As the elevator slowed, mere moments from touching down on the edge of the nearest ring, Cass came to three realizations. The first was that the Affini were terrifyingly advanced, far more than a simple electrodynamic flight system like the shuttle’s had implied. They clearly had an understanding of physics that let them play with energies on a scale terrans could scarcely comprehend, let alone equal. In every physical science, they were leaps and bounds beyond humanity – it was obvious just from the view out the window.
That led to the second realization. We never stood a chance
Affini technology is generally excellent. Regardless of the domain, they're likely to have the most advanced version of any given technology around, though not always. Some other civilizations may manage to outstrip them in certain areas, especially if it's a notable speciality for that species, but there are very few species that can claim to have the breadth and depth of capability as the Affini do. (In no small part because any civilization which does outstrip them in some area will soon be happily contributing that capability for the good of all!)
Aesthetically, Affini technology typically leans on bio-technological and organic imagery more than our style of technology. Ships are often at least partially grown, and much of their most advanced technology (like the haustoric implant) is bioengineered material.
Affini tech is also incredibly safe! Codes and regulations make it nigh impossible to hurt yourself with a piece of affini tech. The Compact's desire to keep every sophont safe and cared for is built in to every bit of technology they produce. Affini tech can detect misuse and deny/chide sophonts for attempting it. Unfortunately sometimes they use the tech of their domesticated species and that is not always as safe (ex. the exploding martian ovens)
Affini have mastery of the 5th fundamental force, something that the terrans hadn't even discovered yet. From impossibly durable hulls, to atomic compilers, to their jump drives, it is utilized constantly. The Accord never stood a chance.
See also the known Affini ships
It is a common misconception that the technology of the Terran Accord is universally slapped together with minimal regard for safety, quality and common sense. This is not so. Not entirely, anyway. While it is true that at any given intersection, short term cost saving measures and profits would tend to be prioritised as far as possible within the boundaries of delivering a viable product, it is equally true that this is an active choice. It isn’t done from necessity or from technological limitations; at every step of the process, someone is stepping in to weigh the potential savings of every corner cut against the potential revenues lost from any resulting reduction in quality. And wherever this choice is loaded off on an algorithm, it is still a human being that makes the decision to do so.
Terran technology is typically inferior to Affini technology, but generally superior to modern day humanity. Ships are relatively small and the crew are typically either in microgravity, or attain a sensation of gravity via spinning sections or acceleration. In either case there are significant limitations, as spinning sections on small scales cannot achieve high gravity without compromising comfort and acceleration requires constant thrust.
Aesthetically, terran technology trends towards hard sci-fi themes based on semi-plausible technology, with the exception of faster-than-light travel provided by point-to-point jump drives, close to Battlestar Galactica in style.
See also the known Terran ships