Do you think you can tell a person’s age by their gadgets?

It’s likely you’ll either agree with or groan at this research: young people aged 18 to 29 years regard the desktop computer as a retro item.

If you’re agreeing, it’s because you’re in an age group that really values its mobile devices (phones and tablets) above any other home appliance. And if you’re groaning, it’s probably because you can remember using the desktop computer as if it were yesterday—or you actually did use it yesterday for work or playing games (mostly men aged 30 years and over).

Our Origin Energy Essentials Report (May 2014) surveyed 1,000 Australians aged 18 to 64 years to understand their use of appliances. It’s probably not surprising that the results confirmed that there’s a strong link between age and gadgets.  

When it comes to the top five appliances we can’t live without, only 18 to 29 year-olds name their mobile phone and internet connection (modem, router or Wi-Fi) as topping the list; these items don’t even rate a mention near the top of the list for any other age group.

On the other hand, the oldest age group surveyed (60 to 64 years) rates lots of modern conveniences as non-essential: DVD/Blu-ray players, coffee machines, food processors, hair dryers, clothes dryers and stereos are all things they can live without.

Those in the younger generations consider gaming consoles, bread makers and cake mixers unnecessary. Meanwhile, nearly half of all households have a coffee machine – that’s quite a staggering number!

50 percent of all households have a coffee machine.1

But regardless of our age, computers and technology are our great love, bringing the most enjoyment to our lives.  

One-third of all the households surveyed have two or more laptops, and over half of all households have two or more mobile phones. Half of all households have at least one tablet and 14 percent have two or more.

The TV is the most commonly owned appliance across most Australian states, with ninety-six percent of all households surveyed having a TV, and most indicating they’re going for bigger and better models.


  1. Origin Energy Essentials Report 2014, survey of 1,000 Australians aged 18 – 64 year olds conducted by Nature in March 2014.

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