If the Macbook Air 11 had a touchscreen, would you still use an iPad?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by jastevenson, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. jastevenson macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2010
    I often feel that if the Macbook Air 11 had a touchscreen, I wouldn't really have any use for the iPad.

    Instead, it would be nearly the best of both worlds.

    Anyone else feel this way?
  2. DaGreat01 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2009
    Atlanta, Georgia
    What? They are two different devices. No, i would not choose a touchscreen air over iPad.

    1) $500<$1200

    2) Vertical touch screens arent as easy to use as flat down screen

    3) OS X doesnt look too fun to use with my fingers.
  3. admanimal macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2005
    I see absolutely no benefit whatsoever to adding a touch screen to the Air. If you are also assuming that there would be software specifically designed for such a device then maybe, but simply adding a touch screen would be useless and in no way compare to having an iPad.
  4. v66jack macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2009
    London, UK
    No because of price point. If they sold 11" air's with a touch screen for $600 then absolutely yes. But they wont, it would still be $1200 so wouldn't want one of them as well as my MBP. Waste of money.
  5. Bluemeanie1976 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2009
    Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
    No... Using a touchscreen on a laptop is a very different kettle of fish than a tablet.
  6. IbisDoc macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2010
    If Apple allowed you to use a mouse when the iPad was in its keyboard dock, would you still use a Macbook Air?
  7. Charlie Sheen macrumors 6502

    Charlie Sheen

    Mar 9, 2011
  8. foodle macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Exactly. Apple considered touchscreen laptops and iMacs, but rejected them because holding your arm up to the screen all the time is a pain. Laptop and touchscreen do not go well together.
  9. ovrlrd macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2009
    Horrible idea, and has already been considered by Apple.

    I have both now, and I would actually never use the touchscreen if there was one on the MBA, even if it could run iOS somehow when doing the touchscreen stuff, it would be annoying to hold our hand out to reach the screen. Your arm would get tired pretty fast.

    Plus OSX would be awful to control on a touchscreen, believe me just try remote desktop on an iPad sometime, it's pretty hard to press buttons and to try to do general stuff.

    The only way a touchscreen MBA might work is if it could swivel the touchscreen so that it covers up the keyboard and lays flat, plus it would need to run iOS so you have real touch apps. Not to mention the design would be heavier and bulier as a result, eliminating the whole point of something like the iPad.

    Nah I prefer the MBA the way it is now. It is a great portable work computer that I can put in the same small bag as my iPad, no big bulky laptop bag. It is great to have such portable power.
  10. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Only if I could rotate the screen 180 degrees then fold flat on top of the keyboard to use as an iPad, i.e., some type of convertible dual-use device. But doubt Apple would make anything that complex. The made the PowerBook Duos back in the 90s and they were a flop -- though I liked them.
  11. Bluemeanie1976 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2009
    Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
    I used Mocha VNC as a remote screen app, awful. No cmd button, etc. However, Teamviewer is sweet as a button. You control the cursor, rather than try to hit the right icon, or menu item. cmd, del, etc, keys are in it. Very nice indeedy.
  12. yegon macrumors 68030

    Oct 20, 2007

    I often think how awesome it'd be to swivel the display on my 11" around, at which point it boots into iOS, like the Dell below, without the jankiness/crapfactor;

  13. porcupine8 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2011
    One of the main reasons I'm buying mine is as an e-reader, specifically because I can't hold my laptop/desktop screens at a comfortable angle for reading more than a web page full of text. So no.

    As mentioned above, I'd love a combo laptop/tablet type device, and was hoping for a long time that Apple would make one, but I guess I'll still be using the laptop for some purposes and the tablet for others.
  14. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    Somebody should tell Apple since the basis of iOS is OS X.
  15. MrWillie macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2010
    Starlite Starbrite Trailer Court
    Cool, crappy as a laptop, and flip the screen and you get a nice, fat, thick, and heavy crappy tablet too!!!
  16. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040


    May 20, 2010
    Boulder, CO
    I would use a MBA 11" instead of an iPad if I could switch between iOS and OSX by holding the option key at bootup, and if it had an accelerometer and gyro.
  17. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    iOS is based on OSX, but it is not OSX it has evolved away from it. The MBA still runs OSX as it should, which makes it rubbish for touch. Laptops don't make good tablets.
  18. Kadman macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2007
    When we shoot down ideas like this, it's typically because we're making some assumptions based on conventional use. I absolutely have been eying the Air an th iPad and feel there's room for a converged device. Two devices that have some decent ideas (but by no means perfect) are the Dell device linked above and the Lenovo model that had (in Apple terms) an iPad with it's own processor and all that could be used on it's own or docked into the bezel (again in Apple terms) of an Air and become the display for it, even synching data between the two.

