Touch on a MacBook Pro

dimme

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 14, 2007
1,580
3,703
SF, CA
It's just about time to replace my 2008 MacBook Pro. I was thinking of buying when the new model comes out, which may be next week. But I would like to get 4 or 5 years out of it. Do anyone think the MacBook laptops will have touch screens in the near future? How near is that future?
 

F1 Fan

macrumors regular
Apr 18, 2012
188
1
UK
I can't see this happening either.

1 - I seem to recall that Apple have made several comments about the discomfort caused by using a vertical touchscreen.

2 - I suspect that the fingerprints and oily marks would be more of an issue on a notebook / desktop than a phone or tablet.
 

PDFierro

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2009
3,932
111
I doubt it would happen in the next 4-5 years. I can only see this happening if/when iOS and OS X are ready to merge, and that would be a long time from now.
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,548
17
OSX is not currently finger-touch friendly at all. Just look at the buttons, toolbars, windows, and menus. They are designed for mouse cursor use, not finger tip use.

I think that OSX devices with touchscreens are extremely unlikely to come from Apple without a major overhaul of the OSX UI.

The thing is that they've already created a version of OSX with a UI designed completely around touchscreen interaction, it's called iOS.

I think a touchscreen notebook/convertible that runs a more advanced version of iOS would be more likely in a couple of years than an OSX machine with a touchscreen added.
 

duervo

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2011
2,309
1,032
If done right, then I can possibly imagine a touch-enabled MBP. Not this year though. If it ever happens, I can't see it happening for at least another 2 or so years from now.

FWIW, my work laptop has a touchscreen on it (Lenovo W510), and I tried it out with Windows 8. My impression based on that experience is that touch-enabled laptops (right now at least) are rather gimmicky. It's neat for a couple days, but gets bothersome after a while having to reach up from the keyboard to make use of it, and the on screen keyboard takes up the bottom half of the screen. So, I found that when given the choice between being all touchy-touchy with the laptop while having only half the screen visible when needing to do any serious typing, vs. using it in the traditional manner, I found myself going for tradition most of the time.

I even went as far as creating desktop shortcuts to shutdown or reboot the system, as it's still much faster than swiping from the right edge of the screen, then touching the power button icon, and then touching either Shutdown or Restart.
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
481
It's just about time to replace my 2008 MacBook Pro. I was thinking of buying when the new model comes out, which may be next week. But I would like to get 4 or 5 years out of it. Do anyone think the MacBook laptops will have touch screens in the near future? How near is that future?
No. A laptop with a touch screen is stupid, useless and completely unergonomic, as has been beaten to death in another thread which I cannot find right now.
 

maxosx

macrumors 68020
Dec 13, 2012
2,385
1
Southern California
Fortunately one of Apples strengths is the way they place a high value on ergonomics. Study after study has revealed that implementing a touch screen on a laptop is the wrong thing to do.

If its purely a light usage consumer model that's one thing. But one of several studies I've read said after the 20 minute mark fatigue & errors begin occurring.
 

pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,157
1,081
Montreal, Canada
No. A laptop with a touch screen is stupid, useless and completely unergonomic, as has been beaten to death in another thread which I cannot find right now.
Here is the thread.

My own comment from said thread:

If Apple thought touchscreen laptops were the future, don't you think they would have released them already by now?

If there's one company who mastered touch input before anyone else (and still do today), it's Apple. There's no reason they would have waited this long like "Oh it's just that nobody at Apple had the idea to implement touch in laptops when we saw the iPhone getting successful".

Of course they considered it. And that's exactly why we don't have touchscreen Macs today. They were inspired by it for gestures but instead chose to put them where they truly make you productive: on your trackpad.

Say what you want about Apple's marketing terms (Retina, revolutionary, magical) but I truly think they are one of the only tech manufacturers who actually make sure a certain tech is truly useful before forcing a gimmick that only looks good in marketing.

Windows laptop OEMs rather bring a new input method than a good input method. They've never really cared about making a good trackpad, giving good gesture support, and now they don't care about any detail either when trying to make a touch display. They don't want to give a good touch experience, they just want to give a touch experience period.

