1st Place: Apple MacBook
Apple has always had a good eye for design, but the new aluminium MacBook took that to new heights. Just superficially it's a great looking product; its sleek metal chassis, isolated keyboard and uncluttered appearance is everything we've come to expect from Apple.
More relevant in it winning this award, however, is how the notebook is made. To help improve build quality and achieve this effortless style, Apple developed a manufacturing process where the chassis is machined from a single piece of aluminium. This it calls the 'unibody enclosure' and it eliminates the issues that arise from traditional manufacturing, where separate component parts are glued, screwed and bonded together to form a whole.
This combination of manufacturing innovation and stunning appearance makes it a worthy winner.
2nd Place: Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin
It's an iPod dock, but not any old iPod dock. In an industry that's increasingly drawn towards convenience over quality, the Zeppelin is the definitive convergence product and much like our winners last year, the Fergusson Hill FH007 & FH008 speakers, every element of its design serves a purpose.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the iPod dock itself. You can forget plastic adapters, the Zeppelin utilises a fiendishly clever spring loaded mechanism that provides ample support for the iPod, ensuring the docking mechanism isn't damaged when navigating the iPod.
Beyond this, the whole unit looks stunning and it's hard to think of any audio equipment more eye-catching the Zeppelin. Again, though, its shape and design is also integral to making it sound absolutely sublime. It is the epitome of form following function and in this case the form is just as good as the function.
3rd Place: Samsung ML-1630W
Printers are rarely pretty things, Dell in particular has a good selection of tank-like efforts, but Samsung has bucked this trend of late and the ML-1630W is as good an example of this as any.
Styled upon a Steinway piano no less, this mono laser printer has a classy low profile chassis that's clad in Samsung's favourite material: glossy black plastic. A few blue LEDs add a little colour and as a whole it's easily the most attractive, as well one of the more compact, laser printers around.