminate Cube
It’s a light, it’s a small sound system, but it isn’t actually a functioning Rubik’s Cube. However, by way of compensation, it does flash its coloured squares in tune with your favourite music.

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3. Thinkgeek Retro Bluetooth handset

Yes, of course you’ll look silly talking through this old handset – but not as silly as you did with wires. It operates up to 30ft away from your phone and is much cheaper than the Hulger alternative.

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4. Asono DAB1 space age DAB radio

There was much competition for best retro DAB radio, but this homage to 70s space age design from Asono won the day. It even has a wireless external speaker for improved stereo sound.

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5. Sanyo VPC-CA6 movie/still camera

Sanyo’s VPC-CA6 might look like an old super 8 camera, but it’s a great all-round movie/still camera with up to four hours of video storage and built-in software to improve your images.

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6. Leica D-Lux 2 digital camera

Leica are kings of the retro camera – and the D-Lux 2 is a good place to start. A stylish, unfussy 8.4MP camera, but certainly not the cheapest around.

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7. LaCie Brick Lego brick hard drive

If only all computer storage was this fun. Up to 500GB per brick and if you want to add more, just clip on, Lego-style.

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8. Samsung P300 calculator phone

Just like your old school calculator, this is a phone you’ll love or hate. I’m guessing most hated it, as it was replaced months later with the distinctly non-retro P310.

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9. Mimico Ginchy 50s-style USB drives

Mimico has made a splash this year with Star Wars USB drives. But I prefer these 50s-style characters, designed by Lili Chin.

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10. Nintendo NES Controller alarm clock

Most people are talking about the Nintendo Wii, but for some people, it’s impossible to escape from the world of 8-bit. It’s an alarm clock that looks like a controller, even playing Nintendo-related tunes as alarms.


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By Dave Walker | December 20th, 2006