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View Full Version : Is the MacBook Air the most beautiful computer ever created? And if not, what is?




Jobsian
Nov 2, 2010, 03:53 PM
Listen, I think Jobs hit it right out of the park with the first MBA, and even moreso with this one. I think it's the best looking notebook and computer ever created. It's also my favorite computer of all time with its size/power ratio closest to what I'd like, but that's besides this thread, this is about looks alone.

For my taste, the Sony Vaio X and the Dell Adamo (not XPS) come closest. But for me, the MBA takes the gold.

The king, thin and powerful MBA. Note how solid it looks
http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/mac/macbookair2010/_DSC4164.jpg http://cdn.slashgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/macbook-air-11-inch-2010-review-02.jpg


The astonishingly thin Sony Vaio X
http://www.webuser.co.uk/imageBank/s/sony-vaio-x-series.jpg http://www.ztechmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/sony-vaio-x_1.jpg


Dell's best design yet:
http://www.thinkpads.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/dell_adamo_engadget.jpg http://www.eatnplay.com.my/wp-content/uploads/dell_adamo.jpg



Jobsian
Nov 2, 2010, 03:58 PM
I have to add, I have not seen an inside of a computer I like nearly as much either! It looks so satisfyingly clean and high-calibre:

http://cdn.slashgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/design_power1_20101020.jpg

Mr. Savage
Nov 2, 2010, 04:13 PM
I, for one, do not recall ever being quite so smitten with an inanimate object, so...yes.

darngooddesign
Nov 2, 2010, 04:14 PM
The Pismo Powerbook.

Bluemeanie1976
Nov 2, 2010, 04:17 PM
The Dell Adamo XPS is very nice looking. Nice idea with the hinge, and keyboard angle

http://www.notebooklist.net/files/imagecache/fullsize/files/dell_adamo_xps.jpg

maflynn
Nov 2, 2010, 04:20 PM
Call me crazy but I generally buy computers as a tool, and for filling a need. Its not a work of art, nor do I treat it as such :rolleyes:

Mr. Savage
Nov 2, 2010, 04:24 PM
The Dell Adamo XPS is very nice looking. Nice idea with the hinge, and keyboard angle

http://www.notebooklist.net/files/imagecache/fullsize/files/dell_adamo_xps.jpg

That thing, to me, always looks like it's about to collapse, tip over, or like a couple of dominos in mid-fall. Also, I wonder what it'd be like using that there laptop on, you know, your lap. Can't be comfortable.

zumiker
Nov 2, 2010, 04:24 PM
Double Post

zumiker
Nov 2, 2010, 04:25 PM
Call me crazy but I generally buy computers as a tool, and for filling a need. Its not a work of art, nor do I treat it as such :rolleyes:

Thats like saying a car is JUST to get from point A to B or a watch is JUST for telling the time. :rolleyes: :p

Merthyrboy
Nov 2, 2010, 04:26 PM
The Dell Adamo XPS looks as if it would get on my nerves on my lap but it is a good idea for like table use. The MBA though is really quite nice looking. Just looks clean and stuff.

YMark
Nov 2, 2010, 04:29 PM
Damn, what is it with YOU and these polls, and your constant drooling over the Apple and the MBA? It is a flipp'n computer. You're not reviewing a blow-up doll.

iRun26.2
Nov 2, 2010, 04:32 PM
I think the 11" model looks especially cute! :)

neteng101
Nov 2, 2010, 04:35 PM
Thing of beauty it is to me... especially seeing what's inside it too and how its all so well packaged together. Quite an engineering integration marvel IMO... I was indeed smitten by the effort they took for the insides of the MBA.

Love the wedge slice profile and lines - no more spaceship dropdown doors like the old MBAs had (I guess its the evolution, remember when cars had those dinky flip up headlights that were all the rage years ago?).

Chimera-se
Nov 2, 2010, 04:42 PM
Although some wouldn't call it a computer, the iPad was the most beautiful anything (inanimate thing, let's keep it clean...) I'd seen until the new MBA! I'm calling the Apple Store daily waiting for them to get more of the one I want! :D

tim100
Nov 2, 2010, 05:30 PM
macbook pro

iMpathetic
Nov 2, 2010, 05:32 PM
Thats like saying a car is JUST to get from point A to B or a watch is JUST for telling the time. :rolleyes: :p

Or like saying bread is JUST for eating. Sure, you can make a sculpture out of bread, or use it as a hat, but that's not its intended purpose.

