The first mock-up of the new V arrived at our office! It’s now a physical model that we can hold in our hands and see how it fits the world around it. Although the mock-up is still early in the prototyping stage, we cannot wait to share its awesomeness and our findings with you!
13.4" of perfection
“Are you holding a Spectrum in your hand?” A team member joked when seeing our designer holding a ‘massive’ screen in his hand.
“It’s the new V mock-up.” He answered.
The sheer size of the 13.4", 16:10 aspect ratio display is the mock-up’s most eye-catching feature. The screen is coupled with trimmed bezels and edge-to-edge glass to give the mock-up a premium look from the front.
Right ports, right place
There’s the 3.5mm headphone jack on top, followed by a comfortably sized volume rocker on the left side of the mock-up. The SD card tray (with a spot for a SIM card on LTE models) and a USB Type-C port are on the same side, close to the middle. On the flip side, it has a power button/fingerprint reader on top with a power indicator beside it; two Thunderbolt ports are located slightly below the power button. We were pleased by the exceptionally satisfying tactile feedback the power button and volume rocker provided when we pushed them.
“It has […] USB-C ports on the upper edge…” One of our senior creators rejoiced. After hearing it, we realized that we need to make those ventilation holes just narrow enough to not allow an end-user plugging in a Type-C connector. Of course, any such adjustment needs to guarantee that the design serves its thermal dissipation focus.
Our team thoroughly inspected the first new V mock-up over the past several days. Its primary purpose is to validate the industrial design (ID) as well as check whether color, material, and finish (CMF) are implemented as intended. We presented our feedback to the manufacturer; they replied, detailing how to apply it in the future V development samples.
There are four small holes in the top front bezel, which host the front-facing camera, infrared (IR) module, and dual microphone. We can see the grey interior through these holes because they expose the metal structure where those modules reside. A black plastic cover will be added on top of the structure after we transit to use hard tooling to build new samples. This tweak will help these modules blend in better with the black front bezel.
We noticed that the plastic rim around the rear camera module is overly thick, making the mock-up’s back-frame less clean than ideal. Such a rim is designed to prevent the metal camera module from directly contacting the metal chassis, eliminating the risk of shorting these parts. We planned to cut the rim’s thickness in half after consulting with our manufacturer. It will become in line with the first generation V, which had a barely noticeable plastic rim at the same position.
The kickstand is not resting evenly on the back of the mock-up. It may have been damaged during shipping, as evidenced by photos taken before packing. Of course, we cannot exclude the possibility of a manufacturing tolerance cause; we will closely examine it after future samples have been assembled.
Our mock-up has a black sticker that ties the kickstand’s and back frame’s inner side together. It plays a crucial role in fastening the kickstand so that its middle portion stays flat against the back frame. We found that, despite the shallow guide notches designed to facilitate the sticker’s application, the sticker peels off by itself on the mock-up. This issue will be ironed out after further studying the material surface’s stickiness and tightening the new sample’s chassis’ tolerance. We will apply hard tooling; a computer numerical control (CNC) machine will create detailed shapes, and customized stickers with an accurate size will be produced.
Two mesh samples for speaker holes; vent hole mesh
Each of the ventilation holes on the mock-up is reinforced with black mesh from the inside to help with dust control and block the internal’s views to achieve a clean and sleek appearance. Besides, all four front-facing speaker holes also have fine mesh to prevent dust from affecting the speakers’ sound quality and longevity. The mesh on our mock-up appears too sealed off to allow sufficient airflow. We are looking into sourcing a finer mesh that allows more air to pass through, and thermal capacity will be evaluated to determine the holes’ correct surface area.
You may have noticed that the mock-up has a grey, shiny shade, far from the dark, matte shade chosen to add a premium touch to the new V’s body. We have provided our manufacturer the correct color standard and will soon receive darker, matte, anodized CMF samples to review.
We’re super excited to share with you how the new V is shaping up; these small tweakings and corrections will ultimately allow us to deliver an even better product. Our designers and engineers will continue optimizing the concept base on this real-world mock-up on hand. We’ll write to you once again when we have more exciting news about the project! What do you think? Talk to us in the comments!