100 Best Gadgets Ever: The Connected Age

As broadband replaced dial-up in the mid-noughties, internet use exploded. And with it came a raft of new services and web-connected gadgets...
100 best gadgets ever: the connected age

Even in its early years the internet was a wonderful thing: a vast digital playground where we could debate which USS Enterprise captain was the best, or (very slowly) share our 1.2MP photos. 

But in the middle years of the first decade of the final century in history (if you're a pessimist), the internet got better. A lot, lot better. It got better mainly because using it got a lot faster, with many more people switching from 56k dial-up to relatively swift broadband. That extra speed made a lot of things possible: internet video, for instance, and streaming music around the home, and taking virtual trips around distant cities.

And the greatest thing about it? We could have even more debates about which USS Enterprise captain was the best*.

*Picard, obviously


100 best gadgets ever: the connected age

With a folding form factor reminiscent of Ninty’s own Game & Watch devices from the 1980s, the DS made touchscreen gaming massive, long before the iPhone came along and all but killed handheld consoles. Its simple, pick-up-’n’-play games hooked kids (Pokemon) and adults (Brain Training) alike, while its newer, less two-dimensional sibling, the 3DS, is an underappreciated gem.