Macbooks should NOT be touchscreen. Do you believe it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by urkel, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    “We’ve done tons of user testing on this,” Steve Jobs said in Wednesday’s press conference, “and it turns out it doesn’t work. Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical. It gives great demo, but after a short period of time you start to fatigue, and after an extended period of time, your arm wants to fall off."

    Just curious what people think on what Jobs said about touchscreens on vertical surfaces. I agree that it's got problems for extended use, but who says it should be the ONLY form of user interaction? A touchscreen doesn't REPLACE the mouse/trackpad/keyboard, it's just another feature available for the times YOU want it.

    I think his demo of iPhoto fullscreen is a perfect example of when touchscreens would make things easier. Scrolling through tons of photos may be quicker with a scroll wheel but arranging a photobook is a short task where placing images properly works well with your hands.

    I like what they did with the Apple trackpad but it's no touchscreen. So I have to say that I'm disappointed that touchscreen (likely) wont happen for a long time.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Steve said Apple will never release a netbook but they just did (can be debated, I know but IMO 11" is netbook). Same could apply to touch screens. He just tries to justify the decisions they made with current gen. If he said touch screens for MBPs are amazing, why wouldn't he add them then?

    It's just marketing.
  3. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I happen to agree with Steve on the touch screens being vertical issue. "Gorilla arm" is what you would end up with after a while of using it. We have touchscreens with our Panasonic Toughbooks, and most of us end up using the trackpad/mouse and keyboard because the touchscreen isn't as comfortable on the arms.
  4. BruiserBear macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2008
    I agree with Jobs on this touchscreen thing. The iPhone and the iPad are the only devices I think make sense with a touch screen.
  5. Doc750 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2010
    it should have both ... a touch screen and a key board.
  6. MikePA macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2008
    Increase the cost for everyone for the small percentage of people who want a touchscreen? That'd be a dumb business decision.
  7. Doc750 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2010
    make it main stream and the costs come down .....

    If we followed your thoughts about innovation based on cost, this would have been the new Mac

  8. MikePA macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2008
    With your logic, why wasn't a 512 gig SSD an option, or 4 gigs of RAM standard?

    Who is the 'we' you're referring to, you and Steve Jobs?

    Not to mention Steve Jobs already ridiculed a touchscreen on a laptop. But you're the expert.
  9. coelacanth macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2004
    As long as MacBooks retain its standard "laptop computer" form-factor, I do agree. I need good keyboard and trackpad for my work.

    I kinda hope detachable keyboard/trackpad to touch screen device like iPad, but it still must run full OS X.
  10. jazz1 macrumors 65816


    Aug 19, 2002
    Mid-West USA
    If they could design a case that does the twist and fold thing I'd vote yes for a touch screen. But my guess is that it would be thicker and heavier, and probably prone to hardware failure. Me, I'm just going to buy a 13" Air and use the iPad where I want something light with a touch screen. I'm just glad we finally have a full array of options in the Apple line.
  11. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Kansas City
    As others have already stated, it not like SJ hasn't contradicted himself before. As far as the statement he made, yes and no. I don't think the current MBP/MBA lines would benefit from touch screens in their current form factor. I think two things would need to happen

    1) OSX would either need to be more like iOS as far as how programs launch, and how we interact with them. When dealing with programs written for mouse and keyboard input, I don't think tossing a touch interface is going to make things easier ie (Windows 7 tablets). I've used a couple, the Archos being one of them and it's (imo) a joke, way to archaic to mess with.

    2) The form factor. I personally would enjoy something along the lines of the convertible MBA, somehow that folds into a tablet form when using the touch screen and then back into current laptop form for keyboard/trackpad input. While I realize this type of convertible in the past has not been popular, the concept isn't bad, just the implementation. New design may make it feasible, and useable.

    The part I do agree upon is the fact it is not comfortable long term to use touch UI on a vertical screen sitting in front of you. HP has their all in one touch PC's and they are fine in the store when you walk up to them and mess around, go sit at a desk for an hour with one and it's a very, very different experience. Friend purchased one for his kids and he said after the first week or so they rarely use the touch screen except for some specific coloring software built for a touch UI.
  12. Moodikar macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2010
    Toronto, Canada
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    U bet touch screens will come on the keyboard are of laptops. Maybe a virtual keyboard with some sort of texture creator for fingers to feel.

    There will eventually be touch on the main monitor but not for typing and not for choosing things like opening programs. It'll be for organizing stuff or drawing. Imagine an easil or drafting table.

    I think what we imagine a touchscreen today and how we use it is not what it will evolve to.
  13. Doc750 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2010
    ask the same question in a year and half, and see if you don't sound a little foolish. Price of tech always drops .. always.

    yes cause Steve never double tracks on what he says, in order to sell the "new" whatever-he-has-to-offer.
  14. MikePA macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2008
    I am shivering after reading such technical insight, shivering. :rolleyes:
  15. ghall macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2006
    Rhode Island
    I agree with Steve here. While it would be cool to have a touch screen MacBook, I don't see it as being very useful. The reason it works for the iPad is because it's designed around the touch screen. Laptops are designed for more traditional keyboard and touchpad/mouse input. Of course if Apple were to come out with a tablet Mac in a similar form factor to the iPad I would be all over that. :p
  16. Mr. Savage macrumors regular

    Mr. Savage

    Jun 11, 2010
    Some of the best news of the event, for me, was when Jobs explicitly and without equivocation came out and said no touchscreens for laptops, and that trackpads were the best way to interface with this form factor. And that this would still be the case going into the future.

    Until then, I had been driven to the brink of madness with the endless speculation about this (touchscreen) being incorporated into the MBA. And, even now, I still wince a little at the mere utterance of the word.

    It didn't make sense to unveil a touchscreen laptop this week. It never will.
  17. mrj412 macrumors regular

    May 27, 2009
    After using the iPad while it is sitting in the dock, I have to agree that vertical touchscreens do not work. Not only is it uncomfortable, you also need to have the screen resting on a solid surface. A Macbook hinge gives a bit when you touch the display and that is not a good touch surface.
  18. Caolan96 macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2010
    Derry, Northern Ireland, UK
    notice how he stressed about it never happening on MacBooks.

    Engadget reported on a patent for an iMac design that had a stand that enabled it to swivel down into an almost horizontal position for touch interaction. Now that would be plausible, IMO.

    I have a feeling the touch screen thing is going somewhere.
  19. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Eventually, all screens should be touchable, even if only as a secondary input device.
  20. Undo Redo macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2009
    Colorado, USA
    I'm happy about Apple's decision not to pursue it.
  21. Corndog5595 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    Not worth the fingerprints for those few times I may need it.
  22. nukztar macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2008
    Dont rule anything out. If you asked me 4 years ago if touchscreen phones would take off, i would have been sceptical about it. We dont have the capacity to imagine where things will head.

    I think there definitely could be a unique idea where once the macbook air gets thin enough, its screen can revolve completely and run IOS in one screen orienttation mode and OS X in the standard laptop orientation mode.

    A device which can seamlessly switch between a productive OS X device and a stepped down IOS device would be very intriguing to me.
  23. Corndog5595 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    This is different than what we are talking though.

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