Slick Laptop Designs and Concepts

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Laptop design doesn’t have to be boring. Although often laptops look exactly as we expect them to look like, there is a number of design solutions and approaches which are completely different — unusual, creative, beautiful and damn useful. In fact, over the last years designers came up with a number of interesting concepts which have somehow stuck between the prototyping stage and the production stage. Nevertheless, much is possible. And this post is supposed to prove this point.

Below we present innovative laptop designs and laptop concepts. Many of the products listed below are prototypes and aren’t available yet, and it’s unknown whether they’ll be released over the next years. However, they give us an idea of what we should expect from laptops over the years to come.

You might want to take a look at our posts

Siafu

The Siafu concept notebook5, designed for the blind by Jonathan Lucas, omits a display altogether. Images from applications and Web sites are converted into corresponding 3-D shapes on Siafu’s surface.” [ via PCWorld6 ]

Laptop Designs - The Siafu concept notebook7

Cario

Cario notebook8 from Anna Lopez can be carried around by its handle, positioned like an easel or placed on a car’s steering wheel. When the car’s not in motion, the Cario can project maps, video conferences and more onto the windshield. [ via PCWorld9 ]

Laptop Designs - The Siafu concept notebook10

Laptop Designs - The Siafu concept notebook11

MacTab

MacTab12
Being portable, MacTab is the complement to MyBook in the high-end. The thin wireless keyboard is used as a protection cover for transportation. On the back of the computer a hinge allows it to be put in a vertical position so you can use it on your desk.

Laptop Designs - Other13

Laptop Designs - Other14

Sungjut TangoX

Sungjut TangoX Nano UMPC15 has a DVI output and a detachable, integrated Skype phone. Weight: under 1kg. Unbelievable. [ via Gizmodo16 ]

Laptop Designs - Sungjut TangoX Nano UMPC17

Dialogue’s Flybook V33

Dialogue is going to release the Flybook V33i series18 with a laptop screen which can be moved across its axis. A nice alternative to a static laptop screen we’ve seen over the last years.

Laptop Designs - Haier's crazy / crazy expensive laptop - Engadget19

Laptop Designs - Haier's crazy / crazy expensive laptop - Engadget20

Vaio Zoom

The Vaio Zoom notebook21 takes everything we know about holographic technology and squeezes it inside a thin glass form factor. When off, the screen is completely transparent and the keyboard goes opaque. Turn it on and the touchscreen holographic festivities begin. Even the mouse buttons are holographic! [via Gizmodo22]

Vaio23

Vaio24

Music Stand Laptop

Music Stand Laptop25
Use the pedal to turn digital sheet music or just touch the screen. It also throws in some computer functions by allowing on the fly scoring, note taking, and collaborative writing. When you need a real computer, a keyboard slides out from underneath the screen and use the foot pedal as a stereo to enjoy the music you just played. Designed by Sungho Lee.

Laptop Designs - LG e-Book Laptop Concept Features Fuel Battery and OLED26

Laptop Designs - LG e-Book Laptop Concept Features Fuel Battery and OLED27

LG e-Book Laptop

LG e-Book Laptop Concept28
LG introduced e-Book, an ecological laptop concept that uses fuel cell batteries and features organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display technology. This concept notebook received a Red Dot Award nomination for “Best Concept Design”.

Laptop Designs - LG e-Book Laptop Concept Features Fuel Battery and OLED29

Compenion

Felix Schmidberger’s Compenion laptop30 has a OLED touch screen. The computer itself has an OLED touchscreen, where you can directly work on, much like with a umpc or pda. The whole screen is a slider, as it can be moved forward to reveal a second OLED touchscreen underneath, where you can have a keyboard or working controls, similar to a setup with 2 monitors.

Laptop Designs - Compenion laptop for 201531

Purity Notebook

Purity Notebook32: right now the in thing with notebook computers are clean lines, and minimal design features. The Purity Notebook takes that to the extreme but manages to throw in a few of its own unique touches like the high lacquer finish.

