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Sony was the company pushing the envelope regularly in the early days of mobile devices, and the line of Picturebook laptops was popular. The 8.9-inch screen made the Picturebook the smallest, most portable laptop to this day, and at less than an inch thick. The hardware components in the Picturebook made for a laptop that could compete with anything of the time. I used a Picturebook for a long time, and my oldest daughter asked to take it to college with her. It served her well as her computer at school, due to the included replicator bar that Sony included with it. She kept this replicator in her dorm room, and plugged the highly portable Picturebook into it to turn it into a full desktop computer when needed. She still has the Picturebook today, a testament to the build quality Sony was famous for back in the day.
The Tablet PC never appealed to the mainstream, but the innovative hybrid design of the HP tc1100 served me well in my mobile work. The ability to pop the 10-inch screen off the keyboard turned the tc1100 into the thinnest, lightest full Windows computer of all time. The active digitizer made the tc1100 into the perfect note taking machine, while the ability to snap it onto the keyboard to form a full laptop computer made it highly versatile.
The EVO 4G is the only modern day gadget on this list, due to the impact it has made on my life. The first smartphone with 4G (WiMAX) connectivity, the EVO 4G with the large 4.3-inch screen is still a real workhorse of a handheld device. The EVO was one of the first with the big screen, and the high-speed connectivity was groundbreaking, and has led to a number of like configured phones.