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This modern gear embraces the retro Apple look (pictures)

The '80s might be long over, but Apple's designs live on in new products and concepts that revive the beige look and rainbow logos of the early machines.

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Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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1 of 8 Curved/labs

iMac concept on a diet

Apple has a long, storied design history. The company strives for ever newer and sleeker products, but some fans don't want to let go of the old looks. Fortunately, you can have your latest and greatest technology while still embracing old-school Apple.

What do you get when you cross an iPad with an original '80s Macintosh desktop computer? You get Curved Labs' Macintosh 2015 concept computer, an inspired mishmash of Apple ideas mixed into a sleek retro machine. While it's just a concept, it pushes all the right buttons for people who grew up on those early computers. If this were ever built, it would be more fun than an iPad and more useful than a classic Mac.

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2 of 8 Schreer Delights

iMac your iPhone

There's no reason your shiny new iPhone needs to look like a new, shiny iPhone. Back in 2012, case designer Schreer Delights offered a set of cases that dressed the iPhone 4 and 4S up like an early iMac with bright blue, orange, green, red and purple colors. Those bulbous semitranslucent iMacs still induce nostalgia in some -- hence the popularity of iMac G3 fishtanks -- and they certainly made for an entertaining iPhone case inspiration.

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3 of 8 Love Hulten

Bite the Golden Apple

Swedish designer Love Hulten made a loving tribute to the 1984 Macintosh 128K by combining modern computing components with the warm look of wood and gold. The Golden Apple is a functional piece of art: A Mac Mini hides behind the burnished walnut body. The overall dimensions are the same as for the original computer, but a DVD drive is installed in place of a floppy drive.

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4 of 8 theappleipodbay

A real retro Apple Watch

Sometimes the best retro Apple gear is truly vintage. An eBay seller took the opportunity to sell an "original" '90s Apple wristwatch on eBay during the high tide of the hype for Apple's smartwatch. This particular watch was listed as being in brand-new condition with the plastic seal still on it. It sports a pretty cheesy design by today's standards and it won't do any of the fancy things an Apple Watch will do. It does, however, tell the time.

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5 of 8 ColorWare

MacBook Air Retro embraces beige

Tech customization company ColorWare took a trip back in time with the MacBook Air Retro, a modern MacBook decked out in beige with a rainbow Apple logo on the back. The limited-edition product took on the look of Apple's IIe computer from 1983. ColorWare described the appearance of the Air Retro as a "thrilling contradiction."

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6 of 8 Scott Stefan

Retro Apple cooler chills out

The MaCool Kickstarter project was an attempt to combine the classic beige look of an old Macintosh computer with the power to keep your beer frosty. The novelty product was beige, cute and capable of holding up to eight drinks with ice. The MaCool ultimately failed to raise enough funding to go into production, but it does leave behind a unique legacy that, for a fleeting moment, brought together old-school Apple designs with cold, cold beverages.

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7 of 8 Colorware

A rainbow Apple on your iPhone

Gadget customization company ColorWare had such a positive response to its retro MacBook Air design, it decided to take on altering the looks of the current iPhone models. The limited-edition iPhone 6S Retro and iPhone 6S Plus Retro swathe the phones in a vanilla-colored exterior with fake air vents and a rainbow Apple logo to evoke the look of '80s Macs.

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8 of 8 thumbsUp!

Padintosh goes retro on your iPad

You bought an iPad, but you're still pining for the days of fat desktop Macs in drab colors. The best way to meld the two worlds is with a Padintosh, an iPad case that makes your sleek tablet look like an '80s Mac. Designed for the iPad 2 and 3 (which nearly qualify for retro status themselves), the Padintosh is a thin hard case built to protect your tablet while making it look like it should be able to read a floppy drive.

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