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Stuff Gadget Awards 2015: Vote for the Design of the Year

Discern the most delightful from this array of devilishly designed devices

Design is a most divisive attribute. Should your smart toaster be brushed aluminium or wrapped in Gorilla Glass? Does a smartwatch even need to work if it looks darn fine enough? 

These are the questions we all have to grapple with on a daily basis as we deign to determine the zenith of an entire 12 months’ worth of design decisions. And, in a year when we’ve seen the gullwing greatness of the Tesla Model X hit the road and Microsoft’s dynamic fulcrum hinge make its Surface Book a flipping powerhouse, it’s all proved just a bit too much.

Yep: we can’t make up our minds. Like a pack of perennially petrified puppies, we’re racked by indecision – so we’re letting you choose instead.

Just which gadget truly is the most beautifully designed of 2015? Check out our shortlist below, then scroll to the bottom and vote.

Just remember: with great power comes great responsibility.

Apple MacBook

Apple MacBook

Oh look, an Apple product on a list of top designs. How very unexpected.

But wait: good design is about much more than smooth aluminium lines and an impossibly thin chassis – though the new MacBook has both.

Apple re-thought the entire physical construction of their flagship typing titan from the ground up, to make it thinner, lighter, brighter and better. It’s quieter and lasts longer, yet still packs a power punch. It even has its own Design movie. What’s not to love?

Pack your MacOur full MacBook (2015) review

Devialet Phantom

Devialet Phantom

Few things truly justify the overused cultural reference to a double-digit dial. Devialet’s Phantom, though, does: its impressively compact, decibel-driving wireless speaker really does turn things up to the proverbial 11. OK, it doesn’t really.

What it does do is pack a mind-numbing 3000 Watts of pure power into its rounded shell. The Phantom is protected by 88 patents – all of which lie behind the physical punch it delivers with its pulsating lateral subwoofers. How much punch? 30 kilograms – with no distortion. Oh, and it looks pretty special too.

Lytro Illum

Lytro Illum

Post-production selective focus has long been the dream of digital photographers – and Lytro’s Illum lets you do just that. Capture multi-dimensional data in a single exposure, then choose your focal point and aperture after the fact. You can even go 3D.

Best of all? It looks like something straight out of sci-fi. Sure, it’s enough like a camera that your Nan will be able to tell it apart from a phaser set to stun, but, with its angled rear and button-free body, this is one futuristic lens-lugger.

Microsoft Surface Book

Microsoft Surface Book

We’ve seen transforming lap-tabs before, but none of them had a dynamic fulcrum hinge. Nor did any of them so swiftly shift from type to touch. In fact, none of them were a patch on Microsoft’s Surface Book.

If Windows 10 is the operating system to shift fortunes, this is the hardware to carry it. Designed to feel as natural as carrying a clipboard or sketching on a notepad, it’s the natural evolution from the Surface – and it’s a corker.

Nanoleaf Bloom

Nanoleaf Bloom

Bulbs are boring. Sure, they might light up your life – or at least your living room – but those little bright blighters are hardly the pinnacle of perfect design.

At least, that was, until Nanoleaf’s Bloom came along: dimmable in any fixture, with uniform light distribution and a 27.5-year lifespan, this is one superbly sketched screw-in. It even has a night mode built in to its self-reinforcing shell, meaning no more plug-hogging sleep inducers.

Samsung Gear S2

Samsung Gear S2

Samsung might actually have done the impossible and created a smartwatch that might just go mainstream. And that isn’t made by Apple.

With a touchscreen interface built around a simple scrolling bezel, the integration of Samsung Pay, Health, Voxer and more into its wrist-wrapping AMOLED could well tempt more than a few discerning watch-wanters.

Steam Controller

Steam Controller

What should a controller that lets you play your entire Steam game collection through your TV look like? Don’t be silly, a kettle is a rubbish shape – and it only has one button.

How about a moulded, sculpted button-basher with haptic feedback and dual trackpads, fully mappable and trigger-ready? Yes? Good, because Steam is selling exactly that.

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

It’s no secret that Tesla makes pretty stunning vehicles, but the all-electric X is a speed machine for SUV-loving design gurus.

With a 250 mile range and acceleration to 60mph in 3.2 seconds, it ignites the left-field lineup with gullwing doors, a grill-free frontage and Beemer-like bulbs – all on a four-wheel drive family wagon.

What’s more, the kids can ogle the clouds whizzing past through the panoramic windshield (the largest in production) as you put the pedal to the battery-backed metal, guilt-free.