One thing I really like about my 12" Apple Powerbook is the beautiful hardware design. Clean, simple, works the way you want. I'm particularly impressed with the latch that holds the lid closed. When the laptop is open the latch is not visible; just two smooth slots. But when you close the laptop it shuts quickly and securely. And it opens cleanly too.
The way it works is pretty impressive. There's a little metal hook hidden in the screen. When you are about 1cm away from shutting the lid, a magnet on the other side pulls the hook out. When you open the lid again a spring retracts it.

Some industrial designer must have spent six months getting this exactly right. Balancing the spring force against the magnet just so. Choosing a spring that wouldn't wear out over time. Figuring out what manufacturing tolerances were necessary to do this reliably, then figuring out how to build it on an assembly line. Expensive design, but the result is worth it.

  2004-12-04 18:14 Z