This retro gaming console is actually a mini PC disguised as a classic Macintosh

Nostalgia is a very powerful emotion, especially judging by the number of successful “retro” products sold in the market in the past years. Although the flood has seemingly trickled down a bit, it continues to flow especially in the gaming scene. Old gaming brands have suddenly resurfaced to bring nearly forgotten designs to the present, taking previous generations down memory lane while introducing today’s gamers to old-school experiences. While some of these retro consoles actually try to relive the past, this interesting and rather cute box might take your head for a spin with its Mac design and PC internals, combined to offer not just a gaming computer but a piece of desk decoration as well.

Designer: AYANEO

Compared to the computers put out by the likes of Atari and Commodore, the early PCs didn’t really have a memorable design that would go down in history as iconic computers. It was the original Apple Macintosh, instead, that captured people’s attention and imagination of what a home personal computer should look like. Of course, that was decades in the past, but the imagery has stood the test of time as proof of the design’s timeless character. AYANEO, a brand better known for gaming handhelds, is now taking that immensely popular design and giving it a rather curious twist.

As part of its AYANEO REMAKE concept line, the AYANEO Retro Mini PC AM01 slaps the old Mac design onto a new machine. The basic elements that have distinguished one of Apple’s earliest successes are there, tweaked a bit to avoid potential controversies, of course. There’s the telltale sign of a floppy drive, as well as a square rainbow badge that’s a nod to the old Apple logo. There’s a black rectangle near the top that’s purely cosmetic, denoting where the screen is supposed to be located. There’s nothing there, though, which is a bit of a waste, but it doesn’t really matter considering how the mini PC is used.

Unlike the Mac, the AYANEO Retro Mini PC is meant to lie down on its “back” rather than standing up, with that black rectangle in the rear. That’s because the ports for the computer are actually located on what would have been the top and bottom sides, so it has to be horizontal to actually be useful. Of course, this product is a gaming console anyway, not a standalone computer with a built-in display, so you’ll need to plug in peripherals to make it work. And yes, it runs Windows 11, which, given the eternal rivalry between Macs and PCs, some might find a bit insulting.

AYANEO has other retro designs also in the pipeline, including the Retro Mini PC AM02 that takes after the classic NES design. Curiously, that one does have a functional mini display since it can actually be used upright. It’s also working on a handheld that brings back the dual-display design of the not-so-old Nintendo DS, though the practical purpose of that second display is yet to be revealed.

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This adorable miniature Macintosh is actually an innovative multi-functional docking station

Laptops have become so powerful that they’ve started to rival some desktops, except for the part that they’re forever limited in how many devices you can attach to them. At most, you’ll probably have five to seven, depending on how thin the laptop tries to be. It’s not really unusual for many owners to expand their portable computer’s capabilities using hubs and docks, especially now with the use of USB-C and the related Thunderbolt technologies almost everywhere. These accessories, small as they may be, still take up space on your desk and can be a source of distraction. So why not put an eye-catching and enviable design on that dock, turning it into a unique homage to the original Apple Macintosh, one of if not the first to blaze a trail for personal computing.

Designer: RayCue

Click Here to Buy Now: $169 $249 (32% off). Hurry, for a limited time only! Raised over $145,000.

You’d be forgiven for mistaking this docking station as a fancy desktop toy, given how cute and attractive it is. The RayCue 128K is basically inspired by the design of the pioneering Macintosh from 1984, from its chunky and boxy design to its off-white paint job. There’s even a keyboard-like partner that uses the same motif to complete the faithful recreation. That design alone already makes it a worthy addition to your desk, bringing life and fun to your work, but it’s more than just a piece of eye candy. It is, after all, a docking station, but it goes above and beyond the call of duty compared to your standard docks.

The RayCue 128K Pro, for example, boasts 14 ports of different kinds, including three different types of USB ports, SD/TF card readers, an Ethernet port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and not one, not even two, but three 4K 60Hz HDMI ports. As if that number wasn’t already impressive, these video out ports support DisplayLink Apple MST (multi-stream transport), making it possible to connect that many extra monitors to your MacBook. With a powerful DC-in capable of accepting up to 130W of power, the RayCue 128K can charge not only your laptop but also other devices for a total of 100W of output.

But as they say on TV, “there’s more!” The screen on the RayCue 128K isn’t just for show and is, in fact, a 3.5-inch IPS color screen that can display the time, calendar, media information, and even photos, turning the dock into a true decorative accessory to enhance your working experience. It doesn’t end there either, since the box also hides a Bluetooth Speaker, making it a jukebox to help keep your focus. It’s going to keep you entertained and productive and might even turn you into the envy of your friends.

