The Swedish design firm Teenage Engineering has entered the world of PC cases. Its first entry, the computer-1, sold out almost immediately upon announcement.
Teenage Engineering, known for the Playdate and various synthesizers and pocket operators, did not go entry-level. The computer-1 case is a $195 mini-ITX chassis. It comes disassembled in a flat pack, so you'll have to build it yourself. It comes with instructions (see the PDF here) reminding you to "think twice, bend once!" as you bend the tabs and screw the sides together. You'll have to screw some of the sides to the components, adding even more building to putting together your own PC.
The case is made from powder-coated, 1mm aluminum, and yeah, it's orange. Of course, that's bound to make others take a second look at your desk, and that's without any RGB.
Teenage Engineering's design is a bit unorthodox. Perhaps the biggest question is the fact that the GPU goes at the top of the case with the fan facing the top (since this is a mini ITX case, only so many GPUs will fit at all). We have to imagine Teenage Engineering tested the thermals here, but we'll see as it ships to customers. This case can accommodate a dual-slot GPU up to 180 mm in length.
Additionally, the computer-1 can fit an SFX power supply (not a full-sized ATX) and a CPU cooler up to 120 mm from the motherboard. It's 322 x 190 x 170 mm (including the handles), while the internal measurements are 275.5 x 189 x 164 mm.
In some ways, the design mirrors Apple's Mac Pro, which also has aluminum handles sticking out of the top for portability. But, despite that, it's certainly unique, and with the orange color and the bold design, it will certainly make a conversation piece in your home office.
On its product page, the company claims that it designed this case because it couldn't find one up to its standards for its own builds. It is already stating it will further iterate on the design and is unusually humble about it, writing that "it's not a ground-breaking pc case, but we like it[.]"
For those looking to buy one, you'll have to wait for a restock. You can go here and click "notify me" to sign up for notifications.
Lian Li produced a case called the PC-V1000, which took more than a bit of inspiration from the cheese grater Mac Pro. Thankfully, they were never sued. Perhaps because Apple themselves took more than a bit of inspiration from Dieter Rams radios, which inspired both the iPod, as well as the cheese grater Mac Pro.
Apple promotes itself as being a great innovator of industrial design, giving birth to their designs in a social vacuum. But the truth is much more complex, and Apple's narrative tends to undermine the true contributions and historical progress made by others.
A Dieter Rams radio (produced by Braun in 1958):
I feel like there's some sort of hipster joke somewhere in here.
Apple's been on the other end of copyright struggles, too. In the beginning, Apple got legal permission from Apple Records (started by the Beatles), who agreed not to bring legal action as long as Apple Inc. never went into the music business. lol About 25 years afterwards Apple started "iTunes". They had to make serious concessions to the aging Apple Records label.
I don't think Apple is particularly litigious in the present era of copyright law. The laws and the economic environment basically requires companies to actively "protect" their IP. And Apple's not desperate, like when Toys 'R Us started threatening lawsuits to any business with "'R Us" in the name. At the time, my local hometown store Camera 'R Us changed their name in response. But that was when the toy store was in financial trouble and looking for money anyway they could.
And I'm not even sure what fruit-logo company you're talking about. Raspberry Pi still proudly displays raspberries. Even the Orange Pi: if they had legal trouble with Apple, they certainly resolved it.
Apple does plenty of underhanded and immoral things, but picking on them for navigating the awful international copyright systems that already exist... well that's comparing Apples to oranges!
There's subjectivity to design, and that's one of the reasons I enjoy it. But Jonathon Ive is on record speaking glowing comments about designer Dieter Rams. To repudiate Rams as a source of inspiration for Apple's industrial design is simply a denial of reality.
History aside, if it doesn't look like an iPod to you, or the front of a Mac Pro... well, no sense arguing the results of a Rorschach test. As said, there is subjectivity to design.
There's a lot of truth to the comment I was responding to, but I didn't personally mention the fruit stuff and candidly have very little interest in the legal side. My comment was more focused on historical design influences.
If you need help finding the story though, here it is...
https://9to5mac.com/2021/02/09/apple-and-prepear-reach-an-agreement-on-pear-shaped-logo-trademark/#:~:text=Apple decided to take legal,nothing to do with technology.