Ask DN: What physical products have impressed you lately?

almost 6 years ago from , Designer

It's not unusual to stumble on an well designed website or app these days. But that seems to be less common for physical products. What product, hardware company, kickstarter project, etc has impressed you lately?

I'll go first, i've been particularly impressed by the folks at http://grovemade.com . Those walnut and maple watches look great :D


  • Taylor LapeyreTaylor Lapeyre, almost 6 years ago

    A few things!

    • Pen Type A - Simply unmatched build quality. They chose a great cartridge as well (Hi-Tec C).
    • B&W P7 Headphones - Beautiful design, and amazing sound quality. Little details like being able to replace the cord are what I love.
    • Everlane Reverse Denim Backpack - A bit different from the other things on this list. I'm very surprised at the price tag, the bag is made exceptionally well and I've gotten a lot of compliments on it.
    10 points
    • Matt EMatt E, almost 6 years ago

      Looks like you have fantastic taste. :)

      1 point
    • Oliver ChankOliver Chank, almost 6 years ago

      I was actually looking for new headphones!

      But I don't have that budget :(

      0 points
    • Arthur BeisangArthur Beisang, almost 6 years ago

      I was a backer of the Pen Type A on Kickstarter and while it is beautiful, precise and nothing beats a Hi-Tec C. It's horribly impractical as a pen, which kind of defeats the purpose. It's heavy to write with, and while it seals, the pen falls out if it is tipped making it not very portable. For an actual practical pen I would look into the Ti2 Pen

      0 points
      • Taylor LapeyreTaylor Lapeyre, almost 6 years ago

        I have to disagree with the portability issue that you mentioned. I've never had the pen slip out of the box, it seals very well when it is pressed in all of the way. There is a noticeable click.

        0 points
    • Thani SuchoknandThani Suchoknand, almost 6 years ago

      I loved that Everlane backpack but mine and a few other people I know have had ours fall apart after just a few months of use. Kind of a bummer cause its such a good looking bag.

      0 points
  • Jian Wei LiauJian Wei Liau, almost 6 years ago

    I'm a fan of MUIJI Products. Recently saw this handy shredder which I thought it was quite interesting.

    Image alt

    3 points
    • Ben GoldBen Gold, almost 6 years ago

      I see this all the time in their new york stores. Always tempted, but since my office has a shredder I don't really need it.

      0 points
  • Maxime RenaudinMaxime Renaudin, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    I would say the Withings Activité http://www.withings.com/activite/en-US/ : Withings Activité

    3 points
  • Ryan LeFevreRyan LeFevre, almost 6 years ago

    I've always been impressed with the build quality and look of TwelveSouth products. Latest things I picked up were HiRises for my laptop and iPhone:

    3 points
    • Dominik SchmidtDominik Schmidt, almost 6 years ago

      Thought about buying the HiRise for my Macbook Air, but then I read the feedback buyers wrote on Amazon. Now going for a mStand

      0 points
  • Edouard U.Edouard U., almost 6 years ago

    It's not unusual to stumble on an well designed website or app these days. But that seems to be less common for physical products.

    Well designed in a functional sense or an aesthetic sense?

    "Well-designed" websites/applications are that way because they function excellently, not because they look pretty. Like any good industrial design, good user interface design is a result of details that aren't apparent at first to the everyday person.

    Vessyl is a great example of a lipsticked product with a poorly-thought intent (in my opinion of course) that many untrained eyes would consider "well designed".

    Simple things like structural containers and mass-produced consumer goods are brilliant in their own right. Have you ever taken the time to check out some of the bottle designs detergent companies are putting out these days? Amazing stuff.

    That all being said, muji's come out with an amazing line of kitchen electronics recently:


    I srsly need to find myself a japanese proxy

    2 points
  • Bowen LiBowen Li, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    The MS Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard/Mouse

    The details make this thing awesome.

    • Keypress is snappy with short throw keys, like laptop keys
    • The model number, regulatory text, and other junk is printed on the inside of the battery cover. The entire piece is very clean front to back.
    • The battery compartments snap into place with magnets rather than clips, reducing parting lines.
    • Overall construction is solid, down to the rubber feet and the scratch-resistant plastic.

    This is one instance of Microsoft getting it right.

    2 points
  • Hugo LeloupHugo Leloup, almost 6 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    I fell in love with the Myo armband at first sight. Not sure this is exactly the kind of product you were asking about, but this is definitely one company to be followed !

    Myo demo

    1 point
  • Antoine Lord, almost 6 years ago

    I just bought a pair of Nike Flyknit Lunar 2 and they're amazing.

    Extremely light and comfortable. The build quality is #1 and they look very good too.

    It think it's a beautiful piece of design!

    Nike Flyknit Lunar 2

    Nike Flyknit Lunar 2

    Also, the AIAIAI TMA-1 headphones will always impress me. I really appreciate how subtle they look, mixed with a great set of features.

