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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 Link

The Siafu concept notebook, 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.”

Laptop Designs - The Siafu concept notebook

Cario Link

Cario notebook 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.

Laptop Designs - The Siafu concept notebook
Laptop Designs - The Siafu concept notebook

MacTab Link

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 - Other5
Laptop Designs - Other6

Sungjut TangoX Link

Sungjut TangoX Nano UMPC7 has a DVI output and a detachable, integrated Skype phone. Weight: under 1kg. Unbelievable.

Laptop Designs - Sungjut TangoX Nano UMPC8

Dialogue’s Flybook V33 Link

Dialogue is going to release the Flybook V33i series9 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 - Engadget10
Laptop Designs - Haier's crazy / crazy expensive laptop - Engadget11

Vaio Zoom Link

The Vaio Zoom notebook12 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 Gizmodo13]

Vaio14

Vaio15

Music Stand Laptop Link

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 OLED16
Laptop Designs - LG e-Book Laptop Concept Features Fuel Battery and OLED17

LG e-Book Laptop Link

LG e-Book Laptop Concept18
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 OLED19

Compenion Link

Felix Schmidberger’s Compenion laptop20 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 201521

Purity Notebook Link

Purity Notebook22: 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 Mac23
Laptop Designs - Purity Notebook But A Litte Like A Mac24

MacBook 0801 Link

MacBook 0801 is a laptop concept by Isamu Sanada. The keyboard is transparent and ultra-thin.

Laptop Designs
Laptop Designs

Wood Laptop Link

Laptop Made Of Wood25. 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 Wood26

DesCom Link

Sung-kyu Nam’s DesCom laptop27 integrates into the desktop surface. And what do you have to do once the laptop is dead or should be repaired?

Ffigure

Laptop Designs - Desktop/Laptop Desk for Giant Freaks28

ThinkPad Reserve Edition Link

Lenovo/IBM’s Thinkpad is coming back, in a new outfit: Thinkpad reserve edition29. 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 edition30

Satellite Navigation Laptop Link

Satellite Navigation Laptop 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.com

Solar Notebook Link

Solar-power laptop 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 Designs

Haier’s Laptop/Tablet PC Link

Haier has announced a laptop/tablet PC31 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 - Engadget32

Folding Multi-Display Link

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 Link

Axiotron’s Modbook33, the MacBook-based, Wacom-modified laptop is the world’s first OS X tablet. Price: $2,290.

Laptop Designs - Mac Tablet34

Gelfrog Link

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 Gelfrog35, a dynamic, portable device concept that enables new educational experiences without sacrificing the need for individuality.

Laptop Designs - The Gelfrog36

myBook Link

myBook37 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 - myBook38
Laptop Designs - myBook39

