People always give me a weird look when I describe anything in inanimate as “sexy”, especially if it’s a tech product. Those people simply don’t appreciate a well-designed product the way geeks like me do. The design of a product plays more of a role in a buying decision for me than most people. In order for a tech product to be considered sexy, its appeal must extend beyond what you’ll find on its spec sheet. You need to want the product before you even get to hear the specs. At the same time, it shouldn’t be over-designed. Some products try too hard to stand out with polished gold finishes and sharp, angular forms. So you know what I mean, I’ve compiled a list of 10 products that you can by right now that I would definitely consider sexy.
HP Spectre Folio 13
The first product on the list is one that reminded us that not everything in tech needs to be cold and lifeless. The HP Spectre Folio was announced last year and features a genuine leather enclosure. The innovative design gave the product an executive feel that made it feel right at home in a briefcase. It wasn’t just pretty either. The leather allowed for a unique hinge halfway up the display, allowing it to fold Almost completely flat in a tablet or drawing mode without the keyboard lingering awkwardly in the back.
Samsung Galaxy S10
You won’t find many phones on this list, thanks in part to the fact that phone innovation has plateaued. That being said, in a world where phones try to stand out by adding gimmicks or flashy coats a paint, the Samsung Galaxy S10 stands out by being understated. It uses subtle curves and clean surfaces to get you to take notice. It’s edge-to-edge screen means the entire front of the device looks almost completely clean. You may notice that I’m specifically talking about the S10 and not the S10+. There isn’t a real difference between the designs of the two phones. The S10+ is just slightly more cumbersome to hold than the regular S10, knocking it down a small amount. These things matter when determining if a product is worthy of the “sexy” title.
Apple iPad Pro (2018)
The 2018 iPad Pro was the first major redesign of the iPad after a long line of look-alikes, and boy was it a good one. It trades the chamfered edges and rounded sides in favor of straight cut sides that bring an aging device into not just 2018, but well beyond that. In the process, it ditched the huge chin and forehead in favor of a uniform bezel all the way around the display. It’s truly a stunning look from the front. It’s not perfect, though. In fact, if this list were in order by sexiness, it would be closer to the bottom. This is largely due to how the device looks from the back. The iPad Pro has a similar antenna design to the iPhone 7, curving them around the back edges of the device. I would much prefer if the antenna lines simply ran straight from one side of the device to the other, without the ugly bends. That’s not the only problem, though. Apple opted for a camera bump, which is fine if you keep it in a case, but tablets don’t need cases nearly as much as a phone does.
Lenovo Yoga Book C930
The original Lenovo Yoga Book was a stunning piece of hardware when it was released back in 2016. it was essentially just two equally thin pieces of tech joined by a 360-degree hinge, and that simplicity in design made it incredibly appealing. It did away with the physical keyboard in favor of a touch and pen sanative surface in order to achieve that simplicity. That change opened the door for drawing tablet functionality, but closed the door on comfortable, long-term typing. The Yoga Book c930, released in 2018, became slightly less sexy in favor of power. The main things that makes it less sexy than the original is the fact that one half of the device is now thicker than the other to accommodate beefed-up internals. It’s still a product to lust over, if you’re able to adjust to its keyless keyboard.
Dell XPS 13 (2019)
The Dell XPS 13 has always been ahead of its time in terms of design, as it was one of the first laptops to do away with the chunky bezels that all laptops had at the time. On top of that, it’s carbon-fiber keyboard deck and simple aluminum lid created a pleasing blend of textures, showcasing its diversity in function as well. It’s been plagued with controversy since its release due to its nose-cam, however. The 2019 XPS 13 finally solves that problem by placing the camera back above the display.
Nest Thermostat (3rd Generation)
Prior to Nest, a thermostat was a beige plastic rectangle plastered to a wall somewhere out of sight. Nest’s thermostat was the first that you wanted to show people, not just due to all the smart’s it had, but because of its unconventional but sharp form factor. Even today, it’s one of the best thermostats you can buy today. Its brushed aluminum frame sits proudly on the walls of millions of homes. It’s almost a shame that its smart features work so well that you rarely need to see the thermostat’s gorgeous design.
Xbox One S
Honestly, the Xbox One S might just be on this list because of how much of an ugly tank the original Xbox One was. Next to its predecessor, the One S looks like a design masterpiece. Microsoft took a risk in offering the S in one color at launch, “Robot White”. This color, combined with a black base that was smaller in area than the main unit, made the console seem to float in a dark cabinet. When put on its side, it stood tall, resembling a couple of different-sized books. It’s more powerful counterpart, the One X, didn’t quite live up to the expectations set by its little brother. Its design is similar; however, its base is now visible underneath the main unit. It also comes in black by default, making it significantly less interesting. Microsoft realized this mistake and released a white One X later on.
Lenovo Smart Display
The Lenovo Smart Display was the first smart display to rival Amazon’s Echo Show. Needless to say, the bar to beat wasn’t very high. That didn’t stop Lenovo from putting out a device that was so beautiful in its design that it’s still on top regardless of the increased competition on the market today. The larger of the two size options features a bamboo rear finish that works well in nearly any part of the home, especially the kitchen.
Google Pixel Book
Remember everything I said about the Lenovo Yoga Book? Much of the same is true about Google’s Pixel Book, albeit with a real keyboard. The Pixel Book’s clean edges remind me of the iPad Pro. It’s striking white accents remind me of the Xbox One S. Its flexibility reminds me of the Yoga Book. It’s innovative use of materials, mainly the rubber palm rest, reminds me of the Spectre Folio. Its biggest downfall is its operating system. It runs Chrome OS. Thankfully, though, that doesn’t really affect its sex appeal.
Microsoft Surface Studio 2
If there’s one thing that Microsoft has proven since launching its Surface line of computers, it’s that they know how to make you drool over a promotional video. Don’t believe me? Above is the Introduction video for the Original Surface Studio. It takes a lot to trigger a physiological reaction from me but this video gave me goose bumps. It’s not just about how it looks on the outside, the inside counts too, and the mechanisms inside the Studio’s hinge are a work of art.
Ugliest: HTC Vive
As a bonus, I thought I’d weigh in on what I believe to be one of the ugliest pieces of tech you could throw your money at today. That would be HTC’s Vive VR headset. When images of the Vive first leaked years ago, I dismissed them thinking they were obviously early prototypes. Man was I wrong. With its bulbous form and it’s weird, concave sensor potholes, this thing looks like some kind of extra-terrestrial plant life started growing on your face when you were little and still hasn’t fallen off. This fact isn’t spoken about much, which honestly blows my mind. My theory is that no one wants to out of fear that it will rock the VR boat. Add to that the fact that the wand-like motion controllers that come with the Vive are the most poorly designed controllers you’ve ever seen, and I’m still not convinced this wasn’t some early-development model that they decided to ship to get ahead of the Oculus Rift.