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iMac Design Implications

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Well I think we've all seen the shiny new iMac by now, what with the black apple logo and a very nice screen (like Intel's concept laptop, oddly enough).

My question is simple: is this design going to filter down?

Personally I think it would fantastic for the MacBook Pro (and some kind of ultraportable, perhaps? .

Certainly I like the black apple logo, I love the screen (glossy or matte, I just like the black border style), I think the contrast between the black back and silver front is nice, I personally enjoy typing on the chicklet keyboards I've tried (once I get used to them, but they're still not quite as nice as my 12" PB keyboard), and so forth. In short I love the new iMac design.

So, who thinks the next MacBook Pro update inherits most if not all of these features?
post #2 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Monk View Post

Well I think we've all seen the shiny new iMac by now, what with the black apple logo and a very nice screen (like Intel's concept laptop, oddly enough).

My question is simple: is this design going to filter down?

Personally I think it would fantastic for the MacBook Pro (and some kind of ultraportable, perhaps? .

Certainly I like the black apple logo, I love the screen (glossy or matte, I just like the black border style), I think the contrast between the black back and silver front is nice, I personally enjoy typing on the chicklet keyboards I've tried (once I get used to them, but they're still not quite as nice as my 12" PB keyboard), and so forth. In short I love the new iMac design.

So, who thinks the next MacBook Pro update inherits most if not all of these features?

I do not think that the MBP will change very much, at least for the time being. If you go back and listen to Steve talking about how much pro users like the look and feel of Aluminum, they had to change the iMac to fit into that style. The Macbook Pro and the Mac Pro were already there. Do not misunderstand, I would not be surprised to see some changes, but I doubt that any changes will include the black look. I think that it WILL inherit the keyboard from the Macbook and the new iMac that Apple is evidently in love with, but with backlighting. There have been rumors for months that the newest versions of MBP's will sport the latch-less case design. They changed the iMac to look more professional. More like a GIANT iPhone. I liike the new iMac, but it does look like an iPhone. They don't need to change the MBP to get it to fit the pro-style.

And for heaven's sake, they are not and will not bring back the 12" to the pro line. The only thing that the poor, unfortunate souls who are ultra portable Mac fans can do is cling desperately to their aging Powerbooks and try to avoid the inevitable: buying the BlackBook.
post #3 of 33
It could be that aluminum is trickling down to the consumer lines while the pro design is inheriting a new material. Who knows. The MBP has a lot to catch up on (keyboard, user removeable hard drive, better screen opening angle, and magnetic latch to name a few things).
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post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Monk View Post

...

So, who thinks the next MacBook Pro update inherits most if not all of these features?

Apple has a long history of maintaining a unified design language across its product line. The MacBook Pro case are almost there because it is aluminum already. Adding a black surround to the display is a minor change. The MacBook requires a change of in materials. The Cinema Display requires the addition of a black surround to its current aluminum frame. Apple is not going to carry two separate designs of keyboards, so you can expect the iMac keyboard to replace the current keyboard sold with the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro case is an artifact of the size and ventilation required to accommodate the heat generated by the PM G5. You can expect the next-generation Mac Pro to be smaller.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Apple has a long history of maintaining a unified design language across its product line. The MacBook Pro case are almost there because it is aluminum already. Adding a black surround to the display is a minor change. The MacBook requires a change of in materials. The Cinema Display requires the addition of a black surround to its current aluminum frame. Apple is not going to carry two separate designs of keyboards, so you can expect the iMac keyboard to replace the current keyboard sold with the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro case is an artifact of the size and ventilation required to accommodate the heat generated by the PM G5. You can expect the next-generation Mac Pro to be smaller.

