Power Look

Peer Review: The man who designed every Apple product for seven years offers his take on the company's latest.

by Courtesy Apple Computer

Courtesy Apple Computer

Apple PowerBook G4

The latest Apple PowerBook, the honkin' 17-incher, has gone on to become one of the most talked-about products since ... well, the last Apple product launch. We asked Hartmut Esslinger, founder and CEO of design powerhouse Frog Design (and designer of every Apple product from 1982 to 1989) what he thought of it. "I think it is fantastic," he exclaims. "After what companies like Dell have made us put up with, what Apple has done is like a slap to the face."

"A perfectly structured and symmetrical user interface: The user sees and understands the functions in the most direct way (image/screen, audio/speakers, as well as touch input/keyboard and touch pad)."

"The backlit keyboard--with probably the most ergonomic keys ever--is a logical transfer from wireless phones but brought to new perfection."

"A smooth and organically designed â€skin,' which doesn't hide any functional detail. The skillful design makes the functions easier to use than ever before."