New MacBook Pro laptops start shipping

Apple recently launched its new MacBook Pro notebooks, they will go on sale from tomorrow in Apple stores. Apple started taking pre-orders of these new laptops when they were announced and now they have started shipping out to customers. The new MacBook laptops are Apple’s most powerful laptops to date, they come with their new […]

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Why the notch on the new Apple MacBook is a TERRIBLE idea from a User Interface perspective…

The upper part of a laptop screen is often reserved for mission-critical digital elements like menus and toolbars, search bars, filenames, internet browser tabs, and other crucial information. Putting a notch there is just counterintuitive and downright senseless.

The notch was supposed to be temporary. It was supposed to eventually be replaced by a hole punch camera, or by a transparent display, but it was never supposed to stick around for so long that it manifested itself onto another range of products. Putting a notch on the iPhone could be classified as innovation back in 2017 (complex facial mapping and recognition on a handheld device… pretty impressive), however, carrying it to the laptop feels lazy. Moreover, the notch on Apple’s M1 Pro MacBooks doesn’t even do FaceID, there’s a TouchID Key on the Keyboard for authentication. It’s there because someone at Apple thought slimmer bezels would look nice, echoing a rare Jony-Ive-level of narrow-minded thinking that gave us the iPhone Bendgate, the odd Magic Mouse charger, and the lightning connector on the backside of the 1st Gen Apple Pencil.

Now Apple’s most obvious solution was to simply turn the upper bar into a black no-go zone while using programs in full-screen, so the notch doesn’t eat into the software’s interface elements. You don’t need viral internet star bastion-of-human-sensibility Khaby Lame to tell you that this basically proves that the notch wasn’t necessary to begin with. Through the duration of the keynote, Apple’s team spent a grand total of 9 seconds highlighting the notch (without ever using the word ‘notch’), and even in those 9 seconds, all that VP of Product Design Kate Bergeron ever mentioned was that the upper bezel was made 60% thinner… a feature that’s only purpose was to make the overall screen on the MacBook Pro bigger. Nothing else.

So what’s inside that notch? Well, just a camera. One single 1080p camera. This means the MacBook Pro has a notch, but doesn’t have the benefits of it, i.e., FaceID or Memojis. One can’t help but feel baffled and slightly short-changed here. From what I can tell, the notch is visible ONLY on your desktop and when you have multiple windows open… but when you maximize a task or program, the top of your display turns into a black bar, making that entire strip of screen useless for 99% of your time using the laptop. Apple does this with its own apps too – Safari, Logic, Facetime – going to show that even its own apps can’t account for the notch.

It’s a shame that the notch is the only glaring problem I have with the laptop. It sits there continuously triggering me like talking to someone who is blissfully unaware that they have spinach stuck in their teeth. If you can look past the notch, the laptops are great. The new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips push the laptop’s performance and efficiency off the charts, giving you a laptop that’s VOLUMES faster than even its older iterations. The new laptops use Liquid Retina XDR displays and come with powerful speakers that fire both upward and downward for stellar audio. The ports finally make a comeback too, and the TouchBar’s gone the way of the dodo, being replaced by a row of function keys. The laptops come with up to 8 mind-numbing terabytes of storage and 64 GB of memory, with the M1 Max chip having 10 CPU cores and 32 GPU cores, making the laptop an absolute beast of a machine while still having a respectable 21 hours of battery life thanks to how efficient the new chips are. If you can look past the notch… the new Apple MacBook Pros have a lot to offer. I for one, am patiently waiting for the notch’s demise.

Watch the 2021 MacBook Pro introduction video below.

Huawei MateBook X 2021 Windows 11 laptop $1,400

Huawei has unveiled its latest MateBook X 2021 Windows 11 laptop powered by an Intel Core i5-1130G7 processor and is priced at roughly $1,400. The laptop is currently available to purchase throughout China although no details have been released as yet as to when or if it will be available in other countries around the […]

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Apple store down ahead of MacBook Pro launch

Apple will launch its latest MacBook Pro notebooks at a press event later today and the Apple Store has now gone offline ahead of the event. The event takes place at 6PM UK time and at 10 AM PDT in the US, we are expecting to see a number of new Macs at the event. […]

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Apple’s new MacBook Pro notebooks may feature a notch

We are just a few hours away from Apple’s press event, we will be finding out more details about their new MacBook Pro range. Earlier we heard that the new MacBook’s could be powered by a new Apple M1 Pro and Apple M1X processor and now there are rumors that the notebooks will come with […]

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Ingenious Apple designs that we are itching to see at the October 18th event!

