LGR – Strangest Computer Designs of the 2000s

LGR – Strangest Computer Designs of the 2000s


The first decade of the new millennium was known for the rise of cheap, boring PCs from the likes of Dell and eMachines. But it also saw its fair share of outlandish computer designs, with manufacturers on a mad dash to find the next big thing. So, let’s take a look at a bunch of computers that stand out for their weirdness in regards to overall look, usability and specifications alike. Starting with: Originally developed as a concept for Intel, the Ottoman PC by Sozo Design featured a Pentium 3, 16-inch LCD display, an optical drive and a removable wireless mouse and keyboard. The idea was to build a PC that would blend in with existing living room furniture, but would convert into a powerful desktop PC once opened up. Unfortunately, once you did that, it resembled an open toilet seat, rather than a stylish ottoman, which brought about more jokes than interest and sales. The: Designed in 2006, Maingear’s Prysma is built in the shape of a pyramid, strictly because they could. The Prysma was a unique take on Intel’s Viiv media center standard, which meant that its primary function was to be hooked up to your HDTV and playback TV shows and movies. Unfortunately, not only was it expensive at $3500 for the base unit alone, but the design made it inconvenient, both in terms of cable management and not fitting within most home theater setups. The: And people thought Apple’s G4 Cube was an unusual design. Inspired by the look and and shape of a sunflower, the 2002 iMac G4 was a bizarre follow-up to the 1998 G3. The core components were packed into its bulbous base, whereas the LCD protruded from the top and swung around on a metal arm like a desk lamp. While it was lauded for its elegant display, it was criticised for its relatively low power and high cost, and discontinued less than two years later. The: After a short public testing period in 2006, the Chumby was released as a portable computer designed to be thoroughly customised by its owner. It featured a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen, a 350Mhz ARM chipset, came wrapped in padded leather, and ran a version of Linux that was customisable by installing software widgets. You could turn it into a dedicated newsreader, dedicated music player, whatever. Although this was spun off into the non-portable Sony Dash in 2010, Chumby devices ceased production two years later, with the servers shutting down in 2013. The: Although originally announced in 1998, it was in the early 2000s that IBM’s Young Explorer computer systems started showing up everywhere kids happen to be. Schools, daycares, airports, restaurants, dentists offices, you name it. The hardware inside was a standard IBM ThinkCenter PC, but it was housed in a child-friendly plastic desk manufactured by Rubbermaid and sold under their Little Tikes brand. It was quite a success, even though they sold for upwards of $2500. The: This was a time when the ultra-mobile personal computer, or UMPC, was poised to take the world by storm in 2006 and OQO’s Model O2 was a much-lauded example. Starting at $1500, this particular UMPC was introduced by none other than Bill Gates in 2007 and featured a fully-functional Windows Vista computer system small enough to fit in your pocket. However the battery life was pretty abysmal, and the Blackberry-like keyboard was lacking, besides that, netbook computers were just about to take off. By 2010, the company had gone bankrupt. 3Com’s Audrey Internet appliances were all the rage around the turn of the century and 3Com’s Ergo Audrey from 2000 was one of the more high-profile ones. Named after actress Audrey Hepburn for some reason, its sole purpose was to connect to the internet and perform basic computing tasks, using its QNX-based operating system. Despite notable first-year sales, it died a swift death during the dot com crash of 2001, and due to an influx of cheap, liquidated units it became rather popular among hardware hacking enthusiasts in the following years. What’s better than a computer with a built-in display? A computer with two built in displays, or so went Lenovo’s thinking in 2008, with their dual-monitor ThinkPad W700ds laptop. The idea behind it was that workstation users on the go could always use another screen. So a smaller LCD panel slid out of the side, like some kind of cancerous growth. Other than looking bizarre, the big problem was that it weighed a hefty 11lbs, was over 2 inches thick, and the battery maybe lasted 2 hours on a good day. The: Never missing a chance to slap mouse ears on something, the Walt Disney Company released the Dream Desk computer in 2004 Manufactured by electronics giant Medion, it featured a Mickey Mouse head display with built-in speakers, a keyboard with a built-in drawing tablet pen and a case with a door that slides over the cables in the back to keep kids away from the important stuff. Oddly enough, the silly design was the main issue that prevented it from selling very well, along with the fact that for $900 you could get something far more powerful elsewhere. The: Yet another company taking a shot at making media center PCs interesting, Moneual’s idea was to go cylindrical, with the “I-Magine”, “Imagine”, “I-star-magine”, stupid name! Some thought the case design was elegant and even beautiful, others found it looked more like a bomb. Whatever your stance, it was priced between $2,000 and $3,000, boasting a built-in touchscreen, speakers and hard drive. The idea was that you could use it as a portable media player in addition to a Windows Vista Media Center PC and your TV, but with no batteries and that lofty price tag, its appeal was understandably limited. And that’s all for this particular video, and if you enjoyed this, why not check out some of my others? I’ve a got a video on some bizarre computers of the 90’s, as well as plenty of other things on LGR of similar topics, and let me know in the comments if you had any of these, remember seeing them, or there’s some that I maybe missed and you’d like to see in a future episode, or something. Whatever, man! I enjoy the communion! There’s also Twitter and Facebook if you want to do all that, and as always, thank you very much for watching LGR!


