Inspired by the 'bad design
' thread, how about the best designed item you own?
For me, it's the Kindle. Before I got it, the only books I'd bought in the last 5+ years were design books. The reasons were partially because I was a student and didn't want to fill up my temporary apartments with books, but also because I didn't think I had time to read anymore. But then I stumbled on a number of non-fiction book tips and stopped being a student, so I grabbed a Kindle before I left the UK.
My flatmate in the UK had an iPad and it was cool to use, but nowhere near "magical" as Steve Jobs said. The Kindle, with its e-ink screen, however was. I've owned one for over a year now and still can't get over that screen. It's pure magic every time I turn it on (or rather, perhaps because it still displays while being turned off makes me think it's magical).
Though it's "old" now (in tech years, similar to dog years), I don't crave the touch based Kindles or the new Paperwhite with the lit up screen. The buttons are absolutely perfectly placed, and while I'm holding it, just by squeezing slightly harder with my thumb, I flip a page. I don't need to move an inch, so why would I want to swipe, having to use my other hand even? And I must admit I haven't seen the Paperwhite, but I believe that the fact that this screen doesn't emit any light is what makes it so easy to read. Finally, the slightly greyish color of the screen blends really well with the color of the device itself.
As for the physical styling, it's fine. There's no wow-factor, far from it in fact, but on the other hand there's nothing I really would change either, other than increasing the build quality (I have two hairline cracks in the plastic surrounding the screen at the bottom, and the fit of the buttons and back piece could be better). Turns out, that its the purity of the experience that the Kindle offers me which makes it my favorite design. The wireless store and note taking is just as easy to use as an Apple device, but it doesn't try to do anything else and I find that just fantastic. The closest thing I can compare it to is actually a gun; it's built for one thing only, doesn't care about anything else and it's damn efficient at what it does.
So how about you?