Gadget eye candy: 15 of the best tech designs ever

Design Eye Candy

Like beauty, sleekness is in the eye of the beholder. It's impossible to define easily, but you know it when you see it. It's that feeling in your gut that says "I don't know what that thing is or what it's supposed to do, but I want one--now."

[ See also: When error messages go public: Funny dialog boxes in conspicuous places ]

The number of devices attempting sleekness is almost infinite, so to pick our 15 we had to lay out a few ground rules.

First, the gadget must be (or must have been) a real product that consumers could buy, not a concept or prototype. It must fit on a desk, even if it doesn't really belong on one (that is, no cars or rocket ships). To keep certain vendors from dominating the list (this means you, Apple), we allowed only one product per company. We awarded extra points for historical significance and/or goofiness.

So, without further preamble, here's our list. Feast your eyes on these 15 beauties.

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