Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Twin Peaks of PC Design

I appreciate good design using quality materials that get the job done. Apple, for example, was applauded mightily when their iPhone was released, suggesting it may be the last phone you will ever buy.

Drawing a page from Apple's rulebook, we are now seeing PCs that also focus on extreme parts and fine design; take the HP Blackbird, pictured. Retailing for around $5500 [sic] without the monitor, HP stuffs the all-aluminum case with overclocked processors, Voodoo video cards, a 1.1 Kilowatt power supply, and liquid cooling. It even has it's own little tool kit
built in. Oh, and a big aluminum foot that allows for 6-way cooling.

HP's design team is sounding the right note, but the pitch is off. After you cut through the flashy-flash home site and novelty of the high-end parts, what you have is... a PC. A square, black PC. With a probable three year lifespan. And a huge power supply. And a huge eco-footprint. For around $5500 [sic].

Here's another design, the Lenovo A61e desktop. Boing Boing ripped it up; the energy savings are overrated, and the parts are billed as 'reusable' and recyclable', not 'reused' and 'recycled'. But it is EPEAT certified, is Gigabit Ethernet capable, has a 85 percent efficient power supply, the processor uses 45 watts, and it only costs $400. Granted, the name stinks (A61e? C'mon!) , and it's not much to look at. Somehow though, it's just more appealing. :: PC World :: Boing Boing

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