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November 30, 2010


A few comments have come in to me privately about this patent that generallly take the position that they like the idea but hate the design. That's just fine being that a patent is about presenting a concept and not an absolute design. A design patent would be for a final design. A patent application is about the nuts and bolts of what the device will do or how it will function or a system it promotes.

So conceptually, Apple is thinking about a convertable notebook. We all know that whatever they create will be 20X better than the concept design. The iPhone's original concept had the phone at about 3" thick. That's not what we ended up with. So always bear in mind that designs presented in an "application" (and then a granted patent) are there to simply convey an idea or general concept.

Instead of creating another size for the iPad (leaving the sweet 9" spot), I would prefer to see this MacBook/iPad at 11-13". Yes, it will weight more, but that's the sacrifice you have to make to have a full-blown tablet AND notebook in the same device (read Matt's post above).

All things considered, I'm optimistic that we will see such kind of device maybe in 2012. MacOS X 10.7 "Lion" is all about bridging the iOS-style with classic personal computing. Why not bridging the hardware as well?

I guess this might be the future MacBook Air... a hybrid device between desktop/notebook-paradigm computers and tablet-paradigm computers.

Kate from Russia states:

"А снизу, чтоб ножки еще выдвигались и получится как бы миниатюрный столик с компьютером."

The Google translation:

"A bottom to forward another foot and get like a miniature table with a computer."

Kate, that's a little off-topic but it's an interesting twist nonetheless. Thanks for your comment. (Jack P.)

I never thought I would say this but that dell looks cool

I personally would love a combo laptop/iPad. First, you know it will beautifully made. Second, I have the MBA 11" that now competes with my iPad for laptime. I can easily imagine the two morphing into a product creation and consumption device. Bring it on!!!

Matt Macari

As I type this on my iPad...

The thought of a convertible MacBook may require the creativity only found in Apple to be a success being that this form factor has failed miserably in other markets due to (1) the lack of a robust mechanical means to transition between formats, (2) the weight and form factor resulting, and (3) battery life.

Perhaps it will take Apple's innovation to overcome these obstacles.

I will be cautiously optimistic in the meantime :-)

@ Matt - I appreciate your honest opinion Matt.

However, no one is saying to kill the iPad. The idea is to add one additional configuration. What some of us want, Matt, is to not have to buy 3 devices when one will do. That's simplicity for some of us. I don't want a desktop, notebook, iPod, iPad, iPhone. That's what Apple would like all of us to do, for sure. But that's not realistic at Apple's higher prices. Unless you're wealthy Matt, the "rest of us" would prefer "practical" over "elegant" any day, or at least a bit of both.

I think that Apple has the smarts to this right if they so choose to. Most of us work and play and a combo unit is what a lot of us want. Though knowing Apple, Matt, they'll likely price it out of reach anyways. So you may get your way anyways, ha!


I don't think Apple will create a pad/notebook combo--that is, a device with moving parts. Look at the cell phones with slide out keyboards--they eventually break. In addition, look at the success of the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad--people want simplicity. That's where Apple shines. Making a simple device that is powerful with the fewest options/configurations.

Keep in mind that the iPad is for content absorption and a desktop (or laptop) is for content creation. To combine the two into one device will drain the battery, or lack display quality (not withstanding Apple's recent patents).

The iPad creates content for most general stuff--email, notes, Pages, meetings, presentation. The iPad may need a few more hardware updates but a HW keyboard and other moving parts will make it no longer a simple, elegant device that sells because of simplicity.

Apple has struggled to find simplicity for many years. It seems micro tech and speed have caught up to allow for that design.

I would LOVE a MacBook Pro/iPad combo. The slider design looks MUCH more stable than the convertible laptop where the screen is only connected by a 1" flip hinge! Come on, Apple! Do it!!!

Bring it on!

I need to power type = notebook. I like reading and the iPad is better for that. Jobs opened this pandora's box. Let's see if they have the balls to step in and actually compete. Yes I'd seriously consider a combination MacBook + iPad device with 4G next year. Data rules!

Apple would have to get aggressive price wise here but I think that they're up to it. I agree, I'd like a combo unit too and also have a hard time choosing between a notebook and iPad. Until library books are available for the iPad, it's kind of useless as an ebook reader for students. And casual games do nothing for me. I like games like Call of Duty. The one ID game isn't enough that's for sure. So this whole category has got to find its footing first before I dive in. But it looks promising.

Yes, I would definitely buy the Macbook-to-iPad if:

1) it is lightweight

2) great battery life

3) sturdiness of the screen (love the design of the screen but could that handle a lot of back and forth between operating systems?)

4) allows to switch from full OSX to iOS.

5) Doesn't cost more than $1400 (not likely)

I'm not in the market for an Apple portable until about a year from now, but I really like the design above.

Ya I'm one that has done that back and forth tango trying to decide which device to buy. I'll likely go with the iPad this year, but if I had an option, I think I'd go with a combo unit. Of course I'd have to see it, but concept wise, it's got my attention. Yup, that 11 inch macbook air unit is sure sweet. Just a little too expensive. But add in a tablet as a 2 for 1 deal, and bingo, you'll have me dishing out coin.

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