What is Apple vision for the laptop if they are eschewing 2-in-1 and touchscreen?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Republius, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. Republius, Oct 22, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014

    Republius macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2014
    According to reports, Apple is uninterested (at least for now) in producing 2-in-1 laptop/tablet devices or laptops with touchscreen capability - ostensibly in an effort to keep its tablet and laptop product categories discrete. And I appreciate that, as someone in the market for a laptop who would prefer that the device focus on being powerful rather than versatile.

    This is an interesting choice given that the competition seems to be going in the opposite direction. Note the latest device from Toshiba (http://www.toshiba.com/us/computers/laptops/satellite/Radius/P50W-BST2N22) on top of those already announced from Lenovo, Microsoft, Asus, and others that are incorporating 2-in-1 and touchscreen capabilities.

    As a digression, I would be interested in knowing from others more technologically advanced than me (which would be most participants herein) how fast this Toshiba device is likely to be and how good the screen quality is going to be. I notice that in failing to come with a permanent Microsoft Office bundle it significantly lacks the value to get much done from the get go without a substantial further investment in software, though its versatility and memory capabilities are impressive.

    It seems that the Apple vision for the laptop is likely to be manifest with the reported next iteration of the MacBook Air: super slim (fanless), retina display, and possibly wireless - while maintaining high end battery life and processing power. Whether a microprocessor exists that can do all of this seems to be the question, as Apple seemingly can certainly otherwise design such a device.

    Hopefully this is the Apple priority (though I recognize they are banking a lot on the Apple Watch) in the near term. The iPad is nice as a camera and film-editing device to enhance vacations (though I realize some people do such for a living, but undoubtedly use higher end equipment for such) that can also communicate and read. But if Apple wants to make lives better it arguably can do so most substantially by impacting the work they do - which is very often a matter of analyzing and creating documents and numbers plus presenting and communicating the same. And this means a super powerful and super mobile laptop computer. Hopefully Apple is near turning the corner on this.
  2. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    You're writing as if 2-in-1s, the Yoga, etc. are somehow new things that Apple hasn't caught up with yet. It's important to remember that these devices exist because of Microsoft's push towards touchscreens with Windows 8, which was released more than 2 years ago.

    Such devices are thus not new or even really very interesting. People still buy, use, and enjoy Apple laptops even though they are not "convertibles" and they don't have touchscreens.

    The traditional laptop design that Apple uses has its advantages over convertibles. For one, in a convertible, the screen has to contain the electronics and batteries, which makes them top-heavy and somewhat unstable. Two, a convertible has to have a deployment mechanism which will either make the laptop heavier or more fragile. Not a concern with a "regular" laptop. And three, a trackpad is still arguably a better input device than a touchscreen. With a trackpad, it's very easy to quickly position the mouse pointer with pixel-level accuracy.

    So I don't really see these convertible touchscreen devices as being that much better than Apple laptops, if at all.
  3. slight32 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2014
    Having recently needed to replace my laptop, and always having been a Windows user, I looked very carefully at 2-in-1 and touchscreen options. And then walked away.

    I've now got my first Apple machine, which I'm probably going to use alongside an Android tablet, or maybe iPad. No compromises, but with all the functionality required from two devices which will weigh the same or less than many convertibles.
  4. neile45 macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2011
    with the enhancements in Yosemite, just use an ipad and a laptop, most users already have an ipad.
  5. Carlos840 macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2013
    Just for the fact that i HATE fingerprints on a screen i will never buy a 2 in 1 laptop!

    My girlfriend has one and it always looks like it was used by a bunch of children for a month without being cleaned...

    Fingers have nothing to do on a laptop screen!
  6. Republius thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2014
    With all due respect, you have misinterpreted my take.

    My original post makes it clear that I applaud the fact that Apple is eschewing 2-in-1 and touchscreen laptops - which I believe are as much gimmickry as technological advances - and making their laptop and touch pad product lines discrete.

    I am all for the direction Apple seems to be going in with laptops, which ostensibly will be manifest in the next iteration of MacBook Air, where mobility, screen quality, processing power, and battery life are prioritized over versatility.
  7. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    My apologies. I misinterpreted your wording of an "interesting" direction and Apple "turning a corner."
  8. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Which automatically tells me Apple is doing it right. :)

    This is not recent that vendors try the combo thing, they've been trying, but lo and behold they don't sell like hotcakes as they wish. Wonder why.
  9. Republius thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2014
    I completely agree with you, though I get that different folks have different predilections.

    I want a laptop to be keyboard driven, and believe tablets should be the touchscreen devices of choice. And I am uninterested in a device that combines the two; I want mobility, power, and screen optimized in a laptop without being diverted by versatility concerns; and if the laptop is done right I won't need or want a tablet.


    Indeed, versatility compromises performance.

    I agree that Apple is getting it right making the laptop and tablet categories discrete to optimize performance of each.

    But, of course, plenty of cynics would claim Apple is also getting customers to buy two products instead of one at a higher aggregate price.

    In my case, however, that would not be true. I would be a target for either the MacBook Air Retina or iPad Pro, but not both. And I am confident the iPad Pro won't be powerful enough, and the MacBook Air Retina will take care of everything I need it to.
  10. blaster_boy macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2004
    And I can't wait for apple to bring out a macbook touch

    I have a different perspective : I have a 15inch macbook pro (mid 2010) and am very happy with it - it fulfils all my needs in programming and usage, reading email, etc.

    But I also have a Surface Pro 3, since a month about now. And while Windows 8.1 bugs me from time to time, I have come to the realisation that I really like the touch interface, and that a 2-in-1 from mac (next to a desktop) would be ideal for me. An ipad with a cintiq-style stylus instead of 'finger-painting' would do in a pinch.

    That realisation came when I started wiping my macbook screen to scroll text :) . I also would love to draw more, and I've tried a bamboo board with pen, but couldn't adjust to looking at the screen while drawing on another flat surface. Now I can do this whenever I want. On the screen, using my stylus.

    I usually had my ipad and my macbook with me on the train to work. Now I just take my Surface with me - the weight difference is staggering (old 2010 laptop, remember).

    So while most of you here are not looking for this type of solution, I am. So perhaps others are as well. And market pressure can be a big lever.

    Remember, Apple always denies that they are interested in doing something until they actually start leaking about this wonderful new product of theirs that will solve all your problems... (iphone 6 plus for example)...

    Funny anecdote : I dislike grease covered screens. But for now, the benefits of using the screen on my surface pro 3 in a natural way outweigh my dislike of prints on my screen.

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