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The importance of aesthetic design, and Apple

I would like to talk about aesthetic design and Apple in particular.

I’m a sucker for design, and design is probably the most important part of a electronics product for me. Say what you will, design is a big deal to me. I’ve always felt Apple brought that. Even back in 2001 when I didn’t particularly care for Apple, I loved the design of the Titanium Powerbook. In fact, back then, I had wished that I could run windows on it, because it had the best design but I preferred windows. They make the thinnest and lightest 17 inch laptop. The fact that they make the thinnest, IMHO best looking, and lightest weight 17 inch laptop will make me choose them every time if I were in the market (but not with a glossy screen…).

If not for their design I’d sway more easily. For example, I’m not a huge fan of the design of the Mac Pro, and consequently I am in very serious consideration of building a hackintosh instead because I prefer the design of a different case (Antec P180).

For design freaks like me, Apple is hard to avoid. Almost every Apple product I own I feel is by far the best aesthetic design on the market. I own a Magic Mouse. It is not a good mouse, but IMO it is the best looking mouse. That said, just like glossy screens, if it has a deal breaker in functionality, I still won’t use it. And yes, I am thinking of selling my Magic Mouse.

It is the same for smartphones. I feel the current iP4 is the best looking phone on the market. I don’t like the kick stand or the red on the evo, or how the camera bulges out. I actually prefer an integrated battery because then there are no extra seams in the design. On the Samsung Captivate I don’t like the slight bulge on the bottom, while the iP4 is flat and thin, and the camera doesn’t bulge out. The design is even and consistent.

I haven’t used a case on my cell phones in the past because I feel they hurt the aesthetics. I currently use a bumper on my iP4, but only because it was free, and I feel it doesn’t hurt the aesthetics very much, if at all.

That all said, I wonder how much importance other people put on aesthetic design when purchasing an electronics product?