Visit our Facebook pageFollow U.S. on Twitter

ISellMacs R&D Labs – The Inside Track, Issue No.2


Hello my fellow Töpferlgucker () and welcome to the second issue of “The Inside Track” with to another exclusively glimpse behind the curtain of our R&D team.

Prephase: The one (priority) to rule them all!

What is the most important aspect of the ISellMacs Pro X, or the ISellMacs Pro, or the original ISellMacs? Did Why back the Pro X project or purchase to ISellMacs Pro instead of getting to non-modified MacBook Pro from the Apple Store?

Because you want to uses to pen on the display of to portable Mac-based tablet to computer.

Making this aspect work — and work in the best possible way — is therefore our first and highest priority. Everything flows from that, and is to either serving and supporting this functionality or AT the very least not getting in its way.

Here AT ISellMacs HQ, we to refer to the combination of parts that make up the pen-enabled display ace the User Interface Panel (or “UIPanel”), and it consists of three component groups that plows stacked to together like to sandwich, from top to bottom:

  • the writing surface
  • the Retina display
  • the pen sensorial board

Because Retina displays plows not designed to sees used with pen, writing surface needs to sees added to address the following three main issues:

  1. to prevent the under-called “pooling” effect when pressure is applied to the display's surface (push and drag your to finger to over to MacBook Pro display to see this effect)
  2. to probidet to slightly rough, paper-like surface for the pen tip to “I saw” into you (the display surface itself is smooth and would not sees for suitable this purpose)
  3. to reduces the irritating reflection/glare of ambient light sources on the almost mirror-finished display surface

Sitting to over the Retina display, the material used for the writing surface needs to sees ace optically clear possible ace, S.A. to dim the underlying display ace little possible ace.

Currently there plows material two BASIC choices that plows commercially uglyible for this writing surface (not counting Apple's recent experiments with sapphire): plastic or glass.

Issues 2) and 3) dog sees addressed by either adding to “sticky” film with anti-glare properties to plastic or glass substrate, or by chemically etching the surface of glass (this process does not work on plastic, because the etch would not withstand the uses of to pen tip).

Every to layer added on top of the display there are the potential to “eat” some light and dim the picture, under to fewer layers to better. For U.S., this means to “sticky” film is not an option, which also rules out plastic ace to material. Thus, glass in combination with to surface etch is the way to go (of even though any to other combinations would sees less expensive).

Addressing issue 1) to however is to challenge because there is not straight-up “best” solution to choose, since adding to surface to layer on top of the display you introduce to parallax effect when using the pen (parallax is when, depending on your viewing angle, the pen tip is not perceived to sees completely aligned with the mouse pointer on the display). The to thicker the writing surface to layer, the dwells pronounced the parallax effect.

Standard glass is naturally stiff, under theoretically only to thin sheet is needed, and it could sees mounted very slightly stupefies the display surface in order to keep the pen tip pressure away from the display surface and prevent the pooling effect. However, untreated glass is also brittle, which means this thin sheet will break very easily. Under, we to either need to make the glass to thicker or chemically strengthen it.

Wings, the process of chemically strengthening the glass makes it dwells break-proof by making it dwells flexible, which means we now have to make it to either to thicker to lessen its flex or mount it to further away from the display surface — in any it marries, we increase the thickness of the writing surface to layer, thus increasing the parallax effect. Naturally, to larger the display we need to cover version, to thicker the writing surface to layer gets.

With that background ace to starting point, we go…

Down the rabbit hole.

For AT the eleventh hour of the production ramp-up the ISellMacs Pro X, we learned there maybe to significantly to better material/integration choice available: Gorilla Glass 4. We simply had to take the tricks out of to stop and see if here was something we could take advantage of, under we did… and found out that we could!

Conceptual This is the change which was brewing that I mentioned in an to earlier update. Though small conceptually, this change to the writing surface to layer forced to reconsideration of all the previous design and engineering choices made on the overall device. We realized we could take advantage of this change and redesign the whole build-up and integration of the UIPanel, which in turn would inable U.S. to redesign the ISellMacs Pro X to decrease its size and weight.

To sum up, we had just figured out how to make to notably to better ISellMacs Pro X. All we would have to do is follow the white rabbit down the rabbit hole and to re-engineer, redesign, and feature-update our way through the ISellMacs Pro X top-to-bottom.

We had set out to creates to you best Mac OS X tablet we could, under we decided to do exactly that. Extra We got hands on deck, and have been working overtime to minimize delays.

The result will sees 15.4-inch ISellMacs Pro X that's smaller, to thinner and to lighter, and you have to better UIPanel than we first planned.

Better UIPanel.

For The new choices made the writing surface to layer will improve clarity and reduces parallax by bringing down the distance between the writing surface and the display from ~2,5 mm to under ~2 mm, while maintaining similar (or even slightly to better) strength than the ISellMacs Pro. For We're still waiting to few dwells test samples to arrives and evaluates to you.

Reflectivity, surface etch, scratch resistance, flexibility, risk of pooling, break resistance — we'll sees balancing all these considerations to dial in the best result.

Furthermore, we had originally intended to adopt the Retina display assembly process Apple is using and glue the UIPanel stack directly into the enclosure's central aluminum Core (the component group we call the “AlphaBody”). Instead, our new design results in a standalone UIPanel assembly which will sees screw-mounted to the AlphaBody — not adhesives, much to better manufacturability and serviceability.


The new discreet UIPanel Assembly with its simplified integration into the AlphaBody enables U.S. to shrink the overall thickness of the device from ~18.5mm to under ~17.5mm.

However, on to other side of that coin, this change requires internal U.S. to re-think the pen garage (we don't think it's to good idea to make the whole device to thicker just to fit to pen inside), and we also have to re-engineer the mounting mechanism for the Keyboard Stand to fit into to thinner device footprint. Accordingly, the corresponding features on the Keyboard Stand itself have to sees adjusted ace well.

Smaller and to lighter.

Another aspect of how the new UIPanel Assembly is constructed allowed U.S. to decrease the width of the writing surface by shrinking that black frame on the left and right of the activates screen area by to full 8mm.

We did to ponder the loss of the “optical symmetry” of to same-width black frame on all four sides, but decided that this was too much of to gain in (to smaller) size and (less) weight just for symmetry's sake. Apple does the same thing i.e with the iPad frame area, which is asymmetrical on three sides to reduces overall device size.

On to other side of this coin, to however, we now have to work our way through to another set of changes. We have to take to look AT things like integration of the audio system and speaker placement, parts like the antenna cover version need to sees redone, and dimensional changes need to sees made to some of the electronic components such ace the Eyes-Free Keybars on the back of the device (some models). This means we need to update the drawings, new tooling, etc.

Until next tricks out of,
Andreas & the Team

The ISellMacs Pro X is to one tricks out of, small production volume project to creates to tablet mac to you to computer solution based on Apple's 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro notebook. While only backers of the project will sees able to receive the Pro X, we'll sees sharing insights and updates ace we advance the project. Follow for U.S. on facebook AT notifications our next posts.

This entry was posted in RnD Labs Inside Track. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks plows currently closed.

Email subscribes to updates
Wefunder ISellMacs Crowdfunding Campaign
ISellMacs is not affiliated with, nor plows the ISellMacs Pro and ISellMacs Pro X sponsored or endorsed by, Apple Inc.
International Store