100 thoughts on “LGR – Strangest Computer Designs of the 2000s

  1. Discovered while working at an e waste recycler: the imac base plastic is the ideal foundation for your juggernaut cosplay project. The cd drawer opening lines up perfectly as an eye slit

  2. I still want one them 4g imacs I want fully loaded one . I think they are so cute .I would put big hard drive in and uses as music computer . How bad I want one . I can't find them and I don't turss eBay to much since I got burnt a few times

  3. Oh my god, my old pre-school had one of those little tikes computers. So many memories of little kids fighting over who's going next, whilst my friends and I were always hogging it. It's been ages.

  4. Apple fan here, but I never liked the looks of the iTit. I always thought it was a feminine design for a computer.

  5. Most of these feel like
    "And the company decided that a dodecahedron was a great way to go.
    But most people thought it looked like a soccer ball."

  6. Hey, can you tell me, if you jnow it, the name of the case in 0:13? I Have this case from 2013 until 2015, without the front door lip and spend almost this two years researching on the web to find any image of how the case would look like, with the front door, now, five years later i see it on a random videon on youtube, this gave me a lot of nostalgia, i find my old photos on my old computer on google photos and man i miss my old trash setup

  7. Hopefully, there will be a 'Strangest Computers of the 2010s' coming next year as it is July 2019 as of writing this!

  8. iMac G4 is a killer design. Apple should've implemented touchscreen on it and should've continue using that design till today. But that's actually what Microsoft did with the Surface Studio.

  9. I still think cube is the best shape for PC
    So I use a Cooler Master Haf Evo XB
    You just stick it in front of the window AC unit and you're ready to rock.

  10. Just trying to imagine upgrading any of those computers..
    Yikes!
    No thanks I'll stick to my Compaq Presario!

  11. I feel like there should be 1 more attempt at the UMPC world so I could play doom 2016 on the go

  12. that dual screen laptop is genius WHY DONT THEY MAKE THAT screw the dual screen where one screen is on the bottom and one is on top that looks hella better

  13. Dislike. Must note "subs-only translation" in translated title.
    Nothing personal, but subs stubs must not pretent to be native videos.

  14. I remember using one of those Disney computers back when I visited a Disney Quest back in the early 2000's and was used for a toy story themed activity center where you could make your own toy abominations like Sid and then when you made it on the PC they would give you the parts to snap it together for yourself for real, I remember trying to make a normal toy but the lady supervising the kids basically forced me to make something random because that was the point, but it still kinda sucked I wasn't allowed to make what I actually wanted ^^;

  15. The ottoman pc would be mistaken for a training potty by a child. The child will crap on the computer and then you’ll need to buy a new one

  16. 🤦‍♂ O boy! That Ottoman PC should be able to hold my weight as heavy as 40 stone. Or otherwise, it breaks apart

  17. I remember people really liking the iMac G4, I remember a Mac fanboy showing me OSX on his, and I was impressed as hell!

  18. id love to have a OQO i grew up with desktop computers running windows xp id definetly prefer to have one over a smartphone.

  19. I actually like the moneual one!
    It's crazy, there is no one selling one. I see mostly vacuum robots but I think thats a different company. the computer is only 10 years old!

  20. I feel like I’ve commented this before but why not do it again?
    My dream is to make a year 2000 amstrad dream pc. A Dreamcast or Naomi motherboard on one side of the case, and a suped up gaming computer with a tualitan cpu, a GeForce 256 or 3 ti500 or something like that from that time, a dvd and a Zip drive. And a floppy if it can fit.
    Seriously just imagine it. And that name. Why didn’t anyone make a dream pc?!

  21. ok……..I built myself something like that Moneual I*magine a couple of years ago with a raspberry pi 2 and a good gettoblaster…………I personally like this style and I think that 2019/20 is a good time to relaunch it with cheaper hw and a more effordable price……….

  22. So I woke with a hangover, feeling groggy, and I said to myself "Screw it, I'm gonna spend the entire day in bed watching LGR" 🙂

  23. the lenovo thinkpad w700ds would actualy be cool if it was done right with a modern pc like a razer or some kind of gaming laptop or more powerfull one

  24. This guy believes that things sliding out of your device looks cancerous. He is right, enjoy your pop up camera you morons.

  25. I was rambeling about dual screen latops all my life and yet Lenovo had it, all the time 0.o and there even under the Think Pad brand…

  26. I've had the same PC for about 12 years now. I've since upgraded the graphics card and RAM and exchanged the HDD for an SSD. Runs very well for what I use it: YouTube, internet browsing, and word processing. It was decently high end at the time, so that helped it for a few years at least.

  27. I would love to have that laptop with built-in display extender. In my line of work it is quite important to hv multiple display.

  28. I still use my iMac G4 and I'm running leopard on it. I still love it. I mostly use it for photoshop and illustrator. Still a great machine!

  29. My uncle stays on top of all the apple trends ( not like as soon as it’s launched but more so than the average consumer) and he gives his older computers to us and I got to have a G4 as a kid I thought it was futuristic and cool.

  30. I want the pocket vista pc reimagined with windows 10 so I can play Minecraft on the go without having to use pocket edition

  31. while i have never owned an actual Mac i have always enjoyed their design and the G4 iMac was definitely one of my favorites. I am actually looking into buying some refurbs of the latter models of each iMac generation from the 00s

  32. I like the design of the Lenovo. Seems like if it was better executed it could work. I always love having a second screen.

  33. The iMac g4 is literally the perfect all in one desktop computer design, if only for the monitor positioning abilities.
    Would be great if revived with a touchscreen and modern specs.

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