Top Tech Gifts Over the Years

19 Dec, 2016

kids and dad playing with a tablet.It seems like even the youngest recipients on your holiday gift list this year are asking for tech gifts. From tablets and mp3 players to video game consoles and 4K TVs, grandparents down to their grandkids want tech gadgets this holiday season.

Has it always been that way? What were some of the best tech gifts given over the last century?


With the war over and the Great Depression starting at the end of the decade, holiday gifting was on a much smaller scale than most of us are accustomed to. If you had the money to spend, the most popular tech gift of this decade was the radio.

  • Radios: As radios grew in popularity, so did the number or radio stations, which in turn spurred demand for radios.


The pop-up toaster was invented in 1919, but it was the introduction of pre-sliced bread (via Wonder Bread) in 1929 that really helped the pop-up toaster gain in popularity in the 30s – though few households would have been able to afford one.

  • Pop-up Toasters: In 1925, the original toaster invention took off with the first automatic pop-up that could brown both sides of the toast at the same time. Plus, it had a timer that would eject the toast when finished.


Fast-forwarding a bit, we arrive at the 1960s where tech gifts for women entered the scene in the form of slightly undercooked brownies.

  • Easy Bake Oven: What little girl didn’t want one of these cool miniature ovens? The Easy Bake Oven promised to cook food with just two electric light bulbs. Yum! The Easy Bake Oven was a huge hit and continues to this day to be a reliable, if not popular, holiday gift.


What tech gifts did kids of the 80s want under the Christmas tree? And even their moms and dads? A Walkman, of course!

  • Walkman: The ability to listen to your music on the go was huge. And while we might chuckle at the thought of a Walkman today, remember that your music wasn’t always with you on your phone. Mainly because the closest thing to a Smartphone was the giant Saved by the Bell cell phone.


Walkmans were so 1980s. By the 90s, everyone had moved onto the next best thing – the Discman. And while many children and teens (and adults too!) happily tore into their presents hoping to reveal a Discman, other tech gifts were emerging in the 1990s. Video game consoles and home computers began to rise.

  • Desktop PCs: More Americans started to own home computers in the 90s. This was definitely a top tech gift of the decade.
  • Discman: The first portable CD player, the Discman, edged out the Walkman as CDs became more popular than cassette tapes.
  • Sega Genesis: While Nintendo dominated the video game market early on, Sega Genesis and the Sonic the Hedgehog series helped Sega gain market share against its competitor.


As we enter a new century, we start to see tech gifts that resemble more of what we would consider, well, tech gifts. Enter the laptops, the MP3 players, the cell phones. We would hardly call an easy bake oven or a pop-up toaster a tech gift by today’s standard, right? Technology has come leaps and bounds since then!

  • iPod: From the nano to the iPod classic, when this product hit the market, everyone wanted one. Your entire music library could go with you wherever you went without having to swap out CDs. Pair this with the popularity of Napster and other music downloading sites and you can see why the iPod took off.


So what’s hot now? Tablets, smartphones, Smartwatches, Smart TVs, Fitbits, Blu-ray players, noise canceling headphones, Wi-Fi and streaming everything. The best tech gifts for men and women reveal so many possibilities. Our pick for this year:

  • 4K TV: You have to see the picture quality in person to really appreciate how crisp and detailed it is. Colors are sharper, blacks are blacker. And, with more and more 4K content emerging, you can enjoy even more movies and shows with the clarity achieved only by 4K. (Read our related article: 4K Movies & Streaming Content)

Find today’s must-have tech gifts at hhgregg

Looking for a gift for the techie in your life? Shop online or visit a local hhgregg store today! We have all the latest gadgets and gizmos to keep them entertained. Consult our techie gift guide for more ideas.

About the author


Related Posts

Leave a reply