September 14th, 2021 was an exciting day for the entire tech world! Apple had its much-awaited event, and as it ended, it left us with some pretty amazing launches. Apple revealed the iPhone 13 models, the Apple Watch Series 7, the new iPad, and iPad Mini. The leaks that have been pouring in for almost the past year left us with some major expectations. Some were met, and some were not. This year’s iPhone has a smaller notch, bigger battery, better chip, and not too many major changes. While The iPad Mini comes with a modern flat-edge design, an ultrawide camera on the front, TouchID in the power button, support for Apple Pencil, USB-C, and 5G, making it an absolute behemoth even for its size. As we pour over and explore what Apple did give us this year, we can also fantasize about what it didn’t! But there’s still hope…in the form of the October 18th event! Everything we wanted to see, and couldn’t witness at the September event, may just be unveiled at the event on Monday. And, we’ve curated a collection of ingenious conceptual designs that we WISH Apple launches on Monday! From an Apple device that merges AirDrop with an external flash drive to an iPod Classic concept that celebrates its 20th anniversary – these are the designs we hope we get to see soon!

The notebook will feature a flat-edged design, doing away with the curved edges for a more iPhone 12-like form factor. The designer here sways from the thought and envisions the design identical to how we have come to recognize the MacBook Pro in recent years, and it looks splendid nonetheless. The most notable difference this year is expected to be in the display. The MacBook will have brighter panels, supposedly with mini-LEDs, the first for the MacBook. Mini-LED display means there will be a significant improvement in the screen’s picture quality, contrast, and brightness. Marc’s vision suggests thinner bezels – whereas, I, for one, want Apple to shed the thick bezels to give us more screen real estate and also step up the MacBook Pros case in 2021.

Apple devices have their own technical language, so working between two Apple devices is always a walk in the park compared to working between one Apple and another non-Apple device. Incorporating Apple’s design and technical language into his product, Taiseer created Drop to make file transferring and storage between Apple devices even easier. Drop operates as a wireless USB Type C and offline external flash drive and an AirDrop file transfer and Thunderbolt 3 data transfer device. Drop is a standalone Apple-inspired device that operates as a flash drive, storage device, and file transfer cable.

Designer Iván Antón has come up with an Apple TV 2021 concept, which comes with a wall plug built-in. Now that’s full marks for the compact build, but the practicality is debatable until we have something like this to use. Taking nothing away from the vision, I’m impressed with the concept of Apple TV’s ability to interact with Siri without the need for a remote. Furthermore, the new concept also integrates the MagSafe charger into the Apple TV unit, so the compatible remote can now be charged conveniently by sticking it to the back of the set-top box.

Apple iPod Nano Circular Concept by Andrea Copellino

Apple iPod Nano Circular Concept by Andrea Copellino

As Apple gradually began phasing out the iPod, it increasingly began looking like the iPhone (in fact the iPod Touch was almost indistinguishable from earlier models of the iPhone). Copellino sidesteps this problem by giving the iPod a complete refresh and making it circular. The new iPod Nano paves its own path forward with a fresh new design that’s instantly distinguishable from the iPhone. It sports a circular UI that Copellino designed from scratch too, borrowing elements from the Apple Watch. It also comes with a circular display that looks just marginally smaller than the one used on the HomePod Mini.

The iPod officially turns 20 this year, and we do wonder what if Apple had released a newly designed iPod Classic to celebrate its 20th anniversary?! Andrea Copellino took the iPod classic and gave it some modern touches – thin bezels, curved edges, and a lot of glass! He did however maintain the iconic click wheel but integrated it with the concept of a magic trackpad, so you don’t actually have to click anything. He wanted to create an iPod design that harmoniously integrates the old and the new…a design that celebrates everything we loved and appreciated about the iPod while adding some much-needed futuristic upgrades. I do wish I’d gotten to see this launched at the September 2021 event!

Louis Berger took the current square-shaped Mac Mini and transformed it into a futuristic pill-like design. Called, The Mac Pill Mini, Berger integrated it with a Touch Bar. Although one would wonder, is such a change more for aesthetic purposes, rather than functional ones? Aesthetically, it would contrast with the current Apple designs, which are leaning towards sharp and edgy! Whatever the reason may be for this redesign, it surely is a refreshing one!

Antón’s redesign turns the Apple AirPods Pro case from something that looks like a ‘box of floss’ to a really classy-looking ‘chewing-gum-stick dispenser’. The rounded-box shape gets ditched for a taller and sleeker capsule shape, with lids on both ends, allowing individual earpieces to fit into each end of the case. Sure, the redesign presents some structural issues – like where would one place the Qi charging coil or the battery, but what Antón’s concept really provides is a sense of variety, while sticking to Apple’s design philosophy of building sleek products. The redesigned AirPods Pro case also fundamentally changes the UX of the AirPods.

