Sunday, July 3, 2016

Week 2 - Robort + Art

The rise of computing electronics has been on the top edge of technology development since 1946, the year when the first computer ENIAC was invented by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly at the University of Pennsylvani. In 1981, world first laptop the Osborne 1, and in the same year the Epson HX-20, were released.

                                                                                  Epson HX-20                                                                                  
Thereafter ever since, this portable device has been in high demand. Office working, entertaining, security, data process, and gaming, more and more functions were demanded and laptop has been evolved by 

However, as Benjamin Walter said, "Every fundamentally new, pioneering creation of demand will overshoot its target." The demand of functionality indirectly resulted in bulky, chunky, heavy computer, and the focusing on this demand had blinded many eyes of other requirements. 

                                                                                 Multi-function laptop                                                                           

As Antonio mentioned in his tech blog,
 It wasn’t until recently that laptops actually started looking pretty good. They used to be clunky, bulky, dressed in an awful shade of dark gray, and were mostly void of any attention to design.
However, as technology improved, high functionality did not necessarily link to physical size of personal computer, and the appearance, or the aesthetics of electronics began to kick in the market. More and more customers preferred designs that integrated art concepts and/or architecture elements.

                                                                           LG Gram Laptop                                                                    
Laptop hinge - Lenovo
This trend, or new creation of demand, has indeed overshoot its target and some side effects of such strict taste of artistic design has impacted and overpowered the technology of electronics. As laptop becomes more affordable and portable, it has became a fashion icon, so much as accessories or clothes, that represents personal identity and characteristics. This need has overpowered and effected many customers to choose artistic product over function-only product. Although not the best, Chromebook is a somewhat appropriate example.

                  Toshiba Chromebook            

Authority computer review website, the ComputerWorld, has commented on the present and future of Chromebook:
And I'll just come right out and say it: Chromebooks are ugly. The hardware is ugly, and the Web is ugly, for the most part. Thanks to the iPad, consumers have come to expect devices that are aesthetically beautiful, graphically appealing and fun. The Chromebook promises only drab utilitarianism. App-based touch tablets will be more popular for consumers than Chromebooks for the same reason that American Idol is more popular than C-SPAN.
In order to cape with the sleekness, futuristic design of laptop, functionality can even be compromised, opposite to the goal of technology. One appropriate example would be Voodoo Envy 133.
                                                                                   Voodoo Envy 133                                                                          
Voodoo Envy 133 was an revolutionary design that could  be comparable to Mac from Apple. It was even the thinnest laptop ever. However, this striking design compromised its functionality and it was retrieved only after a year. The Laptop Magazine reviews this product as
A breathtaking design and innovative instant-on mode make this luxury ultraportable worth the splurge, but we wish it lasted longer unplugged.
For above and many other reasons, the future of laptop has based on not only electronic technology, but also on marketing and artistic design. Only those who can fulfill both needs can survive and thrive the new demand of modern electronics. Here I quote a conclusion from tech & science website Engadget:
 Now, we're not saying that Apple's continued success has been reliant strictly upon aesthetics, but there are a number of reasons why 1985 through 1997 were the lean years, and we don't think John Sculley's, Michael Spindler's, and Gil Amelio's sense of  style exactly helped.


Benjamin, Walter. The Work of Art in the Age of Technological Reproducibility. London: Penguin, 2008. Print.

Villas-Boas, Antonio. "These Are the 10 Most Beautiful Laptops in the World - Business Insider." Business Insider. REV Asia Network, 18 Apr. 2016. Web. 04 July 2016.

Spoonauer, Mark. "Voodoo Envy 133 Review." LAPTOP Part of Tom's Guide. Purch Inc., 06 Oct. 2008. Web. 04 July 2016.

Block, Ryan. "30 Years in Apple Products: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." Engadget. AOL Inc., 01 Apr. 2006. Web. 04 July 2016.

Elgan, Mike. "Elgan: Why Chromebooks Will Fail." Computerworld. Computerworld Inc., 2011. Web. 04 July 2016. 


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