Apple has a long history of maintaining a unified design language across each SECTION of their product line. There have been defining characteristics to each section of the product lines for years. The consumer notebooks have always had some sort of poly-carbon type case and ever since the first version of the Powerbook G4, the Pro line has sported either Ti or Aluminum. The iMacs and eMacs have been white for years now, so overall I'm not sure your first sentence is true. I don't think that Apple will stray from the poly cases for the consumer Macbook. That material is amazing when it comes to being bumped around in a backpack, not to mention the fact that it maintains a line of separation between the pro and consumer lines. the iMac is Apple's bread-and-butter desktop. Its more affordable than the pro tower, but beefier than the Mac Mini, so making it desirable across consumer and professional lines is a good idea. If the only thing that separates the regular Macbook from the Macbook Pro is the name, consumers will be confused. I have already run into about half a dozen people who weren't sure if they bought a Macbook or a Macbook Pro, and until they had described the physical features of the machine and I could tell them what they had, they were completely confused.

I agree with you on the Mac Pro tower needing to be completely redesigned. It's a relic and needs to be put out to pasture.
post #6 of 33
Mac tablet will inherit these features, sure. MacBook Pro possibly too. Perhaps it's a sign that the MacBook and MacBook Pro designs will merge to one design, differing only in price, power and screen size, and not design. That sure would make buying a Mac notebook a lot more easier. All you would have to think is; "what budget do I have, and what size screen do I want."

Actually that would be a great idea. Change both the MacBook and the MacBook Pro, buy offering only one new design, this new theme (aluminum + glass), in 13.3", 15.4" and 17". Bring in the 13.3" version with a basic graphic card, but offer customization to make it really powerful. Step the 15.4" one up a notch, and offer lots of customization to make it a demon, and likewise with the 17", step that up a notch further. Drop the Pro name, and just call the notebook MacBook - simple. And while your at it you could go with the new (way better) styled keyboard, the magnetic latch and that new (patented) 'giant' (across the whole way) illuminated track pad.

I know, I'm a dreamer, lol.

Personally though, I'm awaiting Apple's inevitable, ultra-portable 11" Mac tablet® with it's software keyboard and Multi-touch (cutting and pasting) user interface. That's a dream product right there.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by opnsource View Post

And for heaven's sake, they are not and will not bring back the 12" to the pro line. The only thing that the poor, unfortunate souls who are ultra portable Mac fans can do is cling desperately to their aging Powerbooks and try to avoid the inevitable: buying the BlackBook.

And Apple will never produce a phone.

Actually you're right, Apple will never bring back the 12" because it was a mini cousin of the Pro line not much faster then the iBooks. A proper subnotebook is a different story. I'n not saying they will, just that it's a big hole in their line-up and their laptop sales are going up fast enough to allow for a more expansive selection of computers (arguably a 15" MacBook, and an 11" MacBook nano).


As Ireland says a unified design language would be very interesting. Notably the iMac has always represented the consumer section, and this update dumps their consumer styling. Likewise it now makes their Pro styling look outdated. Apple could: unify their computer design language along the iMac's lines and toss the difference between pro/non-pro. Use the iMac's language for MacBooks, and establish a new Pro language. Use the iMac's language for MacBook Pro's, and establish a new consumer language. Those, as I see it, are their main options in computer design going forward.


So what if they do actually unify their language? Offer a MacBook at 11" (subnotebook), 13" (current MacBook), 15" and 17" (current MacBook Pro). As it is the differences between the regular and Pro models are pretty darn slim at this point (GPU, mainly) so why not just offer a models a base model that can be specced upwards?

Perhaps, because of the GPU, a base model and top-end model at each size (perhaps tag the 13", 15", 17" top-end models with the Pro tag, and give the 11" model a Nano tag or something). Top-end model gets the niceties (keyboard lighting) and the features (top-end CPU/GPU) and the base model doesn't have that. Both models can be BTO'd upwards or downwards in RAM/HDD but if you want to switch GPUs or CPUs you're automatically upgraded/downgraded to the relevant model.

The subnotebook would likely be the least configurable and perhaps the 17" model would lack a low-end version. That way stores get two SKUs for 13" and 15", and one SKU for 11" and 17" (6 SKUs in total, compared against 6 SKUs now if you go by the Apple Store online).

No additional shipping complexity in return for a laptop line that adds non-Pro 15" model and an 11" subnotebook, and unifies Apple's design language going forward.
post #8 of 33
Here's a thought from left field... what if the iMac already had touch or multi-touch integrated in the glass? Maybe they'll just spring it on us with Leopard. Let the shredding begin.