    They come with 2 sets of earpads (1 leather, 1 synthetic) + 2 cables (1 shorter w/ mic, 1 longer for DJing) + a great carrying pouch.

    The cables can be locked to the headphones for DJing or unlocked for everyday use (very useful if you pull the cable by accident).


    1 point
    • Bryce DriesengaBryce Driesenga, almost 6 years ago

      These aren't too bad, pretty slick looking even, but I've never understood why all or most running shoes have to look so insane and futuristic. I'd just like to see a little simplicity in running shoe designs.

      1 point
    • J. CarlsenJ. Carlsen, almost 6 years ago

      I just have to say a couple of things about those TMA-1s. I'm on my third set now I think (AIAIAI have a nice customer service, I'll give them that) – and they keep disappointing. Mainly due to the cheap plastic headband breaking off at the top, but also due to clicking and crackling noise from the speakers. My last set had the jack fixed to the headphones, and they apparently tore loose the speaker inside, so now they're scrambling around in there whenever I move my head or the wire moves.

      1 point
      • Joseph KeenanJoseph Keenan, almost 6 years ago

        I loved using my first edition for the first couple years, but when they started to deteriorate, they went downhill fast.

        The headband, the crackling speakers, I got all of that, and while they were fine in the rain for a while, eventually the top coating on the plastic would bubble up when it got wet, and eventually most of it flaked off.

        Their customer service said they’d fixed a number of these issues in later production runs, but having been burned once, I took a chance on a pair of V-Moda XS. Time will tell if I’ve made the right move, but so far they feel much more solid than the TMA-1s, pack up smaller, and I can look up at the sky without them falling off my head. They also sound markedly better (but then, anything’s better than crackling noises), and I can wear the hood of my rain jackets over them.

        v-moda xs

        0 points
      • Sarper Erel, almost 6 years ago

        I have a similar story with AIAIAI. I tried three different models, Swirl, Capital and TMA, but I kept being disappointed with similar problems as yours.

        I love those guys, and I love their industrial design but the products are sh*t.

        0 points
  • Account deleted almost 6 years ago

    I got a MakerBot Replicator for the office recently and have been blown away by it. Superb build for what is essentially a hobbyist tool.

    1 point
  • Jamie FangJamie Fang, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    I am going to be honest. The new Ink & Slide from Adobe is not bad.

    I have one. Despite the tedious yet necessary tutorial and the horrible packaging, the pen has good pressure-sensitivity (better than Intuos Creative Stylus) and accuracy. It is also a very thin and light stylus.

    Kudos for their first hardware!

    1 point
  • Xavier HaniquautXavier Haniquaut, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    Lots of people are writing about some nice headphones. I am surprised that I am not seeing the Aedle one.

    Aedle VK-1

    0 points
  • Eli RoussoEli Rousso, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    0 points
  • Keaton PriceKeaton Price, almost 6 years ago

    Braun recently reissued some of their Dieter Rams watches. The designs and quality are classic.

    Also, this tread is terrible for my wallet. Thanks for that.

    0 points
  • Jisi GuoJisi Guo, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    I've been really impressed by Boosted Boards http://www.jisiguo.com/blog/boosted-boards-review

    0 points
  • Chris FreesChris Frees, almost 6 years ago

    I've been impressed by MVMT watches. Specifically the White/Tan Leather watch. http://www.mvmtwatches.com/products/white-tan-leather

    0 points
  • Sean O'GradySean O'Grady, almost 6 years ago

    VModa m100 are absolutely fantastic, ruggedly built headphones with a great sound. http://v-moda.com/crossfade-m-100/

    0 points
  • Diego LafuenteDiego Lafuente, almost 6 years ago

    Nexus 5.

    0 points
  • Tor Løvskogen BollingmoTor Løvskogen Bollingmo, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    Some of the stuff I got from IKEA – they are "just works" for furniture. Especially the cheap chair "Bertil".

    0 points
  • Nicholas MandelbaumNicholas Mandelbaum, almost 6 years ago

    What about the Ostrich Pillow ? http://www.ostrichpillow.com/ :)

    0 points
    • Wade MeredithWade Meredith, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

      I finally a Kindle Paperwhite after lusting for one most of this year. The product itself is really nice to hold and use. Packaging was great, too. The epaper touch screen leaves some responsiveness ot be desired, but I think that's just the state of epaper technology right now.

      Ninja edit: I think I replied to a comment instead of the thread. I don't see a way to delete this one, so I'll just leave it.

      0 points
    • Will Hitchcock, almost 6 years ago

      The Ostrich Pillow might be a little ahead of its time.

      3 points
    • Account deleted almost 6 years ago

      A production company sent me one of these as a holiday gift last year and its so ridiculous looking when worn but, I love the way it looks and feels. It's only awesome when no ones around to make fun of you.

      2 points