Will Apple ever make a 2-in-1 MacBook?

johngwheeler

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 30, 2010
392
43
I come from a land down-under...
Like many of you, I have a MBA 13 and an iPad, and often have to decide which device I will take with me when traveling.

I can't do a lot of my work tasks on an iPad - I need Mac OS apps, programming tools and a decent keyboard.

Similarly, the MBA is sometimes a bit unwieldy to use in a restricted space (on a bus, in bed, standing up etc.).

Taking one device or the other involves a compromise, and taking both adds too much weight.

Despite Steve Jobs' "Toaster Refrigerator" analogy, I often think a well-executed 2-in-1 (with detachable keyboard) would be a great thing. This would probably need to run Mac OS, but iOS or some hybrid OS might be OK with suitable apps.

I really like the format of the recent MS Surface 3: if it were just a little bit lighter, and ran Mac OS, it would be ideal.

How likely do you think it is that Apple will produce something similar? Will Mac OS X ever include a "tablet friendly" UI, similar in concept to the MS "modern" interface (but done right)?
 

sunapple

macrumors 68000
Jul 16, 2013
1,864
2,709
The Netherlands
Apple introduced the iPad Mini when the market wanted one despite the fact that Steve Jobs said 10" was perfect. I think they'll do this again with hybrids once the things actually take off.
 

Cooee!

macrumors member
Feb 16, 2014
84
30
It is possible. What Apple thinks inappropriate is touchscreens on regular laptops.
 

MarvinHC

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2014
756
221
Belgium
Get the 11" Air. Hardly bigger than an iPad but a proper computer and with similar battery life as the iPad.
 

Wolfpup

macrumors 68030
Sep 7, 2006
2,714
62
I wanted the iPad to run real OS X from day one. Granted in 2008 that was less practical than it is today, but what Microsoft's actually done in real life with Surface and Windows 8 generally is exactly what I WANTED from Apple in 2008. I was crazy disappointed when it turned out to be just a big iPod (and the first gen model was crazy underpowered to boot).

It almost has to happen at some point, though they'll have to figure out how to get iOS programs running on OS X/x86.

Of course it's possible they'll do a Windows RT type deal, where it's basically running OS X, but OS X ported to ARM. (Possibly with the ability to run x86 OS X programs. Possibly with the ability for developers to make ARM OS X programs.) Even that would be pretty cool.

One thing I find funny is that for years we were told "the desktop doesn't work for touch!"...only it does. Granted the Surface has an alternate touch interface, BUT the actual normal Windows desktop with just minor tweaks (which actually improve useability for mouse and keyboard too) works GREAT with touch, at least on a 10.6" screen.

That nonsensical "toasters and refrigerators!" line I hear parroted (even by an Apple sales guy at Best Buy) really pisses me off. It's like no, you guys blew it. It's an awesome idea that Apple by rights should have implemented first, since they do software and hardware, and it works GREAT.

In fact it works so great it's sometimes more convenient for me to stream my desktop to my iPad and use THAT instead of native iPad programs, even with the lag/slight jankiness streaming adds (and my iPad's smaller screen/resolution).
 

flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
5,542
1,965
its not close to the portability of an iPad.
I beg to differ. I've had both. I had the iPad for about three years and hated the darn thing. I used a BT Keyboard and a Screen Protector. My MBA comes with both builtin. No extra crap to carry around. Oh, and it's a real computer, not a make-believe.

Lou
 

rrl

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2009
511
56
An 11" MBA and a Galaxy Note 3 is a great combo: Mac OS X, a tablet, a smart phone, and a WiFi hotspot. Done.
 

Saturn1217

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2008
972
232
I honestly think that an iPad with a few software changes and a detachable keyboard would be my preferred method of doing this. I wouldn't use it for really complex stuff like adobe CS6 or large excel spreadsheets but I could get reading, research and writing done which would be nice. And with some file system support and maybe split screen it might be doable. I don't think I'd like a tablet that was large enough to be used comfortably full time while in laptop mode.

To be honest I always just bring my iPad and Macbook Air with me. 4lbs total which is less than the weight of my old 2009 macbook pro. And I kind of like to use both together sometimes (the iPad serves as a screen for reference material while I write on the macbook air). I will be the first person to say I hate carrying heavy things (and want my devices to be as thin and light as possible) but so far the benefits of having two optimized devices has outweighed the benefits of a true convergence device. Instead I just want the iPad to be able to fill in as a netbook for those times when I can get away with not bringing my macbook air. An iPad that can be navigated completely from a bluetooth keyboard (no screen touching) + file system support (icloud drive?) and limited multitasking would be perfect.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
I beg to differ. I've had both. I had the iPad for about three years and hated the darn thing. I used a BT Keyboard and a Screen Protector. My MBA comes with both builtin. No extra crap to carry around. Oh, and it's a real computer, not a make-believe.
Lou
the ipad mini is undoubtly more portable than the 11" mba (provided you are ok with the concept of the ipad)
Thats not really a matter of opinion

The ipad mini:
  • Has much, much better battery life (no comparison at all!)
  • Is much smaller, thinner and lighter
  • Can be used with one hand even in tight spaces like a full subway

You are not bringing arguments in regards to portability but you simply didnt like the ipad concept as much.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,357
8,716
Prescott Valley, AZ
its not close to the portability of an iPad.
I was going to ask how that statement could be true, but your subsequent post clarified that you were referring to the iPad Mini.

