Will Apple ever make the iPad/Mac hybrid "Surface Book"?

GaryNoine

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 28, 2015
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37
Atlanta
I am biased to Apple products; however, the Surface Book makes me frustrated at Apple. Something Microsoft did first in this department is made the tablet and laptop one, down to every detail, and kept it stylish and functional at the same time. Does anyone think Apple will ever get around to doing this? I dislike the Windows OS, so no Surface Book for me. But the design looks amazing. This is something Apple should've done a long time ago. I'm talking about a fully functional, touchscreen Macbook on OS X with a detachable screen that becomes an "iPad" while still running on OS X.
Any idea why this product has not yet been made and do you think we'll see it sometime in the future?
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,262
1,352
Apple is rarely first. Mac wasn't the first computer. iPod wasn't the first MP3 player. iPhone wasn't the first smartphone. iPad wasn't the first tablet. Apple Watch wasn't the first smart watch.

Be interesting to see if they think there's a future for this kind of product. If so, I'm sure they'll eventually jump in.
 
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Thares

macrumors 6502
Feb 25, 2011
253
79
Dresden, Germany
Any idea why this product has not yet been made and do you think we'll see it sometime in the future?
Because it's not functional. The Surface is a laptop with a detachable keyboard. It's not a tablet like the iPad is. That's why you never see anybody using the Surface without the keyboard, excepting to show off the stylus. Even Microsoft itself shows the Surface lineup only with keyboards. I was looking for impressions of the Surface without a keyboard. To see if it's really a competition to the iPad. You won't find any.

For me, the iPad might be the only computer I need in my house. Real laptops don't have any real benefit for me. I can do light document stuff with iPad and for surfing the web or watching videos an iPad is obviously way better than any conventional laptop.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,647
9,332
Prescott Valley, AZ
I am biased to Apple products; however, the Surface Book makes me frustrated at Apple. Something Microsoft did first in this department is made the tablet and laptop one, down to every detail, and kept it stylish and functional at the same time. Does anyone think Apple will ever get around to doing this? I dislike the Windows OS, so no Surface Book for me. But the design looks amazing. This is something Apple should've done a long time ago. I'm talking about a fully functional, touchscreen Macbook on OS X with a detachable screen that becomes an "iPad" while still running on OS X.
Any idea why this product has not yet been made and do you think we'll see it sometime in the future?
This product has not yet been made because Apple continues to make truckloads of money with what they currently offer while the competition is not making a significant dent to warrant anything beyond releasing a Pencil, a larger screen, and a keyboard cover.

We'll see it sometime in the future IF alternatives like the Surface Book and Surface Pro continue to gain ground. The best thing that anyone can do (who wants a true Apple version of the Surface Book) is to buy a Surface Book. The only thing Apple understands is actual sales.
 
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Dave245

macrumors 604
Sep 15, 2013
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No I don't think so, today Apple have once again commented on this with the following

"While Microsoft and others now believe that multi-touch should extend to the desktop display, Apple believes this is dead wrong. “From the ergonomic standpoint we have studied this pretty extensively and we believe that on a desktop scenario where you have a fixed keyboard, having to reach up to do touch interfaces is uncomfortable,” says Schiller. “iOS from its start has been designed as a multi-touch experience — you don’t have the things you have in a mouse-driven interface, like a cursor to move around, or teeny little ‘close’ boxes that you can’t hit with your finger. The Mac OS has been designed from day one for an indirect pointing mechanism. These two worlds are different on purpose, and that’s a good thing — we can optimize around the best experience for each and not try to mesh them together into a least-common-denominator experience.”

https://medium.com/backchannel/excl...ill-sweating-the-details-on-imac-531a95e50c91

I don't think Apple will be entering into the surface type market at least for a while.
 

temna

macrumors 6502a
May 5, 2008
708
394
Considering the iOS is the future, I don't see the point in a iOS/OSX hybrid. So no, don't expect an Apple Surface Book. But let's be fair, the Surface Book is pretty meh in the first place. Ugly hinge, it doesn't close flat, just a goofy design. And let's be honest, the tablet should include a kickstand. Pretty stupid miss on Microsoft's end.
 

engineerben

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2010
140
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Greenville Tx
No I don't think so, today Apple have once again commented on this with the following

