Please please please somebody bring this concept to market

The world of desktop-computer design has come a long way. Back in the 90s, we moaned about how all desktops were these horrible beige boxes — but pretty soon the iMac and the casemodding community shoved the needle forward on computer aesthetics, such that there are now a lot of reasonably pretty computers you can buy to bring some semblance of joy to your airless cubicle.

But still — man, the “Philco PC” is in a class by itself. The SchultzeWORKS design firm released this concept online last month, and it’s so insanely gorgeous that blogs and media and Twitterers went faintly mad for it. I’m coming to this one pretty late, but I can’t resist. I’m a total sucker for this sort of retro-futurist design, particularly when it actually seems highly functional.

To wit: That case is comparatively quite big, which is a good thing; too many high-concept desktop comptuers aim at wafer-thin teensiness, which require overly expensive custom components. In contrast, the Philco could probably be built with inexpensive off-the-shelf electronics. Also, that box would likely be easy to open up and install new components, so you could upgrade the machine as it ages — allowing for greater value and less environmental waste. The side venting suggests fairly cool running without super-loud fan noise, and the manual-typewriter-style keyboard could be wonderfully tactic and ergonomically clicky if engineered correctly.

Could somebody please, please bring this thing to market? Apparently I’m not alone, because SchultzeWORKS was forced to put this clarification on its press release:

Thank you to everyone who has called or written to inquire where they could buy the Philco PC. However, these images are 3D renderings of a design concept which does not yet exist in the real world. We are currently meeting with PC manufacturers and hope that will change in the near future. In the meantime, thanks for the interest, and it’s very cool that you thought the images were real.

Check out the press release for additional gorgeous, droolworthy pictures.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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