Consumer electronics makers looking to find their way into consumers' living rooms could learn a thing or two from Japanese custom PC manufacturer Universal Roaming.
Sony in particular has gone out of its way to make PCs and gadgets that blend nicely into the living room decor without being too gadgety. The result has been, well, mixed. See the Vaio TP25E (that weird round one) and the sleek Vaio LT29U all-in-one.
Universal Roaming takes a different approach, creating the Ryou PC series of small and lovely desktop PCs that appear more akin to decorative art than computers. They're not quite as avant garde as the Enlighten or Shadow from Suissa, but they definitely make a statement.
Each is made from Japanese Judas trees, and decorated with silver, gold, and red lacquer. But the Ryou series is not just a pretty face: it comes loaded with Windows Vista Home Premium SP1, an 80GB hard drive, a 1.66GHz Core 2 Duo T5500 CPU, 2GB of RAM, a DVD burner, Wi-Fi adapter, and a 3-in-1 card reader.
There's no price listed, but be prepared to pay a pretty penny. Clearly a lot of manual labor went into these guys.