Given how it works, you can’t really take the RayCue 128K with you wherever you go. That’s where the RayCue 128K Pocket comes in, a portable 7-in-1 hub that comes in the form of a miniature Macintosh keyboard. It might not have all the bells and whistles of the Pro dock, but it still has plenty to offer, including a 4K 60Hz HDMI port and card readers. If you’re going to put a docking station on your desk, you might as well put something that offers the best impact and experience. With the RayCue 128K Pro and Pocket, not only are you getting a powerful dock and hub, you’re also getting an adorable yet functional decoration that gives a nod to the personal computer that started it all.

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Shargeek’s tiny 35W GaN fast charger is an adorable retro throwback for all Apple fans!

Looking for a good fast charger for your iPhone? Shargeek just designed the perfect one!

Now the Retro 35W GaN Charger from Shargeek isn’t as impressive as is much more popular transparent cyberpunk-inspired power bank, but it has a different sort of appeal that most tech nerds will instantly fall in love with. The charging brick models itself on the original Macintosh computer, complete with the MacOS ‘smiling’ logo displayed on the tiny computer’s screen. Built with a GaN semiconductor on the inside, the tiny charger comes with a max output of 35W, which is enough to fast-charge your iPhone or any other device. Plug it in and not only does it charge your device, but the Mac’s screen comes to life too, lighting up in various colors to let you know your device’s charging status!

Designer: Shargeek

Click Here to Buy Now

The highlight of this tiny charger is its design. Created as a perfect tribute to the Macintosh and also a rather funny juxtaposition of an old-tech exterior but a state-of-the-art GaN interior, the charging brick sits on your plug socket or extension board, smiling at you while delivering juice to your devices. The smiling screen also comes with its own LED backlight which just feels like an incredibly joy-giving experience on its own. Plug your charger in and the backlight lets you know the charging status. A white light means ‘not charging’, while yellow, blue, and green lights range between normal to fast, and finally ‘super’ charging.

As adorably tiny as it looks, the Mac-shaped charger packs a punch. Powered by GaN Ⅲ technology, the charger delivers up to 35W of power in its tiny avatar, charging devices like your phone, tablet, TWS earbuds, drone, handheld gaming console, and even your laptop. Its ability to deliver high wattage to your devices makes them charge faster (that’s putting it simply) – for instance, the Retro 35W GaN Charger gates your iPhone 14 from 0% to 50% battery in just 30 minutes.

The retro-inspired charger is compatible with a wide range of devices, almost an antithesis to Apple’s own ‘walled garden’. It’s tiny enough to fit in your pocket and weighs a mere 55 grams or 2 ounces. Each Shargeek Retro 35W GaN charger also comes with a set of DIY stickers that you can place on the tiny Mac’s screen, effectively changing your charger’s ‘wallpaper’!

Click Here to Buy Now

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Retro 35 USB-C Charger Looks Like a 1984 Macintosh Computer

Nostalgia: it’s a great tool to use to sell things to people. In this case, preying on the fond memories of the Macintosh Classic to sell 35W chargers. And it’s working too; I just bought a two-pack. Currently, an already-funded Indiegogo campaign, the Retro 35 GaN Charger by SHARGEEK, is a 35-watt plug capable of high-speed charging of electronic devices, including laptops, but probably not that big laser thing they use to open portals to The Upside Down in Stranger Things.

And not only does this little Mac charge your device, but it also lights up different colors to let you know just what kind of charging it’s doing, with white indicating no charging, yellow normal charging, blue fast-charging, green super-charging, and no light indicating no load for the past five minutes. Now, if only it played sound effects too.

The Indiegogo early bird special will get you this charger for $25. It’s actually not a bad price for a 35W charger, especially not for one with more personality than a boring black or white cube. Granted, it’s going to live the entirety of its life in the rat nest of other cords under my desk and probably never be seen, but I’ll still know it’s there… illuminating the darkness with its smile like an evil clown.

[via DudeIWantThat]

Retro Macintosh Theme with icons gives your MacBook a vintage 1984 Apple vibe!

Sure you can have an M1 chip inside your Apple machine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be old school!

Aptly titled OS (which stands both for operating system as well as old school), this wallpaper and icon pack from Ben Vessey gives your bleeding-edge MacBook or iMac a nifty retro appeal. Back in 2021, Vessey made a similar set of icons for the iPhone that used Apple’s ‘Shortcuts’ workaround to let you make bespoke shortcuts for operations on your phone. The OS extends this same vintage appeal to the Mac machines too, with the original ‘hello’ wallpaper from the 1984 Mac, and a pack of 166 matching vintage icons for all your common software and apps.