This Pencil or ‘input tool’ would sit within the MacBook’s magnetic docking area, charging while not in use. Pop it out and I’d imagine you could use it on both the screen as well as the trackpad, although Patently Apple’s article doesn’t really highlight usage. It does, however, show that the Pencil is no ordinary stylus. This new input device would have multiple buttons or touch-zones on it, allowing it to double up like a row of Function keys when docked, and even letting you calibrate/control settings like your screen’s brightness, media volume, or more specifically brush sizes as you sketch on the MacBook screen.

How the next exciting iPhone will look is anybody’s guess, for now, to be frank, but industrial designer Laci Lacko believes it could be a radical leap with its roots tracing back to the iPhone 7 series. That similar rounded side design lending it a thin feel in hand. Surprisingly, the designer doesn’t give us a peek into the front of the device, but going by the rumor mill, it should have minimal (as compared to iPhone 13) or no notch at all. What’s highlighted in this concept phone is the rear camera module.

Chau is a wireless charger that can be either mobile or stationary. Much like wireless chargers already on the market, Chau comes in two parts: a wireless charger and its charging dock. The charging dock can be plugged into any outlet and features two charging stations for Apple products. The raised charging station holds the auxiliary charger in place so users can either leave their phone to charge on the dock or dislodge the auxiliary charger from its magnetic port and charge on the go.

Powerful Linux laptop RTX 3080 Kubuntu Focus Gen 3 M2 workstation

Kubuntu Focus has this week unveiled a new addition to their range of Linux mobile workstations with the introduction of the 3rd generation M2 Linux laptop powered by Intel 11th generation Core i7-11800H with RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 variations. “The M2 makes quick work of the most demanding tasks and outperforms nearly all thin-and-light […]

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Innovative Laptop Designs that are better than the MacBook!

Today, most of us are wholly dependant on our laptops, and to be honest, I could not survive without mine as well! It stores almost everything I hold sacred, and I need it for various purposes – from work to leisure! And most of us do spend the majority of our day working on our laptops and are able to maintain a consistently high level of productivity and efficiency, thanks to them. There’s no doubt that Apple’s MacBook is hands down one of the most popular laptops there is! I mean I own one myself and I am a hardcore MacBook fan. But there does come along a super cool and innovative laptop design once in a while, that makes me question my commitment and loyalty to Apple. And we’ve managed to curate a whole collection of such designs! From a maverick laptop concept that lets you adjust the height and angle of its display to a flexible laptop that could revolutionize the computer category – these inventive laptop designs might just be the perfect replacement for your beloved MacBook!

Meet the Paysage, a conceptual computing device that targets both laptop and desktop users with a unique hybrid design. Its design features a two-part construction – the main CPU, which sits within the keyboard-unit (like most laptops), and the screen, which rather than resting on the top of the keyboard, comes with a flexible construction that wraps around the top and the bottom, sandwiching the keyboard in between. This unique build is what sets the Paysage apart. Flip open half the screen and you’ve got yourself a standard laptop/netbook, equipped with a keyboard, trackpad, four USB-C ports, an Aux input, and its dedicated speakers.

For someone who is used to multi-monitor setup and using a laptop is for mere portability, the Compal Airttach is reason enough to rethink the traditional setups. The Taiwanese manufacturer reimagines the general perspective of a multi-monitor setup and gives you the freedom for enhanced productivity. This laptop has a 13-inch main screen having canted edges with the option to join the other two 13-inch displays for a 48: 9 aspect ratio wide-screen real estate. When not needed the screens can be removed for a seamless workflow.

The NeckBook, as its name should rather aptly suggest, is a laptop that has a display with a ‘neck’. Unlike conventional laptops that connect their displays directly to the base using a set of hinges, the NeckBook adds a sliding rail (or a neck) between them. Once you flip open your lid, as you would with any conventional laptop, the NeckBook lets you pull the display upwards, adjusting its height. The display slides up and down the neck, and can swivel left and right too, giving you an infinite amount of control over your viewing experience – something a regular laptop can’t.

Meet the Cubitus, a concept unique in its own right because it merges the portability of a laptop while still bringing the elevation of a laptop stand. The name Cubitus comes from the Latin word for elbow, which is an ancient unit of length. So in a way, this portable machine replicates the flexibility of human arm movement. Adding to the premise of an all-in-one design, the Cubitus includes a digitally displayed keyboard and trackpad. In addition, these accessories will be customizable according to the user’s needs, making the setup more individualized.