Laptop Designs - Purity Notebook But A Litte Like A Mac33

Laptop Designs - Purity Notebook But A Litte Like A Mac34

MacBook 0801

MacBook 080135 is a laptop concept by Isamu Sanada. The keyboard is transparent and ultra-thin.

Laptop Designs36

Laptop Designs37

Wood Laptop

Laptop Made Of Wood38. Yes, that’s right, wood. Nevermind the weight and horrible heat insulation characteristics of the material, it’s supposed to look refined and sexy, at which it does.”

Laptop Designs - Tablet PC Made Of Wood39

DesCom

Sung-kyu Nam’s DesCom laptop40 integrates into the desktop surface. And what do you have to do once the laptop is dead or should be repaired?

FM

Laptop Designs - Desktop/Laptop Desk for Giant Freaks41

ThinkPad Reserve Edition

Lenovo/IBM’s Thinkpad is coming back, in a new outfit: Thinkpad reserve edition42. The laptop’s components are separated; dual-monitor can be placed on the surface allowing multiple people to observe what’s happening on it.

Laptop Designs - Thinkpad reserve edition43

Satellite Navigation Laptop

Satellite Navigation Laptop44 is Nikita Golovlev’s concept for travelers. Using an e-ink display, the ‘Traveller’ is a GPS enabled navigation system for pedestrians. The design incorporates an internal drive for storing any photos you take along the way and will tag the with GPS data, so you know just where you took them.

Laptop Designs - Satellite Navigation for Pedestrians | Gadget Lab from Wired.com45

Solar Notebook

Solar-power laptop46 is supposed to save you the trouble of charging batteries by plugging them in. The notebook is powered with the help of powerful batteries that are recharged by wide Solar Panel attached to the computer (currently offline).

Laptop Designs47

Haier’s Laptop/Tablet PC

Haier has announced a laptop/tablet PC48 which folds down into a tablet, replete with handwriting recognition and has a 8.6-inch widescreen tablet display. Price: $4,790.

Laptop Designs - Haier's crazy / crazy expensive laptop - Engadget49

Folding Multi-Display

This laptop has a folding multi display which is supposed to be used as a server. Expected to be available in 2008.

Laptop Designs - AVING USA - Global News Network

Axiotron’s Tablet Mac

Axiotron’s Modbook50, the MacBook-based, Wacom-modified laptop is the world’s first OS X tablet. Price: $2,290.

Laptop Designs - Mac Tablet51

Gelfrog

For its annual design issue, The New York Times wanted to include a futuristic laptop for teenagers. The project’s main thrust was to re-think the future of education and then construct a laptop that would best deliver that vision. The end result is The Gelfrog52, a dynamic, portable device concept that enables new educational experiences without sacrificing the need for individuality.

Laptop Designs - The Gelfrog53

myBook

myBook54 might be the lightest portable Mac ever. Small, light and semi-rugged, It roots deeply in Alan Kay Dynabook’s dream. The touch-sensitive screen is readable in bright daylight thanks to the use of a new transflective generation of LCD screen. The screen rotates 180°. In that position, keyboard and trackpad are inoperative and the screen goes in portrait mode.

Laptop Designs - myBook55

Laptop Designs - myBook56

Last Click

Handle-it for Black 13″ MacBook…
That’s such a simple design, but so useful and nice. This Mac-handle is constructed of aircraft aluminum, so it will make sure the laptop doesn’t fall down when you carry it around. Price: $49.99.

Laptop Designs - Handle-it for Black 13

The Laptop Family57
No, that’s not a new concept, but it looks incredible. From Apple Powerbook 180 with Mac OS 8 to iBook g3 with OS X 10.4. “This is an actual photo. Every screen is showing exactly whats behind it – relative to the camera, which was on a tripod. The most difficult task was to convince the old powerbook 180 to show a simple jpeg. Netscape Navigator 3 did it.”

