I always found those little pocket calculator computers to be cool little gadgets, especially then they contained BASIC. It's too bad they were so limited by their screen size and keyboard. I can imagine that it would only be useful if you already had a program written out and ready to go, but I can't imagine enjoying it as a way to really tinker with and enjoy.
I know that this wasn't their intended purpose, being a calculator first. The 8-Bit Guy did a video on the Laser Portable Computers which would have been much more functional for programming. Some of them still only had a single line display, but at least they had a proper keyboard.