Tag Archives | Redesigned

…Apple’s MacBook laptops are a perfect design study?

MacBook Pro

It’s no secret that Apple has mastered the art of design, and with every iteration of their product line, they continue to wow with small and often subtle changes that contribute to an overall feeling of amazement when interacting with their computers. Each and every piece and part has its own place in the end result, and everything feels like it should be there, rather than needed to be there.


With the latest MacBook and MacBook Pro, Apple “Redesigned. Reengineered. Re-everythinged.” their way into one of the most stunning laptops ever built thanks to a new unibody construction that begins life as a single piece of aluminum, and ends as a computer that has been machined down to the micron, thus reducing size, weight, complexity, and opportunity for failure.

MacBook Pro Screen

Even things like the thickness of the display don’t escape the watchful eye of Apple’s designers, as they opted to use LED backlight technology across their entire notebook line, rather than the CCFLs that are standard for the industry. In addition to the fact that they take less space to create the same amount of light, LEDs reach maximum brightness instantly, unlike CCFLs, which take time to warm up.

MacBook Pro Trackpad

It’s also no secret that Steve Jobs has a thing for buttons, and specifically the removal of as many buttons as possible, so for the latest version of Apple’s trackpad, they’ve removed the buttons entirely and replaced them with a trackpad that is itself the button. Users can click anywhere on the trackpad and it will register as a click, allowing for new ways of interacting with the computer through Multi-Touch gestures that had never before been possible.

MacBook Pro Thumbscoop

Think no part is too small to escape revision? According to Apple, designers worked on hundreds of versions of the thumbscoop (the indentation that allows you to open the display) before they got it right.

If the scoop is too deep, you put too much pressure on the display to open it. If it’s too shallow, you struggle to open the display. It may seem incidental, but if the thumbscoop is well designed, it makes the difference between a bad experience and a good one.

How important was it for Apple to get the thumbscoop right? They examined their options under an electron microscope until they were happy that they had gotten it just right.

MacBook Pro Sleep Indicator Light

The sleep indicator light?

During the CNC process, a machine first thins out the aluminum. Then a laser drill creates small perforations for the LED light to shine through. These holes are so tiny that the aluminum appears seamless when the light is off.

A light when you need it and nothing when you don’t?

That’s what I call attention to detail.

And don’t think that just because Apple is obsessed with perfection that they’re willing to let the environment take a hit as a result of their designs.

Green Apple

In addition to being brighter and thinner, LED backlighting is also mercury and arsenic free, and uses 30 percent less power than a CCFL display. The circuit board? Now polyvinyl chloride (PVC), brominated flame retardant (BFRs), bromine and chlorine free.

Even the packaging has been optimized, with a reduction of 37 percent when compared to previous generations. Fewer trees used for boxes and less fuel used for transportation means a healthier environment, and when all is said and done and it’s time to upgrade to the latest and greatest, almost every part of the new MacBook line can be recycled.

Is it perfection?

Probably not, since I’m sure they’ll find ways to improve their products and their processes in the future, but until then, Apple’s laptop line is a design force to be reckoned with.

[Apple – MacBook Pro Design]

[For Designer Daily – Design You Love: A Group Writing Project]

…It’s Tuner Tuesday: Obsidian SG-One?

Obsidian SG-One Exterior

The Obsidian SG-One is in a class all its own, and is possibly (probably) one of the coolest custom cars I’ve ever seen.

What you see here started life as a 1967 Mustang, but didn’t stay that way for long.

The first to go was the engine, and it was quickly replaced with a 392 cubic inch V8 making 847.8 horsepower and 770 lbs. ft. of torque on 91-octane pump gas. Twin Rotrex C38-81 superchargers feed through twin air-to-air intercoolers, down through a custom aluminum intake, and past the Big Stuff 3 fuel injection system.

What’s the resulting performance?

0-60 in under three seconds, and an estimated top speed of over 210 MPH.

Power is then routed through a Tremec TKO 600 5-speed with Master Shift paddle shifters and a Mittler Brothers 9” rear end.

Chassis refinements include an integrated tubular chassis, 4-point hidden roll cage, redesigned shock towers and reinforced frame rails, and a full 4-piece belly pan.

Coil over suspension on all four corners keep the 18” and 20” wheels firmly planted, and 14” Brembo brakes slow everything down if needed.

Obsidian SG-One Interior

The interior features a 2-seat conversion with heated Recaro seats, a 3,000 watt Kicker sound system including GPS navigation, XM radio, mobile wi-fi, and more. The hand crafted dash board, door panels, headliner, center console, and rear panels all fit like a glove, and the billet accessories are sprinkled throughout to keep everything sparkling.

Outside, a 2005 Mustang front end was grafted on, including custom headlights and turn signals, a custom hood vents the massive power plant, flared fenders tuck the wheels away, and custom billet grills and tail light panel finish off the look.

According to the current owner, over 15,000 hours of work went into creating this perfect pony, at a duplication cost of approximately $1.3 million. Sure, you could get a Bugatti Veyron for that kind of coin, but who wants something that 499 of your closest billionaire buddies have too?

Not I, said the oil tycoon.

Does the world need a million dollar mustang?

No, but I’ll bet it sure is glad it has one.

(Be sure to click through to the site for more information, since there was tons more facts, figures, and custom parts that I could have listed.)

[Obsidian SG-One]