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post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Here's a thought from left field... what if the iMac already had touch or multi-touch integrated in the glass? Maybe they'll just spring it on us with Leopard. Let the shredding begin.

They they put it in after or before they faked the moon landing ?

I know you were joking Spam, but just to stop this turning into a conspiracy theory thread, touching a screen for 5 minutes is very tiring, let alone 8 hours. Multi-touch and touch-screen only makes sense in certain circumstances, handhelds, tablets, flat surfaces, car entertainment systems, and the next revolution desktop.. Screenboards®©℗™
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by opnsource View Post

... There have been defining characteristics to each section of the product lines for years. The consumer notebooks have always had some sort of poly-carbon type case and ever since the first version of the Powerbook G4, ...

I don't think that many Apple fans appreciate the fact that Apple design follows function. There is no stylist reason to switch from plastic to aluminum iMac cases. There is, however, a functional reason. Apple has been raked over the coals in recent months for not being "green" enough. In this regard, plastic is bad. The switch from plastic to aluminum and glass makes the iMac a much greener machine. This is why I believe that the MacBook will also switch to aluminum and glass.
post #11 of 33
How about all pro products are now made of Titanium, that may effect the cost a bit though. that would be great except the price would go up
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Monk View Post


So, who thinks the next MacBook Pro update inherits most if not all of these features?

I agree. The next MBP should look a lot like the iPhone and the new iMacs. Something like this Intel prototype you referred to:



Glass and aluminum looks like the ticket. It could use a magnetic latch and a keyboard like the wireless KB that was just introduced.

You know what would be cool? Have the KB pop out of the MBP so it can be used as a wireless KB.

Also, I'd like to see a larger trackpad with a glass surface like the iPhone that can be used with Multi-touch. My iPhone's glass surface is so velvety smooth, it's a real joy to use.

I'd like this new MBP to come with Penryn chips, please, so it can run cooler and a bit faster. Please introduce this marvel at MWSF 2008 and I'll be ready to buy.
post #13 of 33
I'd go for that if it had a vented black leather cover over the aluminum with a magnetic closure. That would be suh-weet.

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post #14 of 33
Please. Everyone stop calling for the inclusion of the black surround in pro units.

if they want to put that into consumer level units, that's fine, but not pro. We don't want 70's inspired black surrounds on our laptops or displays.

Apple has been in the direcition of form perfectly following function. The black surround thing is just tacky. In the iMac with the inclusion of glass it makes sense because of the way it is constructed (the black hides the insertion points).

In a laptop, it would be lame. If Apple is to somehow find a way to better the currently perfect laptop design, this won't be it. Also, the iPhone is not the most beautiful piece of hardware Apple has produced. It is three-tone and the black at the bottom looks a bit odd. the interface is beautiful as is the screen, but not the hardware itself.

Also, I take issue with the black bezel surround being so rounded at the edges. It is pretty lame looking as the screen has sharply square edges. It mars the design.

I actually like the look of the new iMac, but only after I look over the aforementioned rounded bezel issue.

I hope that is only stays on the iMac on certainly not on the portable units. The Macbook Pro design is worthy of a much better successor.

And it is NOT to mimic the decent-by-PC-standards intel mockup. the current Macbook pro's look light years ahead of that thing.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
if they want to put that into consumer level units, that's fine, but not pro. We don't want 70's inspired black surrounds on our laptops or displays.

You do realize that there is a genuine, non-aesthetic reason that black bezels are useful, right?
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

The Mac Pro case is an artifact of the size and ventilation required to accommodate the heat generated by the PM G5. You can expect the next-generation Mac Pro to be smaller.

I doubt it. The next generation of Yorkdales have 95W TDP...compared to the G5 2.6Ghz at 100TDP max and 120W for the current X5365 Xeon. Harpertown isn't going to be any lower at the top end (3.16 Ghz , 120 TDP).

No, I don't think there will be a significant size change for the Mac Pro...