Why? Because that's the new trend. Because that's what makes a laptop seem modern. Because every other manufacturer does it so it must be the good thing to do right? Because Microsoft said touchscreen laptops were the future. Nevermind that Microsoft has proven several times in the past years that they have no clue where the future is headed, or that they basically just throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks pretty much every time resulting in 1 OS release out of 2 that gets significant criticism (and the one after responding to said criticism).

Apple is not one of those hardware manufacturers with no experience in UI/UX that blindly jump into Microsoft's bandwagon. They are confident they actually know more than Microsoft when it comes to UX, and they can do their own research and prototypes and conclude by themselves what is useful and what is not.

Trust me that they have determined this was not a while ago (a decade ago perhaps), long before Microsoft and their hardware OEMs even knew they would jump into their touchscreen laptop trend in 2013.

Edit: And for those who claim consumers demand touchscreen laptops, source? All I see are disappointingly low sales figures (<10%) for touchscreen laptops (even when considering only Windows 8 laptops, which are supposed to be touch-optimized) mainly because touch-enabled laptops are a bit pricier than their non-touch counterpart, proving consumers are not willing to pay more for touch input. As time goes by, touchscreens will become cheaper and come with any cheap laptop whether you want it or not, skewing any stats that are supposed to prove demand for this tech (reminds you of something?).
 

skaertus

macrumors 68040
Feb 23, 2009
3,328
449
Brazil
Here is the thread.

My own comment from said thread:

If Apple thought touchscreen laptops were the future, don't you think they would have released them already by now?

If there's one company who mastered touch input before anyone else (and still do today), it's Apple. There's no reason they would have waited this long like "Oh it's just that nobody at Apple had the idea to implement touch in laptops when we saw the iPhone getting successful".

Of course they considered it. And that's exactly why we don't have touchscreen Macs today. They were inspired by it for gestures but instead chose to put them where they truly make you productive: on your trackpad.

Say what you want about Apple's marketing terms (Retina, revolutionary, magical) but I truly think they are one of the only tech manufacturers who actually make sure a certain tech is truly useful before forcing a gimmick that only looks good in marketing.

Windows laptop OEMs rather bring a new input method than a good input method. They've never really cared about making a good trackpad, giving good gesture support, and now they don't care about any detail either when trying to make a touch display. They don't want to give a good touch experience, they just want to give a touch experience period.

Why? Because that's the new trend. Because that's what makes a laptop seem modern. Because every other manufacturer does it so it must be the good thing to do right? Because Microsoft said touchscreen laptops were the future. Nevermind that Microsoft has proven several times in the past years that they have no clue where the future is headed, or that they basically just throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks pretty much every time resulting in 1 OS release out of 2 that gets significant criticism (and the one after responding to said criticism).

Apple is not one of those hardware manufacturers with no experience in UI/UX that blindly jump into Microsoft's bandwagon. They are confident they actually know more than Microsoft when it comes to UX, and they can do their own research and prototypes and conclude by themselves what is useful and what is not.

Trust me that they have determined this was not a while ago (a decade ago perhaps), long before Microsoft and their hardware OEMs even knew they would jump into their touchscreen laptop trend in 2013.

Edit: And for those who claim consumers demand touchscreen laptops, source? All I see are disappointingly low sales figures (<10%) for touchscreen laptops (even when considering only Windows 8 laptops, which are supposed to be touch-optimized) mainly because touch-enabled laptops are a bit pricier than their non-touch counterpart, proving consumers are not willing to pay more for touch input. As time goes by, touchscreens will become cheaper and come with any cheap laptop whether you want it or not, skewing any stats that are supposed to prove demand for this tech (reminds you of something?).
Great answer. I don't fully agree with everything you said, but I don't quite disagree either. I don't see any compelling reason to buy a touch screen laptop. A touch screen is a poor input device, especially for a laptop. A finger is much thicker than the pointer of a mouse/trackpad, resulting in a less precise input method. And I much prefer using the touchpad, as I feel it's more comfortable to reach it than the screen.
 

beautifulcoder

macrumors regular
Apr 13, 2013
218
2
The Republic of Texas
Oh hell no. Windows really shot itself in the foot with this crap.

Touch devices make no sense unless you are a cashier or a mechanic. For the rest of us, trackpad with awesome gestures is more than enough.