We pointed out why gadgets were more expensive 30 years ago, but it is also important to note that many of these gadgets were hilariously huge. I've collected eight examples, I'll leave it up to you to add the rest.
In the '70s and early '80s, it was trendy to offset tiny, crappy screens with enormous and ornate wooden consoles. My family had one of these when I was a kid—looking back on it, I understand why my father chose to put it on the lowest level of our house. It would have seriously compromised the structural integrity of any floor it was sitting on. [TV History]
This is what passed for a widescreen television in 1978. However, the GE Widescreen 1000 really wasn't widescreen at all. In reality this absurdly huge cabinet housed a small CRT screen that used "a vertical deflection reversing switch to invert and laterally reverse the image, and a three element lens within a light-proof projection chamber to re-invert, magnify and project the image onto a forward projection type reflective screen." In other words, the image was artificially enlarged through projection. Oh, and that beastly monstrosity sitting next to it is an early VHS recorder. Back in the day, video players like this one could weigh 13kg or more. [Flickr and RetroThing]
The Walkman portable cassette player made its debut in 1979, but if you wanted a more feature rich portable player, you risked a dislocated shoulder picking up one of these ghetto blasters. ['80s Rewind]
Today we have camcorders built into our tiny mobile phones. In the '70s and early '80s you had to deal with beasts like the Sony SL-F1 Betamax camera. Before the advent of the Betamovie BMC-100P personal camcorder in 1983, the camera and the portable recorder were not integrated into a single unit. [Wikipedia]
The JVC HR-4100 was the first ever "portable" VHS recorder, but this woman appears to be in over her head. This is definitely a "team lift" situation. [Rewind Museum]
Microwaves in the '70s were big enough to crawl into. According to the owner, this particular model weighed around 36kg. [Forty Two]
Bonus: Glasses are not really a gadget, but honestly, what the hell was going on in the '70s? I have to admit though, Wonder Woman still looks great with those telescopes attached to her face. Anyway, thank God for contacts and Lasik. [Blurbomat]