Style may not compute – but it counts!

April 18th, 2010 in .Laptops & Netbooks .Products
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Usually the law of computing says that the uglier the product, the more efficiently it will run, the more technologically proficient it will be, and the cooler it’s abilities. Slowly this is changing. Now people like me, complete suckers for a streamline and a curve, can buy products because they look good knowing that they are just as good inside.

While this does reveal my deeply shallow geeky side, I must confess that I far preferred the ZX Spectrum to the Atari, just because it was prettier. It didn’t stop me from playing Space Invaders until my fingers bled, obviously, but it wasn’t out on display when my mates came around.

So, with this desire for physical beauty in mind, I have been having some fun with Asus over the past few years. I first encountered their flirtation with unusual design when I was asked to review the Lamborghini laptop (see ace review Cnet here). While I’m more of a Ferrari girl, I loved the leather panels, bright yellow colouring, slick logo placement and the searing technology (for the time). Here was a machine that put beauty and performance as a premium.

At this point I need to add that it’s hard to be unbiased in favour of Asus here. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be yelling with the best of them at bad decisions, but there are very few technology manufacturers that have the imagination to create, say, a laptop out of bamboo.

The Bamboo sashayed onto the scene in 2009 offering a product that was more than just a gimmick. Here lay lightweight computing in a shell that was built on sound environmental principles. Bamboo is one of the most versatile resources on the planet, exceeding reusable, renewable and it grows like the clappers. What made this even more special was the fact that each laptop was unique thanks to the natural wood patterns changing with each implementation. The range has been consistently developed since the first one came out last year and you can see the range here.

Asus used well known designer Karim Rashid to give the netbook range a makeover and it resulted in the tactile finish and styling of Hot Pink and Coffee Brown portability. The laptops are very textured and stylish, and will actually complement a wardrobe instead of just being the technology you’re carrying around with you. And let me tell you, this is important for a lady that’s just spent £100 on a pair of shoes…

That said, when I was telling a friend about this blog post, she practically elbowed me into my coffee over the Eee 1018. She was adamant that colour and texture were not the way forward, instead the fashion conscious geek should have something thin, thin, thin (like her) and in a neutral white. After eyeing the 1018 I have to admit that she may well have a point.

Perhaps having so much choice in style isn’t a good idea after all. I mean, it used to be about agonising over the components and which ones would give exactly the right performance for what I needed. Now I have to agonise over performance and looks.

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