If you grew up in the 1980s, the concept of design might seem like a superficial and unimportant aspect of a computer. But design is a big differentiator between Macs and PCs. For the better part of three decades, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs focused on the outward appearance of his company's products with an enthusiasm unmatched by his competitors. The unique designs that resulted from this obsession have given Mac products the "hip" image that they enjoy today.
This unconventional focus on design began with the very first Macintosh, introduced in 1984. Like many of the computers in Apple's current line, its CPU and monitor were housed in a single unit, reducing the number of cables necessary for operation and creating a sleeker profile. Perhaps Jobs's and Apple designer Jonathan Ive's most significant success was the iMac, introduced in 1998. With its translucent, candy-colored shell, this model reversed Apple's flagging fortunes and represented the start of its rise to present-day popularity. Today, some PC manufacturers are attempting to create more design-oriented models, but none have achieved the popular acclaim commanded by Mac products.
On the flip side, PCs don't come from a single manufacturer. There are hundreds of different designs of PCs on the market, ranging from the utilitarian design of most business PCs to the space-age aesthetics of Alienware's gaming PC line of computers. You might find some designs more compelling than Apple's approach, but there's no single vision guiding aesthetic choices when it comes to the design of the PC. That's not necessarily a bad thing -- if you don't like one design, you can look to a different manufacturer to consider other options. If you don't like Apple's design, you're out of luck if you absolutely have to own a Mac.