Originally posted by CAMMight as well give it a shot:
edit: There would be a curved recess in the top of the case to allow you to get your hand around the "handle".
Hands down the nicest look so far, but probably a bit overly expensive to mfg. as the handle and shape looks more like a billet structure than something easily achieved in polycarbonate. I like this look a lot though. It kind of has a bit of the techno-sleek look of the Powerbooks and XServes combined with a good ol' fashioned radio. It's like techno-retro, perhaps even a bit of a modern interpretation on the Art Deco look.
I know a lot want to see the handles retained, and I admit to liking them too... but I just don't feel you can integrate the handles into the current Mac design scheme, without having them fold away or conceal. Which could be the direction to go with it.
As far as the cube idea... why does it have to be a "Small" cube. The old NeXT Dimension cubes were more akin to a regular desktop footprint in size, only bigger. So instead of a 12" cube, it'd be more like a 15-17" cube.
I also like the "pizza box" NeXT-Slab look... and could see something like the above theme applied to that, sans handles, or perhaps with a pair of loop handles off of the back. I do believe a single slot Mac based off of the eMac platform could be a good "entry-level" machine to undercut the all-in-one's... but I don't feel it will spawn itself from the "PRO" line motherboard.
As far as the Alienware cases... they're not built by Alienware, they're made by Chieftec in England ( http://www.chieftec.com/
) and the revised version is a version made by Chieftec's Chinese affiliate. The Chieftec case is known as the "Dragon", while the Chinese case is called the XPider. The only differences that I've seen are the two-tone colors and the differing door design.
I've also heard rumor that they (Alienware) might sell a Thermaltake case-equipped PC but I'm uncertain of that. You can find all of these PC cases at http://www.case-mod.com/
The Thermaltake case is viewable at http://www.thermaltake.com/.
It's not as sharp as the Chieftec cases, but with case fan controls, temperature monitoring, and some of the most wicked heat sink fans out there... it's definitely a cool case from a tech standpoint.
Apple's look will likely be shaped more like an iPod I figure, as in that "filleted-rectangle" look. It'll probably be at least partially aluminum, if not aluminum and aluminum colored plastic, or perhaps a clear/tinted clear, or silver plastic. I would say the "Lucite" look like the iPod, but it would contrast with the pro-lineup laptops; which I think Apple is trying to create two distinctive looks... the iLine (white lucite and clear) and the pro line (aluminum).
This of course is presumptious that Apple sticks with the same design philosophy. I'm inclined to believe that they will for a bit, but I do believe there will be a radically redesigned case design for desktops eventually. Losing the handles would kind of suck, but I don't see much way of keeping them and following the new design theme, unless you push in on a set of scribed rectangular shapes on the top of the case or front of the case and a spring-loaded set of handles pop-up out of the top of the case or the front/back of the case. That could probably be done for an affordable sum, or perhaps a pair of of handles that are hinged to the top of the case (via nice quality machine screws) and fold over the front and back of the case to appear "hidden".