Apple's PowerBook 100, unveiled in 1991, has topped a list of the 100 best gadgets ever.

Mobile PC awards the accolade saying: "Never mind the Apple versus PC debate: Until Apple unveiled this 5.1-pound machine, most portable computers were curiosities for technophiles with superior upper-body strength."

"The PowerBook 100's greatest and most lasting innovation was to move the keyboard toward the screen, leaving natural wrist rests up front, as well as providing an obvious place for a trackball. It seems like the natural layout now, but that's because the entire industry aped Apple within months," it notes.

Apple is credited with turning notebook computers into "mainstream products" and for ushering in the "era of mobile computing that we're still living in today".

Generation changers

Also receiving praise is Apple's iPod in 12th place. "The original iPod cracked the portable audio market wide open with its ease of use and to-die-for aesthetics," writes Mobile PC.

The iPod has not topped Sony's original Walkman however. In 3rd place is the device without which "Apple's little music monster would never have been possible" according to the article. The Walkman is described as "A generation-changing reality".

Apple's PowerBook 500 from 1994 also gets a look in in 22nd place. Mobile PC writes that this machine "wowed the notebook market with a long string of firsts: The first touch pad; the first stereo speakers (with 16-bit sound); the first expansion bay – and the first PC Card slot; the first "intelligent" nickel metal hydride battery, with a processor that communicated battery status to the operating system; and, last but not least, the first curvaceous case, with gratuitously swooped edges and corners instead of the boxy angles of previous notebooks".

"Make no mistake, this notebook set the agenda for the following 10 years of portable computer design," states the article.

In 39th place is Apple's Newton Messagepad from 1994. "Nobody's disputing that the Palm changed mobility forever. But two years before the Pilot 1000 blazed onto store shelves, Apple dropped its own handheld on the world. The Newton MessagePad 120 did everything the Palm Pilot did, except sell."