Best Christmas gadgets ever

Best Christmas gadgets we've yearned for in years gone by

As you busy yourself with getting your hands on the best Christmas gifts this year, we look back at the gadgets for Christmas that once adorned your hopeful festive wish lists.

It's a time for giving, sharing, wearing rubbish jumpers and playing with your Christmas gifts while being shouted at to pay attention to a boring story from the in-laws. Past Christmases have seen gadgets like Nintendo's Wii Fit become the must-have gadget and had usall up out of our post Christmas dinner slumps andburning off those added festive pounds. But what gadget-gifts have given us the most pleasure over previous years, leading adults to sprint past their children on Christmas morning and start shaking their presents with rapturous glee?

1983

Gadget: Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100

Price at launch: £450

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £1090

Best Christmas present because: As one of the world's first laptop computers, this was THE gadget to have if you wanted to be the coolest in the office. 16 hours battery life and only 1.7kg? Hey, that's a chance to work out of the office all week... plenty more time for power tie buying. Bodacious.

Buy One: Radio Shack

1984

Gadget: Adidas Micropacer

Price at launch: £70

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £162

Best Christmas present because: Back then, a microcomputer in your shoe was so futuristic you might as well have been running on the moon. A far cry from today's GPS-enabled systems, it still told you time, distance and calories burned, and has since been re-introduced by Adidas as retro-electronic.

Buy One: Adidas

1985

Gadget: Nintendo Entertainment System

Price at launch: £120

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £265

Best Christmas present because: Simply the best console of its time, it brought family video game playing to a new level. It had children and adults alike queuing up to play 'Duck Hunt' in shops thanks to the cracking light gun, and most adults will never know a grey box of joy like it again.

Buy One: Nintendo

1986

Gadget: Casio SK1 Sampler Keyboard

Price at launch: £120

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £250

Best Christmas present because: Being able to record your voice and play it on the keyboard? That turned you into an instant musical genius, allowing you to insult your friends in a plethora of different pitches. However, it had no lasting memory, so all your witty one-liners were lost when you turned it off.

Buy One: Casio

1987

Gadget: Sony Discman D-88

Price at launch: £160

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £320

Best Christmas present because: Perhaps not the gadget everyone had at Christmas, but dear sweet Tokyo, it was THE cutting edge device of the holiday season. It could only play the (now-defunct) 3" compact disc format, but pulling it out on the commute in the 1980's made you cooler than a frozen Panda Pop.

Buy One: Sony

1988

Gadget: Super Mario Bros 2

Price at launch: £30

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £57

Best Christmas present because: Not strictly a gadget, but this surreal title in the Super Mario range was a hugely sought after game. The decision to either place it in the Mario hall of fame or the dustbin of Luigi history has split gamers worldwide: it's like Super Marmite.

Buy One: Nintendo

1989

Gadget: Nintendo Gameboy

Price at launch: £80

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £145

Best Christmas present because: It was the device that got you gaming somewhere else other than on the sofa in your pants. AND it only took four AA batteries which meant you only needed to buy one pack to play Tetris for hours on those endless car and train journeys.

Buy One: Nintendo

title: Best Christmas gadgets ever 1990 to 2000 / url: Best-Christmas-gadgets-ever-1990-to-2000

Best Christmas Gadgets Ever: 1990 - 2000

1990

Gadget: Sega MegaDrive / Genesis

Price at launch: £125

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £215

Best Christmas present because: While the NES ruled the world, the Master System fared pretty well in Europe, and so all eyes were on the sequel. Well, it was to become Sega's most popular console, and gave us such delights as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Ecco the Dolphin. Awesome.

Buy One: Sega

1991

Gadget: Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Price at launch: £125

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £195

Best Christmas present because: The moment the console wars really ignited was the day many people played Super Mario All-Stars and Starfox for the first time on the SNES. This console brought us shoulder buttons and more moves than you could shake a stick at, plus the 3D on it was out of this world.

Buy One: Nintendo

1992

Gadget: Sony Trinitron range

Price at launch: c. £1800

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £2645

Best Christmas present because: Screw HDTV - CRT sets still look great and these units were so high end in their day that they were, in the words of Sony, "TV reborn". OK, they weren't, they were just nice TVs, but you get the idea.

Buy One: Sony

1993

Gadget: The TalkBoy (Macaulay Culkin's tape recorder in Home Alone 2: lost in New York)

Price at launch: £25

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £35

Best Christmas present because: A gizmo that allowed you to speed up and slow down your voice... you could pretend to be your Dad! Alright, perhaps your Dad with a respiratory problem, but it was still cool.

Buy One: Apple Collection

1994

Gadget: BellSouth/IBM Simon Personal Communicator

Price at launch: £500

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £700

Best Christmas present because: It was the first device that was a mobile phone with a computer in rather than the other way around. Clearly not one for the children, this bad boy had a touchscreen with handwriting recognition, and truly was the forefather of the modern iPhone.

Buy One: IBM

1995

Gadget: Sony Handycam DCR-VX1000

Price at launch: £2200

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £3015

Best Christmas present because: Before this, it was all tapes and rewinding and accidentally recording over your wedding... after Sony released this unit digital photo editing became a reality on the desktop, as well as adding FireWire support too.

Buy One: Sony

1996

Gadget: Nintendo 64

Price at launch: £125

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £165

Best Christmas present because: After the surprising popularity of the Sony PlayStation and the bizarre and disappointing Sega Saturn, many saw this as Nintendo's chance to be the major console developer forever.