"While Microsoft and others now believe that multi-touch should extend to the desktop display, Apple believes this is dead wrong. “From the ergonomic standpoint we have studied this pretty extensively and we believe that on a desktop scenario where you have a fixed keyboard, having to reach up to do touch interfaces is uncomfortable,” says Schiller. “iOS from its start has been designed as a multi-touch experience — you don’t have the things you have in a mouse-driven interface, like a cursor to move around, or teeny little ‘close’ boxes that you can’t hit with your finger. The Mac OS has been designed from day one for an indirect pointing mechanism. These two worlds are different on purpose, and that’s a good thing — we can optimize around the best experience for each and not try to mesh them together into a least-common-denominator experience.”

https://medium.com/backchannel/excl...ill-sweating-the-details-on-imac-531a95e50c91

I don't think Apple will be entering into the surface type market at least for a while.
Schiller has it right here. There's a big difference between the direct and indirect interaction model. And the direct interaction model is uncomfortable to use when the screen is tilted up, laptop-style.

Still...

Apple is releasing the keyboard stand for the iPad Pro, which will tilt up the tablet, laptop-style. This arrangement begs for an indirect interaction method like a trackpad, but the iPad supports only direct interaction.

There are several ways to fix this that don't go all-in on the indirect interaction method, such as a remote scroll pad and a remote home button, possibly with the fingerprint sensor embedded. You'd still use a direct touch to select items and position the text cursor, but for the most common operations - scrolling and home button operations - you wouldn't have to extend your arm toward the screen. That may not be the optimum solution - it's just of the top of my head, actually - but I'd be really surprised if somebody at Apple isn't thinking about this.
 
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jwalker99

macrumors newbie
Jan 10, 2006
29
17
Because it's not functional. The Surface is a laptop with a detachable keyboard. It's not a tablet like the iPad is. That's why you never see anybody using the Surface without the keyboard, excepting to show off the stylus. Even Microsoft itself shows the Surface lineup only with keyboards. I was looking for impressions of the Surface without a keyboard. To see if it's really a competition to the iPad. You won't find any.

For me, the iPad might be the only computer I need in my house. Real laptops don't have any real benefit for me. I can do light document stuff with iPad and for surfing the web or watching videos an iPad is obviously way better than any conventional laptop.
Ironically, the Surface Pro line makes for a great tablet for the examples you cite. It's actually better than an iPad at surfing the web, since you aren't limited to a mobile browser. And while Windows doesn't currently enjoy the same quantity/quality of touch optimized apps that are available for iOS, the Surface in tablet mode is still great for watching videos, checking email, reading, etc.

And with the optional keyboard attached, it quickly becomes a very capable laptop for those looking to do more than just light document stuff.
 

CEmajr

macrumors 601
Dec 18, 2012
4,377
1,138
Charlotte, NC
No because Apple would rather have you buy an iPad and a Mac rather than some hybrid device.

Microsoft has nothing to lose since their products don't sell like Apple's.
 
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temna

macrumors 6502a
May 5, 2008
708
394
Ironically, the Surface Pro line makes for a great tablet for the examples you cite. It's actually better than an iPad at surfing the web, since you aren't limited to a mobile browser. And while Windows doesn't currently enjoy the same quantity/quality of touch optimized apps that are available for iOS, the Surface in tablet mode is still great for watching videos, checking email, reading, etc.

And with the optional keyboard attached, it quickly becomes a very capable laptop for those looking to do more than just light document stuff.
I have to disagree. I can surf web pages just fine on my iPad and iPhone. Not mobile sites, full sites. The only thing I don't get is Flash, which to me is no loss.
 

mtneer

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2012
2,887
2,053
This product has not yet been made because Apple continues to make truckloads of money with what they currently offer while the competition is not making a significant dent to warrant anything beyond releasing a Pencil, a larger screen, and a keyboard cover.

