Techs of 80s: A Trip Down the Nostalgia Express


The tech world underwent a significant transformation in the 1980s with the launch of several new gadgets that this decade began to shape the future of the tech world. This period introduced the Sony Walkman, Trinitron TVs, Nintendo GameBoy and NES, alongside the craze for Casio calculator watch and the additive Video Home System (VHS) has certainly made the 80’s the eventful decade for tech innovation. Here is the list of 80s gadgets to trigger the nostalgic memories of the 80s kids and to introduce it to the Post-Millennials. 

Sony Walkman TPS-L2


Sony’s Walkman, has a splendid history. Being launched on July 1, 1979, the iconic Walkman TPS-L2, a palm-sized mini portable cassette player with buttons and two jacks for headsets, transformed the way people listen to music forever. On its debut in the US, the Walkman soon grew to be one the most successful consumer products ever. Sony has since released numerous iterations of its Walkman, and yet Apple’s iPod succeeded Sony’s portable cassette player. But, it is still considered an icon of modern and popular culture. Sony ended the classic cassette-based Walkman line in 2010, yet sells digital walkmans. The most expensive high-end Sony Walkman prices an astonishing $3199, though aimed at audiophiles. Sony traded over 400 million Walkman players across the world since the launch of the TPS-L2 model.

Apple Macintosh


Steve Jobs initially unveiled the Macintosh at the Flint Center on De Anza College campus on January 24, 1984. However, then it wasn’t just another computer. But, it was Apple showing the world how to make a mass-market personal computer. The Macintosh 128K, as it was named when it was launched. It was extraordinary in every sense. It came with a 9-inch monochrome display and a keyboard and mouse. Not to miss out, this was the first computer to introduce graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to the masses. The first Mac also had two serial ports that could support one 3.5-inch floppy disc. Originally, the sales of the Macintosh were strong and reached 70,000 units in the first year. The original machine was priced at $2,495, approximately $6000 now. It was superseded by the Macintosh 512K with more RAM in September 1984. Jobs’ left no stone unturned to promote the original Mac. 

Nintendo Entertainment System


Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was introduced in the US in 1985. In the mid 80s, only a few would have thought of its influence on the video game industry. Incipiently, it was released as the Family Computer (Famicom) in Japan, the US version of the Famicom single-handedly kept the home console industry that had almost dropped back then. Not many are aware that Nintendo was truly planning to team up with Atari to release the Famicom in the US under the name of the “Nintendo Advanced Video Gaming System” but the deal fell through. The “Famicom” was bestowed a western makeover and the idea of renaming the console helped. The NES made its debut in the US with around 17 games but the Super Mario Bros wasn’t ready for the US market yet. The NES would always be cherished for Nintendo’s biggest first-party IPs, including The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. In total, NES sold more than 60 million consoles and 500 million games worldwide.

Casio Calculator Watch


That watch (Casio CA-50) had a massive rage in the 80s, mainly for its built-in calculator. With this innovation, Casio made one of the most advanced watches that one could have on the market in the 80s. One could save names, numbers, contact info, and many more information on a tiny device. Wrapping a calculator on your wrist was something considered out of the box, back then. Even to this date, the Databank still holds a special spot among Casio watch lovers. Thus, Casio still sells calculator watches. The CA53W-1, for instance, daily alarm, offers dual time, stopwatch, auto calendar, and 5-year battery. The case has 50 meters of water resistance and the watch is priced at $25.

Atari 2600


Atari, a company where Steve Jobs began his career as a technician post he sank out of Reed College. The rise and fall of Atari is interesting. Atari played a crucial role in video gaming, particularly in developing the home console market in the 70s and 80s, which is remarkable. While Atari gained popularity with arcade hits like Pong, it truly shined with the Atari 2600 and its following consoles.

Nintendo Game Boy


Nintendo Game Boy revolutionized the video games market. it was launched in 1989, yet, it wasn’t the first handheld game console. However, it gained popularity. In comparison to Nintendo’s existing consoles, the original Game Boy was not a technical marvel. The 8-bit handheld console had a thickset physical design, a monochrome display, and advanced interchangeable cartridges. Nevertheless, it guaranteed an amazing 30 hours of battery life. The Game Boy had a similar design to the NES controller with four buttons and an eight-way D-pad controller, easing the play games. Additionally, the Game Boy enabled for up to 16 people local multiplayer through a special cord. Contemplating these features and the experience that Nintendo provided Tetris as one of the launch titles as one of the North American launch titles made the Game Boy an instant success. Its launch price was $90, although it encountered tough competition from Sega, the Game Boy that sold more than one million units alone during the first holiday season. Nintendo sold almost 120 million units of the original Game Boy across the globe over its lifetime. However, the popular handheld console was later succeeded by the Game Boy Color in the year 1998.

Sony Trinitron TVs


Sony dominated the gadgets markets in 1980s with the launch of various products, including televisions. Then, Japanese products were regarded as superior – and Sony was the most influential brand from Japan. In the 80s, owning a Trinitron TV was prestigious in North America and Europe. It was a stylish TV that had a premium price tag and loftier CRT technology that launched Sony’s Trinitron TV in the western markets. However, the craze for a Trinitron TV was growing that it affluent Indians often travelled to Hong Kong or Singapore to own the TV set. The quality of Trinitron’s picture was so exceptional that Sony started allowed its CRT technology to computer makers, including Dell and Apple. 

VHS player


Video Home System or VHS was most famous in 1980s. The videocassette recorder refashioned the home entertainment as it enabled the users to record their favourite shows on tape and watch them as and when they prefer to. It was regarded as a breakthrough in technology at the period. However, when Hollywood had put an end to releasing movies on VHS, the format began to lose the ground to DVD in the 1990s. However, the people no longer reminisce VCR, yet its influence on home entertainment cannot be missed out. Because of VHS tapes, there was a transformation in binge-watching habits and how people utilise media content on their televisions.