EDIT: Apple-wise I would have to say this:

http://www.gadgetfolder.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/apple-macbook-pro-15-inch.jpg

PC-wise, this:

http://www.hardwaresphere.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/alienware-m17x-gaming-laptop-glowing-keyboard.jpg

tim100
Nov 2, 2010, 06:17 PM
i like the current mbp design black boarder, glass, and backlit keyboard makes it a better desing than the mba.

iBookG4user
Nov 2, 2010, 06:22 PM
I really like the design of the non-unibody MacBook Pro. If I could get a new MacBook Pro with the non-unibody design I would definitely go for that :)

lilo777
Nov 2, 2010, 06:27 PM
That thing, to me, always looks like it's about to collapse, tip over, or like a couple of dominos in mid-fall. Also, I wonder what it'd be like using that there laptop on, you know, your lap. Can't be comfortable.

Executives never put their laptops on the laps ;)

maflynn
Nov 2, 2010, 06:51 PM
Thats like saying a car is JUST to get from point A to B or a watch is JUST for telling the time. :rolleyes: :p

Yep, thats all both are.

iMpathetic
Nov 2, 2010, 06:54 PM
Yep, thats all both are.

Even as a car nut, that's true. I was about to agree with him because of that part and then I thought about it.... even drag racers need to drive to point B 1320 feet away.

Bluemeanie1976
Nov 2, 2010, 06:57 PM
That thing, to me, always looks like it's about to collapse, tip over, or like a couple of dominos in mid-fall. Also, I wonder what it'd be like using that there laptop on, you know, your lap. Can't be comfortable.

Ah, but this is about beauty, not comfort. It;s the difference between utterly kinky 9" high kinky leather thigh high boots, and a pair of tartan slippers... One is beautiful, the other is comfy...

ATHmathieu
Nov 2, 2010, 07:04 PM
My favorite designs through the years:

1) IBM NetVista X41 (years ahead of the all-in-one iMacs)
http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/01/0110_sapper/image/12_x41side.jpg
2) IBM TransNote
http://pencomputing.com/images/transnote_series_small.jpg
3) IBM X41 Tablet (started using IPS panels almost 6 years ago)
http://i.t.com.com/i/lumiere/2006/05/31/31398077-320-0-19651-20060531_123132-320x240.jpg
4) iMac white (the 20" G5 with IPS display is one sexy machine)
http://www.keraport.hu/hasznaltkepek/imac24white.jpg

Carouser
Nov 2, 2010, 07:11 PM
Even as a car nut, that's true. I was about to agree with him because of that part and then I thought about it.... even drag racers need to drive to point B 1320 feet away.

Yes, but that's not all a car is. Cars are cultural artifacts, commodities, and aesthetic objects (to only state the most obvious). Same with computers. Besides, form is not separate from function, and often pleasing forms end up being used more/better/more efficiently. So computers can look good, and it's perfectly fine to talk about which computers, according to various opinions, look the best.

craig1410
Nov 2, 2010, 07:19 PM
Call me crazy but I generally buy computers as a tool, and for filling a need. Its not a work of art, nor do I treat it as such :rolleyes:

Good for you, I'm sure you drive a Kia too. :rolleyes:

For many of us, great design matters and should not be condescended upon. It saddens me that people like you are so blasé about computers. If you only had some comprehension about the numerous scientific advances which have come together to allow you to read your email and browse the web in the way that you do today, you might not roll your eyes at someone who does appreciate it.

I suspect that more blood, sweat and tears has gone into producing the MBA than went into producing the Mona Lisa. Does that make the MBA a work of art? In my opinion, absolutely *********g A it does!! :apple::apple::apple::apple::apple:

iMpathetic
Nov 2, 2010, 07:21 PM
Yes, but that's not all a car is. Cars are cultural artifacts, commodities, and aesthetic objects (to only state the most obvious). Same with computers. Besides, form is not separate from function, and often pleasing forms end up being used more/better/more efficiently. So computers can look good, and it's perfectly fine to talk about which computers, according to various opinions, look the best.
Oh, I totally know that...
The poster I quoted was ridiculing someone who basically posted the equivalent of "I use my car just to get to work. It's just a car. I'm not too concerned with how beautiful it is. Toyota Camry FTW!"