....
What you described is basically Blackberry and Nokia, circa 2007. Not that I am saying Apple is doomed, but they should always be paranoid about competition and hungry to do more.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
21,383
26,400
Considering the iOS is the future, I don't see the point in a iOS/OSX hybrid. So no, don't expect an Apple Surface Book. But let's be fair, the Surface Book is pretty meh in the first place. Ugly hinge, it doesn't close flat, just a goofy design. And let's be honest, the tablet should include a kickstand. Pretty stupid miss on Microsoft's end.
I don't get the point of the Surface Book and Surface Pro considering they both run the exact same software. I would assume most people are using the Surface Pro like a laptop with the kickstand and type cover. So why not just get the Surface Book which is a much better laptop?

Ironically, the Surface Pro line makes for a great tablet for the examples you cite. It's actually better than an iPad at surfing the web, since you aren't limited to a mobile browser. And while Windows doesn't currently enjoy the same quantity/quality of touch optimized apps that are available for iOS, the Surface in tablet mode is still great for watching videos, checking email, reading, etc.

And with the optional keyboard attached, it quickly becomes a very capable laptop for those looking to do more than just light document stuff.
What do you mean by "limited to a mobile browser"? What can you view on a Surface that you can't on an iPad (besides Flash)?

Schiller has it right here. There's a big difference between the direct and indirect interaction model. And the direct interaction model is uncomfortable to use when the screen is tilted up, laptop-style.

Still...

Apple is releasing the keyboard stand for the iPad Pro, which will tilt up the tablet, laptop-style. This arrangement begs for an indirect interaction method like a trackpad, but the iPad supports only direct interaction.
If you look at Apple's website for iPad Pro the only time they show the device attached to the keyboard is when they're specifically talking about the keyboard. And at the September event I don't think any of the on stage presenters used the keyboard. That is the complete opposite of Microsoft and Surface where they hardly ever show the device without the type cover attached and kickstand in use.

I think Apple made a keyboard for those who do a lot of typing with their iPad but they still see the iPad as this immersive piece of glass and want most direct manipulation on screen. Notice in the iPad product intro video most of the interaction was not with the keyboard but on device. To me a trackpad just seems odd because iOS doesn't have a cursor/pointer. But if their survey research shows the keyboard to be popular and people want a trackpad I won't be surprised if the next version has one.
 
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engineerben

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2010
140
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If you look at Apple's website for iPad Pro the only time they show the device attached to the keyboard is when they're specifically talking about the keyboard. And at the September event I don't think any of the on stage presenters used the keyboard. That is the complete opposite of Microsoft and Surface where they hardly ever show the device without the type cover attached and kickstand in use.

I think Apple made a keyboard for those who do a lot of typing with their iPad but they still see the iPad as this immersive piece of glass and want most direct manipulation on screen. Notice in the iPad product intro video most of the interaction was not with the keyboard but on device. To me a trackpad just seems odd because iOS doesn't have a cursor/pointer. But if their survey research shows the keyboard to be popular and people want a trackpad I won't be surprised if the next version has one.
It's pretty clear that Apple wants to maintain the differentiation between the indirect interaction method (smallest example: new Macbook) and direct interaction (largest example: iPad Pro). And you're right that Apple isn't promoting the iPad Pro as (necessarily) a laptop replacement.

I kind of live on a keyboard, though. The iPad2 plus Logitech's keyboard cover made a really compelling alternative to a notebook computer when I travelled light. I suspect the iPad Pro plus keyboard cover will do the same. Heck, I've even ordered Waytool's little TextBlade keyboard for my iPhone for when I want to carry nothing but my phone. But especially with something as big as the Pro, I'd sure like something down on the horizontal surface - a scroll bar would do - that would keep me having to precisely touch a modestly-supported screen just to move down to the next field.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
21,383
26,400
Schiller has it right here. There's a big difference between the direct and indirect interaction model. And the direct interaction model is uncomfortable to use when the screen is tilted up, laptop-style.

Still...

Apple is releasing the keyboard stand for the iPad Pro, which will tilt up the tablet, laptop-style. This arrangement begs for an indirect interaction method like a trackpad, but the iPad supports only direct interaction.