Laptop Designs - Macs58

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/03/17/laptop-sleeves-skins-and-stickers/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/01/07/monday-inspiration-innovative-designs-and-devices/
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/18/25-mind-blowing-product-gadgets/
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/11/26/monday-inspiration-user-experience-of-the-future/
  5. 5 http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9070218&pageNumber=3
  6. 6 http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9070218&pageNumber=3
  7. 7 http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9070218&pageNumber=3
  8. 8 http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9070218&pageNumber=4
  9. 9 http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9070218&pageNumber=4
  10. 10 http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9070218&pageNumber=4
  11. 11 http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9070218&pageNumber=4
  12. 12 http://www.kub.fr/design/Other.html
  13. 13 http://www.kub.fr/design/Other.html
  14. 14 http://www.kub.fr/design/Other.html
  15. 15 http://gizmodo.com/360731/sungjut-tangox-nano-umpc-comes-with-integrated-detachable-skype-phone
  16. 16 http://gizmodo.com/360731/sungjut-tangox-nano-umpc-comes-with-integrated-detachable-skype-phone
  17. 17 http://gizmodo.com/360731/sungjut-tangox-nano-umpc-comes-with-integrated-detachable-skype-phone
  18. 18 http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/15/dialogues-flybook-vm-and-v33i-with-hsdpa-launching-in-japan/
  19. 19 http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/15/dialogues-flybook-vm-and-v33i-with-hsdpa-launching-in-japan/
  20. 20 http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/15/dialogues-flybook-vm-and-v33i-with-hsdpa-launching-in-japan/
  21. 21 http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/slick/vaio-zoom-concept-is-exactly-how-we-want-laptops-to-look-in-the-future-301098.php
  22. 22 http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/slick/vaio-zoom-concept-is-exactly-how-we-want-laptops-to-look-in-the-future-301098.php
  23. 23 http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/slick/vaio-zoom-concept-is-exactly-how-we-want-laptops-to-look-in-the-future-301098.php
  24. 24 http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/slick/vaio-zoom-concept-is-exactly-how-we-want-laptops-to-look-in-the-future-301098.php
  25. 25 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2008/03/28/music-and-computers/
  26. 26 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2008/03/28/music-and-computers/
  27. 27 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2008/03/28/music-and-computers/
  28. 28 http://laptoping.com/lg-e-book-fuel-oled.html
  29. 29 http://laptoping.com/lg-e-book-fuel-oled.html
  30. 30 http://www.oobject.com/best-concept-laptops/compenion-laptop-for-2015/1301/
  31. 31 http://www.oobject.com/best-concept-laptops/compenion-laptop-for-2015/1301/
  32. 32 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2007/07/30/purity-notebook-but-a-litte-like-a-mac/
  33. 33 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2007/07/30/purity-notebook-but-a-litte-like-a-mac/
  34. 34 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2007/07/30/purity-notebook-but-a-litte-like-a-mac/
  35. 35 http://www.apple-style.com/laboratory/pict_08macbook_080114.html
  36. 36 http://www.apple-style.com/laboratory/pict_08macbook_080114.html
  37. 37 http://www.apple-style.com/laboratory/pict_08macbook_080114.html
  38. 38 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2007/07/25/laptop-made-of-wood/
  39. 39 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2007/07/25/laptop-made-of-wood/
  40. 40 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2008/03/12/desktoplaptop-desk-for-giant-freaks/
  41. 41 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2008/03/12/desktoplaptop-desk-for-giant-freaks/
  42. 42 http://www.oobject.com/best-concept-laptops/thinkpad-reserve-edition/1293/
  43. 43 http://www.oobject.com/best-concept-laptops/thinkpad-reserve-edition/1293/
  44. 44 http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2007/05/satellite_navig.html
  45. 45 http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2007/05/satellite_navig.html
  46. 46 http://digg.com/gadgets/Inbuilt_Solar_Panel_Powered_Notebook_Concept_Pics
  47. 47 http://digg.com/gadgets/Inbuilt_Solar_Panel_Powered_Notebook_Concept_Pics
  48. 48 http://www.engadget.com/2007/09/16/haiers-crazy-crazy-expensive-laptop/
  49. 49 http://www.engadget.com/2007/09/16/haiers-crazy-crazy-expensive-laptop/
  50. 50 http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/01/axiotron-finally-ships-modbook-os-x-tablet/
  51. 51 http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/01/axiotron-finally-ships-modbook-os-x-tablet/
  52. 52 http://www.oobject.com/best-concept-laptops/the-gelfrog/1289/
  53. 53 http://www.oobject.com/best-concept-laptops/the-gelfrog/1289/
  54. 54 http://www.kub.fr/design/myBook.html
  55. 55 http://www.kub.fr/design/myBook.html
  56. 56 http://www.kub.fr/design/myBook.html
  57. 57 http://www.flickr.com/photos/89343478@N00/2363716562
  58. 58 http://www.flickr.com/photos/89343478@N00/2363716562