Most of us will remember it simply for the beauty of Mario Kart 64 and Zelda - Ocarina of Time, while others are still trying to find all the cheats on Goldeneye (seriously).

Buy One: Nintendo

1997

Gadget: Tamagotchi

Price at launch: £13

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £17

Best Christmas present because: One of THE must have inventions of the 1990s, this gadget was selling at a rate of one every four seconds in some regions during 1997. Both adults and children alike became obsessed with looking after their tiny beeping companions, and the idea spawned a huge amount of imitations.

Buy One: Tamagotchi

1998

Gadget: Lego Mindstorms Robotics Invention System 1.0

Price at launch: £125

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £157

Best Christmas present because: Suddenly Lego went from the childish to the splendidly geeky; spending a Sunday afternoon building a programming a robot that could carry drinks was paradise for some people, and the communities built up around this product line are still going strong.

Buy One: Lego

1999

Gadget: Nokia 7110

Price at launch: £50 on contract

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £61

Best Christmas present because: Not only was this a phone inspired by The Matrix phenomenon and allowed you to act like Neo with the spring-loaded cover, it was the first WAP phone from Nokia. The Finnish company claimed it had problems keeping up with demand because of the hysteria over the 'mobile web'. Hmmm...

Buy One: Nokia

title: Best Christmas gadgets ever 2000 to 2010 / url: Best-Christmas-gadgets-ever-2000-to-2010

Best Christmas Gadgets Ever: 2000 - 2010

2000

Gadget: Playstation 2

Price at launch: £200

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £238

Best Christmas present because: This was tipped to be a quantum leap in terms of graphical capability over the likes of the N64 et al, and boy did it deliver. When it was released in the summer queues stretched down the street, and its popularity never waned right through the Christmas period. Still boasts some of the finest games to come from Sony.

Buy One: Sony

2001

Gadget: Xbox

Price at launch: £180

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £210

Best Christmas present because: After Sony literally owned Christmas in 2001, it was up to Microsoft to show it could also compete in the console market. And it managed it well, outstripping Nintendo GameCube sales easily and belying its chunky black cage with a bevy of fine titles and awesome graphics.

Buy One: Xbox

2002

Gadget: Philips DVDR890

Price at launch: £500

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £570

Best Christmas present because: The year DVD recorders started to become cheap enough for the average Joe meant they truly were now better than a boring old VHS system. No more chewed up tapes plus the chance to feel all futuristic by using discs... Woohoo!

Buy One: Phillips

2003

Gadget: iPod 3rd Generation 30GB

Price at launch: £320

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £360

Best Christmas present because: This was the iPod that really got the masses excited about the potential of Apple's shiny white device. 30GB of storage was more than enough for many music collections (and still is), and although it didn't pack the revolutionary click-wheel, it was still one of the must-have gadgets of the year.

2004

Gadget: Canon PowerShot A70

Price at launch: £300

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £327

Best Christmas present because: Digital cameras were flirting with Santa for half a decade before he finally acquiesced to their seduction and let everyone have one. This 3.2MP wonder was one of the most sought after, and was actually fairly dinky for the time. Which makes you worry when you realise it was only four years ago....

2005

Gadget: Xbox 360

Price at launch: £250

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £265

Best Christmas present because: After everybody got all excited about the introduction of HDTV, they needed something to provide HD pictures, and the Xbox 360 was among the first affordable options. It gave great picture quality along with a big hard drive at an affordable price as well as the first 'media-centre' style console.

Buy One: Xbox

2006

Gadget: Sony PlayStation Portable

Price at launch: £130

Inflation adjusted price for present day: £134

Best Christmas present because: The Sony PSP or the Nintendo DS, which to choose? It's a tough one, as the DS is much more successful worldwide now, but only in its Lite form. The PSP was truly revolutionary when launched, as it bucked the handheld console power trend by cramming in PS2-like graphics for a fairly cheap price, meaning parents and children alike found this in their stocking.

Buy One: Sony

2007

Gadget: Nintendo Wii

Price at launch: £180

Best Christmas present because: The wand-waving, Wii-Mii creating, shiny white phenomenon that catapulted Nintendo back to the sharp end of the console market.

It wasn't only the best Christmas present in 2007, it would have been in 2006 had stocks not been so low, and it looks likely to remain the must-have item, along with accessories like the Wii Fit board, in 2008 as well.

Buy One: Nintendo

2008

Gadget: Apple iPod Touch

Price at launch: £200

Best Christmas present because: All the best bits about the iPhone 3GS, without the need for a pricey contract. Granted, you couldn't make calls, but for just £200 you got full access to the App Store and all the media-watching, web-browsing brilliance of Apple's then-domninant smartphone.

Buy One: Apple

2009

Gadget: Palm Pre

Price at launch: £499

Best Christmas present because: Oh, woe is Palm. In 2009, the Palm Pre nabbed the top spot in the T3 Hot 100, with its sleek design and graceful combination of keyboard and touchscreen. In 2011, sadly, Palm has sunk once more beneath the waves, and the bubbles have all but stopped. Still, it was a great, if short-lived, comeback.

Buy One: eBay

2010

Gadget: Amazon Kindle

Price at launch: £109

Best Christmas present because: This was the year that the Amazon Kindle started really passing the big milestones, with the Big A announcing that it was selling more ebooks than paper ones, and the Kindle itself becoming the best-selling product of all time on the site. Although we love the new, miniaturised Kindle 4, the keyboard on the Kindle 3 was the best iteration of a difficult concept in the device's history.

Buy One: Amazon