What Extinct Tech Didn't Deserve To Die?

Image: Apple

I have a small obsession with technology. OK, maybe not a small one. I love trying out the latest gadgets and tech on my eternal quest to find the gear that makes me most productive and makes work fun. I've owned more computers than I can recall from almost every major manufacturer. Of all the laptops I've owned, only one has ticked most of the boxes of acceptable compromises when it comes to form and function - the 11-inch MacBook Air. And that's why I hit the used Mac sites last week.

I've been using several different devices over recent times. I have a Mac mini with a 27-inch LED Cinema Display on my desk alongside a small form factor Lenovo connected to a pair of 23-inch displays that my wife and I share when I need a Windows box.

I also have a Lenovo Miix 510 which I use when I'm out as well as a 10.5-inch iPad Pro which is handy for drawing and missing around with the Apple Pencil.

But I've always had a soft spot for the 11-inch MacBook Air so I picked one up for $400. It's no powerhouse but does have a Core i5 processor, 4GB or memory and a 128GB SSD. It's keyboard is superior to the Smart Keyboard that Apple offers for the iPad Pro and the one that comes with the portable Lenovo. Although it lacks a touchscreen, it has a decent display, and the large touchpad compensates, to some degree, for the lack of touchscreen capability.

It's a pity that Apple dropped this nifty little computer from its range and replaced it with the far dearer MacBook.

And that had me thinking - has there been a piece of technology that was dumped by its maker that you really miss or wish had been updated?


    Nexus 7, the second generation version was the best 7" tablet I've used, and is still ok to use today.

    It still makes me sad that Google abandoned it, and I'm occasionally tempted to get an iPad Mini.. but I'm starting to feel like Apple has abandoned that too.

      I have the iPad mini 2 and I’m tempted to get the iPad mini 4 and keep it in it’s box until the iPad mini 2 dies in a terminal way.
      I don’t think there is much difference between the two.

    I am reading this on my 11 inch Macbook Air! Agree with you completely. Size, weight, and capability is the perfect combo for a laptop. It will be a sad day when it gives up the ghost.

    I never owned one, but I certainly always liked the idea of dedicated MP3 players - especially the Zune and iRiver. Of course, the need has totally evaporated now thanks to data-connected devices with streaming services, but I'd still snap up a Zune at a lawn sale if I spotted one.

      Working in a high security business, cameras are banned so by extension smart phones. How I long for a good, cheap, dedicated mp3 player.

      Also great for travelling and saving battery. They do still make them at least.

    The original Playstation Vita - 3rd party games are still coming out for it, yet I can't buy a Sony charging cable to replace my perilously-fraying original cable.

    Good phones with proper keyboards.
    I still miss my HTC Desire Z ;(

    Palm and WebOS. It did some great things, and it was sad to see the whole Palm acquisition handled so poorly by HP that they had to kill it off.

    Windows Mobile. I really wish it got the developer support it needed, as it was such a better mobile OS than IOS or Android. Such a good looking and smooth running system.

    Minidiscs were killed off by mp3 - but the last Hi MD players and recorders produced CD sound quality, you still had a physical medium with your music on, the discs came in a wide variety of colours and styles, you could buy original artists albums or record all your CDs and even mp3s if you wanted. They were the cassette Walkman future until mp3s came along and Sony stuffed up the software and digital rights protection.

      I remember waiting for minidiscs to become a thing. I had my discman in tow, and then suddenly having an ipod was the best thing ever. Never look back.

      That's not strictly true about mini disc. Sony just did not do a very good job of promoting the product. Yes mp3 killed the format war, but apple killed off the mp3 players hopes for any other company to dominate.

    I have a habit of buying the losing console from most generations; but my all time favourite console was the Sega Dreamcast.

    1. Amiga. The betamax of the computer world.
    2. Windows Phone. Microsoft's original vision was excellent, and if they'd have planned it better (the deeply embedded integration was wonderful for users but obviously detrimental for the services it integrated with and consequently got cut off) and focused on refinement and stability rather the feature development they would have had a truly superior product. They also should have focused on branding better and marketing to their (very well defined) target demographic.
    3. The Toshiba Libretto, Sony Vaio P, and all those other small computers. I know nobody wants netbooks because tablets, but that kind of portability would be great I'm a number of travel/mobile situations.
    4. Digital inking. Microsoft bought the technology originally developed for the Apple Newton. It's fantastic, but integrated poorly with Surface (and Windows as a whole). A device designed specifically for note taking would be awesome and could finally deliver on the promise of not having to take both pen & paper and a digital device with you.

      I had a Libretto - great piece of tech that pre-dated the netbook by some time and had a nifty docking solution. That's going to cost me another trip though the secondhand tech sites and swap meets.

    MS Band series and the MS Band 3 was going to be waterproof :-(

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