Designer: Ben Vessey

Vessey’s OS comes in both dark as well as light themes, depending on which look you’re going for. Each pack includes 5 dynamic macOS wallpapers in 6k, so the wallpaper doesn’t pixelate on even your high-end iMac displays.

Most of Vessey’s painstaking work can be seen in the individual app icons he designed for all the popular apps. Sure, Apple’s own apps got a vintage makeover, but Vessey had to make vintage versions of almost every conceivable software/app ever as well as for extensions and folders. You can view some of his work below.

Once you change the wallpaper, applying the icons is easy using an external client like IconChamp (not included with the pack). Vessey’s pack, however, does include icon files for the Mac as well as for Windows, should you choose to give your non-Apple machine a makeover! You can buy the OS (Old School) – Silver pack on Vessey’s website for £5.99 ($7.49), or splurge on the Gold pack for £49.99 which also includes 5 custom icons of your choice.

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This Macintosh Pocket computer concept makes us wish we had a time machine

They always say that hindsight is 20/20, but that really doesn’t mean much when you can’t change what has already happened. Many of us would probably try to undo things or make different decisions based on what we already know happened, but that just isn’t possible. To be fair, our predecessors did the best they could, based on information they had at that time, and even the greatest visionaries couldn’t have predicted the ups and downs that would change the world for better or worse. The young Steve Jobs of the 80s, for example, probably never saw the iPhone or even the BlackBerry coming, so we can only imagine how things could have turned out if Apple had the knowledge and resources to make a pocket computer back in the days. Fortunately for us, somebody asked that same question and came up with a rather intriguing answer.

Designer: Rex Sowards

Apple did try to briefly venture into the pocket computer market, but the Newton was more aimed at Palm, which was a Titan in that niche market during that era. It wasn’t exactly pocketable by any standard, but it did try to introduce innovative ideas and features in the personal digital assistant (PDA) market that was thriving at that time. The Newton, however, barely lasted a decade, especially after it failed to meet the returning Steve Jobs’ infamously high standards.

This Macintosh Pocket isn’t a simple rehash of that failed concept, though. Instead, it takes its DNA from two unlikely sources. On one side, you have a QWERTY keyboard in a cramped space that has become synonymous with BlackBerry. On another side, you have the two-step chassis of a Game Boy Pocket of that generation, hence the “Pocket” in the concept’s name. At the same time, you still have the telltale design language of Apple from the late 80s to early 90s, like that off-white color scheme and Macintosh keycaps.

The concept doesn’t simply slap on a display and a keyboard on a Game Boy body and call it a day, though. There was a great deal of thought given to how the mouse pointer would be controlled for a device of this size. A touch screen and a BlackBerry-esque touchpad were both out of the question, and a Lenovo nib is probably just as unlikely. Instead, Sowards took his inspiration from the PowerBook’s iconic trackball, reduced in size, of course. He even took the extra step to pattern the button after the PowerBook’s design, making it curve around the trackball on one edge rather than being perfectly square.

The back of this device is equally interesting in how it hides the ports that were standard on the Macintosh Classic. The most logical positions for these would be on the sides, but that would have cluttered the gadget’s design, a big no-no for Apple. Hiding it behind a panel where the Game Boy’s batteries would have been is a rather sneaky way to keep the design clean without losing functionality. Unsurprisingly, there is absolutely no room for a floppy drive of any size.

It’s probably questionable whether the Apple of the 80s would have adopted such a design, even if they magically foresaw BlackBerry’s becoming the de facto standard mobile device in the business world. It’s still an interesting thought experiment, though, combining designs and lessons learned by various companies across various industries. The craziest thing about this concept, however, is that it is probably completely doable today, thanks to 3D printing and small PCBs. It won’t be able to run the old Mac OS, though, at least not legally, but it could still be an interesting foray into what could have been if the stars were just aligned differently.

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Mini 1980s Macintosh Computer Keycaps: Nostalgia at Your Fingertips

Drawing direct inspiration from the Macintosh 128K of the 1980s, this mechanical keyboard escape and tab keycap set brings the nostalgia back to your own modern computer. Gosh, they sure don’t make them like they used to, do they? No, they don’t, because they used to make them with a ~6MHz processor, 128kB of RAM, a single-sided 400kB floppy drive, and no internal storage. Even my toaster has more processing power.