Vinea
post #17 of 33
Not to mention, why redesign the case when it's not really necessary? It's a professional powerhouse, it doesn't need to be light, compact, and mobile.
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post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

I doubt it. The next generation of Yorkdales have 95W TDP...compared to the G5 2.6Ghz at 100TDP max and 120W for the current X5365 Xeon. Harpertown isn't going to be any lower at the top end (3.16 Ghz , 120 TDP).

No, I don't think there will be a significant size change for the Mac Pro...

Vinea

It's Wolfdale or Yorkfield for dual-core or quad core desktop chips (Core).
or
Wolfdale-DP or Harpertown for dual-core or quad core server/workstation chips (Xeons)

Since we're talking about the Mac Pro:
LV dual-core Penryn-Xeons at 40W
LV quad-core Penryn-Xeons at 50W
dual-core Penryn-Xeons at 65W
quad-core Penryn-Xeons at 80W except 120W for the 3.16GHz model

linky

Until further notice Apple will not be using regular desktop chips...
post #19 of 33
I have the original 2003 15" aluminum PB. The June 5, 2007 MBP looks the same except for iSight and the placement of the AirPort antenna. I don't like the gray plastic edging around both the lid and the base. I'd like a thinner lid with edge to edge glass for easier cleaning. The edge of the bezel doesn't have to be black but black looks great.

I love the design of both the iPhone (got one) and the new iMac. They're just gorgeous. I'd like to get a new MBP along that design trend. Satin aluminum and glass. Also, a large glass trackpad for use with Multi-touch.
post #20 of 33
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

It's Wolfdale or Yorkfield for dual-core or quad core desktop chips (Core).
or
Wolfdale-DP or Harpertown for dual-core or quad core server/workstation chips (Xeons)

My bad. Yorkdale...that's a brain fart. Next time I'll google before I post.

Vinea
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbl View Post


You are a talented artist.

However, I think that would be a backwards step to the current look, unlest the bottom case and keyboard were also black. Then it would be cool.

I don't see Apple adding glass to the notebooks though - too much weight.
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by gloss View Post

You do realize that there is a genuine, non-aesthetic reason that black bezels are useful, right?

There is no real usefulness for the black bezel. Some have argued that it helps to concentrate on the screen. I have a black Pc monitor that accomplishes the same thing. This is simply a preference. If it was so useful, everyone would make it mandatory. It's not. You do realize that?

It is simply design. And if you see the iMac dissection, you will see why there is a black bezel. It's all about the glass.

And I am not complaining about the bexel other than that it is round. It looks odd with the square screen, but at least it is thick enough to minimize that issue. On the iMac, it is tolerable, on a notebook, it would look just wrong. My notebook has a thin black line surrounding the screen. That looks nice. More would be a mistake.
post #24 of 33
Regardless from what Steve "said" do I think the looks of the new iMac is primarely taken from the old iMac (generally the same Form factor) mixed with looks from the iPhone.

The iMac and the iPhone looks very similar to me. There is two obvious differences but these is the only difference to talk about.
1) The size.
2) The iMac has a stand, the iPhone has not.
post #25 of 33
Quote:
There is no real usefulness for the black bezel. Some have argued that it helps to concentrate on the screen. I have a black Pc monitor that accomplishes the same thing. This is simply a preference. If it was so useful, everyone would make it mandatory. It's not. You do realize that?

No real usefulness except for an increase in perceived visual contrast that a black border provides, which is...you know, useful. It improves the clarity of the screen.

It's not mandatory, but neither are Magnetic Power adapters, despite their also being useful. Or, hell, dynamic irises, or LED backlights, or run-flat tires, or any number of other useful-but-not-required technologies.
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbl View Post

<MacBook mockup>

I would shoot Ives in the face.
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post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by gloss View Post

No real usefulness except for an increase in perceived visual contrast that a black border provides, which is...you know, useful. It improves the clarity of the screen.

It's not mandatory, but neither are Magnetic Power adapters, despite their also being useful. Or, hell, dynamic irises, or LED backlights, or run-flat tires, or any number of other useful-but-not-required technologies.

