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Philips may be hanging with the wrong crowd

Latest USB drives are uncharacteristally ugly.


Et tu, Philips? Please say it ain't so. Despite all the madness that is the world of gadgetry, the Dutch company has almost always managed to keep above the fray and stay true to its aesthetic sensibilities. Sure, it has lapsed into the bling thing on occasion, but it always seemed to come back to its tasteful origins.

Now we're not so sure. The names alone of its new USB drives--"Robot Naughty Raymond" and "Happy Laura"--are disturbingly out of character, not to mention a jarring departure from the sleek designs that have been a hallmark of Philips products. The latest additions to the company's "Active Crystals" collection are 2GB trinkets, according to Slippery Brick, but they look more like toys from a bubble-gum machine.

We fear that Philips has fallen under the influence of the wrong crowd. Namely, Swarovski.