Handcrafted by Etsy seller CCcoolArt and available through their store for $24, the escape key features the Macintosh computer body with a translucent screen and five interchangeable screen stickers (Apple logo, light face, dark face, Tetris, and heart). The tab key features the likeness of the old Macintosh keyboard and mouse. Could you imagine trying to use one of these computers now? People go nuts when the internet is slow; what if everything was slow? It would be a total global meltdown.

One of the best things about the set is that if you have an RGB light-up keyboard, the monitor will glow thanks to the translucent screen. How about that! With an escape key like that, you’re sure to be the talk of the town. Or at least the talk of anybody who sees your keyboard. I mean, I’d definitely say something. Probably something along the lines of, “Hey, cool keys, I’m going to take them.”

DitherPaint 1-Bit Paint App Takes You Back to the Days of MacPaint

I remember back in 1984 when I got my hands on the first Apple Macintosh computer how excited I was to use MacPaint. I had seen it demonstrated at a convention, and the idea that I could create my own artwork on my computer was pretty awe-inspiring to me as a 16-year-old kid. Over the years, I’d abandon MacPaint for more sophisticated apps like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Still, there’s something kind of special about working within the limitations of black-and-white pixel art. So if you long for the simplicity of MacPaint and 1-bit painting, check out DitherPaint.

This browser-based drawing app was created by BeyondLoom, and lets you create black-and-white images using various primitive brushes and dithered patterns. For those unfamiliar with the term, dithering is a technique of using patterns to create in-between shades. In the case of 1-bit art, you get shades of grey. DitherPaint lets you apply these patterns to your brushes too. It’s also got a nifty tool that lets you create animated patterns by listing the sequence of patterns you want to use. You can also load in existing color or greyscale images, and it will automatically dither them, giving them that awesome 1980s Macintosh look. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to DitherPaint now and see what kind of creations you can come up with.

[via AdaFruit]

Retro iOS icon collection gives your iPhone a classic Apple Macintosh vibe!

It doesn’t get more Apple Fanboy than this… (In a good way!)

You can now turn your new, bleeding-edge iPhone into a beautiful throwback machine with this retro icon set by digital designer Ben Vessey. Titled the iOS (Old School), this handmade set of over 100 icons gives your iPhone a beautifully vintage ’84 Apple Macintosh vibe with its pixelated style. Available in both regular and dark mode variants, Vessey’s lovingly and painstakingly designed icons for virtually every commonplace app, and made them available on Gumroad for an extremely reasonable price of £3.99 ($5.53).

The icons make use of an Apple iOS 14 feature called Shortcuts, which lets you create custom thumbnails for apps (MKBHD shows you how in this video). Vessey’s app-pack comes with more than 110 beautifully vintage-styled icons and both black and white backgrounds that you can use to turn your modern smartphone into a retro-inspired, clean, minimalist device that would probably impress Jobs! Does it also increase battery life? I doubt it, although the dark mode should consume lesser power, theoretically!

Now all you need to do is pop one of these retro-themed Spigen smartphone cases and you’re absolutely set!

Designer: Ben Vessey

Click Here to Buy Now

Click Here to Buy Now

This Microsoft self-driving car concept takes aim at the ambitious Apple Project Titan

People have been arguing over ‘Windows vs Macintosh’ for decades, but the extent of that ideological battle has only been as far as computers are concerned. With the Microsoft Surface car concept, that feud extends into the world of transportation too!

Meet the Microsoft Surface Car, an automobile that beautifully channels the sleek aesthetic of Microsoft’s Surface laptops into its automotive design. Visualized by Yang Gu-rum, an automotive designer based out of Korea, the Surface car concept shows how design details from tech products can seamlessly be carried forward into car-design. The Surface Car comes with a relatively boxy yet sleek design, dominated by flat surfaces and straight lines. Channeling the same visual language of the Surface tablets and laptops, the car sports a satin-finish silver body, with black accents and tinted glass. The absence of a radiator grill indicates that the concept is powered by an electrical drivetrain, and it wouldn’t be too risky to assume that the car also has some form of a self-driving AI built in. There are no renders of what the interiors of the car looks like, but judging from its design, it seats two people. The vehicle sports camera-based rear-view mirrors, and remarkably streamlined LED strips on the front and the back, serving as headlights and taillights… not to mention that Microsoft logo that shows up on the top right corner of the front of the car, as well as on both doors.

Although there isn’t any indication that Microsoft is working on an in-house production car (and that this car over here is just a fan-made design exercise), the Surface Car does definitely look fascinating. Not to mention the fact that it would definitely make the Apple vs Microsoft rivalry a whole lot more interesting too! I just hope the car doesn’t come bundled with Cortana…

Designer: Yang Gu-Rum