Notes of interest on recent Apple MacBook case leaks

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Lost among the flurry of speculation surrounding new MacBooks are a number of noteworthy observations about the portables that may lend insight into their design.



The most self-evident change between Apple's current MacBook lineup and the new models expected next week are the side expansion ports.



Both the MacBook and MacBook Pro that appear to have been photographed have extremely thin side areas which are just large enough to contain the ports themselves -- thin enough that Apple has had to shunt the port labels to the side. While neither system will be quite as thin as this, as Apple is believed to be using a tapered bottom that will add slightly to the height, the reengineering may contribute to a design which is predicted by some to be thinner overall than earlier models.



Port layouts have also changed, though without better photos and a view of both sides it's difficult to tell how many elements have been added or removed. Again, the MacBook Pro has potentially switched to mini-DVI output instead of the full connector from Apple's professional notebooks of the past several years, though why this would be chosen remains a mystery. Historically, Apple has opted for proprietary connections for its displays when space for other ports is an issue; the quintessential example of this has been the micro-DVI connector necessitated by the thin, small expansion door of the MacBook Air.



The next MacBook Pro's top and left sides.



Apple's rumored 13-inch MacBook as seen from its top and sides.



But while the 13-inch MacBook's top layout is widely expected to match that of its similarly-sized ultraportable sibling, extending to a larger trackpad, the MacBook Pro will carry more tangibly unique design changes besides the new keyboard tray. The speaker grilles bordering the keyboard are more finely perforated than today's system and, notably, no longer run to the edge of the notebook as they do now -- though whether these differences are for practical size purposes or simply a stylistic change isn't evident at this stage.



What may be clearer, however, is Apple's design direction for the top of its notebooks, which may have been tipped off by the company's own invitation for the introduction on its corporate campus. An observation at Boing Boing notes both that the edge of the display isn't that of the MacBook Air but also that the logo isn't necessarily proportioned correctly for the shadowed image to represent a 15-inch MacBook Pro.



The MacBook in Apple's press invitation, with the logo used as a guide for size. | Credit Boing Boing



Using the size of the logo on a present-day MacBook Pro as a reference, the site estimates that the logo is too large relative to the borders of the lid to represent a system with a screen larger than the 13.3 inches of the standard MacBook.



Apple in the past has changed the size of its logo and isn't necessarily using an actual future system as a template, giving some leeway for its teaser image to represent a different model or none at all. Still, the image is potentially the Mac maker's most direct hint yet of its upcoming design direction.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 108
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... Using the size of the logo on a present-day MacBook Pro as a reference, the site estimates that the logo is too large relative to the borders of the lid to represent a system with a screen larger than the 13.3 inches of the standard MacBook. ....



    I think this speculation on size is a bit thin.



    When I saw the invitation image for the fist time I did the same calculation by overlaying an image of my 12" Powerbook as a comparison. Based on the logo being the same size (the same assumption I made) it came out to 14.173 inches wide for me which is the perfect size for a standard 13" screen on the other side.



    There's also a margin of error that is probably going to be in the quarter to a half of an inch range for all of these jpeg based calculations, and there is (as you yourself note) no surety that the logo is going to be the same size anyway.



    edit: I may have misunderstood what you are getting at. You are saying the image represents a smaller than 13" screen or larger?



    edit 2: NM I just realised how stupid I am as a 12" user I forgot that they don't make them this small currently. This is the new 13" MacBook Pro! (maybe)
  • Reply 2 of 108
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,752member
    Well, if anyone thought that the short lead time to the 14th was going to lesson the frenzy, I guess we can forget that!

    I expect to see the same 5 images in 30 or 40 more articles between now and then...



    (Not that I'm complaining. But it would be nice if Apple leaked a few more for varieties sake. )
  • Reply 3 of 108
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,862member
    First of all, the image shown on the invitation doesn't look like an actual product shot. The edges look like fake 3D created in Adobe Photoshop, so I wouldn't assume this is an actual product.
  • Reply 4 of 108
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Again, the MacBook Pro has potentially switched to mini-DVI output instead of the full connector from Apple's professional notebooks of the past several years, though why this would be chosen remains a mystery.



    1) There is no evidence that Mini-DVI can support DL-DVI so this can't me a MBP or 30" displays will note function.



    2) Hasn't there been plenty of discussion already that show that port size fits a 4-pin 1394a (FireWire 400) port, not a Mini-DVI port that bevels a the bottom?
  • Reply 5 of 108
    If the logo is actually really, really big, then this might be the NetBook!
  • Reply 6 of 108
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    *away*
  • Reply 7 of 108
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post


    If the logo is actually really, really big, then this might be the NetBook!



    dont be stupid if the logo is really big that makes the screen really big.... you want the logo to be tiny for it to be a netbook............
  • Reply 8 of 108
    These MacBooks could very well utilize the newer 16:9 ratio screens. Since you lose vertical resolution, they're typically a bit wider to help make up for it.