AIO Phone-Book with Detachable Smartphone Trackpad

AIO Phone-Book with Detachable Smartphone Trackpad

The AIO Phone-book does a bunch of incredibly radical things, let’s count them down. Firstly, it comes with a built-in smartphone that detaches when you need, and docks back to turn into a trackpad. Secondly, to account for the size discrepancy between smartphones and conventional trackpads, the phone sports a rolling display that allows it to not just expand, but bend too, turning into a mouse. If that wasn’t enough, the empty docking region on the laptop even acts as a wireless charging zone, for items like your AirPods. It’s possible that the AIO Phone-book, even as a concept, bites off more than it can chew… but hey, being creative and innovative ain’t a crime, right?

The way the Framework laptop is built reminds me of Phonebloks – a video that went viral in 2013, outlining a modular phone with swappable components. Phonebloks would present the holy grail of consumer electronics by putting the power right in the hands of the consumer. The block-based smartphone would allow you to change batteries, upgrade storage, or replace an old camera or broken screen by simply sliding the old part out and putting the new one in. The idea seemed simple, and Google even tried their hand at building it, but complications arose midway (I suspect it also had something to do with the marketing team saying it was bad for business)… however, Framework is bringing that idea to laptops, which could really use modularity given how expensive laptops can be, and how people tend to hold onto one laptop for at least 3-5 years, if not longer.

Meet the Aurora 7, a seven-screen real estate space to expand your productivity, and that too with the promise of packing it up in an instant and carrying it to your living room or even to your pal’s place. The company is in its infancy stage and has created the Aurora 7 laptop prototype that it plans to sell to enthusiasts already – moving into the future. The company plans to have the commercial version ready as soon as possible. Speaking of the design and its form, the laptop looks more like a Swiss Army Knife of the PC world has a 17.3-inch main screen. Then three other 17.3-inch display panels swivel out – one in landscape orientation that sits above the main display and the other two on either side in portrait configuration. All of them have a resolution of 3840×2160, running at 60Hz.

Equipped with an 8″ touchscreen display, the Lavie is slightly larger than the iPad Mini. The convertible laptop comes with an Intel Iris Xe graphics card and an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 mobile processor built into it (you could say that the LaVie presents Intel with its Hail Mary moment after a series of commercial failures), along with 256Gb of SSD storage and 16Gb of RAM. This pretty much makes it a good portable laptop to have on you for quick work sessions and presentations (and a neat alternative to Chromebooks), but fold the laptop’s keyboard all the way back and the LaVie Mini is a completely new beast.

Charley Bircumshaw designed a modular hybrid of a laptop-tablet so that creatives who feel inspired by more than one artistic outlet will always have their very own ‘one-stop-shop.’ By inserting bespoke hinges to the tablet, the purpose, structure, and facade of the overall design changes in order to provide alternative forms of usage. By simply removing the laptop’s keyboard and attaching a music-making unit, the product turns into your very own DJ module. Making up the design are some key components: two, fullscreen tablets, a music module, a computer keyboard, a couple of bespoke hinges, and electric grooves. Each part comes to comprise the mutability that transforms this particular design into something special.

As a refreshing approach to what a laptop could be – designer Heesung Choi from Seoul has come up with the concept idea he calls “Clutop”. A laptop that has a swanky design, since it folds into itself to become a clutch bag for stylish portability. The “normcore” design adaptation means you’ll have a lightweight laptop that matches your fashion quotient. Heesung claims it to be the world’s smallest laptop which is eye-popping in its own rights. Clutop has a screen aspect ratio of 16:9, and when closed, the 1:2 body ratio makes it fairly easy to carry along. Open it up for your tasks and you get a widescreen display that looks beautiful.

Razer Book and Razer Blade 15 Advanced Windows 11 laptops unveiled

Hardware manufacturer Razer has introduced two new Windows 11 laptops this week in the form of the Razer Book and Razer Blade 15 Advanced and existing Razer Blade owners will be able to upgrade to Windows 11 if they wish to do so. “Razer laptops like the Razer Book are built to use the highest […]

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ADATA XPG Xenia 15 KC gaming notebook

ADATA has this week released a new version of its XENIA 15 KC gaming notebook platform building on the success of previous collaborations between Intel and XPG. The latest XENIA 15 KC gaming notebook is powered by an 11th Gen Intel i7-11800H processor supported by an NVIDIA RTX 30 series graphics, and XPG’s own hand […]

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