The key word which you used is "perceived". In other words, an illusion. We don't need cheap parlor tricks. Just good design. Again, nothing truly useful here, just design preference. My two year old black PC Viewsonic monitor accomplishes the same purpose simply by being black. The inherent usefulness of the bezel in the new iMac is for the engineers to be able to cleanly hide the glass insertion points. If they left it aluminum colored, the bezel would look fairly thick on the new machine. I' guessing Apple likes the shiny glossy look a lot right now (look at the iMac Apple logo in front and back) and the black bezel increases the shiny looks really well.

By the way, a bezel will never improve the clarity of the screen. Only a better screen will do that.

There are already some notes on the web about the 20" screen not being as good as it could be.

Comparing this to the magsafe adapter, LED backlights, or run-flat tires is laughable. Magsafe is useful because it protects your notebook if the cord is yanked out. The black bezel...well, it just looks black...and is a bezel. Not useful, just has a look that some like and some don't. It does not make the screen sharper or give it a higher resolution. If the bezel came off, it is not going to magically improve the quality of the LCD.

LED backlights are useful because they maintain their life better than fluorescent lighting. Run flat tires are useful because they minimize accidents caused by blowouts.

The black bezel... simply just looks black. That's all. If you like it, that's great, but don't pretend it is some sort of useful "feature." It is a design choice.
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9secondko View Post


The black bezel... simply just looks black. That's all. If you like it, that's great, but don't pretend it is some sort of useful "feature." It is a design choice.

And it's a design choice with a purpose. The increased visual contrast is perceived, but that doesn't make it any less real. No, it doesn't raise the actual contrast ratio of the screen, but yes, it DOES allow your eyes to see it more clearly. And in the end, that's all that matters, regardless of how the designers have gone about it.

Regardless, we don't really seem to be going anywhere, so I'll stop.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by gloss View Post

And it's a design choice with a purpose. The increased visual contrast is perceived, but that doesn't make it any less real. No, it doesn't raise the actual contrast ratio of the screen, but yes, it DOES allow your eyes to see it more clearly. And in the end, that's all that matters, regardless of how the designers have gone about it.

Regardless, we don't really seem to be going anywhere, so I'll stop.

Yah, there's a reason that Home Theaters (and real ones) mask the screen with a darker (often black) color. Perceived improvement in contrast.
post #30 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9secondko View Post

The key word which you used is "perceived". In other words, an illusion.

Your brain processes perceived just as well as reality. It may be an illusion to some kind of objective sensor, but to your eye there is real benefit.


I think it would have looked better had the bezel extended all the way to the edge; that is with no aluminium border at all. I do, however, still like the look a great deal. Perhaps, for a laptop, just make the entire thing flat black (i.e. the iMac's backside look) with a glowing black or white Apple logo on the back. I, personally, would love glowing orange keys but I imagine Apple would go with glowing white keys.

As for those objecting to glass on a laptop, the Intel concept I referenced uses glass (at least according to Business Week, slide four). If they can do it, Apple should be able to do it.
post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9secondko View Post

You are a talented artist.

However, I think that would be a backwards step to the current look, unlest the bottom case and keyboard were also black. Then it would be cool.

I don't see Apple adding glass to the notebooks though - too much weight.

http://www.apple.com/mac/

look at all the Macs

Mac mini, iMac, Mac Pro, Cinema Dispaly, keyboard, Xserve, XServe RAID

all has some Alu in it, except MacBook, i would not surprise if MacBook redesigned the above picture, white macbook may go away

Alu the way to go!

Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

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Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

Reply
post #32 of 33
The iMac's black border does conveniently camouflage the iSight...
post #33 of 33
I have given this further rumination. The new iMac has no design implications.

Looking back at the Power Mac G4, how many iterations of the same enclosure did that go through? I remember the original design was taken from the blue and white G3 tower recast in graphite at Seybold in August 1999. Then came the Quicksilver design, and later the Mirrored Drive Door models. Each of them looked distinctly different, but were the same overall design.

I think it's the lampshade model of the iMac that really never had a face lift in its life. And I think that was mainly because it was expensive to make and it got a wildly mixed reaction. Either you liked it or hated it. I think the same can be said about this new iMac too with the black frame around the LCD and the glossy glass in front of it. Yeah they may have "focus grouped" it, but that doesn't mean shit to real word reaction.
You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
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You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
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