    The existing MacBook's 13.3" screen at 1280x800 may be replaced with, say, a 13.8" screen at 1366x768. The picture might reflect an extra half-inch (more or less) of width for the new screen.
  • Reply 9 of 108
    irelandireland Posts: 17,549member
  • Reply 10 of 108
    irelandireland Posts: 17,549member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by treestman View Post


    These MacBooks could very well utilize the newer 16:9 ratio screens. Since you lose vertical resolution, they're typically a bit wider to help make up for it.



    The existing MacBook's 13.3" screen at 1280x800 may be replaced with, say, a 13.8" screen at 1366x768. The picture might reflect an extra half-inch (more or less) of width for the new screen.



    Now that is an interesting observation, I guess we'll have to want and see.



    Like I've been saying. Expect both the MacBook and MacBook Pro to come in aluminum, with cues taken from the Air, cause that's all we're getting. Don't expect a Daniel Eran-style glass trackpad, keep your feet on the ground. That would be a useless, and needlessly expensive.



    And expect a white chicklet keyboard on the MacBook, and black, backlit ones on the ProBooks. Aside from that we could get a color surprise, which we should (really).



    Not selling the 13" MacBook (new, aluminum) in at least 5 colors, including silver, would be a mistake in my view.

    The color-factor alone is selling these Dell's and Eee's, the kids are eating that stuff up.
  • Reply 11 of 108
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    And expect a white chicklet keyboard on the MacBook, and black, backlit ones on the ProBooks.



    I hope they go with black on all of them, though of course the lower models would not be backlit.
  • Reply 12 of 108
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    The reason why you'd use a mini DVI or smaller ports generally is because as the machine gets thinner you can't stack things in the design, you have to put them side by side. So the motherboard has to take up less space toward the back as the front is used up by the battery. Because the motherboard is smaller you want to squeeze the ports together so that they all fit. Having floating ports on wires would increase costs and be less reliable.



    Personally I think having small ports is good. The industry needs to get a clue and do away with all large connectors and start shrinking in earnest, or better still do everything in wireless.
  • Reply 13 of 108
    irelandireland Posts: 17,549member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by treestman View Post


    I hope they go with black on all of them, though of course the lower models would not be backlit.



    Apple are moving to a black keyboard-means it's backlit-design (the black MacBook won't be rehashed).



    An obvious area where this is been demonstrated in action is their desktop keyboards. There's no other good reason good why the new iMac keyboards aren't black-on-silver. After all the iMac is black and silver.



  • Reply 14 of 108
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Now that is an interesting observation, I guess we'll have to want and see.



    Like I've been saying. Expect both the MacBook and MacBook Pro to come in aluminum, with cues taken from the Air, cause that's all we're getting. Don't expect a Daniel Eran-style glass trackpad, keep your feet on the ground. That would be a useless, and needlessly expensive.



    And expect a white chicklet keyboard on the MacBook, and black, backlit ones on the ProBooks. Aside from that we could get a color surprise, which we should (really).



    Not selling the 13" MacBook (new, aluminum) in at least 5 colors, including silver, would be a mistake in my view.

    The color-factor alone is selling these Dell's and Eee's, the kids are eating that stuff up.




    Laptops aren't iPods, they're not purchased mainly by teenage girls. Having more colours means they're more expensive to produce and distribute, and for a low-end product and with a price drop, I don't see it.



    Also the colour of the keyboard will be matched against the colour of the case. Apple always go for the best looking combination. The black MacBooks have black keyboards. The white has white.
  • Reply 15 of 108
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Apple are moving to a black keyboard means it's backlit design (the black MacBook won't be rehashed).



    Does it? You can backlight white keys.
  • Reply 16 of 108
    Good, god. Get a life, guys. All of this obsessing over what? An aluminum shell, ports, the size of a logo? Y'awl haven't told me a SINGLE thing that has any relevance at all to 99% of computer users. I want real details, not endless speculation on the packaging. Guess I'll have to wait to the 14th, since you folks haven't been able to come up with anything of substance.
  • Reply 17 of 108
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Apple are moving to a black keyboard means it's backlit design (the black MacBook won't be rehashed).



    I didn't mean I want a black MacBook, I meant that I think all the keyboards should be black. It doesn't have to be backlit just because it's black. The white ones get too dirty after a while.
  • Reply 18 of 108
    irelandireland Posts: 17,549member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tumbleweed View Post


    Good, god. Get a life, guys.



    I don't normally get this obsessed. I can laugh at it to, but I thought it was a bit of fun.
  • Reply 19 of 108
    lame. Old tech is lame. iphone has it. But thats it. iphone has it, notebooks do not. Notebooks and the whole form factor are old hat.

    Thats all I got. $500 notebook, then yeah thats cool. That worth it. But this economy does not like $1000 even 899 is to much for old hat now.



    Is no one going to inspire the djs and graphic artists and everyone really with tasty new ideas? Hardware, mega iphone.. Plaster itunes all over it. Just the [email protected]%m tablets out already.



    I said my peace.
  • Reply 20 of 108
    irelandireland Posts: 17,549member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by treestman View Post


    I didn't mean I want a black MacBook, I meant that I think all the keyboards should be black. It doesn't have to be backlit just because it's black. The white ones get too dirty after a while.



    I know what you meant, but you don't know what I meant.
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