Here's an interesting concept by CLAIRE + LÉA, a Paris/Zurich-based design studio. Their Hard Drive is mounted to a spring-loaded slider, allowing it to clamp to your desktop.
This frees up space, while providing access to just the crucial bits: The power switch, the LED that lets you know it's on, and the USB port.
Is it worth the added cost/potential breakage of the spring-loaded mechanism and the wiring stress? We'd have to assume the market says no, as the design never reached production. Nevertheless I like the thinking, from a UX point of view.
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