John Gruber points out three skinny laptops announced today still come with thick, chunky VGA ports: vestigial curiosities, given that you can hardly buy projectors and monitors these days without getting adapters thrown in free. Industrial designers seem shackled to spec-sheets, to boilerplate corporate RFPs which will mandate them for all time.
My favorite example of this phenomenon is Sony's Vaio X. While this is a company that randomly generates a new laptop design every three months and pays no attention to what succeeds and fails, the Vaio X was a good one. At the time, it was the only decent Windows alternative to the MacBook Air. Yet it had this freaky metal protuberance poking out the side: a VGA port.
Close inspection revealed that the Vaio X was barely a hair's width thicker than the port. They even, as I recall, carefully molded the chassis' underside so that it went around the VGA port casing rather than over it -- only on the more visible top side did they add a layer of plastic for appearances' sake.
Photo: Notebook Check
I know that VGA ports are important to many people, but do you see what happened there? Sony set out to make the thinnest laptop in the world, then designed the entire thing around the thickness of the VGA port.
This week on Cool Tools’ Maker Update: Kitty Grabs Gold, a beer cooler that follows you, the Circuit Playground Express, Adafruit and Microsoft, Other Machine Co. and Bre Pettis, Tinkercad Lego export, a great kit for gadget and toy hacking, and Maker Faires. Our featured Cool Tool is the iFixit Electronics Tool Kit. Check out […]
The mechanical Royal Kludge keyboard (Update: in stock here) seems to do well with Amazon reviewers, but there are no guarantees you’ll receive one with the coveted OFF/NO switch.
Microsoft announced Tuesday a long-awaited upgrade to its Surface Pro series of high-end tablet PCs, dropping the number from the name and adding Kaby Lake processors, more minutes on a charge and a few dollars to the price tag. Here’s Mark Hachman, Senior Editor at PCWorld: For Surface Pro 4 owners, the new Surface Pro […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]