I agree with that. But the difference between an iPad4/Air and MBA 11 is negligible compared to the difference in functionality.

I'm a big fan of the full-sized iPad. But I'm intrigued by the iPad mini. Now that I have an 11" MBA, I'm finding that my full-sized iPad may be a bit "large" to be portable. :)

edit (to stay on topic):

I believe that if Apple can create a device that truly synthesizes the strengths of iOS and OSX then they'll produce one. I would be surprised if they took Microsoft's approach of simply gluing the two environments (mobile/touch and desktop) together.
 

Wolfpup

macrumors 68030
Sep 7, 2006
2,714
62
I would be surprised if they took Microsoft's approach of simply gluing the two environments (mobile/touch and desktop) together.
I wouldn't call it "gluing". It works great and it's what Apple should have done in 2008 when they released the first iPad. I hope they do that sooner or late.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,357
8,716
Prescott Valley, AZ
I wouldn't call it "gluing". It works great and it's what Apple should have done in 2008 when they released the first iPad. I hope they do that sooner or late.
"working great" is in the eye of the beholder. :) It is painfully obvious (to me anyways) that Microsoft rushed the Modern UI before it was ready. Windows 8.1 still suffers from a dual personality. There is no synergy between the modern UI and desktop UI.

8.1 introduced the concept of the "X" button to the Modern UI. That's a basic design element that was either an oversight or an afterthought.

Proponents of Windows 8.x run to the strawman of "there's no reasonable criticism of Windows 8. Any criticism is merely the whining of luddites who hate change". There are serious UI design issues in Windows 8 that in and of themselves are "valid" reasons for criticism.

I trust that Apple won't make that mistake.
 

Wolfpup

macrumors 68030
Sep 7, 2006
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Proponents of Windows 8.x run to the strawman of "there's no reasonable criticism of Windows 8. Any criticism is merely the whining of luddites who hate change". There are serious UI design issues in Windows 8 that in and of themselves are "valid" reasons for criticism.
If there are serious issues, I haven't noticed them in a year and a half, and I haven't heard anyone voice them yet. It's always stuff with no connection to reality.

They not only added metro, the desktop itself while better for desktop use, is also tweaked to run really well with touch, at least on a 10.6" screen. (Haven't tried it on an 8" screen, although it's insane you can get a real Windows PC in a tiny 8" package LOL.)
 

danny_w

macrumors 601
Mar 8, 2005
4,383
117
Austin, TX
"working great" is in the eye of the beholder. :) It is painfully obvious (to me anyways) that Microsoft rushed the Modern UI before it was ready. Windows 8.1 still suffers from a dual personality. There is no synergy between the modern UI and desktop UI.

8.1 introduced the concept of the "X" button to the Modern UI. That's a basic design element that was either an oversight or an afterthought.

Proponents of Windows 8.x run to the strawman of "there's no reasonable criticism of Windows 8. Any criticism is merely the whining of luddites who hate change". There are serious UI design issues in Windows 8 that in and of themselves are "valid" reasons for criticism.

I trust that Apple won't make that mistake.
The same can be said for iOS7 that there are some serious desgn issues that show that it was rushed out too soon. Apple is not immune and se d ms to be getting worse in this regard.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,357
8,716
Prescott Valley, AZ
If there are serious issues, I haven't noticed them in a year and a half, and I haven't heard anyone voice them yet. It's always stuff with no connection to reality.
I'll offer one example of the inconsistency that I'm referring to...
Some system settings are accessible via the "Charms bar"menus. Others are accessible via Live tile shortcuts to desktop applets. While others are only accessible by drilling down through the desktop Control Panel modules.

3 different methods and appearances for dealing with system settings. Although some inconsistencies have existed since Windows XP, the situation has been aggravated by the introduction of the Modern UI.

I happen to be a fan of the Modern UI. I loved it on my Surface RT, Surface 2, and still diggin' it on my Asus netbook and Lenovo ultrabook. But it's not fully cooked yet. Microsoft did themselves a disservice by not tying it all together in a logical way.
 

Ronnoco

macrumors 68030
Oct 16, 2007
2,568
521
United States of America
It is possible. What Apple thinks inappropriate is touchscreens on regular laptops.
I used to agree with this, however, my significant other has a new HP TouchSmart laptop and I find the touch option quite handy and nice to have. She uses it more and more each day. I didn't think I would like using the touch function...but I did. :cool:
 
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case2001

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2010
351
47
I think Steve Jobs Refrigerator/Toaster analogy is a good one. The issue is when I use an iPad I am usually consuming information or very minimally editing. The iOS touch interface and apps are optimized for this. Consuming information minimal editing one handed operations. Even with an external keyboard this is the limitation of iOS.
On my Macbook Air, I have a full keyboard. Applications are much more detailed. More menus, more detailed operations and options. I am usually creating content. I rarely use the iPad because my MacBook Air is in my hand or lap.

To me the Refrigerator simples stores the food (iPad) but the toaster takes the food and prepares is for consumption. Everything in the refrigerator is for storage no preparation. The "cooking" is done on specialized devices and by the cooks once withdrawn from the refrigerator (my MacBook Air)

Just my 2 cents