Useful is beautiful, as they say, but some gadgets stand up as works of art in their own right. Regardless of function, there are many pieces of tech from ages past and present that are at the very pinnacle of the design world. We take a look at some of our favourites, from well known names to some obscure and long-forgotten examples.
An outstanding piece of simplistic design, the Gameboy matched ergonomics with style and made for an iconic gadget that was loved by millions.
A very recent example, and one that seems custom made for the Etsy generation. We love the beautiful wooden casing of this watch, which stands out without being brash.
An old favourite that will evoke childhood memories for some, the little spinning robot is a masterclass in cute, futuristic design that offered endless hours of fun.
Gramophone Speaker Dock
A mixture of old and new, this gadget exists in a variety of forms and is often custom made (and hugely expensive). Nevertheless, we’d definitely have one of these in our living room.
Novel Foldable Kettle
Many people love a good brew, and anyone who comes up with an easier way of making one gets a thumbs-up from us. This folding kettle is a brilliant, portable way of getting a cuppa on the move, ideal for a business trip.
More childhood memories, View Masters were first introduced as far back as 1939. Originally designed for all ages and featuring landscapes and shots of tourist attractions, they were soon tailored to a younger audience.
A classic of photographic design, the Polaroid SX-70 is widely regarded as one of the best looking instant cameras ever made. The distinctive look of its images has gone on to inspire many smartphone apps in more recent years too.
We couldn’t get through a list like this without throwing in a mobile phone for good measure, and Motorola can claim one of the most beautiful ever with its original RAZR. Way back in 2004 this handset was a step above the rest in design terms, and went on to sell over 130 million units.
Dyson Air Multiplier
While James Dyson’s vacuum cleaner may be his most famous creation, he has turned his hand to other things. The Air Multiplier is the British designer’s take on the humble desk fan, and is a brilliant, minimalist re-think of an otherwise mundane object.
One of the most popular gadgets ever, the Sony Walkman took music out on the streets. Cramming everything into a compact package built around the cassettes it played, the Walkman is a model of innovation both in terms of how it works and how it looks.