The 5 Dumbest Tech-Product Names of All Time

Last Updated Apr 15, 2010 11:18 AM EDT

History is rife with unfortunate names. Amazon Kindle. Hoobastank. Dave Johnson. And following this week's announcement of Microsoft's first-ever branded cell phone, there's one more to add to the list: Kin.

That's right: the Kin. Look, I understand there are only so many words in the English language (which is why some companies make up their own -- often with disastrous results), but was that really the best Microsoft could come up with?

Anyway, it got me reminiscing about some of the other dumb tech-product names we've seen over the years. (Of course, given how memorable they are, perhaps they're not so dumb after all.) These are my top five:

1. Apple iPad Women, understandably, hate this name. Hate it. I can't say I love it myself, but I can at least see the logic behind it. iPhone. iPod. iPad. Makes sense, right? And what else was Apple going to call it? iSlate? iTablet? iGiantTouch?

2. Asus Eee PC Much as I appreciate a little alliterative rhyming in a name, you have to wonder what Asus was thinking in branding its then-revolutionary netbook series. Perhaps they meant to call it the "Wee PC"? (Because, you know, it's small?) "Hey, Joe, what kind of computer is that?" "An Eee." "E?" "No, Eee." "Oh." (Eye-roll.)


3. Microsoft Kin Seriously? Kin? Who's your target audience, Microsoft, people from Tennessee? I get that this phone is aimed at text-happy teens, but I "Kin" see the future -- and this product isn't in it. Same goes for the Zune, another iffy-at-best name.

4. Palm Pre Oh, Palm. You came roaring back from near-extinction with a damn fine phone, then you chose a name that's literally a prefix. Perhaps it was Pre-destined, then, that the Pre would fail to save your now-up-for-sale, Pre-bankruptcy company. Hope I'm not being Pre-sumptuous in fearing the worst.

5. Sony CLIE Sony's Palm OS-powered PDA offered a lot of nifty features not available elsewhere. But, seriously, "CLIE"? How does one pronounce that, exactly? "Clee"? "Clye"? "C-L-I-E"? Actually, the official pronunciation was "Clee-ay," which is awfully French-sounding for a product from a Japanese company. And speaking of Sony, honorable mentions go to the VAIO PC series and WEGA TV line.

Okay, your turn: Click below to vote in our poll, then hit the comments to name your least-favorite names.

  • Rick Broida On Twitter»

    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.

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