5 retro tech gadgets that won the Digit Zero1 Award over 20 years ago

It’s no exaggeration to say that technological advances have accelerated over the past two decades. Evidence of this can be seen throughout the Digit Zero1 Awards initiative, which began in 2001. This was a time when online streaming music was not popular. Because it doesn’t exist, you had to buy a CD to play it in your PC’s CD-ROM drive. State-of-the-art digital cameras still have single-digit megapixel counts, and PCs selling for close to ₹100,000 pale in comparison to the performance of today’s ₹10,000 Android smartphones.

Also Read: Zero1 Awards Special: Best Smartphones of the Last 10 Years

These products can only be found in antique electronics stores if you are lucky. On this nostalgic trip down memory lane, check out these retro-tech products that won Digit Zero1 Awards for best performance at the turn of the millennium.

Sony DSC-P1 (point and shoot digital camera)

More than 20 years ago, in 2001, 6 MP cameras offered the best image quality, but they were also expensive, writes Digit’s test center. Not only did the Sony DSC-P1 offer pixel-perfect reproduction in an easy-to-use package, it also had the ability to shoot up to one minute of video along with audio recording. This was a big deal at the time.

With excellent optical and imaging capabilities despite its extremely small form factor, the Sony DSC-P1 packs a lot of features into a small package, making it ideal for discerning photographers who require camera portability and performance. This makes it a very good choice for users.

ASUS CD-S500/G (CD-ROM drive)

According to Digit Archives, in 2001, CD-ROM drives reached an incredible 56 times faster speeds, resulting in transfer speeds of up to 8.4 MBps. Like floppy disks of old, CD-ROM drives were the de facto standard for CD-based storage back in 2001.

The ASUS CD-S500/G 50x drive performs at such a commendable level that it proves faster than some of the 56x drives tested for years at Digit’s test center over 20 years ago. did. With very good sequential data transfer speeds and excellent access times, this drive would prove very suitable for applications where large amounts of sequential data are read, said his Digit reviewer at the time. is writing. At the time, it was hard to imagine a world without disk-based media. Can you imagine trying to find a new consumer PC with a CD-ROM drive?

Dell Dimensity 8100 (Desktop PC)

From faster and more feature-rich processors to ultra-fast graphics subsystems and extremely powerful speakers, desktop computers have completely evolved in functionality and processing power. Digit’s Test Center has written about desktop PCs dating back to 2001. The most advanced PC at the time? 17-inch monitor, 64 MB graphics card, DVD drive, surround sound speaker system – can you believe it?!

According to the Digit Test Center, there was no match for the circa 2001 Dell Dimension 8100 when it came to pure processing power in the processor or graphics subsystem. With a 1.5 GHz Pentium 4 processor, GeForce3 graphics accelerator, DVD, and high-end Turtle Beach multichannel sound card, the Dell machine was the epitome of a powerful desktop PC. This is a valuable work that won the Zero1 Award over 20 years ago.

Viewsonic E53 (CRT monitor)

With technology constantly evolving in terms of resolution and refresh rates, top-end 15-inch monitors in 2001 could even reach resolutions of up to 1280 x 1024. This would have been unthinkable in the past, writes Digit’s test center reviewer. When building a low-cost PC, we said at the time, “You can’t beat a 15-inch monitor.”

Specifically, we found a monitor called the Viewsonic E53 to be a great value option for users who want a 15-inch monitor but also want the characteristics of a 17-inch monitor. This was one of his few 15-inch monitors that supported a resolution of 1280 x 1024, something only found on larger monitors at the time. This monitor has very good display characteristics and in 2001 he won the top honor in the display category at the Digit Zero1 Awards.

Creative Nomad II MG (MP3 player)

Around 2001, early MP3 players based on flash memory were not only expensive but didn’t have the space to store large numbers of songs. Memory has become cheaper, and new ways to play MP3 songs have been devised. As the footprint of larger storage capacities continues to shrink, users can now expect gigabytes of song data that fit in their pockets, with added support for standards like MP3Pro and Ogg Vorbis.

This is where the Nomad II MG shines, providing a sleek and sophisticated power accessory for those who are happy with a small, feature-packed package that fits their style. It offered excellent build quality, a good interface, good audio transfer speeds, support for WMA format, and a very practical software bundle that made it stand out from the pack of other MP3 players in 2001.

Which categories of products will be vintage antiques in another 20 years? Let us know in the comments below. Also, stay tuned for the latest information on Zero1 Awards 2023. Stay tuned to for updates on Digit’s Product of the Year Awards.

Also read: Digit Zero1 Awards 2023 and Best Buys 2023 Announcement

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