Capt Underpants
Nov 2, 2010, 07:27 PM
I love the design of the new MBA. It's incredible.

I recall being even more smitten with the design of the G4 iMac, however.

AppleGoddess
Nov 2, 2010, 08:24 PM
The net vista was a great machine but the imac flat panel is my favorite ever, also the cube.

rrl
Nov 2, 2010, 08:35 PM
My unibody Mac mini is a work of art. Silent art. They even got the power supply in there. Nothing comes close.

Mr. Savage
Nov 2, 2010, 08:40 PM
Still the most iconic of all the Mac desktops IMHO. Sorry for crappy PQ (original iPhone camera)

dukebound85
Nov 2, 2010, 08:44 PM
Thats like saying a car is JUST to get from point A to B or a watch is JUST for telling the time. :rolleyes: :p

well they are right? at least that is how i treat my car and watch

LouieSamman
Nov 2, 2010, 08:47 PM
I believe the MacBook Air is the best look when it comes to laptops.

Now that I have a MacBook Air, all the MacBook Pros and PC Laptops feel like a portable desktop *in reference to weight*.

The MacBook Air is the start of the lightness a laptop should be. Laptops are meant to be portable and the MacBook Air is the best one at being that.

Apple OC
Nov 2, 2010, 08:56 PM
I do believe the new Airs are the best looking Laptop ... most practical no

but for sure a real looker:cool:

drjsway
Nov 2, 2010, 08:59 PM
I can't believe no one has mentioned the Power Mac G4 Cube. It has the distinction of being displayed at the Museum of Modern Art:

http://images.apple.com/pr/images/ref_g4cube.jpg

highscheme
Nov 2, 2010, 09:00 PM
I like them a lot but I don't think they are the most beautiful.

rkb
Nov 2, 2010, 09:07 PM
This is partially why I buy Apple products, they embody some of the finest in artistic engineering. Of course they work great, but they do so looking and feeling brilliant.

TMRaven
Nov 2, 2010, 09:11 PM
iMac G4.

The original titanium 17 inch powerbook was astonishing too. It's either one of those two.

iMpathetic
Nov 2, 2010, 09:27 PM
The original titanium 17 inch powerbook was astonishing too. It's either one of those two.

Don't want to be that guy, but it was a 15". And yes, those were AMAZING. I might have to pick one up just for nostalgia. :D

http://www.sfmoma.org/images/artwork/large/2001.397.jpg

paolo-
Nov 2, 2010, 09:30 PM
Either this one
http://www.gadgetpeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/cray-gadgetpeek.jpg

or this one

http://www.roblach.com/wp-content/uploads//hal9000-950x712.jpg

Funny how both were made before most people used computers...

cburton
Nov 2, 2010, 09:48 PM
Still my favorite ..

http://www.everymac.com/images/cpu_pictures/apple_powerbook_g3_fw.jpg

After all these years the Pismo is still sexy.

Chris

Scottsdale
Nov 2, 2010, 09:55 PM
I voted no, but I am assuming the poll refers to the current generation MacBook Airs rather than the prior generation MBAs.

I believe the prior MacBook Airs were much more beautiful until one turns it on and looks at the display that is. The prior MacBook Airs had a much better looking case. The door that hid the ports was much more aesthetically pleasing. The way the prior MBA had no real sides and just curved to the bottom was far more aesthetically pleasing. The extra ports and gigantic SD card slot are terribly ugly. Finally, and most importantly, the old MBA had a beautiful design from any angle, while the new MBA is just plain ugly and wedge-like from both sides.

In my opinion, I think the other MBAs were much nicer looking, but given all of the features of the new MBA I would take the new one any day over the older ones. In addition, the display resolution or glass trackpad alone would cancel out the benefits of the design with the older MBAs. Add to that the 320m, NAND Flash, 4 GB RAM possibility, and 256 GB storage capability, and the new one just makes the design elements rather insignificant as it's so capable and really is better/faster/sleeker/sexier/etc than the 13" MBP for most who would use it.

kryca
Nov 3, 2010, 02:12 AM
Apple IIc!

soph
Nov 3, 2010, 02:55 AM
Either this one
http://www.gadgetpeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/cray-gadgetpeek.jpg


Nope, this one: :cool:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/21/EPFL_CRAY-I_1_clean.jpg

Got a bit big, that pic...

madoka
Nov 3, 2010, 03:39 AM
I believe the MacBook Air is the best look when it comes to laptops.