Last Click Link

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

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 - Macs40

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 /2008/03/17/laptop-sleeves-skins-and-stickers/
  2. 2 /2008/01/07/monday-inspiration-innovative-designs-and-devices/
  3. 3 /2008/02/18/25-mind-blowing-product-gadgets/
  4. 4 /2007/11/26/monday-inspiration-user-experience-of-the-future/
  5. 5 http://www.kub.fr/design/Other.html
  6. 6 http://www.kub.fr/design/Other.html
  7. 7 http://gizmodo.com/360731/sungjut-tangox-nano-umpc-comes-with-integrated-detachable-skype-phone
  8. 8 http://gizmodo.com/360731/sungjut-tangox-nano-umpc-comes-with-integrated-detachable-skype-phone
  9. 9 http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/15/dialogues-flybook-vm-and-v33i-with-hsdpa-launching-in-japan/
  10. 10 http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/15/dialogues-flybook-vm-and-v33i-with-hsdpa-launching-in-japan/
  11. 11 http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/15/dialogues-flybook-vm-and-v33i-with-hsdpa-launching-in-japan/
  12. 12 http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/slick/vaio-zoom-concept-is-exactly-how-we-want-laptops-to-look-in-the-future-301098.php
  13. 13 http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/slick/vaio-zoom-concept-is-exactly-how-we-want-laptops-to-look-in-the-future-301098.php
  14. 14 http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/slick/vaio-zoom-concept-is-exactly-how-we-want-laptops-to-look-in-the-future-301098.php
  15. 15 http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/slick/vaio-zoom-concept-is-exactly-how-we-want-laptops-to-look-in-the-future-301098.php
  16. 16 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2008/03/28/music-and-computers/
  17. 17 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2008/03/28/music-and-computers/
  18. 18 http://laptoping.com/lg-e-book-fuel-oled.html
  19. 19 http://laptoping.com/lg-e-book-fuel-oled.html
  20. 20 http://www.oobject.com/best-concept-laptops/compenion-laptop-for-2015/1301/
  21. 21 http://www.oobject.com/best-concept-laptops/compenion-laptop-for-2015/1301/
  22. 22 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2007/07/30/purity-notebook-but-a-litte-like-a-mac/
  23. 23 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2007/07/30/purity-notebook-but-a-litte-like-a-mac/
  24. 24 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2007/07/30/purity-notebook-but-a-litte-like-a-mac/
  25. 25 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2007/07/25/laptop-made-of-wood/
  26. 26 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2007/07/25/laptop-made-of-wood/
  27. 27 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2008/03/12/desktoplaptop-desk-for-giant-freaks/
  28. 28 http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/2008/03/12/desktoplaptop-desk-for-giant-freaks/
  29. 29 http://www.oobject.com/best-concept-laptops/thinkpad-reserve-edition/1293/
  30. 30 http://www.oobject.com/best-concept-laptops/thinkpad-reserve-edition/1293/
  31. 31 http://www.engadget.com/2007/09/16/haiers-crazy-crazy-expensive-laptop/
  32. 32 http://www.engadget.com/2007/09/16/haiers-crazy-crazy-expensive-laptop/
  33. 33 http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/01/axiotron-finally-ships-modbook-os-x-tablet/
  34. 34 http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/01/axiotron-finally-ships-modbook-os-x-tablet/
  35. 35 http://www.oobject.com/best-concept-laptops/the-gelfrog/1289/
  36. 36 http://www.oobject.com/best-concept-laptops/the-gelfrog/1289/
  37. 37 http://www.kub.fr/design/myBook.html
  38. 38 http://www.kub.fr/design/myBook.html
  39. 39 http://www.kub.fr/design/myBook.html
  40. 40 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 UX, front-end and 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

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

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  5. 5

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

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  6. 6

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

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  7. 7

    Nice, but ineffective for me.

    How can I code on that ?

    0
  8. 8

    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!

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  9. 9

    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
  10. 10

    Newton Calegari

    March 31, 2008 8:00 am

    Post muito bom!
    Very Post :)

    I Love Smashing Magazine :D

    0
  11. 11

    VTFootballGrad

    March 31, 2008 11:10 am

    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
  12. 12

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

    0
  13. 13

    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
  14. 14

    Nice post, see it, and never have it

    I wish …

    0
  15. 15

    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
  16. 16

    These Laptop designs are awesome

    0
  17. 17

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

    0
  18. 18

    :-o Woo!

    0
  19. 19

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

    0
  20. 20

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

    0
  21. 21

    sauravh singh

    April 3, 2008 6:02 am

    coolllllllllll

    0
  22. 22

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

    0
  23. 23

    Robert Marbun

    April 3, 2008 5:38 pm

    great!
    smashing mag should give one of those for free

    -1
  24. 24

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

    0
  25. 25

    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
  26. 26

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

    0
  27. 27

    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
  28. 28

    stewie griffin

    April 10, 2008 3:18 am

    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
  29. 29

    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
  30. 30

    excellent

    0
  31. 31

    awesome models

    0
  32. 32

    me likey

    0
  33. 33

    Sarunas Mikelevicius

    May 27, 2008 5:01 am

    One thinkpad for me! :)

    0
  34. 34

    What amazing designs

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  35. 35

    nice post, what a sexy looks.

    0
  36. 36

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

    0
  37. 37

    awesome ….awesome … totally awesome ..

    0
  38. 38

    wwwooooaaaaaaaaawww…
    awesome laptop design i have seen.

    0
  39. 39

    Wow! these designs are beyond imagination.

    0
  40. 40

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

    0

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