Retro Tech: What Was Old Is New Again

Presenting the latest and greatest in high-tech gizmos, gear, and gadgetry.

Play hot vinyl way cooler than they did back when

Vinyl audio records are in vogue again for their warm sound. Putting the latest spin on old and new 33s and 45s, the Gramovox Floating Record Player hits its groove straight up — with no visible physical means of support. 100 percent built-in-Chicago, by a Kickstarter-funded enterprise, this plasticware player comes complete with an internal amp and two compact speakers for thrilling, out-of-the-box stereo listening. Available from Gramovox, $550


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Snap old-school instant pics with new-school smarts

While we can share smartphone-grabbed selfies across the universe in seconds, there’s something inherently satisfying about waving a self-developing color print soon after pressing the shutter. So go old-school and get glossy pics promptly dispensed from the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic camera. Using Fuji’s Instax Mini film, this sleek, pocketable picturetaker includes digitally enhanced quality control and picture effects, for great snapshots every time. Available from B&H Photo, $145


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Type your Great American Novel on a retro keyboard

Feel the immediacy of composing tight, bristling sentences a la Steinbeck, Twain, and Hemingway on a clackity writing tool. The 4 lb Freewrite is lighter than many laptops and uses a battery-saving e-ink screen to stay turned on through days-long writing jags without the need to restart. This Kickstarter-funded concept — now in its second generation — has garnered many pros as fans. Available from Astrohaus, $499


This neo-smartphone could push all your buttons    

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There are more than a few haters of today’s flat, error-prone touchscreens for communicating numbers and letters on mobile phones. Now, the last of the raised-key smartphones from another era has been resurrected as the new and improved BlackBerry KEYone. Its ergonomically sculpted keys beckon to BlackBerry’s addictive messaging abilities (remember when they were called “CrackBerrys”?), while also offering a crisp touchscreen complemented by the latest Android software inside. Available unlocked from Best Buy, $550

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