Technology is not often made to last, however with the speed at which we upgrade, and upgrade, and upgrade our tech toys it almost seems irrelevant to make these products last the course. This was precisely my thinking when I arrived at the Lenovo computer launch event back in October, there primarily because I want to understand and communicate the fringes of design that I rarely read about or cover on my blog…computer design.
Stop yawning for a moment and let me explain. Every industry at one stage or another goes through a process of realising that good design is more than what is on the surface, more than gloss or frosting on the cake, but good design helps a product to be better at what it does and better at making our lives easier.
The tech industry has been going through this change aligning itself with fashion and other design disciplines to make products sit seamlessly in to our lives. And why not, my phone is probably my most used accessory, and my laptop is the second. My Roku comes a close third. Right now, I am sitting in my room with my laptop and Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2, watching Netflix whilst I type blog posts. My phone is within arms reach too.
So is it right for these products to be alien to the rest of my life? I think not, they should integrate or even more my life should integrate with them. So it is time that design became good when it comes to my tech.
Back to October, when Dilip Bhatia, vice president of design and marketing at PC Group Lenovo introduced their thinest laptop, and most importantly an altogether better designed laptop in to their collection, the Lenovo YOGA 3 Pro. Ignoring the blah, blah of Intel this, and JBL that (all of which is relevant if you are interested in such things), my eyes went straight for their ‘Watchband Hinge’ with more than 800 pieces of steel and aluminium.
“Each YOGA 3 Pro hinge is hand assembled, just like watchbands on premium watches, and every piece is designed to seamlessly interlock with one another in order to provide smooth movement unlike anything else currently on the market. Lenovo engineers redesigned the original YOGA hinge so that it now provides the same degree of flexibility and flatness seen in metallic watch bands. Instead of two focus points, there are now six.”
Lenovo took some time to explain the hinge design in more detail…
“Inspired by watch makers, our designer team wanted to create a unique hinge that is as timeless and durable as watchbands found on premium watches. Despite being made of metal, watch makers are able to craft an incredibly stable product with a fluid movement and we’ve successfully incorporated this experience into a laptop.
“Consumers told us they prioritise thin and light features, so we challenged ourselves to continue to shave millimetres off the design – and to do that, we created the new watchband hinge. Constructed from steel and aluminium, the new hinge provides the same degree of flexibility and flatness of a metallic watchband due to its six flexion points.
“Every design element used to create the YOGA 3 Pro is aimed at producing a thinner and lighter product. By using higher quality materials, such as steel and aluminium rather than plastic and smaller components, we’ve been able to reduce the overall size and weight of our latest YOGA laptop making it the thinnest convertible on the market.”
So whilst I will still upgrade my technology every few years to make use of the latest advances, I want to be sure that the products I choose are well-considered and fit for purpose, or dare I say it ‘made to last’ in the physical sense. They are part of my everyday life and need to work for me and with me. From what I have seen of the Lenovo products I have been using for some time, they have been advancing these ideas at a rapid rate, pushing the possibilities of what can be achieved so that the products can greatly improve our daily interaction with technology.