Apple Powerbook Named Numero Uno Gadget

No, it’s not the iPod. The Apple invention in question is the Powerbook 100. The U.S. magazine Mobile PC recently named the pioneering laptop the greatest gadget to infinity.

The original Powerbook received this honor because in 1991 it led the industry charge toward computers that were light enough to tote around. The Apple laptop helped to spawn future generations of notebooks, many of which inherited much of the Powerbook 100’s design and layout – its nose and eyes if you will.

The Powerbook beat out such other “gadgets” as the Sony Walkman (#3), the Motorola Startac (#4), the Atari 2600 (#9), and, yes, the iPod (#12). The magazine also included such neolithic inventions as the Swiss Army Knife (#20), the telephone (#23), the abacus (#60), and the Pez dispenser (#98).

To make the list, gadgets had to possess moving parts and/or electronics. They had to “self-contained,” able to be “used on its own,” “potentially mobile, and not “a subset of another device.”

The list is sure to create discussion, if not bar room brawls. But Apple will surely not contest it. The accolade is one more footnote to its mystique as the most innovative and relevant technology company of all time. It’s one more log to stoke the fire under their stock ticker.

By Matthew Brodsky

Sunday, April 03, 2005