There are several ways to fix this that don't go all-in on the indirect interaction method, such as a remote scroll pad and a remote home button, possibly with the fingerprint sensor embedded. You'd still use a direct touch to select items and position the text cursor, but for the most common operations - scrolling and home button operations - you wouldn't have to extend your arm toward the screen. That may not be the optimum solution - it's just of the top of my head, actually - but I'd be really surprised if somebody at Apple isn't thinking about this.
It's pretty clear that Apple wants to maintain the differentiation between the indirect interaction method (smallest example: new Macbook) and direct interaction (largest example: iPad Pro). And you're right that Apple isn't promoting the iPad Pro as (necessarily) a laptop replacement.

I kind of live on a keyboard, though. The iPad2 plus Logitech's keyboard cover made a really compelling alternative to a notebook computer when I travelled light. I suspect the iPad Pro plus keyboard cover will do the same. Heck, I've even ordered Waytool's little TextBlade keyboard for my iPhone for when I want to carry nothing but my phone. But especially with something as big as the Pro, I'd sure like something down on the horizontal surface - a scroll bar would do - that would keep me having to precisely touch a modestly-supported screen just to move down to the next field.
i'm assuming there are arrow keys on this new keyboard or some other method that would allow you to move the cursor without touching the screen?
 

engineerben

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2010
140
78
Greenville Tx
i'm assuming there are arrow keys on this new keyboard or some other method that would allow you to move the cursor without touching the screen?
Yeah - there are arrow keys that let you move a text cursor, and you can tab through fields. I don't think you can use the arrow keys to just generally scroll a web page or picture, but it's been a while since I've used an external KB on the iPad.
 

Krevnik

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2003
3,519
794
I don't get the point of the Surface Book and Surface Pro considering they both run the exact same software. I would assume most people are using the Surface Pro like a laptop with the kickstand and type cover. So why not just get the Surface Book which is a much better laptop?
Battery life. If you want something that can act like a tablet, the Book gets you a whopping 3 hours detached from the keyboard battery. No thanks. The Surface Pro is more portable, while the tablet mode on the Book is not something I'd pay extra for. Microsoft is basically going after the Yoga-like convertibles with the Book, which some like, but I don't.

... And price. The Surface Pro is not just a little cheaper, it is a lot cheaper.
 

Branskins

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2008
1,233
178
I don't think the hybrid approach is very forward thinking. It seems like the laziest way to try and cram the best of both into one very quickly.

I believe iOS 9 and the iPad Pro shows what the future of mobile computing could look like. I don't think we are there yet, but I do believe this is the best path that offers the best user experience.
 

Warbrain

macrumors 603
Jun 28, 2004
5,698
293
Chicago, IL
I think Phil Schiller tipped off that this isn't in their pipeline and they have no interest in making this device:

https://medium.com/backchannel/excl...ill-sweating-the-details-on-imac-531a95e50c91

“They are all computers,” he says. “Each one is offering computers something unique and each is made with a simple form that is pretty eternal. The job of the watch is to do more and more things on your wrist so that you don’t need to pick up your phone as often. The job of the phone is to do more and more things such that maybe you don’t need your iPad, and it should be always trying and striving to do that. The job of the iPad should be to be so powerful and capable that you never need a notebook. Like, Why do I need a notebook? I can add a keyboard! I can do all these things! The job of the notebook is to make it so you never need a desktop, right? It’s been doing this for a decade. So that leaves the poor desktop at the end of the line, What’s its job?”
 

iSheep5S

macrumors 6502a
Jun 4, 2013
554
250
Scotland
I highly doubt it...

Even tho i have a Surface 3 in my life i have an iPad... even tho i have an iPad i have a Nexus 7. Even tho i have a Surface i have a laptop PC.

Non of these devices replace any other fully. Same as if i had a Surfacebook... i would still have an iPad.

All different experiences.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
21,383
26,400
Battery life. If you want something that can act like a tablet, the Book gets you a whopping 3 hours detached from the keyboard battery. No thanks. The Surface Pro is more portable, while the tablet mode on the Book is not something I'd pay extra for. Microsoft is basically going after the Yoga-like convertibles with the Book, which some like, but I don't.

... And price. The Surface Pro is not just a little cheaper, it is a lot cheaper.
So basically as I've felt all along these are devices with compromises yet Microsoft (and Intel) is trying to pass them off as no compromise devices. If there was a no compromise device Microsoft wouldn't need the Surface Book and Surface Pro. Of course Apple has different devices to but they're not pushing this no compromise nonsense.
 
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