back to article The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME

Does a computer need to look sexy? You might say that the looks of such a pragmatic gadget don’t matter. After all, most of us have, at one time or another, had to make do with bland, beige boxes almost exactly like everyone else’s bland, beige box, and it didn't hinder us from getting the job done, or made play any the less …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Air?

Macbook air isn't really that sexy. its just a thin piece of metal which doesn't really have any design to it what so ever, other than being thin. Its like saying a skeleton is sexy because there is 0 fat. I would accept the MacBook Pro over that as it actually took time to design. I would put most vaio z series over both of those.

3
6
Anonymous Coward

Re: Air?

“Perfection is achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Air?

> doesn't really have any design to it what so ever

It is because so many wrongly take 'design' to only refer to the appearance of things that Dieter Rams prefers the the term (translated into English) 'Form Engineering'.

'Design' should mean no less than the consideration of every aspect of the product, from engineering, ergonomics, aesthetics, storage, disposal, marketing.... the works.

2
0

Re: Air?

And durability? If so the iphone wont be included in the Sexiest Phones of all time...

0
0

First two were apple

So I didn't bother to read the rest. Apple stuff is just horrible, I assume the rest of the list is equally so.

4
11
Anonymous Coward

Re: First two were apple

You must be blind. No-one can genuinely say a Macbook Air is 'ugly' compared to most laptops - you might not like Apple but that's not the issue - if it said HP or Dell on the back you would probably love it?

3
1
Silver badge

Re: First two were apple

So you posted to say that you chose to be deliberately ignorant, and then expect your opinion based on assumptions to count for anything? Okay...

6
0

Re: First two were apple

"Apple stuff is just horrible,"

I realize this is probably flame-bait, but I can tell you from personal experience that Apple hardware, while not perfect, is pretty darn good. I'm trying to think of the man-years my Macs have run in useful service, and it has to be more than sixty. I recently sent my Performa 631-CD, from 1995, to a recycler, but it still ran fine with no hitch. The only problem I've had is that one fan bearing went bad after about 7 years of heavy use, a couple mice got worn out after that amount of time, and an original (mac-only, Firewire-only) iPod's battery has gone phut after ten years.

You can call them overpriced, but I've found them damn reliable and trouble-free, and surely that is worth something (unless your time is worthless).

I wish my Wintel junk I've been given for work were that horrible ...

0
0
Thumb Up

Of the Macs, the original compacts (128 up to Classic 2 / Color Classic) would be worth a mention. Then their spiritual successor, the iMac G3/4.

Mac Mini G4. Took the cube, made it smaller.

And, without meaning to sound like an Apple fanboy, the Twentieth Anniversary Mac, which effectively previewed the iMac flat panel.

The C64 facelift in C128 style was a nice machine.

I own, and have owned, various consoles. The PS3 slim is reminiscent of the PS2 slim, though the sliding drive cover does feel like it could fail at some point. The Xbox 360 is a bit of an ignorant slab design, though the face panels offer a little in the way of customisation. I'd say the Wii would be the best looking box under the TV if it was in black, and lying horizontally. Compact yet still has the Gamecube ports on the side.

Other candidates:

The IBM PC110 was like a shrunken Thinkpad.

The Packard Bell 'corner' desktop from the 90s, solved the problem of huge desktop/monitor combinations on small desks by being designed to be placed in a corner, with the keyboard/mouse to the side. (A common setup back then!).

0
0

Ah! blast from the past, I loved my Elan (Or Flan) Enterprise. Owned a Specie and ZX80. Would have liked a Next box but too expensive and

Never owned a Cray but enjoyed using their X-MP, I think the X-MP and Y-MP are far sexier with the seats.

Like others, wondering why the PS3 is in the list.

And why the C128, why no the A1000? Maybe not from looking at (like the C128) it but the OS was so far out there when compared with anything else on the market at the time.

0
0
Silver badge
Alert

Surely the Three Rivers/ICL PERQ deserves a plan on the list?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

PERQ

I began to think I was the only person who had seen one. Unbelievable at the time and unaffordable for the lab where I worked. Lovely.

1
0
Boffin

But which?

PERQ-1 or PERQ-2? Or PERQ-3 for that matter? Not sure any of them were particularly sexy (unless you have a thing for chocolate-brown fascias...)