    Cool changes are coming and these big tech companies keep pushing each other to dial in in the next generation of tech. Exciting stuff!
  19. fertilized-egg, Mar 12, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011

    fertilized-egg macrumors 68020

    Dec 18, 2009
    And that's not possible AFAIK. If you want a full desktop OS, you need the hardware to back it up. Any current hardware that can support Windows or OSX comfortably will be expensive, heavy, thick, loud&hot and battery-challenged.

    The reason the iPad is much thinner is because it uses an OS that was designed for the mobile platform, which means Apple can get away from using a mobile SoC instead of a full blown Intel system.

    Even if you can somehow make that system small and long-lasting, the OS isn't touch optimized. All the application you know and love will be very awkward with touch interface. Thus it'll require some sort of overlay for the touch support which makes the system more sluggish and disjointed.

    No it's because we've seen Microsoft trying this idea for a decade now without much success.(Heck they even thought it was a good idea to use many of the Windows UI metaphors on their mobile phones at one point) Using a desktop OS on a laptop and claim it as a "tablet" just isn't a good idea for the reasons I've stated above. You can think it as a touch-enabled laptop, but it's not really an iPad competitor for most people.

    The convergence idea ala the Lenovo U1 is an interesting idea, but almost all hybrid devices fail to become the mainstream player because they are inherently limited products that usually cost too much for what they offer. It'll be easier for Lenovo to come up with the best tablet possible if they just ditch the whole hybrid dock idea.
  20. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009

    iPads biggest advantage is battery life. The air, no matter what size isn't getting 10 hours playing a game like real racing hd 2 but the iPad does
  21. foodle macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    A sofa bed is neither the most comfortable sofa nor the more comfortable bed. A merged device is not necessarily better since there inevitably will be compromises in the merge. Lenovo and others have had devices of the type that you want (multi-touch screen, keyboard, flip/rotate down screen) for some time. They have never caught on, because the desktop OSes are not well suited for touch interface.
  22. bwrairen macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010
    People are so quick to shoot down ideas. I think that if you had a air-ipad convergence, I would buy one immediately. The air could emulate an IOS device easily, and it is a completely functional laptop now, so I think people saying that "it wouldn't work because it would be underpowered and the touch interface doesn't work for desktop OSes" aren't thinking this through. When the "airpad" (?) would be normally open laptop style, you wouldn't HAVE to use the touch interface. You could use the same keyboard and trackpad that you use now on the air. When the screen was swiveled around and laid back upon the keyboard, it would then boot into IOS and activate the touchscreen. Sure it would be big and heavy as a tablet....but it would be a helluva lot lighter than carrying an ipad AND a laptop (which I do most everyday). Besides, you would probably cut your tablet usage anyway. If you had a full fledged laptop at your disposal, you would not be using the touch screen for word processing and other tasks of that nature anyway. It is just much easier on a real laptop. The only thing you would need the tablet for would be tablet (IOS) specific apps.

    And it would be a traveling developers dream.

    It is funny how you compare the bottom end ipad to the top end air. Seeing as how the base air comes with 64gb, shouldn't you (at least) compare it to the 64gb wifi ipad? ($699)...so the price difference is actually $300 ($999 base air)

    With a converged device, points (2) and (3) no longer become concerns.

    This machine would be very popular.
  23. dmaul1114 macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2011
    Yes, I like the tablet format for surfing the net on the couch and especially for reading.

    I hate a laptop or netbook for reading. Just can't curl up with it like you can book or magazine. I can do that with an iPad or my Kindle 3.
  24. fertilized-egg macrumors 68020

    Dec 18, 2009
    The idea has been shooting itself down for the past 10 years. Apple was the first one to realize that "idea" wasn't a good one and came up with the iPad.

    As soon as you make the screen swivel, the laptop gets thicker, less elegant, and more expensive. As soon as you run the Intel CPUs, necessity for the OSX,
    you lose battery life and the petite size.

    So you're basically proposing to make the MacBook Air thicker, more expensive and heavier, just to add the touch functionality to it. This idea's been proven to be the wrong one over and over again.
  25. bwrairen macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010
    You're right....the idea has been proven to be the wrong one over and over again over the past 10 years. 10 years ago laptops were ALREADY 6 pounds and an inch thick. Adding unnecessary weight and bulk to a machine that size was unfathomable. But Apple continues to bring us feats of engineering... especially in reducing footprints and increasing battery life. Don't underestimate what they can accomplish.

    Thankfully, declaring an idea dead because other engineers weren't capable of pulling it off isn't really Apple's style. It seems completely natural to me to see these technologies eventually converge. It may be a few years away, but it will happen.

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