Thursday, November 24, 2011

Apple / Sony: not a good design

Sony and Apple has made a reputation for design including its phones. Rob Beschizza on the blog Boing Boing is a pretext for leaving some time ago of the Vaio Z, a competitor to the MacBook Air 13 ", to parallel the way in which the two companies are changing their ultraportables.

The Vaio Z is the last descendant of a famous line of ultraportables from Sony, one of whose representatives, in 2004 foreshadowed the X505 MacBook Air inaugurated in 2008. At first glance this new Z is a lesson to the current MacBook Air 13 ". More powerful (Core i7 immediately), better equipped (HDMI, USB 2 and 3, Ethernet, etc.), enhanced definition (1600x900 ). 

But Sony has inexplicably missed items, however trivial and that the user is confronted with each second.The keys have almost no travel when pressed, the trackpad is described as "disastrous" and positioning - clearly off-center relative to the space bar - makes it sometimes difficult job. The fan is also described as very noisy in heavy use. Finally, at € 1,828 entry-level, this notebook is more expensive yet the MacBook 13 "all options (€ 1,650).

Evolution not counted

About the General Boing Boing is Apple iterates to change its equipment (until technology can fundamentally improve the design, eg the CRT replaced by LCD screens), while Sony , for some inexplicable reason, replaces a design by another, even to the basket of good ideas begging to be taken if not refined. Example models of the ultraportable category emerged in recent years and each time take a different route. "Instead, Apple iterative process from the original MacBook Air, even though it was not very efficient. By persevering with the Air, although it was slow and expensive, Apple pocketed dividends as and as the price of high-end configurations declined. Arrival in 2011, it has completely removed the hard drive, reducing the price of SSD and makes the Air one of the most popular portables. “One that is not exclusive to Apple, Lenovo is not bad either in this game, Boing Boing notes.

This leads to another conclusion. Contrary to what you can hear sometimes Apple does not spend his time to change the design of its aircraft to support a new line. Three examples are given, that of the iMac in 2007 that the untrained eye easily confused with the end of 2011. That of the original iPod in 2001 with the classic model still available (unlike the Creative Labs MP3 with 2001 as the form of portable CD player has not really done school) or the first Mac and its cousin the Mac Color Classic released nine years later. "I guess Apple is pleased to see his rivals to be convinced that their new year's model is different from the previous year. Companies like Dell and HP will fall on good design from time to time, but companies like Sony make good design before you leave voluntarily because they are blind to their good ideas. "

This leads to a final analysis, that the difference between good taste and good design. A difference that the designers of this Vaio have not entered Beschizza estimated.

"The taste usually described flavors, shapes and appearances; it blends in fashion, changing as fast as people spend their money. Even the classic change as priorities change, something can be tasteful, but without interest. The design, however, is also concerned with the function. If a design fails to incorporate the good taste, the result will be ugly. But if the good taste fails to integrate good design, it will be useless. "And in the case of the Vaio, this is a laptop that buries the functional under the guise of good taste and a layer of technical data.

Apple for its part did not bother with questions about what is tasteful or not include several examples for this in its interfaces, past (the effects of brushed metal) or current (in Leo or iOS). The reflection is done elsewhere. "Apple's competitors have an obsession to copy her aesthetic sense, but without copying its design methods, which are" solving a problem and then refine the solution until the problem changes its nature. "Hence the conclusion on how the two companies have approached the issue of ultra portables from Sony yet initiated "Apple has focused on the solution created by Sony and has improved, where Sony has swung in the trash in 2005, 2008 , 2010, and (I say to you now!) 2012. "

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