Tech reincarnations: 5 dud products that inspired later hits

Sony eVilla (2001) | Google Chromebook (2010)

Many failed tech products often have features that were incorporated in newer devices or next generation replacements. Here are five products and their modern, successful, counterparts.

The eVilla is one of the least probable computers to actually exist. All of the components are moderately weird—it has a portrait-oriented Trinitron display, a 266 MHz Geode processor, and runs BeOS for Internet Appliances with Opera 4.0. Altogether, it’s 31.5 pounds of computer for $500. The eVilla did not fare well in the market, leading Sony to discontinue it after two months, pull it from retail channels, and offer a full refund for the system and dial-up subscription which accompanied it.

A decade later, laptops which only run a web browser became an actually desirable market, with Google’s Cr-48 starting the Chromebook line in 2010. Google’s own Chromebook Pixel line (pictured) commands a premium price at $1300, compared to the $200-$400 price point of most Chromebook hardware. Chrome OS devices now extend to the Chromebox desktop replacement, Chromebase all-in-one, and miniature Chromestick system.

Image: Sony/Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic

By James Sanders

James Sanders is an analyst for 451 Research. He was formerly a Staff Technology Writer for TechRepublic.