Well clearly you've never seen the Osborne 1 portable computer. Double drives, full size keyboard, available in two colors (tan or blue), storage compartments, ruggedly handsome. . . it was truly ahead of it's time. No wonder it was a sales success.

Behold!

http://techyshit.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/image16.png

soph
Nov 3, 2010, 03:43 AM
Finally, and most importantly, the old MBA had a beautiful design from any angle, while the new MBA is just plain ugly and wedge-like from both sides.

I wholeheartedly agree with you, but then I'm biased as a rev C owner :D

Trying to be as un-biased as possible I still find the new MBA's sides no marvels in art and design.

FAsnakes
Nov 3, 2010, 04:37 AM
PC-wise, this:

http://www.hardwaresphere.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/alienware-m17x-gaming-laptop-glowing-keyboard.jpg
http://www.svtperformance.com/forums/images/smile/cwm8.gif

McDughf
Nov 3, 2010, 04:57 AM
Still the most iconic of all the Mac desktops IMHO. Sorry for crappy PQ (original iPhone camera)

To be honest, I think the iMac G5 is the least iconic of the iMac Range. The iMac G4 is more instantly recognizable with the iMac G3 following close behind.

Getting back on track, Personally I don't really like the flat sides of the new wedge style MacBook Air, preferring the Shape Of the previous generations tapering design :0/

Phil A.
Nov 3, 2010, 05:44 AM
For me, it has to be the Mac Pro that wins my vote: It is a beautifully engineered machine that is supremely elegant in its design

If we're talking about non-apple computers, then I'd go for the Cray-1: Any computer that comes complete with a comfy seat around it has to be in the running :)

Wild-Bill
Nov 3, 2010, 05:50 AM
For me, it's a toss-up between the HAL9000 or the 12" Powerbook G4 :D

miata
Nov 3, 2010, 06:17 AM
The MBP has a few pluses over the Air...screen bezel...sleep indicator light..battery indicator lights...power button...backlite keyboard.

I just wish Apple would pull the SuperDrive from the MBP and make it thinner like the Airs.

iMpathetic
Nov 3, 2010, 06:25 AM
http://www.svtperformance.com/forums/images/smile/cwm8.gif

Hahaha, don't think I didn't see that coming! Hell, I figure Apple has the svelte, minimalist laptop market on lockdown, and Alienware has cornered the drool-worthy gaming rig with lights and stuff market. I probably just like it 'cause I'm 16. :p

thinkdesign
Nov 3, 2010, 06:30 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 8.12; MSIEMobile6.0) Sprint T7380)

Yeah, it's tres soignee. That's not the main attraction for me, but it's a very very nice bonus.

I'd like the design better, if the exterior made some concession to the fact that people have to grip it.

Kitchen tools have advanced to the level of the "Good Grips" series by Oxo.

Meanwhile, the Air's not alone with a slick used-bar-of-soap exterior form; for now, still ignoring the elementary need to grip it. The matte-ness of the finish may help a bit... and the lightness helps, for sure. (Of course the heavier Apple notebooks need gripability, much more.)

The Air CAN be placed on a table, gradually. Gradually withdrawing that last finger that's under it. I love that characteristic... and I noticed that Apple's TV commercial demonstrates that very thing. (Which isn't so possible with the MBpro's all-square edges; withdraw that last finger, and it falls that last 3/4" to the tabletop, with a very nervous-making little slam.)

Want a handle? Well, in the current marketplace --- that doubles a laptop's price, and halves the features. Functionalism? What's that?

A laptop handle could even be detachable. The precedents for the design detailing needed to accomplish that, certainly do exist. Maybe some laptop-maker (other than the makers of clunky high-price supertough models, with decade-old specs) will care enough to try that innovation, some day. :o

maflynn
Nov 3, 2010, 06:53 AM
It saddens me that people like you are so blasé about computers. If you only had some comprehension about the numerous scientific advances which have come together to allow you to read your email and browse the web in the way that you do today, you might not roll your eyes at someone who does appreciate it.
I'm not blasé about computers, but I do see them as they are. A tool to help me create, and produce work.


