Five ‘Retro Gadgets’ To Buy If You’re Feeling Nostalgic

Technology continues to offer us simpler, faster and better ways of doing the things we enjoy and that technological progression is only likely to get better each year. The downfall to all this is that as the science behind these leaps gets more complicated, we tend to lose touch with the process of creating or enjoying.

Antiquated tech, no matter how irrational it may be, is possibly making a comeback because of this particular phenomenon.

[referenced url=”” thumb=”×231.jpg” title=”5 Stunning Turntables That Will Do Your Vinyl Collection Justice” excerpt=”Vinyl records have made a huge resurgence in the past few years, with sales continuing to skyrocket year on year. Is it novelty? Nostalgia? The warm, crackling audio? Regardless, vinyl is back and it’s big. Whether you’re looking to ride the wave – or are already knee-deep in records – we’ve picked out five turntables that’ll help put you in a spin.”]

I grew up during the last legs of the analogue film era. The first few digital cameras had just entered the market and they promised speed, quality and instant gratification. No longer did you have to wait weeks to process your photos at the lab to see if you’d caught that shot of the elephant splashing water out of its trunk at the zoo.

By the time I could earn my own money, I wasn’t interested in purchasing obsolete equipment, like a film camera, so I opted for a chunky DSLR and shot thousands of images to my heart’s content for years. After a while, however, I was left feeling a bit uninspired by how easy it was to capture the perfect shot. Plus, it didn’t have that indescribable warmth I felt from looking through my family’s collection of old film prints.

So, nearly a decade after I first purchased my DSLR, I found myself shuffling through my dusty wardrobe for my dad’s old film camera and reignited my love for the antiquated tradition of film photography. I’ve yet to really return to DSLRs despite them surpassing film cameras in cost, practicality, quality and ease of use. If I need an instant snap, I’ll just use my phone.

In the spirit of all things outdated, here are our five favourite retro products for when you feel like reminding yourself of a much simpler time. They also make great gifts for the techno-geek who has everything – or an educational tool for your kids.

The Nokia 3310 remake

The Nokia 3310‘s heyday was the early 2000s with its main use being calls, text messages as well as the occasional stress-inducing game of Snake. In 2017, Nokia decided to unveil the ultimate throwback by reviving it from the dead with a 3G-enabled version. And yes, Snake came back with an update too.

[referenced url=”” thumb=”” title=”Hands On With The New Nokia 3310″ excerpt=”Ever since Nokia introduced the new iteration of its classic 3310 there’s been an intense debate going on in my head.”]

You can nab yourself one for just over $100 if you’re very over the smartphone era.

Throwback gaming consoles

From the archaic Game & Watch devices right through to the first PlayStation, decades-old gaming consoles are pretty hot on the market now.

In 2018, Sony re-released the PlayStation One (rebranded as the Classic), despite some notable criticism about its lack of available games. Before that both the SNES and NES were re-released and we are all better for it.

[referenced url=”” thumb=”” title=”NES Classic Review: Retro Gaming Done Right” excerpt=”The NES Classic Edition is a miniature version of the original 1986 video game console officially produced by Nintendo. It comes equipped with a HDMI port, a wireless controller and 30 inbuilt games. We recently put it to the test and fell in love with all over again. Here is our verdict.”]

Relive your early years with your very own PlayStation Classic for $320. There are a bunch of other retro consoles – including the Sega MegaDrive, Commodore 64, Atari 2600 and myriad ’80s arcade machines – available on Catch.

Typewriter keyboards

Typewriters experienced a brief comeback until we all realised their utility was best left in the 1960s. They are still fun, however, so to satisfy our need for some fun mechanical buttons, Bluetooth-enabled typewriters have been invented so we can obnoxiously type all your phone notes while maintaining that #vintage aesthetic.

Investing in your retro brand won’t come cheap however, with the ARTIX typewriter-inspired keyboard retailing for $150.

Bluetooth cassette player

Cassette players were that awkward blip in history between the decline of vinyl and the rise of the CD but there’s still a sentimentality behind loading up a tape and rewinding it once it’s finished. Since the resurgence in vinyl, a number of music artists have actually released limited runs of tapes but with cassette playing technology barely advancing since the early naughties, its inconvenience almost outweighs its sentimentality.

That is until the Bluetooth cassette player was unveiled.

Okay, this strange invention was made possible by a Kickstart campaign and will set you back $HK688 (around $140).

Graphing calculator emulator

Finally, we have the graphing calculator. If you did an advanced mathematics class in high school or even university, then you’ll probably know exactly what we’re talking about here.
You’ll also know how expensive they can be and so, we’ve got a little hack here if you feel like reliving Year 12 maths class all over again…

There are a number of emulators available on your computer or smart device to graph to your little heart can graph no more. If the games were your favourite part of it (we don’t blame you), then you’ll be happy to hear there are a number available on the emulators too. You’re welcome.

This article has been updated since its original publication.


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