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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  1. 1

    Awesome!

    0
  2. 2

    Nice post.

    btw. those laptops on last photo are not all from mac family :) at least second one seems to be IBM

    0
  3. 3

    Nice!

    -1
  4. 4

    Intel had a pretty sweet laptop concept too, check out http://www.crunchgear.com/wp-content/uploads/intel_mobile_metro_notebook_3.JPG
    There’s more if you google “intel laptop concept”

    0
  5. 5

    Concepts. Concepts… Concepts.. Only Concepts every where.. But not stuffs alive.
    Any way the capability of its designers must be reputed !

    0
  6. 6

    I love that final picture. The multi screen laptop looks pretty cool all be it a bit ugly compared to the others though.

    0
  7. 7

    wooooooowwww ! thanks for this article, i was wondering where researches were to improve our comfort ! Those prototypes make me now very impatient hahahahaa

    0
  8. 8

    Nice, but ineffective for me.

    How can I code on that ?

    0
  9. 9

    The handle isn’t all that great. After awhile the magnet used to keep the Mac closed becomes very sensitive, so when you grab it by the handle it the laptop flies open. The Mac Tab and Zoom Vaio are sweet though!

    0
  10. 10

    lots of sweet designs – i can not quite warm up to handles on a notebook… like i can not warm up to the idea of handles in a book… a bag is a bag, a notebook is still in the book category, it goes in the bag.

    0
  11. 11

    Newton Calegari

    March 31, 2008 8:00 am

    Post muito bom!
    Very Post :)

    I Love Smashing Magazine :D

    0
  12. 12

    There allot of awesome new ideas. I know someone with one of the super skin notebooks and hasn’t really liked it so far because it doesn’t function as well as a normal book.

    0
  13. 13

    GREAT.,,,,,i wish i gud have that MAC one.. awesome

    0
  14. 14

    Some of those are really impractical. Do you know how hard it is to type on a keyboard where the keys aren’t raised up?

    0
  15. 15

    Nice post, see it, and never have it

    I wish …

    0
  16. 16

    Hey readers can anybody tell me the URL of that Hosting Site which was advertised in top banners few days before ?? Thanks in Advance…

    0
  17. 17

    These Laptop designs are awesome

    0
  18. 18

    Amazing stuff. The future is certainly going to be very interesting.

    0
  19. 19

    :-o Woo!

    0
  20. 20

    I don’t think I would trust carrying my 1500 dollar Macbook with a handle.

    0
  21. 21

    cool!! awesome concept!! i wanna get one :)

    0
  22. 22

    coolllllllllll

    0
  23. 23

    holy cow..very very kewlll concept design (applause)

    0
  24. 24

    great!
    smashing mag should give one of those for free

    -1
  25. 25

    touch screen laptops are so cool, but I bet they would be hard to use.

    0
  26. 26

    Don’t you think “sleek” should be used in the title instead of “slick?”
    Definition:
    – Sleek: (especially of hair, clothes or shapes) smooth, shiny and lying close to the body, and therefore looking well cared for; not untidy and with no parts sticking out

    Anyway, great article! Love the Vaio design!