0
0

Re: PERQ

Seen one? I've got two: a 1 and a 2:

http://www.corestore.org/Perq1WEB.jpg

Mike

0
0
Anonymous Coward

The blinking LED array on the Meiko Computing Surface were a highlight, never have meaningless LEDs on a server been better implemented.

3
0
WTF?

Why no SGI love?

While I was getting revved up to raise merry hell if you'd not included the ZX Spectrum, I too have to echo the above about a lack of SGI entry - or was it just that pretty much everything they built was sexy as hell?

SGI's look so good people even use them as housings for the mundane, look for the Onyx/Challenge Fridge, the rOctane, or my personal favourite, the Espressigo.

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

No Psions?

The Series 3 and 5 should have been on the list, both beautiful pieces of miniature kit (with usable keyboards)

23
0
Thumb Up

Re: No Psions?

The series 3 was a fantastic design, I would have one again if it had an android phone in it

3
0
FAIL

Re: No Psions?

While I agree with you about the Series 3 and 5 looked awesome, sadly both had massive design flaws in the hinges. I reckon my 3a went back 3 times in a year for new hinges, and my series 5 went back twice.

You can have clever designs that look gorgeous, but the real test is if they spontaneously combust if you as much dare look at them. Which is a shame because boy did I love my 3a (the 5 I could take or leave).

0
0
Gold badge

And Sony Clie?

Yes, although I do struggle a bit with the idea of finding a computer sexually arousing. But OK, I'll play along.

The handheld computer I liked most was the Palm derived Sony Clie, specifically the NX70 series

It was ahead of its time (already did video recording), was damn useful once you installed a decent calendar app and small in the way Apple made its name with a couple of years later. It was genius. As a matter of fact, I have been toying a while back with digging one up on eBay, but by now the batteries must be all but dead.

Which brings me back to especially the S3 - it ran on 2 AA cells. Never a problem buying those when you travel..

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: No Psions?

adly both had massive design flaws in the hinges

That, and the ribbon connecting the screen through that hinge. (I worked as service engineer there :) )..

0
0
Thumb Up

Re: No Psions?

What, no Psion netBook??!! Touch screen, Thinkpad-equaling keyboard, 12 hr battery, in 1999! Still use mine, though for mainly sentimental reasons.

0
0

Re: No Psions?

Quite. I still use a Psion 3mx as my every day PDA, diary, and address book, the some of the latter is now on Google as I've an Android phone.

0
0

you guys are weird

I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that but cubes? Sexy? Seriously? When was the last time you saw a woman as wide and deep as she was tall and thought to yourself "Mmm, sexy!"? And as for the PS3 bread bin...

1
0
Gold badge
Facepalm

Re: you guys are weird

>> And as for the PS3 bread bin...

You also have to factor in here that Sony, from the off, quite deliberately marketed the PS3 as an all-round entertainment device rather than "just" a games console.

Which makes having a design that stacks into a cabinet with your A/V amp, VCR, etc. in the same way that square pegs fit round holes even more daft.

I suppose that's what you get for letting designers loose on something while forgetting to include "practicality" on the requirements list.

2
1
Pint

CPC464

Out of the C64/speccy (of which the +3 looked the best IMO) i think the Amstrad CPC464 looked the best, maybe because I was about 10 at the time (I owned em all, all 2nd hand like but still) and it was by the far the best-looking. Build-in tapedeck and nice colured and organised keys

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: CPC464

The 6128 was the best of the CPC's. Amstrad had refined the keyboard and slimmed the entire thing down. They also printed the colour chart on the disc drive which FASCINATED me as a kid. Also gave you bragging rights as it listed the CPC's 27 colours which was good ammo to wind up visiting Spectrum and C64 owners.

0
0
Silver badge
WTF?

Ten is not enough

The problem with this article is that ten just isn't enough to celebrate good design. The original ThinkPad really deserves recognition, arguably even more than the MacBook Air does (and I think that the Air is one of the finest laptops available today). The Apple II, original Mac and the first iMac are more deserving of a place than the Cube. The C128 certainly doesn't deserve plaudits - just another beige wedge (and I'd have given the Beige Wedge prize to the Atari ST) - and leaving it out would have made space for the Psion Organiser or the original Palm Pilot. What about the AgendA? No room? Of course there was no room! The PlayStation got an undeserving mention. Mention that might better have been given to the NES, or the Atari VCS. And what about the Grid Compass? Far better in terms of design than the Spectrum…

Ah well, it's a divisive subject I suppose.