I suspect that more blood, sweat and tears has gone into producing the MBA than went into producing the Mona Lisa.
You had a great argument up to that point. You cannot equate the MacBook Air to be superior to the great works of art.

To use your analogy, do you think da Vinci lusted after different canvases and paints, saying how beautiful they are, what works of art those pigments are. Or did he enjoy the work that they produced? :rolleyes:

AppleGoddess
Nov 3, 2010, 08:22 AM
I can't believe no one has mentioned the Power Mac G4 Cube. It has the distinction of being displayed at the Museum of Modern Art:

http://images.apple.com/pr/images/ref_g4cube.jpgI already did above.

Adidas Addict
Nov 3, 2010, 08:47 AM
PC-wise, this:

http://www.hardwaresphere.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/alienware-m17x-gaming-laptop-glowing-keyboard.jpg

Alienware may be many things, but beautiful is not one of them:eek: , could they make there laptops look any cheaper?

Mr. Savage
Nov 3, 2010, 12:48 PM
You had a great argument up to that point. You cannot equate the MacBook Air to be superior to the great works of art.

To use your analogy, do you think da Vinci lusted after different canvases and paints, saying how beautiful they are, what works of art those pigments are. Or did he enjoy the work that they produced? :rolleyes:

Ah, but you can indeed equate the Art to the tool used to create it–– maybe not superior, but certainly integral and inspiring.

Think of a guitar. Do you think Jimi Hendrix, for example, viewed guitars as nothing more than an appliance to get his work done? No, he was drawn, almost exclusively and in a powerful, almost sexual way, to the (right-handed) Stratocaster. And as a result of the way it felt in his hands (and in his crotch, and on his tongue etc.) and the particular unique sounds he was inspired to create with it, we have today incredible songs such as Little Wing or Bold As Love–– songs which wouldn't exist were it not for that particular guitarist discovering that particular guitar.

And it is why people, all these years later, not only continue to pay to buy his recordings, but also pay to stare at his guitars as they sit in carefully lit glass cases in a museum–– as if they themselves were great works of art.

TheAllStar
Nov 3, 2010, 12:56 PM
Apple-wise I would have to say this:

http://www.gadgetfolder.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/apple-macbook-pro-15-inch.jpg

My fav, too.

MBA-wise, the wedge shape doesn't do a whole lot for me; I prefer the previous generation with no visible ports. To each his own.

Mr. Savage
Nov 3, 2010, 01:09 PM
Yes, and Apple needs to get back to this kind of attention to detail. It's these little touches that (used to) set them far apart from the HPs of the world.

lethalillness
Nov 3, 2010, 01:14 PM
If your talking about laptops than a Macbook Pro in the dark with the keyboard lit is gorgeous. As far as the sexiest period, honestly the look of the MacPro is one of the most attractive yet powerful designs I've seen, aside from custom mods.

TheAllStar
Nov 3, 2010, 01:28 PM
If your talking about laptops than a Macbook Pro in the dark with the keyboard lit is gorgeous. As far as the sexiest period, honestly the look of the MacPro is one of the most attractive yet powerful designs I've seen, aside from custom mods.

Forgot that one. Mac Pros are hot stuff.

Scuby
Nov 3, 2010, 01:29 PM
Certainly up there with the nicer looking laptops, yeah :)

iMpathetic
Nov 3, 2010, 03:26 PM
Alienware may be many things, but beautiful is not one of them:eek: , could they make there laptops look any cheaper?

Oh, really? You don't like the Alienware that you've used extensively in real life and had the chance to feel the build quality of and appreciate in person? And you're the ultimate authority on what's beautiful and cheap?

Didn't know that!

ImperialX
Nov 3, 2010, 03:39 PM
Yes.

andyd409
Nov 4, 2010, 08:41 PM
While the MBA is a great looking portable (not a laptop), I believe one of the best looking (if not the best looking) is the 2000 Mac G4 Cube. Too bad it was so expensive when new and had some occasional heat problems.

Last year I purchased a G4 Cube, put a fan (fan kit from Mac Sales) and it runs cool as a cucumber.

I have a spare G4 Cube case and internals that I want to use for a build with a more modern CPU and architecture.

Andy