Worst Christmas gadgets ever
title: Worst Christmas tech gifts 2001 to 2007 / url: Worst-Christmas-tech-gifts-2001-to-2007
2001: Gadget: Nintendo GameCube
Price at launch: £135
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £157
Worst Christmas present because: Despite carrying a few decent titles and sporting a controller that was both complex and fun to use, the GameCube was never going to resurrect Nintendo's fortunes, meaning that proudly showing off your console (with an inexplicable handle... who carries an expensive unit like a handbag?) to your friends' wasn't going to be the colourful Nintendo fun-filled experience you thought it might be on Boxing Day.
Buy One: Nintendo
2002: Gadget: Archos Jukebox Recorder
Price at launch: £235
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £268
Worst Christmas present because: Before rising to the front of the portable video race, Archos had a good crack at portable jukeboxes. This model promised a more rugged experience than the iPod, but apart from being covered in weird wetsuit material was a tad too chunky. A fair few reports came in from users of the proprietary batteries failing on a fairly regular basis, so the device became a posh and rugged external hard drive only.
Buy One: Archos
2003: Gadget: Siemens Xelibri X8 mobile phone
Price at launch: £250
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £280
Worst Christmas present because: You remember the 'concept' mobile phones of the 1990's? No buttons, only a D-Pad to control all the mobile phone's functions (including actually dialling)... it sounded space age, ended up as a nightmare in practice when the Xelibri X8 came out, and the phone looked more like a blinged-out Tamagotchi than a fashionable piece of gadget kit. A handset probably thrown away faster than the wrapping paper it came in.
Buy One: Siemens
2004: Gadget: Eyetop Wearable DVD player
Price at launch: £400
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £436
Worst Christmas present because: If an invention still hasn't been perfected today, a version from four years ago certainly won't be much good. These video goggles may have looked cool, but there's nothing good about wandering into traffic while simultaneously feeling a bit queasy from the experience of using portable video viewers on your face.
Basically you wore a DVD player and battery pack over your arm, and images were pumped into a tiny screen in your left eye. If you didn't get a headache from peering at the tiny image, then the sheer 'dual focus' frustration of using your eyes for different things would get you in the end.
Buy One: V Realities
2005: Gadget: Nokia 770 internet tablet
Price at launch: £200
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £212
Worst Christmas present because: OK, so it had WiFi and a touchscreen, but with a battery life of no longer than three hours and a rather sluggish speed, it failed to impress. Overall, a good idea but not really thought through by Nokia, even though the company still persists with the range.
Buy One: Nokia
2006: Gadget: Sony Walkman Bean
Price at launch: £79
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £81
Worst Christmas present because: What on earth possesses designers when they come up with ludicrous concepts? This Walkman had around 1GB of memory and a decent battery life, but in the face of the iPod Shuffle it would have only appealed to the tree hugging among us, but even they might not like the Bean as they could accidentally cook it for tea.
Buy One: Sony
2007: Gadget: Microsoft Zune
Price at launch: £100
Worst Christmas present because: Not only did the US keep this all to themselves, the device, one that had a fair few people looking at it as one of the only possible iPod killers, had a brown exterior that was 'retro cool' for about seven seconds. When nobody was looking.
A few gadget lovers have bitten the bullet and imported one of these, but surely they're going to be consigned to the 'what could have been' bin of tech-history in the not too distant future.
Buy One: Microsoft
2008: Anything released on HD DVD
Price at launch: Various
Worst Christmas present because: Despite Toshiba's rabid support of this would-be challenger to Blu-Ray, this Betamax of the digital era died a slow, painful death as Sony's competeing format grew to dominate the market for Hi-Def movies. Bafflingly you can still buy HD-DVD discs today - as ironic, retro paperweights, perhaps.
Buy One: Amazon
Price at launch: $99
Worst Christmas present because: One hundred dollars and a monthly subscription charge for a dodgy, BlackBerry lookalike which only does Twitter - badly. Tweets weren't displayed in full on the screen, and the UI - despite having just one job to do - still managed to feel clunky and slow. Cue a slew of frowny-face updates and new year's resolutions to just get an iPhone.
Buy One: eBay
2010: CTA Assault Rifle
Price at launch: $60
Worst Christmas present because: At first glance, this doesn't look any worse than any other lightgun gaming peripheral - then you realise that the CTA Assault Rifle controller isn't a lightgun, just a moulded piece of gun-shaped plastic with PlayStation buttons tacked on. No-one better demonstrates the triple-filtered crapness of this idea than CTA's Soldier Ben, the poor sap tasked with using the controller to play through Battlefied Bad Company 2 on camera for the controller's YouTube advert. Grade-A gadget twaddle.
Buy One: CTA
2011: BlackBerry PlayBook
Price at launch: £499 (16GB model)
Worst Christmas present because: It was meant to rival Apple’s iPad but what it did instead was lack all the major players needed in the tablet war zone. No great apps, no 3G option, no email or calendar apps and to the disappointment of many RIM supporters, no BBM. It was like stumbling across a very executive-looking briefcase and expecting it to be filled with bundles of money and instead finding dust bunnies.
Buy One: BlackBerry