1
0
Happy

Ah, the NeXT

The thing about the NeXT cube was not only the box, which sat there growling wonderfully at you from its SCSI disk, but also the screen and even the design of the printer. All utterly wonderful and oh, so out of reach. I was fortunate (no really - they were different times) to sit through a demo by Jobs of the NeXT in London in 1990, and the cube as a development station really was astonishing. I recall, at that conference, Gates was on after Jobs. He came on and simply said "Wow. How can you follow that?" How indeed.

3
0
Bronze badge
Happy

Wot? No Atari ST?

Surely you jest sir? The Atari ST (especially the 1040 ST/STFM with it's longer back end (longer than the *original* stubby looking 520ST) was just goooooooooooooooooooorgeous! :-)

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Wot? No Atari ST?

Yeah, I always thought the ST was better looking, especially the parallelogram function keys.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Gold badge
Coat

Ho hum.

It's black

it's square

sits under that desk over there

NeXT cuuube

NeXT cuuube....

0
1
Joc

To throw an odd one in there

The Pixar Image Computer - ok, technically it probably doesn't belong on this list as its not a standalone machine, but damn i wanted one in its day !

Could it be the inspiration for Mr Jobs' later cube fetish?

0
0

HP9845B for me

Seventeen years old, my first programming job, and they plonk me in front of an HP9845B. Love at first sight, and over thirty years later I still think they're beautiful.

http://www.hp9845.net/9845/hardware/9845b

0
0
Silver badge

Another fairly lazy article

Just picking up some old computers fairly at random, missing some iconic ones.

Like the Connection Machines, known for having thousands of little processors each one with their own LED. Or the later multiprocessor Crays which used a Macbook in their case to display a spinning Cray logo.

Or that Hungarian computer which looked like a sewing machine.

1
1

I love the look of that Elan machine! How did I miss that first time around?

I'd worry about it's evil twin Nale coming to get it though.

0
0
Happy

Digital's PDPs

For those who are fans of brighter colors and bolder designs.

Real Computers have switches and lights.

//used to work at Data General, where the carpeting was bright orange

3
0

What?

What - no IBM 1401?

0
0
Joke

To quote the BOFH ...

"A REAL computer has ONE speed and the only powersaving it permits is when you pull the power leads out of the back!" I blurt. "In fact, a REAL computer would have a hole in the front to push trees into and an exhaust pipe out the back for the black smoke to come out of."

None of the 'top 10' really fit the bill. OK, maybe the Cray ....

1
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

The ZX Spectrum, helping nerds and geeks get laid since 1982.

0
0

The ZX Spectrum, not helping nerds and geeks get laid since 1982.

FTFY

0
2

The ZX Spectrum, helping nerds and geeks not get laid since 1982.

FTFYA

0
1
Anonymous Coward

I'd add Macbook Pro Retina 13" although most of the unibody MacBooks would qualify.

Would add the iMacs but it's not really identifiable as a 'computer' any more - just a good looking monitor.

0
0
MJI
Silver badge

Hmm

I do think Cray make a very good looking supercomputer.

PS3 superslim - just no, I think they look cack.

The original PS3 looked much better, the slim however runs cooler and is less likely to YLOD.

0
0

Cute... but not so very different from a thousand and one other mini-towers.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

You have made me realise why I love my Vaio so much.

It looks the same as the Speccy!

http://vaio-online.sony.com/prod_info/series4/common/images/z/ft2/a_ft2_pic_01.jpg

0
0

HP 9000/712

The HP9000/712 -- a truely beautiful slimine unit, either for the desktop, or to lose somewhere underneath, a wonderful network workstation , and for the time powerful enough to do its own thing .

http://www.openpa.net/systems/hp-9000_712.html

http://eintr.net/systems/hp/hp712-100/

0
0
Thumb Up

Dyson

As much as I have apathy for Apple's software, the design of their computers since the late 90's has been something to behold. I love the G4 Cube, its a shame there's no x86 based version (other than some unofficial hack jobs).

Id like to see what Dyson could come up with if they set their mind to computer design.

1
0
Coat

Re: Dyson

"Id like to see what Dyson could come up with if they set their mind to computer design."

Nah .... it'd suck.

8
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017