    0
  27. 27

    I will try this out. But I just spent some money on some icons at malltropolitan.com

    0
  28. 28

    I know Most stores have started carrying them now. I believe I saw something similar to the 2nd laptop and at a great deal too at malltropolitan.com though I can be too sure. One can also buy these things too from the manufacturers if one chooses to.

    0
  29. 29

    About DesCom: Once it’s dead or needs repairing un-integrate it! And once you’ve done it – you’ll enjoy a nice shelf while your machine is being fixed :)

    0
  30. 30

    the ‘folding multi display’ laptop isnt even a laptop. Its a rackmount keyboard, mouse and display for a rack mounted server.
    Do you even do any research for these articles or just use google images?

    0
  31. 31

    excellent

    0
  32. 32

    awesome models

    0
  33. 33

    me likey

    0
  34. 34

    Sarunas Mikelevicius

    May 27, 2008 5:01 am

    One thinkpad for me! :)

    0
  35. 35

    What amazing designs

    0
  36. 36

    nice post, what a sexy looks.

    0
  37. 37

    EXCELLENT! I love the first one the best — if only they can find a way for it to show colour :)

    0
  38. 38

    awesome ….awesome … totally awesome ..

    0
  39. 39

    wwwooooaaaaaaaaawww…
    awesome laptop design i have seen.

    0
  40. 40

    Wow! these designs are beyond imagination.

    0
  41. 41

    I am totally impressed with all the designs…
    Hats off to Human Intelligence….
    World Expect much more out of you folks… Keep going..

    0
  42. 42

    People don;t even know what to invent now. But when they come out I will buy each one of them. I know I’m rich! Actually i’m billionare. So fetch. That means awesome in London. So cool my friends. If your lesbians, it’s much better.

    0
  43. 43

    Its amaging lapy pictures ,
    I fall in love with These laptops
    Thx 4r showing these lapy

    0
  44. 44

    wow!! can’t wait for the future! XD

    0
  45. 45

    Nice post and thanks.

    0
  46. 46

    Thompson@Cheap compu

    February 18, 2009 9:56 pm

    This sure is the laptop of our future generation. The way things are moving you can never know where we will be in times to come.

    0
  47. 47

    i’m in love Vaio Zoom its really great design

    0
  48. 48

    Thomson @Cheap computer

    March 22, 2009 11:46 pm

    Fast pacing world ,fast pacing technology the out come is limitless.

    0
  49. 49

    Mind blowing !!!!!!!
    Awesome collection

    0
  50. 50

    Harry Mulisch is een waardeloze prul

    0
  51. 51

    these laptops suck i saw a laptop that looks like a pen and it projects the key board on the desk and projects the screan on the wall

    0
  52. 52

    very nice…………
    superb..

    0
  53. 53

    i think all the laptops are very uniqe in there own ways and i think they al will be a very good use in there owm=n ways but io t depends on how people use them……

    0
  54. 54

    Thats awesome, the mactab is really sick! love it!

    0
  55. 55

    where to order macbook 0801?

    0
  56. 56

    i mean mac 0801

    0
  57. 57

    Good to c the latest designs of laptops

    0
  58. 58

    i got gelfrog!!! its so nice… grab it now!!!! its really good..enjoy the features…

    0
  59. 59

    Some of those are really impractical . Do you know how hard it is to type on a keyboard where the keys aren’t raised up?

    0
  60. 60

    Hi!!!!

    its mind boggling. really gr8 stuff. 10/10

    0
  61. 61

    Wow! Gelfrog, Purity and LG ebook amazes me. Hope to see the processors of these computers. Can I buy all of them? :) :)

    0
  62. 62

    incredible nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0
  63. 63

    i love it very much ……… <3

    0
  64. 64

    William Forson

    June 5, 2011 6:28 am

    very amazing,hope i get one

    0
  65. 65

    pretty but very impractical. the keys suck. i hate typing on virtual keyboards. you hit I and it comes out D. (I type Dvorak) just terrible will cut your typing speed in half.

    0
  66. 66

    this laptops is amazing

    0

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